Advice, how to start catalogizing 35k of pictures?

Started Aug 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
Albert de Bruijn Contributing Member • Posts: 724
Re: Advice, how to start catalogizing 35k of pictures?

I would recommend Lightroom.

I feel your pain, I did something similar a while ago. Only had some 20,000 images, though.

My 2 cents and observations.

1. I would not cull your database right now. While in essence a good recommendation, I think the effort it will take to look at your pictures and decide if they can be removed, is equal to keywording them and cataloging them. Once catalogued you can always cull later, might even be easier then.

2. I found that I did not have to get everything "right" on the first import. For example, I would import a giant folder with several subfolders in one hit using, say, the keyword Australia. Later, in Lightroom, I would look at what I had with "Australia" as a keyword and could then add additional keywords like "Melbourne" or "Sydney", etc as I had the visual in front me me. That way, my database became richer and richer over time.

3. One of your workflow challenges will be remembering what was imported and what you still need to do. So have a think about that. You will also need to decide to import, leaving the images in their current folder/location, or copy them into a new location. Your available disk space may dictate this for you.

4. If you decide to copy and have Lightroom build you a new database, it would be a good idea to consider your database structure. Examine the templates in Lightroom and decide which suits you best. For example. I "Organize by Date" with a date format of "2012/August xx". Mt database now shows a "tree" with main folders like 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, etc and in there I have folders with July 23, August 17, etc. (and remember that Light room will automatically index all the EXIF data upon import, so you can retrieve by camara, by lens, by f-stop, etc etc. as well as browse by year/date, by folder and by keyword or a combination of several (like show me all pictures taken in Australia with my 5D using my 17-40mm lens) .

All of this is on my external hard drive in a root folder called "Lightroom Pictures". I recently upgraded to a 3TB drive and all I needed to do was copy the root folder and all my pictures were copied to the new drive (took forever though).

Good luck, it is a big job, but you will be happy with the end result.

Kari Rannisto wrote:

Dear all,

I have some 35k of pictures with no key words data and just filed in folders as year-month-date-subject, and now i am thinking that i should start putting keywords on all for easier finding (a nightmare today to find older pictures if i dont remember where and when i took it)

I have both CS6 and Lightroom but tend to still only use CS6 with Bridge

I guess there is no shortcut rather than start from folder one, and then add proper keywords and then move to next folder and next... This will take some time for sure

Still not very familiar with Lightroom, but i understand this would be the preferred software for this, or would Bridge do it equally good?

Further i have some 20k older pictures that are in my iPhoto/aperture folder. This will be next task, any advice on how to simply intergrate these into my lightroom (or bridge)?

Cheers in advance


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Albert (now with free Lightroom presets)

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