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01-14-2008, 05:45 PM   #1
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Understanding Lightroom v 1.3

I'm relatively new to to the digital processing and got Lightroom and Elements for a present. I just started using Lightroom first. I started to import pictures both from my camera and those on my hard drive from specific folders. I went to improve a few pictures and learn the Develop mode in lightroom.

Normally when I imported raw data I would put into a "raw folder" process and edit, delete etc from that folder and then export the jpg and selected pef files into a specific folder. That way I could import pictures of different themes and then resort into exisiting folders to make finding easier later. In lightroom, I'm not sure when to save as a jpeg and when I export to a slected folder the original remains in my Raw folder.

Secondly when I went to review some pictures the next day it stated that it could not find a image: "The file xxx.jpg is offline or missing". I know lightroom makes a metadata file for the image and keeps it somewhere but somehow I'm separating the metadata from the picture.

I'm sure it is not an error in the program but more the way I'm handling the files. What should I be doing? Where can I turn for better information? The instruction manual assumes a more thorough knowledge then I have and does not seem to address this problem.

Once I have imported all my images from my hard drive and add key words will this problem go away. When I download from the camera should I select the photos and presort the download into the destination folders rather then a common raw folder?. how do I find out where the jpg file made from a *.pef file?

I know a lotta questions but this is confusing.

01-14-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
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I won't say I have the last word on this (because I don't), but this works for me. I download all RAW pictures from a single shoot to one folder under a picture dir on my hard disk. I call it something that is easy to remember like Farm_1-1-08. I then import the whole folder into Lightroom. I usually keep all files in RAW unless I need to do something with them. When I do, I have created a seperate Output directory with a sub-dir for each task (like pbase, printing, etc). When I export from lightroom, each goes to the corect dir. As I never move the RAW files, Lightroom always knows where they live. I also backup the original dir's to DVD so I have an optical backup. That's it.
01-16-2008, 09:31 AM   #3
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Kevin has the right idea. Keep your raw files in one place. Here is my process...

I keep all my image files on a separate hard drive (external since I'm on a notebook). They are organized by date, so photos of my son today would live in a folder called 20080116_Isaac, which would go in a folder called 01_January, which would go in a folder called 2008. In other words 2008>01_January>20080116_Isaac. All shoots this month would go in the same 2008>01_January folder.

Photos are imported into Lightroom (Lr) in that same structure and are never moved. I only make copies of the raw photos, ie export to jpeg or PSD, when I am going to use the image outside of Lr.

When I send an image to Photoshop I choose the edit in Photoshop command, which makes a PSD copy of the image and stacks it with the original. This keeps both copies together so they can both be easily found and you can easily see which originals have already had exported copies made. The other advantage to this is that since Lr puts "edit" and the end of the file name (changeable in preferences) you can easily search for all "edit" images using Find.

However you choose to sort your images, I recommend keeping all your originals and copies in Lr, because that is what Lr is for - keeping all your images organized and searchable.
01-16-2008, 07:39 PM   #4
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Thanks. That gives me the idea of helping to organize new photos although I do hate to use dates since you can find dates easier on searches but rather would group photos by "themes" or topics so I can add to that folder at later times. I now understand that I can do that with other methods in lightroom such as the keywords, but since I have used themes as folder titles in the past probably will keep it.

01-16-2008, 11:18 PM   #5
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Actually Lightroom will let you search by darn near anything, even by f-stop of shutter speed. Your folder structure is totally up to you. i only chose by date because that was the last decision I had to make since there is only one year per year, one month per month, and so on. For the folder containing the actual images I do include a keyword or to in the folder name. All other searching I do in Lr. Whatever gets you organized is a good thing and it sounds like you are on your way.
01-18-2008, 12:45 AM   #6
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Lightroom is essentially a photo database program. In a seminar I attended given by Adobe evangelist Julieanne Kost, it was astounding to see the power of LR when going thru more than 3,000 images and narrowing down the search to a particular image. The key is to be judicious in grading your images by tags and grading or ranking them by stars.
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