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Help with Lightroom Catalog on importing files

russellsnr 13 184 England
19 Jul 2012 8:46PM
Hi, I have upgraded my photographic only computer so I have three hard drives, when you install Lightroom it automatically selects within Windows the My Pictures folder for the original first catalog to be situated.
I, when importing now intend to import to a second drive with a folder/s setup.
Am I correct in thinking that although Lightroom placed the original setup catalog in the My Pictures folder when I open an image it is opened from the second hard drive and not kept as a RAW file within the original Lightroom catalog?
I ask because I don't want to fill my operating hard drive with photo files.
Hope someone understands the question.
Many Thanks

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lobsterboy Plus
14 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
19 Jul 2012 8:56PM
The catalogue just indexes the files which can be on any drive you like.
It doesn't move the files unless you select that option on import.

You can see the location of the files in the folders panel on the left of the library module.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
19 Jul 2012 9:19PM
Yes, you are correct.
The catalogue is just that - a repository of thumbnails that let you select the image you want even though the actual photograph is somewhere else and that particular drive may not even be connected to the computer. It is called a catalogue for a very good reason: it is like having an Argos catalogue at home (=Lightroom catalogue) but you need to go to the actual shop to handle the things (=hard disc with your pictures).
If you set up 1:1 previews on import, then those previews will also be stored with the catalogue and although you can seemingly zoom in, you are not zooming in on the actual picture and will not be able to edit it.
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
19 Jul 2012 9:45PM

The only pitfall to watch is that when you set up your external HDDs for image file storage, don't (either deliberately or inadvertently) change the drive letters after Lightroom has catalogued the files.
lobsterboy Plus
14 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
19 Jul 2012 9:57PM
and of course make sure you have regular backups for all your photos and the catalogue.
russellsnr 13 184 England
20 Jul 2012 6:46AM
Many thanks to all

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