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Trying to understand Lightroom

4 Feb 2013 1:03PM
Am i right in thinking that all my images (30,000) in LR4 are actually held on my Mac's hard drive ? It's just that LR is running painfully slow and i only use the computer for editing and browsing the web. There's plenty of space on the hard drive so that shouldnt be an issue. I keep my desktop reasonably tidy and the trash is always emptied regularly - two things i've heard slow your comp down. But if i put all my images on an external hard drive then they wouldnt be in LR ( obviously). I've read story of people having 400,000 images in LR with no speed issues. Hope i dont sound too stupid Sad

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JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
4 Feb 2013 1:23PM

Quote:....are actually held on my Mac's hard drive

Yes, if that is where you copied or scanned them to.

In fact, your images can be anywhere you choose, they are NOT in Lightroom, as such.

Computer Hard Drive or External hard drive makes no difference as all LR does is reference, that is points to, the images.

Your speed issue is more likely to do with the specification of your computer but have you tried " Optimize Catalog " as that in effect refreshes the database getting rid of unwanted bits & pieces and can help the speed issue.


mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2013 1:34PM
Lightroom only holds thumbnails, so whether your images are on the C drive or an external hard drive makes no difference to Lightroom, as long as it knows where to look.
There are sevveral pages on the internet if you google 'optimising lightroom' and the most common one seems to be the amount of memory allocated to LR - if the amount allocated is too low LR runs out of memory and starts to use the hard disc as a temporary cache (which is slower) even though there may be plenty more memory available.

EDITED to make it clearer.
4 Feb 2013 2:02PM
Thanks for the replies !! I really need to sit down and spend more to time figuring out how to use LR properly instead of just taking images and uploading them and being happy that i can find them in LR lol. A few more minutes figuring it all out saves a lot of heartache (and time ) further down the line. My main folder is my Mac hard drive , how do i add an external hard drive as well ?
lemmy 11 2.7k United Kingdom
4 Feb 2013 3:00PM
For quick browsing of files, examining for sharpness and so on, import the files and have LR make a 1:1 preview of them at the same time.

As mikehit says, it doesn't matter to Lightroom where you put your files so long as it knows where to look for them. I put all my files in one folder. There is no point in trying to make different folders to organise your files, all organising is done through collections and keywords.

The hardest thing to understand about LR is that it is not like Photoshop at all, it is a database. It never alters your original files at all, no matter how much work you do on them.

If you delete, or move files, it must be done within Lightroom, otherwise, it will play up.

Used properly, LR is in my opinion the best photographic software available for both organisation and manipulation. Used without understanding it is a dog. I have seen it reviewed as a rival to GIMP or Photoshop. That is a profound misunderstanding of its role but it does confuse a lot of people. GIMP and Photoshop are art editors' tools, Lightroom is for photographers. If you are both the photographer and art editor as most amateurs are, both may be necessary, of course.
digicammad 15 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2013 3:26PM
My biggest problem with LR is that I already had 70k images before I got it and I'm too lazy to go through and keyword them all. Wink

You might find that LR seems to be running slowly because when you imported your images you didn't get it to make a preview.
lemmy 11 2.7k United Kingdom
4 Feb 2013 3:49PM

Quote:My biggest problem with LR is that I already had 70k images before I got it and I'm too lazy to go through and keyword them all.

Shouldn't take more than 6 months of your leisure time and weekends. Keywording is the best fun I know. 70,000 images? - peanuts! I wish I was so lucky. NOT

Seriously, the best way might be to set a keyword and paint it in selected images when you have an odd moment. Then another and so on. Or the drag and drop. Pain in the b*m whichever way you do it.
digicammad 15 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2013 3:52PM
I have been doing some generic keywording at folder level; I always separate my outings by folders, but even that is a mammoth task. Smile
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
4 Feb 2013 4:56PM
Yep. I was lucky in that I "converted" to digital reluctantly and belatedly, so by happy co-incidence I bought my first dSLR just as the first version of Lightroom was launched. So my digital images have been catalogued by LR right from the start and my "filing and ratings systems" have grown organically to suit my developing (no pun intended) needs.

I'd hate to be starting to use LR with a backlog of 20,000 files on the machine.

digicammad 15 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2013 4:58PM
Luckily I have (almost) always used a meaningful naming convention for my folders so a lack of keywords isn't as bad as it could have been.

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