Getting Started with Lightroom

You can have a rocky start with Adobe Lightroom if you don’t prepare first.

  • Read the questions and watch the videos about Lightroom below. Answer each question as you go to best prepare yourself for starting out with Lightroom.

  • What is Lightroom? (Watch this Video) • Will Lightroom be a useful tool for your photographic practice?

What to think about before you start using Lightroom:

  1. What computer is your “main” computer? Desktop OR Laptop or Both? It is strongly suggested to choose to have one main External Hard Drive to start off with in order to use LR on one or both computers (must be a large External Hard Drive such as a Terabyte Drive or start with 500GB and gradually move-up as you need more and more storage space for your library of photos).  This means your Lightroom Catalog File (info. about your photos … see below for definition) & Library of Photo Files will be stored on this External Hard Drive.
  2. How much storage space do you have available on this External Hard Drive? You will want to think about how many photographs you intend to import into your Lightroom Catalog in the future.  Do you shoot RAW and have very large file sizes? You will want a LOT of space on your “main” External Hard Drive or you will want to figure out if you need to get a new larger external Hard Drive.  A mirrored Hard Drive is not a bad idea (automatically copies your files to a second drive when you save them onto the “main” External Hard Drive).
  3. What will your file Backup system be? Will you use a mirrored Hard Drive like I described above? Will you use a website that you pay a fee to as a way to store the second copy of your images on a remote server service somewhere?  Will you make DVDs with important images to store in a third location?   The rule is to have your files backed-up in at least three locations with the 3rd location being off-site.  Your Hard Drives will fail sooner or later. ASMP’s 3-2-1 Backup Rule.
  4. What will your file/image cataloging system be? A main PHOTOGRAPHS FOLDER > 2010 FOLDER, 2009 FOLDER, 2008 FOLDER (with subfolders of photos inside titled by the date, location, OR subject).

Name one special instance where you might use two catalogs.

Lightroom Files:

  • Catalog File: is a database that tracks the location of photos (where your folders of photos are located) and information about them such as how you edited the photo, cropped it in LR etc…

  • Folders of Photographs: stored in folders somewhere on your computer Hard Drive or on an External Hard Drive.  If you don’t define where your photos are saved on your computer, they will automatically get put (MAC: Pictures Folder – PC -Pictures Document)

Example:

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FAQ (Answers from: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/333/333736.html):

How can I use my catalog on multiple computers, such as a laptop and a desktop?

Keep your catalog on an external drive and set the preferences in Lightroom to use the external catalog. If you keep your photos on the same external drive, you can edit them in the Develop module as well as use them in the rest of the application. If your original photos are not available to Lightroom, you can use all modules except the Develop module.

Can I store my catalog on a network?

No. There are too many variables in a network configuration to guarantee that the catalog will not become corrupted.

How many photos can I have in a catalog?

There is no specific maximum number of photos you can store in a Lightroom catalog. Your computer might run out of address space for your photos between 100,000 and 1,000,000 photos.

How do I transition from iphoto to Lightroom?

This is video tutorial: Moving from iPhoto to Lightroom 3.

Lightroom Resources:

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