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In this course, Chris Orwig investigates the Lightroom properties as a digital asset management (DAM) system—specifically, its catalogs, which track the location, metadata, and keyword tags associated with your images. The course shows how to import images into a catalog and keep them current with synchronized folders, maintain good backup practices, and recover and restore a catalog. Chris also provides his recommendations on hard drive options, and explains the process and benefits to raw processing when working with catalogs.
Once you start working with a Lightroom catalog, in a sense you're making a commitment. You're making a commitment to only make changes from within that catalog. And here what I want to do is take a look at how we can make some changes, perhaps to our images, their filename or location, and also to our folders, and how we can do that from within the catalog. I also want to take a look at what will happen if we make changes outside of the catalog or "behind Lightroom's back" so to speak and how that will cause us some problems and how we can solve those problems if we ever do that accidentally. All right! Well, let's start off within the catalog.
Here, I am inside of this Travel folder, and I have this image here, this image of this tree branch, reaching up towards the sky. I want to move this image to a different folder. To do that, it's as simple as clicking, and then dragging and dropping, and I'll drop this on to the Nature folder. This will open a dialog which says, hey, you're moving this file. Well, that's exactly what I want to do. So here I'll go ahead and click Move. This will physically relocate that file to a new folder. If we go ahead and click on that folder we can now see that, that image resides in this new folder. All right! Well, let's say we want to move a folder all together.
We want to change the location of a folder; again click and then drag and drop. And here it's saying I'm moving this files or this folder, that's what I want to do, so I'll click Move. You can see the folder now lives in a different location. All right! Well, so far we've seen we can make these changes from within Lightroom. What else can we do here? We could also rename a file. To do that, press your F2 key to open up this Rename dialog. Here, from the File Naming pulldown menu, I'll select Custom Name, and I'll go ahead and type out the name winter_branch, and then click OK in order to rename that file.
Well, here we've made all these changes from within Lightroom and all of this works. So Lightroom tracks with every change that we've made, and really this is fine, we can do as many of these changes as we need to do. Yet, let's say that one day we decide to make a change "behind Lightroom's back." Well, what's going to happen? Let's take a look. Here, if you go ahead and hover over the Nature folder, you can right-click or Ctrl+Click and choose Show in Finder or Explorer. This will open up a dialog here, and I'll just look at this one.
We can see we have the Nature folder in a different location. Here it is; it matches what we have in Lightroom. But without letting Lightroom know, we make a change. We drag this folder say to the Photos folder. Well, there it is. We made this change "behind Lightroom's back." Well, how does Lightroom going to handle this or what's going to happen? Well, if we go back to Lightroom all of a sudden it's going to be a little confused. Because the folder that it used to recognized, well, it's just not there anymore. Well, how can we solve this problem? Well, what you can do is you can right -click or Ctrl+Click on that folder.
This will open up a really handy dialog which says, hey, you can Find this Missing Folder. If you know where it is, you can go ahead and find it. That's what I want to do. Well, here it is in my Photos folder and subfolder Nature, I'll select that and click Choose. This will then update the catalog, so that the catalog now matches what's actually on the hard drive. So we can solve that problem if ever we make changes like that. What about other changes? For example, let's go back to that window, and to do that, I'll click on this folder, and then right-click or Ctrl+ Click and choose Show in Finder. All right! Well, here what I want to do is take a look at renaming a file.
If I go to this Nature folder, I have corwig-1, corwig-3, and winter-branch. I want to rename this back to perhaps corwig-2. I'll go ahead and rename this file, again "behind Lightroom's back," corwig-2.jpg. There it is. I solved that naming convention problem, or so I think. When I go back to Lightroom, all of a sudden this image, it has a little question mark on it, something has gone wrong. This file, it just can't find it on the hard drive.
Well, we can locate that file by clicking on that Question Mark icon. If you do that, it says, hey, we can't use this original file, we can't find it, you can locate it yourself. Here I'll click Locate, and then I'll select the file and then here click Select. When you do this it will say, are you sure you want to do this because the name was different? Well, yes I'm sure because you know what, I'm sorry but I renamed it "behind your back," Lightroom. So that is the correct image. Here we'll click Confirm and now you can see everything is fine and nice and taken care off.
So as you can see, we can use these various techniques to help solve these problems. And this is really important to see especially early on as you are starting to work with catalogs. Perhaps most importantly is this whole idea that once you start working with a catalog, really what you want to do is make changes from within that catalog. And if you do things that way, well, everything will just work out fine and you won't encounter any of this problems or issues.
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