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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.
Now that we know a little bit about exporting catalogs what I want to do here is spend some time looking at a few slides so that we can really have a good working understanding of how to work with multiple catalogs, and let's start off by a really quick review. What is a Lightroom catalog? Well, you and I know that a Lightroom catalog contains valuable information, previews, file location, metadata, module settings, ratings, keywords, and collections. It has all of this information inside of it. Well, how then do we work with this information when we have multiple catalogs? Let's say for the sake of a demo that we have a laptop and a desktop computer and we have two distinct catalogs on each of those computers.
Let's look at two different scenarios of working with these multiple catalogs. The first one I want to look at is how do we just open a catalog from another version of Lightroom? Well, in order to just open a catalog what do you want to do first of course is export a collection, a folder, or a set of images as a catalog. You could then copy that catalog to an external hard drive. You would then unplug the hard drive and then plug it in to the new computer. In this case the desktop computer. Here, what we could do is simply go to File > Open and we could then open up that catalog on this computer.
Again in Lightroom you navigate to File and choose Open Catalog, and it will just open that catalog, the same one you had before in your laptop you now have on your desktop. You have the same set of images that you exported. All right, well this is the first scenario, simply opening a catalog. Well, the other scenario that I want to take a look at is a little bit more complex. Let's say for example that you're traveling, and while you're traveling you're working on your laptop. You have these images, they are beautiful travel pictures, and then you get home and all of a sudden you want to take these images, in all the work that you've done with these photographs, and you want to merge those into your main desktop computer catalog.
Well, how can you do that? How can you merge multiple catalogs together? Well again, the process starts off at a similar place. The first step of course is to export something as a catalog and then to copy that to an external hard drive. Next, you want to go ahead and plug in or connect that hard drive to the other computer. Well, here what we're interested in doing isn't opening this as a catalog; rather what we really want to do is take two catalogs. We want to add or mash, or merge these together so that ultimately we just have one catalog.
So that this new catalog contains all of the work we've done previously and also all of the work that we did on our laptop when we're traveling or when we're out of photo shoot or whatever. Well, in order to do this what you need to do is in Lightroom go to the File pulldown menu and then select Import from Another Catalog. This is the option that you choose when you want to add or merge two catalogs together. And by doing this it allows you to access all of that information, and essentially it brings over everything that you did there.
Everything which was inside of that catalog on your laptop, well it's now part of your main catalog on your desktop. All right, well now that we've gone through these slides and now that we have a little bit of a better understanding of how this works, let's go ahead and take a look at how we can actually do this in Lightroom, and let's do that in the next movie.
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