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Using 'alias' folders on Mac to catalogue from?

Discussion in 'Managing your Photos & Video' started by Pollok Shields, May 19, 2017.

  1. Pollok Shields

    Pollok Shields New Member

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    I have pictures stored on a few different hard drives (because they fill up, not because I'm disorganised!) My Lightroom 'Folders' panel shows these in a list and I find myself having to close one to go to another hard drive. So I thought having all my hard drive folders in a single Lightroom Folder would be a better way.

    Can I create aliases of my hard drives, add those to another drive and have LR think they're all in the same place so creating a single 'Folder' list?

    If that makes any sense...

    Thanks
     
  2. clee01l

    clee01l Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    I don't understand "having to close one to go to another hard drive". In my folder panel (below) covering two volumes what needs to be closed?
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Pollok Shields

    Pollok Shields New Member

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    You only have your internal and single external drive. I have a few more externals. I keep 'closing' (collapsing) volumes so I can see another volume without having to scroll. So I'm trying to make it appear that all my folders are on a single volume. Question is will Lightroom be happy about that?
     
  4. JohanElzenga

    JohanElzenga Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    I don't think you can use an alias. You might be able to use a symbolic link, but I'm not sure how that would come up in the folders panel: as the disk where the link is located, or as the disk the link points at.
     
  5. rob211

    rob211 Active Member

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    Hmm. Instead of an alias or other link, maybe collections? You could drag folders there and replicate the folder structure, and submerge it all in a collection set. More flexible, and you'd be able to make separate groupings (like a large bunch of folders from separate volumes into one fake volume/collection set. Sorta like how some of use use meta-hierarchies like "People" to hold a bunch of keywords in a more easily accessible manner.
     
  6. clee01l

    clee01l Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    I think I set up a alias once one my Mac and (in spite of Johan's comment) I recall that it worked. However this is not the solution to your problem. If you link additional folders via an alias or via a separate volume mount, you still have the scrolling issue If you can only display 40 lines in the folder panel, it does not really matter where your 60 folders are located as a separate volume list or as an alias folder with many sub folders.

    If you would like, you can use my workflow. I hide the folder panel. This gives me more room to display the collection panel. Through a series of Smart Collections, I can quickly locate the images of interest using g a modified version of John Beardsworth's Workflow smart collections. You never need to open the Folder panel since all of your organization is via keywords and other metadata.
     
  7. JohanElzenga

    JohanElzenga Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    I agree that collections are a much better way. If you use smart collections, then you can make a smart collection for each (top) folder, that automatically updates itself when new images are added. Normal collections -created by dragging a folder into the collection panel, for example- don't do that.
     
  8. Pollok Shields

    Pollok Shields New Member

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    Thanks for all your input. To answer my own question; No, Lightroom doesn't work with aliases.

    I added aliases for three folders (containing folders of images) which were located on three volumes to my "Pictures" folder on my Mac hard drive. In a new catalogue I had LR import the "Test Alias" folder and all contained folders. What I hoped for was that each of the three folders on the three different volumes would be listed under the single "Test Alias" folder. But they weren't. Instead LR has re-created the "original" volume and folder structure. Its exactly as if I had imported each volume/folder directly. LR does show my "Test Alias" folder but it appears empty.

    I appreciate the advice on creating collection but that involves another step in my workflow and keeping it up to date.
     
  9. JohanElzenga

    JohanElzenga Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    It doesn't have to be. Lightroom can add images to a collection on import, so you can do this without having to take an extra step. Collections are a much better way to organise your images. They are like virtual folders, with the great advantage over real folders that an image can be in multiple collections. Most advanced Lightroom users have a workflow that is entirely based on collections and smart collections, not on folders. They often keep their folders panel closed, because folders don't serve any other purpose than being the physical storage place. Once you learn how to use collections this way, you'll wonder how you ever managed without them.
     
  10. clee01l

    clee01l Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Actually, its can replace the cumbersome and inefficient folder manipulating time that you now spend trying to force images into restrictive folder constraints.

    As seen by my folder panel above, I import using one of the default date named folder schemes. On import, I assign some keywords and a collection assignment. My import workflow consists of inserting the camera card, choosing an import preset and pressing the {Import} button. Smart collections defined by keywords and other image metadata get populated with my new imported images automatically. I spend the rest of my workflow, culling images, adding Titles, Captions and appropriate keywords. In the develop module, I define a crop and apply any necessary develop adjustments on the images that show promise. When the workflow steps are done, I press the {Publish} button in my Publish Services. The idea behind a Data asset manager like Lightroom is to work smarter not harder.
     
  11. Pollok Shields

    Pollok Shields New Member

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    Okay, thanks, I've tried that. I should say I wouldn't usually copy from card to Mac using LR to import. That may have a bearing on my results. But in any case, I used LR to import and copy the files into dated folders. As it happens this card had pictures taken over two days so they went into two folders on my hard drive. So far so perfect. As suggested I added them to a Collection. But all the pictures from the import are aded to a single collection. So that doesn't automatically recreate my dated folder structure.

    But I'm not spending time fiddling with folders! My pictures are stored on my drives in dated folders. They are automatically imported there using a Photo Mechanic workflow - because its fast and efficient. If I want to see all of the pictures shot on one day at one location I can quickly go to them using my system. If your books are sorted alphabetically on your shelves its going to be quicker to put your hand on the one you want than having first to consult your card index...

    I think our difference is also because I'm moving pictures through my workflow quickly at times. I don't always need to carefully keyword each picture - sometimes there's either no time or no need. So when I come back to Lightroom to make sure everything's in order - maybe add keywords at that point - I find Lightroom gets in the way due to its - what I see as - unhelpful user interface.

    I do find Lightroom frustrating because it does what it does very well. But its not an application I look forward to and enjoy using.
     
  12. JohanElzenga

    JohanElzenga Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Why would you want to recreate a dated folder structure as collections? The date that an image was taken is usually totally irrelevant. Use places, events and things like that to build a logical collection hierarchy. Take your vacation to Spain, for example. When importing the pictures, Lightroom may store these in as many as 14 different dated folders (if your vacation was two weeks). But when you create a collection hierarchy, just one collection called 'Spain', or 'Vacation 2017' or 'Vacation Spain 2017' makes a lot more sense than 14 collections by date.
     
    oleleclos likes this.
  13. clee01l

    clee01l Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Are you physically moving pictures from one folder to another? This is not only tedious but very in efficient. Assigning images to static collections or better still letting LR assign images automatically to a Smart Collection based upon the image workflow state involves no file I/O and no waiting.
     

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