The collection went away

Larry Colen lrc at
Thu Oct 15 19:23:21 EDT 2009

On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 03:08:05PM -0700, Godfrey DiGiorgi wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 2:31 PM, William Robb <warobb at> wrote:
> > My understanding is that if you move stuff around outside of Lightroom then
> > you are stuck with importing it twice since you then need to import it into
> > Lightroom.
> Lightroom has several tools for reconciling external file system
> alterations. Of course, if you toss thousands of files around in
> random ways, it's going to take a lot of time to reconcile all those
> changes.
> I did a job for a client who'd made a serious mess of his 40,000
> files, with multiple files, multiple catalogs, multiple and
> inconsistent imports and alternative edits in a dozen places. It took

This is sounding ominously familiar in a couple of ways.

It seems that the biggest challenge at the moment is that I have a
few, nearly identical directory trees. It's a long story, but I've got
a couple attempts at backing up the directory tree in several trees on
the drive.

Is there a utility that can do a good job of merging or pruning
mulitiple similar trees of raw files. This is compounded by the fact
that the camera counter only goes to 9999 so impgp4375.pef may have
several different iterations, some of which are duplicates.

> a while and some serious thinking to come up with a 'best fit'
> strategy to reorganize everything, eliminate duplication, save *all*
> the edits, and rationalize the setup, but it was certainly possible
> ... just a little tedious. Neither edits nor files were lost, and in
> the end he has a well-structured and easy to back-up image file
> repository, a master catalog of everything, and subsidiary catalogs
> for his projects-in-progress.

That sounds like one of my goals.

> If you think things out carefully up front, you can save my consulting
> fee to achieve that ... ];-)

And this is how I'm trying to achieve it.

> - Create a new catalog
> - Use "Import from catalog" on each catalog you want to bring into the merge
> - For import options, unless you want to use Lightroom to reorganize
> your file system for you, it makes the most sense to import files in
> place and create virtual copies for files that might be replicated
> across several catalogs.

That sounds reasonable.

There are certain things I like about the "include subdirectories"
library option, but I don't know how to set things up so that the
existing directories are all listed under a top level directory.

Other good advice snipped....


The first step is learning to take great photos, 
the second step is learning to throw away ones that are merely good.
Larry Colen             lrc at  

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