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View Full Version : Question about setting up Lightroom - Need input


klmall
05-10-2011, 09:03 AM
After a recent thread on organizing photos etc. I asked DH to buy me Lightroom for my birthday and Mother's Day. :)

I have installed it on my laptop (don't use a desktop at all anymore) and after reading extensively online I find that several experts advise using external drives with a laptop (and even most desktops) for your LR catalog and your photos. I haven't actually used it yet.

My question for everyone here: Does anyone here do that with LR? I can do that since I have a 1 TB external and some smaller externals for backup.

It just seems weird to work with a program that would depend on an external drive. I realize that I'm shooting in raw exclusively with two cameras and the photos take up lots of space but each time I use this program I would have to connect the external drive to my laptop just to import the photos from the card and then process the photos.

Guess I just need some input here.

cosine4
05-10-2011, 09:30 AM
I would also be interested in hearing some thoughts on this. I just purchased Lightroom and need to get going as I have 4,000 RAW photos from my vacation that I need to get processed.

Daisy14'sDH
05-10-2011, 09:41 AM
I do it that way with an external drive. But I did it out of neccessity as my Laptop is 4 years old and only has a 60gb drive. But even with another drive and or computer that has a larger HD I'd still use the external for the security of it all.

toomanycars
05-10-2011, 09:53 AM
After a recent thread on organizing photos etc. I asked DH to buy me Lightroom for my birthday and Mother's Day. :)

I have installed it on my laptop (don't use a desktop at all anymore) and after reading extensively online I find that several experts advise using external drives with a laptop (and even most desktops) for your LR catalog and your photos. I haven't actually used it yet.

My question for everyone here: Does anyone here do that with LR? I can do that since I have a 1 TB external and some smaller externals for backup.

It just seems weird to work with a program that would depend on an external drive. I realize that I'm shooting in raw exclusively with two cameras and the photos take up lots of space but each time I use this program I would have to connect the external drive to my laptop just to import the photos from the card and then process the photos.

Guess I just need some input here.

Yes I do. I have 2 2TB drives mirrored. If you are using a laptop the answer for why is space, most laptops do not have more than a 500GB HD. My Canon is 18 MP and with RAW files. One good trip to WDW could fill up my laptop HD.

wenrob
05-10-2011, 11:58 AM
Yep I use an EHD and back up EHDs as well. I use the Passports so theyre relatively small and not a big deal to plug in. I use it for iTunes as well. Things run much smoother this way. You don't have to in order to use LR but ultimately it makes things much easier.

PhotographyDR
05-10-2011, 12:38 PM
Lightroom should work just fine with the internal drive as your primary. Like everyone was saying you might run into issues with running out of space. That is why they suggest you use an external HDD as your primary. I use Lightroom on my desktop (primary library) and the internal drive (1TB) works just fine. I then back up that drive nightly to an external one. On the road I use Lightroom on the laptop and again use the internal drive with a backup on the external. I then transfer all my material once I get home to the desktop. It is rather just a HDD size issue rather than the fact that Lightroom wouldn't work on the internal drive. Hope this helps.

klmall
05-10-2011, 12:44 PM
Thanks everyone for your quick responses! I definitely feel better about it!

Now I have to figure out a good back-up system.

Any good suggestions????

Khokhonutt
05-11-2011, 01:39 PM
Now I have to figure out a good back-up system.

Any good suggestions????

I actually do a couple of things for backup:

1. I run my desktop, a Home Server and a Media Center machine. My desktop is where I maintain and work with my photos. I copy my pictures folders to the Home Server and the Media Center, both as a mirrored copy and so I can view photos on the TV using the Media Center. This addresses concerns with system failure.

2. I also have a SmugMug account where I upload all my pictures. Many people use SmugMug (and similar services) mainly for picture sharing. I primarily started using the service as an offsite backup location. Many folks consider backups in the event of a system crash, but an offsite backup is important, should you have a disaster at your house.

pgowder
05-11-2011, 03:37 PM
While I am working on a set of photos it stays on my laptop hard drive. Once I'm done with that set, I move it to a Windows Home Server. LR does a great jobs of keeping that all organized for me. Even with a large laptop HD, you'll want to store your pictures somewhere else for protection--preferably something with mirroring.

photo_chick
05-11-2011, 03:44 PM
I keep my current year's images on my main HDD on my laptop. That way I've always got what I'm currently working on no matter what. I also have a complete copy of my library on a couple of EHD's that I can take from my laptop to the desktop or whatever other computer I need to work on. The only reason I do not have my full image library on my internal drive is space. I do find that even with USB 3 and a fast EHD it's still slower to pull images off there than it is from my internal HDD.

As far as backup... You can never have too many backups. I've got copies off my stuff stashed all over the place, including my in-laws. We were robbed earlier this year and it really made me evaluate the necessity for some kind of off site backup. If you don't have one get one. It can be as simple as a drive at someone else's house that you update regularly or as involved as online storage. But you really, really need an off site backup of some kind if you want to cover yourself.

GrillMouster
05-12-2011, 12:47 PM
LR accessess the actual image files only for certain functions, so putting them on an external drive shouldn't slow things down too much. For everything else LR uses its own previews in the catalog. Therefore, I'd rather have the catalog on the internal drive (or an eSata external, which is just as fast as the internal drive). Putting the catalog on an external USB hard drive would slow things down too much.

klmall
05-14-2011, 10:20 AM
Thanks all for all the different examples of how you run LR and your backups. I'm finally setting my catalog up today and processing my first images in LR; looking forward to processing some RAW stuff from 2009 and some recent shots that could use the LR touch!