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Need help with Lightroom 5

It is a very sad day for me. I am breaking up with Aperture and going to Lightroom 5. It is bringing back bad memories of why I went to Aperture in the first place. I could really use some assistance in setting up the folder structure properly before i lose all my hair.  I'm not sure if I have it right or not. I will try to explain the best I can. I have Lightroom 4 on my laptop and used it a couple of times but then went to Aperture, however I just downloaded Lightroom 5 and it asked me to choose an irccat file. I had a few choices and it would not let me make a new one because of some message (can't remember the message but I chose one of the ircats from Lightroom 4 i guess). Great! Lightroom 5 opened and I am ready to go! Then I watched a hundred you tube videos and created a new ircat master file and named it LRmastercat5 and put it into one folder. It opens this ircat upon launch. Is this the proper way? I have a lightroom 4 master in my pictures but no version 5? I guess my new master5 file is the same thing? Correct. Any help would be appreciated. 

PS....I am a tad livid at Apple for abandoning Aperture and developments.  I know they are launching a new APP in 2015 to replace I photo and Aperture. They say it will be somewhere between those two. Not pro oriented which will be very disappointing. 


  • TrevTrev Moderator

    Have you purchased LR Jay?

    I most definitely would not get that now, I'd get Capture One Pro 8, it's more expensive but it's 5 times better at processing highlights for damn sure.

    I did a guest write up on it some time back and it makes LR/ACR look mediocre IMO, since I work a lot with strong shadows and bright highlights I want something that will render those great.

    Have you seen this:  CAPTURE ONE PRO TESTS

    However, if committed to LR, have to been to Adobe LR Forums.

  • Hi Trev!

    Thanks! I just have the trial at the moment. I haven't been to the adobe forums, but did watch a lot of videos in reference to file structure and I think I have is set up properly I think. With my luck with lightroom, I'm sure I have it wrong. . To be truthful, I was very happy with Aperture. It was just intuitive to me. I did glance at DXO 9, but no adjustment brushes there. Thats a deal killer for me. I will look into Capture One. I am just looking for an all around decent raw processing program with adjustment brushes. I think my two choices are Aperture and Lightroom. With Aperture unsupported, I was just going to make the switch now. 
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited September 2014

    I presume you still have Aperture loaded, I can tell you that with Canon bodies and Aperture you can get the best out of highlights from tests done.

    Don't discard Aperture, I mean I still have Photoshop CS5 loaded which I have kept on my PC because of the damn cropping tool.

    CS6 the crop tool was awful, CC it was a 'little' better, but when I am batch cropping 1000's (yes, in the 1000's) of deb ball images to 5x7 I revert back to and open CS5, so no, don't stop using Aperture because it's no longer supported Jay.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  • Well that was an option too! I was thinking to continue using aperture and just cross my fingers that Apple will come through for the pros here with the next release. 
  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited October 2014

    I use Canon's propriety software DPP, PS CS6 and Lr. I use Lightroom for mass edits. It cut my post processing time in half. I had to get past the export page because final sharpening happened after export, something I was not used to. It offers Low, Standard and High. However after tests, several free trials and learning more about it I decided to purchase. The export sharpening in Lr was designed for Adobe by the Pixel Genius group. The late great Bruce Fraser was a a member, a PS guru that developed the 3 phases of sharpening. There is a lot of stuff happening in the background we don't know about and it does a pretty good job. 

    What I like about both PS and Lr is the masking slider on the sharpening tab. This masks out any background areas you don't want sharpened which eliminates sharpening of existing any noise. It is basically edge sharpening and I usually set it at 80. I find the noise reduction is very good as well. I have set up the camera profiles so depending on the ISO noise reduction levels and other basic personal settings automatically kick in, the masking slider being one of them. This is particularly helpful when doing mass edits. A huge time saver. Also there are tons of free presets for creativity. You know the old saying - if you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.  

    For hobby shots I use DPP or CS6. Even if I use DPP ultimately all images wind up in PS. I mentioned the masking slider in the sharpening tab. I found an edge sharpening system several years ago for output sharpening which I still use today. Also you can over sharpen and feather back again as I have found no two images are alike.   

    This is it.


    While good with optics I have read DXO is pretty slow. I tested Capture One several years ago and was very impressed. It was definitely at the top compared to others I was testing. I may look at it again.

    Good luck with whatever path you choose.  


  • edited October 2014
    Wow!  A lot of users here   use Photoshop and Lightroom quite extensively!! Holy crap!! I
  • Well I'm on fixed income these days so I have to pick and choose my toys more carefully. I purchased the CS2 or maybe 3 (can't remember) and got all the upgrades until 6. Cost me a lot over the years. 

    Lr solved my mass processing issues and was inexpensive. The export page is excellent and I have presets for both web and print. PS allows me to do actions and the sharpening one which I use is by far the most important thing to me. Not sure what I would do if I lost that. I guess I'd have to go subscription and I don't really want to. Also I can export an image into PS for additional editing and it is easy to save back into Lr.  If there was any other converter out there to play with it would be Capture One Pro. 
  • Hi! I have been playing with the lightroom 5 trial as I attempt to transition from aperture. I have no problems with the processing engine, but what I have problems with is the import and cataloging. For example: I shoot Raw and jpg and then when I get home, I save them both to my hard drive to a new folder in my pictures. I have one folder which contains all my jobs. Then I open lightroom and create a new catalog (Ex: Steph & Jeff Wedding)  and import the images by clicking the convert to dng. But on the right hand side I am not sure where the hell they go to be honest. I locate the folder (steph & jeff) and I think the images and catalog go there? Thats the confusing part. I believe I have two full sets of images then? I believe I am just creating a mess on my hands. 
  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited October 2014
    When you first open Lr it asks you where you want to place your catalogue. If you don't assign a spot it does it for you. I placed mine on an external drive. I don't know where you're catalogue is but if you do a google search you can probably find where it normally puts it. 

    1. When I use Lr I download all my images into a file on my desktop. I like to use Canons DPP quick check at full screen to pre edit an delete non keepers, etc.

    2. I then go into Lr and import that folder. It imports into HD - desktop drive. I believe that it says desktop automatically because this is were it imported from. I don't recall setting that up. That folder is still on my desktop.

    3. As you can see I added a second drive called Old Drive and broke it down by year. You can break to down even further - by wedding, etc.

    4. This is important. Within Lr I click and drag that file I just imported into the appropriate year, etc. I only made this mistake once when I first started. I edited while it was on my desktop and then moved the folder using finder (Mac) and lost all my edits. As long as you move files within Lr you are fine and this is why I always do this first before editing so I don't forget. After dragging the file into the Old Drive the folder disappears off my desktop and winds up on my external drive. 

    That is the only thing about Lr. You need to work within it due to the way it is structured. The good part is it remembers all your edits forever and the file sizes don't increase beyond the original RAW. Unlike PS which only remembers the edits in ACR but nothing after you open it. After a few weeks I delete all customer jpegs because with two clicks I can just output them again.

    Not sure how far you are into this but you may want to start over. I think there may be a way to move the catalogue but I'd check that out first.      
  • Thanks Zenon! I will take a look at that thread. 
  • CanonJay, I use LR and love it. A couple thoughts to add onto Zenon's post above:

    I would not recommend multiple catalog files (you mentioned creating a new one for a particular wedding). If you do this, you're not getting much benefit from LR's extensive asset management functions. I have one catalog and around 80,000 images in it. The catalog is the database that keeps track of what images you have imported into LR, keywords for them, etc. along with all the editing actions you have taken.

    Zenon mentions putting the catalog on an external drive, and I don't recommend that. It really should be on your fastest drive (eg. SSD drive, or your main drive, etc.) because it is constantly getting accessed.

    I have a folder structure on my system by year, then month, then day. On my Mac, and example would be: \Pictures\Photos\2014\08\2014-08-26. In terms of Zenon's steps 2-4, I don't do it that way (multiple step of copying, then moving). So when I imported on that day in August, in the import dialog I selected Copy (at top of screen, which copies the file from the card to a location of my choosing and adds it to LR's catalog) and pointed to 2014\08. In the Destination box, it is set to "organize by date" and it will show you how many photos it will add and exactly where it will put them. So I'm simply building a file structure based on date, but you can add more if you want. For example, there is a checkbox for "into subfolder" so you could have that selected and enter "Steph and Jeff Wedding". Better yet would be to add keywords in the keyword box in this regard when you import for later searching.

    If you do need to move a file on your system which has been imported into LR, Zenon is absolutely right - you must do the move within LR. If you move it outside of LR then it won't know where your file went and it will give you an error notation on the image. You won't lose the edits though - once you point LR where the file has gone, it's all back.

    I also agree with Zenon that JPGs are disposable. I only shoot RAW, and I can edit to my satisfaction, export the JPGs (to a folder on my desktop), do what I want with those files (upload somewhere, email, etc.), then once done I just delete that folder from the desktop.

    Good luck.
  • Good point about the external drive. I only did this is because this is where all my images are stored, past and preset and it is backed up a few times. Time machine is backed up on another drive but is it is not that big. Gotta upgrade that one day. I only notice it when exporting a file with many images but it only takes me a few minutes more I figure. I just go get a cup of coffee.

    I don't know anything about multiple catalogs but what you are saying make sense. I have never tried it before. Just found some info on it. 

    I know you can get more sophisticated in importing, etc like you mentioned but I never explored that. I still like to pre view using DPP. It is a few more steps but I don't have nearly as many images as you do.    

    Thanks for your input. It was an interesting read.        
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