02 January, 2015

One year, one catalog

Visitors to New Year's Day lunch, Bardon, Queensland [click to enlarge]

The new year always starts with a bit of housekeeping. In Lightroom, for example, each of my Lightroom catalogs is based on the one calendar year. And, for convenience, I keep the images in a folder with the applicable catalog. Similarly, on import I have Lightroom backup the original images onto a separate hard drive, also based on the year of capture.

So, the first task of this new year was to backup the old 2014 catalog and images, and then to create a new catalog and folders for 2015.

For those of you not familiar with Adobe Lightroom, the photo editing program also acts as a database that keeps track of your photos and the actions that you take. That database information is kept in something called, "the catalog."

In Lightroom there are obvious advantages of access in maintaining one, ever growing, catalog. For me, however, the difficulties of backing up the catalog, the images and the previews militated against a single catalog.

But if not one catalog, what should the divisions be?

I considered bi-annual catalogs, but the simplicity of one-year, one catalog, was just too compelling. "By year," is just the way that I think of these things. The beauty of Lightroom, however, is that others can organise their images in whatever ways best suit them.

But I'm not obsessive about my arrangement: If I have a large project that spans more than one year, for example, I'll consider an ad hoc catalog just for that project — or, perhaps, combining two years into a single catalog.

Happy 2015.

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