I have unwittingly created ALOT of collections by date when importing my photos. Can I just delete these and keep all my photos in one master file? (I want to start fresh with renameing keywords etc. Is Lightroom system similar to Iphoto where all the master photos are kept in a Library and collections are just copies pointing to the originals? If this is not the way to get a clean slate (without inadvertantly deleting anything) please advise. much appreciate any light on this...
#2. "RE: Lightroom 3 newbie" In response to Reply # 1
Jersey City, US
Thanks for the tip walkerr. But it's not working yet. When I click on a folder I want to delete say it holds 300 photos. Then press the minus sign, which deletes the collection. The number of photos in the ALL Photos folder is also reduced by the 300. So I'm losing the originals. This is driving me crazy as I'm sure it's one of the easiest things to master. Aperture is looking good right now!
#3. "RE: Lightroom 3 newbie" In response to Reply # 2
Colorado Springs, US
Folders aren't the same as collections, and it sounds like you're deleting the original folder. There's no minus sign in the collection area of the screen, but there is one under folders, so it sounds like it's likely that's what you're doing. First, take a look on the left side of the screen and notice that there's a section called folders, which aligns with folders/directories where your photos are held that you've imported.
Collections are below that and are things you deliberately create that could span many different folders. They can be either normal, meaning you drag files into them that you'd like to organize together, or smart, which means they're automatically created based on criteria you define (keywords, ratings, etc.).
I would definitely invest in a good LR book so that you get the full power from it. It'll do quite a bit when you understand the full feature set and how it works.
#4. "RE: Lightroom 3 newbie" In response to Reply # 2
If you have not figured out how to reorganize your photos, you can also do it this way:
1. Right click on any folder in the Library view and choose "Remove..." Confirm you want to remove the folder from Lightroom (but the images and folder remain on your computer as stated in this dialog box).
2. Re-Import the images again and organize them as you want using the options in the Import screen.
You can simply drag your images around to move them into other folders in Lightroom and consolidate folders.
#5. "RE: Lightroom 3 newbie" In response to Reply # 2
I think Sonja is referring to folders created during the import, right? Do not delete them! You probably have to reimport them from your backup system.
By default, Lightroom creates a new folder for each imported set of images. A "folder" here is not the same as a "collection", which you can create by yourself (in addition to those initially created by Lightroom during the program installation). Physical folders and image files you can also see at the system level, using Windows Explorer in Windows, for example.
In Lightgroom it is possible to create new physical folders and move all the images from the original (by date) folders to your new folder(s). In Windows, use the second mouse button (usually right) to click the folders in the 'Folders' panel to create a new sub-folder.
If I were you, I would reorganize your physical folder system so that your current 'date' folders were under the corresponding 'year' folder. Then the large number of physical folders (by date) would not be on your way. You would see just a couple of folders (e.g., "2011", "2012", etc.) and under them the date folders (e.g., "2011-01-12", etc.). Just remember to adjust the import location in the Import dialog when importing images when the year changes. I organise my backup folders by year & month, so I need to check it out every time I import images.
Please do remember that having a large number of files in the same physical folder decreases the performance at the file system level. In this context "large number" means hundreds or thousands of files.