I think my husband and my kids are growing weary of hearing about my current quest. No. Scratch that. I know they are weary of hearing about it. They have reached the point of being unable to hide their weariness of it. I’ve seen the eyerolls and heard the “here we go again” sighs when I open my mouth to speak about it.
I get it. File management seems really, really boring.
But see, I don’t think they realize quite how interesting the whole thing is to me! And yes, maybe I did tell them about one little bit of the project here, and another little bit there, but each time I have something to say it is actually different than the time before.
No, it seems I’ve over-saturated the market for this kind of talk here at home. It all sounds like the incoherent babblings of a digital-organization super freak to them now. Blah blah blah.
So. Guess what. This means it is your lucky day. Oh, yes. You get to hear about my current quest. Maybe you’ll be fascinated. Maybe you’ll read along with rapt attention.
Or maybe you’ll join my family in the “how can this be of interest to anyone, anywhere?” camp. Although I hope not.
It sounds simple enough, assuming I understand the capabilities of both pieces of software. I thoroughly understand Picasa. And I’m learning about Lightroom.
When I started this whole thing, I really only intended to use Lightroom for its Develop module. I’ve been taking photographs in RAW mode since mid-August, which is great for a lot of reasons I won’t go into right now, and Lightroom is a good tool for post-processing RAW files.
I had intended to continue managing my photo library with Picasa, because it has been working well for me for many years. I like that I can easily upload my images to Google+ (which is where I back them up, and where I share them with family), and I love the facial recognition of Picasa. Love. it.
But the more I play with Lightroom, the more I see that it can do 90% of Picasa’s tasks along with most of the other non-Picasa uploading I do, and it can initiate these things with less effort. In fact, if Lightroom had facial recognition, I would probably be done with Picasa entirely.
So, I’ve made the decision to use Lightroom for almost every photo-library-related task I have, and just open up Picasa when I need to add some faces to the family photo album.
This is a cool decision and all, but I want to do it differently than I usually do things.
What I mean is, I don’t want to act first and think later. With something as big (over 40K images!) and as important to me as my photo library, I really want to work out the details before I do anything.
Right now I have an organizational system that is working, but is unbelievably complicated. This is something I discovered when I diagrammed it out. My folder structure took up an entire page in my legal pad. Honestly, that really surprised me, because I thought it was all so efficient. It turns out that while my workflow may be a well-oiled machine at this point, it is anything but efficient.
So, I totally need to simplify.
And I am sure Lightroom can do it for me.
And I’ve even written out a new, less-crowded-with-folders, organizational idea in my legal pad.
And I’m chomping at the bit to put it into place.
But I am waiting.
Yes, I know. Little old chronically-impatient me? Waiting? It’s absurd!
I’ve bought a Lightroom 5 book, which is supposed to be the most extensive book out there for discussing the file-management aspect of the software. The other Lightroom modules (like Develop) are ones that I can play around with and learn by doing. But the Library module holds the key to keeping my photos organized and sane.
I want to learn everything I can about what the Library module of Lightroom is capable of, before I start moving things around my hard drives. I’ve already tweaked my plan a little bit in response to some things that I’ve learned while reading, and there may be more tweaks to come.
By not rushing into this, I think I will end up with a folder structure and a workflow that will be sustainable for many years.
And during those many sustainable years, nobody‘s eyes will have to glaze over while I yammer on about folders and files and photos and Lightroom and workflow and and and…
Won’t that be nice? 🙂