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Author Topic: One Catalog per Job  (Read 3856 times)
wsolum
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« on: January 25, 2008, 07:51:51 AM »
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I may have painted myself into a corner.  

Does anyone else create a separate LR catalog for each job?  I do this only for my commercial and portrait work but before I get too far down the path, is there a reason I shouldn't do this?  One thing I can't do is easily grab my best shots from all my work with one click which would be nice.

The major reason I use different catalogs is that eventually a catalog will get too big to work with.  (Am I wrong?) What is that point?  Is it expressed in # of files or in gigabytes of data and previews?

Any insight would be appreciated.

Wayne
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Nat Coalson
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2008, 11:42:26 AM »
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IHMO one catalog is usually best. My current catalog is 25,000 images and 5 GB. No problems. I seem to recall hearing Julianne Kost say that she's tested catalogs up to 100,000 images with no performance issues.

Databases are designed to hold HUGE amounts of textual information. Since they're not storing pixel data, you can go a long way with just one catalog.

Obviously the big drawback of multiple catalogs is you can't make collections or slideshows, web pages etc. from images in the different catalogs.

But if you find that your specific workflow is usually best done with multiple catalogs, you can always create a "portfolio" catalog or whatever, and use Import from Catalog to combine your selects into one place.

The only other example I've heard of it being practical to use more than one master catalog is for "work" and "personal".

All this being said, I use multiple catalogs all the time - for working on the road. I always start with a fresh new (empty) catalog on my laptop. When I return home I use Import from Catalog, or just move the files and do a regular import. So everything ends up in my "master" catalog.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 03:57:02 PM »
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A catalogue per job is a fast track to losing control of your pictures. Soon you'll find you've got some pictures that crop up in more than one catalogue, or others slipping through the gaps and not being in any. They'll have differing Develop settings, or differing keywords - and you'll find you're using keywords that are plural in one catalogue, singular in another. Then you want to get all your 5 star images - ah, they're in all your micro catalogues....

In other words, use one catalogue to keep your pictures under control, and use collections or keywords to separate jobs. Use single job or on the road catalogues as needed - you might peel off a small catalogue if you're doing a slideshow, taking some pics to a client presentation, or have some pictures you wouldn't want the loved ones to see. Keep these job catalogues as temporary, subsidiary, convenient. See this post.

Think of it another way, there's a good reason why Walmart have one inventory system for all products, or a bookstore has a single catalogue.

john
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Cynthia B.
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 04:30:44 PM »
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I have about 25,000 images in one Catalog and no problems, I did contact Adobe tech support for a question and the person I spoke to said it would be a good idea to limit it to 40,000 as I would see a performance issue over that.
Nat, how do you have 25,000 images with 5GB, mine is a little under 25,000 and is approaching 10GB??
Cynthia
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2008, 04:38:59 PM »
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A lot depends on how you choose to save the 1:1 previews. You may not generate them until you need them and discard them afterwards or after x days or never. But 5Gb or 10 or 30 - does it really matter? Space is cheap and 1:1 previews speed up 1:1 browsing.

There's no really good official advice on numbers, and that's unsurprising as so much depends on individual setups. FWIW my main test catalogue has 75k images. As Nat says, that's not a big number for a database app. Best thing to do is let the database grow.

John
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flash
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2008, 03:01:39 PM »
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I have one large catalogue as well (35,000 and growing). But I do export each job with its own catalouge which i burn on to a DVD with the RAW files and XMP files. A bit of extra insurance.

You can always merge your catalogues later if you want. But if youre not using LR as your DAM there's no point.

Gordon
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wsolum
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2008, 08:23:38 PM »
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I have one large catalogue as well (35,000 and growing). But I do export each job with its own catalouge which i burn on to a DVD with the RAW files and XMP files. A bit of extra insurance.

You can always merge your catalogues later if you want. But if youre not using LR as your DAM there's no point.

Gordon
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169812\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Okay, I'm convinced.  I'll keep my personal and business separate but otherwise give up the multiple catalog approach.

I have gobs of images stored across several computers and USB devices I need to organize and I've been putting it off for various reasons -- this question being one of them.
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Nat Coalson
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2008, 12:15:47 PM »
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Sorry, I wasn't clear.

With 25K images my actual catalog (database file) is 595 MB.... I have done LOTS of keywording.

My previews package usually hovers between 3 and 4 GB.

So the total is usually around 5 GB.

This in relation to my actual library of image files (mainly DNG and TIF), which is around 300GB, seems very reasonable to me, and I have no qualms about the performance of Lightroom in this scenario.

(Running a Mac Mini with 3GB RAM and 2.2 GhZ processor.)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 12:18:30 PM by Nat Coalson » Logged

scottish
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2008, 02:41:25 PM »
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(Running a Mac Mini with 3GB RAM and 2.2 GhZ processor.)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169994\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Nat,

I'm glad to hear that the mini is acceptable for running Lightroom.  I'm thinking of buying one as a replacement for my 1.3GHz G4 with 1.5GB RAM.  Are you really running a mini with those specs, and not an iMac?  According to Apple's website, the current mini tops out at 2GB RAM & 2.0GHz.  If you've found a way to tweak it, I'm all ears.

By the way, I've appreciated your knowledge and clear writing style.  Thanks for sharing your advice on these boards.
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Aloha,
Scott
Nat Coalson
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2008, 07:18:09 PM »
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I've used a huge variety of Mac models since 1987 and I LOVE the Mini.

Sorry, I misquoted the processor; it's 2.0 GHz.

You can put 3GB memory in it by mismatching DIMMs.... one slot carries 2 GB and the other carries 1 GB. Works great.

I was also concerned about the published 2GB limit but this is based on using matched-pair DIMMs. The guys at OtherWorld Computing (OWC) convinced me of their results using mismatched memory cards.

Mini memory upgrade info here

(scroll down to the bottom for the 3GB set)

NOTE: upgrading a Mini is not for the impatient or the faint of heart. OWC has a video that shows how to do it. But the video makes it look easy... It's not. Make sure to have at least two very thin putty knives on hand, and don't plan on having your case come through in pristine condition. (You'll see what I mean.)


I have had zero trouble with this machine. It has everything I need and I am thrilled at the low cost.

I often run Lightroom, Bridge and Photoshop CS3 simultaneously and couldn't be happier with the performance. (That said, I'm also a freak for system and application optimization.)

Using a single LaCie 319 display, which I also love. I used dual displays for many years and I am very happy to be back on one with the latest apps from Adobe.

And several external FireWire and USB 2 drives.

If I win the Lottery (which I don't play) of course I would by a loaded Mac Pro and Eizo displays.

But for my money, this system really rocks.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2008, 07:20:19 PM by Nat Coalson » Logged

scottish
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2008, 01:14:16 AM »
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Hi Nat,

I follow Mac developments pretty closely (been using them since 1989) but never knew you could shoehorn 3GB into a mini.  The test results from your OWC link made a believer out of me.  I feel like young George Bailey from the movie "It's a Wonderful Life:"  Wishing for a million dollars, clicking the cigar lighter and exclaiming "Hot dog!"

I'm fairly confident I can do the memory upgrade after seeing the videos, and I can accept it if the case doesn't escape unscathed.  My G4 is packed to the gills with parallel ATA hard drives, so I could add a gigabit Ethernet card and use it as a file server to the mini.  I also have some external FireWire and USB 2.0 drives that I'd connect directly to the mini for frequently used files.

File transfer from the G4 will be slow, but it's an interim step until I can afford to replace the hard drives.  For a hobbyist like me, the G4 is slow but serviceable for Lightroom, but its other limitations (128GB max. hard drive without third-party drivers, no USB booting) have made recovery from disk problems a chore.

My G4 is going on 7 years old, and I thought it might be time to buy a Mac Pro and stake out a spot for the next 7.  From what you've shared, it might better suit my needs to go with a mini & simply buy my next new computer sooner.  Thanks again for your tips.
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Aloha,
Scott
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