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Author Topic: LR4. File handling completely baffling.  (Read 3958 times)
OldRoy
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« on: December 16, 2012, 10:40:10 AM »
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I've been using LR4 for a while and I must say I simply cannot get used to its file handling model. I'm really much more comfortable with a Win Explorer directory structure which has worked fine for me for many decades, even with gigantic quantities of data.
Two things are driving me absolutely nuts right now.

1) Given an "imported" folder, supposedly containing all its sub-folders, why can I only see some and not others? I see files which are present in sub-folders actually displayed as loose in the imported root folder. For example I have a folder called (for example) ROOT with sub-folders \NEF and \ORF. Yet the library structure shows  ROOT to contain a sub folder NEF and loose ORFs (the ORF sub-folder isn't shown). Uh? I tried deleting the original entry and re-importing but I get variants of this behaviour (ie some sub-folders not displayed) no matter how I structure the content. I just wasted about two hours on this.

2) And how the hell do you actually SEARCH for a file in this program? The help function (hah!) leads me to expect a "text" filter but I'm completely unable to locate any such function. Again, I've wasted hours trying to "develop" a file which I can see in Explorer but am completely unable to locate within a relatively small set of files in the "ROOT" directory.

This tendency of every application these days to want to take over your entire life is extremely unhelpful. I just want LR to handle the RAW file processing, not organise my files. I can do that without help - well or otherwise. I just noticed too, that alone amongst applications, it seems to be impossible to direct files to open in LR from the file system (ie allocating a default application.) Perverse.

Advice appreciated.

Roy

EDIT. LR simply isn't seeing any of the newly imported files or folders named or containing ORFs. Existing folders and files are still displayed correctly. Now a couple of days ago I installed the Win codec pack which is supposed to display Olympus RAW thumbnails in Explorer: it doesn't. Could this be an associated bug? Any idea how to de-install this codec pack without rolling the entire OS back, which I'm reluctant to do?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 10:55:19 AM by OldRoy » Logged
john beardsworth
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2012, 10:58:23 AM »
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A couple of tricks for you. In the Folders panel, learn to right click folders and choose "Show Parent" or "Hide Parent" to show more or less of the folder structure. This will help you out with 1.

Searching is often in the Library menu - Library, Filter by Metadata > Enable Metadata Filter. Or Ctrl F or "\" for short. It then depends on your entering metadata such as keywords for it to find.

Lightroom is very much about organising as well as adjusting. Once you stop fighting that, you may find it easier.

John
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kaelaria
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2012, 11:08:02 AM »
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LR is also not a 'handle-all' type program like Explorer.  It's for photos, nothing else. 
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OldRoy
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2012, 11:10:44 AM »
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LR is also not a 'handle-all' type program like Explorer.  It's for photos, nothing else. 
Believe it or not, this is not news to me. Neither is it helpful. But I hope you now feel that you're day hasn't been wasted.
Roy
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2012, 11:11:30 AM »
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"Any idea how to de-install this codec pack without rolling the entire OS back, which I'm reluctant to do?

Don't. Lightroom does not make use of these codecs.
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OldRoy
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2012, 11:12:35 AM »
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A couple of tricks for you. In the Folders panel, learn to right click folders and choose "Show Parent" or "Hide Parent" to show more or less of the folder structure. This will help you out with 1.

Searching is often in the Library menu - Library, Filter by Metadata > Enable Metadata Filter. Or Ctrl F or "\" for short. It then depends on your entering metadata such as keywords for it to find.

Lightroom is very much about organising as well as adjusting. Once you stop fighting that, you may find it easier.

John
Can you suggest any reason why, when importing a directory group, some sub-folders are displayed and not others? This seems incomprehensible to me.
Roy
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2012, 11:19:22 AM »
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Can you suggest any reason why, when importing a directory group, some sub-folders are displayed and not others? This seems incomprehensible to me.
Roy
Assuming you are importing a folder and its subfolders and don't untick any items in the Import dialog, LR then displays all folders containing photos but not those only containing other types of files.

John
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OldRoy
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2012, 11:46:48 AM »
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Thanks for the help John.
By flushing out a lot of the previous tests and re-importing the offending set of files I'm some of the way toward getting done what I started hours ago. Clearly having the same files present in more than one location is part of the problem. Confusingly, when this is the case, LR omits even the directory in question!

But there are still "features" that are making me really scratch my head. In the Win file structure I'm looking at there are a set of RAWS, lets say they include P*****39.ORF, P*****40.ORF, P*****41.ORF. Ie the sequence is complete and contiguous. The same directory viewed via LR shows files ...30 and ...41, but not file 40. In fact this is because there's a duplicate of the file in an adjacent directory. It would help if I could discover something as basic as how to search for a given file name, something that you'd expect to be simple.
Roy
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2012, 11:53:07 AM »
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That's why I pointed you to Ctrl F or "\". This displays the library filter panel, and clicking the "Text" label shows the text search feature. You can then look for filenames. But sorting out duplicates is always messy - easier said than done, but best to never get into that situation.

John
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OldRoy
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2012, 12:03:47 PM »
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That's why I pointed you to Ctrl F or "\". This displays the library filter panel, and clicking the "Text" label shows the text search feature. You can then look for filenames. But sorting out duplicates is always messy - easier said than done, but best to never get into that situation.

John
Sorry, this field appears at the top of the screen and I missed it.
However, despite synchronising the parent directory, the root directory and eliminating any duplicates a search within LR fails to locate this file. It is however present in the Win file structure. To make things more baffling, when synchronising the set, LR identifies 1 file but after "synchronisation" reports zero files imported.
I know that you can get used to almost anything in computing, after nearly 35 years of suffering, but I call this perverse. Any ideas?
Roy
EDIT. The "synchronisation" code is buggy. I removed the directory and re-imported it more than once - likewise "synchronisation" - without the missing file appearing. Removing it again, quitting the application and re-importing made it show up. I noticed an "ignore duplicates" switch too, which I de-checked (although there aren't any now.) Are we sure that the import always works correctly even before LR finishes redrawing the thumbnails for the selected set?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 12:11:50 PM by OldRoy » Logged
Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2012, 12:11:35 PM »
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Sorry, this field appears at the top of the screen and I missed it.
However, despite synchronising the parent directory, the root directory and eliminating any duplicates a search within LR fails to locate this file. It is however present in the Win file structure. To make things more baffling, when synchronising the set, LR identifies 1 file but after "synchronisation" reports zero files imported.
I know that you can get used to almost anything in computing, after nearly 35 years of suffering, but I call this perverse. Any ideas?
Roy


I had this problem too, but I wasn't hitting the "import" button in the process of synchronization.

I look at LR's file structure as learning foreign language. When they created it it looks like they were thinking entirely out of the known box. That is to their credit, but it did give me headaches for awhile trying to learn to converse in Lightroomese.
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Thanks,
Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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OldRoy
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2012, 12:13:27 PM »
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I had this problem too, but I wasn't hitting the "import" button in the process of synchronization.

I look at LR's file structure as learning foreign language. When they created it it looks like they were thinking entirely out of the known box. That is to their credit, but it did give me headaches for awhile trying to learn to converse in Lightroomese.
See edit above.
Bugs don't make it any easier!

Another question, if anyone's still out there. How do you make LR4 display the full-sized (4608x3456) aspect ratio of the uncropped Olympus ORF raw file? This is one thing that the Oly software displays automatically, overlaid with a crop rectangle.
Roy
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 12:25:54 PM by OldRoy » Logged
Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2012, 12:25:45 PM »
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I'm really not really sure what you are describing are bugs-more to me about how to think like the program and utilize it effectively. I know it can be frustrating. I have had my moments with it too.
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Thanks,
Kirk

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john beardsworth
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2012, 12:37:45 PM »
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However, despite synchronising the parent directory, the root directory and eliminating any duplicates a search within LR fails to locate this file. It is however present in the Win file structure. To make things more baffling, when synchronising the set, LR identifies 1 file but after "synchronisation" reports zero files imported.

The library filter panel filters only the thumbnails that are currently visible. If you have selected a folder, it filters only those thumbnails. So when looking for these duplicates, first make sure you go to All Photographs (from the Catalog panel)

John
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2012, 12:45:23 PM »
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Roy, I think you need to read a book or watch some tutorial videos to get to speed with LR's file handling. Once you understand how LR works you'll appreciate how powerful it is and make it work for you.
This tendency of every application these days to want to take over your entire life is extremely unhelpful. I just want LR to handle the RAW file processing, not organise my files. I can do that without help - well or otherwise.
Lightroom won't automatically move things about unless you tell it to. That's actually one of it's strengths.

One key concept to appreciate is that Lightroom will only deal with files it knows about, ie has imported.
which is why....
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I just noticed too, that alone amongst applications, it seems to be impossible to direct files to open in LR from the file system (ie allocating a default application.)
Won't work. You'd need to import them first. This may also be a source of confusion for you if you're trying to find files LR hasn't yet imported.

The other important thing to understand is that LR only knows where you imported the file from. Moving files with any other file management program will cause LR to loose track of where the file is.
However LR is also capable of managing files and folders it's imported in it's catalogue of you wish to subsequently move files around or rename them. Simple drag 'n drop works fine in the folder pane.
So the key is to import the photos and thereafter use LR if you want to change the file structure/naming, then LR knows where everything is.

Having duplicate files will confuse things, but frankly I can't see any reason to do this with RAW files, other than to archive RAWs to a different drive which you wouldn't need to import anyway.

Lightroom will allow you work in many different ways, some will suit you, but seem crazy to others or you can use LR's file management  tools to bring order to pre-existing chaos.
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OldRoy
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2012, 02:22:29 PM »
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Thanks for everyone's help!

I've been using LR for a good few months so I'm not entirely unfamiliar with it however I still tend to maintain file and directory structure at the OS level and I've never really liked any of the third party utilities that come with almost everything - like PS/Bridge and CNX2/ViewNX for just two examples. I hate being forced to change just to fall into line with an application's concept of how I ought to be doing things. Old fart time. I still do backups using Robocopy scripts.

However there's at least one bug as described above. If you have to remove directories and quit the application completely to be able to import and "synchronise", even if only sometimes, that's a bug. Also I have some difficulty understanding why, assuming you've allocated a root directory to LR, you then have to keep reminding it to "synchronise" in order to include whatever you've just put in it. As for dupes, of course they aren't a good idea in principle, however I sometimes  deliberately create duplicate files for reasons that make absolute sense to me, and not just in backups.

One last thing on the import/synchronise function (I'll omit the quotes: point made, pointlessly or not!) I've noticed that whenever I do it LR always seem to report hundreds more files than I'm currently adding.

The fact that LR4 doesn't display the entire RAW file is a real nuisance too. At least the Olympus software does this automatically - I'd forgotten what aspect ratio I'd set, nominally. Apparently there's a beta plugin called "recover edges", however it only works with DNG. The last thing I need is another file format to deal with.

Roy
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Rory
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2012, 10:25:50 PM »
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Roy, you're still fighting the way lightroom works.  You say you've been using it for a few months, but you still appear to have a fundamental misunderstanding for how it works.  Instead of claiming the program has bugs (which it might, but I doubt in this case re synch) why not read the documentation and check out some of the many tutorials.  It really pays to RTFM.

I don't use ORF files and I'm not sure about the issue of showing the entire ORF file but this rings a bell about something I read a while back - my memory is a little hazy but I think the issue was that LR was only showing the in-camera crop as the whole file.  You might want to see if you have set your camera to something like a 3:2 aspect ratio when your camera's native aspect is 4:3.  You can search here or here for more information on this.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2012, 11:41:59 PM »
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You really, really don't get it.  And at this rate probably won't since you seen hell bent on not listening.  Tell ya what - purchase the best damn tutorial ever right from LL and watch it all.  THEN come back with any questions you might have.  You are blabbering about fundamentals that you don't grasp yet, quit bitchin and do something already.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2012, 01:21:59 AM »
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However there's at least one bug as described above. If you have to remove directories and quit the application completely to be able to import and "synchronise", even if only sometimes, that's a bug. Also I have some difficulty understanding why, assuming you've allocated a root directory to LR, you then have to keep reminding it to "synchronise" in order to include whatever you've just put in it.
You really need to try to understand what LR does and how it works. It won't just 'find' files* you've moved around on the disk, you have to import them into the catalogue.
Using the word 'synchronise' is not helping here. LR uses this term for finding 'lost' files (ie that have been already imported) that have been moved by utilities outside LR or had their metadata changed outside of LR (eg by editing in ACR in PS).
Using terms incorrectly will only confuse you further and prevent others from helping you effectively.

If you use LR to move the files from the camera/card to your computer in the first place, everything else will fall into place. You have complete control of where files go, LR can build all it's previews and you can get some basic keywording done in one process.
Once the files have been imported, then you can manage them using LR.
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As for dupes, of course they aren't a good idea in principle, however I sometimes  deliberately create duplicate files for reasons that make absolute sense to me, and not just in backups.
It might make absolute sense to you, but if no one else thinks that makes sense, including Adobe's engineers, you're creating problems for yourself. There's not a lot you can do to a RAW file other use it as source data, if you did edit it's contents it would be prudent to change the file name anyway. Don't have duplicates around and things will become less confusing.
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The fact that LR4 doesn't display the entire RAW file is a real nuisance too...... - I'd forgotten what aspect ratio I'd set, nominally...
This isn't really a LR issue, but more concerned with the curiosity of why you'd want to use anything less than the full frame size. It makes a degree of sense if you're shooting OOC JPGs, but once you've decided to take advantage of RAW format why apply a crop in camera ? Just leave the camera's setting to use all the sensor, then crop in your RAW converter.

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Old fart time.
Trying to use out dated and ineffective practices in a new workflow paradigm just makes it more difficult for you. Take the time to learn how LR works, then drop inefficient work methods and let LR help you work more efficiently. I'm sure all of us 'old hands' using LR have had to adapt their work to suit LR, but it makes working digital photographs more efficient, fast and, as a result, you'll find it easier, more productive and enjoyable.

*There is a function to have a 'watched' folder, but that's more intended for use when doing tethered shooting in a studio, so probably best to avoid that option for now.
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2012, 01:36:44 AM »
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Not really much to add to the excellent information given by both John and Paul.
Roy this advice is spot on.

Tony Jay
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