Basic File/Folder Structure in Lightroom

Hi Folks:

I originally wrote this for something else, but thought I’d add it in here as well.  As with many of our tutorial posts, this one’s targeted toward beginners but I thought it might be of use to some…

Part of the challenge of Lightroom file management is understanding that Lightroom is working with your operating system folder structure, so basically Lightroom is showing you a subset of the folders you have on your hard drive – those that you have associated with Lightroom.  Now, Lightroom serves many purposes but it is essentially a database program, and a database is an ‘organized system of information’.  If you have an address book with people’s names, addresses and phone numbers in it on your desk or in your pocket, that’s a database.  So is a phone book, a postal code directory or a library coding system for books. 

The term ‘folder’ goes back to the days of filing cabinets where we had physical cabinets and each cabinet had drawers and each drawer had file folders, and each file folder held various pieces of paper.  You would think of the folder as being within the drawer and the drawer as being within the cabinet, so if you were to write those out with some sort of hierarchy it might look like this: Continue Reading →

Help! I Deleted My Lightroom Images!!

Hi Folks:

I received the following question this morning and provided some information that helped, but I thought I’d take the time to write a longer response as well. First, the problem:

Hi there Mike, Thanks for offering to help me! I just did a real stupid thing! Processed images in Lightroom (2.7). By accident I deleted the images in the orig. folder – AND emptied the bin (do not ask) but I am still seeing the images in my Lightroom Library tray! However it does not let me export them obviously – as it cannot find the original files. So I was wondering if I can retrieve the images from Lightroom? I hope you can help me!

Now then…  If this happens to you, all is not (necessarily) lost but there are a few things to understand about Lightroom and about your computer’s hard drive.  I’ll begin by saying that I work in Windows and my knowledge of Macs is somewhat limited, but they work in essentially the same way. Continue Reading →