A: «Start from scratch. There’s no tip, trick, or workaround that I can give you for this.»
–Lightroom Killer Tips
It’s kinda true. And then again not completely true. You see Adobe has this nice file format they call «Digital NeGative» (DNG) and something they call «Extensible Metadata Platform» (XMP); combine these two and you’ve got something close to (but not quite like) the Lightroom Catalog. -The Lightroom Catalog is the reason for both the Q and the A quoted from Lightroom Killer Tips; you see, the catalog keeps track of *everything* you do inside of Lightroom, and in the case of the LR 2 beta, Adobe has made it so that it won’t be possible in any way to export and import this catalog between LR 1 and 2. So if the Q had been «can I get my LR 1 catalog into LR 2» the obvious answer is «no» (that actually is a question on it’s own) -Adobe has made it so. But in regards to «can I get my LR 1 photos into LR 2», the answer is of course «yes», and not only that, you don’t have to start completely from scratch either!
What you can get from LR 1 to LR 2* (lists may not be complete):
– an updated preview of the DNG (=final image after adjustments in LR 1)
– latest changes
– keywords (LR 2 builds a complete keyword hierarchy like the one you had in LR 1)
– metadata (copyright info, captions, titles etc)
What you won’t get:
– history (but you get the «before» (original) photo and the «after» (latest changes applied) photo)
– versions (this is actually a bummer and almost a show stopper)
I haven’t used Collections extensively, but I’ve keyworded almost every pic and used a rather logic folder structure while importing that to some degree makes up for not having used Collections (-and «rebuilding» the Collections I did have shouldn’t take to long). Loosing History is not a big a problem as loosing Versions (and snapshots); that might actually make me reconsider what I’m stating below.
I’ve decided to use LR 2 as my production tool from here on -even though it’s a beta (I did the same thing with the LR 1 beta after all). Trying to not be a complete fool (seeing that *it is* a BETA) this is how I do it:
New Shoot -> Imported in LR 1 to my Production HD** -> I’m doing the sorting, ratings, keywording, entering metadata etc in LR 1 to the point where I would start on the actual developing -> then I copy the «New Shoot» folder to an external drive designated LR 2 -> and in LR 2 adds the «New Shoot» folder from the Folder pane in the Library. -> From here on I use LR 2 to develop and publish my photos.
So far it seems to work like a charm, and the really, really nice thing is that even though LR 2 should mess things up at one point or the other, I still have a complete and updated database in LR 1, except from the actual developing (which in any case is the easy (and fun) part in my workflow). And this shouldn’t even be much of a problem given XMP and presets. I feel pretty confident that this should work with minimal hassle, and besides give me the pleasure of using all the new cool stuff in LR 2.
My Lightroom 2 library/catalog counts 7000 images at the moment, and some have even gotten a good and decent LR 2 work-over (localized adjustments etc). -Follow-up on tests and usage will be in Norwegian only.
* This requires the use of DNG and automatically writing changes to XMP.
** Importing as DNG and using the option to automatically write changes to XMP.
DISCLAIMER: NOTE THAT LIGHTROOM 2 IS A BETA AND THAT YOU’RE PHOTOS COULD POTENTIALLY BE DAMAGED BY USING THEM IN LR 2. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS WORK ON A COPY OF A COPY AND OF COURSE KEEP A DOUBLE BACKUP OF EVERY PHOTO AT ALL TIMES. FOLLOW THE STEPS, TRICKS AND TIPS OUTLINED HERE AT YOUR OWN RISK. BE WARNED. (smiley)