The effect of moving folders around with images I'm working on with PhotoLab 4

Let’s say that in the filing system on my Mac, I have a top level folder PHOTOLAB
Let’s say that under that, I have yearly folders for 2019, 2020, and very soon 2021.
Let’s say I create four folders inside of the 2020 folder named Corvette1, Corvette2, Corvette3, and Corvette4.

One month later, I decide I would like those four folders and their images to be inside a new folder Corvette.

So, I make the new Corvette folder, and then using either PhotoLab4 or the Apple Finder, I move those four folders inside of my newly created Corvette folder.

My question is, once I go to one of the folders I moved, using the PHOTOLIBRARY screen, if I then go to the CUSTOMIZE screen to make some additional corrections to some of my images, what will happen?

Hopefully PhotoLab will find the DNG files along with the DOP files, and happily open the image for additional editing.

Or, might PhotoLab open up the files, but because they had been moved, ignore any previous editing I had done?

An example of how something like this does NOT work, is with Lightroom. If I use the finder, or Windows, to move images or folders, it totally confuses Lightroom, which no longer can find those folders and images. But if I do the changes from within Lightroom to move things around, everything is fine.

I already started to test this on some unimportant files and folders. When I went to re-open a folder of images that I had already been editing, PhotoLab one by one opened the thumbnail, then filled the frame with that image, and then moved on to the next image.

I guess my real question is how I should do this - how can I re-arrange files and folders, in a way such that PhotoLab works the same as before, even though the folder and files have been moved - meaning the path to each of them has been changed.

Mike - You asked (pretty much) the same question over here … Did you not get the answer you needed ?

John M

The easiest is to use DAM software. If you move a file within a DAM your sidecare files are automatically moved along. The same applies with renaming. If you do that within the DAM tool, the sidecars are automatically renamed with it. (To on the safe side: Make sure that DPL is closed when moving files in the DAM, but also in case you move a file in the Finder/Explorer)

As long as you close PhotoLab whilst shuffling stuff about, you should be fine using Finder.

Providing you don’t create projects or keywords from PL, you can also delete the database to avoid any possible conflict between it and the .dop files.

No, I didn’t. I was hoping to get a YES or a NO, but as always happens, it got much more complicated. I think that was the first I had ever heard about “DAM”, which led to my searching for DAM software - and as soon as I saw the newest PhotoMechanic Plus now includes DAM, I bought it, and spent the next several days trying to understand it. As of today, I have three ways of dealing with my files - Apple’s finder, PhotoLab4, and PhotoMechanicPlus. Within the next week or so, I expect to get my keywording set up with PhotoMechanic.

My main question back then was simply " So, assuming this is my goal, do I need to do this file manipulation from within PL4, or can I close PL4 and do it using Apple’s “finder” utility.". Again, I just wanted a “yes or no”.

Joanna replied with more information about keyboarding, which I also need to find out about, but it doesn’t apply yet as I haven’t knowingly set up any keywords.

Rexblock replied that older versions of PhotoLab struggled with large folders. That is not relevant to my question, as I wanted to move folders around, not combine them.

Then there were several more responses about keywords, which I’m not yet ready to deal with.

Then you (Jon) wrote “There is no provision in PL to move files around, Mike … You’ll be safe doing so with Apple’s file-management tool (whatever that is … I’m on Windows, so I can’t help you there). Do be sure that PL is not running at the same time, tho - just to be sure to be sure !”

I just tried it again - I opened PL4 “PhotoLibrary”, and right clicked on a folder, and nothing happened. I must have been using PhotoMechanicPlus when I did this, as PhotoMechanic allows me to RENAME folders, to CREATE A NEW FOLDER INSIDE AN EXISTING FOLDER, and to MOVE FOLDERS INTO A DIFFERENT FOLDER. In short, this has all the tools I need for photo organization.

For testing, using PhotoMechanicPlus I renamed my 2021 folder to 2022. PhotoLab saw the change, and the PHOTOLIBRARY now showed the folder with 2022 as the name.

I then used PhotoMechanic to move one of my “Corvette_” files into this 2022 folder. Everything moved as expected, and the PHOTOLIBRARY in PL4 reflected the move. So far, so good.

Last step, I selected one image the PHOTOLIBRARY tab, and clicked on CUSTOMIZE. It seemed to come up fine, Everything looked normal, other than nothing showing up under “history”. I don’t know if there was anything there before the move.

I’m not sure what all this means. It does seem to imply that I can re-organize files and folders in PhotoMechanicPlus, and both the Apple Finder and PL4 see the change, and my previous corrections are not lost.

(Sorry I brought up keywords before - I’ll either find an existing thread or create a new thread for keywords, and ask those questions there, not here.)

I’ll copy my screen captures of the folder that I moved, both before and after the move.

As far as I can tell, the folder, with all the content, was moved to the new location, with no changes. I think this implies that when the folder in the new location is opened by PL4, it will look and work the same as it did before the move.

Sigi, rather than make this thread any more confusing, I’ll look for an existing thread on keywords, or I’ll start a new one. My current plans are to use PhotoMechanicPlus for keywords, but I’ll worry about that next week. Thanks - I suspect you are completely right, and I will adopt that as my strategy. Two weeks ago I thought DAM was something that holds back water. Never before read about Digital Assets Management. You opened up a whole new world for me!

Mike, I was not talking about keywording. I was writing about “moving folders and or files”


My fault - DAM makes me immediately think of keywords - that’s what I was thinking when I read what you wrote.

You’re right - you wrote “The easiest is to use DAM software. If you move a file within a DAM your sidecare files are automatically moved along. The same applies with renaming. If you do that within the DAM tool, the sidecars are automatically renamed with it. (To on the safe side: Make sure that DPL is closed when moving files in the DAM, but also in case you move a file in the Finder/Explorer)”

By the way, I deliberately left PL4 open when I changed my files around in PhotoMechanic. I know it’s not what you suggested, but I wanted to try the worst-case scenario.

Sorry for the mis-understanding - still have a LOT to learn about DAM software. On the other hand, I’m quite pleased that PL4 let me do what I did, and understood. Lightroom would not have been so nice, and I’d need to go into Lightroom to repair things. The more I use PL4, the more I appreciate it.

I don’t know the answer, but how about trying it with a couple of folders each containing a couple of pictures. It should be quick and easy to decide what works and what doesn’t.

I have been using PhotoMechanic ever since I went digital - well, I waited a year or two before I decided to join the crowd. PhotoMechanic does so much for me, I don’t expect to ever stop using it. Now that it’s integrated DAM software into the program, it’s at the top of my list - but I haven’t really started to use the catalogs yet. I’m just learning.

What you wrote sounds like a good idea to find out what’s best, but PM is too integrated into my workflow and my life. Maybe someone has written a review of different DAM software I can read - will do so if I can find it.

Look for “The DAM Book” by Peter Krogh


…and better yet:

In addition to the last edition, try to get a hold of the first edition, maybe in a library. There is some interesting stuff in there about folder structures - in more detail compared to the last edition. Maybe you can get it in library