I love Lightroom, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve started experiencing a lot of issues with the software. My current catalog is reaching 1GB in size and this is causing me issues when opening up the software.

My current workflow is: copy images from memory card to SSD. Import from SSD into Lightroom and edit. Once I’m done editing the images of a photoshoot; i.e. I export the jpeg to my personal media server, deliver them to the client, add it to my digital photo frame, and post here on this blog; I move them to my file server. This is where, I think, the issue may be.

I connect to my file server via ethernet cable (my computer and my servers are both on wired network) and even though the speeds are great, when you have over 42000 in the server, the network traffic gets messy. I don’t know if that is the reason the Lightroom just hangs and at some point just gives up waiting and 50% of the time crashes.

I’ve been trying to find work arounds for this problem. My latest attempt, which I’m not sure it is the most efficient one, is to have a “Work in Progress” catalogue, in which I keep only the photoshoots I’m actively working on and know that the files are on the SSD card, and once I finish editing them, I export the photoshoot as a catalogue and import it into my “historic catalogue”. The problem with this approach is that I sometime look for older photos to post here when I’m not talking about a recent photoshoot or when I am talking about a trip that I will still do and have photos of the region. I end up hitting the same barriers when I try to open up the historic file.

I have tried separating the catalog in smaller catalogs based on function or theme: one for each of my projects, one for landscape, one for family and other random photos, etc. This has proven to also be of no use. When I tried to open a catalogue that was about 13MB, I can’t recall if it was the Joy Project or the Chickens (both attempts), Lightroom took a significant time to load. Considering the file was 1/10th of the original catalog, I would have expected it to load quicker.

I have tried coming up with work arounds and policies on how to manage my photos. But I generate copious amounts of files each year and to even have a 12 month catalog with all the photos on the SSD (and only at the end of each month move them to a historic file) could be a toll on my SSD. This would, again, not solve the problem when I’m trying to access older files.

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