Managing Video Captures

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Today’s Question: Do you keep video captures in your Lightroom catalog and on your photo drive, or do you have a completely separate drive only for video?

Tim’s Quick Answer: For videos captured for the same basic reasons I capture photos (generally “artistic” purposes), I manage video captures right alongside my still photos, within my master Lightroom catalog. The only time I don’t import videos into my Lightroom catalog is if they are for a specific project outside the scope of my normal photography, such as when producing educational video courses.

More Detail: There are two basic categories that my video captures might fit into.

The first category is for the educational videos we produce though my GreyLearning website (https://www.greylearning.com). Because these are generally “one-off” videos for a specific production purpose, I file them separate from my other photos and do not import them into my Lightroom catalog. So, when we’re in the field producing educational content, all of the videos and audio we capture go onto a separate hard drive used for producing the educational video content. The stills I capture along the way generally get included into my regular Lightroom catalog, because they are typically photos I might want to use for other purposes.

The second category represents videos that go right alongside my photos. Sometimes, for example, I might be photographing a beautiful Alpine stream, and I decide to capture some video clips as well. Those videos are “artistic” in a manner of speaking, with the potential to be used in a photo slideshow to supplement the still photos, for example. The point is that I think of them in the same general context as my still photos. These get imported into my Lightroom catalog, and stored right alongside the photos captured during the same trip or outing.

In other words, videos that are captured based on the same basic motivation as my still photos get treated just as though they were still photos. Lightroom does a pretty good job of managing video clips right alongside photos. Just note that metadata updates (such as keywords) can’t actually be written directly into the video files themselves the way metadata updates can be saved to still images.