Over the years I used different cameras and have a huge messy picture collection.

To be sure not to loose any pictures I copied them several times on different external hard drives changing often the way and the tool I used to organize them.

Now I have a big 10tb raid drive that I think could contain all my orignal files I'd like to move all the raw pictures from all the external drives to it.

The organization folders would be

------->all the original files (jpeg and raw) untouched 

I'd like a tool that:

  • Could find all the original files (jpeg or raw) based on patterns of camera (ex IMG_*.RAW, DCIM)
  • Move all the files to the new drive using the folder structure above (reading exif data)
  • Ensure that before deleting the file on the original drive it was really copied successfully to the destination folder.
  • Skipping copying but deleting on the original drive if i find an exact duplicates of the picture in the destination folder.

I have Lightroom but do not know if I can use it for this and I have yet to understand it's internal organization. I'd like also to be independent of the tool I will use to edit and tag my pictures.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Although obviously photography-related, I think this is more of a SuperUser type question. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Apr 14, 2013 at 10:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ well, my answer is very photo-related :) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14, 2013 at 10:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you thought about exporting as a catalog? \$\endgroup\$
    – sylvanaar
    Apr 14, 2013 at 13:02
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is a fairly trivial bash script. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Apr 14, 2013 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


The default import setting of Lightroom is to organize in folders like that. But if you choose a harddrive as the source it will "add" them in place. But you can just choose "Move" or "Copy". It will skip "suspected dublicates", so if you "move" then you will only have duplicates left. To leave them untoched, also viewing in lightroom, you should mark the preset "zeroed" as default import. The files themselves will be untouched, but lightroom will display them differently, if you have another preset.

The yellow circles show the 3 parts you have to note: "Move" (or Copy), Destination "By Date", and the preview of how the folders will end up looking.



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