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In this course, photographer Derrick Story teaches the concepts and techniques behind efficient photo management and backup, which becomes increasingly important as a photo collection grows. The course begins by showing how to transfer and organize photos "by hand"—that is, by copying them from a memory card to a hard drive without using software. In the second portion of the course, discover how to take advantage of the photo-management features provided by programs such as Lightroom and Aperture, by assigning descriptive keywords, by giving photos ratings and color-coded labels, and how smart album features can automatically collect photos that meet certain criteria.
The course concludes with a look at aspects of a good backup and archival strategy, ranging from the best file format for long-term backup to the best hardware options for offline storage.
If the computer that holds my Lightroom catalog fails, I am okay, and I'll tell you why, and I am going to show you how to set this up so that you'll be okay too, if heaven forbid, this situation ever happens to you. Now here's the way Lightroom works. It thinks in two different ways when it comes to your catalogue. It thinks about your work itself, which would be the metadata, the keywords, the labels, all the things that you've done to your photos, the image editing, and it keeps those in a catalog.
Now, it refers to the masters, which you've decided live somewhere else. So when you are thinking about protecting yourself, if you are using Lightroom, you have to think about backing up your catalog, and then backing up your masters. Let's start with the catalog. Let's make sure that it's set up correctly. I am going to go up here to Edit, I am going to Catalog Settings. Now you are going to see where my catalog lives right now; it lives on my computer. And that's where Lightroom likes to keep it, and that's where I think it should be, because that way if your computer is a laptop, wherever you go, your Lightroom catalog goes with you.
That's what we want. We want our pictures with us. Now you have some options as to how often Lightroom backs up your work. I think every time Lightroom exits, it is a great option, because that way your backup is always current. Now, however, if you don't use Lightroom very often, or if you don't like the little routine that it goes through when it backs up, you can choose another option. Once a week, though, would be the longest that I would go. Once a month, to me, just seems too long. So anyway, I choose Every time Lightroom exits.
We are set up here; click OK. Now what happens is that when I exit Lightroom, it's going to initiate a Catalog Backup; let's see how that works. Here is the screen that you'll get. Now you'll notice that my backup goes to the different hard drive. It's going to my external Western digital hard drive that is actually a RAID hard drive, right? I showed you that in some of the earlier movies, where it has two hard drives in there. So I write to one of the hard drives, and it automatically mirrors to the other hard drive.
That protects me against mechanical failure. I think that's a great way to go. So it's an external drive that's backing up itself, and that's where my catalog is going to live. And you can set that up by clicking Choose. What I don't recommend you do is have your backup saved to the same drive where your original catalog lives, because you are trying to protect yourself from computer failure, so you don't want to lose your backup if you have computer failure. Now, testing the integrity before backing up, and optimizing the catalog afterward; they don't take very long, and it's something that I recommend.
So let's go ahead and back up right now. It's really that fast. Now here we are looking at the external drive. So here are my backups, all listed right here on the external drive. Now, here's the second part of the equation. Lightroom has backed up my work, but not my masters; that is my responsibility. The way that I handle that is that I keep my masters on this external drive, and they are mirrored to the other drive that's inside this Western Digital Raid 1 mirroring device.
So every time I upload pictures from my camera through Lightroom, it's writing them to this drive, and then this drive is mirroring them on the second drive that's in there. And you can see the shots right here, and we converted to DNG when we brought them in. So the thing that is your responsibility is to make sure that your masters are not living only on your computer, or not living on your computer at all and backed up somewhere else so that you can restore if something bad happens to your computer.
That is what we are trying to do here is protect you against computer failure. So my masters and my backups are both on an external drive, and then hopefully I back them up again every so often so that I am really protected. But I'll leave that part to you, how much redundancy you want to have. Now the last thing is to show you how to actually restore from a backup. So every thing is on this external drive now. Let's pretend that my Windows machine crashed, the hard drive failed, I had to rebuild the whole thing. I've rebuilt it, Lightroom is on there, but my information isn't. Normally, if I hadn't done all this, I would have lost everything.
I haven't; I just connect this external drive, I go to Lightroom Backup, I go to the most recent back up that I did, I just double-click, and everything is in there, safe and sound. Isn't that fantastic? This is wonderful. Now if your masters are somewhere else, on a different drive from your backup, Lightroom will ask you where they are and you can just reconnect them.
So this is a system that I recommend that you embrace. Protect yourself against computer failure, so that if something bad happens, you don't lose your photos; you don't lose your work.
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