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Optimizing and backing up catalogs

From: Lightroom 4 Essentials: 01 Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module

Video: Optimizing and backing up catalogs

When you first open up Lightroom you have to create the initial catalog, but after that it's easy to forget about catalogs, and because of that, here what I want to do is talk a little bit about working with catalogs. Well as I've mentioned previously catalogs are really important and to illustrate that I want to jump back to a couple of slides that we've seen in order to just to reiterate this concept. What I was trying to illustrate here was that typically our files can be a little bit of a mess but Lightroom comes along and the catalog organizes everything. Now this catalog contains all sorts of valuable information, Develop Module Settings in other words all of the hours and hours that we have labored on our photographs, all of that passion we have invested into the art and craft of making our images really good, well that would be lost.

Optimizing and backing up catalogs

When you first open up Lightroom you have to create the initial catalog, but after that it's easy to forget about catalogs, and because of that, here what I want to do is talk a little bit about working with catalogs. Well as I've mentioned previously catalogs are really important and to illustrate that I want to jump back to a couple of slides that we've seen in order to just to reiterate this concept. What I was trying to illustrate here was that typically our files can be a little bit of a mess but Lightroom comes along and the catalog organizes everything. Now this catalog contains all sorts of valuable information, Develop Module Settings in other words all of the hours and hours that we have labored on our photographs, all of that passion we have invested into the art and craft of making our images really good, well that would be lost.

If we lose this catalog, we lose all of that in ratings, keywords and collections and so much. So therefore that catalog is really important, and I want to talk a touch about how we can back up this catalog and also optimize it. So in order to do that, let's jump back to Lightroom. Inside of Lightroom, one of the things that you can do is navigate to the Lightroom pull-down menu and choose Catalog Settings. Now here in the General tab you can choose how often you want to backup your catalog, and by default this is once a week, when exiting Lightroom.

Now the problem with this default selection or default option is that it isn't very good because most of us we don't turn off our computers very often and we don't quit applications very often and because of that I don't think this is frequent enough. Remember if you lose that catalog, gosh, you are going to lose just a ton of valuable information. So what I recommend you do is you change this to when Lightroom next exits or every time a Lightroom exits. In other words, every time you exit Lightroom it will create a backup for you, and this is definitely a good idea.

All right, well let's exit this whole concept of backup for a second and jump to another concept which is actually related. There's another thing you can do with your catalog which is Optimize it. If you navigate to your File pull-down menu and then select Optimize Catalog, what this allows you to do is to optimize this. In other words let's go back to that warehouse analogy. If all of the bikes in the warehouse have been moved around and shuffled and they are a little bit kind of messy or messed up you can straighten and organize and clean everything up by optimizing, and so it's always a good idea to do that.

What this will do is it will then just get everything back in order to make sure the communication between the catalog and the actual files is accurate, is perfect. So a lot of times you want to do that. The trick is, it's really easy to forget to optimize your catalog and there aren't really clear instructions on how often to do that. So here's what you can do. As you remember that I set up that preference to backup the catalog every time I quit Lightroom and that's what I recommend. Well you can also optimize when you create that backup as well.

Let's go through that process. So here what we are going to do is, navigate to the Lightroom pull-down menu and choose Quit Lightroom. This will tell us that we've dialed in these settings or chosen these settings to backup this catalog every time you quit or close. Great, here is where it's going to save the backup files, we will talk more about that in a second and let's jump down to these other two options. Also test the integrity, definitely and optimize that catalog. So be sure to have those two options turned on. Now back to this backup folder.

What it's going to do is it's going to create a backup of these images in a subfolder where your catalog is saved. In this case it's saved on the internal hard drive of this computer and that's a really good spot for it. But it's saving the backup on the same hard drive that the main catalog is saved on. In other words, if that hard drive dies, I lose both. The backup really isn't any good to me. So what you're going to want to do is to choose an alternate location for this. Ideally, another hard drive, have this in a different spot.

You don't want to put all of your eggs in one basket because that basket could break down and you could have a big problem. So again you want to choose a different location and that will help you have a more stable and reliable backup. All right, well in this case, I'm using a demo computer; I don't have an external drive connected. So I am going to leave it here because I want to look at this backup file and recommend something else that I think you should do to make your backup even better. So let's go ahead and click backup and what will happen is it will go through this process. Now I want to go ahead and navigate to that location where these files are saved.

And I also want to make a little bit of a comment about that backup. Keep in mind that that backup is going to take some time, so you want to do that at the end of the day right? Right before you leave, you don't want to do that in the morning or right before you want to work on some images. So just make sure you do that in a time when you don't really need to work with Lightroom. All right, well here I am inside of my Lightroom 4 folder in the Pictures area on the hard drive and here's this Backups file that it's created. It gives me the date when it was created which is nice in this little Lightroom catalog.

What's interesting is it's saving the catalog but not the previews. Now I wouldn't want to lose these previews and have to re-render them if something happened so here is what I recommend. Select the Previews file and then go to your Menu. In this case I will go to Edit and I will dopy that, next I am going to go inside of this Backups folder and just make sure I am inside of that and then go to Edit and paste that item. So now I have that inside of that same location, and here what I will do is just navigate backwards for a minute, so we can see where we were.

You can see basically that what I did is I copied both the catalog and the previews into this spot. Now this extra little step isn't needed because if you lose the previews it's not the end of the world and you can re-render or re-create those in Lightroom. That being said in my own Lightroom catalog, I have thousands and thousands of images, and in my case I really want to save all of that information previews and all the rest of it as well. So that's what I do in my own workflow just to make sure I've backed up everything.

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This video is part of

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  1. 2m 1s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 0s
  2. 13m 33s
    1. The broad Photoshop Lightroom overview
      3m 52s
    2. The photographic workflow puzzle
      3m 45s
    3. Why use Photoshop Lightroom?
      5m 56s
  3. 30m 18s
    1. The Photoshop Lightroom interface
      5m 21s
    2. Using the interface shortcuts
      4m 57s
    3. Working with panels
      4m 24s
    4. Customizing the identity plate and module pickers
      5m 49s
    5. Customizing interface elements
      5m 5s
    6. Creating a custom panel end mark
      3m 45s
    7. Using module tips
      57s
  4. 36m 32s
    1. Importing images and looking at file formats
      5m 27s
    2. Importing preferences
      3m 13s
    3. Introducing the Import dialog
      5m 10s
    4. Setting catalog preferences and import and preview options
      5m 38s
    5. Importing from a folder
      4m 2s
    6. Importing photos from a CF card
      10m 22s
    7. Creating an import preset
      2m 40s
  5. 11m 37s
    1. Drag-and-drop importing
      2m 8s
    2. Auto-importing from a watched folder
      4m 48s
    3. Importing from iPhoto or Aperture
      4m 41s
  6. 9m 36s
    1. Introducing tethered capture
      3m 47s
    2. Working with tethered capture
      2m 55s
    3. Considering color management with tethered capture
      2m 54s
  7. 24m 21s
    1. Introducing catalogs
      3m 12s
    2. Demystifying catalogs by way of comparison
      3m 34s
    3. Optimizing and backing up catalogs
      6m 13s
    4. Importing and updating legacy catalogs
      6m 38s
    5. Exporting a catalog
      3m 53s
    6. Learning more about catalogs
      51s
  8. 41m 51s
    1. Working in the Grid and Loupe views
      2m 14s
    2. Navigating and zooming
      4m 47s
    3. Customizing the Grid and Loupe views
      5m 14s
    4. Customizing the Filmstrip
      3m 17s
    5. Comparing two images
      5m 23s
    6. Surveying two or more images
      3m 15s
    7. Working with folders and files
      4m 2s
    8. Deleting and removing images from folders
      3m 1s
    9. Working with multiple hard drives
      8m 2s
    10. Dual-monitor support
      2m 36s
  9. 30m 25s
    1. Working with flags, stars, and labels
      5m 20s
    2. Adding ratings with the Painter tool
      3m 32s
    3. Filtering by flag, stars, and labels
      3m 58s
    4. A filtering workflow
      5m 54s
    5. Filtering by file type
      1m 54s
    6. Filtering by type and metadata
      3m 22s
    7. Sorting photos
      1m 58s
    8. Stacking photos into groups
      4m 27s
  10. 21m 51s
    1. Using Smart Collections
      4m 7s
    2. Using Quick Collections
      2m 25s
    3. What is a collection?
      3m 39s
    4. Working with collections
      3m 22s
    5. Going further with collections
      3m 17s
    6. An evaluative-collection workflow
      5m 1s
  11. 12m 23s
    1. Overviewing the new Map module
      2m 32s
    2. Tagging images with locations
      3m 46s
    3. Creating saved locations
      6m 5s
  12. 10m 44s
    1. Using Quick Develop
      3m 39s
    2. Synchronizing settings
      3m 12s
    3. Making incremental adjustments
      3m 53s
  13. 31m 41s
    1. Playing video in Photoshop Lightroom
      3m 50s
    2. Trimming a video
      4m 11s
    3. Editing the color and tone of a video
      5m 2s
    4. Using presets to edit the color and tone of a video
      1m 49s
    5. Setting the poster frame
      1m 35s
    6. Capturing a still image from a video
      3m 9s
    7. Exporting to a hard drive
      2m 37s
    8. Publishing to a hard drive
      3m 35s
    9. Publishing video to Facebook
      3m 18s
    10. Publishing video to Flickr
      2m 35s
  14. 17m 11s
    1. Why use DNG?
      7m 32s
    2. Converting to DNG and the Embed Fast Load Data option
      3m 45s
    3. Reducing file size with the lossy compressed DNG
      5m 54s
  15. 22m 39s
    1. Adding keywords
      3m 33s
    2. Creating and using keyword sets
      3m 6s
    3. Synchronizing keywords
      1m 58s
    4. Keywording with the Painter tool
      1m 29s
    5. Working with the Metadata panel
      4m 44s
    6. Adding copyright metadata with a template
      4m 23s
    7. Filtering photographs based on metadata
      3m 26s
  16. 27m 34s
    1. External editing preferences
      5m 14s
    2. Editing raw photos in Photoshop
      4m 43s
    3. Editing an original TIFF, PSD, or JPG file in Photoshop
      3m 40s
    4. Editing a modified TIFF, PSD, or JPG file in Photoshop
      4m 44s
    5. Opening an image as a Smart Object in Photoshop
      4m 34s
    6. Including multiple images in Photoshop as layers
      4m 39s
  17. 29m 1s
    1. Exporting photographs to a hard drive, CD, or DVD
      4m 44s
    2. Publishing to a folder
      4m 5s
    3. Using exporting presets
      4m 51s
    4. Emailing photographs from Photoshop Lightroom
      5m 34s
    5. Exporting to Adobe Revel
      3m 39s
    6. Uploading photos to Facebook and Flickr
      6m 8s
  18. 32s
    1. Goodbye
      32s

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