Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Backing up via export, part of Lightroom 5: 01 Organizing Your Photos.
Lightroom includes a built backup feature but that backup only backs up the catalog, not your photos. In other words, you're backing up information about your images. But not the images themselves. Of course, you may very well utilize another backup option to help ensure that you have all of your photos, as well as your Lightroom catalog, backed up safely and securely. But one good method for backing up the catalog, and all of your photos, all at the same time is to utilize the export option.
Specifically the option to export as a catalog. This will export the catalog, in other words, make a copy of your catalog, but it will also make a copy of all of your images as well. To get started, we'll choose the all photographs option from the catalog section of the left panel in the library module. This will allow us to view every single image that is in our current catalog. In this case, I only have 113 images in my catalog, but that's because this is just a sample catalog. Once I've chosen all photographs, I can go up to the File menu and then choose Export as Catalog.
That will bring up the Export as Catalog dialog where I can specify exactly where I would like to backup the catalog and the images. In this case, I'm going to backup my photos to another external hard drive, and so I'll select that external hard drive. I can then specify the name that I would like to use. And I'll just call this Backup Catalog. Obviously, I could also specify the date that I'm backing up the catalog or other details about the catalog. Toward the bottom of the dialog, you'll see that I can choose the option to only export selected photos.
In this case, I only had one photo selected. The image that I was currently looking at within Lightroom, but I want to backup all of my photos. So I'll leave that check box turned off. And you can see that I'm currently exporting a catalog with 113 images. In other words, all of the images in this catalog are going to be backedup. I can also choose to export negative files, and I recommend leaving that option turned on. You can also either build or include smart previews. In other words, if smart previews have already been included, they will be included as part of the backup, and if they have not been included, they will be created if you turn on this check box.
For this catalog, I've not made use of smart previews, and I don't feel that I need those smart previews for my backup. So I'll leave that check box turned off. And finally, I can choose to include available previews. This is totally optional in the context of, exporting as a backup, because I can always generate those previews again later, should I need to recover from my backup. And it also takes additional time and storage space, so I'll go ahead and turn off that check box. With those settings established, I can simply click the Export Catalog button, and a new catalog will be created in the backup location that I've specified.
And all of the photos in my current catalog will be copied to that location as well. And so if anything should happen to my catalog or the photos contained within that catalog, I have a complete backup, representing everything within my Lightroom catalog at this moment. So, as you can see, that Export As catalog option can be a great solution for backing up both the catalog information as well as your photos.
This course was created by Tim Grey. We're honored to host this training in our library.
- Importing images
- Setting up Lightroom preferences and catalog settings
- Backing up your catalogs
- Reviewing images with the Grid and Loupe views
- Renaming photos
- Adding flags, star ratings, color labels, and keywords to images
- Mapping photos
- Working with image stacks
- Locating images