Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Performing a better catalog backup, part of Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques.
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In the previous movie we discussed how we could use a preference so that we can frequently create a backup of our Lightroom catalog, and that will save it to the same location wherever that catalog file is. It's in the subfolder called Backups, and there it is we have this backup file. It's a same exact file name, same exact file size as the original catalog. This is really helpful especially if this catalog file gets corrupt or if we accidentally delete it or if just something happens to it, we now have this backup. Well, let's see what happens if we go back to Lightroom and then go ahead and quit it out.
Is it going to create another backup for us? Well, here let's press the shortcut to quit Lightroom. It's Command+Q on a Mac. It brings up my backup catalog dialog, because again I chose the option to back it up each time I close. Here, I'll go ahead and click Backup. This will go through checking the integrity, optimizing the catalog, creating that backup, and now inside of my backup's folder we now have two distinct and different backups. So, if you take a look at this.
You'll notice that we have these different catalog files, and they all have the same file name, and they also are the same file size. They're just located in different folders. Now, when you have a lot of images in your Lightroom catalog, these catalogs files are actually going to be pretty big. So then the question surfaces, do I really need to save all of my backups? Like how many backups do I actually need? Well, typically it's a good idea to have one or two or three, but if you have older backups you can get rid of those. So what we can do in these situations.
Let's say this is the older backup. Actually, this one is the older backup. Sorry about that. Let me make sure I am choosing the right one. We can go ahead and delete that or move it to the trash, because we don't necessarily need that. Now, again typically I recommend you have perhaps in regards to your backup one, two or three versions back, but you don't need 15 or 20 versions back, because really that information becomes quite irrelevant. You want to think about how much of a safety net do you need if you're rock climbing. Of course, you have one rope.
You want another and another and then maybe a net as well. In most situations having one, two, or three is going to be pretty good. Well, what else do we need to consider here? Well, one of the things that we need to consider is that this backup right now is on our internal drive. Let's say, for example, that I flyout to go do a photo shoot, and I fly back, and I am working in Lightroom. I quit it. It creates a backup for me. But then when I get back to my studio I all of a sudden realize my hard drive has been fried.
I mean it's toast. It is gone. In that situation, it's unfortunate. I've lost my catalog, and I've lost my backup of my catalog, because I put all my eggs in one basket. I haven't had time to back up my system. So really I've lost all of this work that I've done in regards to Lightroom catalog. Well, what you typically want to do is rather than have all your eggs so to speak in one basket; you want to have an external drive. Here, I'll just open up an external drive and on this drive you want to have a location perhaps something like Lightroom backups and you want to grab your backups.
Again, I'm recommending that you grab perhaps the three most recent backups. Then drag those over, drag them to this external drive, and then what you'll have is a copy of those in another location. Now if you're a little bit more adept with backup systems and whatnot, you could also automate this so that you have this happen frequently, yet in the same time you can always simply click and drag these over to another drive just to make sure that you have all of your eggs in one basket, so that you're spreading things out a bit, so that your backup strategies are even more effective.
- Maximizing file compatibility
- Speeding up the workflow with automation
- Working with catalogs, collections, and folders
- Diagramming multiple catalogs and computers
- Performing and restoring backups
- Setting up tethered capture
- Advanced retouching techniques, such as eye enhancement and blemish reduction
- Working with color profiles
- Perfecting prints from Lightroom
- Creating custom watermarks
- Making a custom web gallery
- Exporting and publishing photos