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The Most Asked Lightroom Question From Over 700 People
Last week, I was on the road teaching Lightroom to over 700 people in Phoenix and Indianapolis. Of course it's great to get out and travel and teach, but aside from getting me out from behind my desk, I get to to actually hear what questions are really bugging Lightroom users. This past week, one question came up over and over again:
"Since Lightroom automatically backs up my catalog every so often, how many backups should I save?".
I wrote about the answer over on my Lightroom blog here: http://kel.by/vgtfkX
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Jenn Trunk's profile photoCarl Constantine's profile photoBarrie Brewer's profile photoMarvin Foster's profile photo
15 comments
 
Thanks for the recommendation on backup software, just what I needed!
 
Actually, my biggest question with Lightroom 3 has to do with integrating LR3 and PS CS5. When you import photos into LR3 and copy as Adobe DNG, you loose the ability to adjust RAW in PS. If I do some initial RAW conversion in LR, and then Edit in PS, I can't readjust the RAW conversion, or duplicate the layer and do a second RAW conversion on that layer (used for some effects). How would I accomplish that or is it doable? This technique is used by +Calvin Hollywood for some work.
 
Great preentation last Wednesday, here in PHX... Have only used lightroom a short time, and you answered so many of my questions during your program, I came home and was able to solve some of the "problems" I was having... Thank you so much for a great program...
 
Carl, You're partially right, partially wrong. You can edit the DNG in PS, but what you're probably doing is going to the Photo>Edit In PS menu in LR3, which converts it to either TIFF or PSD (the settings you have in your LR3 Prefs>External Editing). What you can do is Photo>Edit In>Open As Smart Objects in PS... However you won't be able to do any retouching to the Smart Object layer(s).
 
Great timing on the link to Acronis, Matt. They are having a one-day sale today - 50% off.
 
+Matt Kloskowski There is potential gotcha with the backup strategy you propose, though. Full backups are huge. You can only keep a rather limited number of them. Most automated solutions delete old backups automatically when storage is filling up. If you back up daily, you won't be able to go back in time very much.

That doesn't sound like it's a problem until you discover that the data corruption you are trying to fix happened some time back. The corrupted files will have made it into all of your backups, leaving you without anything to restore from. This is not an exotic scenario. People get bitten by this all the time.

One solution is to do full system backups only once in a while. That improves your chances to go back to an intact state. The files and directories you commonly work with should be backed up daily, but these backups will be small, so you can keep them for a longer period as well.

As it happens, that's exacly the idea behind the Lightroom backup feature. It generates frequent and relatively small copies of the database, so it is actually not such a bad idea to keep it switched on.
 
I would be one that still uses the Lightroom backup. Every few weeks I go in and delete a bunch since I do have it set up to backup every time I quit.

Now mine go to a Raid5 NAS that is backed up to USB every night. 
 
Just read your blog - so, wait....your hard drive crashed, and you use a Mac? I thought those things never crashed? Sorry, I couldn't resist!! :)
 
Matt, do you have the XMP set in the Catalog Settings/Meta tab so the metadata is saved 'with' the file?
 
+David Kenny Why would you want to do this (assuming that you back up your library anyway)?
 
i have a question, how do you guys move files between drives within light room and keep ten linked and part of your backup system.

 
I need to move files off my system
Drive, I did not notice that they were being saved on my pictures instead of on my external drive. So now have just under 500gb of files clogging up my system but if I move them manually then it will mess up the library.

 
+Scott Johnston if you move them inside of LR 3 by dragging and dropping the folders then you'll keep your LR catalog intact. If you move them outside of LR you'll disconnect them.
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