Skip to content

4 Ways To Avoid A Disaster If You Edit In Lightroom

Categories

Featured Products

avoid-disaster 4 Ways To Avoid A Disaster If You Edit In Lightroom Lightroom Presets Lightroom Tutorials If you use Lightroom to edit your photos, you may (or may not) realize that your edits are not applied to your image unless you export them out of Lightroom.

Lightroom is essentially a big, huge database of information.  When you edit, whether you use Lightroom presets, make manual adjustments or both, your changes just tell Lightroom what you want to do to the image when it leaves the program. They do NOT actually change the photo.  Since you can see the changes, and even view before and afters, it seems so permanent.

It’s easy to feel like this information in Lightroom is completely safe. And usually it is…   But what if your catalog (which is like a big notebook filled with every set of directions you’ve told Lightroom) dies or gets corrupted?

Here’s three steps you need to take right now to protect your future edits:

1. Back up your Lightroom 5 Catalog.  This backs up your “steps” you’ve told Lightroom you want to do, using presets or manual editing.   Only you can decide how often to back up your catalog based on the value of this information. Remember this does NOT back up the photos themselves. 

Need detailed catalog help?  Learn how to back up your Lightroom catalog HERE.

Screen-Shot-2014-04-03-at-8.56.35-AM 4 Ways To Avoid A Disaster If You Edit In Lightroom Lightroom Presets Lightroom Tutorials

2. Consider exporting your images once you are done editing them, even if you are not ready to print or use them in another way.  Remember that adjustments you make in Lightroom are not applied to your photo until exported. Yes, it takes up space on your hard drive but storage is affordable now.

Screen-Shot-2014-04-03-at-11.09.11-AM 4 Ways To Avoid A Disaster If You Edit In Lightroom Lightroom Presets Lightroom Tutorials

3. If you are in a storage crunch and really do not have room, here’s another idea.  Change the way the Lightroom catalog works.  Adjust the settings under METADATA.  Go to your Catalog Settings – the location will vary based on your operating system.  It is under the word LIGHTROOM on my Mac.  Then click on the Metadata tab.  And check off “Automatically write changes into XMP.”

Screen-Shot-2014-04-03-at-11.11.49-AM 4 Ways To Avoid A Disaster If You Edit In Lightroom Lightroom Presets Lightroom Tutorials

When you do this, the .XMP files will save alongside your Raw files!  This way, if your database corrupts, you still have your edits. It’s as easy as a check box. Boom!

Screen-Shot-2014-04-03-at-11.16.34-AM 4 Ways To Avoid A Disaster If You Edit In Lightroom Lightroom Presets Lightroom Tutorials

4. Back up your computer –  None of the above will “save you” if your hard drive crashes.  The most important thing in terms of protection for any photographer, and I cannot stress this enough, is a solid, reliable backup system.  I highly recommend you back up your photos, important files, and any other documents you’d miss if they vanished.  I backup my work in the following ways:

  • RAID – I have hard drives that mimic each other in case one fails
  • Time Machine – I backup everything on my computer to an external hard drive using Time Machine on my Mac.
  • Off-Site – this is the most important one.  It protects you from hard drive failure, theft, and fire.  The top two solutions do not protect against all three… I currently use Backblaze for my off-site backup.   It is easy and affordable! I need to know my files and photos are safe – this solution provides that assurance. 

 Don’t let disaster strike your Lightroom catalog or files. Keep everything safe from corruption using these quick, easy steps. Now it’s your turn… What methods do you use to keep your files, catalogs and photos safe?

MCPActions

No Comments

  1. Steve crane on July 10, 2014 at 6:21 am

    Step 3 can be taken one step further. If you convert your raw images to DNG format on import, the changes are saved directly into the DNG file alongside the raw data, rather than into an XMP sidecar file. Then you have just a single file to manage.

  2. Stefania Zara Kleynendorst on July 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    good tip!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Categories

Recent Posts

Scroll To Top