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Does Lightrooom CC qualify as a backup copy of photos?

johnny_1

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I am wondering if photos that are synch'd to Lightroom CC would qualify as a backup copy of photos. I keep photos locally on two hard drives, but I don't pay for a cloud-based backup such as BackBlaze, CrashPlan, etc. I recently started synching some collections to Lightroom CC. I understand that only smart previews are stored in the Cloud, but if my local drives were to fail entirely or be destroyed through catastrophe, would I still be able to export from Lightroom CC even though the original files are gone forever?

Thank you for any input!
 
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The answer depends a bit on whether you are going to ingest in Classic or ingest in Cloudy's Lightroom.

If you ingest in Classic only the smart previews are in the cloud, so no, it is not a backup. I'm not sure if CC could export at all then, but the loss of detail would be large if so.

If you ingest in Cloudy, then originals are stored in the cloud. But I think there are a lot of issues one who is appropriately paranoid needs to think through in terms of backup there, notably what is an "original".

I want to have a backup of my "original" meaning as close to what I produce from the camera, or from Photoshop edits, as I can get. The more programs that manipulate it (e.g. copying it from your system to the cloud, storing it, moving it back down later to edit again) the less it is truly "original" and the more possible it is that bugs in those programs affected it.

With Cloudy you can store originals locally, but if you ingest or edit on multiple computers, there is no good way (or single point) to back those up before Adobe runs it through their processes. To me that is an issue, as we have no visibility into Adobe's system, how redundant it is, what kind of integrity checks are in transmissions, storage or processing. The basic premise is "Trust Adobe".

There is some good reason to trust adobe. They are more reliable than your average home system or average home user (considering your average home user apparently feels no need for backups at all, so welcome to the club of us not-normal people o_O )

But if you work in technology long enough you learn that the best bet is not to trust anyone. Emphasis on "one". Redundancy and independence is always best.

I love Classic in that sense. I know exactly where the originals come from, and are stored. I can back them up in any way I want, and check them for integrity in various ways, and have complete control.

Anyway to your question, I think telling us more about your workflow would help to understand to what extent the cloudy copy is usable as a last ditch backup.
 

johnny_1

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Nov 20, 2019
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Thank you! Good points and thoughts all around. The RAW files are ingested to two external USB drives via Photo Mechanic and then imported on one drive via Lightroom Classic, and then synch'd to Lightroom CC via a collection.

Basically, the files are currently at risk from some catastrophic event such as a house fire or a theft, because both hard drives are at the same physical location.

But, if I could export a low-res from Lightroom CC, at least a smaller file could be reproduced and the image wouldn't be 100% lost forever.
Certainly the quality would be lower, but something is better than nothing, especially if the image cannot be recreated cheaply, easily, or at all.

So, in that sense - the Lightroom CC smart preview would count for something, right?

(But, understanding that Adobe isn't perfect and they don't bill themselves as a "cloud backup solution" like BackBlaze, Crashplan, or other services)
 
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I can't speak to the export of smart previews, someone else will.

My own 2 cents is this: there are a lot of relatively cheap backup products for the cloud. Since you ingest (into Adobe) in Classic, your originals are handy, and moreover if you edit only in photoshop in Classic your originals there will also be readily available.

Get a cloud backup service like Backblaze, or cloud software and buy cloud disk (Backblaze B2, Google Glacier, OneDrive) and have it back up to the cloud. If you get a tool like Cloudberry and Goodsync (lots of choices, I happen to use those) they will provide versioned backups (point-in-time restore) to both the cloud and local drives. All these products for most photographers are in the $5-15/month range for secure, off-site backups. For what most of us spend on gear, much less our own time (think minimum wage * amount of time spent shooting and editing) it is not a lot of mney.

Or if you are a Prime member and want only one cloud copy, free, store them in Amazon Cloud Drive. It's a lousy backup solution as it has no point-in-time versioning, and the interface stinks, but the price is right (if you are already a prime member it is free for unlimited last time I looked).
 
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PS. And once you do that, the same cloud storage can hold your taxes and other important documents off site, which are probably more important than photos, and for which there's no good "smart preview" for later.
 
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A little clarification. Lightroom Classic on your desktop sends only a Smart DNG to the cloud for collections that sync to the cloud. These do not count against your 20GB limit if you have that plan. They should be all means not be considered a backup. Lightroom (cloudy) also on the Desktop as well as mobile devices can migrate the whole Lightroom Classic inventory to the cloud and these are full size originals. Once in the cloud, your inventory is managed by Adobe's servers including backups for insurance that your originals will always be available. Only the metadata maintained by Lightroom (cloudy) is preserved in the cloud No history, no hierarchical keywords and only static collections sync'd to Lightroom (cloudy) albums. If you delete an master image in the cloud, it is only retains for 30 days (if not a little longer) before it is deleted permanently, There is no version control as you will find with a dedicated backup application.
IMO no cloud backup service can replace a dedicated system backup app that backs up locally (Like TimeMachine). If your disk drive fails, it can be glacially slow to restore all of the data via a standard internet connection.
 
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IMO no cloud backup service can replace a dedicated system backup app that backs up locally (Like TimeMachine). If your disk drive fails, it can be glacially slow to restore all of the data via a standard internet connection.
+1 ^^^^^

All my discussions about separate cloud backup presumed you still kept a local one.

But fires, floods, tornados, and burglary do happen. Counting ONLY on a local backup is also a bad idea.
 

johnny_1

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Nov 20, 2019
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All good points, and yes, a cloud based backup is in my future for sure! Thanks for the recommendation on those, especially the version history options.
This is definitely an area where I want to improve.

I see that Lightroom CC can export a super low-res file at 2560px on long edge.

I presume that if there was a huge fire and there were undelivered client files that were available in a collection in Lightroom CC, a client would be glad to at least have a low res 2560px image instead of nothing.

Here is a better re-phrase of my original question -- does the ability to export via smartpreview DNG's from Lightroom CC depend on having original files accessible by Lightroom CC?
 
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Here is a better re-phrase of my original question -- does the ability to export via smartpreview DNG's from Lightroom CC depend on having original files accessible by Lightroom CC?
No. That 2560px low-res file you exported from Lightroom cloudy is in fact produced from the same 2560px smart preview that you synced to the cloud from Classic. So yes, you are correct in your assumption.....having all your Classic files synced to the cloud as smart previews would give you something should you have that local disaster. But an off-site backup of the originals PLUS all your other critical non-photography stuff would be a better solution.
 
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So yes, you are correct in your assumption.....having all your Classic files synced to the cloud as smart previews would give you something should you have that local disaster.
Thanks Jim, I just had no idea if it required the original. I'm less and less of a cloudy person as time goes by, just ignoring it until it reaches more full parity.
 
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Thanks Jim, I just had no idea if it required the original. I'm less and less of a cloudy person as time goes by, just ignoring it until it reaches more full parity.
Actually, I've started using Cloudy more. Just not on my Desktop. I'm using Lightroom on my iPad Pro as a front end to import into Classic. To that end, I have about 7000 of my best classic images that went to the cloud as Smart DNGs. I suppose that I could put these same 700 images into a separate catalog to use migrate as a Lightroom Classic Catalog into my Desktop cloudy. This would replace the Smart DNGs such that all of my 7000 best and all of my current images would be original files in the cloud and fully recoverable is such a cloud backup is ever needed for recovery.
 
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Cletus--I new to using Lightroom CC. And I have just upgraded to my desktop based Lightroom Classic subscription. What I am interested in doing is using my iPad Pro and LR CC as a temporary method to review images while away from my office. Upon my return I want to put my originals into my home system and maintain them accordingly. I'm not interested in maintaining a separate set in the cloud. Also, I don't want them filling up my iPad. If you have suggestions, I would sincerely appreciate hearing them.

Thank you.
 
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Cletus--I new to using Lightroom CC. And I have just upgraded to my desktop based Lightroom Classic subscription. What I am interested in doing is using my iPad Pro and LR CC as a temporary method to review images while away from my office. Upon my return I want to put my originals into my home system and maintain them accordingly. I'm not interested in maintaining a separate set in the cloud. Also, I don't want them filling up my iPad. If you have suggestions, I would sincerely appreciate hearing them.

Thank you.
They won't fill up your iPad there is no way to not use the cloud and use both Lightroom (cloudy) and Lightroom Classic.

If you have a 20GB storage limit, you may need to worry more about managing your image file so that you do not exceed your 20GB cloud limit. If you have a 1TB plan, you can be lazy with file management

Take the following steps:
  1. Sync everything in Lightroom Classic that you want to access on a mobile device or a laptop when you are away. These will be SmartDNGs and Proxies of your original master images stored locally by LR Classic. They will not impact your 20GB limit. They will have marginal impact on your iPad Storage. but only for the images that you work on using Lightroom (cloudy).
  2. Any images that you work on using Lightroom (cloudy) will have all of the edit adjustments keywords, pick flags, and metadata changes made in cloudy sync'd back to Lightroom Classic.
  3. Any new images that you add(Import) via Lightroom (cloudy) will be sync'd back via the cloud to Lightroom Classic. These will be full size master originals (not proxies) They will impact your 20GB limit and your local iDevice storage.
  4. Once you have sync'ed new image from the cloud to your Lightroom Classic run-in locally and storing locally, you can delete these images from the iDevice and from the Cloud. You delete them from the cloud by REMOVING them from the "All Sync'd Photographs" Special Collection in Lightroom Classic.
  5. Removing images from the Lightroom Cloud (Online photo editor | Photoshop Lightroom) will not remove them from your assigned cloud storage (20GB/1TB) but put them temporarily into a "Deleted" album for 60days. You can go to the Lightroom Cloud on the web and permanently delete them from the "Deleted" album
  6. Photos taken with the iPad camera using the Photos app are stored in the Photos app storage (Camera Roll). If they are auto imported into Lightroom on your iPad, a second copy is stored in the Lightroom App storage area. If you take the photos using Lightroom's access to the camera, no copy ends up in the Camera Roll.
 
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Lightroom Version: Adobe Lightroom Classic 9.0, Adobe Lightroom CC 1.5
I'll just throw one last thing into the mix. If your cloudy Lightroom is really 1.5, I'd look at upgrading ASAP to the latest version (3.0) as soon as you can, because there's a greater chance of conflicts between the cloud database and old cloudy versions.
 
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Thank you. I just moved to the subscription version and haven’t yet downloaded the LR CC on my iPad yet. I will have the latest version. Again, thank you.
 
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