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How many Catalogs shall I keep ?

Antonio Correia

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I have a doubt which I would like you to help me. I have been searching on the web but I couldn't get to a satisfactory solution.
I have subscription of LR and CC and photos from 2000 until today. They are all organised by year.
I have a "Master Cat" and I make from time to time, Catalogs from each year. So, I have 2000, 2002... and so on catalogs.
I have made back-ups before but I came to a point when I erased one and it was a disaster as I had to start LR from scratch, updating and so.

But now, I have everything OK but I need an advise: How many Back-ups shall I keep and for how long ?
Julieanne Kost advises 5 but I am afraid that erasing the older one I come to a disaster of having to star from scratch.
What do you do ?
How many BAck-ups do you keep ?
Thank you ! :)

Bellow a photo to give colour to this tread.
 
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Jimmsp

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I back up my LR catalog two ways.
First, I use the built in LR backup function that backs up the catalog about once a week. I keep anywhere from 3 to 10 of those. I tend to clean it up every couple of months.
But then I back up the catalog and all its files every time I add new photos (which are also backed up) to two external hard drives. This happens a few times a week. During this back up, the LR produced backups also occur. If I do a lot of processing work, I'll also back up the catalog after that.
I also back up to another external hard drive about once a month which I keep off-site in a secure area - a bank safety deposit box.
 

Antonio Correia

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Thank you Jim and Paul for your answers. :thumbsup:
Jim, you make two back-ups and so do I, but my question is or rather was, as how long to keep stored the Backups LR makes.
But I now understand that I have not to be afraid to erase the exceeding 5th.
That is what I will do.
Thank you both ! :)
At the moment I am cleaning keywords and building yearly Catalogues. It takes quite sometime when that are lots of files...
catalogues are one important feature of LR !
Above, another shot to colorize the thread ! :)
 
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Jimmsp

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At the moment I am cleaning keywords and building yearly Catalogues.
I would question why you are making and keeping yearly catalogs.
I have a master catalog as well, called "All Photos" (not a very original name :) ).
I can go the the Library, and within the Library Filter is the menu for metadata.
The first default is date, where I can then select any year (or years) that I want to sort through (filter again).
I do this a lot. One simple click.

You could also set up a Smart Collection to do the same thing.

Then if you happen to re-edit the photo while under the master catalog , which I occasionally do, you don't have to recreate a yearly catalog which will only have the older edits in it.
 
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My Wise-Assed answer is keep as many as is necessary to recover from a “stupid user mistake”. You have no way of knowing but zI have gone back as far a as 6 Monthe to correct erased keywords from over 2000 images.

I used to go back and manually clean up my backup folder. More recently I have a dedicated volume that holder only backups. It is on an aging drive that I dare not put anything critical as the disk is well passed it’s “expire date”
 

Antonio Correia

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I would question why you are making and keeping yearly catalogs.
I have a master catalog as well, called "All Photos" (not a very original name :) ).
I can go the the Library, and within the Library Filter is the menu for metadata.
The first default is date, where I can then select any year (or years) that I want to sort through (filter again).
I do this a lot. One simple click.
You could also set up a Smart Collection to do the same thing.
Then if you happen to re-edit the photo while under the master catalog , which I occasionally do, you don't have to recreate a yearly catalog which will only have the older edits in it.
Jim, thank you for the questions. :)
I have perhaps been naive when I made yearly catalogues because I did not remember the filters or even the Smart Collections
My issue was that my keywords were a mess and I wanted to organize them in groups. As they were so many - for me at least - I thought that making yearly Cats would make the task easier because I would have to deal with a year and it's keywords at a time.
To make Cats of 5.000 images takes some time, LR is blocked for that period.
But I went ahead and made yearly Cats. I have opened one by one and have organized the keywords in each of them.
Some care and attention was necessary as I couldn't keyword "dog" in 2000 and "dogs" in 2001 because that would duplicated the hole amount of keywords.
I made a Master Cat to start. Here, I have some difficulties but that is not the point now.
At this very moment I have opened the Master Cat and have imported a couple of years. Every time I import a catalogue I reorganize the keywords if necessary and Optimize the Catalogue
My machine is not a bad one as it is rather quick and has 36 RAM memory but each year takes hours to be inserted. Boring... I keep the computer working at night hoping that it doesn't sleep as I have switched off the ... I miss the word hoping you get it.
Cheers ! :)

My Wise-Assed answer is keep as many as is necessary to recover from a “stupid user mistake”. You have no way of knowing but zI have gone back as far a as 6 Monthe to correct erased keywords from over 2000 images.
I used to go back and manually clean up my backup folder. More recently I have a dedicated volume that holder only backups. It is on an aging drive that I dare not put anything critical as the disk is well passed it’s “expire date”
Thank you clee01I for the comment.
That is a good idea ! I can use an old LaCie disk which is dragging in the garage !
Thank you ! Cheers ! :)

Another shot to colorize the thread
 
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Jimmsp

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I understand now what you are doing.
I sort of did the same thing when I wanted to overhaul my keywords. But I just used the master catalog, picked out a year via the filter, and then went at it.
I saved all the re-import time.
I just started with the most recent year, and worked backwards in time.
And within some years, I also sorted the better photos first, as that what what I found myself looking for most of the time when I did searches.
BTW, my master catalog has >143,000 images in it as of now. Not all are keyworded; but all the best and better ones are.
 

Antonio Correia

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Thank you Jim for your comment ! :)
I have only 54.000 photos but many they need to be erased.
None without keyword. All with Metadata.
Conditions may vary with the yearly merged catalogues.
 
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Zenon

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I have only one catalogue and you can make me change.
 

Antonio Correia

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Zenon, I am sure that one should have several catalogues under different subjects or whatever you want to call them.
The problem may reside in their up-date. From time to time we add one or more images to a catalogue and then, we should be up-dating it.
I wonder if the program allows the old catalogue to be replaced by the new one. I don't know, so far.
Or even just adding the image file and the *.xmp file to the folder where the Images are is enough... Something to try later on.
 
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