Is there a way to copy "edit history" ?

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Birdbrain186

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As a precaution against "catastrophic failure" I have started keeping for backup purposes a duplicate copy of all my RAW files on different external drive to the "first copy" RAW files.

And as part of my "workflow", after making .jpg files from the RAW files, I then copy (using Windows Explorer) the RAW files onto the second external drive and then import those copies into LR. (As I'm unaware of any other way to get the "second copy" RAW files onto my LR catalogue)

My thinking being that even if one of the external HDs should fail I still have a set of RAW files I can then easily access via my LR catalogue to reconstruct jpg files if ever that should become necessary.

What I hadn't initially realised was that because my "2nd copy" RAW files are only recognised by LR as newly imported RAW files they therefore do not show the "edit history" of the original RAW files when viewed in "Develop" mode.
  • So, what I would like to know is whether there is any way I can get my "second copy" RAW files onto my LR catalogue so they show the full "edit history" as per my "original" RAW files?
Having asked this I do realise that for this to be a major problem I would need to have both lost .jpg files and also the "first copy" RAW files - which is a very unlikely eventuality.

However I am now thinking that if my "second copy" RAW files CANNOT reflect the "edit history" in LR, they will therefore be of little use in any event - and that it may in fact be a pointless exercise putting second copies of my RAW files onto LR.

So I would be grateful if anyone has any thoughts as to the merits (or otherwise !) of this procedure.

Many thanks

Mike
 
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On exit Lightroom offers to make a backup copy of the catalog. This is your first line of protection against catastrophic failure of your catalog and the disk drive that contains it. Of course this backup on exit need to reside on another disk (it does not do this by default). The catalog or a backup of the catalog is the only place the history of your edit adjustments are maintained.

The second protection against catastrophic failure of your image files is a system backup of your images AND the folder structure that Lightroom Classic need to find these originals or the back up copy.


What I don’t understand is why people try everything EXCEPT using a system backup app. System Backup apps are designed to protect and recover ALL of your critical user data. One is included with every MacOS system. There are many available for Windows and many of these are free.

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To keep the full edit history, the only possible answer is to keep a backup of the catalog, and know how to connect it to a backup copy of the raw images. The reason this is the only answer, is that the catalog is the only file where the edit history is stored. The edit history is not stored in any individual image files.

If you have a good backup of both the catalog, and the original images, and you keep those backups up to date, this should be no problem. If the original catalog and raw images are ruined for any reason, all you have to do is:
  1. Restore the backup of the catalog.
  2. Restore the backup of the original images.
  3. Make sure the catalog is linked to the folder structure containing all of the images; if not, relink it.
Once any exact copy of the catalog is connected to any exact copy of the folder structure of original images, it should all work.

This is the same procedure you should use to maintain all catalog-to-originals links when moving Lightroom Classic to a new computer; Lightroom Queen has a free ebook for that.
 
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And as part of my "workflow", after making .jpg files from the RAW files, I then copy (using Windows Explorer) the RAW files onto the second external drive and then import those copies into LR. (As I'm unaware of any other way to get the "second copy" RAW files onto my LR catalogue)

My thinking being that even if one of the external HDs should fail I still have a set of RAW files I can then easily access via my LR catalogue to reconstruct jpg files if ever that should become necessary.
I don't understand why you need a second copy of the RAW files registered in your catalog. In case of disk failure, you can always have LrC see the restored RAW files wherever they are. If the photo path is not exactly the same as before (say the drive letter has changed), you just need in LrC to relink the root folder using the "Find location" contextual menu. The history will automatically be attached to the new RAWs.
Having duplicate original is not a goof idea and may lead to confusion.
 

Birdbrain186

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Thanks each for your comments - which confirm what I had started to realise - i.e. that there is no point in keeping the second copy of my RAW files on my LR catalog.

Having decided to keep a second copy of my RAW files as an extra safeguard (in addition to already making regular backups etc) it just seemed logical to also have those copies also on LR - but, as Philippe has suggested this has already led to some confusion and waste of time in ensuring both copies exactly match etc.

Now I realise there is no way to copy the edit history to copies of RAW files anyway, I will remove the second copies from my LR catalog.

In my workflow after importing & making jpgs I will simply make second copies of my RAW files through Windows Explorer.
 
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Thanks each for your comments - which confirm what I had started to realise - i.e. that there is no point in keeping the second copy of my RAW files on my LR catalog.

Having decided to keep a second copy of my RAW files as an extra safeguard (in addition to already making regular backups etc) it just seemed logical to also have those copies also on LR - but, as Philippe has suggested this has already led to some confusion and waste of time in ensuring both copies exactly match etc.

Now I realise there is no way to copy the edit history to copies of RAW files anyway, I will remove the second copies from my LR catalog.

In my workflow after importing & making jpgs I will simply make second copies of my RAW files through Windows Explorer.
I overlooked the part where you were adding duplicates to your Master catalog. As I think you now understand, this is unnecessary and unproductive. Nothing beats a good system backup app for protecting your critical user data from the inevitable disc failure. I do hope you will employ one of the many system backup apps for your own peace of mind.
 

Birdbrain186

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Thanks Cletus; I know what you're saying (and have previously advised me ) makes good sense.

It' s just a task I haven't yet gotten around to doing (but should!)
 
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