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Preserving edits

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stevemoorevale

New Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2019
Messages
20
Lightroom Version Number
12.3
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
Hi.
Sorry for what’s probably a stupid question.
I’ve never trusted a catalogue based photo software to keep my edits safe. I’ve had a few occasions in the past, especially when I used to use photo mechanic as part of my workflow, where I would go back to files in Lightroom and all my edits are gone. I’m aware this is to do with how metadata is being handled.
For several years now I have always saved my finished files as a tiff to make sure my edits are preserved whatever happens but that’s a lot of extra files over time and most photographers I know just edit the raw and move on when done. Are there any best practice tips anyone can offer to make sure I can trust Lightroom to keep my edits on the raws so I don’t have to export a tiff? I do regular backups so I guess I can always load a previous catalogue if I lose some edits.
 
Hi.
Sorry for what’s probably a stupid question.
I’ve never trusted a catalogue based photo software to keep my edits safe. I’ve had a few occasions in the past, especially when I used to use photo mechanic as part of my workflow, where I would go back to files in Lightroom and all my edits are gone. I’m aware this is to do with how metadata is being handled.
For several years now I have always saved my finished files as a tiff to make sure my edits are preserved whatever happens but that’s a lot of extra files over time and most photographers I know just edit the raw and move on when done. Are there any best practice tips anyone can offer to make sure I can trust Lightroom to keep my edits on the raws so I don’t have to export a tiff? I do regular backups so I guess I can always load a previous catalogue if I lose some edits.

Lightroom is designed to be non destructive. The adjustments are saved in the catalog file (which is a database file). An RGB image is created from the RAW data and the edit adjustments are applied to the RGB image. Nothing happens to the original file. If you want a file containing an adjusted image, you create a derivative image. In Lightroom, this process is called Export and the out put format can be a TIFF, JPEG or any other supported RGB image format.

The Lightroom catalog stored your last image adjustment instructions and a history of ALL adjustments. Virtual Copy is a method to save in the catalog file multiple versions of the adjusted Original Image.

In Lightroom, you do not need to Export a derivative for every image, only those images needed elsewhere, like a Webpage, slideshow or email.

The best practice I can recommend is to install and run a system backup application on a schedule. For WindowsOS I would recommend Acronis. As this is a true versioned backup for all of your critical files for recovery WHEN your disk drive fails. The process called “Backup” on exit of Lightroom is really a snapshot copy of your Lightroom Catalog file And useful should processes corrupt your master catalog and fro recovering from “stupid user mistakes” which we all make. If you make a LrC backup every day or every exit, you will never need to recover more than a few adjustment, or other change that you may have made in the Lightroom Catalog.


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Hi.
Sorry for what’s probably a stupid question.
I’ve never trusted a catalogue based photo software to keep my edits safe. I’ve had a few occasions in the past, especially when I used to use photo mechanic as part of my workflow, where I would go back to files in Lightroom and all my edits are gone. I’m aware this is to do with how metadata is being handled.
For several years now I have always saved my finished files as a tiff to make sure my edits are preserved whatever happens but that’s a lot of extra files over time and most photographers I know just edit the raw and move on when done. Are there any best practice tips anyone can offer to make sure I can trust Lightroom to keep my edits on the raws so I don’t have to export a tiff? I do regular backups so I guess I can always load a previous catalogue if I lose some edits.
If you make a catalog backup each time that you have worked on one or more images, then there is little reason to ‘burn’ edits into an exported copy as well. What you can do is automatically save edits to XMP as well. Some people do this as an extra backup, in case Lightroom crashes and corrupts its catalog before you could make a catalog backup after a long day of work, so you do not lose the work of that day but of only one image at most. Personally, I’m willing to take that risk so I do not do this myself.
 
I completely concur with the above comments. I appreciate you're on Windows, but for any Mac users that read this, we recommend Chronosync, similarly automated and will ensure everything is backed up (Catalog, photos,...)

For our off-site backups, we both use BackBlaze (of course, there are others)
 
Many thanks for your replies and it’s good you anll agree as that helps me a lot. Put of interest, with auto write to xmp switched off I get annoying arrows on my thumbnails telling me the metadata file needs to be updated. Clicking the icon will create an xmp sidecar file so do I just ignore those or is there a way to remove the icons?

I use a windows equivalent to chronosync tat backs everything up so I’m good there. Considered backblaze but it told meit would take about 7 months to back all my data up so I didn’t bother
 
Last edited:
Many thanks for your replies and it’s good you anll agree as that helps me a lot. Put of interest, with auto write to xmp switched off I get annoying arrows on my thumbnails telling me the metadata file needs to be updated. Clicking the icon will create an xmp sidecar file so do I just ignore those or is there a way to remove the icons?

I use a windows equivalent to chronosync tat backs everything up so I’m good there. Considered backblaze but it told meit would take about 7 months to back all my data up so I didn’t bother
Changes made to the metadata are always written to the Lightroom Database. These should reflect the current metadata for the image including Captions Keywords etc. When you export, you get the metadata for the catalog not the original file. When these are different from the metadata in the original , you get the message. This is not an error message just an informational message. You do not need to act on it and updating the file on disk will create an XMP sidecar file for Proprietary raw files or update the XMP metadata in non proprietary files.
I want to keep my original files original and do not want to create XMP sidecar files so I ignore this.
Personally I think this was a develop spec mistake on the original Adobe development of the Lightroom app. In the Cloud based Lightroom app the flag and message does not even exist. So IMO it was not important to begin with.
 
1) Backup your catalog and your image files to both a local disk other than the one where the active catalog lives AND to a cloud based service every time you do anything in LrC.

2) See #1

3) See #1

4) For a bit of extra security, turn on the "automatically Save XMP data to disk" feature (I don't recall the exact wording).

5) See #1

Oh, yeah. One more thing. Be sure to Backup your catalog and image files to both a local disk and a cloud service.
 
with auto write to xmp switched off I get annoying arrows on my thumbnails telling me the metadata file needs to be updated. Clicking the icon will create an xmp sidecar file so do I just ignore those or is there a way to remove the icons?
Whenever you make any change to an image (metadata or edit), the Metadata Status (seen in the Metadata Panel, EXIF & IPTC view) will change to "Has been changed". That status also means that the "Metadata has been changed" warning icon (down-facing arrow) is shown on the top-right corner of the grid and filmstrip thumbnails. However, that warning icon can be hidden by deselecting the "Unsaved Metadata" option in the Cell Icons section of the Grid View tab of the View Options menu (Ctrl+J).

Because I do not routinely save metadata to XMP, I always have that option unchecked.

Note that having that option unchecked does NOT prevent other metadata status warning icons being shown on the thumbnails (e.g. Metadata Conflict, Changed on Disk), which are potentially more of a concern so are always flagged.

Library_View_Options_and_LR_Classic_Forum_Test_Catalog-v12-2_lrcat_-_Adobe_Photoshop_Lightroom...png
 
Thanks for all the useful info guys. Great to know where that setting is Jim. I will sort that.

As for the cloud idea, as I said before i would love to use backblaze and did install it but I just have too much data to start with and would take far too long to upload it all. I currently run a 1-2-3 backup system with two copies of my data on site (raid) and one offsite and I back up my catalogue every time I exit Lightroom. I keep a few of those backups but I don’t let them build up so they take up tonnes of space.
 
I currently run a 1-2-3 backup system with two copies of my data on site (raid) and one offsite and I back up my catalogue every time I exit Lightroom. I keep a few of those backups but I don’t let them build up so they take up tonnes of space.
My workflow is a little different and under extreme circumstances might fail. I don't keep any cloud backup like BackBlaze. I found recovery from there was costly and the price was hard to justify with Disk space so cheap. I tried two different Online companies. One never delivered a promised MacOS multi Disk back that I need, the other stopped serving individuals to focus on businesses. I looked at BackBlaze but they could quit service individuals tomorrow too.

Instead I use Time Machine to back up ALL of my critical user data on all of my attached data disks to alternating Time Machine backup . A recent backup is never more than 30 minutes out of date. In Addition to that, I use Acronis (mentioned before) for a third local backup. I don't have a convenient local offsite back location so I choose to ignore that part of the "1-2-3" backup scheme.
RAID is not backup but only replicates the errors on one disk to another. You can not recover a user created mistake made 6 months ago from duplicate copies of the same data.
For the "backup" copies that Lightroom makes on exit, I have an old 500GB disk that is otherwise not used for critical data because of the age of the disk and otherwise would be discarded as surplus.. This I use to capture my Lightroom "backups". I let these accumulate until the disk is full before culling. This save house keeping. Should (When) this disk fail, I'll start over with a different discarded disk. I have had to resort to these Lightroom catalog backups only once to recover from a stupid user mistake that I made with keywords on over 2000 images. I had to go back 6 months to find a catalog file that did not have the error.
I live in Hurricane country (Texas Gulf Coast) so I my biggest risk for data is Flood and wind. I had flood damage to my home in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey but did not lose any computer equipment.
 
i would love to use backblaze and did install it but I just have too much data to start with and would take far too long
OK, so it takes 3 weeks to upload your entire set of photos to Backblaze, so what? It's not like you have to sit there and watch it all day. Just let it run and in a few weeks you're covered. Procrastinate about it for 3 weeks and you're right where you are now.

As an alternative, iDrive has something called "express" where they mail you a disk drive, you run their SW which copies your selected dirve/folders to the drive, and you mail it back to them and they put it in your cloud account. This is a free once a year service and includes prepaid postage both ways. Both BackBlaze and iDrive have a recovery option where they will mail you a disk drive with all your data which is quite a time saver if you have a HD failure.
 
OK, so it takes 3 weeks to upload your entire set of photos to Backblaze, so what? It's not like you have to sit there and watch it all day. Just let it run and in a few weeks you're covered. Procrastinate about it for 3 weeks and you're right where you are now.

As an alternative, iDrive has something called "express" where they mail you a disk drive, you run their SW which copies your selected dirve/folders to the drive, and you mail it back to them and they put it in your cloud account. This is a free once a year service and includes prepaid postage both ways. Both BackBlaze and iDrive have a recovery option where they will mail you a disk drive with all your data which is quite a time saver if you have a HD failure.
I get where you’re coming from but I have 6tb of data to back up and all the online calculators tell me that at an upload speed of around 5mbps it will take about 3 months to upload. And that’s if it’s all day every day. I’m not the bill payer and the one who is won’t be too happy with my pc being on permanently. Idrives solution is the best. I did look into whether backblaze does that but they don’t.
 
I've been using Crash Plan for many many years. they don't have a "mail a disk" option for getting data to them but when I started with them I didn't have all that many images. I have recently added BackBlaze to run in parallel with Crash Plan. I have around 4TB of images. I power down by sysems each evening and boot them up the next morning so BackBlaze is only running 2/3rds of each day. It took 6-8 weeks to get everything up to BB but now I never have to think about it. I check both Crash Plan and BackBlaze once or twice a year to verify that a recent file made there and can be recovered but that's about it. When I put in BackBlaze, I also installed iDrive (deciding which to use) and used their "mail a drive" option. Including transit time and about 36 hours to load the disk drive, all my data was in their cloud in about 8-10 days which was quite nice.
 
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