• Welcome to the Lightroom Queen Forums! We're a friendly bunch, so please feel free to register and join in the conversation. If you're not familiar with forums, you'll find step by step instructions on how to post your first thread under Help at the bottom of the page. You're also welcome to download our free Lightroom Quick Start eBooks and explore our other FAQ resources.
  • Stop struggling with Lightroom! There's no need to spend hours hunting for the answers to your Lightroom Classic questions. All the information you need is in Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ!

    To help you get started, there's a series of easy tutorials to guide you through a simple workflow. As you grow in confidence, the book switches to a conversational FAQ format, so you can quickly find answers to advanced questions. And better still, the eBooks are updated for every release, so it's always up to date.
  • It's Lightroom update time again and there's some big feature improvements as well as new lenses and bug fixes! See this blog post for Lightroom Classic and this blog post for the Lightroom Cloud Ecosystem changes.

Snapshots and Collections

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
272
Location
Alberta, Canada
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version
10.1.1
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
I am looking for an explanation of how Lightroom Classic (LC) handles these objects - Snapshots and Collections. In particular, I am interested in how much additional memory these take, either with the catalog or in my images location on my hard drive - where and how are these stored. The reason I am interested in this is that I already use Smart Collections to a large extent and I have just watched a few videos on Snapshots and have decided that I should probably start using these a lot more than I do.

Any insight that anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated.

WesternGuy
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
800
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
A Smart Collection is just a saved search, so it's a small database entry in the catalog.
A Snapshot is a saved version of the settings in the Develop module, so it’s also a small database entry attached to the original file’s record in the catalog.
A Virtual Copy is also like a Snapshot in that it’s a saved version of Develop settings, but instead of being attached to the original file, it’s a separate item in the database so it can be handled separately from the original file.
A Collection is a virtual list, like a playlist, so it also takes up almost no space in the catalog.

None of the above exist as additional files on your computer. That would happen only if you were to, for example, export a Virtual Copy or Snapshot as a new file.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
1,600
Location
Bay Area, California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
Both snapshots and collections are stored in the catalog database and take very little space. A snapshot is just a set of Develop slider settings, and the representation of the snapshot takes on the order of 5K - 10K bytes, which is 0.025% of, say, a 20 MB raw file. If you have a lot of brushing with the local-adjustment brush, the size might be a couple times larger, but it's still a negligible amount.

Similarly, a collection is represented in the catalog simply as an ordered list of references to photos contained in the collection , roughly on the order of 100 bytes per photo in a collection -- negligible when compared to the size of photo itself.
 
Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
1,167
Location
Palo Alto, CA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
As stated, none of the 3 (snapshot, collection, or Virtual copy) takes up more than a trivial amount of disk space in the catalog and no space outside the catalog (other than in backups of the catalog, of course).

I might refine the prior definition of a snapshot though. A snapshot marks a spot in the list of history steps from the develop module. It is just a marker and not a copy of the all the develop module settings although it can be thought of in that way. if you apply a snapshot it reverts all the changes to the state they were in when the snapshot was created and adds a history panel entry to the top of the list stating which snapshot was applied (reverted to).

As stated a (Regular) Collection is a list of images, like a playlist, so depending on how many images are in the Collection the amount of disk needed to hold that list in the catalog can vary but even giant collections can still be considered as consuming a small amount of space.

A VC (Virtual copy) is a new image entry in the catalog and would take up about as much space as would re-importing an image (but would not take up any space outside the catalog). The only initial difference between the catalog entry for the initial image and the VC is that the VC's starting point is the state of the original at the time the VC is created. In other words if the original image had 100 develop steps applied to it at the time the VC was created, the VC would have one that encompasses the net result of all 100 changes from the original. Both the original image and the VC, refer back to the original image file so there is no additional space consumed outside of the catalog. In addition, as both the original image and the VC both point to the same unmodified image file, "resetting" either one reverts the image to that of the original file as imported.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top