Taking a catalog with me on a laptop to work on metadata, etc.

camner

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#1
I'm going away for a while and I'm considering taking my desktop LR catalog with me so I can work on adding keywords, etc. I will also be taking new pictures and want to import them into LR while I'm away.

As far as taking the desktop catalog with me, there are two ways of doing this, I think:
  1. Simply make a copy of my desktop catalog on my laptop, do whatever I want while I'm away, and then copy the catalog back to my desktop. I won't be taking the images themselves, partly because I won't have room on my laptop hard drive, and secondly because I don't want to try to develop images on a MacBook Air
  2. Export the desktop catalog with "export negative files" UNchecked and previews either checked or unchecked, depending on whether I have the space for the previews. I was thinking of taking the previews with me because obviously LR can't generate new previews if the images aren't there! If I take approach 2, I presume I import the catalog? Or will this end up with duplicate catalog entries?

What's the difference between these two approaches in terms of effectiveness (and minimizing the potential for disaster!)?

I'm thinking that as far as working with new images I take while on the trip, the best thing to do is to use a totally separate catalog on my laptop and then export that catalog with images and import into my desktop catalog.
 

clee01l

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#2
The Export as catalog is cleaner and there will be no significant difference in the catalog files. However. Even though you plan to not take the master images, you will want to take the Preview cache folder along with the catalog. If you do not include these previews, your image thumbnails and larger previews will show as a blank gray box. Adding metadata is probably not going to be possible unless you can actually see the image at least in thumbnail.

The easiest way to capture the catalog and the previews is to use the "Export as Catalog" function to create a package that can be ported to the MBA. On rerutning, I would advise reversion the process and use the "Import from Catalog" function to import the travel catalog back into the master catalog.

This is the approach that I take and it works well. Sometimes I'll even take some of the not finished master images to work on while away from the master catalog.
 

camner

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#3
The easiest way to capture the catalog and the previews is to use the "Export as Catalog" function to create a package that can be ported to the MBA. On rerutning, I would advise reversion the process and use the "Import from Catalog" function to import the travel catalog back into the master catalog.

This is the approach that I take and it works well. Sometimes I'll even take some of the not finished master images to work on while away from the master catalog.
When the catalog is exported back from the laptop and imported back into the desktop, do the catalogs get merged, or does the catalog information from the laptop overwrite the catalog info on the desktop. I'm asking because if it is an overwrite, then it is incredibly important that NO work be done on a given image on the desktop before the laptop catalog is imported back into the desktop right?

Or, to put it another way... Let's say the desktop catalog contains images A and B. If while the catalog is on the laptop I work (on the laptop) on B and on the desktop on A, will the catalog info about A from the laptop (which was not worked on) overwrite the changes made to A on the desktop?
 

clee01l

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#4
The "Import From Catalog" gives you three options when you attempt to import a "travel" catalog into the "master" catalog:
  • The best option is to create Virtual Copies. This will include a Travel version and a Master version of LR adjustments in the Master catalog. After the Import, you can at your discretion chose which set of adjustments to keep or delete.
  • A second option is to replace the Master adjustments with the Travel adjustments.
  • The third option is to ignore adjustments on the Travel Catalog.
 
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