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XMP Files / workflow and backup

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New Member
Jul 19, 2022
Paris, France
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  1. macOS 12 Monterey
I wonder if I do it right...(and already know there must be a better path...) ;)

I work with one big catalog.
My catalog setting is set to "Automatically write changes into XMP" (I shoot mainly Fuji RAF & Leica DNG).
Catalog on external HD#1, Raw files present in my catalog are on HD#2.

HD#1: Catalog and current project Raw file (SSD)
HD#2: All raw files that are present in my catalog (since 1999) (SSD)
HD#3: BackUp HD contains all raw file after culling and editing.
HD#4: safety HD, contains unedited, unculled raw files from the last 2-4 months depending on volume.
HD#5: always attached to Mac: Time Machine of the Mac itself plus HD#1 folder containing the catalog.

The reason why I'm asking is because of my workflow/backup strategy:
When back from at my computer, I copy from SD card to 2 external HD. (HD#1 and HD#4).
Then I cull and edit from external HD#1 (named Current Project).
When project is finished, and for each project, I have 4 collections: Selection, 1st choice, 2bd choice, All.
From Finder app, I then manually copy the folder"All" to external HD#3 (named "All Raws")
Within LR I move Selection, 1st choice and 2nd choice to external HD#2 (named "Originals").
Within LR I delete the remaining pictures (ie: the one that did no make it to Selection, 1st choice or Second Choice).

Concerning backup:
HD#1 is backed up using CCC upon mounting
HD#2: Full copy every year and storage to another place.

If something goes bad, am I right that I will be able to create a new catalog and import pictures that will be edited, keywords etc... ? (import from HD#3)
Using keywords and metadata, I don't really need to retrieve collection from backup, I use them mainly to cull and edit and then to sync with LRweb (to iPhone, iPad and little client sharing).

I am thinking about subscribing to Blackblaze or another unlimited cloud backup solution for Mac..

Sorry for the long post, if you have any thinking about my workflow I'll be happy to read from you.
You need to vigorously backup the catalog. XMP is fine as an extra precaution, but not everything is written to XMP, so that is no substitute for a catalog backup.
My understanding is that DNG files do not create XMP sidecar files.

Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
My understanding is that DNG files do not create XMP sidecar files.
That's correct, but with that option to "Automatically write changes into XMP" enabled, Lightroom will save metadata to XMP sidecar files for proprietary Raw files, and will save metadata directly into the XMP section of the file header of all other file-types, e.g. DNG, Tiff, Jpeg. So Johan's point remains valid no matter which file-types the user is using, as it's the same (incomplete) set of data that is saved in all instances.
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