Category Archives: Lightroom

Lightroom catalog backup

Here’s a few tips on backing up Lightroom catalogs.  It’s reprinted from a post I made on a photo message board.

I must have missed the discussion about backing up Lightroom Catalogs. Why isn’t Time Machine a good method?

The problem occurs if the catalog is backed up while still open. If the database (the .lrcat file) is changed during the backup, then it may produce a corrupt backup. You would not know unless you tried to restore from the backup.

Apple may have fixed this – they did for Aperture, as I understand it. The fix involves not backing up the database while it’s open.

Even if that’ s fixed, however, there could still be problems for people, depending on how you use the program. Perhaps you leave Lightroom open most of the time, and there is limited opportunity to do the backup in the background.

The best method for backing up Lightroom has a few components.

Look3 this Week

I have the honor of making a few presentations for Adobe this week at the Look3 Fesitval in Charlottesville. If you haven’t been, it’s a really great few days of peace, love and photography, in the center of beautiful downtown Charlottesville.

The program started as a back yard slideshow at National Geographic photographer Nick Nichols’ house a couple decades ago.  (I was fortunate enough to attend one of these, and it was a blast.) It has turned into a premier city-wide event, with exhibitions, presentations, and a really amazing group of slideshows projected at the Pavilion. If you haven’t been, I strongly suggest it.

I’ll be presenting some Lightroom and Photoshop Kung-fu on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, which are free to anyone with a Festival Pass, Student Pass, or Big Love Pass. Here’s the description page.



DAM/Lightroom programs in Boston and South Carolina

I’ll be presenting several programs this week and next. Boston the 24th and 25th, and South Carolina June 2nd and 3rd.

On Wednesday the 24th, I’ll be going a general DAM program, lecture style. This is the lecture I developed for dpBestflow, and it outlines workflow theory, storage concepts, and where to find lots of free information on these subjects. The program runs from 6-9pm, whith possible extra credit time allowed tfor people who know the magic words, “Can I buy you a beer?” Program is $10

On Thursday, we have an all-day Lightroom workshop limited to no more than 20 people. Lots of basic, intermediate and even advanced Lightroom material covered here. $149.
Signups for both here.


Next week, I’ll be doing a pair of programs sponsored by ASMP South Carolina.

The  first is a four-hour lecture-style program, outlining a complete Lightroom workflow from card to archive. This is a start-to-finish workflow demonstration.

The following day, we have a much smaller program, limited to 12 people, presenting Lightroom in a workshop setting.

Signups and pricing here. is live

For the last couple of months, I’ve been working on a project to help African photographers put their photos and multimedia into the world marketplace. is a free online learning resource, geared to professionals and aspiring professionals in the Majority World.  It was funded by World Press Photo and the Dutch Postcode lottery.  The project was run by Dave and Rosanne Larsen at Africa Media Online.

There is a comprehensive set of learning resources here, including help for business basics, marketing, business practices, as well as technical information.  Dave, Rosane and Dominique LeRoux were in charge of the business, sales and marketing materials. D.J. Clark produced a great section on multimedia production, Graeme Cookson provides background on imaging technology, and I wrote about Lightroom and how to create a safe and cost-effective digital photo computer system.

The entire project will look familiar to those of you who have seen dpBestflow, since it is powered by the same Drupal software that used over there.  It’s hard for me to see how we could have created this project without the generous support of ASMP. They contributed the use of their Drupal customizations, and paid for the work by Context Solutions, the excellent development team that worked on the site as well as

Here’s the first movie in the Lightroom lesson plan: it outlines some of the creative possibilities offered by Lightroom in image adjustment.  I’ll provide more background about the project, the material and the team in future posts.

This movie shows “before and after” examples of photographs adjusted in Lightroom. It is part of the extensive and free training resources on

Palm Springs Photo Festival March 27 – April 1

Once again, I’l be headed to Palm Springs for one of my favorite yearly photographic events, the Palm Springs Photo Festival.
I’ll be teaching 3 classes – a Lightroom workflow class Tuesday and Friday, as well as general DAM program Thursday. Schedule here. (Thanks to ASMP for sponsoring the dpBestflow/DAM program).

I love this workshop for a number of reasons. It’s a beautiful place of course, and the end of March can be a nice time to get out of the east coast and into warmer weather. It’s a laid-back event that seems to cover the entire downtown. There are a surprising number of industry luminaries who attend each year, so it’s a great place to network.

Mostly, I think, I love it because it’s really about photography, and not just the techno-weenerie that I spend so much time immersed in. There is a ton of inspiring work to see, and great presentations from many different corners of the medium.

I have a little more spare time than usual at the festival this year, since I’m scheduled from Tuesday to Friday. I’ll be available for consultations, if anyone is interested.

On Friday April 1, I’ll head out to Chicago for the last presentation of Strictly Business 3, ASMP’s excellent weekend-long business and technology mind-fest. If you are on the fence, I strongly suggest making time for this event. This is particularly valuable for photographers who are facing a changing business model, changing marketing landscape, and who are considering the need to add video and multi-media to their services mix. (In other words, pretty much all photographers).

Lightroom presentation at SB3 tomorrow

Adobe has asked me to make a presentation on Lightroom at Strictly Business 3 tomorrow in Philadelphia. This is free and open to anyone registered for the weekend program.  I’ll be showing some of the cool new stuff in Lightroom 3, including some of the most valuable features I use on my work.  I’ll also show some of the new Photoshop features.

The presentation is from 8pm until 9 pm Friday the 25th.

If you are on the fence about coming to SB3, I’d like to encourage you to take the plunge.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Editor’s Note: This post was created more than a year ago, and was lost to a blog hack.  Thanks to John Beardsworth for helping to sort out the hack, as well as a more recent one that we’ve been battling for the last month of so. The recent July 4th holiday has prompted me to bring it back out.

Every now and then, I get to work on a project that I’m really proud of – something that is really important.  I consider the virtual Vietnam Veterans Memorial to be one of the best. I was commissioned by to make a digital representation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. They wanted to provide a way for everyone to experience the power of the wall, regardless of their ability to travel to Washington. And they wanted to let visitors leave behind comments and photos, in the same way visitors do at the real wall.

When you click on the name of any person on the wall, you get some information about that person, age, hometown, rank, cause of death. You also get the opportunity to upload comments or photos to the record of that person. In this way the wall becomes more than just a list of 58,000 names – it becomes a record of 58,000 individuals. The tragedy of war, and the depth of the sacrifice of the individual soldier is made all the more real when you see the comments of family, friends, and comrades left behind.

Tips on navigating the site and more on the project after the jump.

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