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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.

Majority World

When we met in Mozambique to hammer out the structure of the Shutha project, one of the first tasks was to define the mission. Here’s what we came up with:

Free training for professional photographers and multimedia storytellers in the Majority World.

It was my first encounter with the term Majority World.  Although I had not heard it before, I instantly knew what it meant,  and could see a whole host of implications that the term carried. I bet I don’t even need to define it for you (but you can click here if you want to see a definition.)

Good language is like that – it helps you understand concepts, and puts things in perspective.  In many ways, the terminology sets the tone of the debate (Freeedom fighter v. Insurgent, Death Taxes v. Estate Taxes.) The majority of the world is not white, nor rich, nor American. And as a white “rich” American, it’s useful to see yourself in a world context.

Since I returned in February, any time I hear the term “minority” as applied to a person of color, I feel a real sense of irony. As the world gets smaller and flatter, it’s even more important that we gain perspective about where we fit in a global context.

Shutha Movie – A Brief History of Communication

I’ve been looking at my colleague D.J. Clark’s videos on the Shutha site and there’s some really interesting stuff. This one outlines the history of communication, starting with verbal exchange, through newspapers, radio, TV, internet, social communication and onward. I think it’s a fascinating presentation.

Many of the topics DJ covers here were important topics in ASMP’s SB3 presentations, particularly Tom Kennedy’s keynote presentation on changing media. There’s a whole lot more where that came from. Here’s a link to the Lesson Plan for multimedia production.

DJ Clark puts modern media in perspective in this short film. 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