Category Archives: Backup

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.

On preparation and a good team

I got back from the Palm Springs Photo Festival over the weekend, and like my previous visits, it was a wonderful experience. We had an interesting thing happen while I was there that illustrated the value of having good backups, and of having a great team in place.

Just before my second presentation, the power to an entire city block in the center of Palm Springs went out. I was scheduled to present in only a few minutes at the Hyatt. The hotel had emercency power to keep the exit lights and elevators running, but that’s it. I expected that my presentation would have to be canceled.

But the people who run the Festival are a group of really experienced photographers, assistants and producers, Within a few minutes of the blackout, they had a generator on site, and had strung a cord into the conference room in the hotel.  Without hesitation, they knew exactly what to do to keep running, and they did it.

The hotel managed to find some Coleman lamps, and voila, the show took place without a hitch. (Well, it was a little hotter and stuffier than normal, but you get the picture.)

Kudos to Jeff Dunas and his team for throwing one of the best photo events all year, and for dealing with unexpected glitches without missing a beat.

Presentation by camping lantern, Palm Springs Photo Festival.