Stay Organized — Name Your Lightroom Virtual Copies

If you want different versions of an image, such as with different crops or both a black and white and color one, you can create virtual copies in Lightroom.   These aren’t duplicates of your file — you will still just have one file on your hard drive, but multiple sets of Develop instructions for that file.  To create a virtual copy, right-click on your image and select Create Virtual Copy.  In the filmstrip you will see that the virtual copy has a turned-up page corner (if your filmstrip is big enough), and that Lightroom automatically stacks (links) the two together. You probably already knew all that, but did you know that you can name virtual copies? 


Avoiding Lightroom-Generated Headaches and Heart Attacks

I get emails from around the world  from people in panic-mode over Lightroom-related issues.  Some of these can be easily cured, but sadly, some are fatal.    I do consulting in-person and over the web and phone/Skype, so you can always contact me to help you work through your issues (sorry, yes, that was a blatant plug), but I thought I would recommend some preventative medicine first.  It is a chance for me to pull together some older posts that you might not otherwise come across. Once you understand how Lightroom works you may think some of these are silly, but they are real misconceptions, and many real tears have been shed.  It is understandable, given that Lightroom works differently from other photo programs people […more]


Online Backups

Hi everyone, as you can well see, I haven’t had a chance to post to this blog for the past month.  I am helping a client with a very cool book project that I will write about soon.  I thought though that I would ask YOU a question in the meantime.   I have written about the importance of backing up both your images and your Lightroom catalog, to one or more external hard drives and/or an online backup service.  So the question is, if you use an online backup service, which do you use and why?  What does it cost, how much storage space do you get, and how easy is it to regularly back up your work?    Please share […more]


I Would Cry if I Lost the Work I Did Today: How to Back Up Your Lightroom Photo Library

(Updated 7/21/11) A reader pointed out recently that I have never written a post on the topic of doing backups — both backing up your Lightroom catalog and your images.  I was surprised by this since I agree it is a very, very important topic.  I checked back through the archives, and  indeed, he was right. Have you ever  thought (as I did today) that you would burst into tears or have to break open a bottle (before noon!) if you lost Lightroom work you did or images you captured?  If so, you are going too long between backups. Let’s first go back to a public library analogy for Lightroom:  if the stacks of books burned down but the card or […more]


Reclaiming Hard Drive Space from Lightroom

You may be using a lot more hard drive space with Lightroom than you need to be.  There are three major opportunity areas:  catalog backups, 1:1 previews, and deleting rejects. Catalog Backups My Lightroom catalog is about 500 MB.  (To see how large yours is, go to Edit>Catalog Settings on the PC, or Lightroom>Catalog Settings on the Mac.  The size is listed on the General tab.)  If I do a catalog backup once a week, that is 26 GB of catalog copies that I am adding to my hard drive every year.  If I do a backup every day, that is 182 GB per year!    It is important, therefore, to go in and clean out old backups.  I like […more]


What If Your Computer Doesn’t Turn On Tomorrow?

Could you keep working?  If the hard drive was fried, would you lose everything? This happened to me yesterday morning.  I don’t know what the problem is yet — I dropped the tower  off today at a repair shop.  In the meantime, I’m not in too bad a shape — for the most part I work off an external hard drive (actually a drobo).  It has my images, and both professional and personal documents.  I also have another backup offsite.  Unfortunately I had been meaning to transfer my latest working documents from my messy desktop to the external drive, but hadn’t gotten around to it.  They may not be lost, but that teaches me to keep that desktop clean, or specifically […more]

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