Adobe Photoshop Lightroom since it was launched has been a great tool for photographers in speeding up organising their sometimes vast collections of photographs and also in simplifying their workflows regarding editing raw files, printing, slideshows for clients and even preparing web galleries quickly and easily.
Lightroom’s ability to allow the photographer to quickly apply all of the common photo adjustments such as white balance, contrast, levels, saturation, noise reduction, sharpening and many more advanced controls to their large collections of RAW files, through Metadata, without creating large Tiff files using the normal Photoshop edit route has been very much welcomed by photographers.
I use Lightroom 3 for importing, editing and printing my photographs and have been very much impressed with its quality when adjusting and printing with my Nikon D3 and D300 RAW files but Adobe market this program as a “DAM” or Digital Asset Management program and here, in my opinion, it has one major flaw where it falls short on delivering and that’s backups of your photographs.
When you insert a memory card into your card reader Lightroom opens up its import dialogue box which gives you options on, for example renaming files, where you want to put those files on your harddrive, apply keywords etc and there is an option for “backup to a second location”.
It’s this limitation that I want to talk about.
Backing up files at this point is, in my opinion, not productive and here is why. After ive imported my photographs to my computer, I then use Lightroom to sort out the ones I want to keep and the ones to delete. I then use Lightroom to delete those “rejected” files from my main master library, but, and here is the problem, If i had created a second backup at import stage, the files that I delete from my master library will not get deleted from the backup location as Lighroom does not have an update or synchronise backup feature built-in. I then need to manually edit my backup files and find the same files and delete them which is time-consuming to say the least especially if like me you have multiple backup locations
At this point everyone will say, there are third-party solutions to that problem and I agree. I use Carbon Copy Cloner on the mac to synchronise my 3 backup hard drives to my main library so problem solved, but couldn’t Lightroom have a similar feature built in? Apple’s Aperture program, which is a direct rival to Lightroom, has this synchronise backup of your photo library to multiple “vaults” feature built-in. you just turn on the backup drive and click “synchronise backup”
Lighroom actually lets you backup / update the very important library file (where Lightroom stores all your editing information for each photo) on startup or shutdown so why not your photographs?
So for Lightroom 4, come on Adobe please add a “Synchronise Backup” solution and make it almost the perfect one stop program for photographers.
Thanks for taking the time to read and if you have any comments on the matter please, I would love to hear them.
Bye for now