Friday, April 10, 2009

Get In Sync

Keeping files straight between your laptop and your workstation is a matter of technique. The D-65 group takes us through their highly developed procedure.

This Article Features Photo Zoom

in sync“I use a laptop in the field when shooting and a desktop at the studio/home for processing and management in Lightroom. If the ‘main’ Library and Catalog live on my ‘main’ computer’s external drive in the studio/home, how do I sync the Catalog on my laptop or other computers with the ‘main’ Library and Catalog?”

There are several ways to do this, and we’ll review them here. Most of them are rather confusing, but D-65 has found workaround solutions that work effortlessly and flawlessly. Your methodology for accomplishing this needed task will be dependant upon what you need to do on your files in the field.

D-65 Concepts For Synching
Concept One: You maintain your archive on your studio or home desktop computer. You have a shoot on location, so you’ll be bringing a laptop and external hard drive on location with you. You may do some work on the files you capture in the field, but your main goal is to take the images you captured in the field and bring them back to the studio, placing the images from the field onto the studio/home machine. In this scenario, you don’t need to or care about bringing your entire archive of images with you on your shoot.

Solution For Concept One:
1 The easiest and most reliable way to accomplish this is to bring a laptop and a hard drive on location. For absolute protection, we like to bring two or three external drives on location, duplicating the contents to all three drives just to protect against drive failure or theft or any other unforeseen circumstance.

2 Ideally, reformat the hard drive before the trip. We usually take LaCie Rugged Drives or SmartDisk FireLite drives, but any decent portable drive will do.

3 Before we leave, we create a new Lightroom Catalog on the freshly reformatted drive. We name the catalog yyyymmdd_Lightroom_Catalog.

4 We shoot the job(s) on location and import to the portable drive into a folder named yyyymmdd_jobname. Our external drive will then have a Lightroom Catalog and a folder of images from that job.

5 We tweak our files in the field and apply metadata and keywords, edit out those we don’t want, rank and essentially accomplish as much as we can.

6 Verify that in Lightroom’s Catalog Settings > Metadata you have checked Automatically Write Changes into XMP. If you don’t have that checked in your Catalog Settings, after you’re done tweaking all your files, select them all in the Library Module Grid Mode and choose Save Metadata to File (Command S).

7 We return home and plug the external drive into our main computer at the studio or at home.

8 We start Lightroom on the main computer and choose Import from the lower left-hand corner of the Library Module. We select the folder to import.


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