Lightroom and backup strategy

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dunmail, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Dunmail macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2009
    Skipton, UK
    Not totally sure if this is the right forum - it could go in the hardware/peripherals forum as well. Apologies if it should.

    Just waiting for my first Mac to be delivered (24" iMac) which will mainly be used for photography work (as well as web surfing, etc :eek:). I'll be running Lightroom which I understand can be setup to backup shots to another drive when importing.

    What I intend to get are two external drives, one is my photo-backup, the other will be used for Time Machine which will also perform backups of my pictures folders and the catalog info.

    Is this a suitable strategy? Might look at burning to DVD as well.
  2. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    Depends on how anal/safe you want to be.

    The solution you mention would be great for drive failure; if your main drive dies, you have a backup of the photos, plus a Time Machine backup, which presumably also has your photos on it. Unlikely that you'll have three independent drive failures.

    But for really complete backup, which is especially important if your photos are your business, you'll need offsite backups too. This protects you from fire/theft/flood/etc.

    My backup strategy is simple: the RAW files from each shoot get burned to DVD (but not stored offsite), and my Lightroom catalog and the masters get periodically backed up to an external drive. Not fool proof, but at least I have three copies of my RAWs (internal iMac drive, DVD, and external drive), plus two copies of my edits (via the Lightroom catalog on the main drive and on the external drive).
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You are very close.

    Any backup system then follows both of these two rules will work for you

    1. The data must always exist on at least three different physical media and
    2. The data must always exist in at least two different geographical locations

    THe above must be true even durring a backup operation. So if your system eases a drive before copying data to it you need four copies. If a drive is to fail it will likely be durring a backup, after the erase. Because backing up you data puts more stress on the drive then anything else you might do do it. Same with rule two, it must apply durring the backup too. Make the off site copy before you bring the old ofooof site copy home, so there is always one at the off site location.

    I have several hard drives used for backup. I rotate them keeping one near the computer, one at my office and another in a fire safe in a different room. In addition I use Time Machine. Every year or so I replace the oldest and smallest disk drive with the latest one I can get.

    You have to look at the reasons why people loose data. The big one is theft of equipment. Then fire/flood. But #1 is operator error or corrupted files.

    The best backup software, like TM does not over write old data but keeps adding changes to a baseline, so you can always go backwards. TM is the first backup software I've seen that makes this easy to understand for the average person. Before TM most people make simple "clones" of their disk because it was conceptually easy. If a file is corrupted you do NOT want to write that bad data over older good version of the file. Cloning does just that, incremental backups don't.
  4. Dunmail thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2009
    Skipton, UK
    Hmm. Offsite storage would be the garden shed which in the case of the house burning down would get flattened by the fire brigade:rolleyes: Probably better to have an encrypted drive at work or similar, back it up weekly or monthly. As a home user it would be a bit OTT to get a dedicated line to some storage facility.

    I know what you mean about safety though. I had four backups of my college dissertation. The working copy then became corrupted just two days before it had to be handed in and I couldn't save it. Every single backup was also corrupted :eek: Took me a long time to track down the fault and get everything back.
  5. SicMX macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2009
    The topic is old but backing up is always relevant.

    My photos are backed up as follows:

    1. Time Machine backup whenever my MacBook Pro is docked at home

    2. SuperDuper backup to external HD

    3. MobileMe. This one I just started as my offsite backup. I've manually backuped up the folders in lightroom by exporting them to high quality JPEGs, straight to my iDisk. Only have 20GB on MobileMe so can't upload RAWs
  6. jr24 macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2010
    thanks for bumping this, SicMX, as i just got a new computer and have been wondering about the best ways to backup my photography and other things.
  7. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    One thing to note about the LR catalog (and the Aperture catalog if I remember right) is that it is usually one huge file, and any change you make in LR or AP updates that file. So say the catalog is 6GB, and you make an edit to a picture, Time Machine will re-backup the entire 6GB catalog. This chews through TM HD space very fast. I don't know how it is now but I remember in the past that Apple specifically recommended to exclude the Aperture library from TM.

    Also I remember part of the issue was that TM would try to copy the file while you were working in LR or AP, and causing problems with the file being updated as it was copied. Not sure if this was eventually resolved with updates to TM logic or newer versions of AP.

    I exclude my LR backup from TM, and let its own weekly backup take care of preserving the catalog onto an external. This way I am not always re-copying a multi-gigabyte file onto my TM drive every hour.

  8. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    Pictures go directly from Camera to 1.5 TB X 2 NAS. Also have 2 1.5 TB external drives that are used to back up the NAS from its onboard USB port. One drive is in my office in a Pelican case and the other drive is on site at my house. Every week I take the local external hard drive and do a back-up between it and the NAS then carry it to my office and I bring home the other drive.

    At some point I'm going to get another NAS and keep it at my moms house and try to set up an rsync between my local NAS and the off-site NAS if possible.

    I just wish Apple would wise up about Blu-Ray, its not a bag of pain if you want to use it to back up terabytes of data onto optical media. What is a bag of pain is trying to use single layer DVD's to do the same function.
  9. SicMX macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2009
    Is it possible to make Lightroom export many folders at once?

    I have my photos categorized into yearly folders, like this: First the year so e.g. "2009" and inside that folder i have the events that i've photographed in 2009 so "2009.01.01 Event 1", "2009.01.02 Event 2" and so on...

    Therefor my question: Is there anyway to export the whole "2009" folder into, say iDisk, so that it will keep the sub-folders intact? (export as catalog does not work in my case as i don't want to export the original RAW files, only almost fullsized JPEGs to save space on my iDisk)

    Not sure if this was very clearly explained :)

    EDIT: Never mind found a plugin for this!

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