Monday, December 09, 2013

Too Trusting, Lightroom in a high Maintenance Mistress

I’m guessing it had to happen. I had indexed a few photos that where temporarily on my stora (a network NAS drive) and inadvertently left lightroom running. Over night my system evidently updated itself (and or the stora or internet router was reset) so that the computer had restarted and the stora had a found itself a new dynamic IP address. Other open programs like excel and the chrome browser had been reopened but lightroom had failed to open, and attempting to reopen it lead to a message that most of the folders in my catalogue could not be found.. As I started to look around many files had the previews obviously messed up and fragmented or the wrong image as the thumbnail preview I was also getting messages that a number of files where possibly damaged (yet in external checks they didn’t appear to be so). I had seen this before, so I was too worried. Then I realised a lot of ranking and most collections were missing. No problem I thought I had seen that backing up catalogue message many times, but in retrospect I had never checked my backup and probably was not backing up often enough, even though I had a number of backups stretching back a long time.

Open-mouthed smileThe Good news is that lightroom doesn’t edit your original files so everything is intact, including the files of the stora.

Sad smileHowever the changes I made in lightroom, ranking and flagging are now largely gone.

Sad smileThe various collections I had created were also just skeleton versions of their former selves.
The backup catalogue did have my recent data so I can’t explain why so much is missing. I do understand that the links to the items on the stora are now broken but the master copy of my photos are on the same external drive and the links seem fine just record of my the previous work is not there. It is possible that something has been unravelling without my noticing it and the overnight restart has just bought it to my attention?

Fortunately a few months ago now while investigating how to exchange my processing in lightroom across computers (not an easy task). Lightroom is selfishly a one user one computer style of gal. I had set lightroom to Automatically write changes to XMP, this save edits, ranking and metadata into an xmp side car file written beside each image. This way any files edited or “managed” on a laptop would get the same edits and ranking when the directories containing them where copied to my master collection and imported into the master lightroom catalogue (or any other lightroom catalogue). Otherwise the outlook is bleak because I just don’t know how much work has been lost and trying to recover it is a task I don’t even want to contemplate
Confused smileOne bit of true irony was that as I looked at the restarted computer, Adobe Flash dialogue box was on the top window saying an update was ready to load and with the offer to also load a trial of lightroom 5.2! I certainly hope this crude attempt at bloatware was not what caused my computer to reboot!

I know this probably has nothing to do with my hassles within creative cloud, or the hacking of adobe, but this is adobe’s third strike. I have to admit lightroom has always been a high maintenance mistress within my photo world and despite the good times we may have to work out other less restrictive but reliable ways to manage and process Raw formats.

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