Work with Lightroom Catalogs on the move

Lightroom CatalogsGood morning! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. 🙂

Some photographers work a lot on the move and they use more than one computer. They usually use a laptop on location and then a desktop at home/office. So how does Lightroom fit in here?

Lightroom allows you to split and merge catalogs so you could easily use two machines . There is also some work you can do on offline photographs (f.ex when you keep catalog and previews on your laptop but the images on an external hard drive and you disconnect the hard drive, you can still do some work on the images.

You can Export a part of your images as Catalog, which means you can take a folder or  a collection, and export it. Then you can create another catalog with these images. Lightroom will export the metadata and previews for you as well. Once you’re done, you can merge this catalog back into your main catalog.

To Export as Catalog, first you need to select the images you want to be exported. Then go to File -> Export as Catalog.

Export as Catalog in Lightroom

In the Export as Catalog dialog box, choose a location for your export.

One of the options you have when exporting images as a catalog, is the option called “Include available previews”:

Export as Catalog in LightroomThis option will export the previews of the images. If you don’t include previews, you will just see grey boxes instead of images in Lightroom when you import the catalog, so remember to include the previews (it should be checked by default).

Another option here (which is checked by default as well) will export the images – Export negative files – which means you will have copies of your original images.

Then you can transfer the catalog to any computer hat runs Lightroom 3 (f.ex. a laptop on location), and simply open the catalog by double-clicking on it or using File -> Open Catalog in Lightroom.

When you only export the previews and not the original images, there will be some limitation of the files, and we will talk about that tomorrow.

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