For many photographers, their organizational system depends on their Lightroom catalog. Just open up the program, type in a keyword in Text in the search field in the Library module, and LrC finds your images. But have you ever imagined what would happen if your LrC catalog failed? Say you never backed up your LrC database file on your computer to your external hard drives (have you? Very important to do!). Remember, backing up your images to an external hard drive is not the same as backing up your LrC database catalog file (Lcat file).
But even with over 700,000 images in our one Lightroom catalog, if Lightroom completely failed it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. I could still find images pretty fast. But that depends on two important things. First, I use Photo Mechanic in my workflow. And second, I use a simple intuitive file renaming and catalog system. My images are on an external G-Technology RAID 5 system. They are organized by year, with subfolders of locations and subject matter. Anyone could look at my file system and find images from Italy in 2012. They would quickly locate the folder in 2012 labeled Italy. Then, using Photo Mechanic, they could browse thousands of images in a few minutes because Photo Mechanic is so fast. In fact I often use this method to find images since it is so fast, no reason to wait for LrC to slowly find and render images when I already know approximately where they are.
So for those photographers who lose sleep at night worrying about LrC crashing and their catalog of images going down the drain, just know there is another solution that works…even with large image libraries. If you are interested in learning more about our workflow, consider joining our three day power workflow class that goes into details of efficient workflow both in the field and back home in the office. Have a great weekend!