Skip to main content

Lightroom Classic: Archiving Images

Lesson 13 from: The Streamlined Lightroom Workflow

Jared Platt

Lightroom Classic: Archiving Images

Lesson 13 from: The Streamlined Lightroom Workflow

Jared Platt

trending photo & video

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

13. Lightroom Classic: Archiving Images

<b>When you are done with your images, you need to know how to wrap up the collection into an archival collection.&#160; You never want to lose your images and you definitely don&#8217;t want to have to redo your work sometime in the future.&#160; This lesson will teach you how to archive your work from Lightroom Classic.</b>


Class Trailer



Lightroom Ecosystem Overview


Lightroom Ecosystem Image Delivery Details


Lightroom Introductions


Lightroom Application Names


Lightroom Classic Getting Started


Lightroom Classic: Importing


Lightroom Classic: Selecting


Lightroom Classic: Organizing Images


Lightroom Classic: Adjusting Images


Lightroom Classic: Cleaning Up


Lightroom Classic: Sharing Images


Lightroom Classic: Archiving Images


Lightroom Classic: Workflow Review


Lightroom Classic: Bonus - Cloud Files Location


Lightroom Classic: Bonus - Fixing Synchronization Errors


Lightroom Classic: Cleaning Up the Cloud


Lightroom: Introduction


Lightroom: Importing Images


Lightroom: Browsing Images in Local Storage


Lightroom: Organizing Images


Lightroom: Copying Images to the Cloud


Lightroom: Adjusting Images


Lightroom: Masking


Lightroom: Making an AI Preset


Lightroom: Synchronizing Adjustments and Masks


Lightroom: Sorting and Finding Images


Lightroom: Sharing Images


Lightroom: Archiving Images


Lightroom: Workflow Review


Lightroom: Importing Presets and Profiles


Lightroom Mobile: Workflow Introduction


Lightroom Mobile: Settings


Lightroom Mobile: Overview


Lightroom Mobile: Albums, Collections, and the Cloud


Lightroom Mobile: Importing Local Images


Lightroom Mobile: Importing Images


Lightroom Mobile: Albums and Searching


Lightroom Mobile: Selecting Images


Lightroom Mobile: Organizing Images


Lightroom Mobile: Archiving


Lightroom Mobile: Editing Images


Lightroom Mobile: Editing Across the Cloud


Lightroom Mobile: Sharing Images


Lightroom Mobile: Finding the Best Photos Feature


Lightroom Mobile: Presets and Profiles


Lightroom Mobile: Workflow Review


Putting it All Together


Lesson Info

Lightroom Classic: Archiving Images

1 It is now time for us to deliver 2 these images to ourselves. 3 This is the archive process. 4 We've already sent out JPEGs to either the client 5 or our parents or our friends, 6 or whoever we were delivering those JPEGs to. 7 We've already sent them to a published service to SmugMug 8 so that a client could order prints from them. 9 So essentially the images are delivered. 10 Now what I need to do is deliver them to myself. 11 I get them as well. 12 And so I need to decide 13 which images I wanna keep 14 and have access to all the time, 15 and which images just need to go to an archive 16 where they will just sit just in case 17 I ever need to get back to them. 18 So I'm gonna do that by looking at my favorite images. 19 And so I'm gonna keep these two images right here. 20 So my two star and my four star. 21 So I can filter for these 22 by clicking on the attribute 23 and just choose two star and above. 24 These are the two images that I actually want to keep 25 and maintain for...

myself. 26 Everything else I don't necessarily need. 27 So let's go through the process 28 of archiving in Lightroom Classic. 29 Now, the process of archiving inside of Lightroom, 30 the new version of Lightroom, 31 is gonna be vastly different. 32 And I'll show you how to do that later. 33 The process of archiving from, 34 say your iPad would be vastly different than this. 35 So this is a very unique way of archiving, 36 but it's actually the most rational way to archive. 37 So the first thing that you need to do 38 is go to the main folder of the job 39 or the set of photos that you have. 40 I'm gonna highlight all of these images 41 and I'm just gonna hit Command + S. 42 Or you could go up to file, 43 or sorry, metadata and hit save metadata to files. 44 Either way, Command + S or go to the menu, 45 save metadata files, done. 46 What it just did is it took all of the metadata 47 that's inside of Lightroom's catalog 48 and it shoved it to the files itself. 49 So if I go and right click one of these files 50 and show it in the finder, 51 you'll see that there is an X and P sidecar file 52 right next to it. 53 So here's image number three, 54 and here is the information 55 about what was in Lightroom 56 that made that image look the way it looks. 57 So that is your printing instructions, your adjustments, 58 your flags, your stars, 59 everything to do with that photo, 60 your keywords, all of it. 61 So that way it's kind of like your ultimate backup. 62 The other thing that you can do, 63 which I actually like to do a lot, is to make a DNG, 64 because the DNG actually includes both of these things. 65 It includes the original raw plus the X and P information. 66 So if you wanted to go that route, 67 you could highlight all the images 68 and go up to the photo menu. 69 No, let's see, yeah, library menu. 70 So you go up to the library menu 71 and click on convert photo to DNG. 72 When you do that, you get a dialogue box. 73 That dialogue box says only convert raw 74 because you don't wanna convert a PSD or a TIFF 75 or a JPEG to a DNG. 76 'Cause it's not a raw image anyway. 77 So just leave it as it is. 78 And if you hit at Command + S, 79 it saves the metadata into the PSD. 80 So any metadata you have, 81 like keywords or something like that 82 gets saved into the PSD. 83 Now, if you have stars and flags, 84 or if you have adjustments over the top of the PSD, 85 then it has to create an X and P file when you do that. 86 But when you create a DNG, 87 you're actually making a whole new file 88 and it doesn't make any sense to make a PSD into a DNG 89 because it's not raw. 90 Okay, so we only convert the raws, 91 and then you can either choose to delete the originals 92 after they're converted or you can keep them. 93 I don't ever delete 'em. 94 There's no reason to delete 'em. 95 File sizes aren't so huge 96 and disc size is cheap enough that, 97 or you know, disc storage is cheap enough 98 that we might as well keep 'em. 99 Besides that, I'm not converting all of these to DNG 100 just the ones I wanna keep, 101 and so I don't necessarily want to choose that. 102 File extension is just a choice between capital or small. 103 Compatibility, always keep it at the latest one. 104 JPEG preview is a medium size is just fine. 105 Always embed the fast load data 106 'cause it just makes the DNG better, faster. 107 Don't use lossy compression. 108 Why would you wanna lose information in the file? 109 And then don't embed the original raw file 110 because it makes the thing huge 111 and I don't think there's any point in it, 112 especially since we're not deleting the originals 113 after they're converted, and then hit okay 114 and it will convert 'em all. 115 I'm not gonna convert 'em all 116 because I will convert certain ones later. 117 So the next thing that we do 118 after we've saved the metadata to the files 119 as kind of like a last resort, 120 then I'm going to right click that same file, 121 that same folder, and I'm gonna go 122 and export this folder as a catalog. 123 It's gonna ask me where I wanna save it. 124 I'm gonna go right back to the same place. 125 So I'm going to the working drive 126 and I'm going down to this particular folder, 127 and I'm saving it as a catalog. 128 And I don't need to say what catalog it is 129 because it's part of this folder, 130 so I know what catalog it is, 131 and I don't need to save any of this information. 132 If you were trying to pass this entire catalog 133 off to somebody, like an external editor or someone, 134 you want to include all this stuff, 135 but you don't need to include it now 136 because all of this stuff is right here. 137 The negative files are right next to the catalog 138 and it can build or rebuild those previews 139 when you open up the catalog. 140 So don't worry about checking 141 any of these in the archive process, 142 and especially when it does this. 143 Watch, I'm gonna hit export 144 and it's gonna take like seconds. 145 Done. That's it, you're done. 146 You have saved the X and P files right next to the images, 147 so that's like a fail save. 148 Then you've saved the entire catalog 149 so that if I go back to 150 again, go back to the finder 151 and I look at this folder, 152 now there's a catalog there. 153 That catalog is everything to do 154 with this set of images. 155 So if I double click that, 156 it will open up a tiny little catalog 157 with all these images in it. 158 It's perfect. So that's the ultimate archive. 159 So now that we have that archived, 160 we have all of those images inside of this file, 161 this file is perfectly ready to archive. 162 The question of what you do with this file, 163 this folder that has all of these, 164 the selects, all the rejects, 165 all the catalogs, the X and P file is saved to it. 166 It's everything that you've done to it. 167 What you wanna do with that is up to you. 168 I don't hang onto it in my working drive 169 because my working drive would just get full. 170 And so I'm gonna take that 171 and I'm just gonna copy it 172 over to an archive drive for that given year. 173 So each year I'd buy an archive drive 174 that's big enough to hold enough photos for the year. 175 Usually nowadays it's about six terabytes 176 or eight terabytes because four terabytes, 177 those drives hardly exist anymore. 178 But a six terabyte drive will hold mostly 179 what I'm shooting all year. 180 And so I simply grab that file, 181 I drag it into that six terabyte hard drive, 182 that is my ultimate backup of those images. 183 Then now I have two copies, 184 I have one in the archive drive 185 and then I have one here, in this current drive. 186 So then all I need to do is decide what to do 187 with all of these images that I like. 188 And the best thing to do with images that you like 189 is simply sort by attribute. 190 Find the two images that you like. 191 And I'm going to hit the export. 192 So I'm gonna export them. 193 Now for the purposes of this workshop, 194 I have made a folder called archives 195 because I don't like to attach my archive drive 196 during a workshop because it's really loud. 197 It's a big spinning drive and it's loud. 198 And so it's got like four different archive drives 199 from four different years in it, 200 and they're all spinning and it's really loud. 201 So I just turn it on when I need it, 202 drag the stuff to it and then turn it off. 203 So I'm going to drag this 204 to a folder called archive on a different drive 205 that's a solid state quiet drive. 206 So I'm gonna grab this 207 and I'm going to copy it over to the archive. 208 So all of this information, all of the photos, 209 all the catalog just got copied to the archive drive. 210 Good. We're all set. 211 Now we have two copies. 212 Now, because I have an archived copy, 213 this old version, the original version, 214 I can do whatever I want with it 215 because the final version all of it is copied, 216 it's all archived. 217 Now I can do whatever I want. 218 I can delete anything I want. 219 I don't have to even pay attention 220 to whether or not I need to keep something 221 because the archive is secured. 222 So I'm gonna go back to Lightroom. 223 I'm going to go to... 224 The first thing I'm gonna do is go to the rejects, 225 highlight all my rejects, and hit the delete key. 226 It's gonna ask me if I wanna remove 'em or delete 'em. 227 I just wanna delete 'em. They're gone. 228 No reason to keep those. 229 The next thing I'm gonna look at is the selects. 230 Do I wanna keep these two? 231 Eh, I don't think so. 232 So I'm gonna get rid of these two as well. Delete. 233 And I wanna delete these from the disc. 234 So there's only two images 235 that I wanna keep for my portfolio. 236 And those two images, 237 I'm actually gonna convert them. 238 So highlight them, 239 and I'm gonna go up to the library menu, 240 convert them to a DNG. 241 I've already set all this up, hit okay, 242 it's gonna convert these to DNGs, 243 just waiting for 'em. 244 Done. Now these are DNGs. 245 If I go back to the hard drive, 246 you can see here's the self portrait, 247 catalog is still there. 248 The raw images are not, 249 I mean, it's just a raw folder with something in it. 250 That's why it didn't delete it when we removed it. 251 Nothing in the rejects folder, 252 and the selects folder has a Sierra3, a DNG, 253 and then this X and P is for this Sierra3, 254 and then there's a DNG as well. 255 So these two DNGs are the ones that we like 256 and care to keep. 257 So now I can choose what I want to do with these images, 258 and I have a portfolio drive right here, 259 and I would just simply grab these 260 and drag them into the portfolio drive. 261 But the portfolio drive is also loud. 262 And so I turn that on whenever I need it 263 and I drag stuff to it, 264 and then I turn it off. 265 And so I can still see the images in the portfolio drive. 266 I can still play with them, work on 'em. 267 They all have smart previews associated with them. 268 So I can work on images from the portfolio 269 without it actually being on, 270 but I do have to turn it on in order to drag these 271 to the individual year from the archive drive. 272 Sorry, from the portrait drive. 273 So for now I'm not gonna move them at all 274 I'm just gonna leave them inside of this folder. 275 So now that I'm finished with this, 276 if I was in a state where I needed to archive it, 277 I would have it labeled as blue, 278 but I'm gonna right click it 279 and I'm gonna label this thing as purple. 280 Anything that's labeled as purple is already archived. 281 It's totally available for me to do whatever I want with it. 282 And so I can either copy it to the portfolio, 283 I can just delete it completely 284 if I don't like the images at all, 285 because the purple means, 286 hey, you can do whatever you want with these 287 because they're archived, 288 they're delivered, they're yours. 289 You can do whatever you want. 290 And so these, I will just keep in this folder. 291 And then when I turn on my portfolio drive, 292 the next time I turn it on, 293 I'll just simply come up to the top of the folder area, 294 click on this little spyglass dropdown, 295 go to color labels and say, 296 show me everything that's purple. 297 And now I just need to drag all this stuff 298 over to the portfolio and delete anything 299 that I don't wanna keep in the portfolio, that's it. 300 The images that I have just chosen 301 and kept for myself delivering to myself, to my portfolio, 302 not only did I get rid of all of the dead weight, 303 but the cool thing about the way I just did all of this, 304 because Lightroom did all the work. 305 Lightroom got rid of the images. 306 Lightroom deleted the extraneous images. 307 Lightroom moved the images around inside of the hard drive. 308 Lightroom made the folders 309 when we made the selects folder 310 and the rejects folder, 311 and Lightroom converted the images from Sierra3 to DNG. 312 Lightroom did all that. 313 The cool thing is that all of these images, 314 if I go down to the collection 315 where we had the original Sierra3, 316 if I click on that collection, 317 these two images are inside this collection, 318 even though they are brand new DNGs. 319 See that? 320 So these are new DNGs. 321 It got rid of the old Sierra3 322 and just put 'em back in the folder 323 but they're not in Lightroom anymore. 324 And so Lightroom just converted these to DNG 325 and said, oh, well, since we're getting rid 326 of those other ones, we're gonna replace these two DNGs 327 inside of this collection. 328 So now my DNGs are still up in the cloud, 329 and if I go over to my iPad, 330 you can see that I've got these two images 331 that are DNGs inside of my iPad. 332 And you can even see right there, 333 image number 0003.DNG. 334 So it replaced all of the images in the cloud 335 that used to be raw Sierra3, 336 smart previews of them, 337 now they are smart previews of a raw DNG. 338 And as a result of those still being in the cloud, 339 if I had a website that I was sharing with people, 340 those images are still on that website. 341 Maybe some of the images that I threw away are gone, 342 but the ones I wanna keep are there. 343 If I put them on SmugMug. 344 SmugMug kind of keeps its own copy of things, 345 so it kind of protects things. 346 If you hit delete, it'll sometimes ask you, 347 do you wanna remove it from SmugMug? 348 Just say no, and that way the JPEGs 349 that are on SmugMugs stay there forever. 350 But all of your cloud access to these images 351 that you want to keep for yourself, stay there, 352 and all the ones that you deleted 353 because you don't care about them anymore 354 and you've already delivered 'em to the client, 355 or you've already given 'em to whoever wants them, 356 and you don't care about 'em anymore, 357 all of those have been pulled off the cloud 358 and thrown away to make room for more images 359 so that you're not just constantly crowding up your cloud 360 with a bunch of images you're not gonna use. 361 It's a great way to go.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Ratings and Reviews

Milena Marguenski

After giving up on Adobe long time ago (for apparent reasons). I decided to go back with my recent coming back to photography. I’ve been a heavy Photoshop user but never Lightroom’s. Since I signed up I was straggling to decide between the “new” Lightroom and Lightroom Classic. It was obvious LRC is more versatile but I loved the modern, cleaner look of the Lr. At the end I am a visual person :). Jared’s workshop made my decision easier and cleared up the question I asked Google repeatedly about managing Adobe cloud storage. A very comprehensive, easy to understand and fun course. Can’t wait to rearrange my 20+ years photo library. Thank you, Jared!


Jared Platt is the best educator when it comes to explaining how and when to use each program in the Lightroom ecosystem. He knows and explains extremely well the pros, cons, and tricks of using LrC, Lr, & LrMobile together. Most people teach each independently. Jared teaches in depth knowledge of how they interact --amazing!

Chris Lang

Student Work