Lightroom Classic is a powerful photo editing and image organizing program that can help you take your photos to the next level. In this blog post, we will discuss how to save your work in Lightroom Classic including the different ways you can do this and the benefits of each method.
Before we discuss the different ways to save your work in this program, you need to understand that Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic will never permanently alter the pixels that you captured inside of your original digital image. Every time that you move a slider in Lightroom, to improve the appearance of your photo, you are simply assigning a new set of instructions into your Lightroom Catalog about the way that it should interpret the pixels in this file.
These additional instructions tell Lightroom Classic to make your photo appear brighter, warmer, or more saturated. Beneath the surface, these additional instructions are automatically stored inside of your Lightroom Catalog file. These additional instructions, and more, can also be written into your image files themselves as Metadata.
In addition, your file’s metadata can also include most of the descriptive information that you can add to your images using Classic’s Library and Map Modules. Essential organizational features like your copyright info, your keywords, star ratings, and captions are all possible types of metadata annotations.
How To Save Your Work In Lightroom
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic lets you decide when to save your work. Unlike most other programs, with Classic you have three choices that determine when and where all of your work is saved.
- You can choose to save your work only at the Lightroom Catalog level. This is the factory default behaviour but this option is not recommended. Sadly, relying on this method only can cause you catastrophic harm if your Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic Catalog ever gets deleted, corrupted, or destroyed.
- You can choose to save your work at anytime using the Save Metadata to File Command. When you activate this command, your changes will be stored inside of each individual image’s metadata block, or xmp sidecar file, in addition to all of the notes that are saved within your Lightroom Catalog (.lrcat) file. If you use this command, and if your Lightroom Catalog gets destroyed, then almost all of your hard work will survive. This method is better than the factory default but invoking the Metadata > Save Metadata to File command again and again is tedious.
- You can set your Preferences in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom so that all of your work is automatically and continuously saved for you into your image files as well as within your Lightroom Catalog database file. You can turn this “auto save” option on by enabling the Automatically Write Changes Into XMP preference switch inside of Classic’s Catalog Settings menu. This method is highly recommend for all but the most experienced Classic users.
Warning: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic is a great program but it is not a backup plan! Nothing in this program will help you if your hard drive fails and none of these different ways of saving your work will make any difference if you suffer a massive data loss disaster. For more advice on this vital topic please read our complete tutorial on How to Safeguard Your Photos and Your Lightroom Catalog.
Note: There are a few features of Lightroom that cannot be saved anywhere but within the Lightroom Catalog file. Features like Pick / Reject Flags, Virtual Copies, and Collections are not types of metadata. These three features are unique and the only way to insure that they survive a Catalog disaster is with adequate backups.