When I travel, I need to be able to work on my photos in LR4 on my laptop (Mac) and then transfer back to my desktop when I get home. In Aperture this was simply a matter of copying the App Library back and forth.
Can this be done in LR4
That's correct. Do you know how to find the catalogue and are your images (a) easy to gather and (b) small enough to fit on the laptop?
There is a difference IF you were using Aperture with managed files. Is this relevant to you? If so I'll explain more - basically all photos in LR are "by reference".
There are 2-3 alternatives:
- always keep photos and catalogue on an external hard drive
- copy the catalogue and photos using Finder
- File > Export as Catalog
This last one is my preference. When I go on the road, I select a bunch of photos I want with me and Export as Catalog. I tick include previews and include negatives (originals). This produces a folder containing everything I need - a catalogue containing just those images, the images themselves. I move that folder onto the laptop and go. At the end of the trip, I bring this back onto my desktop, open my main catalogue, and run File > Import from Another Catalog. LR then brings in any changes made on the laptop and ties them back to the originals.
If I am travelling and upload my photos from the camera to the laptop first to work on them, can I simply import from another catalog onto the desktop to merge them with the main catalog when I return?
I use LR on two different computers, but cannot predict which one, nor which photos, so I use an external drive with my photos and catalog, ready to plug in to either computer. Any time copying photos is overnight to my backup location, when I’m asleep.
And one lasat one before I forget - if, while working on the catalog on the laptop, I delete photos I don't wantb to keep, will they also delete from the main catalog when I re-import onto the desk top
"if, while working on the catalog on the laptop, I delete photos I don't wantb to keep, w..."
No, so do something like use a colour label. Mark the image as yellow on the laptop, and it'll show up yellow after you do the File > Import as Catalog.
By the way, you are able to do that Export - Import roundtrip without moving the pictures themselves. Providing LR has the previews, you can see them on the laptop and apply metadata - but you can't run them through Develop or output them in a meaningful way.
Assuming you followed my Export as Catalog" advice:
"What did I do wrong??"
Possibly forgotten to tick the "Include Negatives (originals)". In which case you can add metadata but not do Develop work.
Alternatively, you moved the images in Explorer/Finder or they're not quite in the same fodler structure. Right click the folder, and Update Folder Location.
Focus on that point about "Include Negatives (ie originals)". If you tick it, the folder created by Export as Catalog will include a set of subfolders containing copies of the originals, and you just move the whole lot over to the laptop.