import these files (by double clicking on the lrdata file) but I am concerned that if I edit them the editing will be lost when I go back to the original.
One should not import & edit smart preview files (the lossy dngs with names like 7/7FB5/7FB580F4-00BB-4C39-8DE5-C09490BA6CB8.dng), instead of the photos they "represent".
But if you do, here's how to transfer settings and/or metadata from imported/edited smart preview files back to the original photos which you should've edited in the first place:
o Note: you have to import the directly-edited smart previews into your main catalog when you get home (import from travel catalog, or save xmp first and just import files - either way works).
* Download and install RelativeAntics plugin (free by me).
* Choose 'Imported Smart Previews' preset (in plugin manager).
* Select the imported smart preview files.
* Run 'Relative Antics' (File menu -> Plugin Extras).
* Deselect all items in 'Define "Related" section, *except* 'Custom Relative'.
* choose whether to transfer develop setting and/or metadata..
* and do it - this will copy settings and metadata from the selected imported/edited-smart-preview to the photo which should have been edited in the first place (the "related" photo).
Thanks Rob - you have given me more help than I expected - great that you developed a plug in to help with this situation!
* the red text in the screenshot above is 180 degrees wrong - you select the imported/edited-smart-previews. - related photos (recipients of transferred settings) are the actual photos you want to transfer settings to, not the other way around like the red text says. Settings will be transferred from selected photos: those with the names like 7/7FB5/7FB580F4-00BB-4C39-8DE5-C09490BA6CB8.dng.. - I know it's kinda confusing..
* Make sure you don't build smart previews for the imported/edited smart preview photos (or if you do, discard them), otherwise it won't work without a tweak.
* 'Imported Smart Previews' preset is actually named 'Transfer from Imported-Edited Smart Previews (oops) to Original Photos' - sorry it's so long .
* After validating transferred settings and metadata, delete the imported/edited smart-previews (or at least remove them from your catalog).
In future, simply take the catalogue too, and you wouldn't have the problem you've caused yourself. This is what you should have done.....
Since smart previews were introduced, letting me see pictures even when the originals are unavailable, I've largely changed my travel practice and now take a copy of my master catalogue on an external drive.
I first make smart previews for recent pictures, pictures from the location (to give ideas and just in case I want to copy metadata to new images shot in the area), and best rated images. A smart collection gathers these 3 categories of pictures so I can generate the smart previews, and I then copy the master catalogue's smart preview folder and lrcat file onto my drive.
While I'm away, new pictures are imported into this catalogue, keyworded etc. I may change the metadata of existing images, sometimes do broad adjustments, create new collections, lay out a book etc.
After returning home, I copy this master catalogue and the new pictures back to my desktop computer. And that's it.
Thanks - good advice