When I am finished editing an image in Lightroom, what files should I have in my Library? I start with a RAW file or a tiff scan from film. I label that "A" as the archived file. I make a virtual copy to work on in the Develop module. When I am done, I save a file as a Print file with dimensions of the print. Since Lightroom is non-destructive, do I need to save any other versions? For instance, in Photoshop since the crop is destructive,
I edit an uncropped version and do the crop when I am working on the Print version. What should I have for the most flexibility over time in Lightroom?
I use Lightroom CC on a IMAC desktop. My photos are on a separate hard drive and are also backed up offline. Im running OSX10.9.4.
You don't need to make a virtual copy before you edit the photo (this is optional, but most people don't bother as its extra work with little or no benefit). EXCEPTION: If you are doing multiple crops of the image, you would need virtual copies in that case, created after all other editing is completed.
You can't "save" from Lightroom, you can "export". (It's a terminology thing) You would need to export a photo at the desired dimensions for printing, but there's no need to retain this exported photo, you can consider it temporary and delete it once the print has been made, knowing that you can always re-create it exactly from Lightroom if you need it.
So to answer the question in your title, all you need to retain on your hard disk is your original image (and in the EXCEPTION case where you have multiple crops of the image, you would retain the multiple virtual copies in Lightroom).
Thanks for your answer .... and so quickly.