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Moving Computers – Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom Icon
Adobe Lightroom Icon

It is always a pain to move to a new computer because there are so many files and settings that need to be redone for the user to really get productive again.

With this idea in mind I offer the following tips and advice in regards to moving an Adobe Lightroom User from one machine to another.

This guide is geared towards people who are technically proficient on the Windows operating system, but should be able to serve as a guide to those working in a Macintosh environment.

If you have any other ideas or tips please feel free to send them my way!

Transferring the Data

As any User of Lightroom knows, the Catalog and Image files are the heart of your work and business, and if you are moving to a new machine, you need to consider what to do with them as you move forward.

On the “C:” drive of Old Machine –

There are several of options available to you, if your original catalogs and Images are still on the main “c:\” hard drive of your old machine.

Transfer files across the Network

If both machines are still attached to a network, you can easily transfer the catalogs across, but that is going to take time, and chew up various network resources.

Remember, depending on the number of Images you have, your catalog directory could easily reach several gigabytes worth of data,in my case: Catalog: 12.7 GBs & Images: 261 GBs

Remove the old hard drive –

If you remove the hard drive, you have two basic options, but before you begin, backup your files on the old machine in your normal manner.

Install in new computer –

By simply taking the hard drive out of the old machine, and installing it into your new machine, is most certainly the easiest of the options, and also gives you a second HD spindle when dealing with I/O operations in Lightroom.

But before you remove the hard drive, be sure to check the compatibility of data interfaces on your new machine – Can the new machine deal with the older IDE interface?

An example I can give, is my new machines, that is based on the Asus Z87-Pro motherboard, which does not have any IDE connections.

Also keep in mind, that if you connect the old “C:” drive, and it wants to reinitialize for whatever reason, and you have not backed up your data…

External case –

This is another good alternative, and does give you the flexibility to move to different environments with little issue, and also gives you the additional spindle speed during I/O, but is subject to the port speed when you plug-in, assuming that the chipset on the external drive is the faster of the two.


There are three critical areas that need to be transferred to your new machine for it to work in a fashion that you are used to: Images, Catalogs and Preferences.

Images –

Do I really need to say more?

Catalogs –

As mentioned earlier, catalogs can easily reach several gigabytes worth of data, but does all that data need to be transferred to the new computer?

Again Users of Lightroom know, and unless they have change the default settings, the program will prompt you to do backups, which are located in a sub-directory of the main catalog directory.


By simply looking into the backup directory, one could easily save time and the amount of data that needs to be transferred, by simply cleaning out old unnecessary files, but this is completely user based.

Just check to see which “Date – Time” named directories really need to be moved.

Preferences –

Since this is most likely a new software install, none of your preferences will be in place, so where are those files located?

Like all other User preferences, they are stored in the operating system’s Users profile directory, that is hidden through the normal interface, that can be easily accessed with a little forethought.


Once you are inside Adobe Lightroom directory, it should be very easy to recognize which directories are most important to you.

In my case I transferred files from these directories onto my new machine:

Adobe\Lightroom\Export Presets
Adobe\Lightroom\Filename Templates
Adobe\Lightroom\Import Presets
Adobe\Lightroom\Keyword Sets
Adobe\Lightroom\Metadata Presets
Adobe\Lightroom\Smart Collection Templates

Once installed in the new directories, Lightroom should have no issue accessing the “.lrtemplate” files. (BTW – If you really want to be geeky, you can open up these files in a text editor and play with them to your heart’s content)


When I moved to my new machine, I used a combination of techniques described above.

On my old machine, the Lightroom catalogs and images were already located on an internal secondary SATA hard drive, so I just removed the old hard drive, and installed it into the new machine.

From there, I copied the images and catalogs (approx 275 GBs) to the root directory of my new machine, creating a new backup of the files.

Even across the SATA III bus, this still took several hours, and I could smell hard drive smoke. (just kidding!)

When I got to my preferences, I connected to my old machine across the network and simply copied the files into the associated directories.

From there, I reconnected the Lightroom catalogs to the local main image directory, now located on the root of my main “c:\” drive.

Finally, I rewrote my old robocopy script to include the additional external hard drive, that I added for redundancy in my backup solution.

  • HDD1 (1.0 TB) – Enhanced (WDC Black) (Live Data)
  • HDD2 (1.5 TB) – Seagate Barracuda 7200 – Backup 01 (Internal)
  • HDD3 (2.0 TB) – WDC Green – Backup 02 (External)

Some may argue, that having all my data on the “c:\” will produce bottlenecks, while I would agree in theory, I also have to wonder with my usage of Intel’s RST technology, reduces this as an issue.

I have also, set the cache files of both Lightroom and Photoshop, to the extra space left over on my Solid State drive, as mentioned in another post.

If you have any thoughts or ideas I’d be very interested in hearing from you.

Good luck!

- Andrew
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Cleaning Photography Tips

Camera Sensor Cleaning Links


Read about my Adventure in Cleaning my Camera Sensor.

I have been playing with the idea of cleaning my own camera’s sensor for some time, in doing so, I have been doing allot of reading lately, and put together this list of useful resources.

If you do decide to try this own your own, be VERY CAREFUL!

– Andrew
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Blogging How to(s)? Photo Journal Photo Restoration Photography Projects Tech Talk Tips

Restoration of Michael Moran

Michael Moran Restoration - In Frame
Michael Moran Restoration – In Frame

Over the past couple of days, I have been exchanging phone calls with a potential Photo Restoration client, and today I finally got to met Eleanor and my new project, Michael Moran.

From what Eleanor had told me on the phone, was the original was 16×20 inches, mounted into a new wooden frame some years ago.

When Eleanor arrived, the picture was packaged in bubble wrap and a white garbage bag, being especially careful, since it had rained lightly earlier in the day.

As we sat and talked, I reiterated that it was not very common for people to get pictures done because of the expense and time involved, let alone an immigrant of the 1800s, and especially at a large size!

“I have a call into my brother to confirm that Michael Moran was from Ireland. He married Mary Hughes here in the States. Four children were born and 3 survived to adulthood (one of which was my grandmother). He became the Head Farmer for the Cassatt estate until he died of pneumonia.” – Eleanor

We chatted some more, and when Eleanor left, I knew I was in for a really good adventure with this Restoration project!

The first thing that I wanted to do, was document what I was doing, just encase I was confronted with some issue as I progressed.


So, how was I going to get this thing apart?

Turing it over, I inspected how the internal frame was connected to the external picture, and I was able to find five (5) small nails holding the picture to the frame.

Restore Michael Moran - Connection Nails
Connection Nails

Thankfully, these nails were easily removed with a pair of needle-nose pliers and some careful tugs.

Once the exterior frame was separated from the interior one, the next element to be aware of was the large pane of glass, and when it was removed, and inspected more carefully, had several ripples as a sign of age.

It was also now possible to closely inspect the surface tears and map them to the backside of the frame.

Toward the middle of the image, there was this pair of tears, one going all the way through to the fiber of the cloth backing, and a strange blue mark:

Restore Michael Moran - Tears (Middle)
Restore Michael Moran – Tears (Middle)

and near the bottom of the image, there was this tear:

Restore Michael Moran Tears (Bottom)
Restore Michael Moran Tears (Bottom)

Note – You can double-click on the pictures to get a larger view of the damage.

Michael Moran Restoration - Surface Cracks and Water Stains
Additional Surface Cracks and Water Stains

Some of the damage appears to be simple cracks to the surface, along with other water stains.

Michael Moran Restoration - Top Edge Damage Detail
Top Edge Damage Detail

When looking at the edges, there is noticeable damage to the cloth used to connect the images to the frame.


I always have a concern when I am faced with a large print, especially of this size!

What also makes this digitization more challenging, is the fixed wood frame that the image is suspended on.

Most of the time, I encounter loose original prints that are not mounted, and with the condition of the cloth material, there was no way that I was going to remove this image from the frame for scanning.

The scanner I use, is an old Epson Perfection 4490 Photo, which I bought numerous years ago, and has a scanning bed of approximately 9×13 inches.

Another requirement of this project, was to scan the original to be Printed at 100%, which I knew was going to make for some very BIG files, but I had a plan, and hoped that my scanner was up for the task.

My solution, like many times before, was to break up the scan into four (4) sections: upper-left, upper-right, lower-left, and lower right, and then combine them into one image using Adobe Photoshop layers.

The final concern, and the most important, the scanners depth-of-field, which is exactly the same concept as with cameras, but with desktop scanners, the depth-of-field is very shallow, and the beveled lip on the edge of the scanner was not going to help, even if it was only 2-3 mm above the glass surface.

I lined up the first corner, leaving just a little break between the scanners capture edge and the edge of the print.

Once aligned, I placed a soft folded cloth on top, and then added some weights to gently and evenly press as much of the picture surface to the glass bed of the scanner as possible, and repeated three more times.


Once I had the four (4) quadrants scanned into 16-bit TIFF files, my next step was to combine the scans into one image, making absolutely sure that the images overlapped enough to mask out any softness that might have occurred during the scanning stage.

Restore Michael Moran - Quadrants pre-combined
Restore Michael Moran – Quadrants pre-combined

Thankfully, and once again, my Epson did not let me down!

Once combined, the final image is beginning to take shape.

Restore Michael Moran Working Proof - Before
Restore Michael Moran Working Proof – Before

From here, it is just taking the time to use the various tools within Photoshop to clean-up the various issues caused by cracks, rips, tears and water. For more information on how to handle these issues, please consult the various reference materials that are available on the internet.

Proof Image

After several hours of clean-up and tweaking, the proof image looks like this:

Restore Michael Moran - Proof 01
Restore Michael Moran – Proof 01

but remember, it is always the Client that has the final say!

- Andrew
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Blogging Camera Gedankenexperiment HDR How to(s)? Information Online Life Photography Reference Reviews Tech Talk Tips Tone Mapping Website

HDR Cookbook by Klaus Herrmann (farbspiel)

HDR Cookbook - Klaus Herrmann (farbspiel)
HDR Cookbook – Klaus Herrmann (farbspiel)

A couple of days ago, I found the link to “HDR Cookbook – Creating 32-bit HDRs the Right Way“, and basically, have NOT left the website since.

Klaus Herrmann (farbspiel) is a photographer out of Germany, who specializes in Interior HDR Photography.

On his main website, “HDR Cookbook“, you will find a wonderful collection of pages, that describe in vivid detail, the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of creating his beautiful images.

Topic include:

Over the years, I have gone through many pages and videos on “How to do…” HDR, but this is the first site that I have found, that goes into ‘in-depth’ experiments explaining why certain steps are needed to achieve the final product.

Seeing the side-by-side effects of software and processing, has caused me to reconsider how I will view and process future images.

Recently, I have been revisiting some of my older captures, and processing them with new knowledge and techniques.

In reading Klaus’ suggested Workflow, which is highly recommended, he makes the following observation:

Let the finished file sit on your hard disk for a day or two. Don’t post it right away. I found that when you get back to it a day later, you will discover things that you might want to change, things that you did not discover while you were working on the details of the image very intensely. If you let you mind do other things and some time passes, you will look at the image more objectively, more like your viewers will. If you’re content with the image now, go ahead and post it.

Needless to say, I highly recommend that if you are interested in HDR, Tone Mapping related photography, and are in search of some advanced tips, techniques and very qualified insights, then you should be rewarded with a visit to “HDR Cookbook“.

- Andrew
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