Name and Backup your Lightroom Catalog Properly

My C: was getting a little full a few days ago, which was causing me issues with using Photoshop.  So I started doing a bit of a cleanup of some old folders that were taking up space and could be deleted.

One of those was really large, but it was titled LR5catalog  and I was using LR6 and there was also an LR6catalog file – so Shift+Delete to totally blast it off my hard drive.

Couple days later, go back into LR and……. no catalog to be found!!!

Somewhere along the ways I had got my catalogs confused and not realised that I was using an older version and had deleted my active one!


Hangon…..LR has a backup system and I had been using it…….

But no, dear reader, something had gone wrong there too!

You see, the default backup file location is in the SAME FOLDER AS THE ACTUAL CATALOG!!!!

If you don’t change it to somewhere else (which I’m pretty sure I did as I have the files) or if you change the catalog but don’t reset the backup location, and then you delete the parent folder (like I did)  YOU LOSE EVERYTHING!!

Just to be clear here, it wasn’t my image files, just my LR catalog files with all the editing settings.

It took two days to rebuild it, one to rebuild the catalog from scratch, and one to recreate all the preview files.

I now have the files clearly marked as Active Catalog – DO NOT DELETE and I also have the backup stored in a completely different place, and also marked as Active and not to be deleted.

Also at some point in my past, I had a moment of genius and set LR up to save the .xmp files (the ones with all the info about your LR edits) NEXT TO THE ACTUAL image files – so when I imported everything, all my edits were still there *thank god for that*

SO if you are a LR user, check these two things:

Are your ACTIVE Catalog and Backup files/folders clearly marked so you know which ones they are?

Is your backup destination to another separate folder on your hard drive (or on another actual drive if you have the option?)

Also check where your .xmp are being saved, it might save you some heartbreak too 🙂

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2017 Roundup

2017 was a difficult year for a lot of people for a variety of reasons.  My biggest challenge was the “Conference That Ate My Life” – I was part of the organising committee for a large Project Management conference that was held late Sept.  Yes it ate my life, consuming my spare time and energy and leaving little left over for photography.

Plus this year I really struggled with my mental health, the unwelcome combination of anxiety at levels I had not experienced before, and depression.  That by itself makes it difficult to have any creative energy, and usually has the added benefit of making you feel really guilty about it, which makes you even more depressed *sigh*

I did go to Melbourne for two weeks, for a photography conference for the Australian and NZ Awake students, which was unexpectedly delightful.  I then stayed an extra week with a fellow student, and we had lovely adventures and outings, and I got to go to IKEA!

This was the year I discovered the fun to be had with mixed media, and it opened a whole new creative door for me.  So while I wasn’t always doing photography, I was creating and making stuff and having fun.  Also spending a small fortune on art supplies!

So lets look at a summary:

  • Survived the Conference That Ate My Life
  • Ran a very successful conference and Awards Dinner
  • Learned a new craft – Mixed Media
  • Went to Australia and met some online friends in real life
  • Went to Healesville Sanctuary and got up close and personal with the wildlife (cross that one off the Bucket List)
  • Saw much more of Melbourne than just the central city
  • Attended WWGSD UnConference and met some fantastic women, who get shit done
  • Dealt with mental health issues
  • Had some personal challenges and milestones
  • Started a new project with the intent of getting exhibited
  • Attended a Storytelling workshop to assist the new project
  • Started seriously writing for one photography site and got invited to write for another one – and they pay!
  • Got my tattoo seriously upgraded 🙂
  • Worked on improving my Still Life skills
  • Pulled back from contributing much to Awake as I just didn’t have the capacity
  • Went back to the gym, working with my PT to get much stronger and fitter
  • I discovered the joy of drinking whisky
  • Dappled in using iPad to create art
  • Survived my first Root Canal – which led to my first professional commission!
  • Had some “interesting” work discussions with my boss

This was a year for redefining goals, being real and brave about my choices, to be clear about what I wanted to do, admitting I wasn’t 100% OK when it was the case, taking risks and chances and grasping opportunities when they were offered.

It was a year for taking myself and my art seriously, taking steps to provide it with a foundation to build on so that this year I can really make some progress!

How was your 2017?


Posted in Camera Adventures | 4 Comments

Berry Berry Delicious

Yay its Xmas time, I am on holiday and its berry season again!  Time to get into the studio and shoot some more food porn.  BTW yes I am still alive, it has just been one of those years where I haven’t done as much shooting as I would have liked.

Got three weeks off over Xmas though, so putting some effort in, plus I get to eat the yummy goodness once I have shot it 🙂

Last year I was very much learning my craft, and Still Life is an art form in its own right.  So this time I am stretching my boundaries and trying different props, different angles and different lighting techniques.

Last year I was concentrating on the Dark Light technique, where it was all black and moody.  This year I want to also look at a lighter brighter and more summery feel.

And yet when I go to process them, I am still drawn to the darker, more punchy preset options but it made the silver jug look so fantastic!

Finally get to use my homemade bead board background, softened with some white fabric and a light hazy matte preset for that summery feel.

Trying different angles, I liked how the berry by the handle was reflected in the side of the jug.

Five very different images, shooting quite different angles, experimenting with light and different processing techniques.

The first image at the top is my favourite – love to hear which one you like!

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This Time Its Permanent

So the very last thing I needed to do before I get stuck into my new photography project, was to get my tattoo updated.

Several months ago I decided to get my old piece covered up, found an artist who assured me it could be done, and we collaborated on the design seen above.

6 hours work on Friday resulted in the above!

Yes it hurt, sometimes quite a lot.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely.  Now I have to wait for it to heal and then the fun begins.

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When Vision Becomes Reality

Its been so long since I last picked up my camera – can hardly remember it!  Finally the Conference That Ate My Life happened and now there is time and headspace for me to think and create.

Been busy coming up with ideas and concepts for my new project, and buying all the shiny things as well 🙂

The boots in the above image are Hades Raven Black and OMG I love them so hard!!

I’m back, and I’m shooting 🙂

What have y’all been up to while I have been away?

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The Art of Depression

So my post on mental health got quite a lot of response, and several new followers – its surprising for me to realise that it was written a couple of months ago.  Thanks for all the comments and welcome to all the new people, apologies that it has been a bit quiet, but given the subject matter that bought you here, I’m sure you understand 🙂

Things have been rough the past couple of months, some challenges in my personal life got into my head and messed it up a fair amount and a lot of energy has gone into dealing with that.

Its hard when you are going through something personal and you want to talk about it, but you *really* don’t want to share the inside of your head with someone else, because its not a fun place to be in some days. I don’t want to paint the people I care about in the same sticky black tar I’m covered in.

Luckily I have some good friends who understand, give good advice and loan me books on anxiety 🙂

Things are better now, the brain hamsters are less active at 3am though I have been having some *very* vivid and odd dreams, more so than usual.  Still have to pull myself out of the “scenario” mindset for the stressful potential situations.

Oddly now I am aware of that particular brain quirk, I have been able to use it to advantage.  One of the other major things taking up my time and energy is I’m on the organising committee for a large conference which is being held in 10 days – and shit has got very real in the last couple of weeks.

Most of my spare time is going into sorting that out, but one thing I have been doing is brainstorming potential risk scenarios, plotting out logistics and planning everything needing to be done.

Its been really useful to do all this, made it less stressful for me, because I know that I have planned as much in advance as possible, and am (hopefully) prepared.  This also helps my team and the rest of the committee.

Strangely my biggest contribution to the planning has actually been the use of my creative skillset – I have designed the inside and outside of a menu in 1940s theme, come up with the 1940s concept for the Awards Dinner and tied it to the wider conference theme, been involved with the organisation of the entertainment, designed four different  themed table decorations and for the last week, I have been crafting them.

I also conceptualised a Codebreaking Icebreaker themed around the Enigma Machine, with help from a friend and his 3D printer, have designed and crafted three code breaking units.

As well I have been the Social Media Fairy and designed some marketing materials for online use.

Have spent hours in Photoshop, worked with the Conference design team, and spent hours crafting up hand made 1940s themed elements.

So while there isn’t anything particularly splendid to share with you here, lots has been happening, much has been created and made and forward momentum has been maintained.

Life begins again on 23rd September, after the Conference finishes.  In the background is a pile of props, ideas and concepts for my new project, just waiting for the time and the energy to be pointed in their direction.

There have been some very bad days, and a lot of pretty average days, some good days.  There have been tears, laughter, hugs, cocktails, impulse online shopping, snuggles with cats, candle lit soaks in the bath, running up and down flights of stairs while cursing my personal trainer and a concious effort to stay afloat, one way or another.


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Beginning of a new Project

For about 18 months I have had a project in my head and finally got all the pieces aligned so I can start shooting and making the concept real.

These two images are the first in a series, exploring a different darker place.  As you can gather, the images will be quite adult themed, there will be (hopefully) tasteful nudity.

I know these images will be challenging for some people, and that there will be a variety of reactions.  I look forward to the responses.

You have already seen me go down this rabbit hole with the more macabre bloody style of images – this is more conceptual and abstract, with a limited muted colour palette of white, black and red, edited in a higher key than I usually do.

Also for the first time, I hope to have another participant to interact with and help me tell much more of a story.

I only have one shot at doing this, so I plan to take it slowly, my art journal is already brimming over with ideas and poses with more coming every day.  Also I have another major project happening in real life which is going to take up a lot of my time.  So this is going evolve organically over the next few months.

Love to hear your feedback!  I’m really excited to be finally working on this project and bring it to reality.

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