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Transferring edited photos from one computer/catalogue to another.

Participant ,
Oct 29, 2023 Oct 29, 2023

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Hey,

I keep all my photos in Lightroom Classic on my big Windows desktop at home. I convert all of my RAW files to .dng upon import. Often, either for work or family I will import photo's I've taken into the Lighroom Classic Catalogue on my laptop (also Win 11) for editing when away from home. I save the files (Ctrl + S) after editing them, which as I understand it is supposed to save all the edited setting in the .dng file's metadata.

When I get home I'd like to transfer the photo's with all the edit's I've made onto my desktop computer. I copy the .dng files to a thumb drive and then import them into Lightroom Classic on my main machine which puts them in the appropriate folders, etc. I have tried this several times and my edits never seem to come through.

 

Am I doing something wrong? Is there some other/better way to do this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Best,
Michael

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Contributor ,
Oct 29, 2023 Oct 29, 2023

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Maybe you should do a CTRL-R.

 

I don't use DNG files in the way you describe.  When I am traveling and using a LR catalog on my laptop, when I get home I move the RAW files and the catalog to my desktop computer, then import the travel LR catalog into my main LR catalog.  That gets all the edits into the LR catalog.  I may need to use LR to find the top level folder with the travel RAW files, and then move or rearrange the folder/files as needed. 

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Participant ,
Nov 02, 2023 Nov 02, 2023

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Yeah, that's part of the reason I'm asking.  It was my understanding that all develop metadata got saved to the .dng file. that's part of the reason I started using them so if I needed to non-descructively give someone my edits I could. And I was trying to avoid always having to make new catalogs and import them etc. But if that's what I need to be doing, I'd love someone form Adobe to say that, or tell me why the dng files are not working as advertised.

As for CTRL-R, I see that finds photos in Explorer. Is that what you were referencing? I know where all the files are. That's not a problem.

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Contributor ,
Nov 02, 2023 Nov 02, 2023

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Sorry, CTRL+R is wrong.  What I was thinking is Metadata>Read Metadata from File.

I see that you gave that a try and it does not help.

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Participant ,
Nov 02, 2023 Nov 02, 2023

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I should add an ademdum, After importing I even try right clicking - Metadata - Read Metadata from file and I don't get anything.

 

Best,

Michael

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LEGEND ,
Nov 02, 2023 Nov 02, 2023

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Better way to do this: export a catalog from the laptop. You can select the desired photos to be in this exported catalog. Copy the exported catalog file to the desktop, then File->Import from Another Catalog and select the catalog you just exported.

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Participant ,
Nov 15, 2023 Nov 15, 2023

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So what the hell's the point of .dng files? I thought they were supposed to carry the edit metadata with them?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 15, 2023 Nov 15, 2023

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It's two different levels. What you are doing should work (Save Metadata and Read Metadata), not sure why it isn’t. But XMP metadata stores edits only at the individual image level. It can’t store anything about how an image relates to other images, in other words, the other info in a catalog.

 

That is where export/import catalogs comes in. The catalog database can also store information about image relationships, including which collections or projects (slide shows, print jobs, book layouts…) an image is a part of, and the catalog is also what tracks virtual copies. So if you ever wanted to preserve all that, DNG/XMP is not enough. You would then want to export a catalog containing those images, and you could either use the exported catalog alone, or import it into another catalog like at another computer.

 

But, really, that is all a digression you might not have to get into. Because the fact is, the Save Metadata/Read Metadata method should be working, and should be all you need if you are only trying to transfer individual image edits.

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Contributor ,
Nov 15, 2023 Nov 15, 2023

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DNG files are supposed to carry the edits within the metatdata.  I agree with Conrad C that if you did a CTRL-S before moving the files, when you Import the file the edits should appear.  You should not need to read the metadata, the edits should just appear.   I don't use DNG often so I did some tests and find it works as expected.  To be clear, this is the list of steps I followed:

1. Select a file and export it as a DNG file to the same folder as the RAW file.

2. Select the DNG file and perform some edits (crop, exposure change, etc.  Some obvious stuff.)

3. Select the edited DNG file and do a Metadata->Save Metadata to File, or CTRL+S.

4. Use the Windows Explorer to Copy the edited DNG to a new folder.

5. Use LrC to Import the DNG file in the new folder.

6. Select the imported DNG file in the Develop module, and look at the edits.

What I see is the cropped and edited file, and the settings in the Develop module are what was applied in step 2. Note that I did not do a Metadata->Read Metadata from File.  It wasn't necessary.

 

I don't understand why you do not see the edits since you say you did steps 2 and 3 before moving the files and importing them into LrC. 

 

Maybe you should do the same test I did to see if you get a different result. 

 

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