People in the floor-to-ceiling window of a coffee shop, some in shadow, some in light.

I’d like a way to lock images in Lightroom or otherwise add a tiny bit of friction to just editing something without considering a few implications.

In Lightroom Classic you have the option to make a published collection with virtual copies. That’s handy, because if you’ve taken a bunch of time to get a collection into a consistent state, the virtual copies help ensure that you can keep it that way.

In Neue LR, the few publishing connections available just use the original unless you manually make a copy. Each collection you make using those connections is another collection whose members you need to be thinking about if you come across an image months or years later and think “didn’t work as a monochrome after all” or “I really like how this looks with the native film simulation,” or even just “wow, I overseasoned that thing.”

Alternately, they could leverage the new versioning system to create and publish a point-in-time version named for and linked to the collection. That sounds more complicated to implement, but it leverages a thing that’s already in the stack.

Locking seems less complicated and could offer a way to get a “hey – edit or copy?” dialog. I don’t think it needs, like, a two-key hardware dongle and a second person to confirm editing. Just a bit of friction.

I recently bought SmugMug’s raw upload feature, so using the SmugMug connector in LrC or LR makes a lot of sense: Every time I make a gallery out of the original raws, I get a passive raw backup of images that are implicitly the ones I care most about.

For now, the real answer for me is to not use Neue Lightroom’s limited connectors. I could figure out some metadata scheme or something to keep from shooting myself in the foot, but it’s easier to just use Lightroom Classic, make virtual copies for each collection, and be at peace.

That’s in keeping with something I want to work on more this year, which is just slowing down a little.

I made a lot of progress last year being more deliberate about a lot of things. I also gave myself a huge gift by spending days of work straightening out my archives and cleaning up some messes I made for myself. I need to take advantage of that gift and double down on that commitment to think through my workflows and behaviors a little more.