When I travel I make a new Lightroom catalog for that trip on my laptop. Image files are downloaded and added by date, into a folder with the month and shoot name, such as 09 Alaska (September, Alaska). I discussed this in a previous blog so please refer back a few entries. All my images from this particular trip will be within this folder. Every day I flag any image files I work on, then save metadata to file (select by flag, then Ctrl/Command+S). And every day I copy all that day’s shoot from my laptop to two external USB powered hard drives, so that by the end of the trip I have three duplicate copies of all my images. I also have Lightroom set to automatically backup its catalog to the external drives every day.
When I get home I export the trip catalog to one of the small USB drives that has all the trip images. I plug this drive into a USB port on my desktop computer, and copy the folder with the image files over to the correct date location on my main hard drive array, the tower JBOD I discussed earlier. Then I import the trip catalog into my master Lightroom catalog. I disconnect the small USB drive, point Lightroom to the location of the trip’s folder of images on the JBOD, and I’m done. My backup software kicks in, and automatically backs up the new images.
When I’m positive that all the image files are actually on my main system, I wipe the trip catalog off my laptop, reformat the small external USB drives, and I’m good-to-go on my next adventure.