Lightroom Classic: Is it possible to make a backup of 3 starred or higher images?

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I don't want to, nor need to backup every image I take with my camera. I'd like a way to back up only 3 starred or higher images. Along with any PSDs that I might make from them.

Is there a way to do this?
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Michael Torkildsen

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Posted 1 year ago

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Carlos Cardona

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Well you COULD create a Smart Collection that holds 3 Star images, then click on it and say Show in Finder, and then...oh right, you didn’t say Mac or PC!
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Michael Torkildsen

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I'm on a PC, Carlos. 
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Art Davis

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As background, I am not an Adobe engineer nor a professial photographer - just a guy that likes to create images.

LR backup backs up only the catalog not images. 
     By analogy: The LR Catalog is the library catalog file.  When you do edits in LR, you're just modifing the card in the library card file.  The photo (the book) is the file on our hard drive (the book on the library shelf).

So a rethorical question - please only answer yourself (not me):   Are you sure you're backing up your Pics or just your LRCAT? 

The catalogs are tiny compared to the image files.  I'd suggest that you don't sweat that you're backing up the whole catalog. 
    If you are backing up your catalog and if you are doing it on a daily or weekly basis, you might want to think about cleaning out the plethora of backups that accumulate...maybe once per year.  They can grow to consume a lot of hard disk space.   

DO SWEAT backing up your images - using whatever protocol you choose.  Backing up photos happens outside of LR and is unrelated to the LRCAT backup.  (Time Machine if on a Mac or one of many backup programs if you're on a PC.)

Unless you export your 3 & higher ratings to a non-RAW format, you will need LR & the LRCAT to 'translate' your nondestructive LR edits to images for printing or publishing (social media). 
    Yes, you can use a Collection to aggregate your 3+ rated images in the CATALOG.  But if you want the IMAGES saved separately (in order to back them up) you will need to export them to a specialized image folder (or folders) in a non-RAW format. 
    Then you can do a targeted back up of just the 3+ images (and be at risk losing everything else).

Yes, this is getting very complicated.

Want simple and resilient: 
1)  Back up your LRCAT (& periodically purge old cat-backups).
2)  Backup up your images directory (includng your LRCAT files) on a routine basis.
3)  Sleep easy.

Caution for a future day:
    And if you ever migrate to another editing program, your LR edits to RAW images will 'lost-and-gone-forever' unless you export to a non-RAW format.  (Because none of the current RAW editors on the market are compatible one to another.)   Thankfully there are exceptions to the noncompatability:  namely EXIF, IPTC, keywords and star-ratings - so you don't lose everything - just your edits.

I hope something here will be helpful. 
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Michael Torkildsen

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Art, I'm not looking to back up the catalog and all the adjustments, but the actual files themselves. 
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Art Davis

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Both Arnold's and Stanley-Carl's comments below are on point - if you want to do periodic Exports of both a Smart Collection LRCAT AND the images themselves. 
     But bear in mind that you will need to actively manage multiple exports of the Smart Collection, or overwrite your "back-up" Smart Collection.  In either case to be a true backup, it needs to be on a separate backup drive (or Cloud service if you're so inclined).

If you're shooting RAW, backing up the LRCAT with the images would be important to do.  

If shooting JPG, then setting LR to save the changes to the image negates the need to backup the LRCAT.

If you are only interested in backing up the images themselves, then you might
1) use the Smart Collecton to aggregate the desired images (as per Arnold & Stanley-Carl),
2) export them in your chosen image format to a separate 'purpose built' backup folder/device. 

No doubt there are other schemes for an 'Images Only' approach. 

Personally, I back up everything in my Pictures directory (including images, LRCAT, and LRCAT backups) to a separate back up drive.  It is simple.  It is redundent.  And I don't have to wonder if I've backed up the important stuff.  
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Arnold Hoddevik

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I am also on the Smart Collection track. In fact you can easily do all you need from inside Lightroom, backing up your photos and a catalog. If you also store metadata to files, you will also keep and be able to use your edits in all other software, that is able to read metadata. Here is my suggestion:
I suppose your PSDs are rated the same way as your originals in your Lightroom Library.

* Create a Smart Collection, that holds your 3 or more rated photos. This collection searches your whole Library, and will be automatically updated as you rate more photos.
* Select your Smart Collection, and tap and hold the Alt key while clicking the Export button (Now as holding the Alt key - Export as Catalog). Store your new catalog in your backup location, and go.

You will now get a complete backup with both a new catalog and a copy of your original raw files.

The catalog will have the photos in the Smart Collection holding all your 3 or more rated photos and your 3 or more rated original raw files in one place. If you also saved your metadata to file before you backed up, you should be safe.
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Stanley-Carl du-Pont

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Remember to select "include negative files" to ensure that the exported catalogue has copies of the original files too.
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Michael Torkildsen

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Dang Arnold, that might just work!
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Marco Klompalberts

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A workaround might be to batchrename your photos in LR to include the starrating in the name. Then, have your backup software only update files that include "3STAR' or "4STAR" or "5STAR" in the name.
Or, again in LR, move the 3/4/5 star images into a folder that you include in your backup, excluding the ones not in the starbackup folder .