It does occur to me that pros who have been using Lightroom for a while understand all the issues about selections, settings, copying, pasting, synchronising etc etc.
Like many things in life the people who do things almost as second nature forget what it was like to be a beginner.
The one thing that has surprised me about lightroom is that I cannot find a way of indicating "I am happy with this - I just want to lock it to ensure I don't damage, amend or delete it" through my own incompetence.
An idea for a Lightroom feature would be a switch that would lock an image from further editing in the Develop Module. I have PSDs and some TIFs that are archival. It would be nice to protect them from myself from further editing.
Often clients want a few low res images immediately after the shoot (for social media, etc.) and I'll deliver these immediately. Then, later that week I will edit the whole job for final delivery as carefully culled and edited high res files. I live in fear that when I come back and edit I will cull from the final edit an image I've already shown to the client as a low res file. I would love a feature that allows me to lock an image from being deleted from the catalog (or marked x) or in any way changed. Something to make sure that image is protected in the exact state the client has already seen. Yes I could give it five stars or mark it a particular color, but ratings and colors are something that I could easily change during the culling process. I want something like a LOCK where you have to go and affirmatively UNLOCK before further changing anything about or moving the image.
The proposed LR feature is to allow us to Lock Image Sates to prevent unintended edits, and to allow Deliberate Unlocking of images to permit edits.
LR offers keystroke shortcuts to do complicated things, as most of us now enjoy, thereby risking that a few keystrokes can exert unintended, and unnoticed, edits on huge numbers of files. Aside from Shortcuts, even a delete key could wipe out, for example, Keyword fields that required great effort to create. Unintended edits can escape notice for prolonged periods, so simply reverting to a Catalog Backup is not a good solution. I speak from experience of noting my own errors, only months afterwards.
While it's natural that each of us is zealous about a feature that we most want, I'll argue that the ability to Lock Images represents an overdue Catalog safety feature.
With the entire interface being grey, it can be very hard to tell. Add in the different modes (Library vs Develop is the second-stupidest design choice in the program) and its easy to not realize what images I'm actually working on.
I'm a developer, longtime IT guy, photographer for 35 years, former Mac Genius, used Adobe software since 1995, and Lightroom is one of the most painful and poorly-designed programs I've ever run across.
I still consider a lock feature would be of great help to users.
The process I follow when using Lightroom Classic is to import, star rate, develop and, finally, when I'm done I use a color flag to mark the photo as "do not touch, I finished with this".
However, it has happened more than once that I'm on the library module, using the grid view and more than one photo selected and, accidentally, I press a shortcut like "2" or "6" and then, accidentally, I mark many photos with a different color flag or a different star classification.
If I realize the mistake I can press ctrl-Z and undo the change but if not... you can loose a lot of work by mistake and be aware of that a week afterwards!. Well, I have to admit I use lightroom as a hobby (I mean it is not my job) and my children have access to my computer and like to see photos, but even in that case, imagine the waste of time if someone selects the whole library and press any shortcut... !!!!!!!
What I mean is that we are all 3 clicks away to waste a lot of work because, to my understanding, there is not any way to "lock a photo".
I'm aware there are a lot of things I can do:
1) To backup regularly -> right, but a mistake like described above would lead me to hours and hours of work to recover partials from a backup
2) To take snapshots -> good, but a mistake like described above would lead me to even more hours if I have to go photo by photo recovering from snapshot. Moreover, I would still loose star classification and color flags
3) To use some plugin for that -> well, the only one found is http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/photosafe but only prevents from undesired removal and nothing about keywords, color labels, stars and so on
4) Someone appointed me "not to select multiple photos" -> ... yes, you can also not use Lightroom and problem solved, don't you?
I have always been told that Lightroom is a non destructive software that leaves pohotos untouched and only modify a record in a database associated with that photo. My guess is that a lock field on that record should not be a madness.
This feature has been requested by many users since 9 years now. I think it shouldn't be so difficult to implement and many many users would appreciate a lot!