If you use Adobe Lightroom CC, DO NOT UPDATE TO VERSION 5.4.0, or you risk losing your presets and pictures. If you already did, then immediately update to version 5.4.1.
Adobe’s Lightroom CC (Creative Cloud) Update fail where numerous users lost their pictures after updating to Lightroom 5.4.0 on iOS and iPadOS smacks of amateurish programming, functional testing, assurance testing and update controls. Proper testing and assurance control would have easily captured this programming bug.
What does Adobe has to say to this?
We know that some customers have photos and presets that are not recoverable. We sincerely apologize to any customers who have been affected by this issue.
— Adobe Official Response
Of course, this is unacceptable. Adobe has not even sent out an advisory (as of writing), only published a short notice on its website without even mentioning the issue that version 5.4.0 caused:
Adobe has rolled out version 5.4.1 of Lightroom mobile for iOS and iPad OS to address an issue introduced in 5.4.0. New camera support, additional language support, and other fixes introduced in 5.4.0 will be restored in the next Lightroom mobile release.
Saving pictures on the Cloud has become an almost standard operation for many photographers. After all, being able to access your pictures from anywhere, anytime, on any device has a definite advantage. But, if all you do is save your pictures on someone else’s servers (which is what a “Cloud” really is), then you are putting the safety of your pictures in somebody else’s hands.
That is why we recommend that you should always save a back up copy of your pictures on one or more personal hard drives. They are really affordable these days and you can get a 5TB portable HD for around $100. If you are out on a shooting trip that lasts days, besides saving them on your memory cards, then backed up onto a portable drive once you are back to your hotel room, you can also save a copy on the cloud. But once you are back home, you need to back them up onto your personal hard drives. These backed up copies of your pictures must not be cataloged because catalogs can easily get corrupted. So, devise some naming conventions, and I’ve always found date (yyyy-mm-dd) to be the simplest.
Now, this danger exists for anyone who does not make a back up of their photos (or, for that matter, any other types of data), whether saved on their device or on the cloud. If a reputable company like Adobe can make such an amateurish mistake, then any other company also can. Concerning saving photos on the cloud, somehow people have an almost mystical faith that companies know what they are doing and will do the right thing. But we all make mistakes. It’s just that you don’t want to be on the losing end should that mistake occurs on your “cloud.” Back up your data.