« on: June 10, 2014, 11:28:22 PM »
All my edits, organizations, tags, albums, picks, etc. Without access to Lightroom that’s all gone.Even without a photo app you won't be completely devoid of organization and tags.
If I want to 'chop again, I sign up. But I no longer have access to my file system? The edits I've made? The catalog that I've spent the last 10 years or building will no longer be backwards compatible with CS4. The only way I can access all the work I’ve done is to keep paying Adobe. At that point I don't need new features, I'm fine with an old version, but I need something that can read my file system and my edits. All I have to speak for my photography the last 5 years are anything I exported, and folders and folders full of unedited, unorganized RAW images.
As others mentioned you should have the XMP option turned on in LR so all edits and metadata are saved to XMP sidecars. Also, whenever you export files you should always include all metadata so, your exif, tags and ratings will be embedded in your tif files.
XMPs are plain text files so, any computer will find the keyword tags you've added to photos.
Also, EXIF info can be read by most photo apps. So, you will always have the photo dates, camera, lens, etc info. And, if you have tagged GPS on your photos, that will show up in other apps.
Also, when you import photos to LR you are choosing some form of organizing your photos into folders on your computer. You can also use LR to reorganize photos into other folders on your computer which will remain even without LR.
If you have collections in LR that you want to maintain you can also add keywords that will help you recreate collections or albums elsewhere. Say you have a Yosemite Portofolio collection in LR. Select all photos in that collection and add a keyword like "collectionYosemitePortofolio". Even without LR you'll still be able to find images for that group.
As for the development settings, yeah, that is limited to Adobe products. So, you would likely need another Adobe app to reuse your development adjustments on the RAW images. But, you don't need to keep a continuous subscription to CC. You could get the last version of LR5 that works without a subscription and just work with that indefinitely. Or, cancel your subscription the start it up again temporarily when you need it in the future. Adobe is pretty good about making sure the latest software will still open old files and catalogs that are many years old. Just make sure you save your LR catalogs.
And, of course, you can always export important images to tiff if you really want to preserve your development work.
Another option to maintain your organizing is to open your collections in the Print mode and set up a proof sheet layout and save as PDFs.
Also, paying Adobe is not the only option. There are community/commercial photo labs, schools, friends, etc that will let you use their computers - another way to work on a few pics, do some conversion or make prints without having to sign up on CC again.