I'm planning to migrate from Lightroom (Windows) to AfterShot Pro (Linux).

Is it possible to somehow export the metadata (is that the correct word when talking about the changes made in white balance, exposition, colors, etc?) from one software to the other? I found this question helpful, nevertheless the answer is incomplete.

I read here the following:

According to writer and photographer John Beardsworth, a photographer’s relationship with a catalog program should be one of “serial monogamy,” meaning that you need to be married to the application when you’re using it, even though you may divorce later and take up with some other program. If that happens, you will want to bring all your hard-won metadata with you, and not have to leave it behind. This means that the software must have a way to export the information in some usable form.

Is this true for Lightroom?

I'm sorry if the question is repeated, but I could not find any valuable answer.


2 Answers 2



Your only chance will be to export all your already processed files as 16bit-TIFF (lossless and preserves most of the quality) and import them to your new software.

XMP just standatizises the way "how" metadata is stored in a dng or a sidecar file. But it says nothing about how this metadata should be processed by the application.


You use in Lightroom the "clarity"-option and set it to 42. Now in the sidecar file something you see something like this (extremely simplified):


Now if you take that to another application it may ignore the clarity "tag" or do something entirely different, depending on the algorithm this software is using. And of course, the algorithms of the Lightroom-Development Module are proprietary to Adobe.

If you export to a tiff, all those tags will be applied a copy of your real image-data (thus: changing pixels) and a new file is saved. You can watch this file in any software you want, without knowing how to apply clarity because that has already happened. But as you can see, you can't go backwards anymore and change the clarity value, so your edit-history will be lost if taken to the new application.

For more about xmp and dng, please refer to my answer over here.

This does not only apply to Lightroom, but to any software which uses a non-destructive approach.


You can save your metadata in sidecar files, that is, separately from your photo. See this link for an explanation.

You should check what adjustment are actually being saved in the sidecar file, to see if that is sufficient for you. It is an XML file, so you should have no problem opening and reviewing it.

Now, importing it is another issue - that is why metadata transfer is not a trivial task. In general, two software will have different sets of features, and you probably will have to create a conversion software of some sort (or maybe AfterShot Pro can import the Lightroom sidecar files, then you are pretty lucky :-) ).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your answer only addresses the export part (which I believe is already covered in other question/answers on this side), but the interesting import part is just lightly mentioned with a conversion software of some sort. Of course I don't expect that you'll give a full fledged conversion algorithm, but now the answer is not really helpful and should probably be a comment. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 16:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ He asked about: "Is it possible to somehow export the metadata", "Is this true for Lightroom", etc. Hence, my answer - about exporting. \$\endgroup\$
    – TFuto
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 17:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The import part is important, but thanks for the input. Sidecar files look promising and, if are simply XML files, should be no trouble to import later. If not, I hope at least AfterShot to have a public description of what do they import. This way I can work in some "conversion" tool. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pmdusso
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 17:41

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