Photoshop/Lightroom: Loss of internet connection and license

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Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Before I first purchased CC I asked on a forum the question, "will it still run if my internet is down", and I was informed yes.

I have moved to a small volcanic (desert) island where the internet isn't always good.  So far I have been luck in that it has been off when I have not needed to be at my computer.  This morning was the first time, but I thought it would allow me to catch up with photo processing and art work. Until I got the message that Adobe can't check my subscription!!!   So for most of the morning I might as well have gone back to bed!

Now we are hoping to move further inland, where connection problems are more than likely to increase.  I wasn't bothered until this morning, as I thought I would still be able to use Photoshop and Lightroom. :'(

So, have finally got internet back on I opened up Photoshop and Lightroom ok.  When it went down again they did stay open so I see that I must just have a connection in order to open them.

So I have to ask, is there ANY way that I can open Lightroom and Photoshop when my internet connection goes down? 
Bug Acknowledged

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Employee , Dec 21, 2018 Dec 21, 2018
Hi Lukáš and David, Thanks much for your thoughtful replies.  I believe we are actually in complete agreement about almost everything :).  Here's some follow-up information and answers to some of the issues you raise: 1. We agree that the current design is too brittle.  In fact, we have already made changes in our design to avoid this problem (one, as Lukáš suggested, is to be more permissive of time jiggles) and product updates that incorporate those changes will likely become available start...

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Adobe Employee , Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018
Hi Jill, Sorry you're having trouble. Two things which can lead to being unlicensed: 1) If you have the CC Photography plan, you will need an internet connection at least every 90 days to update the licensing token. Details here: https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/internet-connection-creative-cloud-apps.html 2) If the clock on your computer is changed, this can also revoke the license. Two things can cause this:    a) Your computer's clock CMOS battery/capacitor is bad and your lapto...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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As long as you don't sign out, it should carry on working for at least a few weeks even if it can't contact the servers. Did you have to sign in, or did it just complain?
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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You could try to crack your PS. Usually, it is not legal because these people don't have the valid license which might not be your case. But it still might not be perfectly ok and there is also a chance to download the virus.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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That would be a really bad idea. Definitely don't do that.

If there's a bug that's causing you to get locked out, let's focus on finding it and getting it fixed. Much of Adobe US is on vacation at the moment, so there might be a slight delay, but getting to the root cause is the best solution.
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Yes but if you look at the average time how long it takes to solve issue then it is mostly something between 3 years and eternity. In case that fixing requires to implement new code and build new version of PS. I am not sure if it is this case but professionals needs to earn certain of money per certain period of time.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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This doesn't sound like a Photoshop bug but a licensing issue. Not being able to open the software makes it one of the highest priority issues. I'd strongly recommend you don't recommend cracking their software on Adobe's own site!
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Thank you.  I never sign out.  Turned on computer this morning and realised internet was down. So I just opened Lightroom and got a message that it couldn't confirm my subscription and gave me the option to retry or quit.  Obviously didn't retry as I had no internet!  Opened Photoshop and that was the same.  Once internet came back on it then asked me to sign in.  I don't usually get asked to sign in

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Hi Jill,

Sorry you're having trouble.

Two things which can lead to being unlicensed:

1) If you have the CC Photography plan, you will need an internet connection at least every 90 days to update the licensing token. Details here: https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/internet-connection-creative-cloud-apps.html

2) If the clock on your computer is changed, this can also revoke the license. Two things can cause this:

   a) Your computer's clock CMOS battery/capacitor is bad and your laptop battery or desktop computer completely loses power causing the computer to lose its time. If this is the case, replace the CMOS battery. 

   b) You have your computer set to use network time automatically. If you're remote and tethered to a cell phone which may be talking to towers in different timezones, this can change the clock setting multiple times. If this is the case, set your clock to manual: https://helpx.adobe.com/download-install/kb/cannot-verify-subscription-offline-mode.html

Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Thank you Jeffrey but you have misunderstood my problem. 

I have not been unlicensed and my computer clock has not changed.  I have never logged out of Adobe

This morning my internet was down, which can happen frequently where I live.

I tried to open Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop CC but they wouldn't let me as I had no internet connection.  I had NOT signed out previously.   This meant that I was unable to do anything until my connection came back on.  And I had to sign in again even though I had not signed out when closing my computer last night.

This could be a big problem for me as I am planning to move to an even more remote part of the island.  Loss of internet connect is no problem, but loss of not being able to use Lightroom or Photoshop is.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Hi Jill,

Sounds like you're misunderstanding me as well. If you're getting a warning that Adobe can't check your subscription, you have become unlicensed. Otherwise, the apps would launch normally and not give this warning. I'll send you a direct email. I will need to get some logs from you to send to our licensing folks.

Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Nope - I am not unlicensed.  As soon as my internet came on I could open and work on both Photoshop and Lightroom

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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He didn't mean YOU have become unlicensed, but your software installation on this computer had somehow become temporarily unlicensed. 🙂 The logs will help them figure out what went wrong.
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Hi Jill,

I'm the chief architect at Adobe in charge of our application licensing.  Here is how our applications are supposed to work while offline:
  • when you are connected to the internet, your application is able to reach the Adobe servers and it verifies your license.  When this happens, the application saves a "license credential" in your OS's secure storage (keychain on Mac, credential manager on Windows).  This license credential is timestamped with when it was retrieved.
  • when you are not connected to the internet, your application looks for an existing license credential saved from a prior launch.  When it finds this credential, it checks to make sure that the current time on your computer is later than the timestamp in the credential.  If it is, your application knows it is licensed and it runs normally.  But if your computer time is earlier than the timestamp in the credential, the credential is discarded and the application will not run until it can connect to the internet again.
What I believe is happening in your situation is that your intermittent network connection is causing the time on your machine to "jiggle" back and forth.  This is actually a fairly common problem when using wifi (and sometimes wired) connections in remote areas, because most computers are set to verify their time against the network, and some brands of router will provide unstable times to the network when their own upstream connection to the internet is intermittent.  I know this may sound crazy, because you probably don't see any obvious changes in your computer's clock, but even a jiggle of 10 or so seconds can cause your saved license credential to be discarded.  You would not be alone in experiencing this problem; many of our photographer customers who work in areas with intermittent networking have reported it.

As Jeff explained above, the workaround for this problem is to tell your computer *not* to set its time from the network (following the instructions in this help document: https://helpx.adobe.com/download-install/kb/cannot-verify-subscription-offline-mode.html).  Then, once you connect and get your license credential saved locally, your computer clock will not drift, and you will be able to work offline.

Hope this helps! -d.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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Thank you Dan, I love learning the little details!
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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Explorer ,
Dec 21, 2018 Dec 21, 2018

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Thank you all for your replies, and Dan for all your details.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 21, 2018 Dec 21, 2018

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Thank you for all the details provided. However, I am sorry for disagreeing with you. The official article referenced by Mr. Tranberry only states that:

You must connect to the Internet when you want to install Adobe Creative Cloud apps, such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Once the apps are installed on your computer, you don’t need an ongoing Internet connection to use the apps.

You can use the apps in offline mode with a valid software license for a limited period. The apps attempt to validate your software license every 30 days. You receive a reminder to reconnect to the Internet to validate your license:

These two paragraphs are simply either misleading or untrue at the moment. There is an ongoing debate on how the Adobe Creative Cloud licencing manager works when the internet connection is lost in an otherwise quality connection city area. In some circumstances, the application successfuly prevents offline work even if that happens to be a few-minutes drop out.

Link to the original discussion: https://forums.adobe.com/message/10810376#10810376

I have to point out that in what concerns me personally, I do have network time synchronization turned on. As far as I know, it is the Windows default setting and Dan's comment is the first time I am reading anywhere (unofficially from Adobe) I should do otherwise. Being a programmer myself, I totally understand that a time jiggle could occur in many circumstances and I agree that I would not notice even though my time indicator shows time with seconds. If, however, a time jiggle in the order of seconds or even minutes lasting a tiny moment can render a software installation unusable for the entire time of connection loss, it is a serius flaw in the software design by definition. It is understandable that time shifts in the order of days or even years hint the licence might be compromised but not necessarily so if it is a few-minute jiggle. Please note that for anyone trying to launch a Creative Cloud application when working offline, it is nearly impossible not to notice a shift of an hour or more the whole time the dialog keeps trying to connect to the server.

Thank you again for the time you have taken to engage in the topic. Hopefully Adobe will make their efforts to investigate the issue further.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 21, 2018 Dec 21, 2018

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Thank you for all the details provided. However, I am sorry for disagreeing with you. The official article referenced by Mr. Tranberry only states that:

You must connect to the Internet when you want to install Adobe Creative Cloud apps, such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Once the apps are installed on your computer, you don’t need an ongoing Internet connection to use the apps.

You can use the apps in offline mode with a valid software license for a limited period. The apps attempt to validate your software license every 30 days. You receive a reminder to reconnect to the Internet to validate your license:

These two paragraphs are simply either misleading or untrue at the moment. There is an ongoing debate on how the Adobe Creative Cloud licencing manager works when the internet connection is lost in an otherwise quality connection city area. In some circumstances, the application successfuly prevents offline work even if that happens to be a few-minutes drop out.

Link to the original discussion: https://forums.adobe.com/message/10810376#10810376

I have to point out that in what concerns me personally, I do have network time synchronization turned on. As far as I know, it is the Windows default setting and Dan's comment is the first time I am reading anywhere (unofficially from Adobe) I should do otherwise. Being a programmer myself, I totally understand that a time jiggle could occur in many circumstances and I agree that I would not notice even though my time indicator shows time with seconds. If, however, a time jiggle in the order of seconds or even minutes lasting a tiny moment can render a software installation unusable for the entire time of connection loss, it is a serius flaw in the software design by definition. It is understandable that time shifts in the order of days or even years hint the licence might be compromised but not necessarily so if it is a few-minute jiggle. Please note that for anyone trying to launch a Creative Cloud application when working offline, it is nearly impossible not to notice a shift of an hour or more the whole time the dialog keeps trying to connect to the server.

Thank you again for the time you have taken to engage in the topic. Hopefully Adobe will make their efforts to investigate the issue further.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 21, 2018 Dec 21, 2018

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Hi Dan, appreciate hearing from you. Unfortunately, your approach is a problem as you may have noted from this thread. And the new licensing window in Bridge (and I believe InDesign?) is getting a lot of complaints. It starts to draw but remains blank and blocks the program until the license is verified, for some of us on about every launch.

As for changing from network time, many customers work in a corporate setting where they are not allowed to change time settings. A corporate IT department is not going to change this for Adobe.

The perception is that Adobe engineers don't understand real-world usage and that a lot of changes over the past decade have been marketing-driven and are NOT helping regular users.

Bottom line- expiring a token because time shifts while a user is offline, preventing use of paid software, is bullshit. We all know it. You need to convince management that user-hostile design is not in anyone's best interest.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 21, 2018 Dec 21, 2018

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Hi Dan, appreciate hearing from you and let's do this again. Unfortunately, your approach is a problem as you may have noted from this thread. And the new licensing window in Bridge (and I believe InDesign?) is getting a lot of complaints. It starts to draw but remains blank and blocks the program until the license is verified, for some of us on about every launch.

As for changing from network time, many customers work in a corporate setting where they are not allowed to change time settings. A corporate IT department is not going to change this for Adobe.

The perception is that Adobe engineers don't understand real-world usage and that a lot of changes over the past decade have been marketing-driven and are NOT helping regular users.

Bottom line- expiring a token because time shifts while a user is offline, preventing use of paid software, is nonsense. We all know it. You need to convince management that user-hostile design is not in anyone's best interest.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 21, 2018 Dec 21, 2018

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Hi Lukáš and David,

Thanks much for your thoughtful replies.  I believe we are actually in complete agreement about almost everything :).  Here's some follow-up information and answers to some of the issues you raise:

1. We agree that the current design is too brittle.  In fact, we have already made changes in our design to avoid this problem (one, as Lukáš suggested, is to be more permissive of time jiggles) and product updates that incorporate those changes will likely become available starting in February or March of 2019.

2. This "network time jiggle effect" is very rare, so much so that we didn't see this scenario in extensive real-world testing (including feedback from literally millions of machines in use by actual customers).  If we had seen it before we shipped, we would, of course, have fixed it before we shipped.  We feel terrible that we have put customers like Jill in the position of having to use a workaround like turning off network time syncing, and we are well aware that network time syncing is turned on by default by all OS manufacturers (with good reason - SSL connections depend on an accurate machine clock).

3. The point about this really hurting users who are using, for example, corporate-controlled machines, are well taken.  Clearly such a user would have to ask for an exception from his administrators, and those can be hard to come by.  The feedback we are getting from the field, luckily, is that essentially no corporate network environments have this issue, and that most users who encounter this issue in the field are photographers who maintain their own machines independent of corporate standards.

4.  It has been suggested that this change in our licensing software was motivated by marketing concerns and ignored real-world experience.  This is the exact opposite of the truth.  Our in-app licensing software has, for years, been one of our biggest customer support problems, and this revamp was intended to address all of the issues we knew about.  On the whole the revamp has been successful at meeting that goal: based on every measure we have available, this revamped licensing software is causing problems for way, way fewer customers than its predecessor (by one if not two orders of magnitude), including those customers who work offline.  Unfortunately, whenever you change software you introduce bugs, and clearly this is a bug that we introduced that we were unable to detect before it bit people.  We feel terrible about that, and are doing the best we can to keep them running until we can get them a fix.

Hope this helps put things in context.  We are doing our very best to meet all of our customer's needs, and we are very sorry that we don't always succeed.

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Engaged ,
Dec 21, 2018 Dec 21, 2018

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Here is a simple test I did.

System time is correct and Lr works fine with an Internet connection.

Internet connection lost (unplugged). System time is still correct and Lr continues to work.

System time is a day behind (set the date to yesterday) with no Internet connection. Lr will not work, displaying a dialog with the message "We can't verify your subscription status."

If you have an unreliable Internet service and have a problem with your system clock (battery dead), then the clock could easily lose its time while your computer is powered off. When your computer is powered up again, assuming that 'synchronize with Internet time' is enabled, and there is no Internet connection, the system clock will be wrong and Lr will not work while offline.

When your Internet service is finally restored, once the system clock is synchronized via the Internet time service, and Lr will work once again. If your system clock is still wrong once you have an Internet connection, then Lr will display a different dialog stating that there is a problem with your system clock.

However, Jill's problem seems to be also that she had been signed out of Creative Cloud because she had to sign in again, at least on the last occasion she reported.

There seems to be a couple of things going on here, but I would be very suspicious of the system clock!

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 22, 2018 Dec 22, 2018

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In what concerns my side, time synchronization issues might arise from open WiFi networks reachable on my travel. Usually, such a network passes a little network traffic through until it redirects every new request to a legal notice page. From this time on, network traffic is blocked (redirected to the very same page) until you agree with the terms of service and are connected to the Internet again.

I have never run out of battery with my current laptop (fairly new device) so there is no way time could be forgotten even if the mainboard battery was dead.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 22, 2018 Dec 22, 2018

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Thank you, Dan, for your kind response and for all clarifications. I will be looking forward to the future release. Let me wish you all at Adobe happy Holidays and a pleasant new year.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 22, 2018 Dec 22, 2018

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Hi Lukáš, open (and even closed) WiFi networks you encounter while traveling do not generally cause the issues being discussed on this thread.  All of those networks have routers that are properly connected to the internet, and they are receiving proper time signatures (whether you are allowed to join or not).  The issues discussed above arise from joining networks whose routers are not actually internet-connected and/or are misconfigured.  These routers sometimes have incorrect time-zone information at their wireless connection layer, and that's typically what causes the time jiggle.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 26, 2018 Dec 26, 2018

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I appreciate your comments. I’m sure that being in a corporate environment, you are aware of how management views “cost centers” vs “profit centers.” Even when a cost center benefits the company, management often wants to cut it because they can’t show an immediate profit benefit.

For customers, licensing code is a cost center. We can discuss the differences in licensing cost given the presumed reduction in piracy, but for us, licensing and activation and DRM are annoyances that don’t have any tangible benefits. Every program I use would be easier and faster and have fewer things to break if we didn’t have that extra weight tacked on.

When Photoshop performance lags because of Select and Mask (which it does, badly) I can at least see the trade off with a new and somewhat more versatile tool than Refine Edges. I’m not happy but it’s not a total failure.

When licensing and activation code breaks or slows down a program, most customers are going to see it as a total failure, a “feature” with negative value.

Implementation of Select and Mask is an engineering issue. Implementation of licensing is a management issue. If enough people complain, you expose legacy functionality (new document window, spot healing tool, Undo shortcuts) at least some of the time. I don’t see that happening with how Adobe decides to do licensing.

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New Here ,
Jan 03, 2019 Jan 03, 2019

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I’m currently on the road and sometimes don’t have internet access. Yesterday I got the “we can’t verify your subscription” message. This held me up until I was able to get internet access, which is extremely annoying considering I pay $50 per month for a Creative Cloud subscription. One of Adobe’s support team on Twitter explained that it needs to check every 30 days (though a response to a similar question on these forums suggest the time is 90 days), which would be fine except:

1. The message does not explain this. It would be very helpful if it did so.

2. If I was out of range for days, or weeks, instead of more than a few hours, this would have completely screwed up my plans. Why not give the user a grace period of (say) a week to let them continue working.

3. Even better would be to verify subscription status on EVERY startup if there is internet access, and only complain when the 30 (or 90) day limit since the last verification is reached? This way I (and manny others) would not have experienced this issue. I could even prepare for a trip by firing up Lightroom or whatever before heading off and be confident that I’ll always be able to use LR even if I don’t have internet access.

RackMultipart2018122898434ezkx-91a72c9d-5fa8-4822-9b37-8e53a95a560a-1303310984.jpeg

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