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Completely confused on how LR-M works with LR-C for storage

New Here ,
Jul 23, 2023 Jul 23, 2023

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I have searched read an dwatched but am still confused.

I want to use LR-C to edit photos, but also be able to view on LR-M.  I understand that you can only sync one catalog at a time and that it is only collections that sync.  I ALSO want to use LR-M as my back-up/offline storage for my originals so I bought the 1Tb plan add-on.  I merrily added a bunch of photos into various albums... so far so good.

The issue arose when I started tidying up my LR-C library.  Long story short...  I had to start again on a new laptop with backed up files and catalog after a family member partioned off a drive that we have been unable to recover.  I got most everything back but in an effort to 'start over' I removed all my collections.

 

So now I go into LR-M and all my files there have been moved to deleted and all my albums are empty!!!  I don't understand - I didn't even think they were synced - I though they sat seperately as I loaded them into LR-M directly from an external drive, NOT via LR-C.

 

There are also all these temp files (like Rem BMP temp) that were taking up disk space so I moved the files in them to my external drive but there were lots of duplicates.

 

I hope someone can clear this up for me - can I use LR-M as my back up or do i need Dropbox or something similar.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

You can avoid the confusion by NOT uploading (or Adding) any photos to LRM expect the ones you take on your phone. If you want to upload originals to the cloud, you probably shouldn't use LrC. Choose one or the other. Manage your photos on a local drive with LrC, or manage them in a cloud with LR. 

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New Here ,
Jul 23, 2023 Jul 23, 2023

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Sorry i should say there are a bunch of photos in a temp FOLDER called "Rem BMP temp" - which seems to be the LR-C folder that things are going into from LR-M...

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New Here ,
Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

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If this helps anyone i think i am understanding this better now.  I believed LRC only uploaded previews but it actually uploads the whole file which was filling up my local drive.  In preferences you can change where LRC pits the files from LRM so i changed that to an external SSD.

Do i think my answer is put the camera files on an SSD... upload those to LRM... those will sync to LRC which will be stored on the SSD (same or different one).  I'll therefore have original files (unedited) on an SSD, copies uploaded in LRM, another copy back on the SSD via LRC which syncs.

 

If anyone has any better ideas please let me know, Shane.

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New Here ,
Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

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Sorry that should be "SO I think my answer is... (I wish we could edit these posts)

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Community Expert ,
Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

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LrC does NOT upload originals to the cloud. Your hard drive filling up is a separate issue,

LrC downloads any originals it finds in the cloud to a local drive. If you use Lightroom on your phone, those photos are in the cloud. LrC will then download them when sync is on. This is a great workflow if you understand it.

Do not use Lightroom and LrC together on your computer. You will likely end up with duplicates.

 

Here are the basic steps you should follow:

  1. Put your photos on the SSD drive. You can manually copy them from the camera card.
  2. Import them into LrC with the import "add" method. (most likely you were using import "copy" which put all your photos in the Pictures folder and filled up your startup drive)
  3. Create Collections for photos that you want synced to the cloud.
  4. Sync the Collection. (this uploads smart previews to the Lightroom cloud)

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Community Expert ,
Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

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Here is one of my YouTube tutorials. The LrC interface has changed slightly, but everything still works the same. Sync is now found under the cloud icon.

https://youtu.be/L3dcvM_nK9A

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New Here ,
Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

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Thanks Theresa - i'll go watch the video now.  Only question i have is if that if i follow your suggested steps i don't end up with full original sized back-ups in LRM which is what i was aiming at originally when i got lost down this rabbit hole.  I described how i think i should do it above - do let me know if you have other suggestions... if LRC is going to upload everything it sees from LRM i don't see any alternatives.  Thanks again, Shane.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

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I'm not sure I understand your questions. Perhaps you are interchanging upload and download. Here's how I use them:

Upload - sending files from a computer UP to a cloud server.

Download - moving files from a cloud server DOWN to a computer.

This is how it works.

  • LrC stores images on a local hard drive. It can NOT upload originals to LRM (cloud).
  • LRM stores images in the cloud.
  • LrC downloads originals it finds in the cloud when the sync is turned on.

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New Here ,
Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

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Yup, sorry for confusion, i agree, i should has said "if LRC is going to DOWNLOAD everything...".

 

If I UPload a file to LRM from the SSD then LRC will then DOWNload the file to wherever i point it in Preferences (i happen have it pointed back to its original SSD to save space on my computer drive... so i get a duplicate on the SSD but in a different file location).  I guess i could avoid the duplication on the SSD if i UPloaded to LRM directly from the memory card.  Thanks again for your patience and help Theresa.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 24, 2023 Jul 24, 2023

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You can avoid the confusion by NOT uploading (or Adding) any photos to LRM expect the ones you take on your phone. If you want to upload originals to the cloud, you probably shouldn't use LrC. Choose one or the other. Manage your photos on a local drive with LrC, or manage them in a cloud with LR. 

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