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Editing off of external hard drive

New Here ,
Nov 07, 2022 Nov 07, 2022

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Is there a way to not import or "add" photos in lightroom cc (and onto laptop) and edit off of external hard drive? I don't like to actually add an entire photo session to my laptop because it can barely hold it.

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Community Expert , Nov 07, 2022 Nov 07, 2022

No, that is not how Lightroom works. Lightroom Classic can add images to its catalog without copying or moving them however, so Lightroom Classic can work with images that are stored on an external drive.

 

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Community Expert , Jan 31, 2023 Jan 31, 2023

Whilst you CAN combine using Lightroom Classic (LrC) with the Lightroom cloud, it is better to first decide how you are going to work and then stick to that plan. There are two main methods:

 

1. Using Lightroom Classic as the main repository of your images, while also using the cloud to access your images from another system (such as your laptop). In this scenario you would always import you images directly into LrC, so they are stored locally on your external drive. Once in LrC you then have t

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Community Expert ,
Nov 07, 2022 Nov 07, 2022

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No, that is not how Lightroom works. Lightroom Classic can add images to its catalog without copying or moving them however, so Lightroom Classic can work with images that are stored on an external drive.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Expert ,
Nov 07, 2022 Nov 07, 2022

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The images are actually uploaded to a cloud server and stored there. They only temporarily are stored on the laptop hard drive while the upload is syncing. You can remove the photos from the laptop after the sync is complete. This might help with storage space. If you really want to edit images stored on an external drive you need Lightroom Classic, not Lightroom.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 08, 2022 Nov 08, 2022

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Alternatively, simply change the location of the imported originals from the default (on the laptop) to the external drive. Then import as normal, but now the imports are stored on the external drive and not on the laptop and are still uploaded to the cloud. Initially the local copy on the external drive would be used for editing, and you could make that a more or less permanent thing by enabling the option to "Store a copy of all originals locally". Then provided the external drive remains connected, Lightroom will load the local copy of originals for editing, rather than download them from the cloud.

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New Here ,
Jan 30, 2023 Jan 30, 2023

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I have a similar question. I think..lol. I have all my images on an external drive. Do I start with Lightroom CC then the originals ar ein cloud and external drive and then one backup with edits are in cloud?

But lets say I want to edit some of those or maybe all in lightroom classic becasue of the additional features it has .. how do I do that.. ( or should I actually then reverse the process but then that only puts syned copies in cloud not originals)

I dont want photos on my laptop . and I would like to work without my external drive always attached doe sthat make sense.. can it be done? 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 31, 2023 Jan 31, 2023

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Whilst you CAN combine using Lightroom Classic (LrC) with the Lightroom cloud, it is better to first decide how you are going to work and then stick to that plan. There are two main methods:

 

1. Using Lightroom Classic as the main repository of your images, while also using the cloud to access your images from another system (such as your laptop). In this scenario you would always import you images directly into LrC, so they are stored locally on your external drive. Once in LrC you then have the option to sync selected (or all) images to the cloud, and from the cloud they would then be available to access from any other connected app/device....such as the Lightroom desktop app on your laptop, or the Lightroom Mobile app on any smartphone or tablet, or even the Lightroom Web app which is available through any browser window. The advantages of this approach are:

 

  • You control what images are synced to the cloud.
  • LrC only uploads Smart Previews of your images to the cloud, which are 2650 pixels on the long edge. Suitable for most viewing needs, and even some editing. The big benefit, however, is that they do not count against your cloud storage. So even if you only have the 20GB allowance from the Photography Plan, you can sync your entire LrC catalog to the cloud and it would not use any of that 20GB.
  • You would also have access in LrC to the many functions which are not yet available in any of the Lightroom ecosystem apps.

 

And the downsides of this approach are:

 

  • LrC only uploads Smart Previews, so if ever you wanted access to the full-size originals (such as for sharing) you could only do that via LrC. If you happen to be out and about with only your phone, and wanted to share an original, you couldn't do it. If you want to use the album sharing feature of Lightroom, the people you share with would not be able to download a full-resolution jpeg of the shared images, only a 2048 pixel version.
  • You'd have to figure out a workflow for any image captures that you might make using your phone or tablet. Not too difficult when you have got it setup correctly, but it might need some managing if you shoot on the phone a lot and you only have the basic 20GB allowance. Plenty of users already do this, so there should be plenty of helpful hints available online.

 

2. The second method involves using the Cloud as the main repository for your originals. Specifically you would always only import all new images into one of the Lightroom ecosystem apps, so you would import your external drive images into the Lightroom desktop app. From there they would sync up to the cloud (full-resolution originals), where they would be handled by the Adobe servers. New captures on phone/tablet would also go to the same cloud servers. The advantages of this approach are:

 

  • All originals stored in the cloud and managed by Adobe. No catalog or image backups required by the user (though of course there will always be some users who would also want to make their own backups).
  • Access to all originals from virtually anywhere in the world, along with full edit and sharing capabilities.
  • No need for a desktop computer at all.

 

The main disadvantage is of course the fact that some features available in LrC are not yet available in the cloud ecosystem, which puts off many of the traditional LrC user. Though of course it depends on whether you need those missing features or not. 

 

Now, if you want you use this second cloud-based method as your primary tool, you CAN also integrate LrC as well (e.g. to get access to those features, such as printing that the Lightroom desktop app doesn't have). You could do that by starting a new LrC catalog, enable it to sync, and a copy of ALL the images in the cloud would download into that catalog, as will any subsequent additions to the cloud. In that state there are things that you can do in LrC or Lightroom which will sync to the other, but there are some things that do not sync (such as keywords and location data), so you would have to be very disciplined in your workflow to avoid the pitfalls that await you should you adopt this particular method of working. Using this "hybrid" system is most definitely NOT recommended by Adobe, and though I use it myself I also wouldn't recommend it to anyone who hasn't got the time and experience to thoroughly test it first, in order to identify the potential issues.

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2023 Feb 01, 2023

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Thank you so much this has helped me very much.

Sent from Mail<> for Windows

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