I have just started using Lightroom with my iPad (the free version so far, but considering upgrading to the premium).
For all the images that I import into Lightroom to edit (let's say, from my camera) I can see that they are copied somewhere inside the app, since the size of the local storage increases gradually with each import.
I know there is an option to store backups on the cloud for Premium users, etc. I was wondering, however, if there is an option NOT to copy all the images that I work with into the app local storage, but to set-up the app in such a way that only image thumbnails are kept locally, while the source files are kept elsewhere? Or, perhaps, there is an option to manually move out the stored files from Lightroom to the external storage from time to time? My image library is pretty massive, and surely I won't be able to utilize my iPad local storage forever.
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This is exactly how it works. The originals are stored in the cloud and you have smart previews stored locally. I have a huge library, no problem on my ipad or phone.
Thank you, Melissa.
is there an option to store the originals on the external hard drive instead of the cloud?
You can choose to save a local copy with just LR but you still have originals in the cloud too. I sync to LRC on my computer which downloads all of my files and I store them on an external drive. I only have smart previews saved in the cloud.
Could you guide me, please, on the necessary steps, in case I am missing something?
I only have LR on my iPad, I don't use LR for a desktop.
I don't have access to LR cloud (haven't purchased the subscription yet), and don't need to, as I don't need to sync between my devices.
Where exactly in the settings of LR on my iPad should I go to transfer the photos that have been exported into my local LR/iPad storage to the external drive, so that only smart previews are stored on my iPad?
It is only possible to purge original images from Lightroom on iPad after the app has had a chance to sync those originals to LR Cloud storage which a paid subscription provides. Otherwise, the app will always want to keep originals as this is what allows Lightroom to work as expected--Lightroom is designed to be a non-destructive editor.
Thank you, Charlie. I am comparing to other non-destructive image processing software that I use (on my laptop, though - not on iPad), where you normally have an option to choose whether you want the originals to be imported into the app internal library, or whether you want to keep the originals on the external storage. So that's not an option with Lightroom (with the exception of the Cloud storage), is that correct?
On the desktop app Lightroom Classic provides the functionality I think you are looking for: access files on disk or external storage (USB HD, NAS, etc), without syncing original images to cloud storage. In LR Classic, you specify what you want sync, and then only smaller resolution and byte-size copies of your images called smart previews are synced, taking much less cloud storage. LR iOS can then access and edit these same pictures. Only LR Classic will be able to output file size renditions of your images though.
Here's a functional summary: https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-lightroom-classic/lightroom-cc-vs-lightroom-classic.html
Thank you for the quick reply, Charlie.
I don't use LR on my desktop, unfortunately - I only have the iPad version. So I don't really need to sync stuff between my devices. Does the iPad version provide the same functionality to access photos stored on the external drive (without importing their full-sized copies to the local storage) as you have described above?
Sorry I was not clear -- Lightroom on your iPad does not provide the same functionality I described for Lightroom Classic. The free version of Lightroom on iPad is designed to import and retain original images in it's app cache, and this will consume storage on your device. I only mentioned Lightroom Classic as it is closer to the type of functionality you described.. But you'd need a laptop and not an iPad to run Classic and work with images that are really stored on external storage.
Thank you, Charlie, that answered my question.