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Raw files - using external storage on mobile devices

New Here ,
Oct 18, 2022 Oct 18, 2022

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Been using Lightroom Classic for years. And as far as I know, it creates previews and when I disconnect the drive (or move the folder) where the original raw files are, I wont be able to either continue editing or export. 

 

I am now learning how to use Lightroom CC on an iPad. And something is driving me crazy: I had the wifi disconnected (so no sync to the cloud), I connected my SSD that contains Raw images to the iPad and opened Lightroom. Now I told Lightroom what images to import. I then tried something..I disconnected my SSD to see if, just like Lightroom Classic, It would give me a warning that the original files were missing. But it didn't. Lightroom CC allowed me to continue my editing and even to export the file into my iPad. So the thing I don't understand is where are those Raw files stored on the Ipad? I checked the File folder but nothing is in there. Then how can I continue to edit and even export? 

 

Hope it makes sense and thanks in advance for your help. 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 18, 2022 Oct 18, 2022

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The Lightroom Cloud Based Ecosystem (Desktop, Mobile, Web) works in a different way to Lightroom Classic.

 

When using Classic, the photos are stored on HD with only references to the location, and edits stored with Classic's Catalog ( a Classic user can explain this better).

 

When using the the Lightroom Cloud ecosystem, photos get imported into the app and uploaded to the Cloud http://lightroom.adobe.com/.

Lightroom Mobile (Phones/ Tablets) and Lightoom Desktop automatically clear space by removing full resolution files from its internal 'invisble' Catalog when required (as they should have synced safely to the Cloud) whilst keeping Smart Previews or Thumbnails on the device.

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New Here ,
Oct 18, 2022 Oct 18, 2022

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Thanks selondon.

 

But when I uploaded the raw file, I was not connected to the internet, so the raw file was not uploaded to the cloud.  And I also disconnected my SSD from the Ipad. I then edited and exported a jpg file anyway. Does that mean that I was editing a lower resolution of my raw file, or I was actually editing the raw file that it was stored in the 'invisible' internal Catalog? How is that possible? 

 

How would I then use Lightroom Cloud based on an Ipad if I am somewhere without an internet connection? 

Thanks 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 18, 2022 Oct 18, 2022

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Yes, the RAW would have been imported into the App

itself (thus the App taking up

more space on your device), so you were editing and exporting from that.

 

When travelling for instance, every photo you import into Lightroom Mobile will take up more space on device, until the photos can sync to the Cloud, when it will use its own space management (or you can manually clear cache once synced).

 

It doesn't work like Classic where photos are 'linked to the Catalog'. 
When using Lightroom Mobile or Desktop they are imported into and are physically part of the Catalog, prior to uploading to the Cloud.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 18, 2022 Oct 18, 2022

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Lightroom for iPad cannot use external storage. It uses its own storage (with for iOS apps is part of the app package) for as long as the image has not been uploaded to the cloud.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Oct 18, 2022 Oct 18, 2022

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Thanks JohanElzenga 

 

So when I import the images from an SD card or SSD drive, the app copies the full res raw files into lightroom "hidden" catalog, then once I'm connected to the internet it'll upload the raw files to the cloud and what I'll see is the smart preview? Freeing some space on the iPad storage?  Is that correct ?  

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Community Expert ,
Oct 19, 2022 Oct 19, 2022

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quote

Thanks JohanElzenga 

 

So when I import the images from an SD card or SSD drive, the app copies the full res raw files into lightroom "hidden" catalog, then once I'm connected to the internet it'll upload the raw files to the cloud and what I'll see is the smart preview? Freeing some space on the iPad storage?  Is that correct ?  


By @andreac1450472

 

Yes, provided that you have turned on the option in Lightroom for iPad to only download smart previews. You may have to manually clear the cache to free up the space (that's in the Lightroom for iPad settings too).

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Oct 19, 2022 Oct 19, 2022

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Ok, thanks for your help so far. 

So basically I am working on smart or standard previews. Will the raw file be automatically uploaded to the cloud once I've got an internet connection? Is it automatic or do I need to set it on the lightroom preferences? 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 19, 2022 Oct 19, 2022

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If the raw files haven't been uploaded to the cloud yet, then you're working on the raw files not Smart Previews. Once the raw files have been safely uploaded to the cloud, then they become eligible for removal from the mobile device and replaced with a smart preview (if you have that "download smart preview" option selected in the Lightroom Settings menu).

Syncing is automatic when you have a connection provided you haven't paused it (check the syncing status by tapping on the cloud icon top right of the screen).

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