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I have a Synology NAS with many TBs of photos. Currently using Lightroom Classic, which works fine towards the NAS. All the originals are imported straight to the NAS via Lightroom Classic.
I'm looking to add an iPad Pro to my workflow. And Adobe Lightroom Classic does not exist for iPad, but there is Adobe Lightroom CC. But it only seems to support Adobe Cloud for storing originals.
I found an option to store a local copy of my photos, and was able to choose the NAS as the local storage location. However, because my entire NAS is backed up to Google Cloud (cold storage for disaster recovery), I need the photos to stay exactly where they are in their existing folder structure.
How can I automatically sync (one way) all my photos or a subset of my photos from the Synology NAS to Adobe Cloud, so that I can browse and edit them from my iPad using Lightroom CC? Perhaps there are other options I have not considered to attain the same goal.
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Just to clarify:
I would like the Synology NAS to keep my "master" original photos in a pre-defined folder structure (the year/date-sstructure, which was created by Adobe Lightroom Classic). Adobe Lightroom CC should be the "slave," i.e. receive a copy of the photos on the NAS whenever there are any new photos there.
Ideally, I would be able to import photos through Adobe Lightroom CC into precicely the same folder structre (the one created by Adobe Lightroom Classic). But that does not seem to be possible, as Adobe Lightroom CC creates additional folders automatically, i.e. "Lightroom CC/accd1dfc062c4c9fa27a14372433a15e/originals/<yyyy>/<yyyy-mm-dd>"
That does not work, because it will mess up the cold storage backup sync from Synology NAS to cold storage in Google Cloud, which requires the photos to remain in the same location, else they will be duplicated and take up more storage space (which means I will need to pay more every month for my off-site backup).
Forget about trying to have Lightroom Classic and Lightroom using the same files on the NAS, that simply can't work without risk of serious complications. The far simpler solution is to sync as many images as you want (all of them if you prefer) FROM Classic to the Adobe cloud. They would be uploaded as smart previews, not full originals, to the cloud and from there they are available on any of your mobile devices. Being smart previews, they do not count against your 20GB cloud space allowance. Smart previews are generally good enough for browsing and some editing on the mobile device.
However, the cloud does not recognise whatever folder structure you are using in Classic, instead organisation is done by using Albums (equivalent to Collections in Classic), and these do sync to each other. Collection Sets do not sync however, so you would have to manually create the equivalent of them in the cloud (which are confusingly called Folders there). Various other things also do not sync between Classic and the cloud, notably keywords and location data. However, if all you want to do on your iPad is browse and edit, doing it the way I've described should work fine. Plenty of other Classic users are using that workflow.
One other thing....if you particularly wanted to organise in the cloud the same way as your images are currently organised by folders in Classic, you can achieve most of that by using the feature in Classic to create and populate a set of collections which copy the folder structure and the contents. You can then sync the collections to the cloud where they would appear as albums. You'd still need to manually create the "folders" in Lightroom though to mimic teh Collection Sets created in Classic.
If you want to import images to your iPad when in the field, you can do that but those images would be uploaded to the cloud as full originals (which do count against your cloud space allowance), and from there they would download into Classic where they would be stored in the location that you'd need to set in the Classic Preferences>Lightroom Sync tab. You could, of course, specify your NAS drive for those downloaded originals and have them placed in the same structure as your main library if you use a date-based folder structure.
Thank you so much for this careful and detailed response, @Jim Wilde!
It sounds like this will solve my immediate problem and I was afraid that the full-size images would get synced to LRCC from LR Classic if I enabled that feature. Good to know that only the "Smart Previews" will be synced (unless I import photos to my iPad).
The biggest downside about this approach in my case is that I still need to keep my MacBook Pro. I was hoping to move to a fully iPad-based workflow and sell my MacBook Pro. But it seems like we're not quite there yet. In my case, that would require that LRCC respect the original file structure of LR Classic, without needing to have LR Classic in the loop. I hope that will be possible some day.
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you should stay with Lightroom Classic for yoour main catalog and connection to the NAS. Ignore Lightroom Desktop (what Adobe nowadays calls Lightroom CC) on your desktop machine and just use Classic there. What you do is to enable cloud syncing in Classic. This allows you to sync a subset of images to the cloud and they will show up on your iPad as long as you use the same creative cloud account on both. Also, if you import images on the iPad, they will sync back to Classic and (if you have your sync destination inside the Classic preferences set up to be the NAS) will automatically be filed correctly and therefore backed up to your google cloud. Classic is the only program that can selectively sync to the cloud. You do this by designating certain collections to sync. They will show up as albums on the iPad.
Only one disadvantage of this workflow. Classic will only sync what is called "smart previews" to the cloud. These are lower resolution versions of your raw files with a maximum dimension of 2560 pixels on the long side. They are fully editable on the iPad and edits will sync back but that is the limitation. Also, keywords added on the iPad will not sync back to Classic and vice versa.