I have been using LR 6.1 for many years, and have over 20K files. I have resisted getting subscription services. I only need LRCC when on the road shooting, which is not that often. Otherwise I have no need to store my thousands of images online (and pay for storage). What I want to know is if I can use LRCC for the few hundred images I might shoot when covering festivals without having to move all my files to the web. In that situation I'd be glad to buy the LR plan alone just so I could use CC on my iPad when on the road. When I return home I'd download the files onto my hard drives at home. Is this making any sense, and is there a good answer?
You probably could. However, the toolset for Lightroom (it isn't called CC anymore) is completely different from Lightroom 6 .1. Personally, I think you would be happier with the photography plan and using a combination of Lightroom Classic and Lightroom. That way, you could import your images to Lightroom on the iPad when you are in the field and have them automatically downloaded and ready to edit in Lightroom Classic when you get back to your other computer. And if you do any editing on the iPad before you get home it would already impact the images in Lightroom Classic. Just a thought. Lightroom 6 .1 is ancient and won't provide you with the flexibility you would get with the full photography package.
Another consideration doing it the way you want to do it. The Lightroom 6 .1 catalog is totally incoompatible with Lightroom for the cloud. You wouldn't be able to do any editing at all on the iPad and have it when you import the images into Lightroom 6.1. It would be a new import, completely, and you would have to begin your Editiing with the Old Lightroom 6 .1 tools.
That is a big help. It still doesn't resolve the issue of having to store around 2TB of old RAW files on the web when I don't intend to edit those on any mobile device. But can you expand your comment about the catologs being incompatible? What would that mean if I do install the photo package in terms of the files I already have in the catalog? Will I need to move them all? Will all the editing I have done be incompatible? If I choose to not upload those files, can I keep 6.1 on my computer and use it for those files and essentially start from the beginning with any new files I add? All a little confusing, and I really am a bit nervous about what might happen if I do update....TIA
If you installed the photography package, which means you would upgrade Lightroom 6 .1 and then use Lightroom Classic along with Lightroom, Lightroom Classic would upgrade your existing catalog by creating a new version of that catalog. All of the work that you have done would remain intact. None of those images would have to go to the web. You could import images on the iPad when you are in the field and have them automatically synchronized to Lightroom Classic on the other computer. You could edit those images on the iPad while you are in the field if you chose to do so. The work you do on the iPad would affect the images that have been downloaded automatically to Lightroom Classic. Later on if you choose to remove the images from the iPad they would remain in Lightroom Classic.
If, at some later date you had images in Lightroom Classic that you wanted to work on while on a trip, you could put them in a collection and share them. They would be shared as smart previews, not full-sized images. These smart previews will allow you to edit than using Lightroom on the iPad while traveling, and the adjustments made while traveling would affect the master images. This provides you with a lot of flexibility in my opinion. The smart previews can be removed whenever you choose to do so.
As far as catalog incompatibility is concerned, it's just that plain and simple. A Lightroom 6 .1 catalog is not at all compatible with Lighhtroom for the cloud.
Thanks so much. So even if I have past RAW files in different places (external drives and on my Mac), the upgrade automatically puts them in a new catalog? As another question....is it possible to keep 6.1 on the computer as a backup and still run the photo package?
Just to clarify, images are not "in" the catalog. The catalog simply references where the images are located on your computer. If they are spread across different hard drives, that is no problem. I have images on three internal hard drives and two external hard drives. It makes no difference, Lightroom can keep track of images wherever they are. As far as keeping Lightroom 6 as a backup, I don't know why you would want to do that. The catalogs are not compatible. The tools in Lightroom 6 are archaic in comparison to Lightroom Classic. The process version in Lightroom 6 is version 3, a couple of steps back. Lightroom 6 has features, face detection for one, that will no longer work because the technology that was used in that version was licensed as a third party feature that Adobe didn't renew. The code in Lightroom 6 is becoming incompatible with current operating system. There really isn't a rational reason to retain it in my opinion. The work you do using Lightroom 6 isn't accessible in Lightroom Classic and vice versa.