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Replacing Apple Photos with Lightroom

Community Beginner ,
May 19, 2020

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I am looking to move to Lightroom, but am very confused about how it works as a Photos replacement.  My Photos library is about 300gb and I was using Aperture before it was killed off. Here's what I want it to do.

 

  1. My photos stored on my local iMac, not in the cloud. So I assume that means using Classic, not CC.
  2. Sync to iPhone, but would need to choose which albums so that it does not fill up the whole phone (which would not hold 300gb anyway)
  3. See photos on my phone when I do not have internet.
  4. Be able to import pics from camera onto my Macbook and later add them, with edits, to the main library on my iMac.
  5. Be able to view my entire library of albums on my Apple TV which is network connected in the house.

 

So my phone is 256gb and my Macbook is the same, so it can't hold the entire library.  I could try this out, but I would really like to understand how this would work before I spend the time. Can I achieve the above with Lightroom?

  1. Lightroom Classic would probably be the best option. Files can be stored on the internal SSD e.g. Pictures folder or on an external hard drive.
  2. Individual collections can be manually sync’d to the cloud with optimised versions (smart previews) available as iOS albums.
  3. This is usually possible with any editing sync’d back to the originals in LR Classic next time the phone has a network connection.
  4. This is automatic. Any photos taken with the phone app or added to LR Mobile are uploaded to the cloud as originals and downloaded into LR Classic folders as long as sync is not paused in LR Classic.
  5. I don’t use Apple TV. Maybe someone else will be able to help.
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How to, Import and share, Mac, Sync

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Replacing Apple Photos with Lightroom

Community Beginner ,
May 19, 2020

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I am looking to move to Lightroom, but am very confused about how it works as a Photos replacement.  My Photos library is about 300gb and I was using Aperture before it was killed off. Here's what I want it to do.

 

  1. My photos stored on my local iMac, not in the cloud. So I assume that means using Classic, not CC.
  2. Sync to iPhone, but would need to choose which albums so that it does not fill up the whole phone (which would not hold 300gb anyway)
  3. See photos on my phone when I do not have internet.
  4. Be able to import pics from camera onto my Macbook and later add them, with edits, to the main library on my iMac.
  5. Be able to view my entire library of albums on my Apple TV which is network connected in the house.

 

So my phone is 256gb and my Macbook is the same, so it can't hold the entire library.  I could try this out, but I would really like to understand how this would work before I spend the time. Can I achieve the above with Lightroom?

  1. Lightroom Classic would probably be the best option. Files can be stored on the internal SSD e.g. Pictures folder or on an external hard drive.
  2. Individual collections can be manually sync’d to the cloud with optimised versions (smart previews) available as iOS albums.
  3. This is usually possible with any editing sync’d back to the originals in LR Classic next time the phone has a network connection.
  4. This is automatic. Any photos taken with the phone app or added to LR Mobile are uploaded to the cloud as originals and downloaded into LR Classic folders as long as sync is not paused in LR Classic.
  5. I don’t use Apple TV. Maybe someone else will be able to help.
TOPICS
How to, Import and share, Mac, Sync

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May 19, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
May 20, 2020

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  1. Lightroom Classic would probably be the best option. Files can be stored on the internal SSD e.g. Pictures folder or on an external hard drive.
  2. Individual collections can be manually sync’d to the cloud with optimised versions (smart previews) available as iOS albums.
  3. This is usually possible with any editing sync’d back to the originals in LR Classic next time the phone has a network connection.
  4. This is automatic. Any photos taken with the phone app or added to LR Mobile are uploaded to the cloud as originals and downloaded into LR Classic folders as long as sync is not paused in LR Classic.
  5. I don’t use Apple TV. Maybe someone else will be able to help.

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May 20, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2020

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Thanks.  So if my big library is on my iMac, can I choose what will show up on my Macbook so that the entire drive is not consumed by the library?  You say that individual folders can be manually synced to the cloud, but would that apply to non-iOS, like my Macbook? And would those be full resolution or optimized? Can I import photos from my camera to my Macbook, make an album, edit them on the Macbook (like while travelling) and then get that album on to my main iMac library either by cloud or export import?

 

You said, "Any photos taken with the phone app or added to LR Mobile are uploaded to the cloud as originals" So that would mean that if I take a picture with my iPhone, does it immediately sync or do I have to manually add it to the LR app on the phone to sync?  Apple Photos does this, but, it actually does not anymore as it is broken since Catalina, so that is what inspired the switch to Lightroom, plus I imagine Lightroom is a lot more like Aperture than Photos, which is what I was using before it was killed by Apple. (See Apple, this is how you lose a customer!)

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May 20, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
May 20, 2020

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There would be no sync between your main catalog on the iMac and the MBP. Sync only works with one LR Classic catalog and iOS devices.

 

What I do when travelling is set up a temporary travel catalog within LR Classic on the MBP. When I get home I import as a catalog into my main catalog. So any photos I’ve edited on the road or added metadata to all get combined with the main catalog.

 

On iPad or iPhone you can set the Lightroom app to automatically add new photos you shoot with the device or to auto-add from camera roll.

 

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May 20, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2020

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Right. That makes sense. With Aperture, I was able to create an album on my MBP and then export the album and import it into Aperture on my iMac. Sounds similar in LR. When you say "catalog", is that the same as an album?  Would you export that catalog on the MBP, copy over to iMac and import, or is there some snazzier way?  Mainly, it sounds like I can do what I used to do with Aperture, so that's good.

 

For syncing with iOS, that can be done via Classic?  Adobe support (which I spent 5 hours on chat trying to get the same answers you just gave me so efficiently) said that I need to sync Classic to CC and CC does the cloud work (they also said I cannot select what to sync, only the whole library!). You say otherwise, so that's good to know. That way, I can choose how much to have on my phone based on space available, but it does not store full resolution on the phone anyway, so it's going to allow a lot more images there.

 

Thanks again.

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May 20, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
May 20, 2020

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The catalog is the data base which references all of your files and folders. Collections (Albums on iOS) are just organization tools.

 

Adobe’s Julieanne Kost has video demo on using a travel catalog with a master catalog.

 

An alternative would be to install the cloud version of Lightroom on the MBP  (not LR Classic) and  import everything while travelling. All originals will then upload to the cloud and will automatically synchronize down into Lr Classic on the iMac. But that version means uploading everything, requiring more storage space.

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May 20, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2020

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So if my main library is on the iMac with LR Classic, then would the cloud version on my MBP (CC) have just what is manually added while travelling and inputting photos, or would it have every collection that I have selected to be on my phone?  I assume it would be full resolution on the MBP, so that would take up a lof of space. Is that correct?  I suppose the main question is, can each device have unique sync with the cloud version, or does everything sync the same photos across all syncing devices?

 

If storage would be an issue, I can use Classic on my MBP.  I am a little baffled as to why there are two versions. There are not two versions of Photoshop or any other app, so why Lightroom?  

 

The video you linked looks helpful. Thanks for that.

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May 20, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
May 21, 2020

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Hi again. Everything in the cloud would sync with iPhone, iPad and MBP if the cloud version was installed on the latter. You can delete from the cloud what is not wanted after sync completes and nothing would get removed from LR Classic. The originals would remain in your iMac folders.

 

There are two versions because many users don’t need the local folder management of Classic/Aperture. They simply prefer to have a mirror copy on every computer and device. This is similar to the Apple Photos app which will automatically sync everything and let you revert to an original. LR Classic always lets you revert to an original or to a snapshot editing stage but sync is a manual process.

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May 21, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
May 21, 2020

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So whatever I sync using CC will be on any device set up to sync, but if I use Classic on the MBP, it will not sync anything and in that case, I would export the collection made while away and then import that into the main library on my iMac.  Meanwhile, the iPhone would have optomized versions of as much of the library I choose to sync and any other device, like an iPad, would sync exactly the same way as the iPhone.

 

Also, if the MBP was syncing the same files, because it is not iOS, I assume it would sync and full resolution and so overwhelm my 256gb SSD hard drive, so really, I can't do that if I want a decent size library on my phone. Is that right?

 

Classic will hold my entire library, but I would sync it to CC on the same iMac, but I would choose what CC is syncing from Classic and that CC version is what syncs with the phone, not Classic. Am I understanding this?  So CC would only hold collections (or albums) I want to be syncing.

 

So one more question (I hope!). If Classic holds all the photos and syncs to CC, then does that mean on my iMac, I would have a huge library in Classic and also a slightly less huge library created in CC which has whatever is syncing? Or does it just reference the pics in Classic?

 

Thank you for your help. I rteally appreciate it.

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May 21, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
May 22, 2020

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Dealing with each paragraph:

  1. Yes. Only photos you add to collections (check-marked for sync) will be sent as smart previews to the cloud.
  2. Yes. 
  3. Correct.
  4.  Yes the smart previews stored in the cloud are approx. 2500 pixels on the long edge with optimized versions for each device. But any editing done from the iPad or iPhone is sync’d back to the original raw file in Lr Classic.

 

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May 22, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
May 22, 2020

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Thanks again. I am now getting my head around this. Very helpful.  Sounds like CC interacts with Classic to provide the sync across other devices using iOS or another CC. What I am not clear on is if the CC on my iMac only refers to Classic or doubles full resolution library of what is syncing?

 

iOS syncing happens when online, but offline all images on the device are there to view without internet. Clever that an edit of the low resolution will sync to the full rez and provide the edit. It sounds like I will be much happier with LR over Photos. I actually had high hopes for Photos as a kind of souped up iPhoto, not as good as Aperture, but easy to use. I have found Photos to be a little buggy and often very slow.

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May 22, 2020 0