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.
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?
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dealing with each paragraph:
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.
If you install a second version of Lr Classic on the MBP there will be no sync possible. As I mentioned earlier you can only sync one single Classic catalog.
No, I didn't mean two Classics on one iMac. I mean I have my library in Classic and I have CC, both on my iMac, but CC is only for syncing to other devices with iOS or CC on another computer. So my question is, with both Classic and CC on my iMac, will it mean that CC will store duplicates at full resolution, or does CC only refer to Classic, but not actually duplicate the images?
The creative cloud eco system will not duplicate. It will only store what you decide.
Right, but if I decide to sync 50gb of photos, does it not duplicate those photos on the iMac so that I have the full library in Classic (300gb) and the library in CC (on the same iMac) with the selected albums, so duplication of 50gb of pictures?
You missed a key point. If you decide to sync 50Gb of photos from LR Classic on your iMac, that wouldn't upload any original files, they would be only the 2560px Smart Previews. So, if you then signed in with LR CC (cloud version with rounded corners icon) then it would only be syncing those (much smaller) Smart Previews. If LR CC is taking up too much space, you can clear its cache to save space on the iMac.
The way I look at this is: all full size originals follow a one-way street into LR Classic. Once they sync to LR Classic, the cloud will only ever have Smart Previews. This means you can upload original files from your phone, iPad, or even LR CC on the iMac, and the full sized originals will sync to the cloud, at first... until you fire up LR Classic, which vacuums the originals through that one way hose, and replaces them with Smart Previews. You can't push an original upstream from LR Classic into the cloud.
Does that help?
Maybe there is a fundamental disconnect I am having about the way Classic and CC work together on the iMac. Here is what I thought:
I suspect I have something wrong here as you seem to be saying otherwise, but that's why I am confused about how the two apps work on the iMac.
Adobe does not recommend installing Lightroom Classic 9.2.1 and Lightroom 3.2.1 on the same machine which is why I suggested you could install the latter on the MBP instead of Classic.
Yes, you are making it harder than it needs to be. You wrote:
3. CC is on iMac, solely for the purpose of syncing selected photos to other devices because Classic will not do that on it's own.
4. When I select photos, or collections (albums!) to sync, I do so in Classic. They then sync with CC on the iMac.
In fact, for #3, LR CC is not needed for this. Classic syncs collections to LR Cloud and they are available on all devices (as Smart Previews). For #4, yes, they sync with LR CC on the Mac, but this isn't necessary to be able to see them on your other devices. Once you sync the collections from LR CC, the collections you've synced will show up on your phone, tablet, and any other device signed in with your same Adobe ID on any device (including LR CC on your iMac, or LR CC on a different Mac or Windows computer).
Maybe I misunderstood 99jon (despite how helpful he has been!). I thought I needed CC on the iMac to provide cloud syncing with other devices (phone, AppleTV, iPad). I think it would be clearer if I listed what I want in the end.
Given the above, what would I install on the iMac and MBP and how would I manage space on the MBP?
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Well 99Jon's advice and recommendations have been on the money, I think he and I are just explaining in different ways.
Your listing what you want in the end is most helpful, because it makes it more clear how to frame the answer you're seeking:
Yes, you would use LR Classic for this. With LR Classic, all the originals are stored on your iMac, and you have the responsibility to back up both your catalog AND your photos, to avoid data loss.
Any collections synced from LR Classic on the iMac will show up automatically on your iPhone or iPad. Any photos taken on the iPhone (either using the LR Camera app, or imported from your camera roll) will sync over to your iMac and the originals will ultimately be on your iMac.
This is more thorny, and you have two possible choices of how to approach this:
1. You could use LR (cloud version) on your MacBook. This is theortetically the ideal workflow, as the originals you import there would sync over to your iMac. The reality is that if (like me) you may take hundreds of RAW images in a day while traveling, and you connect with lousy hotel wifi, your originals may take forever to sync over the cloud to your iMac.
2. You could use LR Classic on your MacBook. DO NOT try to sync LR Classic from your MacBook, as this will overwrite everything synced from your iMac. Only ONE instance of LR Classic can sync to the cloud. In this case, you would not enable syncing from your MacBook, and would keep the originals with you. When you return home, you can use the "Import from Catalog" on your iMac to bring the images from your MacBook into the master LR Classic library on your iMac. In this case, you're best off investing in an external hard drive (you can get a 2Tb external drive for maybe $60 US). Keep your library and catalog on the external drive to make it easier to import back into your iMac when you get home. Even better, get two external drives, and use one as a backup of the other, just in case.
As I said above, you could do this if you are using the LR CC app (cloud version with the rounded corners icon) on your MacBook. But the syncing can take a LONG time if you're on a slow connection. If you're taking upwards of 15-20Gb of photos a day, your MacBook could take forever to sync. There's no way to sync selectively. It's all or none.
Now, there is a third option, which is what I do when I do want a selective sync. It's a little more involved, and requires both LR Classic and LR CC on your MacBook. I do this regularly, despite Adobe's recommendation as mentioned above by 99Jon. What I do is, I follow option 2 above with LR Classic for all my photos. But, if I want to get a handful of my images over to LR CC so I can have them on my phone or ipad, and share albums of my picks while traveling, I do this:
1. From LR Classic, filter my picks to share.
2. Export as DNG to a temporary folder on my desktop. (Or export originals, if I've done additional work in Photoshop). Export as DNG will include the adjustments made in LR.
3. Open LR CC, and import the DNGs and PSDs from the temporary desktop folder. These will sync to the cloud.
4. Once LR CC has imported the images, I delete the temporary folder.
This way, I can share selected images while I'm on the go, but still import everything else when I get home.
I hope that helps!
Wow, that is super helfpul. Between you and 99Jon, I really have a good picture and I so appreciate the time both of you have taken to help me and apologies if it has taken longer for my head to get around this than I would have liked.
It sounds like the best option is your last one. In that case, I just use Classic on the MBP (with sync turned OFF) and CC as well, if I want to sync over the cloud. One question though. If I open CC and it is syncing to the cloud, won't it also download all the albums which are syncing with my iPhone as well? If so, CC on the MBP would download full resolution, which would take up a lot of disk space. Or can CC on the MBP not download other albums and just be used as you describe? If not, sharing while on the road is not the biggest concern for me and so I can just use Classic and then export and import when I get home.
When you sync with LR CC on your MacBook Pro, it will download Smart Previews only, unless you request originals. Remember, when you sync with LC Classic, all full sized originals are removed from the cloud and replaced with Smart Previews, so even if you wanted to pull down an to LR CC on your MBP, it would most likely not be available. The only full sized originals available in the Cloud would be those uploaded from one of your LR CC devices, prior to that image being synced to LR Classic on the desktop.
Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on all this now, so I'm glad we could help!
I also consider switch to adobe. I moved a few video samples to the adobe cloud via Lightroom (not classic) and all devices are synced but Apple TV 85% of the times are playing the video in a lower quality. The resolution is not consistent. The video are 4K 30 or 60 FPS.
Have you seen this problem?
BTW, Apple automatic moments will need to be done manualy? It it nice. Any idea if adobe has some kind of app or feature to make those?