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Lightroom CC File storage questions

Community Beginner ,
Jun 08, 2019

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Context: New to lightroom, I have only ever used Lightroom CC.

Why am I asking: I am getting an external ssd and I do not know how to organize my photos in it.

Current set up: My photos from my camera are upload into a folder on my hard drive.

1. When you run out of storage on the cloud, where do the photos go? it is not like lightroom cc doesnt let you import/edit photos if you are out of cloud storage.

2. In lightroom cc you can make folders and albums: Are those folders/albums artificial, in that they do not exist it is just graphical?

My impression for organizing things in lightroom CC:

It seems like after you upload photos onto your computer from the camera, those are in dated folders, and lightroom cc is just a graphical interface for organization. The files are not put elsewhere on your harddrive.

Furthermore,

I looked in the "originals" folder within the lightroom cc library on my harddrive and it only had a handful of photos. I do not know what lightroom is deciding to put there at ALL. They seem to be copies of my originals as the originally uploaded (from my camera) are still in their original place (upload folder on harddrive).

My best guess for how everything is working:

It seems like the organization in lightroom cc is just graphical and structure data is stored on the cloud without any actual folders existing outside the cloud. Photos are saved up to your cloud storage and the amount of storage you are paying for is the limit. However, the cloud saves your edits, and the the memory of edits and which photo is saved to cloud without limit?

Actually check this: I just checked my creative cloud storage and I am using 67%, but when I go to "open folder" or "view on web" both are empty. When i got into my creative cloud folder on my computer, I am uncovering hidden files (I have a mac). How are both places empty but I am using 67% of my storage? soooooo confused

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Ian Lyons | Adobe Community Professional

Answers to your questions

1. When you run out of cloud space you'll need to shell out £/$ for more. Lightroom is cloud based rather than disk based. Sure you can store photos locally, but that's not the primary storage location, even if you want/think different.

BTW, the application is now called Lightroom (without the CC).

2.  All photos are imported into date based folders and will be shown as such. However, you have no control over these folders. When Adobe describe folders in the marketing blurb they're describing a way of grouping your photo albums.

My impression for organizing things in lightroom CC:

It seems like after you upload photos onto your computer from the camera, those are in dated folders, and lightroom cc is just a graphical interface for organization. The files are not put elsewhere on your harddrive.

Yes, although you have the option to set Lightroom to store originals locally. You can also choose which disk to use and how much of it is allocated for storing files locally. However, this isn't a way of avoiding the need for cloud storage.

Furthermore,

I looked in the "originals" folder within the lightroom cc library on my harddrive and it only had a handful of photos. I do not know what lightroom is deciding to put there at ALL. They seem to be copies of my originals as the originally uploaded (from my camera) are still in their original place (upload folder on harddrive).

The default is for your originals to be stored on the cloud with only the most recent import or photos your currently editing to be stored locally. So, you can look upon this folder as being a temporary storage area. However, (lots of howevers with this version of Lightroom) you can, as mentioned above, set Lightroom to store a copy of all your originals locally as per the disk location and size you decide upon.

SkyScraperJon

My best guess for how everything is working:

It seems like the organization in lightroom cc is just graphical and structure data is stored on the cloud without any actual folders existing outside the cloud. Photos are saved up to your cloud storage and the amount of storage you are paying for is the limit. However, the cloud saves your edits, and the the memory of edits and which photo is saved to cloud without limit?

Actually check this: I just checked my creative cloud storage and I am using 67%, but when I go to "open folder" or "view on web" both are empty. When i got into my creative cloud folder on my computer, I am uncovering hidden files (I have a mac). How are both places empty but I am using 67% of my storage? soooooo confused

It's a bit more complicated than you describe, but from a user perspective it's good enough. It's also how Adobe want you to believe it all works.

I think you may be describing the amount of allocated local disk space that's already used to store the originals. You haven't indicated how much storage your plan includes for. The basic was (might still be) 20GB with option to increase to 1TB, 10 TB or more.  The 20GB plan is really only for testing whether you like the application or not. Realistically, most customers will require to sign up for the 1TB option.

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Lightroom CC File storage questions

Community Beginner ,
Jun 08, 2019

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Context: New to lightroom, I have only ever used Lightroom CC.

Why am I asking: I am getting an external ssd and I do not know how to organize my photos in it.

Current set up: My photos from my camera are upload into a folder on my hard drive.

1. When you run out of storage on the cloud, where do the photos go? it is not like lightroom cc doesnt let you import/edit photos if you are out of cloud storage.

2. In lightroom cc you can make folders and albums: Are those folders/albums artificial, in that they do not exist it is just graphical?

My impression for organizing things in lightroom CC:

It seems like after you upload photos onto your computer from the camera, those are in dated folders, and lightroom cc is just a graphical interface for organization. The files are not put elsewhere on your harddrive.

Furthermore,

I looked in the "originals" folder within the lightroom cc library on my harddrive and it only had a handful of photos. I do not know what lightroom is deciding to put there at ALL. They seem to be copies of my originals as the originally uploaded (from my camera) are still in their original place (upload folder on harddrive).

My best guess for how everything is working:

It seems like the organization in lightroom cc is just graphical and structure data is stored on the cloud without any actual folders existing outside the cloud. Photos are saved up to your cloud storage and the amount of storage you are paying for is the limit. However, the cloud saves your edits, and the the memory of edits and which photo is saved to cloud without limit?

Actually check this: I just checked my creative cloud storage and I am using 67%, but when I go to "open folder" or "view on web" both are empty. When i got into my creative cloud folder on my computer, I am uncovering hidden files (I have a mac). How are both places empty but I am using 67% of my storage? soooooo confused

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Ian Lyons | Adobe Community Professional

Answers to your questions

1. When you run out of cloud space you'll need to shell out £/$ for more. Lightroom is cloud based rather than disk based. Sure you can store photos locally, but that's not the primary storage location, even if you want/think different.

BTW, the application is now called Lightroom (without the CC).

2.  All photos are imported into date based folders and will be shown as such. However, you have no control over these folders. When Adobe describe folders in the marketing blurb they're describing a way of grouping your photo albums.

My impression for organizing things in lightroom CC:

It seems like after you upload photos onto your computer from the camera, those are in dated folders, and lightroom cc is just a graphical interface for organization. The files are not put elsewhere on your harddrive.

Yes, although you have the option to set Lightroom to store originals locally. You can also choose which disk to use and how much of it is allocated for storing files locally. However, this isn't a way of avoiding the need for cloud storage.

Furthermore,

I looked in the "originals" folder within the lightroom cc library on my harddrive and it only had a handful of photos. I do not know what lightroom is deciding to put there at ALL. They seem to be copies of my originals as the originally uploaded (from my camera) are still in their original place (upload folder on harddrive).

The default is for your originals to be stored on the cloud with only the most recent import or photos your currently editing to be stored locally. So, you can look upon this folder as being a temporary storage area. However, (lots of howevers with this version of Lightroom) you can, as mentioned above, set Lightroom to store a copy of all your originals locally as per the disk location and size you decide upon.

SkyScraperJon

My best guess for how everything is working:

It seems like the organization in lightroom cc is just graphical and structure data is stored on the cloud without any actual folders existing outside the cloud. Photos are saved up to your cloud storage and the amount of storage you are paying for is the limit. However, the cloud saves your edits, and the the memory of edits and which photo is saved to cloud without limit?

Actually check this: I just checked my creative cloud storage and I am using 67%, but when I go to "open folder" or "view on web" both are empty. When i got into my creative cloud folder on my computer, I am uncovering hidden files (I have a mac). How are both places empty but I am using 67% of my storage? soooooo confused

It's a bit more complicated than you describe, but from a user perspective it's good enough. It's also how Adobe want you to believe it all works.

I think you may be describing the amount of allocated local disk space that's already used to store the originals. You haven't indicated how much storage your plan includes for. The basic was (might still be) 20GB with option to increase to 1TB, 10 TB or more.  The 20GB plan is really only for testing whether you like the application or not. Realistically, most customers will require to sign up for the 1TB option.

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Jun 08, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 08, 2019

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Answers to your questions

1. When you run out of cloud space you'll need to shell out £/$ for more. Lightroom is cloud based rather than disk based. Sure you can store photos locally, but that's not the primary storage location, even if you want/think different.

BTW, the application is now called Lightroom (without the CC).

2.  All photos are imported into date based folders and will be shown as such. However, you have no control over these folders. When Adobe describe folders in the marketing blurb they're describing a way of grouping your photo albums.

My impression for organizing things in lightroom CC:

It seems like after you upload photos onto your computer from the camera, those are in dated folders, and lightroom cc is just a graphical interface for organization. The files are not put elsewhere on your harddrive.

Yes, although you have the option to set Lightroom to store originals locally. You can also choose which disk to use and how much of it is allocated for storing files locally. However, this isn't a way of avoiding the need for cloud storage.

Furthermore,

I looked in the "originals" folder within the lightroom cc library on my harddrive and it only had a handful of photos. I do not know what lightroom is deciding to put there at ALL. They seem to be copies of my originals as the originally uploaded (from my camera) are still in their original place (upload folder on harddrive).

The default is for your originals to be stored on the cloud with only the most recent import or photos your currently editing to be stored locally. So, you can look upon this folder as being a temporary storage area. However, (lots of howevers with this version of Lightroom) you can, as mentioned above, set Lightroom to store a copy of all your originals locally as per the disk location and size you decide upon.

SkyScraperJon

My best guess for how everything is working:

It seems like the organization in lightroom cc is just graphical and structure data is stored on the cloud without any actual folders existing outside the cloud. Photos are saved up to your cloud storage and the amount of storage you are paying for is the limit. However, the cloud saves your edits, and the the memory of edits and which photo is saved to cloud without limit?

Actually check this: I just checked my creative cloud storage and I am using 67%, but when I go to "open folder" or "view on web" both are empty. When i got into my creative cloud folder on my computer, I am uncovering hidden files (I have a mac). How are both places empty but I am using 67% of my storage? soooooo confused

It's a bit more complicated than you describe, but from a user perspective it's good enough. It's also how Adobe want you to believe it all works.

I think you may be describing the amount of allocated local disk space that's already used to store the originals. You haven't indicated how much storage your plan includes for. The basic was (might still be) 20GB with option to increase to 1TB, 10 TB or more.  The 20GB plan is really only for testing whether you like the application or not. Realistically, most customers will require to sign up for the 1TB option.

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Jun 08, 2019 2
Community Beginner ,
Jun 08, 2019

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Thank you very much Ian. I guess I have one more question:

How are edits saved?

Are the edits saved as some metadata that get applied when I export the image or is the edited image itself saved?

I am generally interested in that and, since you brought it up, is there a way to avoid the need for more storage (like making it work with 20gb). Even $9.99/month is already a steep price for a student. haha. (I imagine there may be a different way as opposed to using lightroom classic, but I am not opposed to switching as I just started using lightroom)

My intent/for background:

My set up is that I import from my camera onto my harddrive and store it there, then I import into lightroom.

Ideally in the future, I am connecting an external ssd when I want to upload photos onto storage and/or edit photos. I dont really need cloud access to my photos, esp if I have to pay extra money monthly for that (since I can use that money for an ssd and I have way more applications for an external ssd).

thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 08, 2019

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If you really are not interested in cloud access to your images, and prefer to have them on a hard drive, it seems to me that Lightroom Classic is the better choice for you because that is the way it is designed to function. It is still possible to share collections with the cloud in the form of smart previews, and those collections as smart previews do not impact your 20 GB allocation. In other words, it is possible to share as many collections from Lightroom Classic as you want, no limit whatsoever. Lightroom Classic is, in my opinion, a more full-featured version of Lightroom that would probably suit your needs better. At least that would seem so based on your description of how you plan to function.

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Jun 08, 2019 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 08, 2019

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With Lightroom the edits and the images are stored in the Lightroom cloud. It is possible to download the original + edits and when you do the edits are in a separate metadata file. If you export the file to a jpeg, the edits are applied to the image. You don’t get the separate metadata for the edit.

Your hard drive is not storing the photos, the Lightroom cloud is. After you import the images to Lightroom there is no connection to the files on your hard drive. The master is in the cloud. You could delete the photos on your drive (but I’m not saying that you should). Eventually you will run out of cloud storage and need to purchase more.

Lightroom Classic stores images on local hard drives and may be a better fit for you. However many new users find Lightroom Classic’s file management challenging at first. Educate yourself on the differences before you make a decision.

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