Lightroom on the Field

Explorer ,
Mar 09, 2021 Mar 09, 2021

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There are a number of articles, tutorials and videos describing methods for creating and exporting a catalog created on a laptop to a desktop (where main LR catalog resides) when that catalog was created on the laptop in the field for a specific shoot.

What is your preferred method for this purpose?

Is there an efficient and foolproof method for accomplishing that workflow using Lightroom (Cloud) on a laptop so that the original files/photos are available in Lightroom Classic on a desktop?

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How to, Import and export

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 09, 2021 Mar 09, 2021

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When I'm out in the field (aka Holiday), as I take each card of images, I import them into a fresh LRC catalog. Then after the import I will spend some time doing general Keep & Toss, enhance, etc. Then at the end of the day I copy the folder that has all the images, the catalog, everything onto an external drive. Once that's done I can then reformat the card.

 

At the end of the Holiday I can then take that external drive, plug it into my main computer and import that catalog and images into my primary LRC catalog.

 

This way I always have at least two copies of the images and the catalog and importing the catalog means that everything I've done is maintained.

2021-03-09_09-09-04.png

 

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Explorer ,
Mar 09, 2021 Mar 09, 2021

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There are a number of different ways to accomplish this, but I gather from your question you want to do this via the cloud using LR Cloud on the laptop and LR Classic on your desktop.

 

If that's the case you will find this article very interesting:

How to Use Lightroom Mobile for Temporary Travel

It talks about LR Mobile on an iPad, but the process is the same with LR Cloud on a laptop.

 

I have used this on a number of occasions and was very happy with how it worked out.

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Explorer ,
Mar 09, 2021 Mar 09, 2021

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Thanks but the link is broken.

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Explorer ,
Mar 09, 2021 Mar 09, 2021

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 09, 2021 Mar 09, 2021

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I have used the same method as gary_sc for many years: Create a Lightroom Classic “trip catalog” on the laptop, import all cards to that catalog during the trip and make whatever edits I want, then after getting home, open my master catalog and use Import From Another Catalog to merge in the original images from the trip catalog with their edits.

 


@ralphsomma wrote:

Is there an efficient and foolproof method for accomplishing that workflow using Lightroom (Cloud) on a laptop so that the original files/photos are available in Lightroom Classic on a desktop?


 

That can be pretty simple. Any images you import into Lightroom (not Classic) on the trip are automatically uploaded to Lightroom Photos in the cloud, and then the next time you open your Lightroom Classic master catalog at home, all those original photo files are automatically downloaded to your master catalog. Before the trip, you’d want to make sure that the folder where Lightroom Classic cloud photos are downloaded is where you want them to go (for example, to the same folder/subfolders where your photos are imported from camera cards); that’s in Preferences, Lightroom Sync tab, Location section. Fortunately, if a shoot is partially uploaded by Lightroom, when the rest of the card is imported through Lightroom Classic, Classic seems to be smart enough to skip already downloaded originals; it does not import them as duplicates. (This probably depends on whether “Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates” is selected in the Import dialog box.)

 

I continue to use the non-cloud Classic method because I still find that many places have an Internet upload speed that’s too slow or unreliable to finish uploading multiple GB of photos into the cloud before it’s time to disconnect my laptop and leave the hotel room. Also, I like a lot of the features in Lightroom Classic that aren’t in Lightroom, so I prefer to use Classic even on the road.

 

But one way that the cloud method is very handy is when all I want to bring is an iPad, and the destination has fast upload to the Internet. Or when I’m shooting relatively few images so that they don’t take long to upload. Then it’s super convenient to let them upload, and after I get home and open my Classic master catalog, all those originals get pulled down to my master catalog automatically.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 09, 2021 Mar 09, 2021

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To build on Gary's answer, the fastest way by far is to use Classic (not cloudy!) on the laptop and plug in a portable SSD drive. These are tiny, superfast and almost indestructable. Put the catalog and the files you imported onto that SSD. Then when you get back, just plug the SSD drive into the desktop and import from catalog in your main catalog. This will be done in seconds. 

Second way of doing this is the also mentioned cloud syncing way. This is conceptually very simple. Just use Lightroom Cloudy on the laptop and set the Classic catalog on your desktop to sync. You just import into the laptop into Lightroom Cloudy and the files will sync to the cloud and show up automatically in Classic on your desktop. Bonus is to make sure syncing on Classic is set up to sync into the same folder structure as you are already using like a dated folder structure.  This works well if you are ensured good wifi access in the field and can let the laptop upload for a while every time. If you don't the experience can take miserably long. You could count on your home/office internet but even then and when your internet does not have good upload speed (i.e. basically any internet service except for fiber optic has glacial upload speed) you will have to wait a long time for the images to first upload to the cloud before they finally get downloaded on the desktop and show up in Classic there.

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