Best for Lightroom when traveling

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Adob ​​e Lightroom Mobile is great for taking better pictures on the go. One of my favorite tips is to use Lightroom Mobile Sync to restore all my RAW files and edits to my desktop computer and save it to my image archive when I return to the studio. In this photo editing tutorial, I will show you how to edit photos in Lightroom Mobile on the go and how to seamlessly move them through the cloud to Adobe Lightroom on your desktop. This is one of my favorite tips…

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39 Comments

  1. Am a bit worried if that is your only drive for your images …
    Would have like to have heard that there are more than one !
    Maybe you could add this safety issue to a future talk .
    Have seen so many pro’s run into trouble this way .
    Good talk though , I enjoy most of your Vids !

  2. It seems that this method would be bottlenecked by tablet storage capacity and upload bandwidth of whatever wifi service was available. Pretty slick for smaller batches, but for some photographers who shoot several gigs per day, it might be inefficient. Although I would love to travel without one, I've always had best luck with a laptop running full LR. I create a new empty catalog on the laptop, import all my images from the trip, do some edits, keywording, etc while on the road. Then at home on my desktop I just "Import from catalog" and point my desktop to the laptop catalog. LR then dumps the laptop catalog into my main desktop catalog with all the original raws and intact edits. Then I just delete the laptop catalog after I've backed everything up. Enjoyed the video though, and I'll probably give LR mobile another look since dismissing it a couple years ago!

  3. If you reboot your laptop in Target mode, you can connect it to your computer and "import from another catalog". It allows you to choose a destination folder. It will import all your edits. That.s how I do it. One simple step.

  4. I'll never rent software. I'll continue with LR until I get a camera body that isn't supported and then I'm jumping ship to something else. For now I just shoot RAW + small JPEG. The JPEGs transfer to my phone quickly and they are adequate for social media purposes.

  5. Lightroom CC is the best thing Adobe has done in years. I no longer use my laptop for editing at all except for in exceptional circumstances. Being able to grab any photo from the cloud any time on any device is amazing. No more traveling with a laptop either. By the way- I noticed you selecting your images one by one. If you choose to import from "camera roll" you can then use the dropdown at the top to switch to the folder called "last import" and all the files you just imported from your SD card will be there. You can then choose to select all and import them all. Very helpful if you have hundreds.

  6. I usually transfer my images to my mobile phone via Wi-Fi. The camera's hotspot is all I need, no hotel Wi-Fi or anything. I leave everything to transfer while I'm showering, changing or whatever would take up my time, then let everything sync to the cloud over night. If I'm in a hurry or just don't have the necessary space, I have a small HDD to transfer everything to. Lightest way I know how to do this.

  7. I haven't seen this point in the comments I read yet, but you can use LR CC (not Classic CC) on your laptop in a similar fashion. You import into albums on it that sync the RAW files to the cloud. The album shows on your desktop and then you move them out of the synced collection to an actual drive on the desktop. So similar workflow. Since I always haul a laptop anyway, I'm leaving the tablet behind with my method. Oh, and I can still use LR mobile on my phone, or at least until I stop the collection/album from syncing.

  8. There's a setting in Lightroom-> Preferences -> Lightroom Sync. You can specify a folder, even on an external drive, where you want the files to end up. They can even be sorted by date into sub folders.

  9. I always use my Macbook Pro for when I get back to the hotel, and use a USB 3 memory card reader to import the photos of the day. Plus, if I've got a partner with me, (we've split up now, so I'll be travelling alone) she would go through the imports and give them a fairly critical eye and star them them so that I know which ones to go back to and edit. Works well for me. I don't trust a portable device, given the usually wet weather and dodgy mobile signals I usually get in say Cornwall or Scotland. I'd rather wait till I'm back at the hotel with a decent WiFi connection, plug in power for charging.

  10. Great video – I've been doing this exact same thing with my Fuji's. The Mobile Syncing to an "On The Road" or in my case, "From Mobile" catalog has been great. I'm debating on how to proceed – interested in your thoughts. For now I'm leaving them in the folder structure LR is creating for them (which is part of my external drive array) and leaving the Collections as the way to sort them. This differs from my previous Folders view of the world. It seems that's the direction they're moving in with CC (not Classic CC) and I'm debating if I want to get on board with that.

    Again, great video, glad to have found you via an FSTOPPERS post today! Just subscribed!

  11. I have much the same workflow, but as others have pointed out, you can instruct Lightroom Classic on where to store originals synced in from mobile. No manual moving step necessary. This also means there's no pressing need to turn sync of for these mobile-originated collections.

  12. There is another way of doing the laptop+desktop sync. You can store the Catalog file inside Dropbox or Google or ICloud, and have the drives be with your files be “offline” when you are on the go. This way you can still see thumbnails and perform edits.

    I’m storing all my photos inside a Synology NAS, they are automatically backed-up to Dropbox, although I chose not to sync them on the laptop. My Catalog file is stored in my Dropbox and synced between my two computers.

    If I’m on the road and I need access to any file, I can locate them within my catalog through Lightroom and get them online on Dropbox 🙂

    I still think that the whole import to “camera roll” and other quirks of the iOS process adds many complicated elements.

    Cheers 🙂

  13. I guess the spirit may be that folks want an ‘easy’ way to do “X”. The functionality you refer to re: syncing, edits, file redundancy, etc. is all a function of servers.

    If you’re syncing with machines/drives at home or anywhere remotely, you can set up the drives to do so.

    Owncloud is something that you can use, but there are many tools to sync local and remote drives. That eliminates any characteristics (specifically shortcomings) that you may have with LR.

    Syncing tools exist in a significant abundance, so I’ll conclude with the assumption mentioned in the beginning, they must be too complex for folks’ interest.

  14. I started using this system to collate my wife’s iPhone photos from her Apple ID and my iPhone Apple ID photos and the RAW files from my Canon 7D and Sony A7iii.

    The only thing I do a little differently is have Lightroom Mobile auto import from the camera roll on one iOS device from each Apple ID. And import directly from the cameras using the USB to Lighting camera dongle to either the iPhone or iPad. The only issue with that is you have to set the Sony's USB power supply mode to “off” in order for the iPhone or iPad to download directly from it.

  15. Yes, good set-up. Been using it for a while now. I just wish LR mobile allowed creation and saving of presets or, even better, migration of desktop presets to mobile. The only other problem I have is that LR occasionally “loses” a few raw files that I have uploaded via the ipad. The preview is there on the desktop but the “original photo is missing”. Just seems to happen randomly. For an additional wow factor, try shooting on your phone through the LR mobile app. Raw capture, imported straight into LR mobile and synced straight up to the cloud and your desktop. I did a location shoot using the phone in my home town, walked five minutes back to the office and they were there on the desktop waiting for me!

  16. I've been using this for a while in conjunction with Photo Mechanic. The one problem I have is that it doesn't seem to sync keywords across to my desktop. Was wondering if you or anyone else has had that problem and knows a way to fix it.

  17. So, after you copy your raw files to Camera Roll and import them into Lightroom Mobile, you delete the files from Camera Roll? What do you see in Camera Roll since it can’t display a Raw file?

  18. I use LRCCClassic on my laptop (don't own a desktop) and on my Acer Win10 convertible (think MS Surface wannabe). I use OneDrive to keep everything synced. All my photos and Lightroom files are in my OneDrive folder (in subfolders). I just have to remember that I can only use Lightroom on one machine at a time, save my edits, and close LR when I'm done using the computer even if I'm in the middle of an edit so I can finish the edit on either machine. It's not full proof, but it works for me. I only have 500GB of media files, mostly photos. I'll probably stay with this solution until I get past 2TB because Overdrive will likely be to expensive.

  19. Thanks for the video on this…would be great to visually see how you brought your mobile edits back into the catalog and out of the mobile area on your desktop? I know you mentioned that it needs to be brought into a specific date but would like to know exactly how it works-Thanks in advance!

  20. Great video but it may be too late for us that choice LR Classic when we had to make the decision on which version to go with. LR mobile was so clumsy with limited edit that I gave up on it even though I bought the IPad Pro just for that reason. OBTW being a resident of FW I could use some suggestions of places to photograph. I’m in FW often for work and use the evenings to explore but some insider info would be awesome.

  21. The problem I have with iPad video imports from my A7Riii (I use mp4) is that the iPad only recognizes them if the base file name is exactly 8 characters (e.g. 12345678.mp4) and the files are in the DCIM folder; the sony video name is 5 chars (C1234.mp4). I love LumaFusion on the ipad. Does anyone know how to (a) force the sony to 8 char file names or (b) get the ipad to import mp4 directly from the dongle?

  22. I am not seeing a "From LR Mobile" collection on my computer. Signed in to my adobe account on both, sync is on, but everything only shows up in Lightroom CC on my desktop. Am I missing something?

  23. Thanks for the comments Ted! A few things:

    1. You can set in the preferences where to store the data when it gets synced with Lr Classic, that way you don't have to move them around 🙂
    2. You can create a collection in Lr Mobile and that collection will automatically be on your desktop device! In fact, you can create a collection, then add directly to that collection on your mobile device
    3. There's really no reason to turn off syncing. The iPad app manages storage for your automatically, removing old images, preventing cruft, etc. You can indicate to store data for longer if you like by using the Store Offline option. I have ~7.5 TB of data stored in the cloud, accessible on my iPhone, iPad, PixelBook, Pixel 2 XL, etc. (I like mobile devices, what?)

  24. I've been enjoying Lightroom Mobile for syncing… still don't see myself switching from Lightroom Classic to Lightroom CC on desktop though. My folder organization is specific and so far it's a LOT of work to move that over to CC and keep it the way I like.

  25. Good video Ted, thanks for laying out the workflow. I have to say I t still seems a bit clumsy. I would also want the ability and option to run Photoshop as well as Photoshop plugins while on the road. My wish is that Apple would make an iPad Photo Pro that just runs the latest regular MacOS and includes an SD card slot. Otherwise for quick edits and the automatic syncing as you’ve outlined make this way you’re doing it a pretty compelling way to go.

  26. Actually uploading/holding/serving the entire raw file must be a newer feature. It used to be LR mobile only sent up smart previews – not the entire image.

  27. I just did the same thing on a 17 day trip to Japan. Took 2,300 shots, uploaded to IPad, selected the best, edited those, and when I got home they were already on my desktop with the edits.

  28. The whole Lightroom workflow with Classic CC, CC and mobile is very confusing at the moment. I think I understand that, when importing into the “new” CC the RAW file remain on the hard drive as well as being uploaded to the cloud, with “Smart Previews” being available on all synced devices.

    What about Classic CC? Is there a way to have it send the RAW files to the cloud in the same way, or is it limited to uploading Smart Previews only?

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