Lightroom Classic comes with 20GB of space on Adobe’s cloud service (Lightroom CC/Web/app) but did you know that you can sync photos to the cloud and then edit them on your phone without using that space?
The original photos are not synced, but a smaller cut down smart preview is which in most cases will be indistinguishable from the original.
If you create a collection all the photos in that collection can be synced with the cloud. They’ll appear as an album of the same name in the Lightroom app on your phone or iPad. They also won’t take up any of that valuable 20GB of space.
Unfortunately Adobe won’t allow you to sync smart collections, and I presume that is intentional for whatever reason. However, with the help of the Any Source plugin you can configure it to sync smart collections with the cloud. This very handy plugin syncs the smart collection with a dumb collection that can then be synchronised.
I use it to synchronise the following smart collections:
Photos on my TODO list.
Recent Photos from the last 3 months.
The plugin has a free trial but is PWYW and well worth paying for!
Syncing my recent photos with the cloud is simple.
Create a smart collection.
Call it “Recent Photos”.
Add one rule: “Capture Date” “is in the last” 3 “months”.
That will create your new smart collection. Now follow the instructions to synchronise smart collections on the Any Source homepage. It might take a few minutes for the album to appear in mobile Lightroom but it will eventually.
There are many articles out there that explain how best to store your photo archive if you use Lightroom. I was going to write one too but I don't think the world will really benefit from me rehashing what other writers have already said.
You may have read elsewhere or seen YouTube videos that encourage you to put descriptive titles in the folders where you store your photos, but I would urge you to keep the folder names as simple as possible. I agree with Peter Krogh that you keep the directory names simple but instead of using project names as he did above, I use dates. I use YYYY/YYYY-MM-DD as the folder name when importing. Using project based folder names makes things complicated. Occasionally I won't bother copying photos off my camera, especially if they're just snapshots, so it would be an extra hassle importing first my cat photos from Friday, and then my street photos on Saturday. It's much easier to go into "Previous Import" and add a few keywords. This won't happen that often, but I guarantee it will.
When you're looking through your photo archive it probably won't be through a file manager, it'll be in Lightroom, so the folder names don't matter, but the dated folder names provide a logical and predictable naming convention that will always be the same.
Instead of relying on folder names use keywords and collections to sort your photos. Use ratings or colours to refine further. You can then use Lightroom filters to quickly find whatever photo you need. This short tutorial on collections explains how to use them.
Use Import Presets
As well as DSLR photos, I import photos from my phone into Lightroom, and now that I'm doing a 365 day photo project too I'll be importing fully edited photos from my phone. I use Snapseed to edit those photos so I wanted some way of identifying those photos. Import Presets were the answer!
I use import presets to configure import options like destination folder, file renaming, metadata information, keywords, and even develop settings:
Away: used when I'm not at home with my laptop. Usually on a work trip or holiday. The destination folder is on the local drive. Everything else goes to an external one. When I get home I move the files to external storage and tell Lightroom where the missing files are.
Jacinta's Photos: my wife's camera phone photos go in a specific directory with different keywords and metadata.
Mobile Import: import photos I've already synced from my phone. Adds the keyword "phone" and puts the photos into a different directory structure.
SD Card: settings used when I'm importing DSLR photos.
Snapseed: my newest import preset. This adds the keyword "snapseed" and moves photos into the same folder as the Mobile Import preset. I use the keyword to
identify these files.
Use Publish Actions
These allow you to export photos with particular settings. This allows you to tailor your photos for different sites. For example, Instagram uses 1080×1080 pixel images. Your blog will have a different width. Facebook has other restrictions.
Use the WordPress Lightroom Plugin
The Lightroom Exporter for WordPress allows you to export photos from Lightroom into your WordPress.com or self hosted WordPress site (if you're using Jetpack).
There has been so much written about Adobe Lightroom it's not hard to find answers to whatever questions you have. This was just a short summary of my thoughts about photo organization. I have a photo archive going back to 2001 and it has worked well for me. It'll probably work well for you too.
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