• Welcome to the Lightroom Queen Forums! We're a friendly bunch, so please feel free to register and join in the conversation. If you're not familiar with forums, you'll find step by step instructions on how to post your first thread under Help at the bottom of the page. You're also welcome to download our free Lightroom Quick Start eBooks and explore our other FAQ resources.
  • It's Lightroom update time again! New cameras (including the Canon R5/R6), lens profiles and bug fixes, and the ability to disable built-in lens corrections for specific new cameras. Here's the usual list

BACKLIGHT : A Web Publishing Suite for Lightroom Users

theturninggate

The Turning Gate
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
749
Location
Seoul, South Korea
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version


BACKLIGHT allows photographers to create a website in mere minutes, then to be publishing image galleries via Lightroom's Publish Services immediately. Literally, go from install to images in minutes.

Backlight is created by The Turning Gate (TTG), creators of Lightroom's most popular and powerful Web module plugins since 2007. Backlight is not, however, a plugin.

Consider Backlight a full replacement for Lightroom's Web module. It installs in your web space, operates at your domain, and comes with no subscription fees. It also puts your content first, allowing you to get up-and-running quickly with pages and image galleries, all of which can be customized at your leisure. Whether you needed your website five minutes ago, or you have days or weeks ahead of you to scope the site to your needs, Backlight gets the job done with ease.

Backlight is packed with features, is actively supported by its developers and an enthusiastic community of users, and is in active development, evolving and receiving new features and add-ons with regular updates.

Backlight's features include:

* Create albums, and organize albums into sets from within your Lightroom catalog, using Publish Services.
* Create pages -- Home, About, Contact, etc. -- to accompany your image portfolio, with Markdown support for text formatting, and flexible contact forms.
* Fully customize the look and feature set of your website's pages and galleries with immediate visual feedback, using Backlight's built-in designer.
* Websites are fully responsive, built for desktop and mobile browsers alike. Galleries support swipe navigation and pinch-to-zoom gestures on touch-screens.
* Password protect albums and album sets.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Several add-ons are also available for Backlight:

Our must-have Client Response Add-on facilitates communication between the photographer and client following a photo shoot. It allows clients to make image selects and provide feedback, sent to the photographer's email in a format easily processed using Lightroom's Library filters.

Our Cart Add-on allows digital images or physical prints to be sold directly from your galleries, and can also be used to sell other goods or services from your website. The cart supports online payments through PayPal, or can be configured for invoiced checkout (collect payment later, in your own way, and mark the order complete for delivery thereafter).

BACKLIGHT does all this and more! Buy your copy today, visit our example galleries, find more information or make inquiries at The Turning Gate.

Upgrade pricing is available for customers of our CE4 Lightroom plugins.

You can also check out our setup demonstration on YouTube. In 12-minutes, we take you from unzipping Backlight's files to publishing your first image gallery online.
 

theturninggate

The Turning Gate
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
749
Location
Seoul, South Korea
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Hi Tom,

I'm on the development team. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, or feel free to visit our user forum or Facebook group if you'd like some perspective from our clients.

Cheers,
Matt
 

bob chadwick

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2016
Messages
81
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
I'm on my third iteration of it. Obviously I like it. I'm just now converting my previous version to Backlight. Once you figure out where everything is it's fairly easy to use and the support team is very helpful.

This is the current version with this link taking you to what remains of the prior version that I'm in the process of converting from.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,660
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
I tested it for my personal website too, and I was impressed. Much easier to set up than previous versions, and gives you the flexibility of hosting on your own website.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Messages
201
Location
Samoreau, France
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
My web site is now also powered by Backlight. I was previously using the CE3 TTG package and I must say, it's another world. Really. You can make changes to your galleries very quickly, you no longer need to re-upload everything each time you make a change,... Very comfortable... once everything is setup (see below).

The only critic I can make is about the very, very light documentation. Granted, any question asked in the support forum is answered very quickly. Nevertheless, I'd prefer a more detailed documentation. This is the way I work with software : I RTFM. This is not the opinion of the people at The Turning Gate who think that almost everything in Backlight is self-explanatory, which is not the case. The documentation also often assumes that you have a background about previous TTG tools. So a lot of details are bypassed. This could be a problem for users new to the TTG tools.

My two cents...
 

Pideja

New Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
8
Location
Montreal
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
6.x
I'm in the same situation: I just manage to get around in CE4. As a matter of fact, I'm starting to get the hang of it. In comes BACKLIGHT and now I'm totally in the dark! Matt, Rod and others are very helpfull. All claim that it's easier than CE4. Might be so, but after a few tries just to get a simple page up, I'm frustrated with the text-only interface. Evidently, I don't have deep knowledge on web design, coding, php and the rest of it. But, at least in CE4, I can get around all the parameters with some sense of progress. Granted CE4 is very slow, mainly because of Lightroom.
But, until the bulb lights up in my brain, I'll be in the dark with Backlight.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
794
Location
Cheshire, UK
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
I was thinking that building my own web site could be my "winter project", so I thought that Backlight could be a good tool to use. I'm a bit put off by the comments above.

I know my way around computers (and I have my own domain and web space registered) but nothing about web design or TTG.

I'm more than happy to learn, that's part of the point, but don't know where to start. Can anyone suggest beginners' resources?

Thanks, Dave.
 

Pideja

New Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2016
Messages
8
Location
Montreal
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
6.x
I feel for you. I was getting familiar with CE4 and I could design basic but pretty good sites. Now, in front of the Backlight interface, I'm lost completely!
 

bob chadwick

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2016
Messages
81
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
It just takes a little playing with and some questions. Go to the Backlight portion of their forums. Read some of the posts and before you know it you'll be up and running.
 

theturninggate

The Turning Gate
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
749
Location
Seoul, South Korea
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
I really would encourage interested parties to check out our demonstration video on YouTube, as it shows how quickly and easily you can have galleries online; this process is also fully documented. From there, it's a matter of personalizing your site, and you can spend as much or as little time as you like on that, using the auto-refresh feature to preview changes as you work. Most users get to grips with it very quickly.

The "text-only interface" for page content supports Markdown syntax, which is well-documented and pretty standard for authoring Web content. If you're not familiar with Markdown, it's easy to use and you can learn the basics in under five minutes. It allows you to format text pretty much as you please, with support for headings, bold and italic faces, hyperlinks, lists, etc. Super easy to use, while maintaining content in a human-readable format that's easy to work with. We consider this a feature, not a limitation.

So yes, there's a learning curve, albeit (we think) a gentle one. Every piece of software, on being approached for the first time, has a learning curve. To expect otherwise is simply unrealistic. Also unrealistic, expecting a small development team with limited resources to write an encyclopedic tome of documentation for an agile piece of software that is constantly evolving and improving. Victoria writes a far better manual for Lightroom than Adobe does; Victoria is also not developing Lightroom full-time.

We are more forthcoming with support than anyone else in the business, and we have a high retention rate for returning customers, as evidenced above. Some of our users have been with us since the beginning, in 2007, so we are presumably doing something right.

Cheers,
Matt
 

theturninggate

The Turning Gate
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
749
Location
Seoul, South Korea
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
... Evidently, I don't have deep knowledge on web design, coding, php and the rest of it.
And you don't need to have any such knowledge. There is literally nothing in Backlight that requires such expertise; you can personalize your site completely through our designer interface, and can easily format all of your text using Markdown.

We do support various options for advanced users, allowing them to extend Backlight with custom coding. Extensibility features are entirely optional, however, and never thrown up as roadblocks to basic use.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
794
Location
Cheshire, UK
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Thanks, Matt

I watched the video, and I'm sure it's something I could handle (though OK as a demonstration, I don't think I could use it as tutorial, but I guess it wasn't designed for that)

Regards,

Dave
 

theturninggate

The Turning Gate
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
749
Location
Seoul, South Korea
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Yes, it's more demonstration than tutorial, though serves both purposes. Many of our English-as-a-second-language customers find the video easier to follow than the written documentation. That said, the full setup process is also laid out step-by-step on our wiki.
 

Zenon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
1,639
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
Just curious. What is the main difference between this and Portfolio?
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
459
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
Just curious. What is the main difference between this and Portfolio?
If you mean Adobe Portfolio, I can comment on that. I don't know much about Backlight, but a quick look at the website provides a lot of clues as to the differences between it and Portfolio.

Adobe Portfolio is literally what it says: It's meant to be a portfolio website, which means a small site concentrated only on your best work. Portfolio is simple and easy to set up with functional templates, with customization limited to the buttons and sliders available. A Portfolio site can only be hosted on Adobe servers, although you can hook it up to your own custom domain name.

Backlight looks like more of a standard HTML/CSS web site, with more of the flexibility of a standard web site. It looks like you can host it on any server you like, and customize it much further using, as their web site says, "Backlight's advanced customization and extensibility features, including an integrated grid framework, Font Awesome icon support, PHPlugins extensibility API, and more." Portfolio does not approach that level of customization. Backlight also has add-ons like Client Response and Cart which tell you more about what it can do: You can use Backlight to manage photography clients and sell photos. Portfolio does not do any of that, because it's just a portfolio.

The way Portfolio is set up, it isn't easy to scale it up. I wouldn't use it to manage a large number of galleries. Backlight looks like it should scale up more efficiently, although again, I've never used it. Also, the last time I played with Portfolio, the Lightroom integration was very limited…you can import one or more photos directly from Lightroom online storage, but there's no link so they won't update if you make changes. Not sure if Backlight is better in that area.

There are differences in how you pay. Portfolio is available only with a Creative Cloud membership, so you can only use it as long as you're still subscribing. Backlight is a one-time payment (plus monthly charges from whichever web host you put your Backlight site on).

You could use both. You could use Portfolio as your small, carefully curated, public "showcase" website of your best work to attract new clients, and Backlight as the back-end workhorse holding up the private client fulfillment side of your photography business.
 
Last edited:

Zenon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
1,639
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
Thanks for the taking the time to explain this. Apparently you can import collections into Portfolio which I have not tried. Yes it does not recommend large galleries.
 
Top