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How to sync with LR Mobile (and maybe Lightroom CC) without getting many duplicates?

fbx33

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Joined
Jul 3, 2015
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40
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Beginner
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LR Classic 8.4.1
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macOS 10.14 Mojave, iOS
I use LR Classic mostly, but also have LR on iPhone, and iPad Pro. I do not use (at present) the cloud version of LR on Mac, but I might if I could avoid the problem of. duplicates

I tried to set up sync and then I ended up in LR CC with many duplicates in Classic. LR CC or iPad was "automatically" adding photos from Apple Photos and the iPhone. I have since removed LR CC entirely, but continue to use LR iOS on iPad and iPhone.

Part of this my problem, because of the lag between shooting with iPhone and those pix coming through iPad/iPhone LR to the Mac Classic version after I'd already manually imported some of them. LR Classic doesn't seem to realize many are duplicates.

Anyway, I would like some help arranging my system so that I end up with single copies of all photos on iPhone, iPad Pro, and Mac (and possibly LR CC), so long as whatever happens I DO NOT GET lots of duplicates on any of those systems. If there's some way for duplicates to be automatically recognized and removed, I'd be happy with that.

Much appreciate any attention to this query.

fbx
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
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Encinitas, CA USA
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If you have an expectation that these different systems will somehow easily work together, I think that you will be (are) disappointed. They are really three separate ways to manage images and they don't play together very well, especially iCloud and Adobe CC. Even Lightroom Classic is only a step child of the Adobe CC environment. All of this is frustrating.

Apple devices working within the Apple iCloud system seem to work quite well together. Although, I have found as you the sync can be terribly slow. I took a picture on my iPhone that I wanted to use on my desktop and it took over a half an hour to show up in the desktop Photos. Also when turned on iCloud for Photos on my iPhone it took over a week to update iCloud the with 25GB of photos with very little info about the status of the synchronization.

For now, if you haven't already, I suggest that you turn off all syncing between Apple Photos (iCloud) and Adobe CC on all your apple devices and wait until they are all up to date. And then think about your goals and expectations for moving forward. My expectation currently and for the foreseeable future is that I will have to manually manage the sharing between Apple and Adobe environments.

Right now I use the PhotoSync app on my and my wife's iPhones and the corresponding app on my Mac to transfer all images onto my desktop in a folder structure (definable in PhotoSync). PhotoSync reliably and conveniently keeps track of what has already been transfered and so I only transfer any new images/videos since that last transfer.

Once on my Mac I use Lightroom Import bring them all into my master catalog applying the "Move" action in Import so that they are all removed from the PhotoSync transfer folders. In this way I have all our images from all our iDevices in one place and backed up and archived with TimeMachine and CrashPlan both of which work automatically in the background.

The part that I haven't worked out yet is how to selectively move images back to the Apple environment. Recently I was thinking about possibly using Photos iCloud and family sharing by importing selected images back into Photos iCloud. But I think as in your example that is likely to be problematic.

Where I am headed is to create a publish service that uses smart collections to publish versions of any images that want to be available in Apple photos. Then use PhotoSync to look at this published collection and transfer those back to our iPhones. But I haven't actually tried this part to see what problems might occur.

It's complicated.... And unfortunately there is not any incentive for Adobe and Apple to do more than partial integration.

But you've got me thinking again about how to do this. So I try some stuff and report back.

-louie
 
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Anyway, I would like some help arranging my system so that I end up with single copies of all photos on iPhone, iPad Pro, and Mac (and possibly LR CC), so long as whatever happens I DO NOT GET lots of duplicates on any of those systems. If there's some way for duplicates to be automatically recognized and removed, I'd be happy with that.
I'm not entirely clear what you mean by "LR CC"......I assume you mean the cloud version of Lightroom that runs on a Mac or Windows desktop? "CC" was removed from all Adobe apps several months ago, so it's best to try to use the correct names.

My simple rules for avoiding duplicates, especially where iOS devices are concerned, are:

1. Only import once, then wait for syncing to complete. Do not attempt to "manually import" directly into Classic out of frustration.
2. Turn off iCloud for Photos. If you leave it enabled on your mobile devices, and if you have "auto-add" enabled on those devices, when you import images or use the native device camera app to shoot pictures they will be uploaded to iCloud as well as the Adobe cloud. That in itself doesn't cause a problem, but when iCloud automatically downloads them to the camera roll of the other devices they'll be imported again (because I'm pretty sure that iCloud adds stuff to the filenames so that Lightroom's duplicate detection doesn't work).

I use Lightroom Classic on my desktop, and I also use Lightroom (cloud) on the same desktop, an iPhone, 2 x iPads and a Samsung phone....and I never get duplicates. All the mobile devices are set to auto-add any image captures on those devices into the Lightroom app, from there they sync to the cloud and from there they download into Classic. And I have iCloud disabled for Photos....
 

Chris Percival

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Oct 29, 2011
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This has been a great discussion for me. I plan to use Photosync now. I will backup photos to my iPad while traveling (as well as to the second card on my camera) then move them to my computer with Photosync when I get home. Tests seem to work well.

I can will use LR mobile or photos to cull photos and use them for sharing as well as importing picks to LR on my desktop through the Adobe ecosystem.
Thanks,
Chris
 
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Interesting. I've thought about using using LR Mobile on iPhone to move images, taken with iPhone and LR camera, to a folder on my Lightroom Classic. As an early part of my workflow I change the name of the file in LR Classic. Would LR still see this image as a duplicate and reimport it from the mobile device, especially those from the iPhone camera?
Thanks,
Bob
 
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The "Auto Add" setting for photos and videos on the iPhone only applies to new captures taken with the native phone camera, it shouldn't retrospectively re-import photos that have been changed or deleted from the Adobe cloud. If I take a picture using the native phone camera it will automatically be added to my cloud system (because the appropriate Lightroom setting is enabled), but if I subsequently rename that synced image in Classic (that rename does sync back to the cloud) or delete the image from Classic (which will delete the image from the cloud and thus from the Lightroom app on the phone), that original file that still sits on the phone's camera roll is not re-added/imported because it's not a "new" capture.
 
Joined
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Tacoma, WA
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Right now I use the PhotoSync app on my and my wife's iPhones and the corresponding app on my Mac to transfer all images onto my desktop in a folder structure (definable in PhotoSync). PhotoSync reliably and conveniently keeps track of what has already been transfered and so I only transfer any new images/videos since that last transfer.

-louie
My only problem with using PhotoSync is that when I upgraded to a new iPhone, PhotoSync considered all of the photos on the new iPhone to be "new" photos (with respect to which photos had been transferred). I can understand why this might be the case, but it was a royal pain to transfer all the photos again and then delete the ones that had already been transferred. My wife had over 40GB of photos and videos on her iPhone, so this process was very lengthy (though it only has to be done one every time one upgrades the phone).

Also, I had one time when PhotoSync seemed to lose track of what had and had not been transferred (no change in iPhone), but I'm not entirely sure that wasn't due to operator error.

I have found that using Adobe Cloud (and auto add from the Camera Roll) to move images from my (and my wife's) iPhone into LR to work pretty well. The only thing I have to make sure that I do is to move the photos out of the default folder into which LR Classic puts the synced images and then delete the photos from "All Synced Photographs." This process works for me because I'm not using Adobe Cloud for any other purpose than to get images from the iPhones into LR Classic.
 

gbfabiani

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Feb 12, 2020
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12
On my iPhone , I have Lightroom Mobile set to import photos from Apple camera roll. This way I get all pictures taken with iPhone sync to Adobe cloud through LR mobile, and photos taken directly with LR mobile goes straight to Adobe Cloud.

On the iPad , I hade same software config, and pictures were finally sync twice. I now changed the settings on iPad LR mobile, not to import from Apple Camera roll.

Whats happen on iPad, is that Apple camera roll does not duplicate anymore with LR mobile , but all photos will be available on LR mobile on iPad anyway. If I take a picture with IPAD , it will add to LR CC anyway, because iCloud will transfer it to the iPhone camera roll, and than LR mobile on the iPhone will update everything. Just needing a bit more time to have all sync.

As today is also possible to import directly on LR mobile without using Camera roll, my system should also work when a sd card is physically connected to the iPad: photos goes to LR mobile, and eventually to the Adobe cloud.


It is just a few days , I made some trials, it looks like it works fine.
giovanni
 
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Whats happen on iPad, is that Apple camera roll does not duplicate anymore with LR mobile , but all photos will be available on LR mobile on iPad anyway. If I take a picture with IPAD , it will add to LR CC anyway, because iCloud will transfer it to the iPhone camera roll, and than LR mobile on the iPhone will update everything. Just needing a bit more time to have all sync.
I found it easier to turn off iCloud for Photos, that way all the syncing is handled by Adobe. Both iPads and iPhone can have the same settings, and no matter which camera app I use on any device, only one copy of that photo gets into the Adobe cloud and from there to all other devices.
 

gbfabiani

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Feb 12, 2020
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Thanks, your suggestion makes more sense, but I have 2TB cloud space on Apple ( mainly because of backups) and 20GB only with Adobe..... So I have ti use Adobe Cloud as transit , not as storage . When I will move to a bigger plan with Adobe, than I will remember about your suggestion !
giovanni
 
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When the images from Adobe Cloud arrive into LR Classic they are placed in a folder. You can move them to a different folder using the Folders panel if desired.

However, if you remove the photos from the "all synced photos" standard collection in the Catalog panel (and any other synced collections you may have put them in), and wait for the sync to catch up it will remove the photos from the adobe cloud and from all LR/Cloudy based apps which in turn releases their portion of your 20gb of storage.

Now, back in Classic, add those photos to a synced collection and they will re-populate into the LR/Cloudy eco system. So, why go through this silly set of steps you may ask? The answer is that now LR/Classic "owns" the images and what goes to the cloud and mobile devices are smaller smart previews and those smart previews do not count against your 20gb storage allocation. In other words you are getting free cloud storage for those photos and can still use all the LR/Cloud based apps on those photos.
 

gbfabiani

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Feb 12, 2020
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Now, the suggestion in second part of your post is something I am using already. I like it a lot, the only regret is one Album Level only in CC, while I am used to a multilevel system not to see all collections as an endless list. ( I came from Aperture).

Now, back in Classic, add those photos to a synced collection and they will re-populate into the LR/Cloudy eco system. So, why go through this silly set of steps you may ask? The answer is that now LR/Classic "owns" the images and what goes to the cloud and mobile devices are smaller smart previews and those smart previews do not count against your 20gb storage allocation. In other words you are getting free cloud storage for those photos and can still use all the LR/Cloud based apps on those photos.

Where I am still in confusion is the first part : I was trying to move the photos imported from the iPhone to a different folder, but I didn't see the usage of the 20GB being reduced. That's why I start "inventing" silly "shortcuts". If I understood well, I have to wait sync catching up, which I never did during my trials, expecting the usage going down immediately.

I'll try straight on !!


many thanks
giovanni
 
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Now, the suggestion in second part of your post is something I am using already. I like it a lot, the only regret is one Album Level only in CC, while I am used to a multilevel system not to see all collections as an endless list. ( I came from Aperture).
Lightroom does support multiple levels, though they are confusingly called "Folders" in Lightroom. They are the eqivalent of "Collection Sets" in Classic, but neither "Collection Sets" and "Folders" will sync with each other.....so if you setup a hierarchy of Folders (Lightroom) or Collection Sets (Classic) only the bottom level Albums (Lightroom) and Collections (Classic) will sync with each other, so the hierarchy would need to be manually replicated in the other app. But it's doable.

Where I am still in confusion is the first part : I was trying to move the photos imported from the iPhone to a different folder, but I didn't see the usage of the 20GB being reduced. That's why I start "inventing" silly "shortcuts". If I understood well, I have to wait sync catching up, which I never did during my trials, expecting the usage going down immediately.
Moving iPhone photos from one folder to another in Classic has no affect on the photos sync status. If you want to stop syncing (original) photos in order to release cloud space, you do that (as already explained) by removing them from the "All Synced Photographs" special collection in Classic. That will delete the images from the cloud, but retains them in Classic (but of course they will no longer be synced). Once that removal/deletion has been synced, you can then re-add the photos either to a new collection (which you would need to sync-enable) OR to an existing synced collection OR by adding them back to the All Synced Photographs special collection (in which case, not being in a standard collection/album they would only appear in the Cloud apps in All Photos). That would upload a smart preview of the photos to the cloud, which do not count against your space allocation.

You could also remove them from the cloud by deleting them from any of the cloud apps.....in Classic they are not deleted, but ARE removed from All Synced Photographs. Whichever way you decide to do it, make sure you have an easy method to find them again afterwards....once removed from sync they will no longer appear in All Synced Photographs, and they will also disappear from any synced collection that they might have been in. So mark them in some way for easy location after the removal (e.g. quick collection, non-synced collection, flag, keyword, etc.).
 

gbfabiani

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Feb 12, 2020
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so the hierarchy would need to be manually replicated in the other app. But it's doable.
Perfect suggestion, for me it will be absolutely doable and very useful !

For Iphone, I created a folder where LR mobile transfer photos into. As soon as they are in this folder ( and on my local HD) , I see them in the all synched Photographs, but they are mixed with all the smart previews I already synched through the collections.

To make things simple for me, It looks like I could remove the pictures from the ALL synced Photos , freeing space up, while I still have them in the phisical folder on my local Hd. I can create smart previews if I wish so, and add them back to a Sync Collection .

Once I am able to identify these pictures I receive from LR mobile ( for instance marking them with a color label) I will be able to identify them later, remove Tham once in a while from the all photo synced , keep or move local, and manage smart previews as always .
Did I understand properly ?
Thanks !
 
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