Just Getting Started


New Member
Dec 19, 2023
Foresthill, CA
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Just got LR Classic and am trying to figure out how to use it with Apple Photos. All photos taken with my iPhone or Nikon camera are in Photos, and I have been using Luminar 4 to edit. Luminar is an extension in Photos, so I don't have to import/export anything. I know I can't use LR as an extension (I have done some checking on-line). My "big" questions is how can I use LR with Photos efficiently? It looks like I have to import the photos into LR, edit, then export them back into Photos so that I can "see" the edited image on all my devices. Is there another way? Thank you for your help.
Both Lightroom Classic and Photos do the same thing in terms of organization and basic edits. Lightroom Classic replaces Lumina and then some. Your Photography plan also includes Photoshop and Lightroom (a cloud based app that stores all of your images in the Adobe Cloud.

My recommendation is to migrate away from Photos and iCloud to LrC and the Adobe Cloud. You will need to migrate your Photos Library to a Lightroom Catalog. There are two ways to do this.

In one method, you will need a 3rd party app called Avalanche (https://cyme.io/avalanche-for-lightroom/). Once you have everything in Lightroom Classic, You can sync Lightroom Collections from Lightroom Classic to the Adobe Cloud and on all of your mobile devices, you install and run Adobe's other app "Lightroom" With Lightroom (mobile) you can access any image from your mobile device camera, and it then syncs these files to the Adobe Cloud. Adobe Cloud becomes the conduit to share everything to Mobile devices and Lightroom for the web. Files synced from LrC to the Adobe Cloud do not take up any of your 20GB storage limits as these are Smart previews and are proxy files for the full size image file in Lightroom Classic.

The Second method involves Lightroom (Desktop) and Lightroom Classic. Lightroom Desktop can migrate your Photos Library without any third party app like Avalanche. However, since it puts full size files in the Adobe Cloud, you will need more cloud storage than the 20GB Photography plan. I have the 1TB Photography Plan the includes Lightroom Desktop, Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, It is ~$20/mo.where as the basis 20GB Photography plan is ~$10/mo.

This is probably not what you were expecting to hear but if you want a more powerful image management tool, the Adobe Family of photo products is the most complete on the market.
Thank you for your feedback and advice. You are right. It's not what I expected to hear, but it is what I need to know. I am "invested" in Apple for now (iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro (w/2TB), and 2TB of iCloud storage) and not ready to give that up yet. However, you mentioned that the Adobe Family is a "more powerful image management tool", and that may be worth changing over at some point. I purchased the $10/month 20GB Adobe plan and got Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and Bridge on my laptop. Photography is a hobby and I am active in a small photography club. People in the club can help me learn Lightroom. That's the only reason I purchased it. For now, I just want to figure out how to import new photo into Lightroom, learn how to edit them and learn about catalogs, and then I will probably move them back into Photos so I can "see" them across all my Apple devices.

Thanks again,
I too am invested in Apple Products. Our house has 2 Macs, 2 iPhones, 3 iPads and 2 Apple Watches. Just because Apple makes the best hardware does not mean they have the edge on software. Apple used to have a strong competitor to Lightroom but they abandoned the product (Aperture) almost 10 years ago.
I differ from @clee01l
If you want multi-device support; skip Classic unless there is a specific feature you need.
@Victoria Bampton has a comparison of the products: https://www.lightroomqueen.com/lightroom-cc-vs-classic-features/
Note: there are feature gaps, and for many of the gaps, there are viable work arounds. The question is if you want to work around the feature gap.

I would just jump into the cloud version of Lightroom, it will keep everything synced between all the devices, computers, and platforms.
In addition, once you migrate all the photos from Apple Photos to Lightroom, you could shrink your Apple storage subscription.
The Lightroom (cloud focus) 1TB plan is $10 a month without Classic or Photoshop.