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My workflow (Classic core, mobile rating), family/hobbyist


New Member
Aug 24, 2018
England, Southeast
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Classic 7
With thanks in particular to Johan and Victoria for help in previous threads, I have a workflow, which I'd like to share (here because it spans all LR products):
(I am an amateur/hobbyist - not a pro)

  1. MacBook Pro, minimal internal SSD usage, screen as you like (I went bigger);
  2. Decent 2nd screen - with good colour at least (I have a Dell 24" UltraSharp U2412M - not super, but good enough for now);
  3. Decent fast external SSD for primary photo store (I have https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B078SWJ3CF);
  4. iPad 2018 Gen 6 with 128GB SSD;
  5. Good Internet (essential for this workflow);
  6. Backup system (I use End-to-End Encrypted Cloud Storage for Businesses | Tresorit for its zero knowledge encryption system and excellent multi platform support).
You could switch many of the above to other things, eg 6 to Dropbox, 1 to Windows box, 3 to a NAS or solid internal disk. What really matters to this workflow is you basically have something for 1-6.

Import Method 1
  1. Take pictures;
  2. Import in LR Classic direct to disk (3).
Import Method 2
  1. Take pictures;
  2. Import via phone/pad LR CC to Adobe Cloud;
  3. Sync to Classic;
  4. In Classic, Move photos to SSD (3), giving the folder a sensible name (unless you told Classic to sync inbound to external SSD - I tell mine to go to internal storage first as that's guaranteed to always be there - the external drive isn't).
Method 1+2 may be used interchangeably. I tend to use 2 for phone photos and 1 for camera photos.

Culling Method
  1. Copy whole folders in Classic to a sync'd collection;
  2. Wait for sync to complete with Smart Previews to cloud;
  3. Close Classic and open LR CC on MacBook;
  4. Wait for downsync to finish; (I am a fan of not trying to confuse the Cloud with uploads and downloads happening simultaneously)
  5. Import original photos that match those you imported in Classic. This will add the original to the Cloud, marrying an original (RAW or JPG) to it's already uploaded Smart Preview;
  6. When done, go to iPAD. Either work live off the Internet or:
  7. (optional) Tell LR CC iPad version to store photo collection/album locally - this will cache a full set on the device for offline rating/editing. Work with as many as you can fit at a time. Local copy can be dumped at will, so total storage on iPAD does not seem to matter as long as it's sensible. I think a 32GB will be found wanting, 128GB seems plenty, 64GB would probably be usable for the bottom end iPAD Pro;
  8. Rate/Flag/Edit (optionally Title/SubTitle). That's about all you can usefully do in LR CC if keeping Classic at the core.
So far the iPad is proving the fastest and easiest way to do mass culling and rating. With originals in the cloud, it's brilliant for focus checks and the screen colour is excellent. And it's fast and responsive and with a keyboard hooked up, it's basically "right/left arrow, P/U/X, 1-5"

To be continued...

I'm expecting to go back to LR Classic after a lot of culling work (I have a backlog of 30000 photos - I will probably work on a year at a time, in reverse order).
What I expect to do there is (not tried and tested yet) is to pull the folders out of sync'd collections, after keywording thus removing the dross from the Cloud. Then use AnySource plugin plus Smart Collections to build albums based on a keyword hierarchy into sync'd presentation sets. Probably using 1+ star for inclusion. Then I can flit between Classic and CC for further rating/editing. My rating system is:

Reject -> Delete as absolute failure
Unflagged -> Keep but don't bother displaying anywhere
Flagged -> Evokes a memory / sentimental / quality not guaranteed / best of a set
Flagged 1 Star -> Display in a family album
Flagged 2 Star -> Worth printing for a family album
Flagged 3 Star -> I would publish this publicly or display on my desk
Flagged 4 -> Exceptional, worthy of large print to hang on a wall
Flagged 5 Star -> Work of art.

After I get a few 1 star well defined albums together, (eg "Holiday Devon 2018"), then I expect to break out the MacBook and go to work on phase 2, serious edits. I will probably have done some basic crops and colour tweaks in CC already - not sure how that's going to work out...

Victoria Bampton

Lightroom Queen
Staff member
Lightroom Guru
Sep 29, 2007
Southampton, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
CC Cloud
Thanks for sharing Tim

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk