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Take Lightroom on a trip

Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
9
Lightroom Version
10.0
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.15 Catalina
I'm a novice so please bear with me. I'm going to my daughter's with my laptop. I have Lightroom and my pictures on my desktop computer. Is there an easy way to take Lightroom with me on my laptop computer? I have a 4 TB hard drive. Thanks for your help.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
17,505
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
You can install a copy of the Lightroom App on the Laptop. Then make a copy of the master catalog file for the laptop and copy the Smart Previews folder from the Desktop. This will give you a working copy of your catalog and smart previews that can be used as proxies for the originals.

When you return you can used the Export as a Catalog on the laptop to create a package that can be transferred to the Master catalog on the Desktop. You will need to use the Import from another catalog in Lightroom on the desktop to merge the travel catalog to the Master catalog.


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Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
580
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
Cletus' suggestion is exactly what I do when I want to merge photos taken on the trip with my main archive, which was left back at home.

But if you want to be able to take all your photos so you can work on anything, and all the photos on your desktop computer fit on the free space of the portable 4TB hard drive, you could just copy all the photos to it. The best way to do this is to first make sure they are all already organized under a single parent folder, with all photos in subfolders of that single parent folder. If the photos are organized properly, it should be possible to copy all of them to the external hard drive in a single drag (of that one parent folder). And also copy your Lightroom Classic catalog.

Once that is done, in Lightroom Classic on the laptop you would open the catalog, then in the Folders panel right-click* the single parent folder, choose Update Folder Location, and select the parent folder on the external hard drive. That should reconnect the Lightroom Classic catalog to the images on the external hard drive, and you are ready to work off the external hard drive.

When you get home, if you need to switch away from the laptop and back to your main Mac such as a desktop, and if you added images during the trip, reverse those steps. Copy the parent folder from the hard drive back to the main Mac**, copy the catalog too, open the catalog, and do an Update Location on the parent folder to reconnect it to where the images are on the main Mac. If you did not add images during the trip, you could just reconnect the catalog to the photos on the main Mac.

*If you aren’t using a mouse or trackpad set up to right-click on your Mac, Control-click instead.

**The time and trouble doing this can be greatly shortened if you use sync software that can copy only the changed files between the parent folder on external hard drive and the main Mac.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
9
Wow! Thanks to all of you for the great instructions. I hadn't planned on working on the photos on this this but you never know! Now, if ya'll can tell me how to easily transfer my iphone photos to Lightroom that would be the cherry on top of the sundae!!
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
12,887
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Now, if ya'll can tell me how to easily transfer my iphone photos to Lightroom that would be the cherry on top of the sundae!!
The way I do it is via the LrMobile app running on my iPhone. I have it set so that if I use the iPhone camera, the new captures are automatically imported into LrMobile, and from there they automatically sync up to the cloud. On my desktop, I have my Classic catalog sync-enabled, so any new images added to the cloud will automatically download into the Classic catalog. So the sequence would be:

1. Take picture with the iPhone.
2. If the iOS camera is used, start the LrMobile app so that the new capture is automatically added to the app. Leave the app open until the upload is completed. I actually usually use the LrMobile camera, rather than the iOS camera, but as they are captured within the app, the result is the same, i.e. automatically synced to the cloud. When the upoload is complete, the app can be closed.
3. Some time later, back at my desk, start Classic and wait a few seconds for the new iPhone capture(s) to download into the catalog.

There's a bit of setup detail that needs to be done first, such as enabling sync in Classic and optionally choosing a different location for the downloaded images (the default is a "Mobile Downloads.lrdata" folder/package on the system drive, but that can be changed by the user via the Classic Preferences>Lightroom Sync tab). And of course installing the LrMobile app on the iPhone and enabling the "Auto Add" option. But once setup it's about as easy as it can get.
 
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