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Using 2 computers in different locations

Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
44
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version
10.4
Operating System
  1. macOS 11 Big Sur
I will be using 2 different computer in separate locations, not on the same network. One in my studio, one at home. I have fairly good bandwidth in both locations. I may move back and forth a few times a week. I think the best solution is for me to carry a portable hard drive from one to the other. That way I will have full access to all the Develop module on both computers. I won't be working on all my photos, just a certain project. Now I have one Catalog on my primary computer. The photos are on an external hard drive which is backed up offsite and onsite with Time Machine.

My questions are as follows:

Should I use a Collection for the photos for this project?
Or is there a reason to make a 2nd catalog for the project?
Should I be using Smart Previews which I now don't make when I import photos?

Are there specific step by step instructions somewhere for exactly how to move this material from one computer to another on an ongoing basis? My fear is that I will have a technical nightmare while I am working on a project with a deadline. I have looked at Classic FAQ's book which has excellent information and I need more information than I can find there.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,599
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
To use two different computers, I would recommend the following:
Create a copy of your master catalog to be copied to the second computer. This will give you everything in the master catalog without the images stored in another folder .
If you have or will create Smart Previews, A copy of the Smart preview folder should be copied along with the previews folder to the folder containing the copy of the catalog on the second computer.

Lightroom Classic (LrC) on your second computer should be transparent to what you left on the master computer.

When you are finished then you need to collect the additions and changes that to made in the second copy of the catalog. You do this be creating a package of everything inside one folder using the Export as a Catalog function.

After you have created the package, copy that folder and its contents to the master computer, open your master Lightroom Classic catalog and use the “Import from another catalog” to merge the two catalogs together.

The above presumes that you will be working in both catalogs from time to time and not just making changes in the second catalog copy while the Master catalog is idle . We can adjust this workflow if the master catalog file is idle while you are on the second computer.
===================
Another possibility is to make use of the cloud based Lightroom (Lr). You can install that on the second computer and access any LrC images that have been sync ‘d to the cloud as Proxy Smart DNGs

With Lr, you can perform any develop edits on the images in the cloud and these changes get passed back to the mAster LrC catalog on the master computer. If you import images into Lightroom (Lr) on the second computer, these original images get copied to the cloud and synced back to the Master LrC catalog.

With a good bandwidth in both places. You can have your second computer work arrive back in the master catalog before you get home if you leave the master computer running 24X7.

It is this second approach that I now routinely use. I replaced my laptop with an iPadPro to take advantage of its smaller footprint and weight.


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Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
44
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Thank you for a quick reply. I have a few questions.

Is there a reason to be using Smart Previews for the first solution ?

Lightroom Classic (LrC) on your second computer should be transparent to what you left on the master computer.
What does it mean to be transparent to what I left on the master computer in the above instruction?

When you are finished then you need to collect the additions and changes that to made in the second copy of the catalog.

After I make changes to photos on the 2nd computer, is that what you mean when you say I have made changes to the second copy of the catalog?

...creating a package of everything inside one folder using the Export as a Catalog function.
By everything do you mean the photos I've worked on? How do one use Export as a Catalog function ?
.
Import from another catalog” to merge the two catalogs together.
So each time I do work on one of the computer and move back to the other, I will merge the two catalogs?
Sounds like a lot of routine that may result in trouble for me, for instance, if after working, I'm tired.

You are correct in that I will be working on both Catalogs, not just on one of them.

For the second method, I've looked at the incompatibilities.

What does this mean?
• Album/Collection hierarchy doesn't sync between Classic and the Lightroom cloud. I suspect I won't be affected by this.

Two other things that may affect my work. True?
I will lose Keywords assigned while in the Cloud.
Keywords assigned on Computer will sync to the Cloud once.

I think once I get accustomed to the workflow, it may be better to use the Cloud to work at both locations.

Thanks again.

Roberta
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,599
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Thank you for a quick reply. I have a few questions.

Is there a reason to be using Smart Previews for the first solution ?
The Smart Previews are workable images that are smaller and can be used as a proxy for the real image file. It allows you to work on your image without the actual image present on another disk.
Lightroom Classic (LrC) on your second computer should be transparent to what you left on the master computer.
What does it mean to be transparent to what I left on the master computer in the above instruction?
At the beginning you have two copies of the same catalog. One on each machine. As soon as you make a change in one of the catalog copies, you will no longer have duplicate copies. By transparent, I mean, at the beginning you won’t be able to tell the catalogs apart as they will contain the same information.

When you are finished then you need to collect the additions and changes that to made in the second copy of the catalog.

After I make changes to photos on the 2nd computer, is that what you mean when you say I have made changes to the second copy of the catalog?
All of the changes that you make to images on the second computer will be held in the second computer catalog file. If you import new images to that second computer, these files will be included in the catalog but the path will reside else where. So, you will need to use the Export as a Catalog function in the second computer to collect both the catalog file and any images that you have imported.
...creating a package of everything inside one folder using the Export as a Catalog function.
By everything do you mean the photos I've worked on? How do one use Export as a Catalog function ?
.
Export as a Catalog is a submenu item of the {file} menu. If you have not imported any new image into the second computer catalog, the this second catalog file is all that you nee to merge back into the master catalog file.
Import from another catalog” to merge the two catalogs together.
So each time I do work on one of the computer and move back to the other, I will merge the two catalogs?
Sounds like a lot of routine that may result in trouble for me, for instance, if after working, I'm tired.

You are correct in that I will be working on both Catalogs, not just on one of them.
You only need to do the Export as a Catalog/Import from another catalog when you want to merge the second catalog into the master. That could be once a week or once a month.
For the second method, I've looked at the incompatibilities.

What does this mean?
• Album/Collection hierarchy doesn't sync between Classic and the Lightroom cloud. I suspect I won't be affected by this.

Two other things that may affect my work. True?
I will lose Keywords assigned while in the Cloud.
Keywords assigned on Computer will sync to the Cloud once.
I would ignore Albums in Lightroom (Lr) Your emphasis should be on basic edits in the develop process. I will add Captions and Titles in Lightroom (Lr) but not keywords because of the incompatibilities with keywords between the two apps.Any Collections that I want in Classic , I wait until i am working in Classic (LrC) to assign images or make other Collection changes

I think once I get accustomed to the workflow, it may be better to use the Cloud to work at both locations.

Thanks again.

Roberta
There are features in Classic (LrC) that are not available in Lr. Keyword incompatibilities that you have mentioned and Printing is another. Due to the nature of the mobile platform OS, there is not as much interoperability between Lr and other apps. I would not abandon LrC because there are too many processes in there that I need. Adobe has not recommended using the two very different Lightroom Apps in tandem as I do, but once you recognize the shortcomings that happen when you try to use the two apps together as I have, It is simple to work around and have the two apps live together in peace.


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backroadbob

New Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
20
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
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Clee,
I have the same issue. I have a new iMac and an older MBP. I have LR Classic running on both, but I am only using the new iMac for my Master catalogue at the moment so as not to confuse catalogues.
So. do I need LR Cloud running on both computers?
I'm not sure what this means, "Another possibility is to make use of the cloud based Lightroom (Lr). You can install that on the second computer and access any LrC images that have been sync ‘d to the cloud as Proxy Smart DNGs".--- What are Proxy Smart DNGs?
Thanks, Bob
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,599
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Clee,
I have the same issue. I have a new iMac and an older MBP. I have LR Classic running on both, but I am only using the new iMac for my Master catalogue at the moment so as not to confuse catalogues.
So. do I need LR Cloud running on both computers?
I'm not sure what this means, "Another possibility is to make use of the cloud based Lightroom (Lr). You can install that on the second computer and access any LrC images that have been sync ‘d to the cloud as Proxy Smart DNGs".--- What are Proxy Smart DNGs?
Thanks, Bob

Here is the workflow that I use.
1. Sync all of the images that you want to access through the cloud. This could be but does not have to be all of the images in your master catalog. The files sent to the cloud this way are proxy Smart Previews which can be processed as if they were I’m the Master computer in the master catalog.

2. On a second computer, phone or tablet, install the Lightroom App. It will have access to every image that you sync’d from the master Lightroom Classic catalog.

That is it!

You can if you wish import new full size image into Lightroom. These will sync full-size back to your master catalog on the master computer. These will take up space in your online plan cloud storage and would need to be managed to stay in your plan limits.


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backroadbob

New Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
20
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Thanks. So, I need to be using LR Cloud on both computers in lieu of LR Classic on the new iMac?
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
13,352
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
Thanks. So, I need to be using LR Cloud on both computers in lieu of LR Classic on the new iMac?
No, you don't have to run the Lightroom (cloud-based) app on both systems (you can if you want, but it's not necessary in this situation). Simply carry on using LrC on the new iMac, and from there sync whatever images you want to your cloud account. That sync process would upload the Smart Previews (which don't count against the 20GB cloud storage allowance).

Then on the the other Mac install only the Lightroom app, once installed and logged in you will see all those images that you synced from LrC on the iMac. Going forward, you can edit those images on either system and those edits will sync to the other. But only import new images to LrC on the iMac, if you import them into Lightroom instead they are all automatically uploaded in full resolution form from there to the cloud, and these DO count against that 20GB allowance, so likely would use up the allowance pretty quickly. Keep the 20GB free for potential mobile phone/tablet captures using the LrMobile app on those devices.

One thing to be aware of is that some things do not sync between LrC and the cloud, notably keywords and location data (GPS coordinates do sync, but not any associated place names in the location fields).
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,599
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
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Cloud Service
Thanks. So, I need to be using LR Cloud on both computers in lieu of LR Classic on the new iMac?

That is not what I said. LrC on the new iMac syncs to the cloud. Lightroom on any other computer, phone or tablet accesses the images in the cloud


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