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Working with RAWs exclusively in the cloud. Possible?

Luc Desaulniers

I speak French. Isn't that weird?
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
16
Location
Ste-Marthe-sur-le-lac, Quebec (CAN)
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic 7.x
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.15 Catalina
  2. iOS
Good day all.

I finally pulled the trigger and purchased a 12.9‘’ iPad Pro. I’ve been a Lr Classic for... well... before it was called Classic. I would very much like to switch to the CC plan i.e. get the 1Tb cloud storage and begin using the iOS and CC desktop clients.

But.

I would like to know if it’s possible to work with both clients only by using the smart previews i.e. my RAW files would remain in the cloud. And never be stored locally on either my Mac or iPad. Is it possible?

Many thanks.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,042
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
In Lightroom settings you can determine which files get stored locally. And by album whether to store originals locally. You can also set the size of your Lightroom Cache to a percentage of the available storage.

You need to be aware that Lightroom does not contain all of the functionality found in LrC. The way keywords are handled been one example and Color labels another. Some processes easily handled in batches in LrC have no batch equivalent. in Lr. iPadOS does not handle multithreaded processes the same way as MacOS. So the performance that you might expect with MacOS needs to have your expectations adjusted.
Lightroom need to store its work in the Adobe cloud, So an internet connection is required but not continuously required.

I retained my Lightroom Classic master catalog and adopted the iPadOS and a front end to LrC. I do most of my imports on the iPadOS and my original images eventually are sync'd back to them master catalog. By sync'ing selected LrC collections to the Cloud , I did not use any of my plan storage for images already in the Classic Catalog. Adobe plans have an unlimited sync of proxy images to the cloud and down to the mobile device. While images imported via Lightroom (mobile) are full size and consume plan storage limits.
With the Classic catalog still in the picture, I can produce photo quality prints and use Publish Services to manage exports. Lightroom has limits Share and export capabilities and is unmanaged. Also there is no way to backup Lightroom images and edit history in Lightroom like you can LrC. If you delete an image in Lightroom Cloud, it is unrecoverable after 60 days. So you need to be very careful about deleting images as permanent I permanent.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
13,136
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
But.

I would like to know if it’s possible to work with both clients only by using the smart previews i.e. my RAW files would remain in the cloud. And never be stored locally on either my Mac or iPad. Is it possible?
There are some settings which you can use to help, such as using the option on the iPad to "Only Download Smart Previews" (and not using the option on the Mac to "Store a local copy of the originals"), but even with those options it is still not possible to ensure that your originals could never be stored locally on either your Mac or iPad. When you import images to either device they have to be stored locally whilst they are uploaded to the cloud. Once the upload is complete in theory those locally stored originals become eligible for automatic removal, but it's fair to say that process isn't anywhere near aggressive enough (Adobe are aware of this and are supposed to be looking at making improvements in that area).

You can, however, manually delete the locally stored originals...after first making sure that they are all synced to the cloud, of course. But even after doing that some originals will always find their way back to the local device, i.e. when you edit or zoom into 1:1 on an image Lightroom will download the original from the cloud (if the device is online). Again, once you've finished your work with a particular image it becomes eligible for automatic deletion, but that possibly won't happen quickly enough for you. The "Clear Cache" command on the iPad will become your friend in those circumstances, and on the Mac you'll need to know where the originals are being stored if you feel the need to keep manually deleting them (personally, I don't worry about it, as I have no space constraints on the hard drive that I use for the local originals).
 

markquatz

New Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
4
I retained my Lightroom Classic master catalog and adopted the iPadOS and a front end to LrC. I do most of my imports on the iPadOS and my original images eventually are sync'd back to them master catalog. By sync'ing selected LrC collections to the Cloud , I did not use any of my plan storage for images already in the Classic Catalog. Adobe plans have an unlimited sync of proxy images to the cloud and down to the mobile device. While images imported via Lightroom (mobile) are full size and consume plan storage limits.

I am trying to figure out a workflow in which I can use Lightroom cc on my iPad together with classic on my desktop.
So when I am not traveling, import raw files in Classic on my desktop, edit them and be able to see the result (in full resolution) on my iPad.
And when I am traveling, import the raw files on my iPad, edit them and (after getting home) be able to see and edit the raw files on my desktop.
So I use collections in Lr -Classic. Those images are indeed synced to my iPad. However, when changing an edit on my iPad, it doesnt sync those edits back to Lr-Classic. Do I understand it correct that you are able to do this?
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,042
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
So I use collections in Lr -Classic. Those images are indeed synced to my iPad. However, when changing an edit on my iPad, it doesnt sync those edits back to Lr-Classic. Do I understand it correct that you are able to do this?
Yes. The iPad syncs what I import there to the cloud. This includes any changes, flags or edits. The cloud syncs to Classic. All of the sync'd images show up in the "All Synched Photographs" special collection in the Catalog panel. In Classic, when synching is complete these images will be present with any changes, flags or edits.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
5,837
Location
London
Lightroom Experience
Power User
However, when changing an edit on my iPad, it doesnt sync those edits back to Lr-Classic. Do I understand it correct that you are able to do this?
I'd suggest testing this carefully because it should do sync those edits automatically. You aren't importing the raw files a second time, directly into Classic, are you?
 
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