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A tweak to the photo workflow

·2 mins

I’m trying to stick with the Adobe suite for processing, editing, and managing photos.

I prefer Capture One’s editing process, but Lightroom Classic has everything else going for it, (ecosystem, tooling, ubiquity, etc.) so that’s where I’ve settled for now.

But I’d love to take advantage of Lightroom CC on mobile and my laptop. CC and Classic will sync, but if not handled properly the whole enterprise can quickly turn into a mess. What I was doing is to import into Classic, edit, export, then add the “keepers” to a synced catalog (or “all synched photographs”) so that those photos would be available everywhere. The problem is that this takes diligence and consistency. It takes work. I’m not good at consistency, and I end up frustrated and bailing on the whole thing.

So here’s what I’m trying. I’m reversing the process and importing directly into Lightroom CC instead. I cull and rate the photos there. I do simple edits and enter captions. For any images I’m more “serious” about, I launch Lightroom Classic which automatically syncs all the images from CC. While I’m there I copy the files to my usual places on the filesystem and rename if desired. All this can be done in Classic and the photos still remain synced and available in CC.

One downside is that when syncing from Classic to CC the photos don’t count toward my subscription’s storage, which is nice, but going the other way takes up space. I think this will be OK. If I do come home with cards chock-full of images I’ll just start in Classic instead.

This also means I can enable auto-import from my phone’s library and have everything show up automatically. I have to be careful here, because if I want to keep Apple Photos app as my final library (for sharing, showing people, and ease of OS integration) I can end up with duplicates this way.

Lightroom CC is a more pleasant place to live than Classic, so for 80% of the time it’s good enough. For the other 20% I head over to Classic.

Update July 11, 2021: I’m mostly back to only using Lightroom Classic. Too many moving parts trying to wrangle both.