(Update – I signed up for the new mobile version and have managed to work out how to edit on the mobile version but export pictures from the old system with my watermarking – this is a picture from a trip to the Grand Canyon in 2015)
Not my normal picture blog, but my views of the new offering of a cloud based version of Adobe’s Lightroom editing software. The offer for current subscribers to Adobe’s Photographer bundle (which has the more controllable but more fiddly Photoshop and it’s easier, more user friendly, lower functioning Lightroom – now called “Classic”) is the new cloud based software plus a measly 20GB of the cloud. Seeing as the card on my camera is 32GB it is sufficient to say that the upgrade to 1TB at an extra £10 per month (or thereabouts) is necessary if you are going to go to the cloud.
So Cloud based Lightroom? Yay or Nay?
The advantage of a cloud based service is effective “handoff” between devices. I have a laptop which I do most of my editing on (sitting at my day-job computer in my open plan office and editing photos is not really on), but if I can use my iPad to scroll through and rate raw images is easier than on my laptop, and then making first go around edits on either iPad and/or laptop before finishing/finalising images on desktop is a nice possibility. So certainly worth having a look at the packages effectiveness.
The first thing I did was to look at storage capacity. I currently store all my RAW files on a cloud solution called Livedrive. I have just over 1TB of data stored on Livedrive – RAW pics from 2004 onward. I would either need to port all my files over to Lightroom and have more than 1TB or come up with a system that archives older files in Lightroom cloud over to Livedrive perhaps annually – More data storage costs.
I already pay a tenner a month for Adobe CC and £15 for Livedrive so an extra £10 a month for Lightroom CC upgrade is not going to break the bank but If I could get the additional service with the same storage I already have at a cost neutral basis I would.
So I’ve downloaded the software (without the storage upgrade) to see if it’s worth jumping across. Therefore these are my thoughts as I use it for the first time.
The first thing I noted was whether edits I’ve already made on the local version will be recognised in the cloud. Then work out whether I still need Livedrive and how to use them in combination. Then decide whether the jump is worth it. And whether it eats space on your mobile devices (iPad/phone/etc.) The answer seems to be “no”. It would seem that I now have two catalogues (“Classic LR” and new LR in the cloud). These catalogues are separate and therefore edits made on one is not recognised by the other. What you can do is move from the new cloud based LR to edit an item in PS CC.
Functionality – The tools etc., seem to be largely similar to those on “Classic” LR, although the interface is simplified to feel more like Instagram app style. There is still the ability to add grad filters and also localised brush-based edits, plus the same LR clone/heal functions. Whether these are as effective in my workflow as “Classic” remains to be seen. Whereas “Classic” records your workflow in History. This seems to be missing form Cloud LR. A definite retrograde step for me.
Presets – I have a bunch of preset which I use to kick off my workflow and not sure if I an import these for quicker editing. UPDATE – Yes, you can import hose to use within the system
Export options seem limited. Can’t work out how to add watermarks yet (if at all possible). (December update – Yes, I did find out how to watermark from the Lightroom cloud system. It was probably in the settings the whole time!)
Further update …. Storage and location. For many years I have been backing up originals to a cloud service (Livedrive). I have had separate LR catalogues on my desktop and laptop (not smart), but in both cases, I can access the original files and upload them to Livedrive without a problem. I have subsequently merged my desktop catalogue with the new LR but as I haven’t quite finished editing some photos on my laptop catalogue didn’t want to write over those images and start over (which would have been necessary if I have merged that catalogue with the, now primary, catalogue on my desktop). The trouble is that the location for files on the desktop catalogue is on the harddrive but you cannot see the original RAW files. I have managed to import pics to the laptop and with the catalogue stored on an external drive and for some reason there you can see the file structure and the RAW files, so it makes sense (NOTE TO MYSELF) to import to laptop and then upload from external drive to Livedrive on my desktop. Once I have finally worked out an appropriate work flow, I will update this but for not – IMPORT TO LAPTOP (EXTERNAL DRIVE), then UPLOAD FILES TO LIVEDRIVE (FROM EXTERNAL DRIVE) VIA DESKTOP.