Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Dec 27, 2002
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Hi, I’ve got a newbie question regarding Apple Photos, specifically about the “Shared Albums” feature.

I’ve always been a Lightroom user, but am in the process of switching to a new hardware and workflow (iPad Pro only, no more computer, no Lightroom subscription) and don’t wish to subscribe to Lightroom/Adobe. I recently switched to using Photos app for storage and browsing, RAW Power for editing, and iCloud storage to sync between devices. It has been good so far, and has very recently gotten even better!

I have an album filled with vacation photos from last year, and I’d like to share it with my parents. It has 780 photos, and it’s from a 4 week trip we took last year. I’d like to share it with them via a link I post in a WhatsApp chat, since doing it any other way would be too painful. I have tried using the “Share: iCloud Link” option (full files), but it’s very, very slow to load for them. I don’t know if it’s trying to download all of them before displaying them, or what.

The other option that I haven’t tried yet is creating a “Shared Album” in Photos. Does this make a copy of every photo (file) in my actual Album, or is it just creating what are essentially thumbnail soft-links to the actual photos? I don’t want 2 albums with 2 copies of each photo. That would be silly, but I can’t tell how Photos actually works. 🤷🏻‍♂️

If anyone else has any suggestions, I’m open to hearing them.

Thanks.
 

Ray2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
830
212
If you are doing it without creating a Shared Album, how do you do it? Whatever you’re doing, Shared Albums is where you want to be. Send a public link as they'll frequently never receive the default method. Don’t spend any time on order as it’s only Apple's way, last in-first out. Sort of looking at your trip backwards. It’s designed for sharing spontaneous photographs of people's daily/hourly life events. Not slideshows.

Keep us informed as to how it goes. After trying your approach I’m delighted to pay Adobe for functionality.
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68040
Sep 26, 2017
3,570
18,952
Tanagra (not really)
Hi, I’ve got a newbie question regarding Apple Photos, specifically about the “Shared Albums” feature.

I’ve always been a Lightroom user, but am in the process of switching to a new hardware and workflow (iPad Pro only, no more computer, no Lightroom subscription) and don’t wish to subscribe to Lightroom/Adobe. I recently switched to using Photos app for storage and browsing, RAW Power for editing, and iCloud storage to sync between devices. It has been good so far, and has very recently gotten even better!

I have an album filled with vacation photos from last year, and I’d like to share it with my parents. It has 780 photos, and it’s from a 4 week trip we took last year. I’d like to share it with them via a link I post in a WhatsApp chat, since doing it any other way would be too painful. I have tried using the “Share: iCloud Link” option (full files), but it’s very, very slow to load for them. I don’t know if it’s trying to download all of them before displaying them, or what.

The other option that I haven’t tried yet is creating a “Shared Album” in Photos. Does this make a copy of every photo (file) in my actual Album, or is it just creating what are essentially thumbnail soft-links to the actual photos? I don’t want 2 albums with 2 copies of each photo. That would be silly, but I can’t tell how Photos actually works. 🤷🏻‍♂️

If anyone else has any suggestions, I’m open to hearing them.

Thanks.
Shared albums simply link to the original photo, so you won't create any duplicates. It's my preferred way of sharing in Photos, though I've only shared them with other Apple users so far. With any of your albums, when you delete a picture within the album, it only removes it from the album, not from your library. If you delete it from your library, then it will also disappear from any albums that photo was a part of. I guess you can almost think of it as "tagging" photos, and the album is the tag filter. The nice thing as well is that the folks you share with can even comment on pictures, so it's basically a private social media setup.

I've done a lot of editing on the iPad Pro now, using primarily Photos. It actually works pretty well until you want to get into the advanced editing (like blemish removal or layers). The display on the iPad Pro is so good that you're getting good gamut and accuracy, and most of the editing sliders don't "overdo it" as you manipulate them. A great side program is Affinity Photo, as it will allow you to do pretty much any advanced edits you like, and it's a one-time purchase.
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68040
Sep 26, 2017
3,570
18,952
Tanagra (not really)
If you are doing it without creating a Shared Album, how do you do it? Whatever you’re doing, Shared Albums is where you want to be. Send a public link as they'll frequently never receive the default method. Don’t spend any time on order as it’s only Apple's way, last in-first out. Sort of looking at your trip backwards. It’s designed for sharing spontaneous photographs of people's daily/hourly life events. Not slideshows.

Keep us informed as to how it goes. After trying your approach I’m delighted to pay Adobe for functionality.
This has not been my experience. I share to the same Shared Albums all the time, and it's last in, last out for me. Also, you can select "Slideshow" on a Shared Album, and it give options on what transition effect you want, and if you want music with it.
 

Ray2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
830
212
This has not been my experience. I share to the same Shared Albums all the time, and it's last in, last out for me. Also, you can select "Slideshow" on a Shared Album, and it give options on what transition effect you want, and if you want music with it.
That’s what I said. Last in, first out. “Here's my slideshow, in reverse order”.
 

Ray2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
830
212
For me, the oldest photos are at the top, the newest at the bottom. I guess I thought you meant the other way.
You’re correct. I stand corrected. While my shared albums may not be in capture date order, they are in the order of when I uploaded them. The last upload, the last in line.
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68040
Sep 26, 2017
3,570
18,952
Tanagra (not really)
You’re correct. I stand corrected. While my shared albums may not be in capture date order, they are in the order of when I uploaded them. The last upload, the last in line.
I noticed you can sort and filter the albums as well. Filter is just for video or photo, and sort is for up or down. I guess we’re both right!
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Dec 27, 2002
24,594
436
Location Location Location
If you are doing it without creating a Shared Album, how do you do it? Whatever you’re doing, Shared Albums is where you want to be. Send a public link as they'll frequently never receive the default method.

This is the part I don’t understand about “Shared Albums”. Whether the photos are placed in a regular Album, or a “Shared Album”, there’s only one method that I see to share an album with my parents via a URL I provide them:

1. Select the images you want to share, then click on the Share icon.
2. In the window that appears, click on “Options” at the top, and select to share photos as iCloud Link.

If you select few enough photos to share, then “Share as iCloud Link” is one of the options listed when you click on Apple’s ambiguous catch-all “box with arrow” icon.


A “Shared Album” sounds like it’s mostly for people who are all on iOS or Macs, who then see the album on their Photos app. My parents have iPads at home, but I want them to be able to see the photos on their Android phones, hence the preference for URL via WhatsApp.

When sharing a Shared Album, Photos asks me to enter the contact I’d like to share the album with, and only includes people in my Contacts. So...through iMessages? I can’t send a link via WhatsApp.


Don’t spend any time on order as it’s only Apple's way, last in-first out. Sort of looking at your trip backwards. It’s designed for sharing spontaneous photographs of people's daily/hourly life events. Not slideshows.
There are numerous sorting features. What I can’t stand about Photos is that if I inport files from a folder on my desktop (renamed, with metadata, exported from LR), the photos aren’t imported in chronological order (via date- and time-stamp), or in name/alphabetical order. It’s a completely random order. It’s only in order if I place them in an album or shared album.
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68040
Sep 26, 2017
3,570
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Tanagra (not really)
Count the sorting be a time zone thing in the EXIF?

As for shared albums, you can just make a website of a shared album. I’ve never tried it. This seems like your best bet if sharing with non-iOS users.
You can even share albums with friends and family who don't use iCloud. Just open a shared album that you created, go to the People tab, and turn on Public Website. Your photos publish to a website that anyone can see in an up-to-date web browser.

 

Ray2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
830
212
This is the part I don’t understand about “Shared Albums”. Whether the photos are placed in a regular Album, or a “Shared Album”, there’s only one method that I see to share an album with my parents via a URL I provide them:

1. Select the images you want to share, then click on the Share icon.
2. In the window that appears, click on “Options” at the top, and select to share photos as iCloud Link.

If you select few enough photos to share, then “Share as iCloud Link” is one of the options listed when you click on Apple’s ambiguous catch-all “box with arrow” icon.


A “Shared Album” sounds like it’s mostly for people who are all on iOS or Macs, who then see the album on their Photos app. My parents have iPads at home, but I want them to be able to see the photos on their Android phones, hence the preference for URL via WhatsApp.

When sharing a Shared Album, Photos asks me to enter the contact I’d like to share the album with, and only includes people in my Contacts. So...through iMessages? I can’t send a link via WhatsApp.



There are numerous sorting features. What I can’t stand about Photos is that if I inport files from a folder on my desktop (renamed, with metadata, exported from LR), the photos aren’t imported in chronological order (via date- and time-stamp), or in name/alphabetical order. It’s a completely random order. It’s only in order if I place them in an album or shared album.

Select the images>Share>Add to Shared Album

Select shared album>People>Public Website On. A link will show up. Send that link. It’s available to anyone with the link.

Re your closing paragraph. That’s why I use Lightroom. The job they've done with mobile (both LR and Portfolios) is outstanding. There’s no shortage of critics that don’t subscribe to Adobe but know everything. Use it and it’s quite likely you'll never use Photos again. I consider Adobe a cheap price to pay to avoid Apple's Marketing Department. I say Marketing as it’s obvious no photographers ever got involved with Photos.
 
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Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68040
Sep 26, 2017
3,570
18,952
Tanagra (not really)
Select the images>Share>Add to Shared Album

Select shared album>People>Public Website On. A link will show up. Send that link. It’s available to anyone with the link.

Re your closing paragraph. That’s why I use Lightroom. The job they've done with mobile (both LR and Portfolios) is outstanding. There’s no shortage of critics that don’t subscribe to Adobe but know everything. Use it and it’s quite likely you'll never use Photos again. I consider Adobe a cheap price to pay to avoid Apple's Marketing Department. I say Marketing as it’s obvious no photographers ever got involved with Photos.
That seems a bit harsh, to be honest. I use Photos almost exclusively, and I’m fine with it. I’m not a pro, but what I share here and in other forums, or though iCloud, it was done in Photos. I’ve even printed up to 16x11 from images edited in Photos. I’m not going to disparage another’s choice, or even rush to Apple’s defense, but Photos can work just fine for many. I’ve used it for years and it has served me well. Not bad at all for a close-to-free solution.
 

Ray2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
830
212
That seems a bit harsh, to be honest. I use Photos almost exclusively, and I’m fine with it. I’m not a pro, but what I share here and in other forums, or though iCloud, it was done in Photos. I’ve even printed up to 16x11 from images edited in Photos. I’m not going to disparage another’s choice, or even rush to Apple’s defense, but Photos can work just fine for many. I’ve used it for years and it has served me well. Not bad at all for a close-to-free solution.
You're asking my opinion of a current Lightroom user switching to Photos asking about Shared Albums, not something Photos does particularly well. It is extremely narrow in that area. If sharing is an important criteria, then Adobe offers a far more reliable and functional product with excellent support. I don’t believe it’s harsh to point the OP to what he already uses. Pay the subscription if mobile/web capability is important.
 

darknyt

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2009
603
94
Just a warning from a user of Apple photos products for 15 years or so. Especially if you intend to just use an iPad. It may work at first, but you will become trapped.

First off, my library is just shy of 2TBs (300k pics/7k videos)and maybe this fact alone is what crippled Photos for Mac and of course ICPL ( and this is ONLY iPhone photos, thank GOD I have never given it my DSLR photos)If you intend to have a large library, I would keep a separate library or at least dump of all photos you don’t want kept captive by Apple. Photos for Mac simply cannot deal with a library that large on most any regular Mac, let alone an iPad. I tried on every brand new iOS device for a few years and not even my 11” iPad Pro could remotely handle ICPL. Just broken at that library size. Even my 2018 dev spec MBP couldn’t do it effectively using an external drive. Besides being just slow as hell, it just crashes/stalls at that size all the time.

I have been banging my head against the wall for 5 years trying to resolve my iCloud duplicate library issue and get stuff out. Being a moron and having twins in that time frame prob didn’t help. If I could just snap my fingers and have all pictures out in dated folders it would be one of my 3 wishes if I ever rub the lamp.

Another warning if you use ICPL - for the LOVE OF GOD don’t ever move it. I did that when my library was well under 1TB. Apple does not understand differential backups. So when I moved it from internal to external it wanted to REUPLOAD MY ENTIRE LIBRARY again. Nothing had changed. That was back when 2tb was $20 a month and I had to cough it up while trying to resolve. Of course at some point during the upload ( this takes WEEKS mind you even on a 300 Mbps line) I freaked out and stopped it which left my ICPL almost doubled in size. I have never been able to resolve this. I have talked with their tier 2 techs who supposedly “elevated to an engineer” and never got anything close to a resolution. I assume it was posturing to cover the inability of their software to handle large libraries - but every tech I talked to just clutched their pearls when I said my library was over 1TB. “We’ve NEVER seen that! Over a TERABYTE??” It felt borderline ridiculous. What do they expect will happen when people use their products over a decade to record their entire digital life?

I was just about to kill it all and whatever it took to get it all out when my dealer, I mean Apple, dropped the 2tb price down to $10/month. Procrastination ensued. And here I am, YEARS later regretting I ever put a photo in iPhoto or esp turned on ICPL.

Don’t be a moron like me. It will make you sad every time you even think about your photos. I’m looking at trying to just download everything from iCloud to a PC to try to get out of this mess.
 
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ashman5

macrumors newbie
Jan 5, 2015
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Just a warning from a user of Apple photos products for 15 years or so. Especially if you intend to just use an iPad. It may work at first, but you will become trapped...

I can see myself headed in this direction. Not to your extent, but the library is growing each year.

Curious, have you given thought about what you'd do if starting over?

Also, I didn't see this mentioned in the previous posts, but the Shared Albums are still lower/degraded resolution than the originals, unless I'm doing it wrong.
 
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