Best Sync'ed Photo Library Workflow?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by LERsince1991, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. LERsince1991, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014

    LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    What is the best synchronised photo library and the best way of editing photos both on mobile and desktop applications?

    I have recently been caught out editing photos via the Photos extensions app which has downscaled my edited images (more info here).

    This lead me to research into using new apps and workflows.

    I want to be able to edit my photos on my iPhone or iPad and have those adjustments synchronised to my desktop application.

    I then have access to full resolution edited photos on my mac as well as edited (and possibly downscaled/ compressed) photos on my mobile devices - *even when I have deleted the images off my iPhone*

    Many mobile apps use non destructive editing but only by keeping a copy in their library on the iPhone - this would get full, be emptied and then those adjustments are lost only giving me access to whatever I have on the Mac such as the original or the flattened jpeg.

    What are people using now?
    What will iCloud Photo Library change for us?
    Where will we go after the discontinuation of Aperture?
    Does anyone currently use Adobe Creative Cloud + Lightroom Desktop + Lightroom Mobile?
    Theres also the question of how and where to store the master library (300gb of photos) in the cloud? on a mac mini server? on a desktop?
    Where can we import photos to and have the originals sync'ed to the master library? (I'm thinking of unconnected devices like DSLR cameras, what if we don't have a mac and normally import onto the iPad directly?)

    I would prefer it if I didn't have to store all my high resolution photos on a cloud somewhere and instead stored the master library locally, but downscaled versions are uploaded to keep online storage cost low and when a photo is edited on a mobile device its just the adjustments which are synced/uploaded - and then when viewing the master via a desktop app those adjustments are applied to the masters.
  2. Robotti, Nov 14, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014

    Robotti macrumors regular


    Oct 16, 2014
    I am using Lightroom and find the library and catalogue features pretty good. I only recently started using Lightroom mobile, but that wasn't a very good experience. I had a photo shoot and had to travel after that, so I thought I'd try to rate and edit some of the photos while traveling. However, it took many, many hours to create the smart previews and sync to the cloud. Eventually I didn't have time to wait for it, so I only had a portion of the photos in my iPad, which made it very hard to rate and select.

    The syncing really seemed the biggest problem, so I'm definitely going to give it another chance and see how it works. The mobile app itself seem pretty good and the only features I am missing are the ones related to sharpening (obviously it does not have enough data for sharpening, because the photos are essentially proxies). I am also sure Adobe will take care of LR mobile and it'll only get better over time.

    The way LR works, is that you have the catalogue file somewhere (I keep mine on my rMBP hard drive) and your photos can be anywhere. My master library lives on Usb3 drives. If you're interested, the way I keep them organized, I explain roughly in this post:
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    I haven't made the move yet, but my research has led me to think that I'll be going with Lightroom + Lightroom iOS + Adobe Cloud.

    I'm curiously waiting to see what Apple's 'Photos' app is going to be, but I fully expect to see it, shrug my shoulders, and then move to Lightroom at that point in time.
  4. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I think the best developed iOS <> Mac workflow is Lightroom and Photosmith. They have excellent documentation on their site, including the different approaches to synching (and there are more than one).

    Unfortunately, you included an iPhone and iPad in the mix. The very best is to use a laptop. Getting photos, esp RAW, in and out of iOS is simply awful. Next best is to use a tablet with the Windows version of LR, which works very easily. But some tablets are relatively slow if you are doing serious edits, hence back to a laptop. And Android tablets are also better; not as many photo apps, especially that work well with LR, but OTOH with USB and OTG card readers it's a snap to moved photos around, way easier than with iOS.

    As far as online storage of images, there are bazillions of alternatives, most cheaper and easier to use IMHO than Apple. Amazon has unlimited storage for Prime subscribers for images, but they don't do RAW for my Oly. But maybe they do for your camera. Dropbox is dead easy. Flickr is an old standby that keeps working well. Or even something like Carbonite or SpiderOak, which aren't dedicated to photos. Or Trunx, which is nothing but. It really depends on whether you need the various other services, like portfolio creation, sharing, sales, etc that each may or may not provide.
  5. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Does anyone know if iCloud Photo Library is in full untouched resolution yet?

    People we're reporting that when downloading through iCloud website on a mac (only way to grab them) the images were compressed.

    Has this changed yet?

    I'm thinking of using it in my workflow or alternatively a dropbox type solution.
  6. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    So after much thought I have decided on my workflow and made a diagram to make it clear to myself.

    I'm using iCloud Photo Library to keep the devices in sync and transfer to my computer. This doesn't compress and allows masters to be saved (explored this from my own testing).

    VSCO Cam for mobile editing and edits are saved back to the camera roll and therefore transferred to other devices in full quality.

    The fact is that I won't keep the adjustments on the mobile platforms but after much thought I'm OK with that.

    Also going to be waiting for iCloud Photo Library to support macs properly.


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