Lightroom workflow and mirroring of original files questions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by smileman, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. smileman, Sep 4, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013

    smileman macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2011
    Wondering if the following might be possible:

    I have a 3rd Gen Time Capsule. I keep my original RAW photos on it, which I edit with Lightroom on my 2013 MacBook Air.

    I also have a Windows 8.1 desktop. However, it does not have a wireless adapter. I connect it to my Virgin Media Super Hub using a Trendnet Powerline adapter.

    What I'm wondering is since the Time Capsule is connected by ethernet to the Virgin Media Super Hub, and the Windows 8 desktop is indirectly connected to the Super Hub using the Powerline adapter, whether I can have my Windows 8 desktop hard drive mirror the picture folder on the Time Capsule hard drive? Or at least access the Time Capsule hard drive from my Windows desktop?

    Being able to do so would also potentially allow me to use Lightroom on my Windows desktop to edit the same original RAW files (assuming editing the same Lightroom catalogue with both a Mac and Windows machine is doable? I keep my Lightroom catalogue on Dropbox so it can sync between the two computers).

    Alternatively, is there a way to set my Windows desktop to mirror the Pictures folder on my Time Capsule via a cloud solution? For example, can iCloud mirror a Time Capsule folder, and then I could sync my Windows computer with iCloud?

    In terms of the economic factors, I have about 110GB of photos. I'm a student on a bit of a tight budget for now so part of the reason I chose Google to store my RAW photos is because it's cheap (at least compared to iCloud).


    P.S. My Lightroom workflow, btw, is to transfer RAW photos from my SD card to my 2013 Air and do the editing there on the fast SSD. After editing I then move the original RAW photo file to the Time Capsule (within Lightroom, otherwise Lightroom will lose the file association). I then upload my RAW files to Google Drive for offsite backup of the originals.

    If anyone has any suggestions on how this setup can also be improved that would be appreciated. For example, I would love to have Google Drive or another cloud service mirror my RAW picture folder on my Time Capsule so that I wouldn't have to manually upload to Google Drive.

    I'm also worried about what would happen to my Lightroom catalogue if my local Time Capsule hard drive was lost and I had to restore my RAW photos from Google Drive. Because my Time Capsule photo folder file and my Google Drive folder file aren't perfectly mirrored there are some differences between the two (mainly extra photos on Google Drive which I later deleted on the local Time Capsule). In the event my Time Capsule hard drive goes bent up (which I had happen once before) am I going to wish I had used something other than Google Drive for offsite backup, or is Lightroom smart enough to sort through the differences between my local and cloud photo folders?

    In a perfect world I imagine that my local photo folder would be identical to my cloud photo folder. Could I do this with iCloud or something else and still use Lightroom to edit the same catalogue of photos on both my Air and PC? Or am I asking for too much?
  2. Sarmiento macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2011
    I'm not sure if your specific situation will work but I will explain my setup which appears to be something similar to what you want but having a Windows machine creates a different issue.

    I have a Synology DS1511+ which holds all my photos (500 GB+) which are mostly RAW. I have a MBA and a Mac Mini desktop and keep my Lightroom catalog and previews on a Lacie SSD 256 GB drive. When home I connect whatever computer to the Synology folder and Lacie SSD drive and I have full access to my photos. However, if I'm outside my network I'm still ok. With Lightroom 5's new feature of Smart Previews I can work on my metadata and even edit my photos without having to carry my full library. Lightroom makes my 500 GB of full RAW into 70 GB of lightroom catalog and previews which are kept in that Lacie 256 SSD.

    Other advantages are that I can access my photos when at home using my iPhone/iPad and delete unwanted photos using the Synology DS Photo free software. To fix whatever files were deleted on Synology I just hit Synchronize Folder and its all fixed.

    I also use CCC to copy my network drive to another external drive which I think would work with a drive formatted for both Mac and Windows. You could use this software to copy from your time capsule to another drive, including another network drive. The first time you clone it takes a while but subsequent clones are much faster since it only has to add/delete the changes.

    Your issue that I can't help you with is whether you can share a lightroom catalog between a Mac and Windows computer using an external drive.

    Sorry I can't help you with your exact situation but wanted to give you some ideas.
  3. smileman thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2011
    Thanks for the suggestions, lots of food for thought there.

    I checked Adobe's website and it looks like I can use both my Air and Windows computers to edit the same catalog:

    How do I move a catalog from a Windows computer to a Mac?

    Move the catalog file (.lrcat), the previews file (.lrdata), and possibly your image files, depending on where they're located. See Copy or move a catalog in Lightroom Help for instructions on moving a catalog and its preview files from one computer to another.

    Note: If all of the files reside on an external hard drive that both Mac OS and Windows can read, you don't have to move anything. Open Lightroom on the second computer and navigate to the catalog on the external drive. See How can I use my catalog on multiple computers, such as a laptop and a desktop?
  4. smileman thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2011

    Apple is replacing my 3rd gen Time Capsule with a new 3rd gen Time Capsule. Since I'd really like to upgrade to 802.11ac I'm going to sell the Time Capsule for now and just get by on the Virgin Media Super Hub.

    So I'll be looking for a separate HD that can attach to the VM Super Hub, and then hopefully I'll be able to sync my HD to my Windows Desktop either through the local PowerLine network, or though a cloud option.


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