Using Lightroom [only/alongside] the usual Photos for Mac?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by benguild, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. benguild macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    #1
    I've got photos inside Photos for Mac dating back to 2002. Recently I've become more interested in using Lightroom, but I want to ideally avoid:
    1. Losing the ability to seamlessly sync photos to my iPhone
    2. Duplicate files / unnecessary fragmentation
    3. Losing the option to use Photos later by becoming locked into Lightroom... if avoidable?
    4. Losing the flexibility on Mac or iOS. The Photos apps are pretty accessible within other apps and with other features, etc.
    ... I'm not sure if using the two apps side by side is really practical but ultimately I'm trying to keep things simple without losing the syncing with devices nor the power of Lightroom.

    What's the best practice for this now that we have both Photos for Mac and iOS? Just put everything in Lightroom and scrap Photos for Mac? What about migrating between apps without losing metadata or edits, even those from legacy iPhoto that were imported? Thanks in advance for any thoughts/help.
     
  2. netslacker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #2
    Unfortunately, the two do not play well with each other.

    I use Photos for Mac regularly and I use Lightroom daily, but I don't use them together or for the same photos. I use Photos for Mac for all of the photos I take with my iPhone. I use Photos to edit those photos from my iPhone and to store, catalogue, sync and share. It works excellently for this purpose but it does not like to share its photos with another photo app - at all.

    I use Lightroom exclusively for every other photo I take with my Nikon or Sony cameras. I.e.: every photo not taken with my iPhone I use Lightroom to store, manage, edit, and share. Lightroom is WAY more powerful of a photo editor than Photos is, but I often find that my iPhone photos are not worth the effort, so Photos is more than sufficient and (like you say) it's easy, already integrated, already syncs my photos from the iPhone. For my Nikon and Sony photos, I want the power of the RAW development tools offered by Lightroom since I shoot exclusively in RAW on my SLRs. Photo management apps, the king is (err, was) Aperture, but it is retired now (excellent app).

    The problem with Photos is that it does not allow for external editors like iPhoto and Aperture did. You have to use Actions and crap like that which Lightroom does not support (and very FEW other photo editor apps support). So, Apple has closed off access to photos inside of Photos like it has apps on an iPhone. The only way to use Lightroom w/ Photos is to export the photo from Photos, import to Lightroom, perform edits, export out of Lightroom, import back to Photos. Uh. NO. Or, I guess you could duplicate your photos in each app... but what's the point of that?

    If you're stuck on the conveniences of Photos, then that's basically it - or deal with the mega-hassle of import/export back and forth (not worth it). Or embrace Lightroom for everything and use Lightroom Mobile. They're really two totally different ecosystems with near-zero compatibility with each other.
     
  3. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #3
    I put photos on my iPad all the time from LR. After I edit the raw images, I put them into a collection. I then export the collection as a folder of jpg files. In iTunes I select the folders to put on my iPad. Could do the same with my phone...I just don't like images on small screens.
     
  4. mrnorwegian macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    Oslo
    #4
    Im using Lightroom as my editing software and Photos as my "presenting/sharing" software (slideshows on Apple TV and shared albums).

    If i get images of my DLSR i import them right to lightroom from the card. If i take images on my iPhone I use Lightroom mobile to import them. After editing I use a "export to Photos" preset that creates JPEGs. In the bottom i choose open in Program -> Photos so they get imported in Phots right after export from Lightroom.

    Its a bit of a hassle so I'm wondering if I should go Photos only, but Lightroom has better (batch) editing options. Hoping for external editor support in Photos to save the day!
     
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    Leave Photos to those doing snapshots on IOS devices. If you want serious control use LR or C1P. LR has a much better work flow with plugins.
     
  6. benguild thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    #6
    Hmm.
    With Live Photos now, it's sort of inevitable to use Photos for iOS.

    With that said, Lightroom would be nice for certain projects. This is a tough call and I want to avoid duplicate files and still sync to my iPhone the edited versions :(
     
  7. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #7
    I use both side by side. They get along just fine. After I'm done with LR, I export jpegs to a folder on an external. Import into a referenced Photos library which is used for syncs.

    There's really no duplication of space as you need to export to JPEG at some point, probably at a lower size and higher compression. The files just reside in another location. If that's still an issue, sync folders.
     
  8. mrnorwegian macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    Oslo
    #8
    Maybe I should consider this. What are the benefits of the setup with Photos with a referenced library? I did´t think you could sync with iCloud Photo Library if it is referenced?
     
  9. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #9
    I've always use referenced as I typically employ more than one editing app (currently LR and C1 as I often prefer the C1 demosiacing of my Fuji XTrans files, and used to prefer it on Nikon files, while LR has much better DAM). I like the ease of finding a image without having to open up Photos. I often distribute folders at a time. Simply easier for me. It's also easier to manage disk space with a referenced approach.

    As an aside, I do not trust Aperture, iPhoto or Photos data base integrity. As a long time Aperture user I spent a leisurely 2 years looking for alternatives. No matter what I tried, other apps were finding images that should have been showing up in Aperture but were not. That's in spite of the tools available in Aperture to maintain library integrity. Photos has no tools. Uses the same data base. I ended up doing some front-end work and importing directly from my referenced folders. Migrated just fine.
     
  10. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #10

    I hadn't looked at Lightroom for quite a while because I didn't really need the high-powered editing very often. iPhoto did the catalog management that I needed, along with Duplicate Remover. Now I'm trying LR again just to get a decent catalog management system, since Photos doesn't work for me. To my surprise, LR still doesn't have a built-in duplicate remover (as far as I can tell). The included iPhoto importer also is excruciatingly slow for some reason, but, that shouldn't matter much in the future.

    Any recommendations for LR duplicate removers?
     
  11. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #11
    I use PhotoSweeperX. Current versions work very well.

    PixCompare (free) is as good as above but not as quick nor as nice a GUI. But it works well. I currently run them back to back as PSX did not used to find all the dups. For the last version, or 2, this has not been an issue.

    I've also used Photos Duplicate Cleaner - worthless.

    Trash them with the above. Lightroom will then show them as missing images. Remove from catalog.
     
  12. benguild thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    #12
    This is actually a really solid workflow idea, as you can basically "archive" stuff as JPEG within Photos.

    I'm still trying to decide what to do, but essentially I think I'm cool with ditching Photos for Lightroom entirely because I can export a medium-res copy for syncing to Photos for Mac from Lightroom and then do everything else in Lightroom without touching Photos for Mac.

    With that said, I don't see any options to import Photos for Mac into Lightroom? :( — at least for version 6
     
  13. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #13
    On the CC version, there is a plugin, but, I don't think it is covered in the version 6 purchase-once version. Strange. I'm playing around with it now. The plugin is Python-based it looks like. In any case, it is incredibly slow and missing a couple of needed options, so, maybe there is a better way to work around this.
     
  14. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #14
    Plug in your iOS device via USB. Open LR, Import, device shows as first drive.
     
  15. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #15
    @benguild
    A lot of people use Photos and another app such as Lightroom side-by-side. A lot of people use Photos to manage their iPhone's photos while they use, say, Lightroom for photos taken with their “serious camera”. I used to use iPhoto to create calendars and cards. Others do what you suggest: they export jpgs from Lightroom and import the jpgs to Photos (they do not have to be medium res, though, if you use Apple's workflow, the photos will be resized on the fly if you download them to, say, your iPhone).
     
  16. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68020

    ThunderSkunk

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado & Ontario
    #16
    I used to use Lightroom to import and sort (& edit) the master .DNG files in folders (named "yyyy/mm/dd-Shoot name") within a "Photography" folder under the "Pictures" directory, then export the finished images to similarly named folders within a folder "Photos", also under Pictures, and have iPhoto reference those folders as events, without importing duplicate copies of them, for automatic syncing with iOS and general use in both OS's and apps with integrated iPhoto functionality.

    Then they made a mess out of iPhoto by screwing up the image sequences and event sorting and finally displaying everything in a great enormous heap, and I axed the iPhoto/Photos app completely, and now simply use iTunes to directly sync my "Photos" folder under the "Pictures" directory and all its subfolders. It works just as well and by keeping it simple, eliminates a lot of future frustration as the Photos app continually reinvents itself into Instagram.
     
  17. Windows Expat macrumors member

    Windows Expat

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    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #17
    Using Adobe CC, you can sync Lightroom collections to your iPhone or iPad. There's a Photographers Bundle (PS & LR) that's only $10/month.
     
  18. E3BK macrumors 68020

    E3BK

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #18
    This thread was helpful. I had been putting off moving to Lightroom from Aperture but since Aperture has been removed from the store, I just need to get it done.

    As I'm prepping my Aperture library for import to LR (why oh why didn't I manage keywords and stuff better), I've been trying to figure out the best way to use it with Photos. I'll need to play around with it a bit but this sets me on a good path. So thanks!!
     
  19. benguild thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 29, 2003
    #19
    I mean from Photos for Mac, not Photos for iOS. — I have photos in Photos for Mac dating back to the year 2000.
     
  20. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #20
    Not unless you kept a copy of your old iPhoto or Aperture library. Many of us did this just in case.
     
  21. slicedbread macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    #21
    Can you share a bit more on how to use referenced folders and Photos.app on Mac?

    I want to use LR to be my master database of all my photos and my image editor, and just use photos.app/iCloud to keep my collections on my phone and Mac for displaying/sharing.
     
  22. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #22
    The referenced part is pretty much irrelevant to my using both LR and Photos.

    As I explained above, when I'm done in LR I export to a new or existing folder in the Photos hierarchy on my drive then import them. If I was using a managed Photos library I would export to a new folder outside of LR's hierarchy (as I don't want those downsized images in LR), then import to Photos, delete new folder. Just a lot cleaner using a referenced library. There may be others who know a cleaner approach as I've never used managed Aperture, iPhoto or Photos libraries.

    If you're asking how to go from a managed library to referenced, I don't know. Perhaps there's a way to switch in Photos. I started out that way. As I recall there's a preference for referenced, or whatever they call it. However, if you're already using managed perhaps leave it that way as it's not an issue with incorporating into an LR/Photos workflow. If you really want to change to referenced my gut suggests it will be simpler to just start a new library and export from your managed library to your new hierarchy. If Photos allows you to run both referenced and managed, don't. Apple always tends to throw igotchas at you when you try to do things like that (iTunes).
     
  23. kelub macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #23
    I use LR as my "workshop," then export the final images as high quality JPGs. I then import those to Photos. Photos has become my final product "system of record" which synchronizes with icloud, devices, etc. I still keep the images in LR as well.

    I believe it was on this site someone mentioned a point once that really resonated with me. If something happened to me, my family wouldn't know how to navigate LR (at the time, Aperture) to access family photos - or which images out of thousands are truly worth keeping. Having my pictures in albums within the Photos app makes that much easier. At the end of each year I collect an annual "photo album" for that year and create a shared photo album out of it where my wife and kids can access the pictures anytime they'd like.

    I miss how Aperture made that process seamless, since it tied directly into iCloud and shared photo albums, but really it's just a quick export/import step. I'd love to have an option to export the images directly to Photos.
     
  24. kelub macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #24
    Because Aperture was also collecting my photo stream pictures, my move/conversion was a bit of a mess. I have a folder for every. single. day. because of all the photo stream images. I'd recommend that if you had Aperture collecting the photo stream shots, that you do something with those first (depending on their importance to you) before fully converting.

    I also wish I'd used keywords more with Aperture, but fortunately the star/color/flag system carries over well. I still use that in my workflow, but I've also taken to applying keywords at every import. It definitely makes retrieval easier.

    Lightroom does have some nice metadata filtering options as well - I find it's simpler to sort by camera used, or lens used, or metadata date range to go back and find pictures than it is to browse the folder structure. As I come across older stuff that's important but missing keywords, I apply them - bulk keyword application is really simple.

    I put off the transition from Aperture to LR for a good while, and tried finding alternatives beforehand... now that I'm on LR, I really like it.

    Good luck!
     

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