Lightroom CC (iPhone) working with Lightroom Classic CC

I’ve been putting off tackling how the two different pieces of software could work together, but having been asked explicitly to have a look at it by a member of the Cardiff U3A Photography Group, and having realised that it might just be a helpful, and easy, way of getting photos on my iPhone into Lightroom Classic (on the desktop), I started to investigate how it could be done.

Starting point was this video clip from Adobe’s Benjamin Wade who has a series of short videos which are called Lightroom Coffee Break. This one is called ‘Syncing Photos with Lightroom Mobile’ which although it has a confusing title, it does actually describe a way of working for the iOS Lightroom CC app and Lightroom Classic CC.

Which is what I wanted; it might not actually be what I was asked to investigate, but perhaps I’ll return to that another day.

Anyway, I followed the instructions on the video. Created a collection in Lightroom Classic that I wanted photos on the iPhone to be sync’d to,

and then went to my iPhone, saw the Collection had appeared as an album; selected that album and took a photo. It very soon sync’d back to the desktop and appeared in a folder called Imported Photos under my Device name (on my laptop/desktop) – the iPhone – as well as in the Collection above

I was delighted to see that the GPS information had indeed been copied over with the image and was present in the Metadata. All I needed to do now was to Move the images from the Imported Photos folder on the Device to the correct folder in my Lightroom file store. And that was that! A quite easy way of ensuring that I had good GPS information (from the iPhone) to locate photos taken with the A7r.

A side product of the workflow is that I can now see a reason for ditching the Camera app, and just using the Lightroom app. All I needed to do there was set my ‘iPhone images’ album to Auto Import from the Camera Roll on the iPhone. For the moment I’ll just use a single Album/Collection as I don’t really want to do mobile editing – I use my laptop for that anyway – so sync’ing albums/collections is not what I really want/need. But I do now have a quick and easy way of getting my iPhone images into Lightroom Classic.

Decisions, decisions … Adobe Lightroom

A couple of U3A members have expressed an interest in purchasing Lightroom. It’s a confusing time in the Adobe world at the moment and the window for purchasing a stand-alone desktop version of the software (Version 6) is possibly closing, possibly … I don’t know!!

Adobe wants its users to move on to a Subscription-based Photography Plan which includes access and use of Photoshop as well as Lightroom, or alternatively a new Lightroom Creative Cloud Plan that is cloud-based with loads of cloud-storage and access to just Lightroom.

I decided to join the original plan about two years ago, and I hadn’t regretted it (until recently), but it does involve an ongoing commitment of c.£10.10 (currently) per month to allow you to keep editing your photos. If you cancel your subscription you can still access them, but the main editing functions are disabled. On the plus side you are provided with all the updates and new versions of the software whilst you still pay your subscription. As it was the main piece of photo software I used – it was a no-brainer for me back in 2015.
When I moved from Lightroom v.5 back in 2015, I opted for the Adobe Photography (20Gb) Plan Creative Cloud subscription. This is obtained from this link.

However beware. Adobe are pushing the cloud based service, rather than Lightroom as a desktop application, and are confusingly using the name of the old subscription Desktop application – Lightroom CC – to describe the mobile-world, cloud-based version which they are trying to push to the consumer market.

The desktop application is however ALSO part of the Photography Plan and IN MY HUMBLE OPINION this is the one you should be installing if you opt for the Photography Plan. It’s NOW called Lightroom Classic CC. This is the version that I upgraded to in the New Year – you could call it Lightroom 7.
However, as I said at the top of the message; if you just want a standalone, one-off purchase of Lightroom v.6 with a CD, it’s still available from Amazon for instance (also John Lewis, Curry’s and PC World I believe), or from Adobe direct.

Installing the standalone version from Adobe is relatively straightforward. You need to create an AdobeID as part of the process, and then you get a Licence Key. If you want to save c.£6  and NOT have the CD you can get it as a download to install the software – see the links from the Amazon page to get the “ xxx Activation code by email” version.

If you have an earlier version of Lightroom (e.g. v 4 & 5) you can upgrade it from this link and save yourself about 50% on the purchase price of Lightroom v.6, and if you’ve installed the Lightroom CC trial here’s a link if you want to change to Lightroom v.6

Now this is important. Lightroom v.6 will not be upgraded in the future. It is not straightforward to go back to Lightroom 6 from Lightroom Classic CC (v.7) without losing some of the information you’ve applied with that later version. However for the amateur photographer there is plenty in Lightroom 6 and unless you’re thinking of buying some very expensive camera bodies and lenses in the future you probably won’t suffer from just using Lightroom v.6.

Installation assistance for Lightroom 6 is provided here.
If you decide to go down the Creative Cloud subscription route (as I did initially), you should be careful during the installation process, and you may find it useful to follow the assistance provided in this link.

If you want to ask me any questions before making a decision, don’t hesitate to do so, it will be my pleasure to try and answer them. If I can’t answer the question I will point you to a link which I think will answer the question.

So what is my recommendation? This matter has taken up a lot of my time just recently and I’ve agonised over the decision I should make. You can read about my reasoning and the decision I eventually made to probably stay with Lightroom v.6 whilst trying out Lightroom Classic in this blogpost.