Finally, a workflow I like with Lightroom


By jeffmackinnon

I am a big fan of lightroom classic, and still can't get into LightroomCC (or just Lightroom now). I have tried a couple of times, I'm not a professional photographer in any way so the online version should work well for me. In fact, the idea of doing some light editing on my phone is attractive as getting spare time to be in front of a computer is challenging most days.

Since it's hard to get in front of my computer to edit and publish photos it means that a lot of the photos I take are only seen by me, and only when I download them from the camera.

However, there are two features that the online version is missing that I can't live without. The first one is publishing services. I have these set up in such a way that depending on the keywords, aspect ratio, rating, etc. they are published to different places like Flickr, my plex server, this website, etc.

My original plan was to use the online version of Lightroom to do the editing and keywording, and then just use Lightroom Classic for importing and publishing, but there is a catch. There is a feature in LightroomCC where it will write the keywords from Classic, but not the other way. It works fine for edits, crops, etc. but not keywords. This fundamentally breaks that option as a workflow.

Other options out there

When I came across this I was just a little frustrated, so I started looking into other options. The closest that I came to was Darktable. It looks like a fantastic option, but there is a catch, learning curve.

I don't have a lot of spare or free time. I spent about 3 hours working to see if I can build out a workflow, and while I think there is a way to make it work the way that I want, I don't have time right now.

There will be a day in the next decade that I move from Lightroom, probably to something like Darktable, but that isn't going to be today.

My Current Workflow with Lightroom

The process
  1. Import files into Lightroom Classic
  2. Add to a 'ToSort' collection that syncs with LightroomCC
  3. Go through the ToSort folder and flag or reject all of them. This is the first step. I like to do it on my phone while sitting in a comfortable chair. In fact, it keeps me off the social media.
  4. Delete the rejected photos (just from the LightroomCC and collection)
  5. Move the picked photos to various synced collections. I do this for this blog, for the family archive, and some that I just publish for later or printing.
  6. Keyword and develop those photos
  7. Publish the photos

Once I have sorted out some chafe I start some more detailed sorting. Like I mention above, a lot of sorting is automatic once I add some keywords, but a lot is manual, like moving pictures to publish folders for this site and making a virtual copy for flickr, etc. But the hardest part is the initial sort. If I have my R6 on electronic shutter it can take an amazing number of photos in a day.

This process is so easy I have been adding entire years of photos into the ToDevelop collection and flicking through them. Its part of the reason that I have so many old photos and wanderings.

I hope to have 2021 finished in the next couple weeks and then on to the hell year that was 2020.

This post is part 1 of the "How I Use Lightroom" series:

  1. Finally, a workflow I like with Lightroom

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