Many people have asked me how to continue editing and cataloging their images with Adobe’s Lightroom program when traveling.
There are many things to consider when you are planning a photography trip and the ability to store and secure your photos is as important as where you will be shooting and what camera equipment to bring.
Should you bring a laptop? Should you bring external drives? Do you want to carry a lot of extra equipment?
Many people like to travel with a laptop and external drives to store their images. For me, I prefer to travel light. There is enough gear to carry without dragging a computer and hard drive with the risk of damage or destruction to those items.
For many years, I used my media cards as storage for my images when on an extended photo trip. Many professional grade cameras have 2 card slots which allow you to automatically make copies of your images on a duplicate memory card. That works for security and safety, but doesn’t allow you to view your images at a reasonable size while you are on the go. Many cameras now have wi-fi, but may not allow transfer of high resolution RAW images to use for editing. Check out your camera’s instruction manual for more information on its wi-fi capability.
If you have taken any of my Lightroom Classic classes, you know that you only want to use one Lightroom catalog for ease of use and organization. Some people actually create a separate catalog to travel and then merge that catalog with the original upon return. But this method requires you to travel with a laptop. I’ve recently discovered an easier way.
With your subscription to Adobe’s Photography plan, you get both Lightroom Classic and Lightroom, as well as Photoshop. Lightroom is basically the version you get on your phones and pads, Lightroom for Mobile. Lightroom isn’t the best option for advanced editing, however, if you are traveling, you can upload your pictures to Lightroom on your phone, or pad. Then those images are synced to the cloud as long as you have an internet connection. (Just make sure you have enough cloud storage in your plan. Lightroom comes with 20GB of storage, and for $10 more a month ($19.99), you can get 1TB of storage! The Adobe website (adobe.com) doesn’t make this offer very obvious, you need to dig a little in the “manage your plan” section to find it, but scroll all the way through all of the offerings and you will find it.
When I upload my digital media card to my iPad, I use a dongle from Amazon.com that connects to my iPad and iPhone and accepts my smart media card. (Your equipment may call for a different connection.) When you connect it to the pad or phone, open the Lightroom mobile app, and select from device. Then you can select the images you would like to import directly in to Lightroom. You also have the option to set up the pictures on your cell phone camera roll to automatically import to Lightroom mobile if you have the import preferences set to “auto add” from the camera roll. Then, those pictures will be safely stored in the cloud while you continue your travels. I keep a back up on my original media cards for safety and if you have enough storage on your pad or phone, you can leave the originals there as well.
Once you return home and open Lightroom Classic, they will be downloaded to your Lightroom Classic catalog and hard drive. You need to tell Lightroom Classic where to put the uploaded images in the preferences panel in the Lightroom Sync section before you leave on your trip.It’s a great way to not only back up images while traveling, but allows you to edit and organize on the road. Make sure to reorganize the location of the images on your hard drive when you return, but for me, this is a game changer.
This method allows me to preview my images, do some minor editing and use the high quality digital images from my DSLR for social media.
If this sounds like something you would like to try and need some assistance, please feel free to reach out for our one on one Lightroom coaching sessions or sign up for my online class with BPSOP. I believe it will be a game changer for you as well.
If you want to learn to edit and organize your travel pictures while you are on the road, consider taking my Class: Exploring Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Lightroom for Mobile.
If you prefer to learn to edit with Adobe Lightroom Classic, and store your images on your home drive or computer, check out this class, Lightroom Quick Start.
BPSOP Instructor – Holly Higbee-Jansen
Holly Higbee-Jansen is photographer, trainer, blogger, and workshop leader who enjoys teaching and the creative process. Her passions include teaching photography workshops in beautiful locations in California, Iceland, and the American West with her husband Mark. Holly teaches online classes on Lightroom, Photoshop and photographic technique. Get Holly’s Free E-Book on “Landscape Photography and the Light“ and find out about her news with HollyJansenPhotography.com