Apple Photos Cloud Storage Vs. Lightroom’s

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I’m currently in the process of consolidating my media library to the cloud. I’ve been uploading everything to iCloud via Apple Photos, but I tend to use Lightroom more for RAW files, so I’m wondering if I should split my library up. Curious if anyone here has uploaded their library to either of these cloud services or both, and what others would suggest based on their experience.
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Tim Sondrup

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Posted 1 month ago

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Alan

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Hi, Tim!
Since iCloud doesn’t explicitly label raw photos, I’ve found it helpful to keep all raw photos in Lightroom Mobile storage. I can then export to iCloud if necessary. If I want more export options than Lightroom Mobile allows, I can export the raw photos to Affinity Photo on my iPad. Exports to Affinity Photo are stored in iCloud Drive under ‘Affinity’; photos from Affinity are then exported to iCloud or wherever. I also find Lightroom’s organisation to be far superior to that of iCloud.
Hope this proves useful,
Alan
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Peter Obermeier

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Hello Tim,
for several years I had such split solutions on my iOS devices, first using Apple Photo sync via iTunes, then Apple Photo Cloud, then Mylio , then using Lightroom Classic and synced to LR Mobile. All was done with a lot of trouble and manual work to have a really a good sync. A few months ago I have switched 100% to LR Mobile 1TB and that is really great (until now).
I am shooting with Fuji raw (RAF) and jpg and and here you have to decide. LR Mobile on iOS is importing only the RAW file, but LR Mobile on Desktop is importing both. In LR Mobile Desktop there is a manual stack function, but it is not (yet) available in the mobile versions. You can filter jpg and raw, by entering the word jpg in the search field. In LR mobile on my desktop the store locally option is enable and all the originals jpg and raw are stored on an external drive which is included in my backup plan.
On my mobile devices I am storing the smart preview locally and that is working fine on my iPhones and iPads and even on an Android phone with 16GB and 36000 pictures.
All the post processing steps are stored in the Adobe cloud, here we have to trust Adobe. My plan is to export all pictures with the xmp files from time to time, but I am not sure if I will really do that. To be honest, I am trusting Adobe much more than Apple, because Apple has disappointed me very often in the last 10 years with their unreliable cloud.
:-)
Peter

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Tim Sondrup

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Thanks for your insights. I've had such a headache with the desktop version Apple Photos during this whole photo consolidation process. For whatever reason, attempting to sync a huge library of photos over an almost 200 Mbps connection is seemingly impossible. I read somewhere that Apple Photos is great for backing up media on the day-to-day, but as far as backing up tens of thousands of photos at once, it just chokes.

That said, I'm considering just dumping everything I have into Lightroom. Also enabling auto import for for whenever I take a picture or video. I might just keep about a year's worth of media in Apple Photos. There's no denying that Lightroom is a lot more robust and more slated to the advanced  consumer, and especially RAW photos. Hoping I'm making the right choice!
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Peter Obermeier

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Hi Tim, do you have a subscription? Not all features are available without subscription
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Tim Sondrup

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Yes, I pay for the Lightroom + 1 TB cloud storage plan.
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Peter Obermeier

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Hi Tim, I am not experienced in HEIC pictures because I have invested in a new Fuji Camera and not in a new iPhone, so I am still using my old iPhone 7. On my iPadPro with iOS13 it is possible to import HEIC pictures, but I was not able to see the Depth Mask tool in LR mobile even I see several YouTube videos which are describing this feature. Switching on the Portrait in Apples Photo App leads to a JPG after importing this HEIC picture. I hope there are experts here and help to bring light into this mystery.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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If you use LR's camera, there's a Depth mode in the pop-up that preserves the depth mask and makes it accessible in LR. It doesn't stay with Apple's Portrait mode because the portrait "look" has to be applied destructively.
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Tim Sondrup

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That makes sense. As long as the photo stays in Apple Photos, any changes to photos is non-destructive, but apparently exporting the file to LR doesn’t preserve the ability to make changes as Adobe and Apple use different depth mapping methods. Does that sound right?
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Peter Obermeier

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Hi Tim, if you have more questions, do not hesitate to ask. And consider to buy the book from the Lightroomqueen, Victoria Bampton, it will answer a lot of question and enable you to use the full functionality. She is updating the book after every release free of charge.
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Tim Sondrup

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Thanks, Peter. I’ll check it out. I’m all about using the software to its fullest potential.
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Tim Sondrup

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One month later and I'm still having major issues with the Apple Photos software. At this point, I'd like to use just Lightroom to organize my photos and be done. If I import my HEIC and "Portrait Mode" photos into Lightroom, are they converted at all? In other words, are the original files preserved as-is, or are they changed to be compatible with Lightroom?