I thought maybe there was a Lightroom-friendly Adobe (or 3rd party) product that would let me or my partner get through the ratings without needing access to my computer, like on iOS or Android or something. Maybe something like Plex or something that could run on a NAS? Ideally, once the star/flag/etc. was tagged to a particular photo, Lightroom would be able to see that rating and apply it to my main library.
I feel like maybe Adobe had something like this, but now with the advent of Lightroom CC they removed older versions of cloud-based programs that could aid me with this. Any clues on how to accomplish this would be appreciated!
EDIT NOTE: If your partner needs to see the files with your Develop edits the below Bridge workflow requires using DNG files. With any other file format (CR2, NEF, JPEG, etc.) your partner will need to use LR for this purpose. The benefit is that there is no need to share the LR catalog file.
There are a few caveats or potential for "star wars" as Paul mentioned. You'll need to apply the Develop settings and any Library metadata to the image files using 'Save Metadata to File' (CTRL/CMD +S) after completing your editing. This will create XMP files with that data when using raw files and write that data directly to DNG files. If using JPEGs, TIFF, PNG, or PSD files you'll need to check the 'Catalog Settings' 'Include Develop settings in metadata inside JPEGs, TIFF, PNG, and PSD files' option in the Metadata tab.
Your partner can than view the images in Bridge, which will appear with your Develop settings and any Library metadata applied. Star ratings can then be applied and will automatically be written to the file's XMP metadata. Once completed you'll need to use Library menu Metadata> 'Read metadata from file' to load his ratings into the LR catalog so they are visible to you. If you also want to use labels then you'll need to change LR's Library module menu Metadata> Color Label Set to 'Bridge Default.' If you need to run the files back to your partner after star ratings have been applied AND you've applied further edits then you'll need to use 'Save Metadata to File' (CTRL/CMD +S) for all shared files to add the updates in XMP metadata. Otherwise, the changes will not show in Bridge.
Once you understand the required XMP metadata "synchronization" it's pretty simple process. Just make sure you both don't edit the same files time at the same time.
Paul, I’ve invested in a Synology. Since you mentioned it, I gave photo rating in Photo Station a try, and then later syncing it with LR. It worked! But I’ve found the actual process of assigning a rating to an image pretty slow in this program. No simple pressing the number 0-5, it was buried in a menu. I’m thinking of suggesting that to be made easier from the folks at Synology, and could see how this could work in a mobile setting as well.
John Zerfas, I think this must be the app I had heard about but I couldn’t find. Probably because I’m currently running iOS exclusive right now. This would have likely been a great option for me. NUTS!
Todd Shaner, I had no idea that Bridge would run without a paid CC subscription. This is a revelation to me. I’ve been able to experiment with this process and it seems to work very well! Though this still must be done in front of a computer and not mobile, it definitely solves the problem of the photo library being locked to a single LR Catalog on one computer.
Paul, I learned early on that having a defined meaning for those star ratings is key For me,
0 = unrated or not really worth a second view.
1 = At least worth something
2 = Best of a set of images, like if I snap eight images at the same time, three could be labeled “1,” and the best of those gets bumped up to a “2.”
3 = Best of the day
4 = I’m definitely printing this.5 = Put this up on a wall somewhere.