Lightroom: Question about face recognition support and mobile storage

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What it will take to get me to switch to lightroom.
1. Faces
2. Adobe needs an iPad app that can replace Apple's Photo app so all (or part) of my library can be on my iPad and iPhone with Faces and Places and keywords and albums and searches
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Kay Fisher

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Posted 5 years ago

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Rob Cole

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1. I *think* "faces" is coming in Lr6 (not official, but there are signs..).
2. Why do you need Adobe to make another iPad app? - existing apps not cutting it for you?
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Kay Fisher

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Correct - they are not. I need and use the photos app everyday - but if I switch to lightroom then how do I keep all my 21,000 photos organized on my iDevices?

If you know of some app that can replace Photos and use the lightroom library please let me know what it is
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Rob Cole

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I don't use an iPad, nor am I very familiar with it's apps, or Lightroom Mobile. So, keep that in mind as I continue my reply.

That said, I have worked with a few people and heard of many who do use Lightroom and keep photos organized on iDevices too.

I mean, what would work depends on what you need to do, which is kinda what I was wondering - what exactly do you need to do, how exactly do current offerings fall short.

For example, if all you want is to upload photos from Lightroom (i.e. a one-way sync), organized in a hierarchy and chalked full of metadata, the TreeSync Publisher plugin (or the like) is all you need - whenever you change a photo in Lightroom, or add one, your iDevice will be updated.

But if you want to work on them (adjust develop settings, or metadata) on your iDevice, and have those changes sync'd back to Lightroom on your desktop, TreeSync Publisher won't help.

Are you familiar with Lightroom Mobile?

Anyway, I think it would help if you provide a mini-review of each kind of option you are familiar with, and how it falls short.

Many people are using Lightroom to keep an iPad and/or iPhone photo collection organized, so they might be able to help, even if I can't. And if they can't hopefully it will be clearer to Adobe what the shortcomings are..

I mean maybe everybody who uses iDevices including Adobe knows exactly what needs to be done for proper support and it's just a matter of time.. - if so, feel free to ignore this post..

Rob
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Kay Fisher

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What I need is the ability to have all 21,000 photos on my iDevices.
Given that I want to be able to bring up quickly every picture of any person in my faces database.
Also I want the ability to quickly find any album.
Also I want the ability to quickly use a map and bring up all the pictures taken in a specific location
On my wish list I would like to be able to find all pictures with a keyword.

But... I don't need to edit here - I'll to that on my computer.
I tried lightroom mobile. Seemed difficult or impossible to deal with 21,000 photos without incuring cloud expense. But it has been a few months and I don't recall the details about my experience with it in detail.

Respectfully,
Kay Fisher
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Rob Cole

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I did a brief internet research of Lr mobile - from what I could tell, if you are already subscribed to the cloud, and don't mind the internet-speed synchronization, then Lr mobile may be a very nice option. But if you don't want to pay for the cloud, or prefer desktop-speed synchronization, it may not be so grand.

Cheers,
Rob
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Rob Cole

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Kay, it sure seems like you can do most of that now.

|> "What I need is the ability to have all 21,000 photos on my iDevices"

You can most certainly do this now - just set up a publish service, and publish photos with reduced dimensions and medium quality jpeg format, then upload (e.g. via FTP).

|> "Given that I want to be able to bring up quickly every picture of any person in my faces database."

As you know, Lightroom doesn't support face recognition yet, but you can still apply a keyword to represent a person, and use that to find photos of specified people.

|> "Also I want the ability to quickly find any album."

If you export in a hierarchy, and/or include full metadata, it should be easy to find stuff - how easy etc. depends on (export structure and) photo app (often called portfolio apps). I don't know what all is available, but I know there are several, and none were very good at first, but they are getting better all the time.

|> "Also I want the ability to quickly use a map and bring up all the pictures taken in a specific location"

I don't know anything about this and so can't comment. Certainly you can use location text metadata but I dunno about maps..

|> "On my wish list I would like to be able to find all pictures with a keyword."

Some portfolio apps most certainly support this capability.

|> "I don't need to edit here"

In that case, all you need is a publish service - publish your photos to your iDevices in hierarchical structure and include most metadata and get yourself the most appropriate portfolio app for yourself and you should be golden, well - except for possible limitations like graphic maps..

Don't get me wrong: it may be Adobe needs to do something in this area, but you can get most of the way to where you are trying to go, right now.

Begging the questions:
* have you published photos in a hierarchy with most metadata and uploaded them to your iDevice?
* have you shopped for more suitable portfolio apps?

For publishing, you can use the built-in hard drive publishing service, or a plugin like TreeSync Publisher (free by me, and there are links to other similar publishing plugins on the TSP web page).

Rob
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Kay Fisher

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OK - a lot of what you said is over my head.
When you say publish - I assume you mean some lightroom command that outputs the library to a directory structure or you talking about some cloud service?

You say portfolio apps but please name one because I have looked at several and never found one yet that can deal with 21,000 photos and all the keywords and location data in the library.
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john beardsworth

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While you can do it that way, the process does not need not to be as messy as you are being led to believe. You would need to subscribe to Lightroom. Then, just drag the pictures into a collection ("album") and set it to sync to Lightroom Mobile. Sign into the Lightroom Mobile app on your iDevice, and wait for the images to download.

I've pretty well stopped using Photos on my iPad, and it's made the 3-4 portfolio so unnecessary I may as well delete them.
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john beardsworth

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I'll add that I have also created publishing services for iOS devices, use Lightroom Mobile, used Apple's Photos app, and have tried 3-4 portfolio apps on my iPad. I figured out publish workflows that did clever things too, but I prefer to tick a box next to the collection.
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Rob Cole

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Hi Kay,

As I said previously, I am really not experienced with Lightroom Mobile. From what John is saying, it sounds like an option worth considering.

What I am experienced with is publishing photos for iPad and/or iPhone using a publish service, which is what people did before Lightroom Mobile was invented (before Lr5.4), and what some people are still doing now.

Lightroom (as of version 3) has a feature called "publish services" - you can see them in the left panel of the library module, if you scroll down a ways.

So when I say publish, I mean export via a publish service that you have set up.

If you want to try a publish-service based solution, step 1 is to experiment with publish services in Lightroom.

I am not an expert in portfolio apps, nor am I very familiar with Apple Photo app's limitations. Perhaps the secret is a structured export hierarchy so the app isn't trying to ingest all info at once - dunno, maybe somebody else does.

I can help more if you want to pursue a publish-service based solution.

Rob
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Kay Fisher

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Re: John Beardsworth Lightroom Moble suggestion.

Tried that. As best as I can recall it worked fine for 200 photos but in order to do it with 21,000 photos you would need to spend a fortune on cloud storage with Adobe.

Correct me if I am wrong.

Also this would require tons of WiFi time to upload the bunch then download them again to 4 devices that are within a usb cable from the source files in the first place.

So I think Rob Cole is on the right track but again there are still two problems to solve for me.

1. Faces
2. iPad app that can display 21,000 photos with faces, places, albums, and keyword searches

Respectfully,
Kay Fisher
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john beardsworth

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That's wrong, Kay, there's no limit or extra charges for the cloud storage once you pay the $9.99 monthly subscription (which gives you Photoshop and Lightroom too).

21000 images will take time to upload, but once they are uploaded your iOS devices will simply download the ones you choose to view, and automatically update them if you adjust them. A lot depends on your network access speed and wifi availability when away from base, but free wifi is increasingly ubiquitous. You can also download albums for offline use.

In my experience its simplicity and convenience vastly outweigh the "fun and games" of setting up and maintaining publish workflows from Lightroom to portfolio/slideshow apps, which is why I abandoned those methods.

You might also look up the PhotoSmith and Mosaic apps. I don't think they solve the Faces, places or keywords though.
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Kay Fisher

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So is this statement from the Adobe web site incorrect?

>How many GB of storage do I have?
>
>If you have a Full Creative Cloud Membership or an Individual product subscription, >you have 20 GB of storage. Free members have 2 GB of storage.
>

Cause I think I need about 150 GB to start with and grow from there.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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That 2GB of space is in addition to the unlimited LR sync space. (Note that the photographers bundle is 2GB of space plus unlimited LR sync space, whereas the full CC is 20GB plus LR sync space.)
(Edited)
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Rob Cole

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Hi Kay,

First, to be clear: I'm not trying to talk you into, or out of, anything :-).

And in case still not clear: The storage required for syncing photos (which persists only temporarily) when using Lr mobile does NOT count against your "permanent" (persistent) allotment. - another way of saying what Victoria said.

* Regarding faces - there is no solution yet (in the Lightroom world), other than people keywords.
* Regarding iPad app, it's hard to believe there isn't an app which can crunch the metadata of 20-30k of images like peanuts, but I don't know - have you tried xtrafolio? (it's a full-featured portfolio app which may be overkill). Even a cheaper app like 'Photo Manager Pro' may suffice(?)

Anyway, yeah: I appreciate the simplicity of the Lr mobile approach, if you don't mind paying the service fee (or already are), and you don't mind being constrained by internet syncing limitations (or you aren't so constrained in your world).

I use publish services for such stuff because I've been doing it for years, and so, well, if it ain't broke.. But if I were just starting out, I'd seriously consider Lr mobile instead (subject to the previously-mentioned considerations..).

Cheers,
Rob
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Rob Cole

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Hi Kay,

More info in case you're not sufficiently overwhelmed yet..

Faces - some people are using picassa to face-tag, then Jeffrey Friedl's face-data importing plugin to translate into Lr keywords - dunno how well that works.
(if it were me, I'd wait and see what Lr6 has to offer faces-wise).

iPad apps - I just spoke with a guy from xtrafolio, and he said I should be looking for an image database app instead, or photo management app etc. i.e. portfolio apps are more about showing a smaller number of photos to a client (customizable presentation of already-found client photos, to wow.., rather than quickly finding photos for other clients, or personal photos etc..), rather than allowing you to find/view/organize your whole library.

Again, I'm not pushing for anything, but in case Lr mobile not the best option for you..

Rob
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Kay Fisher

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Thanks Everyone for the insightful info.
I'm currently using Aperture/Photoshop CS6.
Now that Apple pulled the plug on Aperture I have to wait and see what the new Photos app for mac does in a few months. I just was modestly successful putting photogene on my iDevices and that helps organize photos making up for some of the new Photos app short comings.

I may well take the plunge to Lightroom either after they introduce Faces (which they have had working for years in Elements) or after I give up on faces entirely and switch to keywords.

Bottom line - thanks a million for the info.

Respectfully,
Kay Fisher
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
Here's our document on Lightroom mobile storage:
https://helpx.adobe.com/mobile-apps/help/lightroom-mobile-faq.html

How many photos and videos can I sync across my devices
using Lightroom?

We currently do not limit the number of photos and videos
you sync in Lightroom.

Images synced with Lightroom for mobile do not count
toward your of online storage (20 GB w/CC all apps or 2GB CC Photography Plan)

Lightroom mobile has been tested up to 250,000 images.

You can sync as many files to Lightroom Mobile as your portable device can manage.

You're probably gated more by the amount of memory on your devices than you are on Lightroom mobile cloud storage. 
(Edited)