I am sorry, however you would need to carry the external drive with you in order to edit the images in Lightroom, as Lightroom reads the images from your external drive.
However if you have the Lightroom catalog on your internal drive, you can create smart previews of the images and then you would not have to carry the external drive.
Thank you Tanuj. Is there a step-by-step video I can watch on how to proceed - like plugging my external drive, looking for certain files in the Cat folder, etc? I need detailed information on the process.
Thanks a lot.
My understanding is that the LR application (program) must be on your internal hard drive, whereas the catalog and image file can be on an external drive. Thus if your friend does not have LR installed on his computer you must continue to take your laptop. If he has LR installed, you just need your catalog and image file on a portable HD that would fit in your pocket.
I keep my LR image library and Catalog files - including all my Smart Previews, on the same external drive as files connect faster that way. That's what they teach at the International Center of Photography.
What I'm not sure about is whether I can connect that external drive into any Mac computer and be able to see and work on my images; and whether that new Mac needs to have a "current" version of LR installed, or even none at all. And how to proceed after I connect the drive to that new computer.
There's also a lot of talk on the web about using Smart Previews with Dropbox - which would mean not even carrying my external drive! But this is an auxiliary question.
My priority is not to have to lug a computer when I'm away from my desk.
You can certainly "see" your photos from any other computer you wish - with all of the edits, if you have "saved metadata to file" so that an XMP file is associated with the original image. But to "work" on an image you need the LR application. The "Smart Previews" are fine if you are using portal device such as a tablet or smart phone with the mobile app installed.
I need access to my entire library of images because I am working on making portfolios and also working on a book. So:
a) how do I know I've saved metadata to file and that an XMP file associated with the original image? If not, how do I do it wholesale to the entire library?
b) will I be able, with just my external drive as it is set up now, to organize and reorganize images into collections, etc., using any Mac computer?
c) if so, what's the actual procedure after connecting the drive to the new Mac?
Raphael's, you have 2 choices:
1. Take you laptop with you
2. Install LightRoom on the other computer
Anything else is going to cause a lot more problems than will likely help.
Unfortunately, I think you're right.
My elegant fantasy about using the Smart Previews on my external drive instead of lugging a computer thru subways and up stairs has evaporated.