23 Replies Latest reply on Nov 20, 2016 7:15 AM by nutmix5

    Way for others to view your photos

    nutmix5 Level 1

      Before lightroom, I used to have my 200,000 photos on a NAS drive, and photoshop edited copies would be held in the same directories as the originals with _a, _b etc in the file name. I used iSCSI to mount the NAS drive when editing.

       

      Anyone in my family could view them any time by browsing the NAS share in read only mode (so they could not delete or modify them).  My wife would take them and make photo books, calendars, and send out photos of our kids to friends and distant family.

       

      Happy times.

       

      Then about 5 years ago I got lightroom and laptop with 2TB ssd.  Since then, all my photos are locked onto my laptop in the lighroom catalog and on the SSD, and my wife and children only see about 1% of the photos which I have time to edit and publish to Facebook or my professional website or similar.

       

      When I retire, I might have time to go through my half a million photos, edit them, and publish them to a website in high res.

       

      Lightroom has killed photography for my family. Now the only photos anyone sees are the few my wife takes with her phone which she instant shares on FB.

       

      I am hoping that someone out there will make a view app, which allows someone on a PC or ipad or simialr to view and copy the edited and not yet edited photos (but not let them edit or delete them!!!!) which are on my laptop (while it is running and connected to the local LAN of course).

       

      Until that day, lightroom has killed photography, sharing and collaboration for our family.  There are no more photobooks, no more printed photos, as my wife has no read only access to browse ALL the pictures on my laptop on her laptop or ipad.

       

      I am a professional photographer with about £50,000 worth of camera kit.  I work 12 hours a day, so cant spend hours editing, publishing and managing external hard drives or other method of giving photos to my family to work with.

       

      If anyone knows of an app, or hack, or way to share photos locked into lightroom, let me know. I was even thinking about writing an app which can run on the machine lightroom is running on, and produces a dynamic website which sucks data out of lightroom catalog and thumbnail database, to produce a way my family can brows and download the complete set of photos, then use some external apps such as picassa to create photobooks or edit them if they are not edited.

       

      Its a shame adobe has completely missed the family market.  It should have an application, e.g. lightroom lite, which allows people on your local network to view your catalog, and even create their own edits which are uploaded automatically into your master catalog if you have allowed this on the folder.   I am guessing Adobe made a huge mistake when they chose an ancient single user database as their catalog implemenation.  Hopefully someone like apple or google will come up with a multiuser family oriented version of lightroom.

        • 1. Re: Way for others to view your photos
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I don't understand why you feel your images are locked onto that  laptop. You can export  copies of your images and put them anywhere you want to. If you are using Lightroom CC you can create collections of images that can be shared via Lightroom mobile on Apple or android mobile devices or by having people go to Lightroom.adobe.com.

          • 2. Re: Way for others to view your photos
            whsprague Level 4

            I have only a couple thousand invested in gear, about 50,000 images and have never made a USA nickel.  Yet I share some of your feelings about easy ways of having friends and family have access to my images. 

             

            Have you explored some of the "mobile" features included with your CC subscription?  Only yesterday did I learn there is an opportunity to have an online, automated portfolio based on collections.  Adobe has a "myportfolio.com" you can use.

             

            Adobe's Terry White explains some of it here:  Lightroom Web New Features - YouTube

            • 3. Re: Way for others to view your photos
              Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

              First off your images aren't LOCKED in LR. In fact no images are ever really IN LR. LR is a Database program and your images are Referenced from where they are stored on your hard drive into the LR Database file, the catalog file.

               

              You can still keep your images on your NAS and reference them into the LR catalog file. That is the point of LR. Images can be stored on any drive your computer has access to, except Cloud storage with no local files and even then it might be possible (something I would never do or try so I have no fist hand knowledge of doing something like that).

               

              You can still view the images, depending on what type they are, with the built in photo viewer apps that come with the operating system.

               

              I think you are missing the point of LR and how LR works and how to work with LR.

              Sure if you only shoot RAW and never export JPG images then only programs that can read RAW image data can view/display those images. And if they are stored on just your notebook that other family members don't have LAN access to then they can view them.

              But if you placed them on the NAS and in a format, JPG, that can be viewed by many apps anyone that has access to the NAS can view them.

              • 4. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                nutmix5 Level 1

                Hi, Lightroom mobile is useless as a viewer because it lets the viewer delete and/or accidentaly edit your photos. E.g. If I let me children use the mobile app on their pads, as they constantly ask to see them but I just have to say no, they will certainly accidental delete or ruin them.

                 

                It is a HUGE missed opportunity for Adobe not to make a mobile app with a read only mode.

                 

                The other issue is I would have to actively upload my 1.5TB of photos up to Adobe.com just for my family to then download the images when they are on the same network as my laptop.

                • 5. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                  nutmix5 Level 1

                  @Just shoot me.  Yes, they are locked in, in that the edited photos and their tags and structure only "exist" in LR catalog, they dont exist anywhere accessible by anyone else.  What we need is a way into this single user only system which doesn't involve manual labor and a poor solution.

                   

                  Yes the originals could be on a NAS, but they are not, they are on my laptop SSD. Even if I wasted the time and effort manually duplicating the originals onto a NAS drive, noone would have access to the "good" edited versions. Yes, I could tediously manually export edited photos to an external HD, then hand this to my family, but then how would they know if they should look on the exported "edited" photo collection Drive, or the massive, crappy, unedited photo collection drive?  Also, they would have no access to the tag search and other essential features locked in the catalog.

                  • 6. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                    nutmix5 Level 1

                    @whsprague

                    Thanks for your suggestion about the portfolio. I see how this could be useful for publishing your "finished articles", but it does not help your family view your finished photos and the terabytes of un-edited un-finished photos because you are 6 years behind in editing family shots.

                     

                    Also, the family would want to have the high resolution originals for makign photobooks, printing and editing themselves, rather than have to download the highly compressed version used by adobe.com sharing.

                     

                    Also, if they want to grab a whole album (e.g. I have weddings with 3000 edited shots) over the internet it would take hours if not days, when the source is on my gigabit lan right next to them.

                     

                    There is a missing piece of the puzzle - a way for local users to view your catalog, and idealy get images locally.  Sharing 1.5TB of images just for your family to browse is not the best solution.  I dont think it gives them access to the tags and search etc. which is still locked in the catalog.

                    • 7. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                      whsprague Level 4

                      So what you are trying to say is you want a multiuser version of Lightroom?  And, it should have a control account that sets or limits users ability to change things.

                      • 8. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                        Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                        Your image files are not LOCKED in LR. Not sure where you got, get that from.

                         

                        Well no matter what image editing program you use until you save the edits to the file, with LR that is Exporting it, no one has access to the final version of the image. And if you don't copy or place those saved/exported images on a drive/system your family has access to then no one can view them but you.

                         

                        This is not Lightroom's doing. The same thing would happen if you stored all your images on your notebook SSD and used Bridge > ACR > PS to edit them. Until you place them on some drive or system your family has acces to no one but you can view them.

                         

                        So what you are asking for is something like Google Picasa or whatever it is called now. That is if it actually synced with some type of cloud system. You couldn't do what you want with Apple Photos (or iPhoto), Aperture.

                         

                        Actually you can sync with LR mobile and access those synced images from any web browser.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                          dj_paige Level 9

                          What we need is a way into this single user only system which doesn't involve manual labor and a poor solution.

                          So why would you come to a user-to-user forum with this suggestion? Why don't you tell Adobe directly?

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                            nutmix5 Level 1

                            @JimHess thanks for your reply.  Exporting is not really an option as I have 1.5TB of images, which are a mix of edited, not edited yet and never will be edited content but all taged and searchable in LR.  Sure I could do the following:

                             

                            1. import photos in LR into laptop SSD.
                            2. Manually copy the same photos onto the external "family share" 2TB HD.
                            3. tag all images for searching in LR
                            4. Edit some of them to make a magnificent collection.
                            5. Export the collection manually to the same 2TB HD.

                             

                            Now comes the problem:

                            1. To find a photo, e.g. of a wedding or person, they would have to wade through 1.5TB of original images most of which are not good, or possibly import them all into picassa and index them themselves.
                            2. They find the photo. Now they need to see if there are nice edited versions of this photo, by going to the "exported collections" section and searching there for the same image.
                            3. My daughter (6) doesnt have a laptop, only an ipad.  she cant plug in the external drive. She can access the few images I have had time to publish to facebook, but none of the images I have not.

                             

                            If I had a lot of spare time, and could edit every family photo within a week, and upload each one to my private webserver with carefully constructed index pages which helped navigation, and it didnt matter if 4 family members then spent the next hour downloading the whole lot to their devices so they could make albums or edit out their boyfriends and publish on FB, I would be ok, but I dont have this luxury, unfortunately.

                            • 11. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                              nutmix5 Level 1

                               

                              dj_paige wrote:

                               

                              So why would you come to a user-to-user forum with this suggestion? Why don't you tell Adobe directly?

                              Good question.

                              When the ipad app came out, I begged adobe to add a read only flag for albums accessed via it so that my family could use it, but of course a lone voice is Ignored, and my family have no access to their photos.

                               

                              I was hoping that perhaps someone had come up with a hack or workaround which hooked into the lr.cat file, or some other clever process to work around the viewing/access limitations.

                               

                              Or perhaps wanted to hear what other people like me who have millions of photos, family who want to see them, and no time to edit and publish to some public website

                              • 12. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                                D.A.R Adobe Community Professional

                                It seems to me the problem was created when you changed your workflow. Pre Lr your images were on the NAS. Now they are on your Laptop HD.

                                 

                                Put the images back on the NAS. Use Lightroom to edit them on your Laptop (use smart previews if you want to edit while not connected)

                                 

                                Use the NAS for browsing and sharing and downloading for other members of your family. Most NAS systems have this functionality built it - WD / Synology etc.

                                 

                                The permissions family members have regarding sharing and downloading is a NAS setting not Lightroom. Since the images are viewed via a browser they can be be viewed by anyone you give access to. The NAS developers also have apps for mobile devices. Images can be downloaded or not based on your settings.

                                 

                                Ultimately this gives you full control of what is viewable by your family and when it is viewable. You can give them access to RAW files or just jpg versions. Your choice. Family can search via tags (keywords) provide you write them to the files in Lightroom (Cmd + S)

                                2 people found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                                  selondon Level 3

                                  I have nowhere near that many images but Lightroom Mobile and Web are pretty good for Sharing my family photos.

                                   

                                  Jusr Click Share and it gives you a Web Link for that Collection that others can view and download.

                                   

                                  The only problem is that oniy Smart Previews are synced from the desktop app.

                                   

                                  Their should be a way of sharing the whole catalog though with a limited number of people as long as they have an Adobe ID, with the option of read only.

                                  • 14. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                                    nutmix5 Level 1

                                    D.A.R wrote:

                                     

                                    It seems to me the problem was created when you changed your workflow. Pre Lr your images were on the NAS. Now they are on your Laptop HD.

                                     

                                     

                                    Once you go SSD, you never go back!  The 6TB Synology Raid 5 NAS failed twice completely loosing all my data, images, and backups.  It was incredibly slow (20MB) compared with SSD (500MB). 10 years ago, I could not fit my photos on my laptop, but since 5 years ago when I got a lenovo W520 with 2x1TB SSD, I could.  Back then I was using photoshop for everything, so everything was exposed.

                                     

                                    I could share my local photo directory read only, but this would not have any of the editing I have done, none of the vital keywording and collections. I could always export my edited collections to local disk, and share that too, but its a tedious manual process, and I would have to remember to re-export each time I added or changed anything in a collection, and there would be none of the essential search keywords exposed.  Anyone looking for photos would always have to look in two places, the huge bulk of original pics, then the smaller set of edited pics in a completely different directory structure.

                                     

                                    It seems that there is not alternative yet for this - everything has to be exported out of and away from light room to be useful by anyone else (except for a very small subset of "published" to web collections), which is a huge shame.  The gigs of digital images are "locked up". I the old days, all my images were in slides or printed in 5x7, and I have probably  tens of thousands of these in hundreds of albums which my family and friends can browse any time.  But only a tiny fraction of the photos have taken digitally in the last 20 years is available, (perhaps 20,000) of images I have had time to export and publish to facebook or my professionally website.

                                    • 15. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                                      nutmix5 Level 1

                                      selondon wrote:

                                       

                                       

                                      Jusr Click Share and it gives you a Web Link for that Collection that others can view and download.

                                       

                                      The only problem is that oniy Smart Previews are synced from the desktop app.

                                       

                                       

                                      Thanks Selondon. The missing piece here is I have more than 2000 collections, how should I send my family 2000 links?  For some bazar reason, Adoble have not kept the collection hearch or any searchable tags with their publication system, rendering it useless for browsing and searching.  The web link is great for say sending low quality images of one event, but not good if they want to find an event from 10 years ago or one picture out of a million.    The other problem is that the bulk of my photos are not in a collection, and these are the ones friends and family want to see.   And its a LOT of photos.  It would take months or years to upload that much.

                                      • 16. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                                        D.A.R Adobe Community Professional

                                        So put SSD drives in your NAS.

                                        If you think your ssd drives on the laptop can't or won't fail you are mistaken.

                                         

                                        What were you using before Lightroom?

                                        Why did you switch without verifying it fit in your workflow?

                                        Why would you expect Lr to accommodate you when you are looking for it to do something it is not designed to do.?

                                         

                                        Lightroom isn't perfect and there are several areas I'd like to see improved but to label it as the killer of the family photo sharing is a bit harsh.

                                         

                                        Your unwillingness to store your image in a location other than a mobile non network (by default) drive is the major block I see for the implementation of what you desire.

                                        2 people found this helpful
                                        • 17. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                                          Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                          nutmix5 wrote:

                                           

                                          D.A.R wrote:

                                           

                                          It seems to me the problem was created when you changed your workflow. Pre Lr your images were on the NAS. Now they are on your Laptop HD.

                                           

                                           

                                          Once you go SSD, you never go back! The 6TB Synology Raid 5 NAS failed twice completely loosing all my data, images, and backups. It was incredibly slow (20MB) compared with SSD (500MB).

                                          Then update you LAN to a Gigabit network and faster WiFi. Then set up a wired NAS or other computer to store your images on that has SSDs.

                                          What you think connecting over the internet would be faster than a LAN.

                                          1 person found this helpful
                                          • 18. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                                            nutmix5 Level 1

                                            The problem is that LR catalog is single user, but photo production and use is mult-user.  Current work-arounds involve exporting photos out of LR, or copying parts of catalogs and thumbnail Databases around and trying to merge them. Horrible solutions.

                                             

                                             

                                            Note:

                                            Typical NAS NFS Speed = 40-80 MB/s (regardless of drive type and network speed.)

                                            Typical high end SSD local speed = 500-600 MB/s

                                             

                                            Current work flow for photobooks.

                                            1. Wife waits about 3 months for a day when I am not using my computer.
                                            2. wife sits at my computer logged in as me.   She goes through all the photos in LR, and I have taught her how to mark the ones she wants (takes at least a day)
                                            3. I then take these photos, and first do a quick enhancement/edit of the ones I have not already edited, then export them to USB drive in a lower resolution.
                                            4. she loads the photos onto her laptop, imports them into picassa, and tags them all (duplicating the work I have already done).
                                            5. she uses some internet based photobook application,and uploads those photos.  I could buy her a LR license just to use photobooks and browse, but this would be very expensive for what she uses it for, and with the copying and merging and tracking of Lrcat files, it would be a mess.

                                             

                                            Desired workflow:

                                            1) wife and I both have LR installed on our laptops, or ideally LR and LR-lite (for viewing, tagging and printing)

                                            2) wife opens the signle shared LR catalog or view of it (either hosted on my laptop or a shared server).

                                            3) wife uses LR to select, edit and product photobooks using the full power of LR.  If she finds some which need editing, she has a way to flag this which I can see (i.e. a proper multi-user workflow), or use the auto-enhance features.

                                             

                                            Current work flow for daughter to see the photos of her childhood.

                                            1) there isn't one. She cant, because I cant let her sit at my laptop with LR open because she might hit the wrong key and delete something.  A slide show is pointless, as I have millions of photos - she wants to browse the combined edited and non edited photos.  I cant give her the ipad app because it is not read only, and I cant share 1.5GB through the internet.  i could copy my 1.5GB of originals to an external HD, put it on my wifes notebpad, then let her browse using the internte exporter or picassa, but this would always be out of date, would have no tagging, and would not have the edited versions in the same place as the originals (so would not find them).  I dont want her to see the crappy unedited shots when there is a glorious edited version if  some of the shots, especially of her.

                                             

                                            Why I think NAS is not a solution.

                                            Keeping the originals on the LAN would significantly slow me down.  I have high end 10Gb switches with iSCSI, 10Gb cat 6 cabling and fiber between my severs.  I have a Synology high end NAS with 6 1TB WD Velicraptor drives.  Sharing files from the NAS using NFS is still USB2 speeds - its a limitation of the protocol).  Even if I dint mind waiting, NAS only shares the files.  The issue is with the editing, searching, browsing and tagging currently only in LR and only possible for me.  And also that she doesnt know whether to look in the originals, or in the exported catalogs for a particular image if all exported. As a solution, it is poor. . I cant go back to waiting for every image to load for 5-10 seconds instead of being instant.  I have spent £2000 on SSDs for my laptop for a reason.  The SSDS are M.2 - you cant put these in a NAS drive, and there is no point, it would still be slow due to the NFS shearing speed.

                                             

                                            Many of my shots are raw, and the bulk are with full frame cameras > 20Mpix. so big files.

                                            • 19. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                                              Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                              nutmix5 wrote:

                                               

                                              The problem is that LR catalog is single user, but photo production and use is mult-user. Current work-arounds involve exporting photos out of LR, or copying parts of catalogs and thumbnail Databases around and trying to merge them. Horrible solutions.

                                              IMHO the problem is you not LR.

                                              • 20. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                                                JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                I think the crux of the "problem" is the database technology the Lightroom uses. I remember from my working days at the University single user database technology was easy to come by and not very expensive. But as soon as you started looking at multiuser access  the licensing for the database technology quickly became cost prohibitive. So question here is, do you want an affordable program or are you willing to pay a hefty premium for multiuser access?

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Surely you don't want to share nor do you expect friends and family to browse through 200,000 images. Create a few collections of your best work and share them using Lightroom mobile if you are subscribed to the CC program. Do you remember back in the days of slides and projectors how everyone would run when grandpa wanted to pull out the slides and share them?

                                                • 21. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                                                  trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  JimHess wrote:

                                                  Surely you don't want to share nor do you expect friends and family to browse through 200,000 images. Do you remember back in the days of slides and projectors how everyone would run when grandpa wanted to pull out the slides and share them?

                                                  makes some good points. "No-Doze and Amphetamines are optional, but recommended!" I count myself as one of those people who put many asleep with way too verbose slide presentations.

                                                   

                                                  Seriously, there are numerous plugins available that might help you accomplish your objective such as this one: http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/folder-publisher

                                                   

                                                  Jeffrey Friedl's Blog » Jeffrey’s “Folder Publisher” Lightroom Plugin

                                                   

                                                  OR

                                                   

                                                  Thinking about this a little further you could simply create Smart Previews for all images in your LR catalog and then "share" the LR Catalog by copying over the just the .lrcat file and Smart Previews folder. Of course each user will need LR standalone, which allows two installations with one active at any time. Smart Previews are ~1MB x 200,000 = 200GB. You can keep the .lrcat file and Smart Previews folder up-to-date using any Synchronization software, such as FreeFile Sync.

                                                   

                                                  Download the Latest Version - FreeFileSync

                                                   

                                                  WARNING: If you decide to use FreeFileSync only use the 'Donate Via Paypal' link, which has no PUP advertising in the installation file.

                                                  • 22. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                                                    nutmix5 Level 1

                                                    JimHess wrote:

                                                     

                                                    But as soon as you started looking at multiuser access the licensing for the database technology quickly became cost prohibitive.

                                                     

                                                    Surely you don't want to share nor do you expect friends and family to browse through 200,000 images.

                                                    1. High performance multi user databases are not on only free, they are open source, including mysql, postgress, couchbase, mongo DB, SQL lite etc.  Many have variants designed to be embedded in applications such as lightroom. Think of the possibilities if they had gone down this route.  I am a database designer by the way.
                                                    2. Yes, my family have no problem browsing through around 2000 "rolls" of pictures (aka imports), each of which has beetween 100 and 2000 pictures in each.  LR makes it very easy to browse.  All my imports are numbered and dated, making it easy to home in and view large numbers of pictures at the same time on my dual 30" high res monitors and instantaneous display thanks to local SSD.

                                                     

                                                    The problem is that this requires my wife to sit at my laptop for several hours choosing the pics she wants me to process.  Then I have to process them, export them to a USB drive, she puts them on her laptop, then loads them into picassa, then she indexes them, then she chooses one of the various photo album SW (such as blurb), and uploads them all.  This is a horrible processes, and I never have time to let her spend 4-8 hours at my laptop when she wants to do it.  So we end up very rarely doing photo books.

                                                     

                                                    There is no process for my daughter to browse all the photos in LR as I cant  risk her deleting images or similar in LR.  Does Adobe expect me to email my 6 year old 2000 links to 2000 collections of previews hosted on Adobe cloud?  Also this is a very very slow way of viewing compared large numbers of files compared with using LR locally.  This feature could have been trivial if they had not shot themselves in the foot with choosing a technology from the 80s for the database.

                                                    • 23. Re: Way for others to view your photos
                                                      nutmix5 Level 1

                                                      Just Shoot Me wrote:

                                                       

                                                      IMHO the problem is you not LR.

                                                      All I am saying is that LR have no solution for a multi-user workflow which does not require exporting all images (the un-processed with bloopers along with the subset of processed ones), with all the hassle of setting up replication, merging, exporting, etc.  Also, if I export the files, how does my wife tell me which ones she wants me to process? She did try sending me spreadsheets of file names, but this just became too much pain.

                                                       

                                                      The pain threshold means our family never see their photos, except the few I can process and print or upload to my private website.  I could upload smart previews of 1.5GB to the Adobe web thing, but all indexing and structure is lost, its just a list of thousands of unconnected links, and it is very slow, and not a good solution for my 2 use cases (work and family).

                                                       

                                                      I am looking for a process which doesn't suck, but haven't found one yet. I have tried many options.

                                                      I will explore some of the plugins with external file syc, but these are going to be kludge at best.

                                                       

                                                      Its a shame that Apple dropped aperture - Apple are the kind of people who might have approached this from a connected multi-user family/work point of view, they could have built a product which allowed mulit-user seamless access to the full and glorious LR functionality and data.

                                                       

                                                      Just picture how easy this would be, several people in the office working on a single central LR DB. For my wedding business, the photographer would import the photos, someone else would enhance them, someone else would print them, all fro the same app without exporting files round and the danger of getting it wrong.  In a family environment, any family member could import, view, tag, edit, print, publish from the entire imported database of pics seamlessly to one database. This, coupled with the tablet app, AND a robust set of user roles and permissions, would be Nirvana. It, development wise, it would be not that hard to implement had they had the vision.  With the advent of very fast wifi standards and £20 gigabit switches for desktops and laptops, I can only hope someone does this sooner not later.