9 Replies Latest reply on Apr 9, 2017 5:54 PM by snsApr2017

    Moving photos from desktop to Dropbox

    snsApr2017

      I am running out of space on my desktop and am considering moving all my photos to Dropbox. Unclear as to whether I can, going forward, then edit with Lightroom directly on the cloud without the need for a local copy. Also, will I be able to access all my old edits?

        • 1. Re: Moving photos from desktop to Dropbox
          dj_paige Level 9

          Your best option is to buy an external HD.

           

          You can't really remove photos to Dropbox, as the way Dropbox works, a copy is maintained on your hard disk.

           

          You also can't store photos in the cloud, because Lightroom requires photos to be stored on a local or network disk, and not in the cloud.

          • 2. Re: Moving photos from desktop to Dropbox
            snsApr2017 Level 1

            "You can't really remove photos to Dropbox, as the way Dropbox works, a copy is maintained on your hard disk."

            Not exactly true as you can have folders in Dropbox that you choose not to sync with your computer.

             

            "..because Lightroom requires photos to be stored on a local or network disk.."

            Is that true? That is what I am trying to ascertain.

            • 3. Re: Moving photos from desktop to Dropbox
              ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

              snsApr2017  wrote

               

               

               

              "..because Lightroom requires photos to be stored on a local or network disk.."

              Is that true? That is what I am trying to ascertain.

              Yes, it is true. For your images to be seen by Lightroom, they need to be local to your computer: internal hard drive, external hard drive, network server drive.

              • 4. Re: Moving photos from desktop to Dropbox
                snsApr2017 Level 1

                I recall reading something about moving pictures to the cloud, and creating smart previews in order to view the pictures even when offline....

                • 5. Re: Moving photos from desktop to Dropbox
                  ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                  Smart previews can be used for many things (but not all), when the original images files are temporarily not available.

                  To create the smart previews, the images do need to be local to the computer at that time.

                  • 6. Re: Moving photos from desktop to Dropbox
                    dj_paige Level 9

                    Smart previews can save space, but as ManiacJoe said, the photos must be on a local drive in the first place. Then, if you want to do anything with the full size photos (print, export, web, HDR or panorama, slideshow, etc.) you'd have to move the full size originals back to the local disk, and make sure it is in the exact same location as it was in previously ... to me a very convoluted workflow, compared to getting an external HD, and I'm not sure you save that much $$ in the long run. A personal 1GB storage account on Dropbox is $8.25/month, that's $99/year; and a 2GB external HD is less than that. You're ahead financially with the external HD after 1 year, and then the cost is essentially zero dollars in years 2, 3, 4, compared to $99/year in years 2, 3, 4 with Dropbox.

                    • 7. Re: Moving photos from desktop to Dropbox
                      cmgap Adobe Community Professional

                      'I recall reading something about moving pictures to the cloud, and creating smart previews in order to view the pictures even when offline....'

                       

                      How to use Smart Previews to view and edit photos in Photoshop Lightroom

                       

                      'Importing photographs into your catalog establishes a link between the catalog and the physical file. The photograph can exist on an internal or external drive. In previous versions of Lightroom, you could edit images that were contained on drives connected to Lightroom.

                       

                      Smart Previews in Lightroom allow you to edit images that are not physically connected to your computer. Smart Preview files are a lightweight, smaller, file format, based on the lossy DNG file format.'

                       

                      Also Terry White has written quite a bit about using DB in his workflow:

                      http://terrywhite.com/lightroom-dropbox/

                      http://terrywhite.com/5-ways-to-take-advantage-of-dropbox

                      • 8. Re: Moving photos from desktop to Dropbox
                        Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        You can't really remove photos to Dropbox, as the way Dropbox works, a copy is maintained on your hard disk.

                         

                        You also can't store photos in the cloud, because Lightroom requires photos to be stored on a local or network disk, and not in the cloud.

                        dj is as usual completely correct.

                         

                        Note that ALL cloud solutions work this way. They maintain a local copy on your hard disk so that you can access the files locally and then it syncs the files that are changed to the cloud servers in the background when needed. This is done to work around the very large latency that you get when going to the internet. So your standard cloud solutions are simply not going to work to release storage on your computer. Some cloud services will allow you to not sync certain folders but then you don't have access to the images in Lightroom! A solution could be to treat a drive on an internet sever as a network drive. This can be done through things like WebDAV on amazon web services but they are in practice not workable solutions for this problem as it is going to be incredibly slow on most broadband connections. You'd need gigabit fiber to make it even remotely workable. This is really just a complex and slow way to implement a NAS.

                         

                        Only real solutions to running out of storage are to install a bigger internal drive, to use external storage on a fast interface (USB-3, USB-c, thunderbolt or similar) or to use local networked storage (if you have a fast network). Cloud storage doesn't help.

                        • 9. Re: Moving photos from desktop to Dropbox
                          snsApr2017 Level 1

                          Thanks so much everyone!!! I've got my answer!!