A Mobile Photo Editing Workflow that Actually Works

Sometimes you would like to be ready to process and manage your photo retouching rates while you’re on the go and not need to worry about hauling your laptop around. Sometimes you would like to be ready to process your high end photo retoucher and have it protected and off your memory cards while you’re called at the sector.

This concept isn’t for each body and not for every situation. There are benefits and disadvantages to the present sort of workflow. It is often both limiting and liberating at an equivalent time.

The workflow I will be able to outline is one utilizing the Adobe ecosystem. That is, primarily a mixture of Lightroom Mobile, Lightroom CC/Classic.

There are multiple approaches to a mobile workflow, and if you’re doing something different than what I’ve outlined here, I’d sure wish to hear from you!

The All-New Lightroom CC

So, this subject is often a touch of a tinderbox it seems. Not most are proud of the recent updates to Adobe’s Lightroom product. a number of us are pleased and excited for the longer term we envision. What the longer term actually holds remains to be seen.

Adobe seems to have embraced the mobile approach with this new software release. The all-new Lightroom CC is more or less (at now a touch less) the precise same thing because of the existing Lightroom Mobile product. The mixing of AI (Adobe Sensei) is one of the foremost exciting parts of this new approach.

The power to look using this tool is perhaps the foremost instantly usable feature. The longer-term prospect of AI taking the helm to require care of basic editing is basically exciting.

Anything that has the power to assist us to spend less time on basic, rudimentary edits and gets us out shooting more may be a good thing.

Adobe, for now, a minimum of, has afforded us the chance to slowly switch to the new environment (Lightroom CC) with the offering of “Lightroom Classic CC”.

I, like many others, believe that this may be a limited-time offering and can eventually stop being supported and therefore the expectation is going to be that anyone wishing to stay in Adobe software is going to be utilizing the new Lightroom.

The most concern I hear is round the prospect of storing RAW files within the Cloud. This is often a problem that’s in the middle of the mobile workflow which I’m getting to discuss.

I’m confident that an answer to the present issue is going to be offered by Adobe in upcoming versions of Lightroom CC perhaps allowing us the pliability to settle on what gets stored within the cloud if anything. We’ll need to wait and see thereon the last point.

Adobe Alternatives

Like it or not, the changes are real and something we’ll all need to learn to affect. If one decides to leap off the Adobe train, there are many alternatives out there that are real possibilities for you. Either way, you would like to adjust/rebuild your workflow from home photo editing.

At the time of writing, Macphun (changing their name to “Skylum” within the near future) just announced their Luminar 2018 product which looks to be an exciting offering and now features Digital Asset Management to stay track of and organize all of your files.

Affinity photo editing rates (by Serif) is another that might support a solid mobile workflow because the iPad app is full-featured and really powerful.

I pulled the trigger on the iPad app myself a short time back and spent a while messing around with the app and that I got to spend longer to urge to understand it well but it’s a particularly capable program for processing RAW files on the move.

I think these will both be very attractive solutions for those of you who haven’t any interest during a subscription model.

The people over at Macphun and Serif both seem to be working hard to maximize this newly opened corner of the market filled with becoming a better

photographer who needs a perpetual license. During the writing of this text, I even have received numerous digital marketing communications from both companies remarking the advantages of their system and therefore the perpetual license models they provide.

When You Need a Mobile Workflow Solution

There are countless situations during which a mobile photo editing workflow solution is often a true lifesaver. Perhaps you are feeling the necessity to satisfy your many followers on Instagram or Facebook, etc. with a preview of your current project.

Maybe the pictures you capture are getting to have the foremost impact if they’re published sooner instead of later.

It might be that you’re like me and you only actually need some sort of instant gratification and confirmation that you’re on the proper track together with your shoot.

My own recent use case for a solid mobile workflow solution came once I had the prospect to photograph the PGA Championship Golf Tournament at Quail Hollow outside of Charlotte, NC.

I used to be tasked with following a few key players who were known locally. It had been unlikely that a lot of images of them would come from other sources.

Green-side bunker of #1 during the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow (NC).

A very similar use case has been mentioned by Jeff Harmon on the etsy photo editing Taco and other podcasts where he talked about shooting basketball games and posting photos to Facebook as he was shooting.

Providing this sort of instant gratification can and does cause higher levels of engagement and interaction together with your work. Simply put, people love it!

When You might not need a Mobile Workflow Solution

In any case, listed above, a limited number of select photos are processed and published. This highlights the present limitations of such a workflow.

the present state of technology makes such a workflow significantly slower than we are familiar with.

The thought of uploading large numbers of RAW files to a tablet, for instance, then pushing all of these massive files to the cloud over anything but the fastest of internet connections is prohibitive to mention the smallest amount.

If you’ve got just finished shooting a time-lapse on your new Nikon D850 and your time-lapse is 450 shots long (not unreasonable at all) you’ll be watching nearly 40GB worth of files!

Or, twice that a lot of shots with twice the info if you only finished shooting a modest wedding. Obviously, these aren’t the kinds of situations where you’d use a mobile workflow to handle the whole job.

Perhaps, however, you’re wanting to settle on a couple of select images to figure on directly and post as a value-added service within the general service you are providing.

I even have never shot a marriage (and I’m unsure I ever will) but I’d bet that the power to instantly share a knowledgeable quality shot from the ceremony and/or the reception are some things that clients would love.

Hardware Necessary

For this sample workflow, I will be able to outline the essential requirements in terms of hardware/software also as what I even have used specifically.

Mobile phone/tablet (iPad, etc.)

In my case, I utilize Apple devices including the iPhone 7 Plus in 128GB and therefore the iPad Pro 9.7” also in 128GB. an equivalent sort of workflow is feasible for Android-based devices but your experience may vary from mine counting on which device you’re running.

I attempt to utilize devices that have fairly high storage capacities to assist me to manage files that I would like to figure on but obviously, for tons of reasons, permanent storage on the device isn’t recommended.

Many Android-based devices leave the expansion of storage (a detail with Apple) but one should still take care to not believe the device because the lone or maybe primary storage location of their images.

A bonus that comes with the iPad Pro is the ability to leverage the facility of the Apple Pencil. This handy (though pricey) little tool really adds tons useful to the mobile photo editing experience. Plus, it is often utilized in other ways… for instance.

I pair it with an app called Duet Pro and switch my iPad/Apple Pencil combo into a graphics tablet (as a second monitor supporting touch). it’s going to not be a Wacom tablet, but it’s still cool!

Memory card reader (if you would like to use a RAW workflow/do not have wifi in camera)

The DSLR Camera systems that I employ all have WiFi inbuilt (70D, 6D Mk I, 5D Mk IV), so this offers me one possible solution for transferring images from my camera to my device.

it’s important to notice that the files that come across via a WiFi connection from the camera are generally not RAW files. In many cases, however, they’re ok for a fast edit and posting to social media to get a buzz.

I exploit the Apple USB 3 Lightning to SD Card Reader which plugs directly into either device I exploit and upon inserting a card, it launches the photos app with an “import” dialogue.

Unfortunately, the iPad Pro 9.7” model I exploit doesn’t support USB 3.0 speeds and that I am relegated to 2.0 speeds (slower) for transferring the files to my device.

It should be noted that it’s also possible to connect your camera on to your device using USB adapters.

I even have not employed this method, but the experience should be almost like using an attached card reader.

Software/apps for cataloguing/editing your photos

There are countless apps that employ mobile photo editing and lots of them even support RAW workflows. There are a few that I address.

The list of apps mentioned during this article is by no means all-inclusive and there are plenty of them out there. If there are apps I missed that you simply find extremely useful, let me know!

Lightroom Mobile App: One, which is the centre of this workflow example is that the Lightroom Mobile App. This app has improved by leaps and bounds over the past year approximately and is basically powerful.

With the discharge of the new Lightroom CC this app integrates seamlessly with the desktop version of the software and edits made on one device automatically (assuming you’ve got a lively internet connection on both devices) transfers to the opposite.

Snapseed: Another app, which I commonly use is named Snapseed. This particular app supports a RAW based workflow and is filled with tools, a number of which are very useful and others that are less useful in my opinion.

I frequently find myself just opening a photograph in Snapseed, making my edits and posting right to social media.

it’s important to notice that once you attend save your edits made in Snapseed you’ve got three distinct options.

you’ll save the changes on to the photo, during a non-destructive way during which the photo editing services reviews could also be reopened within the app and edits changed or undone. you’ll also export to a separate file where the changes are often edited afterwards or undone completely.

Finally, you’ll export to a separate jpeg where the changes are “baked in”.

Affinity Photo for iPad: One last editing app I exploit (and got to spend longer with) is Affinity photo-editing basics for the iPad.

This is often a particularly powerful eCommerce image editing services platform that approaches the functionality of any desktop program, complete with layers and everything. a totally viable Photoshop replacement for several people.

The Workflow (an example)

I start by outlining the RAW mobile workflow. I will be able to show an equivalent example utilizing both the new Lightroom CC also as Lightroom Classic CC.

Step 1. Attach Card reader to the device and insert card.

Step 2. Select photos you would like to import to device.

As stated in Step 1, there are a few options here. you’ll select specific images or simply import all. Does one want to edit the whole wedding now, on your iPad? No? Perhaps just select a couple of then.

Also, remember that storage on your device could also be limited. After import, you’ll be prompted to settle on between keeping and deleting the photos you only imported.

I always just keep and clear my cards by reformatting privately.

Step 3. Open your editing app and edit your photos!

Not mentioned within the apps section above, is that the choice to just edit directly within the iOS photos app.

Or, open Lightroom Mobile and import there. From the most screen in Lightroom Mobile (showing all albums) on the far-right side of the word “albums”, you’ll see a “+” sign. Tapping this may allow you to make a replacement album of your choosing as to how of organizing your photos.

make certain to see Christoper Mower’s recent article on organizing Lightroom!) you’ll see two small icons within the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

The one on the left is for importing images and therefore the other takes you to the Lightroom Camera App (more thereon later).

Tap the import icon and easily swipe over the photos you would like to import, click “add photos” and you’re in!

4 iPad screenshots showing import workflow-Create “album”, Name the album, select photos by tapping the icon within the lower left, then select photos to import.

While selecting photos, you’ll swipe across to quickly select many photos.

If you’re running Lightroom Mobile, your photos will upload to the cloud (full RAW files) but you don’t get to await this to happen to start the editing process.

Once you’re within the presence of an honest Wi-Fi signal, you ought to be ready to finish the upload fairly easily, counting on the number of files and see/edit your photos on all of your devices running Lightroom (Mobile, New CC, or Classic).

Lightroom Mobile editing module screenshot showing editing tools to the right

Step 4. Export and Share!

From Lightroom Mobile, after you’ve got completed your edits and you’re able to share, with the photo open, simply tap the icon at the highest that appears sort of a box with an arrow jumping out of it and choose between the choices that come up: “Share” (prepares the file and jumps to a dialogue allowing you to text, etc.),

“Save to Camera Roll” (simply exports your image to your camera roll-this I what I usually use), “Save to Files” (allows the use of the iOS 11 ‘files’ organization feature allowing you to write down straight to Dropbox, etc.),

“Open in” (allows you to transfer the file to any number of other installed apps for further use), and “Edit in” (exports to other Adobe apps for photo editing i.e. Photoshop Fix).

“Export Original” simply exports an unedited version of your RAW file to your photos.

Export from Lightroom Mobile. When exporting, two options are given: Small (2048 px for Facebook, etc.) and “Maximum available”

Where do my files go?

The answer to the present question really depends on the precise workflow you decide on and tons of it depends on your own personal preference for a way you manage your files.

Working in Lightroom Mobile: If you’re particularly curious about this sort of workflow and you would like to figure off a tool like an iPad frequently, you’ll be wanting to pay close attention to the storage of your files.

At the time of writing, the iPad Pro is out there with up to 512 GB of space for storing. While that’s pretty large for a mobile device, it’s not unlimited and my guess is that a lot of you’re like myself and you will be working off a way the smaller amount of local storage (128GB in my case).

As you import to your device, you’re storing the photos under the traditional photos app. they’re then imported to Lightroom Mobile and upon connecting to the web they’re stored within the cloud.

Once this movement to the cloud is completed, you’re liberal to delete the photos from their normal location on your device.

i do know this is often extremely scary, but you’ll be ready to download the originals by asking the app to try to so at any time.

If you’re just not the sort of person to trust the cloud storage, my suggestion (and what I will be able to likely do myself) is to form sure the photos appear in Lightroom CC on your desktop and with the choice to stay local copies of all files selected, you’ll even have your on-site storage taken care of.

At now you’ll release that space on your device.

Lightroom Mobile will keep a number of the recently utilized photos during a cache on your device and utilize smart previews the remainder of the time.

With a photograph open within the app, simply tap on the cloud icon within the top right and you’ll see where the open photo editing work from home is stored.

If the local storage is “smart preview”, you’ll tap on “get this original” and therefore the full RAW file is going to be downloaded to your device.

The device features a smart preview available and therefore the original RAW file is within the cloud. If I would like to tug the first right down to the device, I just need to tap “Get This Original” and it’ll download.

Working in Lightroom CC: If you opt to be an early adopter and jump right into the new Lightroom CC, you’re abandoning quite a little bit of this control.

for several which will be too scary an opportunity but it also comes with some interesting benefits. Within this workflow option, your files sleep in the “cloud”

(a.k.a. on some server/servers somewhere within the world, who really knows) and at your option, you’ll keep a separate copy of all of your files stored off-line locally (I would recommend this). As you import photos, they’re stored automatically in your cloud account.

As you would like to figure on them, they’re downloaded to a cache on your computer and this cache is often limited in size supported your own preferences.

This has the distinct advantage of freeing up disk drive space on your machine while allowing you to possess access to your images.

The disadvantage being that if you would like access to your full RAW files (the ones not currently within the cache) and you are doing not have access to the web, you’re hosed.

the opposite major drawback to the present is that Adobe doesn’t have a vast storage plan (as of this writing) and if you’ve got terabytes of knowledge to store, it can get pricey.

On the opposite hand, it is a real perpetual cloud backup making the recommended 3–2–1 backup strategy a cinch.

Screenshot of Lightroom CC Preferences. you’ll decide what proportion of your free disk drive space Lightroom can use to store RAW files.

From this setting, Lightroom will plan to strike a balance between space-saving and functionality.

Under “Advanced Options” you’d make the choice to store ALL originals locally (they remain within the cloud as well) and choose where to store the files (external HD for example).

Working in Lightroom Classic CC: If you persist with Classic (which I plan on doing myself…for now) the file storage should be fairly familiar.

It works like this…Once your device where you’ve done your mobile import has had an opportunity to sync with the cloud, your images will appear in Lightroom Classic CC. within the Collections panel, you’ll see a set titled: “From Lr mobile”.

Within this set, you’ll see all of the collections which you created via your device and therefore the photos are going to be accessible through those collections.

But!?, I know, this doesn’t tell you exactly where the file resides (besides within the cloud, which is one location it’ll be in).

The file is also stored during a temp folder on your computer.

you’ll right-click on any file and have Lr show you the enter its folder on the pc but the simplest thanks to finding these is to seem within the Files panel and you’ll see “drives” for every one of your devices.

These “drives” even have the icon indicating they’re synced, which they’re.

My “folders” panel in Lightroom Classic CC showing my devices and therefore the files uploaded from each.

I can click on the file and choose all the pictures and move them to my external HD within Lightroom Classic to manage their location, even as before.

If you are feeling the necessity to manoeuvre these files (to an external HD for example) simply move them as you’ve got moved any file within Lightroom within the past. As I did this last bit myself, I assumed of something interesting.

it’s possible to possess your RAW file stored in three unique locations, automatically with equivalent edits flowing to everyone with none additional input on your part.

If you run Classic and therefore the new Lightroom CC on your computer and you upload via the new Lightroom, your file will automatically be placed within the cloud, remain on your computer attached to your Lightroom CC AND be stored wherever you retain you copies for Lightroom Classic CC.

If you’ve got the choice in Lightroom CC to stay local copies of ALL Files enabled you’ll have a real 3–2–1 workable backup with minimal effort on your part. I quite like this…Until I hit that storage limit attached to my CC account.

The Effect of Culling for Mobile Editing

As noted within the next section on speed and also associated with the aforementioned storage limit issue, you’ll want to try to to some serious culling of your images before When importing your RAW files into your device, you’re given the choice to stay the photos on the cardboard.

i like to recommend doing this and only reformat privately once you are able to work from a fresh card. If you upload select images and you propose to upload the balance of the pictures in Lightroom Classic CC afterwards, you’ll notice (assuming you’ve got the ignore duplicates option checked in Classic) that you simply are only set to import the files not previously uploaded. this is often rather handy, I think.

The drawback to the present that you simply will want to stay in mind is that the new images you import via Lightroom Classic CC won’t be protected within the cloud and can not be available across your devices unless you place them during a synced collection (more thereon later). So just remember of this.

Some notes on speed

Photo from my speed test showing the time it took to import 75 photos to my iPad via the cardboard reader.

I did a test on the speed of the varied elements of this workflow. the particular speed of Lightroom (all versions) aside, I used to be curious about how briskly my files hit the cloud and were available on my other devices.

I came far away from the relatively small shoot with 75 photos on the cardboard in my Canon 5D Mark IV (Full-size RAW only). Wait times on the varied steps were as follows:

Time to import all 75 photos from the cardboard to my iPad Pro via the Lightning to SD card reader- 3 minutes and 17 seconds.

some time may differ counting on which card reader you’ve got and which device you’ve got . My reader supports USB 3.0 speed but my understanding is that to require full advantage of the reader’s speed i might need the larger iPad Pro.

Time to import 30 select photos to Lightroom Mobile: (I did this in two parts to check on my home network connection provided by CenturyLink and on the Wi-Fi during a public location that I even have used and located to be reliable and quick) 1 minute 33 seconds on home connection got me to five.

Extrapolating that out equates to about 1 RAW file per minute or half-hour for my tiny batch. I finished the opposite 95% within the public space in 7 minutes and 50 seconds or simply over 3.6 RAW files per minute.

this is often the main detail for tons of individuals with the thought of uploading all of your RAW files to the cloud.

Most folks don’t have very fast/reliable/unlimited internet in our homes and even the faster options we will hunt down still aren’t that fast when you’re talking Terabytes of knowledge. this might be a whole topic/article by itself.

Because I had my computer connected and running Lr Classic and therefore the new Lr CC, it had been downloading the pictures from the cloud as i used to be still uploading from the device, therefore the files were available on my MacBook immediately.

If my MacBook were sleeping, it’s safe to assume that the files would wish to be pulled from the cloud to be worked on but I’d be performing on some while the remainder is downloaded, so I’d not notice the delay.

The time taken by each device to note and apply changes made by another device was nearly instant.

A “Reverse” Mobile Editing Workflow

There is another interesting usability to everything that this workflow has got to offer also. This usability is some things that you simply may have already discovered before the addition of the recent Lightroom update.

Actually, nearly everything I’ve mentioned thus far as possible before the new Lightroom CC. The new Lightroom simply added a desktop version of the mobile platform which can add simplicity for a few and therefore the ability to import to your computer and have RAW files also attend the cloud (whether you wish it or not).

What I mean by a “reverse” mobile editing workflow during this case is that the ability to import your photos on your computer then take them mobile for culling, editing, etc.

With the new update, there are a few of various approaches to the present now.

Import/Upload via Lightroom Classic CC

This process remains unchanged from before the discharge of the new Lightroom CC. Basically, what you are doing is import as you normally would then create a set and sync that collection by clicking the “sync” icon to the left of the gathering name.

Syncing the gathering stores Smart Previews within the cloud which may be worked on via any device running Lightroom Mobile and connected to your CC account.

A recent use case I had for this sort of workflow happened after a family shoot (my kids at an area park).

I did my culling on my computer in Lightroom 2015 utilizing the favoured 1,2,3 star culling system then I placed all of the three-star images into a set and clicked the icon to sync the gathering to Lr Mobile. I wanted to figure on the pictures during lunch but I didn’t want to bring my computer with me.

Syncing 62 images from old Lightroom only took a few minutes (smart previews syncing is that the only option from old Lightroom and Lightroom Classic CC at this point).

When it had been time to travel to lunch I used to be ready to just grab my iPad and go (iPad not even necessary as I could have also worked from my iPhone).

I edited several images while eating my lunch, had them ready for export from my computer with no additional work necessary and even exported a few from my device and sent them bent my family before I even left the restaurant.

Note that the pictures exported from my device supported the smart preview might not get on par with the standard offered by a correct export supported the RAW file, but they worked for quick sharing.

Screenshot from Lightroom Classic CC. The arrow is pointed at the icon to be clicked to sync a set with the cloud. I even have a running collection titled “For Mobile Work” during which I will be able to place photos I would like to figure on “on the go”.

Import/Upload via the new Lightroom CC

If you’re performing from the new Lightroom CC, things are going to be a touch different. you’ll insert your card into your computer and follow the traditional, and honestly much easier than Classic, import process selecting or creating an “album” during which to put your photos.

there’ll be no got to select an option or click an icon to sync your album since the very nature of the new Lr is made around automatic cloud storage of your files.

the important major difference with this a part of the method is that your original RAW file is going to be stored instead of just a sensible preview as in Classic.

Once the upload of your RAW file is completed you ought to see the post-production photo editing appear on any internet-connected device you’ve got running your account in Lr.

For more on the technical details around uploading and keeping your new Lightroom CC catalogue organized, I will be able to once more send you over to Christopher Mowers’ article on the matter.

A 100% Mobile RAW Workflow

“The best camera is the one you’ve got with you.” This quote, attributed to an award-winning top fashion photographer, Chase Jarvis, has become cliché in hats photography.

But during a time where our phones are getting more and more capable cameras (I use my iPhone more for fashion photography instagram than for creating calls), it rings true for tons folks.

Chase’s first book was titled: the simplest Camera is that the One That’s With You (2009) and it celebrates mobile furniture photography, specifically the iPhone.

I even have six framed photos hanging in my office. Four of them were crazy various iPhones. I might be remiss if I didn’t take the time to incorporate mobile eyeglasses photography during this article.

The iPhone, by a good margin, is that the hottest camera on planet earth. With the discharge of iOS 10 in 2016, Apple unlocked the facility of RAW photos in an iPhone. Other manufacturers made this possible before Apple, but this release brought it into the mainstream.

There are plenty of 3rd party camera apps which will leverage the RAW enter the iPhone though. I exploit two especially.

One is named “Camera+” and features a lot of great RAW and manual functionality and therefore the other is that the camera built into Lightroom Mobile.

Both of those apps generate RAW files (with the acceptable settings) which goes an extended way in expanding the functionality of the camera in your iPhone.

The Camera+ app saves each learning photo editing (as a HEIF, JPEG or TIFF or any plus a DNG file) in its own directory within the app instead of within the “photos” app on your phone. From there you’ll select photos to export to your “Photos” app.

there’s an honest set of editing tools within the app where you’ll work on your basic of photo editing before exporting it to your regular outsource photo editing location on your phone.

The camera app built into Lightroom Mobile also creates a “DNG” file and automatically imports it to your Lightroom Catalog where it is often edited an equivalent as the other imported photo. The editing can continue on ANY device you’ve got connected to your Creative Cloud account, which is handy also.

The ability to utilize the facility of RAW files in mobile furniture photography techniques is basically exciting and interesting because the cameras recover and better.

My question for all of you is; When will post-production photography on a mobile device render our larger “professional” cameras more or less obsolete, if ever? I’d like to hear your opinions/predictions within the comments section!


There are various ways you’ll utilize the facility of the cloud and your various devices for a solid mobile photo editing workflow.

what I even have outlined here is basically just the start of the chances. The capabilities of our hardware, software and supporting technologies are always evolving and can support us into the longer term in ways we might be hard-pressed to predict at this point.

The method during which you select to implement a mobile workflow is up to you and with all of the chances it’ll become very individualized.

the whole point of this text is to start to show you to a number of those possibilities and ease any concerns you’ve got in implementing a mobile workflow to assist you to accomplish whatever mission you’re on in your ghost mannequin photography.

Services for fast, high-quality and Affordable image-editing, environment and product photography https://www.clippingnext.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store