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Tips & Tricks

Sync With Lightroom Mobile for Quick Edits Anytime, Anywhere

By Bing Putney on August 23rd 2016

While most photographers may consider the organization, culling, and editing of their photos the type of work best done on a computer, Adobe has included a feature within Lightroom to sync your photos with the Lightroom Mobile app, so that you can accomplish these tasks on your phone or tablet, wherever, whenever. The brilliance of this functionality lies in the fact that any edits or ratings added to your photos in the app will sync back to your master catalog the next time you open the full desktop version of Lightroom.

You may already to be familiar with Lightroom Mobile as a way to quickly edit the photos you take with your phone. In addition to a collection of quick presets, it includes nearly all of the tools in Lightroom’s develop module, including basic exposure and contrast adjustments, curves, split toning, and Lightroom’s new dehaze slider. It’s also capable of adding local adjustments, either in a linear or radial area. On the organizational side, you can cull your photos by adding a star rating, and/or a flag.


The best news is that if you’re a subscriber to Lightroom through Adobe’s Creative Cloud, you already have access to Lightroom Mobile. Once you’ve installed the app and signed into your Adobe account, there are just a few quick steps to sync your photos.

First of all, you can only sync Lightroom Mobile with one catalog on your computer at a time. Inside that catalog, click on the small dropdown arrow in the upper left corner of the screen, sign in, and start syncing with Lightroom Mobile. Note that enabling this setting will not automatically sync every photo in your catalog; you will have to organize any photos you’d like to access with the app into collections, and click the checkbox beside each of those collections to begin syncing them.


Once you’ve synced the master photos from your Lightroom catalog, you can edit them in the app essentially the same way that you work on smart previews. If the master photos in your catalog are raw images, you can even adjust the color temperature. Once you’re happy with any edits you’ve made, you can save the photos to your phone, open them in a variety of other photo apps, or share them to social media. This, I think, may be the best use of this feature. Personally, I have a hard time posting quality images to Instagram as often as I’d like, but having my Lightroom library in my pocket has the potential to make the entire social media process substantially easier.

[REWIND: Lightroom Dehaze | A Quick New Way To Make Your Images Pop]

I still don’t plan to do any complicated photo retouching on my iPhone, but I could see myself doing quick edits if I’m bored enough, or keeping a few albums handy to show people what I’ve been up to. Do you use Lightroom mobile? Do you see the ability to sync your collections as a useful feature? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Source: Digital Trends

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Bing is a professional portrait and on-set still photographer who lives in Los Angeles, and frequently travels the world to explore new and interesting cultures and pastries.

Instagram: @bingputney

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Daeshawn Ballard

    This is cool.

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  2. Greg Silver

    Also use Lightroom mobile for iPad to cull/minor edits. Very convenient for workflow.

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    It’s great, I load all my photos into to my iMac at home. Then I can edit on my iPhone. Also there is a new Apple Tv app which you can view slideshows on your TV. The only limitation I find is that it can’t sync to a 2nd desktop mac running LR. Though you can edit through the Adobe site in a browser.

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  4. David Faulkner

    Currently using LR Mobile to edit RAW photos on my iPad on holiday and post to Facebook. I don’t have LR CC on a laptop like many others, but on a powerful desktop at home, so this is a good way to upload some post-processed photos. I’m getting some pleasing results, but the app is very slow loading the edit module on my iPad 4, and I’m also having trouble getting the radial functions to work. Nevertheless, I’m pleased with the results so far.

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