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Question: Photos Across 3 devices without iCloud (or partially using iCloud)

I have been trying to figure out a good way to handle my photos while travelling.

I have 3 devices:

  • MacBook Pro with High Sierra
  • iPhone 7 (latest IOS)
  • iPad Mini 4 (latest)

I take most of my photos with my iPhone and a digital camera. When i photograph using the digital camera, i shoot raw (or raw + jpeg).

I have just decided to use Photos as my main photo asset manager (provided i can work through these issues), and as such I'm in the process of migrating from Lightroom. However, I've hit a stumbling block: cloud sync is not an option for me while i'm travelling - the raw photos are just too big, and the wifi networks too slow.

My ideal workflow is something like this:

  1. Take photos with iphone, sync to MBP and Ipad via iCloud (or iTunes).
  2. Take photos with SLR, sync to Photos via MBP, then to iPad via iTunes.
  3. Sort photos on iPad, including favouriting and organising into albums. I would like this work to sync to my MBP Photos App.
  4. Edit photos in Photos app, and on iPad. For this, I require the raw files (So can't sync to ipad using icloud).
  5. Edit photos on MBP in Photos (after sync from iPhone).


I don't need all my SLR photos on iPhone, but don't know of any way to only sync up to the cloud on a device, instead of up and down.

If i weren't shooting in raw, there wouldn't be a problem as icloud was working fine before until i started trying to sync my camera photos.

Can anyone recommend a potential solution to my problem?

Thanks heaps

Greg

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Mar 4, 2018 10:10 AM in response to gregorius77 In response to gregorius77

I don't need all my SLR photos on iPhone, but don't know of any way to only sync up to the cloud on a device, instead of up and down.

As currently deployed, iCloud Photo Library is always 2 way syncing.


All subscribed devices get all of your files.

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Mar 4, 2018 10:17 AM in response to gregorius77 In response to gregorius77

If you want to use the iPhone as a camera, but not photos from your other devices on the iPhone, do not use iCloud at all for the iPhone Photos library. Simply import new photos from the iPhone to your MBP using the USB cable.

This way the photos will download to the Mac, but no photos will upload.

Take photos with SLR, sync to Photos via MBP, then to iPad via iTunes.

If you want to edit the photos on the iPad and get the edits back to your MBP, use iCloud Photo Library to sync the Mac and the iPad. If you sync the photos with iTunes, you can view them on the iPad. But they will not be added two the Camera Roll. Editing the photos will be very clumsy, You would have to copy each photo to the camera roll, before you can edit it, and then you cannot sync the edits back to the Mac. With iCloud Photo Library the edits will sync between the Mac and the iPad, also the Favorite heart, or if you delete bad shots.


My solution, when traveling is, to import all iPhone Photos to the Mac using the USB connection, and then I am doing all edits and ratings, adding titles, keywords, captions directly in Photos on the MacBook Pro. Occasionally I am syncing a few albums with iTunes to my iPad, but just to show off my best photos to my travel companions, not for editing.

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 4, 2018 10:10 AM in response to gregorius77 In response to gregorius77

I don't need all my SLR photos on iPhone, but don't know of any way to only sync up to the cloud on a device, instead of up and down.

As currently deployed, iCloud Photo Library is always 2 way syncing.


All subscribed devices get all of your files.

Mar 4, 2018 10:10 AM

Reply Helpful (1)
Question marked as Helpful

Mar 4, 2018 10:17 AM in response to gregorius77 In response to gregorius77

If you want to use the iPhone as a camera, but not photos from your other devices on the iPhone, do not use iCloud at all for the iPhone Photos library. Simply import new photos from the iPhone to your MBP using the USB cable.

This way the photos will download to the Mac, but no photos will upload.

Take photos with SLR, sync to Photos via MBP, then to iPad via iTunes.

If you want to edit the photos on the iPad and get the edits back to your MBP, use iCloud Photo Library to sync the Mac and the iPad. If you sync the photos with iTunes, you can view them on the iPad. But they will not be added two the Camera Roll. Editing the photos will be very clumsy, You would have to copy each photo to the camera roll, before you can edit it, and then you cannot sync the edits back to the Mac. With iCloud Photo Library the edits will sync between the Mac and the iPad, also the Favorite heart, or if you delete bad shots.


My solution, when traveling is, to import all iPhone Photos to the Mac using the USB connection, and then I am doing all edits and ratings, adding titles, keywords, captions directly in Photos on the MacBook Pro. Occasionally I am syncing a few albums with iTunes to my iPad, but just to show off my best photos to my travel companions, not for editing.

Mar 4, 2018 10:17 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 10:17 AM in response to léonie In response to léonie

Thanks Leoni, that's quite useful.


I was really hoping to find a way to use my ipad in my workflow, as i actually enjoy sitting on buses or random places and editing or sorting photos on there. That's actually the main reason i started considering the switch to Photos app.


I'm starting to think I need to keep using another app (Lightroom, On1, ??) to manage my original photos library, and after editing in whatever software i choose to use (Luminar, Pixelmator, Affinity) I just export to JPEG and import those to Photos.


Using this workflow I can have a nicely managed portfolio in Photos - ready for sharing, syncing and all the good stuff that Photos provides - and a master library of originals in another software (possibly even just on the file system to prevent lock-in using database tools like lightroom.


It's a good option, but unfortunately the benefit i was hoping to achieve (ability to split my workload between ipad and mac) can't be realised. I don't think there's any way it can without going down the Adobe CC approach (which I really dont' want to do).


I've bookmarked this post and podcast by Martin Bailey about how he uses Photos... after skimming over that, I think it's probably the best way forward for me. At least for now, until Apple introduces selective syncing via iCloud (if they ever do).


How I Use and Why I Love Apple Photos (Podcast 574) • Martin Bailey Photography

Mar 4, 2018 10:17 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 10:45 AM in response to gregorius77 In response to gregorius77

I was really hoping to find a way to use my ipad in my workflow, as i actually enjoy sitting on buses or random places and editing or sorting photos on there.

I liked to do that too. I purchased my iPad 3 exactly to be able to do that. but that was on iOS 7, when the marvelous iPhoto for iOS has still been supported. In iPhoto it has been possible to assign titles and captions, and keywords. I could add notes to the photos directly after taking the photos. And iPhoto allowed to apply dodge & barn adjustments and sharpening simply by brushing them in locally with the fingertips. The iOS 8 upgrade killed iPhoto, and no we cannot even display titles and captions in Photos, and the brushed adjustments are not supported. On my iPad I do not even dare to delete a photo to remove duplicates or similar photos, because Photos does not show the pixel size or the format. So I cannot be sure, if I am about to delete a RAW original or a smaller version, saved from a shared album.

Since I upgraded to iOS 8 I have not used the camera connection kit for the iPad once. With iPhoto on the iPad I downloaded the photos from my DLSR to the iPad using the camera connection Kit and did some basic edits there.




I'm starting to think I need to keep using another app (Lightroom, On1, ??) to manage my original photos library, and after editing in whatever software i choose to use (Luminar, Pixelmator, Affinity) I just export to JPEG and import those to Photos.

I am using Photos to manage the originals. Many of the editors are available as photo editing extension directly from Photos. and Photos can keep the originals and the externally edited photos paired.

recently I am doing most edits, that cannot be done in Photos natively right from tPhotos edit panel by calling an editing extension. They are easy to access this way, and I cn use "Revert to Original" right in Photos, if I want to go back.


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Mar 4, 2018 10:45 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 10:53 AM in response to léonie In response to léonie

Interesting, I thought Photos was supposed to be a big upgrade from iPhoto - most of the reviews I've read people have been commending Apple for the change.


As for using Photos as the DAM, my concern is that I cannot separate RAW and JpEGs in Photos. I'd like to be able to keep only JPEGs for photos that i will never print, and only keep RAWs for my best photos. Seems with Photos, once they're imported you can't separate them. This is why I think i need a step before Photos where I run through the photos, choose what to keep as RAW (and delete their corresponding JPEGs), what to keep only JPEGs (and delete their corresponding RAWs), and then do the import. I'm trialling FastRawViewer for this purpose, but also considering something like Picktorial (any other file-system based DAMs you know of) for management of the base photos as the step before Photos?) for this pre-photos step.


Regardless, my hope of using iPad in my workflow is all dead and gone now. Seems like such a logical thing to enable... but the limitations of iCloud sync make it impossible while travelling (and even when at home on a fast connection, due to the sheer size of raw photos).

Mar 4, 2018 10:53 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 11:07 AM in response to gregorius77 In response to gregorius77

On the Mac, Photos is by now better than iPhoto in many areas. For example, the ease we can switch between external editors or or integrate with iCloud. Some editing tools are more advanced than in iPhoto Mac.

But on the iPad, I am still waiting for Photos to bring back the powerful tools we had with iPhoto on the iPad. There is no support for editing metadata at all, there are no smart albums, and we can no longer create books or web journals.

Mar 4, 2018 11:07 AM

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Question: Photos Across 3 devices without iCloud (or partially using iCloud)