Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC, Photoshop, and Photos in the Cloud / by Alain Zarinelli

After an initial step back hearing about the ‘split’ of Lightroom into two separate (but connected) products, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC, I took some time to re-assess my workflow. I use what is now called Lightroom Classic CC as my asset management system, and edit mostly in Photoshop CC. On my iPad and iPhone, I have been using Lightroom Mobile to edit my captures in RAW. In my workflow, I would ingest photos from my SD card (I shoot with a Sony α7Rii; and now also a Sony α7Riii) into my LR catalog, while at the same time creating a backup on a local LaCie SSD Thunderbolt external drive. On the road, this would happen using my MacBook Pro, and I would merge the ‘mobile’ catalog with my master catalog living on my iMac 5k once back in studio, and copy the raw files to an external RAID drive connected to the iMac. I would also copy the backup I created when ingesting on my NAS, and then remove it from the external SSD. Finally, the ‘working’ RAW files (after culling) I had in my catalog would be (incrementally) backed up to the cloud - in this case mu Google Drive.

To accommodate all this, I was subscribing to the Photography bundle of Adobe’s Creative Cloud ($9.99/month), and also to a storage that would accommodate my raw files (and other ‘stuff’ I keep on Google Drive - at this time a 2TB storage subscription for $19.99/month. In all, I paid an annualized cost of approximately $360 to accommodate my asset management, editing, and backup storage needs.

When Adobe split the ‘original’ Lightroom CC into a cloud & desktop based version, Lightroom Classic CC, and a cloud-only version, (new) Lightroom CC, I was originally quite confused. Why did they do that?! After some research, I figured it was most likely to accommodate 99% of the photographers out there - prosumers, and hobbyists (Lightroom CC), and “old fashioned” pros, relying on desktop computing and local workflows (Lightroom Classic CC.)

The pricing did give me some pause. Looking at the cloud storage that came with the new plans, I though it to be really expensive - until I started digging into the numbers.

Creative Cloud subscribers to the “classical” photographer bundle essentially got access to Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99/month. In the new model, they now also had access to (new) Lightroom CC, and got 100GB of storage for that tool ‘for free’ as well.

For those of us with catalogs of photos larger than 100GB, Adobe was now offering cloud storage ‘upgrades’ - e.g. 2TB for $19.99/month, or around $360 for a year of access. This would allow the use of the in-the-cloud capabilities of Lightroom CC, as well as still using the benefits of local access via Lightroom Classic CC.

So, after an initial pause, I have come to embrace the new photographer bundle with 2TB cloud storage, using Lightroom Classic CC on my studio iMac, and Lightroom CC everywhere else. Just need to tweak my mobile workflow slightly from here…