Synchronizing Adjustments in Lightroom Classic


Today’s Question: I had a folder that contained JPEG versions of a series of images separate from the folder with the raw files. I mistakenly imported the JPEGs into Lightroom Classic and then used the Develop module on those JPEGs. Is there a way to get Lightroom Classic to take the adjustments I made to the JPEGs and then use them to continue working with the Raw files?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can synchronize the adjustments from the JPEG images to the associated raw captures using the Sync feature in the Develop module in Lightroom Classic.

More Detail: Lightroom Classic enables you to synchronize the adjustments from one image to one or more other images in a variety of ways. This could be used to apply the same adjustments to multiple images captured under similar conditions, or in this case to synchronize adjustments from a JPEG image to a related raw capture that was part of a Raw+JPEG pair.

Since the adjustments are likely unique to each image pair, that does unfortunately mean that you’ll need to work with one pair of images at a time, which means applying the adjustments to a large number of images could be a little bit time consuming.

The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure all the images are in your Lightroom Classic catalog. So, if you haven’t already imported the raw captures I suggest importing them into the same folder as the JPEG images.

You can then select the pair of photos you want to synchronize. You can simply click on the first image and then hold the Shift key on the keyboard while clicking on the second image, for example. Then make sure the image you already applied the adjustments to is the active image, which you can do by clicking on the thumbnail (not the frame around the thumbnail) for that photo.

In the Develop module you can then click the Sync button at the bottom of the right panel. In the dialog that appears turn on the checkboxes for the adjustments you want to sync. You can synchronize all adjustments by clicking the Check All button in the Synchronize Settings dialog. Then click the Synchronize button, and the adjustments will synchronize to the selected images.

Text Size in Lightroom Classic


Today’s Question: I want to know if the text in Lightroom Classic can be larger. In your classes it is bigger.

Tim’s Quick Answer: There is a font size option in Preferences in Lightroom Classic, but this setting won’t make a significant difference. The other option is to set the display at a lower resolution so the text and overall interface will appear larger.

More Detail: The text in Lightroom Classic is relatively small, which can make it somewhat difficult to read. There are a couple of changes you can make that will help.

First make sure the Font Size popup is set to “Large”. This control is found on the Interface tab of the Preferences dialog. After changing this setting you’ll need to quit and restart Lightroom Classic for the change to take effect. Unfortunately, the Large setting for Font Size has a relatively modest impact on the text size within Lightroom Classic.

The other option is to reduce the display resolution through the operating system. At a lower display resolution, the interface elements (including text) will appear larger, though this obviously also means you can’t see as much on the screen at one time.

When I am presenting Lightroom Classic I often set the resolution down to just 1280×720 pixels to make the text and interface elements easier to see. The highest resolution I use in this type of situation is 1920×1080. As long as you don’t mind the low overall resolution, this approach will make the text in Lightroom Classic easier to read.

Cloud for Download without a Laptop


Today’s Question: In response to your answer about downloading photos while traveling without a laptop, would it be possible to use cloud storage as an alternative to a hard drive for photo storage?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you could use cloud-based storage as an alternative to downloading to a hard drive, as long as you are confident that you’ll have reliable access to high-speed internet. If the cloud storage will be your exclusive option, you may also want to bring enough memory cards so you don’t have to reformat them along the way.

More Detail: If you’re going to be traveling without a laptop, and you’d prefer to not bring along an external hard drive either, you could use cloud-based storage as the basis of downloading your photos along the way.

For example, the Lightroom mobile app provides a good solution for this type of workflow. You can connect a card reader adapter to your mobile device, and import those photos into the Lightroom mobile app. Those images will then synchronize to the cloud, and would then be available in the full Lightroom ecosystem, including in your Lightroom Classic catalog that has synchronization enabled. When you get hom you could then transfer the photos to your local storage.

The key thing to keep in mind is that with cloud-based storage you’re depending upon a remote server to manage and back up your photos. If like me you prefer to manage a local copy of your photos the cloud-based solution should be thought of as a remote backup rather than primary storage.

One way you could work around this limitation would be to bring along enough memory cards so that you don’t need to format and reuse any cards along the way. The memory cards could then serve as a backup, with the cloud-based Lightroom storage being the primary copy of the photos, which you can move into your normal workflow when you get home.

Note, by the way, that even if you’re not using Lightroom Classic as the foundation of your workflow for organizing your photos, you could still use this approach of employing the Lightroom mobile app for downloading photos while traveling. When you return home you could then use Lightroom Classic as a temporary tool for getting the photos to your normal local storage and continue your workflow using other software.

Download without a Laptop


Today’s Question: I am preparing to spend 4 weeks in Japan. In the past, I used portable external hard drives. I do not use a laptop. Is there a 5TB unit that you recommend that can be charged from a wall outlet and can load CompactFlash cards?

Tim’s Quick Answer: There isn’t a standalone option that provides a perfect solution. In the absence of a laptop, I recommend using a mobile device (such as a smartphone or tablet) to transfer from media cards to a hard drive.

More Detail: A somewhat ideal solution here would be a portable storage device that enables you to download directly from the media cards out of your camera. There have been various such devices over the years, none of which have been particularly ideal. The most recent drive like this that used to be a good option is the Gnarbox ( However, the company appears to have gone out of business even though the units are still available for sale from some outlets.

Without any great options for standalone storage devices that can download directly from a media card, I think the best approach is to use a smartphone or tablet. You will need appropriate adapters for the card reader and the hard drive and may need power to the connector for the hard drive depending on the device you’re using.

Once you have the necessary adapters, you can use the smartphone to transfer photos from the media card and to the hard drive. Depending on the approach you use, you may need to download to your mobile device and then transfer to the hard drive. For Android devices this process is relatively straightforward, as Android offers relatively broad support for simple file transfers.

For iPhone or iPad users you will likely either want to use the Files app for transferring photos from a media card and to an external hard drive. There are also other apps, such as options from hard drive manufacturers intended to expand your mobile device storage capacity.

Admittedly, none of the available options for downloading photos without a laptop represent what I would consider an ideal solution. For this reason, I prefer to travel with a laptop, both for photo downloading and other uses. However, it is possible to use a mobile device in place of a laptop for this purpose.

Restoring Old Photoshop Gradients


Today’s Question: Some time ago with a Photoshop update the default gradients were replaced by a series of gradients that each represent one basic color. I would often use the previous gradients for various creative effects. Is there any way to get those old gradients back?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can access the old gradient presets by enabling the Legacy Gradients option on the Gradients panel in Photoshop.

More Detail: When Adobe changed the default gradient presets in Photoshop a while back, the original gradients were left out. Fortunately, there is a way to restore access to the original default gradient presets from earlier versions of Photoshop.

To get started, bring up the Gradients panel by choosing Window > Gradients from the menu in Photoshop. On that panel you’ll see a list of folders matching the gradient presets you can find elsewhere, such as with the Gradient tool. These are primarily organized by color, such as options for “Blues” and “Pastels”.

If you don’t see a “Legacy Gradients” folder on the list, click the panel popup menu, which is an icon showing three horizontal lines at the top-right of the Gradients panel. On the popup menu that appears choose “Legacy Gradients”. At this point you will see a Legacy Gradients folder on the Gradients panel, and within that folder you’ll find the original gradient presets you’ve been missing.

Once you have enabled the Legacy Gradients presets on the Gradients panel, you’ll also find those presets elsewhere, such as on the gradient preset popup on the Options bar for the Gradient tool, and within the same popup available for the Gradient Map adjustment layer, among other options.

Rotating Photos While Editing


Today’s Question: Is there a way to add the image rotation buttons to the toolbar in the Develop module in Lightroom Classic? I don’t understand why the buttons for rotating photos in 90-degree increments are only available in the Library module.

Tim’s Quick Answer: While you can’t add the rotation buttons to the toolbar in the Develop module, you can use menu commands or keyboard shortcuts to rotate a photo in 90-degree increments while in the Develop module.

More Detail: I too have always found it a little odd that the buttons for rotating a photo in 90-degree increments are available on the toolbar in the Library module but not in the Develop module. Fortunately, there are still options you can rotate the current image while working in the Develop module.

To begin with, you can use a keyboard shortcut to rotate the current image in the Develop module or the Library module. Hold the Ctrl key on Windows or the Command key on Macintosh, and then press the left square bracket key ([) to rotate counterclockwise and the right square bracket key (]) to rotate clockwise.

You can also use menu commands. From the menu bar you can choose Photo > Rotate Left or Photo > Rotate Right. Another option is to right-click on the image. If you right-click on the main preview image in the Develop module you can choose Transform > Rotate Left or Transform > Rotate Right from the popup menu. If you right-click on a thumbnail on the filmstrip you can simply choose Rotate Left or Rotate Right from the popup menu.

While the toolbar below the image preview area in the Develop module can be customized by choosing which items to include or exclude, unfortunately the image rotation buttons are not among the available options for the toolbar when working in the Develop module.

Preserving an Old Photo Print


Today’s Question: I recently found an old (85-90 years old) photograph that I would like to keep in storage and protect. It seems to be printed on a slightly thicker paper and from the fading around the edge looks like it had been in a frame. It’s otherwise in surprisingly good condition. I know there are archival sleeves out there but I’m not sure if that’s the best option and what specifics I should be looking for.

Tim’s Quick Answer: The very first thing I would do is make a digital copy of the photo to preserve the image. I would then store the original print in an archival acid-free container that will prevent exposure to light and store the container in a relatively cool and dry location.

More Detail: While you certainly want to preserve the original print in this situation, I also think it is important to further preserve the image itself by creating a digital copy. This can be done with a digital camera, ideally using a copy stand with two lights positioned at a 45-degree angle to avoid glare.

To preserve the original print the key is to ensure optimal conditions to avoid deterioration of the print. To begin with, I recommend using acid-free containers designed for preserving photos. This can include special sleeves for the print itself, for example, along with a box to help further protect the print. Both should be acid-free to help prevent damage to the print.

Ideally the print would then be stored in a relatively cool and dry place. That means a temperature of around the lower range of room temperature, or about 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity should be relatively low at around 30% to 50% relative humidity.

While there are a variety of sources of products designed to safely store photographic prints you want to preserve, I’ve found a good range of products available from Gaylord Archival, which you can find here:

Just be sure that the items you choose are acid-free and designed for photo preservation. You may also find the information on this page from the Library of Congress to be helpful:

Deleting Old Catalog Files


Today’s Question: If in Lightroom Classic I go to File > Open Catalog on the menu and navigate to the folder where my catalog and back-ups are stored, I can see old catalogs. I am happy with my current catalog. If I right click on an old one, I am offered the chance to delete it. Is there anything wrong with deleting it from here?

Tim’s Quick Answer: There isn’t anything inherently wrong with deleting files from what amounts to the “File > Open” dialog, but in general I recommend deleting old catalogs through the operating system. I also recommend moving all files associated with old catalogs to a temporary backup folder rather than deleting them, at least for a period of time.

More Detail: In many software applications, including Lightroom Classic, it is possible to delete files from within the “File > Open” dialog. However, I generally recommend performing this type of file maintenance work through the operating system.

When you have an older catalog that you don’t need, such as the original catalog that an updated catalog version was based on, you can certainly delete that old catalog. The two key things to keep in mind are that you want to be certain the older catalog isn’t needed, and that you may want to move the associated files to a temporary location in the short term just to better confirm that there wasn’t any reason to retain the older files.

The primary file for a Lightroom Classic catalog has a filename extension of “LRCAT”, as in “Lightroom Catalog”. In addition, however, there will be a series of “helper” files that will have a similar base filename. It is important to carefully review those filenames to ensure you know exactly which files can be safely removed.

For example, the file containing the previews for your images will have the same base filename as the catalog file, with the text “Previews” appended to that name. This file will also have a filename extension of “LRDATA” rather than “LRCAT”. If the catalog file was called “Lightroom Classic v11 Catalog.lrcat”, for example, the previews file would be called “Lightroom Classic v11 Catalog Previews.lrdata”.

All files that have the exact same base filename will relate to the catalog file with that same base filename. To help ensure you don’t accidentally delete a file that you really need, I again recommend moving the files you would otherwise delete into a temporary folder. You can create that folder in the same folder as the primary catalog, and then when you’re certain that Lightroom Classic is behaving normally and you’re confident the files can be deleted, you can delete that temporary folder to free up the disk space consumed by those files.

Why Exclude Metadata?


Today’s Question: I’m curious, other than the likely very rare instance of wanting to remove “location info” from the metadata of an image file, why would photographers want to remove metadata [when exporting photos from Lightroom Classic]?

Tim’s Quick Answer: While the primary reason to want to exclude some metadata from photos you’ll be sharing digitally would be for privacy protection, there are certainly other situations where photographers may prefer not to disclose all the information included in the metadata for their photos.

More Detail: Today’s question was a follow up to an earlier question about including metadata in derivative copies of photos created when you export an image from Lightroom Classic. As noted in that answer, there are options for minimizing the metadata included with exported photos.

For example, there are options to include “Copyright Info Only” or “Copyright & Contact Info Only”, which will obviously cause minimal metadata to be included in those exported copies of photos. There are also checkboxes for “Remove Person Info” and “Remove Location Info”, which enable you to exclude these details even when you have selected the “All Metadata” option in the Export dialog.

The options to exclude information about people included in the photo and location details are obviously focused on privacy. For example, if you captured images in your home studio you may not want others to be able to determine your address. Similarly, if you have photographed a model and identified them with a person-based keyword, you may not want their identity information included in metadata when you share copies of your photos.

These examples are relatively common and somewhat obvious, of course. But you may want to exclude metadata more broadly to exclude keywords that could contain sensitive information about the subject matter. Some photographers prefer to exclude camera metadata so that the details of the equipment and camera settings won’t be available in those exported copies of photos.

In some respects, the desire to exclude metadata in this fashion depends in part on the personal preferences of the photographer as well as the type of subject matter included in their photos. When in doubt, of course, it is perhaps better to exclude metadata as a general rule when exporting copies of photos, only including the metadata when it is necessary for the purpose of sharing the photos. Also, while a very minor factor, excluding metadata will make the files slightly smaller, which can be of modest benefit for images shared online.

Searching by Keyword in Lightroom Classic


Today’s Question: What is the easiest way to search for photos based on a keyword in Lightroom Classic? I’ve been using the Text filter option, but I feel that there must be a better way.

Tim’s Quick Answer: I think the very best way to quickly filter images based on a specific keyword in Lightroom Classic is to click on the arrow to the right of the keyword you want to search for in the Keyword List section of the right panel in the Library module.

More Detail: The Keyword List can be helpful for applying keywords to images without the risk of typing the keyword wrong, by simply turning on the applicable checkbox for the keyword you want to apply to the current image. You can also use the Keyword List to create and edit keywords. What many photographers don’t realize, however, is that you can filter images based on keyword using the Keyword List.

When you hover your mouse over a keyword within the Keyword List on the right panel in the Library module a right-pointing arrow will appear to the far right of the keyword, next to the count that shows how many images in the catalog have that keyword assigned. If you click on that arrow a filter will be applied so that you are viewing all images that have the applicable keyword in metadata.

Lightroom Classic will automatically switch to the “All Photographs” collection found in the Catalog section of the left panel in the Library module when you click the arrow associated with a keyword on the Keyword List. A filter will also be set on the Metadata tab of the Library Filter bar above the grid view display for the keyword.

If you want to browse only the photos with the selected keyword in a particular location you can first make sure that the search criteria for the Library Filter bar are locked. At the top-right of the Library Filter bar you’ll see a padlock icon. If the padlock appears open click on the icon so that the padlock appears closed. That will lock the criteria so that when you switch to a different location you’ll still only be viewing photos that match the criteria, meaning photos that have the selected keyword assigned to them.

I find this approach much faster and more flexible than using the Text option on the Library Filter bar, or selecting a keyword manually on the Metadata tab of the Library Filter bar.