Captures in the Cloud


Today’s Question: I take photos on my iPhone they appear on the Lightroom mobile app. When I check on my desktop in Lightroom Classic I see the pictures. Where do the photos reside, in the cloud or on my computer (synced)? Do I need to save them to my iMac hard drive?

Tim’s Quick Answer: The photos captured on your mobile device using the Lightroom mobile app will automatically be synchronized back to Lightroom Classic on your desktop. That means the images are stored on your local hard drive, and you can move them to a different location if you’d like, and then delete them from Lightroom on your mobile device.

More Detail: When you capture photos with the camera feature built into the Lightroom mobile app, those photos are automatically synchronized via the Adobe Creative Cloud. That means they will appear within Lightroom Classic. Those synchronized photos can be found in a folder within the Folders list on the left panel in the Library module, under a heading for your mobile device. In other words, your mobile device will effectively appear as though it is one of the hard drives you are using to store your photos.

Just as you can move photos from one folder to another within your “normal” photo storage, so too can you move photos from the synchronized folder for your mobile device to the storage location you use for your other photo storage. Simply navigate to the folder under the heading for your mobile device, select the photos you want to move, and drag and drop them to the desired folder location within your normal photo storage structure.

At that point the photos will still remain within the Lightroom app on your mobile device. But since you now have those photos in your normal storage structure, you can delete them from your mobile device. When browsing your photos in the grid view in Lightroom mobile you can tap the ellipsis (three dots) icon at the top-right corner. Choose Select from the popup menu. You can then select individual photos, or tap the checkbox that appears at the top-left to select all photos in the current location. Then tap the Delete icon at the bottom-right of the app.

This approach can provide a more streamlined workflow for photos you capture on a mobile device, since it involves automatic synchronization of your photos to Lightroom Classic. I find this approach is generally easier to employ than downloading photos directly from my mobile device, for example. Plus, the Lightroom mobile app enables you to capture in the Adobe DNG format, which can provide improved overall quality for your mobile captures.