Cloud Storage is Optional in Lightroom


Today’s Question: I was intrigued to read about your new course on the cloud-based version of Lightroom, in particular because you indicated it now supports working with local photos. Does that mean you could use the updated Lightroom without uploading any photos to the cloud?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Correct. With the cloud-focused version of Adobe Lightroom (meaning not Lightroom Classic) it is now possible to store photos locally, in the cloud, or any combination of both. In addition, Lightroom does not involve the use of a catalog the way Lightroom Classic does.

More Detail: For photographers who have followed any of the developments related to Lightroom and Lightroom Classic, and in particular those who have noted the challenges photographers have faced with Lightroom Classic that I’ve addressed in my email newsletter, the recent update to Lightroom is certainly a reason to pay attention.

Put simply, in addition to being able to import photos into the Lightroom desktop application and have them stored primarily in the cloud, with the latest update to Lightroom you can also now browse photos stored locally.

This enables a completely new approach to your workflow with Lightroom, and may even convince photographers who have been frustrated by the catalog to switch from Lightroom Classic to Lightroom. You could use Lightroom to manage photos that you only store locally, for example, similar to using Adobe Bridge to browse photos, but with the added benefits of a more integrated workflow.

You could also use Lightroom primarily to manage photos stored locally in a folder structure you define and manage, and then only import selected photos that you want to have available across the full Lightroom ecosystem by storing those photos in the cloud.

And of course, some photographers may prefer to import all photos into Lightroom so that every photo is synchronized to the cloud, so they are available from virtually anywhere with an internet connection, using the Lightroom desktop app, the Lightroom mobile app, or Lightroom in a web browser.

In part because of the new possibilities afforded by this recent update to Adobe Lightroom, I am back in the studio to produce a comprehensive new video course focused on organizing, optimizing, and sharing photos with Adobe Lightroom. You can learn more about this course (and get a pre-order discount of over 50% off) on the GreyLearning website here: