Today’s Question: Is it possible to use Lightroom [cloud-focused] to edit images locally on a laptop, then when I get home, import those photos to Lightroom Classic?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, if you use the local browsing option in the cloud-focused version of Lightroom to edit photos, and then import those photos into the Lightroom Classic catalog, the updates you applied in Lightroom will be reflected in Lightroom Classic.
More Detail: With Lightroom Classic, by default the updates you apply to metadata or to adjustment settings are saved only within the catalog. You can, however, choose to automatically (or manually) save standard metadata (including Develop settings) to photos. In the cloud-focused version of Lightroom, when browsing photos on the Local tab, any updates to photos are saved directly to the source image files, which in the case of proprietary raw captures means the metadata will be saved in an XMP sidecar file.
If you later import those photos into a Lightroom Classic catalog, the metadata updates and adjustments will be reflected in those imported photos. You could therefore, for example, use the cloud-focused Lightroom on a laptop for your traveling workflow, and then import the photos you captured during your trip into your Lightroom Classic catalog when you get home, and the updates you applied in Lightroom would be reflected in Lightroom Classic.
The important thing to keep in mind is that this workflow should really only involve a one-time transfer from Lightroom to Lightroom Classic. For example, after importing photos into Lightroom Classic any updates you apply in Lightroom would not be reflected in Lightroom Classic. In fact, if the photos were stored in the same location as part of this workflow, making changes in Lightroom would result in metadata conflict errors in Lightroom Classic.
So, as long as you start with Lightroom using the Local tab, and then when you’re finished you import the photos into Lightroom Classic and only work in Lightroom Classic from that point forward for those photos, you’ll have a workflow that can be convenient without creating any problems.