Adobe Lightroom and Apple Photos

The Apple application architecture that seamlessly integrates your Mac with your iPhone and iPad is a strength of the Apple product line largely unknown to folks who have not bought into iThings. In the past, Apple offered Aperture to serious amateur and professional photographers and iPhoto for recreational photographers. With Mavericks, Apple replaced the earlier products with Photos, more capable than iPhoto but not as capable as Aperture. To close the gap, I subscribed to Adobe Creative Cloud for Photographers. Can Lightroom and Photos coexist? How?

Back in the day, my second mobile phone (or was it my third) was a Motorola EA 860 flip phone, a best of breed around 2002. This phone was from Verizon and lived in the Verizon walled garden. Verizon crippled all of the EA 860 features to monetize contact list synchronization, charge to save photos, etc. This experience made me ripe for the launch iPhone. Apple provided the phone and forbade carriers to “enhance” carrier sold phones. And visual voice mail was super.

The iPhone was a revelation. All my contacts and calendar items that I entered on my phone synced to my Mac with iTunes. Apple has since made this one better by building synchronization into the core application services and using the Internet to synchronize data. Calendar, contacts, reminders, photos, movies, etc just appear at the appropriate places on each device.


  1. — Lightroom with Photos Workflow
  2. — Lightroom and Photos together
  3. — Photos missing FAQ

The iPhone Camera

I take a lot of snapshots of my greyhounds being foolish. The iPhone camera has made this possible. The best camera is the one that is always with you. The Sony A65 comes out for photowalks but my phone is my every day snapshot camera and the newest phones from Samsung and Apple are quite good at it.

I’m a hobby photographer

With the demise of Apple Aperture, I moved to Adobe Creative Cloud Lightroom as my primary archival visual asset manager and editor. I do little with Photoshop, which Adobe includes with Creative Cloud for Photographers.

The problem

The iCloud photo stream makes snapshots appear. I use my iPhone to post Photos edited images to Facebook and Google Plus and the associated greyhound groups. So, now I have two copies of everything. An automagical one in the Apple universe and a second in the Adobe parallel universe.

One Solution

Reference 1 gives a solution another enthusiast found.

  1. Import all photos into Lightroom, tag, and render them.
  2. Create an album in iPhoto
  3. Export the photos into Apple Photos
  4. Publish from Apple Photos

The Catch

Now two sets of images. I’ve not figured out a way around it. As Firesign theater said, “When you are two places at once, you’re no place at all.” Which is the master image? For fine art stuff, Lightroom’s copy. For every day stuff, the Photos copy.

Modus Vivendi

Resistance is futile. Perhaps the best way to work in the short term is to let the Apple World do its thing. Import the images from the real camera with Lightroom and edit those. Export the ones to share to Photos as an album.

By davehamby

A modern Merlin, hell bent for glory, he shot the works and nothing worked.