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A Portable Lightroom Catalog


Lightroom 5 brings with it a great new feature in Smart Previews. Combine the capabilities of Smart Previews (the ability to develop and export your images based on the relatively small file size of the Smart Preview) together with the convenience and decreasing cost of cloud storage systems (such as DropBox or Google Drive) and you have some interesting ways of creating a portable, no-hassle catalog solution.

If you’d like more information on how Smart Preview work and how to manage them, see my post on how to Use Smart Previews for a Smarter Lightroom Workflow.

Additionally, be sure to see my tips on how to Locate Photos with Missing Smart Previews.

About Michael Hoffman (224 Articles)
Mike has been a photographer, artist, educator, and technophile for most of his life. Early in his career, he created technical illustrations and photographs for electronic equipment manufacturers, and taught classes in computer aided drafting and 3D modeling software. When digital cameras became widely available in the late 1990s, the move was a natural one, and has led to a happy combination of technology, software, photography and art. Mike is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and Acrobat, and is well versed in Lightroom and Photoshop Elements, as well as Illustrator and InDesign. He has also contributed his time and efforts to the excellent work being done by Operation Photo Rescue, in restoring photographs damaged by natural disasters. As an active member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, he continues his quest for excellence in art, excellence in design, and excellence in education.

2 Comments on A Portable Lightroom Catalog

  1. Thanks for the post! How do you handle your presets, keywords etc and how do you keep them synchronized? Thanks!

  2. EvanB // 07/07/2016 at 2:32 am //

    This was beautiful. Exactly what I was thinking of doing but with both previews.

    I was searching to see if anyone had issues syncing catalogs via cloud storage, but you’re saying I just need to sync the previews, correct?. Have you found any hiccups using Dropbox or the like with unintended syncs or mixed up errors?

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