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Creative Cloud Construct

Lesson 2 from: Lightroom CC: Organizing Your Digital Photo Life

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

2. Creative Cloud Construct


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Creative Cloud Construct


Lightroom Classic vs. Lightroom CC


Importing and Organization


Folder and Album Creation


Image Selection


Connectivity and Data


Finding Images in Lightroom CC


Lesson Info

Creative Cloud Construct

Let's start with what the Creative Cloud is. So the Creative Cloud was developed in the background for a long time, but it's been the goal of Adobe, to allow you to store all of your information, all of your photos, all of your designs, stuff like that, in a Cloud so you have access to it no matter where you are. I suppose part of the reason it took awhile to get there is because internet speeds and space in the cloud, and all that kind of stuff has to catch up with Adobe's ideas but at this point we're in a perfect world where we have good internet speeds, generally, we have great speeds even on... Like, my digital cellular connection is often faster than most people's internet at their home. So, we have the ability to get the stuff to the Cloud and from the Cloud, almost anywhere. I was putting stuff in the Cloud while I was traveling around in Iceland, right? I didn't even have a hotel. I was sleeping in the back of my SUV and I was driving around taking pictures and I was putting s...

tuff in the Cloud while I was driving around doing this. So pretty much anywhere you are in the world, you can get stuff to the Cloud and get stuff out of the Cloud. That's why we are now at the point where the Adobe Creative Cloud can become the hub of your digital life. So, I have created a little schematic so you can see what is going to happen with your photographs. Now, I know there are a lot of lines and it might get a little confusing for you, but this is actually in the course, so you can download this PDF and study it. You can print it out and put it on your wall, and like follow the lines. But what we want to do is we want to show you where everything exists. So, there are several different programs within the Creative Cloud ecosystem that we have to talk about. So let's start with Lightroom CC. So this is Lightroom CC, what you see here is Lightroom CC. It's a very simplified version of Lightroom. You can see over here on the left hand side is your organization structure, the photo that you want to look at is right in the middle here. Down below is a little photo filmstrip. You can also hit the G Key for Grid, and you'll see a nice grid of all your photos as well. So that's one way to look at it as well. Down below, you can see that you can click on an image and you can see it's star rating. You can add stars, you can flag it, et. Cetra. And then over on the right hand side is where you do all of your adjustments. Now, there's also right above and the right hand top corner is a little Cloud. And that Cloud tells you the status of all of your images. And you can see that there's a little checkbox here that says Synced and All Backed Up. Here is where Lightroom CC is gonna revolutionize everything that we're doing today. Because anytime that I put a photo into Lightroom CC, it immediately goes to a Cloud, the entire photo. Not some proxy. Not a smart preview. Not a jpg. The entire original RAW image is gonna go up to the Cloud and stay there. Which means, your whole house can burn down and these photos are still safe. It means that you could loose your computer, which I constantly, I probably get about three or four emails a month from somebody who's computer crashed, and they're trying to find their photos, and they're trying to find their settings, and they're trying to find this and install that, and like... Constantly I get emails, what do I do when this happens? Well, until now, unless you had a really complex backup system with discs and you were swapping drives and taking stuff off site, you ended up loosing your photos. But now, you're not gonna loose your photos anymore because they are all up in the Cloud. And, if you run out of space in the Cloud, you can just simply add more to it. So you can purchase as much space as you like in the Cloud. You have, and by the way, those people who are already part of the Creative Cloud system, already have 20 gigabyte in the Cloud. Those who get into one of Adobe's Creative Cloud plans, now will have 100 gigabyte of space in the Cloud with any of their programs, any of the plans. And then, some of the plans actually come with a full terabyte. So I have a full terabyte in the Cloud on Adobe, and then if I need more I can just simply purchase more. So, there's plenty of space in the Cloud, and you can get as much as you need. But a terabyte is a pretty good chunk of... Especially with most photographers who are just playing with photography or just taking pictures when they travel. They're not gonna hit a terabyte really fast. Professionals, you'll hit more than a terabyte, but we're gonna talk about that in our next class when we talk about Lightroom C, or Lightroom Classic. We'll talk about how we kind of mitigate the need for more than a terabyte of space. So, we'll talk about that later. But for most of you out there, when you're working on your photos, a terabyte is plenty of space. But you can see that right now, everything that I've put into Lightroom CC now is already on the Cloud, and because of that I'm completely backed up and I don't have to worry about loosing any of these photos. But also, all of those original files are on the Cloud, I also have the ability to look at them on any of my devices. So for instance, you can see that I've got right here, I've got this, we're gonna see this. This one, that says LR CC. If it has blue, that means that its Lightroom CC based, and it's delivering a full resolution image up to the Cloud. So anything that's blue is a full resolution image going back and forth between the computer and the Cloud. So, we put our images, so I simply took my camera or my card and I plugged it into this computer. And you notice I've got a little hard drive off to the side. That's this guy right here. So this is where all my photos are staying, and we'll talk a little bit more about where to store your photos in a minute. But all my photos, all my original photos, are here on this hard drive. When I put them into Lightroom though, it also sends them to the Cloud, so I have a copy here with me, and then I have a copy in the Cloud. So you have, physically your own photos with you, and you have a copy up in the Cloud to back you up. So now you don't have to worry about running some extra disc over to the bank deposit box to make sure that it's stored for safe keeping. It's now up in the Cloud. But also notice that if I do that, because I am in the Cloud see this original photo that's sitting up in the Cloud? That can also be transferred over to my iPad or even my iPhone. So I've got my phone here, or an Android device, got my phone here, it's got all those photos on it. I also, you can see that I've got here on my iPad as well. So the iPad has the same photographs on it that my computer has on it. And they're the original photos. Now, when you're on your iPad, you can tell your iPad, especially a lot of you might not have a lot of space in your phone, so you can tell your phone, and we'll talk more about this later, you can tell your phone, I only want proxy's here. I only want little previews of it. But, if I want it, then when you zoom in, it'll pull down everything that you need for that use. So most of your photos just stay in the Cloud, and then when you need them, it pulls it down, shows you the full thing, and you can share it with your friends, you can put it on Facebook, you can do whatever... 'Cause you have access, this is like a little portal, to the Cloud. You can also tell you're, if you have a lot of space on mine, it's an iPad pro, so I can just simply say go ahead and store all of them down here, and it'll store everything down on my iPad if I would like, okay? So I have access to it on my mobile devices. I also, if you notice, see this little circular thing over here, it's called Lightroom Web. So I also have access to the Cloud, from any computer on the planet that has internet access. All I have to do is go to a browser, and I will be able to access that Cloud. And because I'm accessing the Cloud, anything that's in there, originals or smart previews or anything is accessible to me. So I have the ability to go to a website, and look at my original images and download those original images or send them to someone so they can download them, I can even show an entire gallery to my friends and family, and they can download the original photos if they want. So I have a lot of options to share my images, to look at my images, and it doesn't matter where I am. I can look at them on any browser in the world. Fortunately, I can also, from any of these devices, I can upload photos to the Cloud. All I have to do is log in. So I could be in France, without any computers, and I could take a card out of my camera, and run into an internet cafe and plug it into the computer, log in, and put my images on my Cloud's storage space, and by the time I got home, they would also be on my computer, they would also be on my phone, they would also be on my secondary computer. They would be everywhere I want them to be, because I have access to the Cloud anywhere, from the web, from my phone, from my iPad, or from any computer that I happen to be logged in on, okay? So you also notice that I also have got second little laptop computer listed over here. Now notice, the one on the left over here says 100%. That means 100% of my photos are stored on this computer. So, I have all of my photos, my full photos, the original photos on this drive. They also go up to the Cloud, whenever I put them here, they go up to the Cloud. When they're in the Cloud, they get delivered to all of my different devices and I've asked it to deliver it to another computer, but I told it don't actually put any of the photos on the computer. So, 0% of my original photos are on the computer, and I'm gonna go to it right now. So, I'm gonna do a little Mr. Rodgers so you can see we've gone somewhere else. I'm taking off my coat, there we go, so now I'm going somewhere else, this could be at your office, or this could be on an airplane, this could be a little Mac AIR, or they could be, what do they call a little Google Book, or what do they call those? A Chrome Book? It could be like a tiny tiny computer, that you have no space on, and so if you have a computer that has only 256 GB of RAM on it, you can't put a terabyte of photos on there. So what I've done is told this computer to store 0% of the photographs on it, so it's not storing any of the original photos. But look! I can go to this computer, I can scroll through... These are all the same photos that are on that computer, and I can look at them, and I can play with them, and I can adjust them, I can go in and click on an image, so I can click on this image of my son trying to push over the snowman, and I can work on that photo the same way I could work on it on my computer where all the photos are. But none of the photos are on this computer. There's just small little proxy's, that are pretending to be the these photos. And then if at any point if I want to export this photo from this computer, it will simply go to the cloud, grab that image, pull it down, and export it to where ever I want it to go, or share it to where ever I want it to go. So, I can travel with all of my photos present. And here's the beauty. If I happen to be traveling, and I want to put a photo on this computer, I simply plug in my card, this computer will ingest the photograph, send it to the Cloud, and then as soon as it's in the Cloud, it will remove it from this computer so it doesn't spend all of the space that you have on this computer. It will confirm, yes, the copy's in the Cloud, it's been shipped off to all of my other devices, and it's going to end up on that computer as a full file. Because that computer I want 100% of my photos on that computer, but this computer I want 0% of my photos on it. And you can choose different, you could do 50% or 20% on this computer. Whatever kind of space you have, you can choose. And then it will decide okay, what are his favorite photos. We'll keep his favorite photos on this computer, but all the other stuff we'll just kind of send it to the cloud and we'll remove it from this computer, and we'll have proxies. Any questions about that? Does that make sense to everybody? So this is essentially acting as a mobile device, even though it's a full fledged computer and I'm working in the same program. I'm not working in a different program. It's gonna have the same organizational structure, the same keywords, the same everything on this computer as on that computer. And if I change something here, it changes over there. And it changes on my iPad, and it changes on my phone, and it changes in the web so if I ever go in on the website it's there too. So your photos are everywhere you want them to be, and they're always the same. No matter what device you happen to be working from. So I can play with images on my phone, and then when I get home, they're on the computer. And by the way, if you have an Apple TV, there's an app on the Apple TV with Lightroom on it, and you can just plug it in and it will show you photos form your Lightroom Catalog that's up on the web and that's on these different computers and it'll just play through as a slideshow, you can go in and say I want to look at my trip to Iceland, and it will show you your trip to Iceland. So you have your photos anywhere you want them to be, and they're always up to date. Alright, any questions about the Cloud? Like if you're working on a photo, can you go undo something on a different device? Yes! Because, keep in mind, Lightroom has always been, and will always be-- Oh, I better put my coat back on because I'm back at the house. So, besides that, I'm always cold. It's because I have no hair up here. So, because Lightroom has always been a non-destructive editing environment, that means it never actually does anything to your photos, all it does is give the instructions to the catalog as to what to do to the photos. And so if I adjust something here, and by the way, it doesn't take forever for things to go from one computer to the other, the only time that's initially needed, is to take the original photos and send it to the Cloud, and then send it out to the other devices. Once that's done, the original photo just sits where it is, and the instructions, adjust this, brighten this, contrast that, add this, all of that happens like that. Because all it is is an instruction that says turn this slider to position 30. That takes all of a billisecond to transfer, because it's just a byte of data. Push, that's it. So as long as you've got your images where they need to go, then I can adjust something here and it'll immediately go and adjust over there, and then as soon as I, and then I can go to that computer and say, eh, I wanna adjust it differently or I want to undo it. And it will go back to the original state. I can just wipe out all of the settings that I had done, and start over from that computer. Because none of them have been dest... There's not destructive editing going on. So, yeah. Yeah. So, if Lightroom pulls photos from your external hard drive, is there a way you would recommend storing photos on the hard drive originally, in a logical way that makes sense if you need to access them, and you won't be tempted to go back and change and screw up Lightroom's process? So to originally store on the hard drive? Okay, so, this is an important point. Important question too, thanks. There are, those of you who are used to Lightroom Classic now, that's the original Lightroom that we all used. It is different than Lightroom CC. The difference is this. Lightroom CC is doing it's own organization. You aren't doing it. Lightroom Classic, you can organize the photos. Lightroom Classic can also organize them for you, but in general, it allows you to get in and move things around, and you can put them wherever you want them to be, and organize them the way you want in different folders, you could organize it into folders of people smiling versus people frowning if you wanted to. Like, you can put them in different folders, and then you also had something called collections that were virtual folders that you could take all your favorite photos and put them in here, and then you could put your favorite photos of people in this collection, and you could have multiple images in multiple collections because it's all virtual. Well, Lightroom CC simplified that whole process. And so, everything goes where Lightroom wants it to go. You get to choose the disc that it goes on, or the folder that it goes in, but that's it. That's the extent of your organizational efforts when it comes to Lightroom. So you simply open it up, and I'm gonna show that to you right now, so you simply open up Lightroom, and you into Lightroom and you go into the preferences, and the preferences are very different than Lightroom Classic by the way. With preferences with three different preference panes, and there's almost no preferences what so ever. So it's very, very simple. So you start with the account, and make sure you've signed in. Once you've signed into your account, you go and decide how much storage you want on this computer. Now notice I have mine at 70%. But, it's 70% of the target disc space. So I have a terabyte of space here, I'm fine. So 70% of that is gonna store everything I need. But I could take that to 100% and it would give me 100% of that disc, but right now I'm storing 100% of the photos that are in Lightroom CC on this disc, okay? So you can choose, and this is how I chose that one to be 0%, if you put it at 0%, it's gonna put them on the disc long enough to get them to the Cloud. As soon as it confirms they're on the Cloud, it'll remove them. And then it'll just keep the proxy. So that you don't waste a lot of space on your actual hard drive. And, I'm telling you these little tiny computers, these Mac Airs and Chrome Books, and stuff, they have no space on them, and it's a problem for people who are working on a lot of photos. And this is the answer to that. Put it in the Cloud, and then just have proxies, you're good. Okay, so there's the type of storage, that's how much storage you want to devote to your photos. My suggestion is, and this is important, that all of your photos should be on an external drive if you're somewhere like a house where you can have that external drive sitting there and you can put stuff to it. Especially if you're on a desktop type computer, put the photos on an external drive so that that drive's always attached, but it's just sitting there. And it's only for photos. That way you know where all your photos are, it's very easy if you want to you can back it up. This one is actually what's called a Raid 1 Drive. And a Raid 1 Drive allows you to have two copies of everything, so anything that gets put here has a second copy of it, just in case one disc goes bad, the other disc is still fine, alright? But remember, everything's going to the Cloud, so I've got my last resort back up is right up in there in the Cloud, and quite frankly, it used to be a last resort back up to put something in the Cloud, but now it's actually your primary source. And this is kind of your last resort back up. Okay, but I still prefer, if I'm working, even in Lightroom CC, to tell it, I want my photos to go on a secondary drive. That way that drive is only devoted to photographs. Okay, so this is where you do that. You see this? It says, originals are currently stored in a custom location, there's the location changer, if I click on that, it will ask me where do I want to store my photos, so you just simply choose that. Or if you choose the default location, it will take it right back to the pictures folder and it'll make a little Lightroom folder in the pictures folder and that's where it'll store it. So, if you have a desktop computer, with lots and lots of space and that's where you want to store it, then default location will be just fine. It'll go there, and then everything will be stored in your computer and on the Cloud. If you turn this target usage space to 0%, it will then be stored on that location long enough to get it to the Cloud, and then it won't store it on your actual computer. But I prefer to have something physical with me, so I put everything on the drive that's with me, and then I let it go to the Cloud. But because I have two computers, that computer is fine to go to 0%. Okay, so there's the custom location. And then down in this general area here, we have like, do you want this in English et. Cetera. Stuff like that. And then you can also prevent sleep when it's trying to load stuff up to Cloud and all that kind of stuff. But all that's really simple interface stuff, and not super important. Just choose, those of you that see this, Use Graphics Processor, if you have a new computer, you want that on. Because using the graphics processor will help speed things up, so it comes with it on already. But if you're using an old computer, then that might not be an option for you because the graphics processor won't be fast enough to do that for you. So, that's it. That's all of your settings. So I'm gonna hit done, and now everything's set up exactly as I want it. I've got my photos going to here, they are then going up into the Cloud, but let me show you were those are. So let's hide Lightroom right now, and go to my photography drive, and in the photography drive, you see there's a Lightroom CC folder, and in Lightroom CC, there are a whole bunch of original photos by date. So to answer your question then, how does it organize them? It organizes them by date. It puts them in there to 2009, and then you see all the different days that I was photographing in 2009. So that's how it organizes them. But, the actual catalog for Lightroom is here. In your computer's hard drive, if you go to your Pictures folder, there's, that's what it looks like. So, it's just a library folder, it's got all of the information, none of the photos, but all of the information about the photos, is inside that little library folder. As well as the proxies. Because if I disconnect this drive, I can still play with the photos and look at them. It just can't access the original image, it would have to go to the Cloud to get it. But that's what that is. So if you want to go to the library itself, the catalog, then that's where it is. And that's just all the information. That's the stars, adjustments, key words, things like that. That's what's in there. Any questions beyond that? So here's a question. I've got 3 TB of photos since I've been shooting for about 15 years now, and that doesn't include video files. Should I just stick with Lightroom 6? Well, that's-- How would you handle that? Well here's my answer to that. Don't stick with Lightroom 6, because Lightroom is not connected to the Cloud. Go to Lightroom CC, or sorry, go to Lightroom Classic, in the Creative Cloud. So get access to the Creative Cloud, no matter what. Weather you use Lightroom CC or Lightroom Classic, and I'm gonna keep trying to define these for everybody, because it's a little bit confusing, and I want to make sure everyone knows. Lightroom CC is the new version that we're just looking at that is simplified, but it has access to the Cloud, and it kinda does these things we're talking about. Lightroom Classic is exactly the same as you've seen it before, but Lightroom Classic doesn't change. It's just like Lightroom 6 with a lot more advancements, so, Lightroom 6 doesn't ever get updated. So you're always gonna be at the older version of Lightroom if you stay at 6. You've got to get on the Creative Cloud. Because Lightroom Classic also connects to the Cloud. It just does so in a different way. So if you look at this, so back to our schematic. Notice that we have a laptop over here with Lightroom CC on it, I have another laptop over here with Lightroom CC on it and you can see that is my left computer, this is my right computer over here. So this is my primary system that I'm putting stuff on and sending originals to the Cloud. But notice that I've got some other little dotted ones. See that? That's a smart preview. And anywhere that you see a dotted line, it's telling you that it's sending smart previews. Now smart previews are different than the original file. A smart preview is a tiny little version of the original file that is RAW. So, it can still be adjusted like the original file, it's actually still a very valuable file. I've printed up to a 30" print from a little tiny smart preview, so there's still really valuable files, but they are not the original. Lightroom Classic, the original version of Lightroom Classic that people know and love, does not send the original to the Cloud. See this? So this guy right here has Lightroom on it. Just Classic version. And it's sending a smart preview to the Cloud. It does not send the original. And it doesn't do it to all of the photos. It does it to the photos you want to send to the Cloud. And it does it based on collections. So if you have a collection of images that you want to send to the Cloud, you just simply turn that on, and it will go, that collection only. When it gets to the Cloud, those smart previews are available to every place as well. So, you can still see the smart preview, oops... I didn't know what that was. And you can still see the smart preview in Lightroom Web. So if I'm on the web and I want to look at those images, I can look at them there. And all the changes that I made in Lightroom Web, will go down to all of my systems. All my systems will see all the changes that I've made. I can still scroll through them, I can still play with them. So, essentially you won't know the difference between a smart preview and an original file. Except, if you look at the info and say which one is this? Is this original or is this a smart preview? If you go to that computer or this computer, or to this iPad, those will all have smart previews on them. Because I uploaded original smart previews. So, someone who's already in Lightroom Classic, or Lightroom 6, and they want to use 3 TB worth of stuff, smart previews are tiny. And besides that, currently they don't even use up any of your space. So I have a terabyte of space for my Lightroom CC catalog photos. So, if I, let's say I sent 500 GB of information up. So half of my space was taken up by original photos that I took up from this computer, from my main computer, in Lightroom CC, they're all backed up in the Cloud. So now I only have half a terabyte left in the Cloud. It's okay, because I could then take that entire 3 TB of photos that that guy has on Lightroom Classic, and I could upload all of those through Lightroom Classic as smart previews, and guess how much space I would still have in the Cloud? A half of a terabyte left. Because smart previews don't count against your quota. So you can just use them. Now, I don't know if that's always gonna be the case. But currently, that's the way it is. And, even if you were to upload a 3 TB worth of smart previews, you would still have a lot of space, because those smart previews are really small. They're not taking up a full photo size. They're taking up a little 1/8th of it. So that's the way to handle that. And that's the way I work. As a professional, we're gonna have a lot more photos than someone who is taking family vacation photos, and pictures of their kids and stuff like that. Because we just burn through a lot of photographs every single day. Whereas, my mom takes a lot of pictures when she and my dad go golfing, but no pictures from Monday through Friday, except of you know, the cat doing something funny. You know what I'm saying? So there's not a lot of stuff going up into the Cloud. So Lightroom CC is the perfect companion for someone who's just taking pictures of their life.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lightroom® CC Ecosystem PDF
Film Presets

Ratings and Reviews


This class blew my mind! As a full-time professional photographer, with a very complicated workflow (that is next to impossible to explain to my assistant) I cannot express how essential this class is to overhauling and simplifying my workflow. I am so excited to finally be able to split my workflow between multiple laptops and work stations WITHOUT having to build a server at my studio. I love that I now have a framework to start building a new organizational and backup system that I can easily train others on, and mobilize quickly. With all of the changes and improvements that Adobe is bringing to Lightroom CC & Classic, this class is integral to understanding and utilizing the program to its fullest potential! Jared Platt is a wonderful teacher and this class especially is perfect for novices and seasoned professionals alike!

a Creativelive Student

I was lucky enough to participate in-studio for this class. Jared is a great presenter and broke down the complicated Lightroom CC vs. Lightroom Classic changes. His conversational style of presenting kept things interesting and participants involved. This course was much more than just learning what the programs do. Jared walked through sample workflows to show when and why you would use the multitude of sliders and editing tools within the program. The course is worth every penny! Topics will remain pertinent well after newer versions of Lightroom CC and Classic are released.


I won't be able to watch all of this, but I purchased it anyway. Jared's ability to address the technical as well as the artistic aspects of Lightroom is unparalleled. He is one of my preferred presenters, especially for Lightroom. I especially appreciate how he has clarified the differences among the versions of Lightroom that are available. Thank you Jared!

Student Work