Like It or Not, You Need the Photos App to Share Your Pics

Adobe’s Lightroom is great… Until you realize it can’t do everything for you. Apple still holds the keys to using your shared photo albums in your iCloud account. If you don’t want to leave those behind, you’re going to need a Lightroom workaround to get your pics back into Apple’s Photos app…

Adobe’s Lightroom is great… Until you realize it can’t do everything for you. Apple still holds the keys to using your shared photo albums in your iCloud account. If you don’t want to leave those behind, you’re going to need a Lightroom workaround to get your pics back into Apple’s Photos app…

I was free! Free of Aperture, Apple’s expired photo-editing software. Last week, I successfully moved from Aperture to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6. I passed on upgrading to Apple’s newer Photos app for OS X, because it isn’t as powerful as its predecessor. I felt I had no choice but to jump ship and go over to the enemy.

Lot’s of folks love Lightroom. Plus, I knew I was joining an established and healthy photo-management ecosystem.

It was a brand new day, and I looked for the sunrise…
But it never came. I had left the Apple universe, and the benefits it provides.

Suddenly, I realized…
How was I going to share my photos with my family and friends?
Holy frak…!

No More iCloud Shared Albums?
Sure, I was newly empowered to edit and manage my family photos using Adobe’s advanced and robust Lightroom.
(Though I’m still trying to figure out how to export my edited photo ‘versions’ out of Aperture with their creation dates intact)

But I quickly realized my photo-sharing process had been cut off. Adobe software doesn’t have access to iCloud where I used to effortlessly create my shared photo albums for the rest of my iPhone-carrying community. All that took was a simple drag and drop in Aperture.
(Remember, I’m currently choosing not to use Apple’s Photos app, which of course would easily do the trick.)

Sure, Lightroom can share photos directly with Facebook and Flickr. But I really didn’t want to pain my peeps to visit a new place to view my pics. That could get complicated for some, and I’d lose them…

iCloud sharing was already so simple…

Spanked!
Deep down, I always knew I’d be punished for using a product that was better than Apple’s. Punished for my lack of faith…

Apple, please take me back!
I know there’s got to be a way to find the path back to my iCloud account…

And in fact… there is.
But there’s a catch.
It’s going to take an extra ‘few’ steps.

How to Move Your Lightroom Photos into iCloud’s Shared Albums
Here’s the strategy for the workaround…

You’ve just got to export your photos from Lightroom to a place where one of your Apple devices can open and save them via the Photos iOS app. Once ingested into Photos, you can then immediately add your pics to your shared albums.

Because I’ve left behind my old iPhoto and Aperture programs, and since I’m not using the Photos app on my iMac, I can’t do any of this using my Mac. Instead, I need to export my Lightroom pics to my iPhone or iPad. And then they can take my photos to the finish line!

There are several ways to do that…

The easiest path for your photos to travel from an iMac to an iPhone/iPad is via AirDrop.

Alternately, you can export your photos from Lightroom to a different cloud account that your iPhone/iPad can also connect to. Then, you would save the photos and quickly add them to your photo streams.

For example, let’s use Dropbox:

  • Export your photos from Lightroom to your Dropbox folder on your Mac
  • Open your Dropbox app in your iPhone/iPad to see the photos
  • Save the photos to your iPhone/iPad
    (Which brings them back into the Apple ecosystem)
  • Open the Photos app on your iPhone/iPad and tap the share icon
  • Tap iCloud Photo Sharing
  • Choose your “Shared Album”
  • Tap “Post”

Let Me Count the Ways
Okay… so that takes eight steps to accomplish what used to take two.
Not exactly quick and easy.

That’s why it’s called a workaround.
…But it gets the job done.

And it’s somewhat ironic that as much as I’m shunning Photos for OSX, the iOS version is absolutely essentially to continue using my Apple shared albums.

There’s also some collateral damage… you ending up storing these shared photos locally on your iPhone/iPad as a result of the process. Sure, you can delete these pics later to free up some storage, but that takes even more steps!

I suppose the silver lining is you’ve got a complete local backup of some of your best photos to use if you don’t have cloud connectivity on your iPhone/iPad.

That isn’t so bad… is it?

It would be a whole lot easier if Adobe and Apple played better together.

One can dream…