Aug 092016

Where Did Lightroom Put My Photos??If I had a dollar for every Lightroom user who doesn’t understand where Lightroom put their photos, for every user who has deleted the photos they found in Pictures because they thought Lightroom had its own copy in a database somewhere, and for every user who has question marks on their folders and “missing file” warnings in the Develop module because they thought that the only way to reorganize was to go out to Finder or Explorer, I would be retired and just writing this blog for fun.  And yet it didn’t have to be this way – I think there would be far fewer tears (albeit still some) if Adobe had made one small change to default behavior in the Folders panel.

(Don’t get me wrong by the title of this post though – I love the Lightroom team and for the most part I love what they have developed for us.)

That said, who would guess that the Lightroom Folders panel that by default looks something like this:

Default Lightroom Folders Panel Behavior

A Sample Folders Panel with the Default Behavior

can be quickly set up to show you where your photos reside on your hard drive(s)? Who would guess from this default view that you can use the Folders panel to reorganize your files and folders (on your hard drive) without getting the dreaded question marks and missing files warnings that plague new and experienced users? Here’s an example of a much more useful Folders panel:

Lightroom Folders Panel with Folder Hierarchy Revealed

A Folders Panel with the Folder Hierarchy Revealed (and Folders Renamed to Include Descriptions)

By default the Folders panel only shows you the specific folders that you imported, not where they reside on your hard drive. I consider this decision by Adobe to be one of the biggest mistakes they have made with Lightroom. Nevertheless, I haven’t convinced them to change this default behavior, so I’m writing this article to make sure you know how you can fix it. (Of course if you’ve watched my Fundamentals & Beyond video series, you already know this.)

Setting the Folders panel up to show folder locations (i.e. the folder hierarchy):

  • Right-click (Ctl-click with a one-button mouse) on any folder that doesn’t appear to reside inside another and choose Show Parent Folder to reveal what folder it resides in.  Right-click on this revealed folder to show its parent, and so on, until you can see exactly where all your folders reside.
  • If you reveal a folder that you decide later that you don’t want to see, right-click on it again and choose Hide Parent. For example, if you reveal that Pictures lives within your name folder within Users within C:, and later decide that seeing folders up to the Pictures level is sufficient, right-click and hide C:, then hide Users, then your name folder.   Note that you can’t hide a folder that has photos sitting directly in it (rather than just in subfolders) – if you don’t see a Hide option when you right-click, this is why.
  • That’s it!

Now that you can see your hierarchy you can use the Folders panel to:

  • Finally understand where your photos reside on your hard drive. Now that you do, be sure that your hard-drive backup program backs up this location since Lightroom does not back up your photos.
  • Create subfolders. For example, to create 2016 within Pictures, right-click on Pictures and choose Create Folder Inside “Pictures”, and type 2016.
  • Move folders by dragging and dropping. For example, move your 2016-05-15 folder into 2016 by dragging it and dropping it on top of 2016. This moves the folder on your hard drive, not just in Lightroom. Doing it from within Lightroom keeps Lightroom (and therefore you) happy. Doing this reorganization outside of Lightroom – out in Mac Finder / Windows Explorer (My Computer) –  is what causes the question marks and missing file messages – Lightroom can’t see you do this, so it no longer knows where your files are and is pretty upset with you – this sentiment is usually mutual!
  • Watch my video tutorial from an old version of my Fundamentals & Beyond series for more on how to use the Folders panel to reorganize your folders and photos.

Once your folders are all nicely organized, take the next step to making the Folders panel truly useful – click on each of your date folders, look at what photos it contains, and then rename the folder to include a description of the shoot: right-click on your folder, choose Rename, and click after the date to add the description (or delete the date if you don’t want it – just keep in mind that this will change the order that your folders appear in the list from chronological to alphabetical).

Finally let me say that I wouldn’t have the default behavior be to reveal parent folders all the way up to C: or Mac HD – it would just be to reveal the folder structure up to the folder selected in the Destination panel in the Import dialog. Most people organize by date, with Pictures selected. The Folders panel in this scenario would therefore automatically show Pictures, and the date folders within it.

PS: I’m ultimately in favor of an optional managed-database solution, where management of files would be taken out of the hands of users so that new users are better protected. In this scheme, more experienced users or computer-savvy users would continue to be able to choose the current referenced-file solution. In the meantime though, as someone who works with beginners, I do not understand the decision, stuck to for years, to hide from users where their files are and to not make clearly accessible the option to reorganize folders using the Folders panel.


Jul 262016

Furthering Adobe’s goal of allowing you to enjoy your edited photos anywhere, Lightroom for Apple TV was introduced today. With a Creative Cloud subscription and the app from the app store, you’ll be able to play slideshows of your synced collections of photos, stop and zoom to see image detail, navigate to any individual photo with a filmstrip, and share your photos. You’ll need a fourth-generation Apple TV and a Creative Cloud subscription to sign in with. Get the Lightroom app from the Apple TV app store.

Lightroom for Apple TV

Read the Adobe announcement, or more how-to from Victoria Bampton, the Lightroom Queen.

Jul 262016

Lightroom 6.6.1 / CC 2015.6.1 What's NewLightroom 6.6.1 and CC 2015.6.1 were released this morning with support for the new Fujifilm X-T2 camera, and high-priority bug fixes, including a fix for the memory-leak performance issue introduced in the last update. This is a free update to Lightroom 6 and CC.

How to Update

If Lightroom doesn’t prompt you to update, go to Help>Updates. Creative Cloud subscribers can also use their Creative Cloud app – go to the Apps tab and click on Update next to Lightroom CC. If you are reading this on the release date (July 26) and the updates aren’t yet available, you can download the file directly and then double-click on it to run it. Download here: Mac Windows, then double-click on the file to run the update.

It’s always a good idea to back up your Lightroom catalog before updating. If Lightroom doesn’t prompt you to back up when you close it, then go to Edit (PC) or Lightroom (Mac) > Catalog Settings, and on the General tab set Back Up to “When Lightroom next exits”, and then close Catalog Settings and Lightroom.

If you experience problems with this release, or bugs anytime, you can report them to Adobe here.

Bugs Fixed


  • Lightroom would become slow due to high memory usage after navigating through images in Develop


  • When printer profiles in the Print module on Mac, prints were dark and colors were incorrect

Plugin Support

  • Crashes with the SmugMug publish services plugin


  • Import freezes and causes memory error
  • Import Destination folder selection gets reset  after every import rather than remembering previous selection (Correction – it looks like this isn’t fixed, at least on Mac.)
  • Uncompressed DNGs converted from Fuji X-E2 RAF were being corrupted


  • The Guided Upright tool would crash if you clicked instead of dragged
  • Shift-T no longer worked for the brush in the graduated and radial filter tools


  • When merging smart previews, progress bar staye on-screen
  • Error on merging 10+ images
  • Prevented from creating a panorama from two HDR DNG source images.


  • Native Mac OS full-screen support has been restored
  • Issues with modal dialog behavior fixed

Video Support

  • Error message was displayed, “Direct 2D is not installed” even if the OGL was available

Lightroom Mobile/Web Sync

  • Unnecessary resync of collections to Lightroom mobile after an update.

Jul 132016

Lightroom mobile 2.4 - raw support and local adjustmentsBig news today for iPad and iPhone users: you can now import raw files from your camera or memory card into Lightroom mobile and edit them, and these original files and their edits will sync back to Lightroom on your desktop. This was already possible with JPEGs, but now that we have raw support, you might be able to  travel without your laptop!

Download the 2.4 update for Lightroom mobile from the App store.

Here’s a list of what else is new for iPads and iPhones:

  • Lightroom mobile iOS 2.4 adds two of Lightroom Desktop’s local adjustment tools – the radial filter and graduated filter (renamed the radial and linear selection tools, respectively)
  • New import settings to turn on lens profile corrections and add your copyright
  • Also turn on/of lens profile corrections in Edit view
  • New keyboard shortcuts for iPads with a keyboard connected

Android Improvements

  • In the camera, a new pro mode that lets you control the shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and focus all manually, in a new interface.
  • A Lightroom camera widget to allow you to launch the camera directly, without having to open Lightroom mobile
  • You can now export full resolution files – if the full resolution file is available in mobile, desktop or web, it will be downloaded and served to export.
Import Raw Files onto Your iPad or iPhone and Work with Them in Lightroom Mobile

This new functionality is intended to allow you to work with your photos before you can get home to your desktop computer. It does of course require that you have enough space on your iPad for the raw files – check how much space you have by going into LrM settings – in Collections view tap on the LR icon in the top left – you’ll see disk usage at the bottom of the panel. Note that initially you’ll need twice as much space as your raw files require, since you’ll actually start out with two copies of each file – read on for details on why, and see the section towards the bottom of this article for space-saving tips.

Raw files from all cameras supported by Lightroom Desktop 6.6 / 2015.6 are supported in Lightroom mobile. (If your camera is too new for 6.6/2015.6 to support it, Lightroom mobile won’t support it either.)

Importing and loading will be much quicker on newer iPads than on old ones – I have an original  iPad mini, and importing takes about 15 seconds per 12 MP file, and every time I choose a raw file in LrM to edit, it takes a while to load.

Here’s how to get your raw files into Lightroom Mobile: Continue reading »

Jun 272016

PGO Lightroom Training - Book, Print, Web, SlideshowI am pleased to announce the availability of my updated Lightroom CC/6 and 5: Producing Great Output video series!

In this  series of over 12 hours of training for Lightroom 5, 6, and CC users, you’ll learn to create beautiful prints, photo books, slideshows and web galleries using Lightroom. I’ll also help you to finally understand critical but seemingly intimidating concepts like color management (why your output doesn’t look like what you see on-screen and what you can do about it), resolution and size, JPEG quality, sharpening, etc.

Save 10% by purchasing Lightroom CC/6 and 5: Producing Great Output together with  Lightroom CC/6 and 5: The Fundamentals & Beyond , and get a total of over 27 hours of training on more than 130 videos!

Learn why customers have raved about previous editions and why Photosource International has called my videos “The best and easiest way to master Lightroom…superb…perfect for both beginners and intermediate level Lightroom users and will impress advanced users as well…The next best thing to having a great expert at your side…a great value!”

Click here for more details and to purchase this Lightroom training.
Jun 112016

Lightroom - no lens profile for Olympus, Fuji, Sony, otherIf you have ever tried to find a lens profile in the Lens Corrections panel for lenses for an Olympus, Sony, Fuji, or other mirrorless or compact camera, you know that there are none available. That said, you don’t have to create a custom lens profile.  Photographs from these cameras are too distorted to use without corrections applied, so Lightroom applies these corrections automatically rather than giving you the choice of whether to apply them or not.  If you are using Lightroom 6 or CC and you leave “Enable Profile Corrections” unchecked, you’ll see a message at the bottom of the Lens Corrections panel stating, “Built-in Lens Profile applied.” Note that this message will not appear if you check “Enable Profile Corrections” or if you are using a smart preview – nevertheless the built-in profile is still applied.

If you still see barrel or pincushion distortion or lens vignetting, which are issues that lens profiles are designed to fix, then you can go to the Manual tab and use the Distortion and Vignetting sliders to apply stronger corrections.

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