July 4, 2016

The Lightroom/SmugMug Super Combo

I've been working hard on getting my image library into pristine condition since switching from Apple's Aperture to Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop a while back (see previous posts). This last winter I did a bunch of research on backing up my ever-growing and precious bank of images, and man, there so many options. Hard drives? RAID array? Cloud? Discs? Well, no, not discs - that's so old school!

Hard drives are certainly getting affordable - 2 TB models are a sweet spot at around $100 or less. But they can fail. So I knew something online would be best. I settled on using my long-time SmugMug account (alwpics.com), since I already pay for a subscription to keep the site alive as a showpiece. Since they offer unlimited cloud storage and use an iron-clad backup process, I reasoned that SmugMug just makes sense.

So I set up the excellent Lightroom plug-in from SmugMug, started creating Smart Galleries to capture keywording, and developed a relatively simple process to store all my photos on the site, not just the ones I considered worth sharing (I can make folders, galleries or images private).

So now I have a great process. I store all my images on my iMac, back them all up to a small external hard drive, and back them up to my SmugMug site, all with Lightroom as the primary tool. It's great, generally simple, and even fun. And I can access my site on all my devices, from my Kindle Fire, Android phone, or even the kids' iPads. Great combo, and what nice age to be living in!

Oh and on these posts about digitizing my old "analog" photo albums - 1991 is done, 1992 is in progress and 1993-2002 are still in queue. Many more hours of that to come!