LR020 - Sharing LrC images with others

June 04, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

 

Sharing your LrC Images with others
(V01, June 2024)

This article discusses how to share images from LrC with others on the Internet or through email.

Most of us like to have other folks see our images and the most popular way to do that is to share them on the Internet.  But, there are many ways one can do that – some are somewhat easy and some are more complicated.  Here are some examples that I’ll talk about in this article:

  1. Upload images to social media such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X, Etc. or image sharing sites such as Google Photos, Flickr, SnugMug, 500px, Apple Photos, Etc.
  2. Put images in a file sharing system such as Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive, Etc. and share the link with others
  3. Email limited number of small versions of your images
  4. Create a web page for a group of images using LrC or LR and share the link
  5. Build a custom web site using Adobe Portfolio
  6. Build a web site with Web Module
  7. Build a web site  using non Adobe services such as SmugMug, Zenfolio,

Lightroom has facilities for several of these options.  So let’s start at the top.

Social Media & Image Sharing Sites

Most social media sites these days have the ability for you to upload and share images.  Some examples are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Many of these allow you to place your images into folders, albums or collections. 

In addition to these are sites that are designed for the sharing of images.  These sites tend have a bit more flexibility and also include social media aspects like posting messages, adding comments to images, allowing “likes” or “favorites” and permitting others to include your images in their galleries. Some examples of these sorts of services are Google Photos, Flickr, SmugMug, and Apple Photos.   Some of these services have a few rudimentary image editing capabilities thrown in as well.

Placing your images in such services can be done in a couple of different ways.  In the base case you simply export selected images to a temporary folder on your computer and then log onto the web service and upload the images into the photo stream and/or folders/albums/collections you create on the service.  Below is an example from Flickr.

03 LR020 #02 Flickr Example home page03 LR020 #02 Flickr Example home page

A second method of managing images in some of these websites is to use an LrC feature called Publish Services.  Using an adobe or a 3rd party Publish Service plug-in simply allows you to manage the content of your images on the web service from within LrC itself.  In most cases you can create folders or albums on the service as well as add and delete images from the service.  In addition LrC keeps track of any changes you make to images in LrC and then gives you the opportunity to update those changed images on the web service – all from within LrC.  With Publish services in LrC you see your albums/folders in LrC along with the images in each.

Below is an example from my Flickr publish service showing one Flickr Album

04 LR020 #03 Pub Serv Fllickr_04 LR020 #03 Pub Serv Fllickr_

Here’s that same album as seen in Flickr itself.

05 LR020 #04 Flickr one Gallery05 LR020 #04 Flickr one Gallery

Another benefit of using LrC Publish Services is that in many cases comments on your images entered on line by your followers come back to LrC and can be viewed in a special section of the Metadata panel.

Cloud File Sharing Services

There are many cloud file storage/sharing systems on the market today and most have an amount of storage you can use for free before having to pay for more.  Some of the more popular ones are Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive and Google Drive. 

Some of these tools are designed to act like an additional disk drive on your computer and can accept pretty much any type of computer file.  These types are many times integrated with your operating system and mirror the content of a designated folder from your computer to the cloud.  For others you need to upload files from your computer to folders in the cloud system.  Some of these tools have web viewers that can display the content of the most popular file types such as Word , Excel , PDF files, and JPG images. 

I’m not going to teach you how to set up or use these services, however from LrC just export the images to a folder on your computer.  If the folder you export to automatically syncs with the cloud service then that is all there is to it.  If not, then after the export completes, open the cloud service in a Web browser and upload the images from the folder.

Attach images to an Email

If your preferred sharing method is to attach images to email messages, you can do that as well.  However as I’m sure you’ve discovered if you do this much is that email servers have a size limit of how large an email can be.  This size limit includes the message itself plus the size of the attachments.

With LrC you can do this in two ways.  As in each of the above cases you can simply export JPG’s of your images (probably with reduced size) to a temporary folder and then attach those image files to an email message.

If you’d like to skip a step or two in that process you can chose the “For Email” preset from the Export Dialog or pick any other preset and then change the “Export To:” box at the top of the dialog box to “Email”. 

06 LR020 #05 Export as email dialog box06 LR020 #05 Export as email dialog box

Doing this will cause your selected images to be exported to a temporary folder as before but instead of just stopping there the export process will then invoke your system default email client with the “new message” option selected and with the exported images already attached.  Then all you need to do is supply the email address(es) of the recipient(s), add a subject and type a message.

07 LR020 #06 Outlook Compose07 LR020 #06 Outlook Compose

Single Webpage on Adobe Server containing LrC images

So, now we’re going to get to features built into LR (Lightroom cloud based) and LrC (Lightroom Classic).  The first is a simple creation of a single web page hosted on an Adobe Server and accessible to anyone with the URL. The good news is that you are already paying for this feature with your Adobe Plan so there is no extra cost unless you run out of cloud storage space.

First turn on syncing between LrC and the LR/Cloud ecosystems if not already on (Edit -> Preferences menu, Lightroom Sync tab).  You will have to sign on with your Adobe ID if not already signed on.  

Then “start” syncing.  To start syncing prior to LrC/10, click the down arrow to the right of the identity plate and click “Start” on the first line
08 LR020 #07 Sync status old08 LR020 #07 Sync status old

After LrC/10 (or perhaps LrC/9.4) , they moved this option to a cloud icon at the right end of the top panel group. 
01 LR020 #08 Sync status New Start01 LR020 #08 Sync status New Start

In either case, Click the “Start Syncing” button in the pop up box.

Once syncing is turned on and running, create a regular collection in the normal manner and populate it with images you want to share.  You can’t use Smart Collections for this.

Follow this by enabling sync for that collection.  You can do this by right clicking on the collection name and selecting “Sync with Lightroom”.  You’ll know the collection is syncing when it has a double headed arrow to the left of the collection name.  You can also turn sync on and off by clicking on this icon (or the place where the icon should be).

When viewing a collection that is set to sync, you will get a line above the filter bar in the Grid view.  At the right end of this line will be a button labeled “Make Public”.

11 LR020 #10 Make Public button11 LR020 #10 Make Public button

If you click this button, it will create a web page containing the images in the collection and the button will change to “Make Private”.  The URL of this web page will show up just to the left of this button. Clicking “Make Private” will remove the web page.

12 LR020 #11 URL of Web Page12 LR020 #11 URL of Web Page

Click on the URL and you’ll go to that web page.

01 LR020 #12 Make Public Web Page01 LR020 #12 Make Public Web Page

 

Anyone you give the short URL to (found above the filter bar in LrC) or the full URL it resolves to in your web browser will be able to see the page.  Here’s a sample “shared” LrC Collection Example of "Make Public" LrC Collection

Custom Web Site using Adobe Portfolio

While sharing a collection is easy and quick, the resulting web page is rather simple and is a unique individual page per collection - if there are too many images for one page you'll be able to go to additional pages for the remaining images.  But it is not an integrated set of pages which would be considered a web site.  But, Adobe has another product called Adobe Portfolio which is also included in your plan.  This product is a more robust photo website builder tool.  It is a bit more complicated but is substantially more configurable and the result is a web site (not just a page) with navigation between pages and many other features.  With Portfolio you start with a template and then customize from there to your hearts desire.

Here’s a link to my demo Portfolio website Example of a Portfolio web site (home page shown below)

01 LR020 #00 Sample Page01 LR020 #00 Sample Page

I am not going to teach you everything there is to know about Adobe Portfolio in this article but will give you enough to get started and create a basic website. 

Go to https://portfolio.adobe.com/.  If you’re not already logged into your Adobe Account, click the Sign In button at the top right and log in.  On the login screen you may want to check the “Stay logged in” button so you don’t have to keep logging back in.  You will now get a welcome screen with a “New Site” button (white plus sign in blue circle).  If you already have one or more Portfolio websites they will also be shown and you can pick one to edit.

The first step is to pick a theme for what you want your website to look like.  This can be changed later and can be tweaked (for example if you don’t like their choice of colors or fonts) as well. But for now just pick a theme.

14 LR020 #13 PF Theme selection14 LR020 #13 PF Theme selection

For this example, I selected theme “Hegen”.

What you see next depends on which theme you selected.  The screen will show you a sample page for the selected theme.  Click the “Use this Theme” at the top right

15 LR020 #14 PF use this theme15 LR020 #14 PF use this theme

Next you’ll get a blank version of the landing page for the selected theme.  As you move the mouse around, you’ll get a little blue pop up button that allows you to edit the content of each section.  For example, the top center is the “masthead” section and if you click the Edit button you can change the text as well as the font, colors, etc.  Depending on which section you edit, the editing tools may be different.  For example, if you click in the grid you can change the number of rows and columns and add space between the cells.

From here there are all sorts of things you can do, but probably you should start by adding pages with your images.  In the menu of things on the left is an “Add Page” button (plus sign in blue circle) at the top right.  Click it and you’ll get a list of page types you can add.  You can also click the “Pages” menu item to see a list pages already present and the “Add Page” button is at the bottom of the list of pages.

18 LR020 #21 Add Page menu18 LR020 #21 Add Page menu

In this example we want to add pages for LR/Cloud Albums (which came from synced LrC Collections) so we choose the “Lightroom Album” option.  Clicking “Lightroom Album” will then take you to a screen showing you all your Adobe Lightroom folders and albums.  These are the ones in the Adobe Cloud which may or may not have come from syncing collections from Lightroom Classic.  The top section contains the Adobe/Cloud Folders and the bottom section are individual albums.  Click on an album or click on a folder to see the albums in that folder.

19 LR020 #21b PF Select Cloud Album19 LR020 #21b PF Select Cloud Album

In this case I clicked on my “Subject” folder, then I selected the “Wildlife” album (as shown below) and clicked the “Import Selected” button.  This will build a page for that album by importing the images from Lightroom/Cloudy.  As before, you can mouse over things like the album name and change them.

20 LR020 #21c Select Cloud Album 220 LR020 #21c Select Cloud Album 2

 

You can now go back and add other albums as desired.  

Once you have a bunch of PF pages created from your Lightroom images, you can then create a page from which the user can pick which one they want to see.  PF calls this type of page a “Collection” but I’ll call these “PF Collection” pages to differentiate them from “LrC Collections”.  These are pages containing a grid of PF Albums to choose from.  This is like a menu of albums. Here’s an example of a PF Collection page of albums by Subject.

21 LR020 #22 PF Colleciton page sample21 LR020 #22 PF Colleciton page sample

Using this same menu you can also add these page types:

  • A custom page you design on your own
  • A welcome page (Home Page)
  • Or a link to another website.

As was the case with the initial home page, each page is made up of blocks (or sections) of data and you can alter the look and text in each block.  As you hover your mouse over these different blocks on the screen, a blue “Edit” button will pop up and if you select it, a dialog box will appear in the left panel with all the changes you can make.  For example in the above PF Collection block I made it 4 columns wide and put a bit of space between the thumbnails.  Had I clicked on the edit button on the mast head, I could change the text and the font attributes.

You can then build a menu across the top of your PF website.  This menu can contain the names of your pages, PF Collections and a few other things.  You turn on this menu using the “Navigation” tool in the left panel.  Click the slider button to the right to turn it on and then select which types of items you want on the menu.  Below is what I selected the result of which you can see.

23 LR020 #24 Menu Navigation23 LR020 #24 Menu Navigation

Anyway, that’s a quick get started set of steps.  I’m sure you can find more detailed info on the internet about all the functions and features of Adobe Portfolio.  If you dig down it can be quite customizable, but has some shortcomings.

The net is that you can build a pretty good website but a couple of things.  One is that images are populated into the PF Albums when you create the PF Page.  Subsequent changes to the LR/Cloud Album (probably synced to a LrC Collection) do not migrate to the PF Album page unless you

  1. Click the “Pages” menu item in the left panel
  2. Click the gear icon on the PF collection name
  3. Click “Reset from Lightroom”
  4. Repeat for each PF album needing to be updated
  5. Click “Update Website” at the bottom of the left panel

22 LR020 #23 Refresh Images22 LR020 #23 Refresh Images

Web Module

Way back in the early releases of LR (as it was called then), they added the “Web” module to the program.  This was way before LR/Cloud was even an idea.  This is a very rudimentary web page builder tool that has for the most part become obsolete – not that it was ever that useful. 

What you do is that using this module you build what will become a web page containing the images selected. 

24 LR020 #25  Web Module tool24 LR020 #25 Web Module tool

Then you export (or upload) the web page content as a file to your computer.  In the exported folder you can click on the “Index.html” file and see your generated web site.  The next step is to copy this code to a Web Server someplace where others can access it.  The generated website looks like what you see in the central viewing area of the Web Module.

There’s nothing really wrong or bad about the Web Module, but in order to make it visible to others you’ll have to have access to a web server someplace and would also probably need to create (register) a domain name for your website and deal with all the issues involved with managing a web site (security, hacking, backup, Etc.).  So, in general more work than its worth considering that you now have all these other options.

Non Adobe Custom Web Site

The last option is to create a custom website using a commercial development tool.  There are many on the market and each one can be anywhere from simple for non techies to complicated needing programming skills and anywhere from one size fits all to highly customizable.  The simpler and less customizable sites may be better for folks who just want to get something up and not spend a lot of time on it.  On the other hand, tools that allow more customization or even programming will take longer to learn, and customize but you have way more control over the final product.  It is really up to you.

Some popular such tools are

  • SmugMug
  • Flickr
  • Zenfolio
  • WordPress

SmugMug and Zenfolio are template driven (similar to Portfolio) but more sophisticated and more configurable than Portfolio.  These two also have 3rd party plug-in for LrC Publish Services which allow you to manage the images and folder/album/collection structures on the website from within LrC.  I use Zenfolio for my website (www.danhartfordphoto.com) but SmugMug is an equally fine choice. 

WordPress on the other hand is a generic website framework that can be used to build any sort of website.  It is incredibly flexible, but is high maintenance.  It is constantly changing and unless you put in a fair amount of effort keeping an eye on upcoming changes and testing new versions, sometimes those changes can cause your website to behave differently or even to break.  I do not suggest this type of tool unless you want to go through a steep learning curve and then devote a fair amount of time being an IT department for your website.

 

 


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