Synology + Lightroom CC

Photo by Martin Zangerl on Unsplash
  • Synology — Moments App — automatically uploads my files to my Synology NAS. This lives in my house. No organization, pure backup.
  • Google Photos — Cloud storage, and primary Organization Tools. The AI is awesome, right till your kid starts tell The GOOG that your brother is your son and then it goes stupid.
  • Dropbox — all photos are uploaded to this dropbox cloud storage as well.
  1. Photo Organization — albums, folders
  2. Simple Photo Editing
  3. Storage of Raw Files — No Google JPG compression
  4. Optional — Edit anywhere, Cloud based
  1. Go birding.
  2. Take thousands of photos.
  3. Come home exhausted.
  4. Plug camera in, import photos.
  5. Organize, identify, and edit, all while being a full time parent.
Current Single Album Scrolling Hell, but easy Process
  1. Organization — the ability to quickly and easily organize photos, as well as ability to process thousands of photos without spending significant time.
  2. Backup — With the quality and time invested, there was no way that she wants to lose any of these photos. This is why my personal photos are backed up in 2 cloud locations and a local location.
  3. Editing — Any solution needs to have the ability to do basic editing and cleanup. My wife is not yet a Photoshop wizard, but she is decently technical and really artistic.
  1. It protects against a primary source not being available anymore. So, if your primary source is the cloud, and the network is not available, you can still view your photos.
  2. It provides a local copy that might be faster to access. Your hard drive (and even a NAS) is faster than the cloud, unless you are doing something really wrong. Plus, you don’t incur internet bandwidth charges, which might be good if you are in a hotel or have a bandwidth cap.
  1. Luminar — AI powered features, very basic organization, incredible AI filters for casual photographers, one time purchase, no mobile aps, requires additional computer investment to allow her to work not on my computer… can be used in conjunction with Lightroom Classic.
  2. Exposure X6 — Can be used with Dropbox, Good presets, Decent organization, desktop based.
  3. Capture One — huh. This has a monthly plan as well. Highly rated, but REALLY detailed — like Lightroom and Photoshop had a baby.
  • Were local only. (IE — required significant investment in another computer to even do basic organization.)
  • Had no organization capability — no smart folders, limited albums, etc.
  • Had a monthly fee
  • Were overly complex or not complex enough
  • Did not handle large libraries (10,000+ pictures, which when you can shoot 1000 shots a day, is not a lot)
  • Required a new computer for even basic organization.
  • Had a yearly fee if I intended to get new features every year by purchasing the software every year.
  • Had a fee, but did not include cloud storage.
  • Lightroom CC handles my needs — it is simple, powerful, and does what my wife needs.
  • Lightroom CC comes with desktop and mobile apps. This allows her to organize from a non-desktop. I’ve even done basic editing from my phone, cropping and touching up photos.
  • Lightroom CC plan comes with Adobe Portfolio site to easily set up a photo sharing site — this could be a huge boon for my wife, who just wants to share photos and show off her work.
  • Lightroom CC comes with a newly redesigned desktop app that helps causal and professional photographers have a simple workflow. I don’t want to force my wife to wade through hundreds of tutorials to do basic editing — she could do it, but it’s not what she wants to do.
  • Lightroom CC can import photos from a mobile phone, from a camera hooked to a mobile phone, and from a desktop or camera hooked to a desktop.
  • Lightroom CC has great organization features, smart folders, AI search, and people categorization. All of these are necessary in today’s world of billions of photos.
  • Lightroom CC allows us to one click adjust a photo — “Auto” they call it. It’s pretty good if you’re in a hurry.
  • Lightroom CC has a monthly fee, but comes with storage, and constant new features.
  • Lightroom CC makes it easy to keep my originals and other photos safe and in my control.
  • Google Drive was $5\TB
  • Dropbox was $5\TB… except that Dropbox didn’t allow you to add storage by the TB, capping out at 2–5 TB total, depending on your plan.
  • SmugMug was $7 a month for unlimited storage, but did not provide the apps or editing.
Point to Where your SMB share is mounted
  1. Buy an external drive with enough storage for my photos.
  2. Set the local copy to be on this drive.
  3. Utilize the Synology Drive Client to back this drive up to the Synology.
  • Any time you have your external drive, you have your photos, with no network required.
  • You have a full backup on the Synology, with the ability to recover accidentally deleted files.
  1. File Added to Lightroom CC from a different client while Lightroom Desktop is not running — it will be added to local storage the next time Lightroom Desktop is started.
  2. File Deleted from Lightroom CC while Lightroom Desktop is not running — it will be eventually deleted from local storage when you start up Lightroom Desktop again.
  1. Go birding.
  2. Take thousands of photos.
  3. Come home exhausted.
  4. Plug camera in, watch it import.
  5. Go to sleep.
  6. Over the next day or so, she uses her mobile \ tablet to get rid of any so obviously blurry photos that they are no good. Right now, that’s about 50–70%.
  7. She also tags any that are immediate keepers and warrant further post-processing. This is a one click operation using the “Pick” flag.
  8. And she stars any that are useful for identifying, but not for doing much else with, with 1 star. These can be identified later and removed from the library.
  9. This is all done while being a full-time parent with small children. Fun!
  • Lessons from the community — you can easily learn more tips and tricks from the community. They are included in the plan, and look fantastic — with more added every month.
  • Ability to edit other people’s photos and learn — interactive editing, they call it, and it shows how other photographers got the photo they wanted, as well as allowing you to edit the photo and try your skills.
  • Adobe lessons — like community lessons, but even more polished.
  • Great Support — I had an issue, and I was actually able to engage development through the support forum at: Within 2 days, I had engaged a representative, and actually had engineering engaged.
  • Great User Community — engaged and willing to help:
  • Pricing — This was actually my major concern. But, for $10\month, I’m getting 1TB of storage, or enough for 55,555 Originals at about 18MB an original. (20MP Camera Olympus RAW format) Unlike some other cloud options, I can add additional storage easily, and there does not appear to be a maximum cap. I can add Photoshop and other apps in the future. And, I am getting a full Website host that easily integrates with my Photo software. All in all, not a bad deal for best in class applications and software.
  • Healing Brush — This is a cool feature I wanted to call out — essentially it’s an AI clone and feather brush. I was able to remove some branches I didn’t like in the hawk shot that I touched up below.
  • Shared Albums — something that doesn’t seem like much for a photo editing software, but it is quite nice to not have to go to another interface to share photos with other people. It’s very much like Google Photos — just go and give them a link and set view permissions.
  • AI Sensei — surfacing your best photos, as well as helping you search your photos.
  • Multi-computer — Run this software on multiple computers, web, and mobile devices.
These branches, on the right side of the photo…. were removed by me
Honestly, it’s kind of magic!



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Allan Graves

Allan Graves

Years of technology experience have given me a unique perspective on many things, including parenting, climate change, etc. Or maybe I’m just opinionated.