Lightroom Publish Services: The hidden gem that everyone needs

Jul 29, 2018

Andrew Appleton

Andrew Appleton is a UK based photographer, trainer and presenter. Over the last 7 years he has run workshops and presented at events all over the world. With a background in theatrical photography it is no surprise he has a passion for dance images.

Lightroom Publish Services: The hidden gem that everyone needs

Jul 29, 2018

Andrew Appleton

Andrew Appleton is a UK based photographer, trainer and presenter. Over the last 7 years he has run workshops and presented at events all over the world. With a background in theatrical photography it is no surprise he has a passion for dance images.

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Question for you: who uses the Lightroom Publish services? If you do, you’re probably already enjoying the time it’s saving you. Sleeping in later, enjoying extended holidays, spending more time with the kids etc. Ah, choices, choices.

OK, I might be exaggerating. A little. But really, the humble Publish function in LR has to be one of the best tools a busy photographer can have – and it’s been hiding in plain sight if the folks I talk to about it are anything to go by. Trust me. It just saves so much time!

Why? How? Well let’s start by taking a quick look at the nature and functionality of Lightroom. As well as being an excellent RAW convertor, it’s a brilliant organiser of images – I have over 250,000 in my main catalogue and I can rapidly locate anything using a variety of search criteria. I can even find all the images I took at a certain ISO with a selection of camera bodies. And I only store locally the original RAW or PSD files – OK I have some JPGs in the catalogue as well but these are my original full sized-images when I shoot JPG in camera. I don’t store a selection of different-sized files for different purposes with a variety of watermarks – for Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, website use etc. So what do I do instead? I Publish!

Using Publish, I set up different services which means I can drag and drop my master file on presets for Facebook, Flickr, SmugMug etc. The presets contain all the relevant information on size, watermark, sharpening, meta tags etc. Within seconds, my original file has been uploaded to several social media locations and with absolutely no duplicates on my local drives.

I also publish to Google Drive and Dropbox, using the Hard Drive Publish function and the ‘Smart’ criteria which is based on an automatic colour coding and starring system. Instantly, all my 5 star images are in my ‘Dropbox 5 Star’ folder and available on my phone and tablet. Magic.

As well as the built-in Publish modules that ship with Lightroom, there are dozens available from third parties. I already mentioned SmugMug but take a look at Jeffrey Friedl’s excellent range. The LR Facebook Publish service only works with an FB profile whereas Jeffrey’s will publish to pages and groups as well.

What’s the difference between exporting and publishing? A good question. Well, exporting is a one-time, one-way event. Not so with Publish which will ask if you want a re-edited image updated and, in some cases, will even pull back information such as comments into Lightroom.

Listed below are currently my Favourite Lightroom Publish Plugins:

Also, try Jeffrey Friedl’s Collection Publisher which replicates a Lightroom Collection structure to a hard drive – very handy! Try using it with a USB drive when you need to take images out and about with you.

So get your life back and start using the Publish Plugins! Of course, if you’re anything like me, you will use all the time you claw back on those other photography-related tasks you never had time for in the past. Well, didn’t I say it was all about choices?

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Andrew Appleton

Andrew Appleton

Andrew Appleton is a UK based photographer, trainer and presenter. Over the last 7 years he has run workshops and presented at events all over the world. With a background in theatrical photography it is no surprise he has a passion for dance images.

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8 responses to “Lightroom Publish Services: The hidden gem that everyone needs”

  1. Jeffrey Friedl Avatar
    Jeffrey Friedl

    Thanks for the kind mentions, Andrew. Just a heads up, though, that Facebook is revoking photo-upload privileges for all desktop apps next week (Aug 2), so all Lightroom plugins for Facebook will cease to work. I put high-ups at Adobe and Facebook together to try to get an exception for Adobe’s plugin (and perhaps mine), but no go. )-:

    1. Motti Bembaron Avatar
      Motti Bembaron

      I wonder if Facebook ever really gave a hoot about its users…no, not really.

      Great plugins, good work.

  2. Matthew Crosby Avatar
    Matthew Crosby

    HI Andrew, also available is Lightroom to tumblr

    http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/tumblr

  3. ext237 Avatar
    ext237

    Here is one for Meetup.com albums. http://lightupplugin.com/

  4. tmcdonough Avatar
    tmcdonough

    Hi, good article, I haven’t tried using the publishing for Google. I primarily use the smugmug service and was looking for information on how to organize all the collections Ive published through the service. Over time I have a long list in the tray and haven’t found a way to consolidate them, or can they be deleted?

  5. Tangle Foto Avatar
    Tangle Foto

    Does anyone know where the lightroom plugin for Smugmug smart gallery settings are kept? Is it in the Lightroom catalog?

    1. Tangle Foto Avatar
      Tangle Foto

      Now that I have restored the backup I see it is in the catalog.

  6. Noel Hanigan Avatar
    Noel Hanigan

    Hi, Just a question, is there a way to make the publish update a number of services all at one time (or in sequential order)? Thanks in advance, regards Noel