Lightroom Tips

The Photosmith App for Lightroom and the iPad

Earlier in the summer, Photosmith released version 3 of their iPad app for Lightroom. Photosmith was really the first on the scene with iPad/Lightroom interaction years ago, and I’ve always had the app installed on my tablet. But it’s not until recently that I really started using it to help manage my photos from Lightroom to my iPad.

What is Photosmith?
In a nutshell, Photosmith is an iPad app that helps you keep your photos organized, and helps bridge the gap between Lightroom and your iPad. Whether you’re going to import your photos directly to your iPad and sync them with Lightroom later – or you’ve imported them into Lightroom, but want to view them (or rate, tag, keyword, add copyright info) on your iPad, it helps you stay in sync.

How It Works
Overall, I have to say it’s really easy to use. There’s two components to the app. First, you purchase the app on the App Store. Once you’ve got the app installed on your iPad, you’ll need to download a plug-in that gets installed in the Plug-in Manager in Lightroom (under the File menu).


Once you restart Lightroom, you’ll see Photosmith under the Publish Services panel in the Library module. From there, you simply create a collection of photos that you want to publish to your iPad, just like any other collection you’d create.


For me, I create a collection of my favorite photos from any given photo shoot. Once you do that, all you have to do is click “Publish” and Lightroom sends them over to your iPad (you have to have both on the same wifi connection). Basically, it works very similar to some of the other publish services out there.

Once they’re on your iPad, you can do some of the basic Lightroom tasks like ratings, lables, changing/adding metadata and copyright info. And just like Lightroom, you can apply the changes to one photo or a bunch of photos at the same time. After you’ve made any changes on your iPad, you can sync your photos back over to your Lightroom library by clicking the Sync button, and all of the iPad changes you’ve made get pushed back in to Lightroom. Overall, it’s pretty simple and straight forward.


What I’ll use it for?
For me, my iPad is a content consumption device. I surf the web on it, watch videos, read e-books and play Clash of Clans way too much 😉 But I don’t typically “work” on it. My photos don’t originate there and to get them there is a pain in the neck. So after a photo shoot, I’m still bringing my photos on to my laptop and doing the basic selects, adding metadata and putting them in to collections there. So I probably won’t use those features of Photosmith much. But I do love the fact that it’ll keep my favorites synced up on my iPad and give me a ton of ways to share them from there (Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, Email to name a few). I had the clunkiest workflow possible when it comes to getting my favorite Lightroom photos on to my iPad (partially Dropbox, sometimes just a simple email). With Photosmith I can make a collection in Lightroom (which is already a BIG part of my workflow), and always have my favorites from a particular photo shoot on my iPad. And it is nice to know that if/when I do make any rating or metadata changes to them on the iPad (which actually does happen, since the iPad is typically where I show the photos off and sometimes I make rating changes based on the viewers feedback), those changes will get pushed back up to my Lightroom library.

Well, there you have it. At version 3, Photosmith is definitely a solid app. Well tested and proven to work. The ratings are great, so I’m not alone either. Until Adobe comes out with some sort of Lightroom “app”, this is definitely one to check out. Have a great weekend!