Lightroom Classic CC: Questions and Answers

Seems like the photographic world is in a panic about Adobe’s move to subscription based software. From my research, it looks like at least some of that panic is based on misinformation. 

Everybody has questions about CC and CC Classic and the answers aren’t that easy to find. This post is a collection of the answers to questions that I had. Hopefully, others will find it useful as well. 

Q: What does the Creative Cloud photography plan include?
The Creative Cloud Photography plan includes the following apps:
·       Adobe Photoshop CC
·       Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC on desktop, mobile, and the web
·       Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC
·       Adobe Portfolio
·       Adobe Spark with premium features
·       The default Photography plan includes 20GB of cloud storage 
·       For $10 per month more, cloud storage is increased to 1TB

You get tools to organize, edit, and share your photographs from anywhere—on your computer, on the web, and on your iOS or Android device.

Q: What are the key differences between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC?

Lightroom CC is cloud-based photo so you can work across desktop, mobile and web. Lightroom Classic CC is the desktop-focused photography product.

Lightroom Classic
Lightroom CC
Where you like to work on your photography?
Desktop only
Desktop, mobile, and web
Location of originals
Local hard drive
File backup
Not provided
Ease of use
Most comprehensive
Intuitive, streamlined
Organization and finding photos
Manual keywords
Automatic tagging and intelligent search

Q: What is the cost of Creative Cloud Photography?

$9.99 US / month billed annually. Gives you Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC, PhotoShop CC and includes 20GB cloud storage. The 20GB plan works out to about $0.50 / day Canadian.

$19.99 US / month for the above but with 1TB cloud storage space.

Q: What happens to my Lightroom catalog and photos if I end my Creative Cloud subscription?

Only the develop module and the map module are disabled if you stop subscribing. Everything else continues to work. This allows you to continue importing and archiving photos, and provides an opportunity to migrate to another raw editor if you are so inclined. 

Lightroom CC: Adobe will continue to store your original images for one year after your membership lapses. During that time, you can continue to launch Lightroom CC to download your original files from our cloud services.

Lightroom Classic CC: You’ll still have access to all your photos on your local hard drive through Lightroom for the desktop. You can continue to import and organize photos as well as output your edited photos through Export, Publish, Print, Web, or Slideshow. 

Q: Does there have to be a permanent internet connection for Lightroom CC to work?

No. You briefly need internet access to activate Lightroom. If you’re a CC subscriber, it ‘phones home’ now and again to check your subscription status, but you can be offline for up to 99 days before it reverts to a limited mode (no Develop, Map or Sync). If you have a perpetual license, Lightroom remains activated until you deactivate it.
If you want to sync images or update the Product only then you would need an internet connection.
Q: Do my photos need to be stored in the cloud?

Lightroom CC backs up all your photos to the cloud. Lightroom CC manages your photos for you, so that your photos don’t fill up your hard drive.
You can view and work with all your photos in Lightroom CC, even if the original file is not stored on your hard drive. When you begin working with that photo, the original file is automatically downloaded from cloud storage. Lightroom CC provides you the option to keep all your original files on the computer’s hard drive, in addition to backing them up to the cloud.
If you’d prefer to not store your images in the cloud, you can use Lightroom Classic CC which stores photos on your connected hard drives.

Q: What happens when I near my storage limit?

Lightroom CC prompts you that you’ll soon fill up all of your cloud storage. To continue enjoying the benefits of backup, and the ability to view all of your photos on a mobile device, you can upgrade to a full 1 TB of cloud storage (or more at $10 / TB).
Once you hit your cloud storage limit, you can still import photos into Lightroom CC on the desktop, but those photos will be stored only on your local drive. They are not backed up to the cloud. They’re also not available via Lightroom CC on mobile or the web. Also note that the ability to search on objects are present in your photo requires that your photos are in the cloud.

The Creative Cloud desktop app syncs up to 1 GB of overflow from any device. After that, the sync client stops syncing new files and notifies that you are over quota. A red exclamation point marks any files that are unable to upload. You can still move, rename, or delete files. To continue to sync files, permanently delete other files to free up space.

Q: How many computers can I install Lightroom or PhotoShop on?

The Adobe license agreement allows CC software to be activated on 2 separate computers (Mac or PC). If you try to activate a third instance, you will be asked which of your current active instances you want to deactivate. Mobile versions of the CC software (iOS / Android) do not appear to count as active computers.

Q: In the past, I have “shared” a copy of Lightroom and PhotoShop with my significant other. Is that still possible with Lightroom CC?

The 2 active instances are registered against the same Adobe ID and cannot be used simultaneously.  
Q: If I am working with Lightroom Classic CC on a laptop on the road, can I import my new photos into a local “mini” catalog on the laptop’s SDD, work with them, and subsequently export all of the new images plus my changes into my “master” catalog located on an external drive when I return hime? 

Yes. When you get home, open your Master catalog and select the “import from Catalog” on the File menu. While importing the catalog, you have the option to move your photos to the external drives or leave them in place. You also can specify what you do with suspected duplicates. The entire catalog, photos, modifications, keywords and created collections will be imported into the master catalog. The mini catalog and photos can then be safely removed from the SDD on your laptop.
Q: I would like to use Lightroom Classic CC on my laptop and Lightroom CC on my smartphone. I plan to store only my modified smartphone photos in the included 20GB cloud storage. Will the photos that I modify on the smartphone get merged back to Lightroom Classic CC on the laptop?

Yes, all the work you have done in Lightroom CC (except for keywords) automatically syncs back to Lightroom Classic CC.