Giving up on Lightroom (again)

To start off with a full-disclaimer, I'm not a pro photographer. All of my photos are of family, friends and holidays, with the occasional experimental shot or two. I have over 120GB of digital photos, which I keep backed-up on a USB HDD and also synched to Google Drive.

My typical workflow is usually to shoot in jpeg, import everything into Lightroom, do some light editing (cropping, exposure and color tweaks, etc.), then synch everything to Google Drive so that I can view online from any device and share with anyone that I want.

The problem is - Lightroom only saves changes as metadata edits to its internal catalog database. To view these changes outside of Lightroom, you need to "export" all the files. I understand the logic of this, that is, always maintaining the original so that you can come back at a later time and re-edit it differently. Additionally, Lightroom doesn't let you "export" and overwrite the originals in the same operation, I guess as a fail-safe preventative measure (imagine doing this but accidentally picking the wrong resolution or export options, would make it very easy to kill your library from a wrong click).

I guess all of these features make sense for professionals, but in most cases for me, I barely have time to do one round of crops and minor touch-ups. It's very, very unlikely I would ever come back months later and choose to crop an image differently, or tweak the exposure/colors differently. If I take an "artsy" shot that I think I may want to play around with it differently later, I'll usually make a backup copy of the original in a different folder. Also, I want all my edits to become available immediately on my Google Drive (or Google+ Photos), without having to export into a different folder, move stuff around, have multiple copies of images, multiple backup folders, etc...

For these reasons unfortunately, I need to move to a simpler editor that lets me destroy my originals easily and quickly.


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