Getting Your iCloud Photostream to Play Nice With Lightroom [en]

[fr] Frustré de devoir passer par iPhoto pour récupérer vos photos d'iPhone (via Photostream) alors que vous utilisez Lightroom pour gérer vos photos? La solution s'appelle PhotoStream2Folder (et c'est développé par un Suisse)!

So, with all the cat photos I’ve been taking, both with my “good camera” and my iPhone, and trying to publish them both to Flickr and Facebook, I’ve been looking for solutions to make things a little less kludgy.

See, I use Lightroom to manage my “proper photos” and upload them to Flickr, and my iPhone photos now end up in iPhoto, thanks to iCloud. So if I choose to upload any to Flickr, I do it manually from the Flickr site. As for Facebook, I need to export my Lightroom photos to my hard drive first (but that’s another story: haven’t found a solution yet to sync my Flickr uploads to Facebook).

I’ve been unhappy about having my photos in two separate catalogues, specially as the iPhone 4 does have a decent camera and can at times produce usable photos.

The solution is called PhotoStream2Folder and it has been developed by Laurent Crivello, a fellow Swiss guy. (Do consider making a donation if you find his little tool useful.)

PhotoStream2Folder is not just useful for Lightroom users: what it does is dump your photostream photos in a folder you can access on your hard drive, rather than hide it forever in your iPhoto library.

I basically set it up following the “watched folders” instructions on the site (and at the same time, discovered Lightroom watched folders). Follow the screenshots, they are better than any explanation!

  1. First, I installed PhotoStream2Folder
  2. Then, I created a folder called “Photostream” in my Pictures folder — this is where PhotoStream2Folder will dump my photostream photos until Lightroom moves them into my “proper” photo folders (I organize by year/month on my hard drive)
  3. I enabled Auto Import in Lightroom (File > Auto Import) and set it to import photos from the Photostream folder I’d created into another folder in my photo hierarchy:
    Auto Import Settings
  4. Then I configured the settings in PhotoStream2Folder like this:
    PhotoStream2Folder General Settings
    PhotoStream2Folder Lightroom settings
    PhotoStream2Folder Tagging Settings
  5. …and launched the scan!

This means all my photostream photos are now part of my Lightroom catalogue. I personally move those I want to publish or make other useful use of into “proper” folders, and leave all the rest in the photostream folder.

Hope this comes in handy to somebody!