I’ve got a big wish. It relates to iCloud Photo Library and lots of travel which means lots of photos. I know many on these forums have a distaste and distrust for iCloud Photo Library—I remain positive and hopeful.
Let me explain what I’m trying to do.
- I travel for months at a time with my MacBook Pro, DSLR, point&shoot, and iPhone.
- I load all the photos taken with each camera into Apple Photos—I have iCloud Library turned on
- I don’t have the space to keep full RAW or even JPEG files on the laptop, so I send everything to iCloud
- I do this because I want access to all those photos on my Mac, iPhone, and iPad
- However, when I’m working with these photos, curating, deleting and ultimately editing those photos, I’m bogged down by the lethargic response of Photos when it tries to download the full-resolution file for me to edit. It can take 20 minutes or longer to make the photo available for editing — even simply with Apple Photos built-in tools. This costs me time and so much frustration I wrote a detailed blog post about the issue titled “My Love Hate Relationship With Apple Photos”
- To have immediate real-time access to my photos is to have my entire photos library with full-resolution and RAW images local on an external hard drive—connected via Thunderport or USB3 when I’m home. I don’t want to carry an this external drive when traveling.
- So how can I keep my iCloud Photo Library accessible through Photos on my MacBook Pro —and add photos to the ICPL when traveling, yet when I plug in that external drive have my photos sync (download new local copies) while providing me that real-time access to edit when I’m home or using that drive?
- I understand how to have and access multiple Photos libraries—but that’s not really what I’m looking to do. I want the local drive stored photos library to be the same as the Photos library on my MacBook when the drive is not connected. The only difference would be that viewing Photos sans drive would simply show the photos from iCloud; and when the drive is connected it would show me the local photos—they should be the same and any photos not yet stored would be downloaded automatically from iCloud—thereby keeping everything in sync.
Has anyone tried anything like this? What is the best approach to achieving this?