Prior to the release of Lightroom 3 Beta we had the ability to upload our images to various online sites via the Export dialog. Jeffrey Friedl provided several excellent plugins for the Export dialog making it easy to export to these online services. He is hard at work turning those into Publish Services. By the time the final release of Lightroom 3 is ready I'm sure we will have a lot to choose from! For now, let's take a deeper look into how this new features works!
You can find Publish Services in the left side panel of the Library module. When you first start install Lightroom there are two basic services provided: Hard Drive and Flickr. Hard Drive allows you to create folders to receive images via Publish Services. This can be very useful for adding to a folder that is synched to your iPod/iPhone. Perhaps your screensaver is based on a folder of images. Make this a target and you can easily add and manage that. Or perhaps you are compiling images for a client to view and you first want to collect them in a folder from which you can FTP up to your client viewing portal. Interested? Let's take a look.
To start, click on the words Set Up... on the right side of the Hard Drive bar in Publish Services.
When you do that you are presented with the Lightroom Publishing Manager dialog.
There's a lot going on here. For the Hard Drive the name of the Publish Connection is inherited from whatever folder is the destination. Also, take note of the warning in Export Location section that the location cannot be changed once the connection is created.
Many of the sections are reminiscent of the Export dialog. Go through and set up how you would like images to publish. These parameters CAN be changed after the connection is created so don't worry about getting stuck. Lastly, there is a Watermarking section that takes advantage of Lightroom 3 Beta's new watermarking capabilities. When you're done press Save and your connection will appear under the Hard Drive service.
Now that we have a connection let's Publish!
Simply drag and drop images into the published folder. Published folders act very much like other collections. In fact, you can create Smart Published Folders too! Click on the folder and you will see the images displayed in the New photos to publish section.
Now press the Publish button! The images now appear in the Published photos section and are now on the drive in the target folder.
OK. That's nice. But what does this get us? Well, let's make an adjustment to one of the images and return to the published folder.
The adjusted image has moved from the Published photos section to the Modified photos to re-publish section letting us know that the image in Lightroom no longer matches the image in the folder and we need to republish.
If we remove an image from the published folder it moves to yet another section, Deleted photos to remove.
It is important to note that if you remove images from the published folder they are deleted from the folder on the hard drive!!! If you change your mind just drag the deleted image and drop it back on the published folder.
So when we press the Publish button our modified image is published to the folder replacing the prior version and the image scheduled for removal is deleted.
This feature is rich with possibilities!
I mentioned before that it is also possible to create Published Folder Sets. These can contain other published folders and will appear in the target folder as sub-folders. It's a useful way to organize the target folder.
In Part 2 we'll take a look at the Flickr Publish Service.