I struggled for a long time to figure out how to maintain my entire photo library (many hundreds of gigabytes and counting) while still having access to it on the road. Most photographers I know use external drives as archives and backups, but if you’re on the road for an extended period and need to access something on a drive you left at home, you’re out of luck.
I played around with mounting cloud storage as a network drive on my Mac with FUSE but it was too slow and unreliable to use regularly. In order to work with photos in Lightroom, they really need to be stored locally, so I needed a solution that allowed me to have local copies of photos I was actively working on and placeholders for cloud-stored photos I didn’t need.
Enter odrive, an application that allows you to sync entire sections of your hard drive with your cloud storage provider of choice — and then to “unsync” anything you’re not using, maintaining a
.cloud placeholder locally instead.
This plugin interfaces with the odrive CLI to allow “syncing” (downloading from the cloud) and “unsyncing” (removing local copies) on-demand from within Lightroom.
The plugin serves me pretty well right now, but I’d like to be able to filter my catalog based on whether something is in sync or not in Lightroom, so that’s the next feature I have planned.