Working with Eye-Fi and Lightroom

IMG 2144

The wife got me a Eye-Fi SD card for my camera for Fathers’ Day. I had my eye on it (sorry, couldn’t resist) for a while but somehow I hadn’t clicked on the ‘Submit’ button on Amazon yet. Anyway, The Eye-Fi is basically like an ordinary SD card with wifi capabilities so it can wirelessly transmit the photos you take to your laptop saving the hassles of plugging it in each time via USB. Yeah, yeah, first world problems, I know. But there have been times I have clicked hajjar shots on the spur of the moment and never gotten around to importing them leaving them lying around in a digital purgatory. So in fact, this was a selfish gift by the wife since she is the one who nags me to transfer the photos and upload them on sharing sites so she could send photos of her ‘jigar ka tukda‘ to distant family, both 80 and 8,000 miles away.

Conceptually, the workflow seems like a breeze. You take photos, they magically are transmitted to your laptop, you process them, upload them to various places, and wait for the ‘likes’. But in practice, it is not as simple; at least to begin with. I use Lightroom for post-processing and any photo I take, I must process it even if it is to correct for minimal lens distortion before I share it. The Eye-Fi sends the photos to a pre-determined location so naturally my first instinct was to change that location to where my other photos were (I sort by Year > Month). The photos were transferred just fine but Lightroom doesn’t read those new photos even if they are placed in the folder. You have to manually ‘synchronize the folder’. I would’ve preferred this be done automatically each time you launch Lightroom (it is currently a requested feature) but I could live with it. So far so good. I thought I had a decent workflow in place.

But something went wrong today. I took couple of photos which transmitted just fine to my folder. So I fired up Lightroom and hit ‘synchronize folder’. However, this time I got an additional dialog box that asked me if I wanted to remove duplicate photos from the catalog in addition to importing new photos. I hit submit and it emptied my original folder in Lightroom and created a duplicate ‘June’ folder outside the hierarchy. The photos by themselves did not duplicate but now I just had two locations pointing to it. I tinkered around a bit and ended up with a big mess of my entire catalog duplicated in an haphazard fashion. Frustrated, I just shut it off and left it alone to cool off. I’m known to hurl obscenities at the computer if it isn’t working; not that it ever helps.

So how did I fix it? I moved the location of the photos to my original Pictures location instead of the Skydrive [1] and pointed Lightroom to the changed location. Everything seemed to instantly fix itself but I was back to square one. So now I have adjusted my workflow by letting Eye-Fi import to its regular destination and then placate Lightroom by move-importing photos to the Pictures folder. Not the ideal solution since I have to still manually import photos in Lightroom but at least the photos are there on my computer and I don’t have to plug in my camera. Phew!

So why did I go into narrating inane details of my photography workflow frustrations? Just so that I don’t have to call my computer a motherboardfucker, that’s why.

Footnotes:
  1. I was using the Skydrive as the default location for my photos so they get synced simultaneously to the cloud. But nowadays I Time-Machine religiously at work almost everyday so chances of losing anything is remote []


  • supremus

    Did you see this: http://support.eye.fi/software/other/import-into-lightroom/ – I had used similar method when I was scanning photographs from my printer and it had worked.

    • http://www.ipatrix.com Patrix

      That was the first thing I tried. Strangely, the ‘Watched Folder’ never worked for me. I waited almost 20 minutes, nothing showed up. Hence I went to the ‘Synchronize folder’ option. Also, I wanted Eye-Fi to dump photos in my current folders instead of starting afresh.

  • hariprasad

    hey even i did the same…….