Photo Load Lab – Lightroom plugin

 

 

What is it

 

It is an Adobe Lightroom plugin capable of exporting and publishing photos to both Facebook and Flickr at once.

 

Why

 

Have you ever wondered why your beautiful photos degrade so much once they are uploaded to Facebook?

Well, it is a frustration of many people, especially photographers. To have a photo looking so good on your local computer and to see it so much degraded on Facebook.
There are a couple of reasons for that and, in Facebook‘s defense, I’d mention that they need to apply a lot of compression (up to 80%) in order to maintain fast data transfer for all visitors around the world, no matter what network conditions they rely on.
Nevertheless, Facebook does offer a lot of visibility and this is the main reason why people continue to publish photos, despite the result. Additionally, It also allows people to provide feedback on the photos, increasing this way the visibility.

Unlike Facebook, other photo-sharing sites such as Flickr maintain a better handling of the uploaded photos allowing a higher quality of the results.

It is a fine solution to continue to upload the photos to Facebook – for the reasons stated above – but also to Flickr and eventually refer the Flickr photos directly from the Facebook photos. If you like the idea, please read on.

 

Solution

 

If it would be about one single photo then this plugin would most probably never got out. One single photo can be exported, uploaded to Flickr, next uploaded to Facebook and finally the description on Facebook could have been something like “For better quality, refer to this link…” and have the link pointing to the photo URL on Flickr.
N.B. Please note that if you wish to obtain best result, the export configuration of the photo for Facebook should normally be different than the one for Flickr. If you need help with this, please contact me.

But what about when handling multiple photos at the same time?
For a while I’ve been doing this manually. But the amount of work is huge and as it implies manual actions, it is subject to contain wrong links or other mistakes.

This plugin allows you to create a publish service, to add your photos or collections to it and eventually to have them published automatically to both Flickr and Facebook, maintaining a reference link on the Facebook photos toward Flickr. In the end the result would look like this:

This is how a photo would look on facebook when uploaded using the plugin. At the write you can see the automatic description containing the Flickr link.

This is how a photo would look on facebook when uploaded using the plugin. At the right you can see the automatic description containing the Flickr link.

The link will open exactly the corresponding photo on Flickr.

 

Requirements

 

 

Installation

 

  1. Download the latest version of the plugin here.
  2. Unzip the downloaded file. It contains only one folder called “PhotoUploadLab.lrplugin”. On a Mac, it appears as an application / module.
    Save it to a folder of your choice, Lightroom will access it always from there. The “Documents” folder might be a good choice.
  3. Open Lightroom, select “File” from the menu, then “Plug-In Manager”.
  4. In the Lightroom Plug-in  Manager window, click “Add” and point to the file “PhotoUploadLab.lrplugin” you unzipped and saved earlier.
  5. Click “Done”.

 

Configuration

 

As with the installation of the plugin, a new Publish Service called “Photo Upload Lab” became available and can be configured in the Lightroom’s “Library” view.

 
PART I. Initial configuration, to be done only once.

    1. In “Library” view, scroll down on the left menu to “Publish Services”, “Photo Upload Lab”.
    2. As for this first use, click on “Set Up…”.
      step1
    3. Provide a description in the “Publish Service”. Ex. “Facebook and Flickr”.
      step2
    4. Next, you need to login to your Facebook account and authorize the plugin to publish on your behalf.
      Click the “Log In” button under “Facebook Account”.
      step3
    5. Confirm the explanation dialog by clicking OK.
      step4
    6. A new page opens in your Internet default browser. Facebook informs you that the plugin ShootIX Photo Load Lab will receive your info (public profile, friend list, groups, photos and videos), will need to post publicly on your behalf. In case you manage Pages, the plugin will also need to access your pages. Confirm all the grants in order to have the plugin work properly.
      Make sure you select that the plugin posts are “Public”.
      step4a
      You will be able later to indicate which population will see your photo albums.
    7. Once you have authorized the plugin on Facebook, your browser is being redirected to a page that receives the authorization token provided by Facebook. This page sends the authorization token to Lightroom. You need to confirm the action by clicking the button “Launch application”.
    8. The authorization token received in the step above appears in the confirmation dialog opened in Lightroom as shown below. Click the OK button to confirm.
      step5
    9. At this point, the Facebook Account area should show a message like “Logged in as YOUR NAME”.Authorization for Facebook is done, let’s continue with the one for Flickr.
    10. Click the “Log In” button under “Flickr Account”.step6
    11. Confirm the explanation dialog prior to the authorization procedure:
      step7
    12. A new page opens in your Internet default browser. Flickr informs you that the plugin ShootIX Photo Load Lab will be granted with the necessary rights for uploading the photos on your behalf. Confirm with OK, I’LL AUTHORIZE IT:
      step8
    13. Once you have authorized the plugin on Flickr, your browser is being redirected to a page that receives the authorization token provided by Flickr. This page sends the authorization token to Lightroom. You need to confirm the action by clicking the button “Launch application”.
    14. Back to Lightroom, click the “Done” button to finish the process:
      step9The authorization process for both Facebook and Flickr is completed. The plugin is ready.
    15. You may want to configure additional settings on the configuration page:
  • Photo titles and descriptions
    setting1
    By default, the plugin will create Facebook albums and Flickr photo sets using a title and description you can configure individually for each of your collections. See point “Creation of local albums for publication” below.
  • Facebook album settings
    setting2
    By default, the plugin publishes the albums and photos on your Facebook own Wall using Public privacy. You may want to change this value to other options such as “Friends of Friends”, “Friends”, “Networks and Friends” or “Only Me”. This last will cause the visibility of the photos to be reduced to only you.
    If you are administering Facebook pages, you will be able to select to publish on a page from the available list. Please note that the visibility of photos published to pages is always Public.
  • Additional file settings, color spaces, photo quality, sizes, etc are available for your personal configuration. The default configuration should do it but feel free to change any parameters you consider that can improve your results.

PART II. Creation of local albums for publication.
  1. In “Library” view, scroll down on the left menu to “Publish Services”, “Photo Upload Lab”.
  2. Click right on the Publish Service you have created during the initial configuration, then “Create Album…”.
  3. Feel free to provide your own title, description and reference text:
    setting3
    The “Album name” and “Description” will be used as title on both Facebook albums and Flickr photo sets, along with the included photos.
    The description of the Facebook album will end with the text provided in the last field and a direct link to Flickr. The beauty of it is that the link on the Facebook album  will point to the Flickr photo set while the link on each Facebook photo will point to the exact same photo on Flickr.
  4. Confirm the creation of the album by clicking on the “Create” button.
  5. This is it. You can now add your photos to the new album and whenever you are ready, start the publication to both Facebook and Flickr by clicking the “Publish” button.

License information

 

A license can be obtained for a plugin working without limitation. See here.
You can use the plugin without license though but you can upload a maximum of 5 photos per album.

 

 

Feedback and support

 

Thank you in advance for any constructive feedback. If you have questions or want to report any issues, please let me know.