Lightroom Classic vs. Backlight Publishing

Hi, I have now tested creating and editing albums via Backlight 3.1 Publisher to compare it with Lightroom Publisher.

My workflow at the moment since Backlight 1 is:

I edit my photos (RAW) with Lightroom Classic (also the IPTC data).
I create a collection where I store the photos for my website (Album Sets and Albums).
I export the photos with Perfectly Clear Plugin with a resolution of 1200 px and .jpg format to a folder on my hard drive.
Then I have to reimport them without any changes to Lightroom.
This is a little tricky but required because of the editing with Perfectly Clear.

In Lightroom Publisher I create the same folder structure like before. Now I put my imported photos into these folders and upload them via Lightroom Publisher to my website.
For my Custom Thumbnails I create the thumbs with the size of 512 x 512 pixels in Lightroom Classic like my other photos and upload them to my Custom Thumbnails folder (for best quality and crop).

If I use Backlight Publisher to upload my photos, it would be possibly much easier.
I can edit my RAW photos in Lightroom Classic and export them in original size and Perfectly Clear plugin into the same folder structure (Album Set, Albums) on my hard drive like on my website.
When I then upload the photos via Backlight Publisher, the size of the photos will change to the size I have set in my album template. The photo order is easy to change. For my Custom Thumbnails the workflow is still the same. I’ve been thinking about this workflow for a longer time and I think I will do it, because the clarity in Lightroom Classic will lost because of the many import folders. Also because of Adobes philosophy and future with Lightroom Classic. I have the same opinion as Mat.

But the only thing that bothers me is, that all full format photos remain stored in the
Master Folder. The smaller sized photos for the website are stored in the Photos Folder.
For that reason I need much more space than I need on my web space.
Therefore, I have to delete all the original photos in the Master Folder myself via Filezilla.

It would be great, to do this also with Backlight Publisher in the future to save space.

Or did I miss something here?


Rainer - Not responding directly to your question, but never having used Clear Touch, do you use it for all your editing and simply use LR for file management? Or do you use LR for basic editing first and then Clear Touch for final finish editing?

LR for cropping and dust removement, nothing else editing. I insert IPTC data like categories, keywords, gps data etc… Then final finishing with Perfectly Clear.


Edit: File management only for slideshows and my website. For archiving until today Pixafe.

Hi Rainer, the master renditions are kept so that they can be drawn upon for future changes to your albums. Changes to the metadata shown on your albums, or changes to the image sizes. Metadata updates are automatically processed when you change your template settings. Rendition updates are something we are planning on building. So there is value in keeping those files.

This raises a couple of questions:

  1. How large are the files you’re using for masters? If they are very large, have you looked at using smaller files that still meet the requirements for your templates?
  2. Why are you hitting usage limits on your host? In my experience, most ‘unlimited’ plans or even limited plans should allow for a large number of files to be uploaded. Can you share the limit you have, and an estimate of photos that you have?

I only wanted to explain my actually workflow.

If I change my workflow to Backlight Publisher I can export the orinally file size from LR to my harddisk and let Backlight Publisher do the rest to make smaller images.
The original exported files are about 5 mb.
Therefore I use LR to export while editing with Perfectly Clear to a size of 1200 px and upload these images with LR Publisher. So there are no double images in the Master Folder on my host.
To use Backlight Publisher I want to save this step. I only want on my hard disk the original RAW files and the edited JPG files and on my host only the image files which are used for my website after uploading and resizing from Backlight Publisher.
So I don’t need master files. If I change something with my images I can upload them again.
I want to keep order on my hard disk and store my images only with one size.
If I have finished an album, there will be no changes with the size of my images in future - and if - I upoad them again. That’s my thought.
I hope you understand what I mean.

On my host I have a limit of 50 GB.



Check out JPEGmini as a possible addition to your workflow. I use it all the time; it’s simple to use and does incredible work.

As for Backlight’s masters, you might want to redesign your albums in the future; for example, switching from classic to masonry thumbnail layouts would typically require differently sized thumbnails. It’s also possible we’ll build features into Backlight in the future that will make sure of these masters, and we’ve already been having internal discussions about improvements that can possibly be made to Lightroom publishing, hinging upon Backlight’s use of masters instead of published renditions.

thanks - the images do look good - just wondered how effective the AI was

Thanks Matt. I want to be independent of Lightroom in the future.
So my thought is to create all my albums new and upload them with Backlight Publisher.
I am searching for a new effective and clear workflow to edit my DNG files with Lightroom and export them as JPG in original size to a folder structure, using in Backlight.
The advantage is, I can use these images also for creating my slideshows and all images are only once on my hard disk.
Maybe I will create subfolders for smaller size to use in Lightroom as master image.
And in Lightroom I only have the links to my DNG files with all processing steps in the catalogue. I think this will be a good new workflow (a lot of work :sweat_smile:).



I use Backlight Publisher and organise my photos in Photo Mechanic. I have a master TIFF file then handle meta data and export 5 different crop sizes out of PM. Upload a watermarked image into publisher to display on the site.

I’m at

Easiest method I have found so far!


I keep trying Photo Mechanic, then keep bouncing off of it because I just hate the UI. I keep hoping the next major version will get a visual overhaul. I don’t know. @Chumby, any good tips for cracking the surface?

Hi Matthew,

For my site where metadata / search ability is the key, Photo Mechanic is essential.

I have an automated workflow. Firstly…

Shoot in raw - 5 shots bracketed and then:

(1) Export each file to .TIFF
(2) Reduce noise on each Tiff file
(3) Create a single HDR TIFF Image from each group of 5 shots

I do that all automatically whilst enjoying a cup of tea :wink:

Then I examine the these exported HDR TIFF files and manually delete images which are no good.

From here I open the good photos in DXO Photolab 2 and make any adjustments to colour, alignment etc. Export out in TIFF again.

Finally open the series in Photo Mechanic and add metadata ITPC data. This is really important for my search. I then export out of PM in JPEG 5 different crops/sizes (all saved as presets) and save.

Lastly I upload a watermarked image (one of these exports) to my site for viewing.

Definitely worth persevering with PM as you can copy meta data from image to image, take snapshots, create structured keyword lists etc etc. Nothing else does this so well as far as I can tell.

For example I just uploaded a series of “Tulip Photos” just now using this method.

The PM UI is actually designed for speed of use (hundreds of shortcuts etc) and is brilliant when you get over the initial learning curve. It is very different to other image manipulation programs but great when dealing with many images.

Hope this helps.


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Same Lightroom does.


Hi Rainer,

Structured Keyword Builder? As in …

Don’t think lightroom can do that for one? Can it?


Lightroom is definitely not designed for a fast workflow as PM is. But structured keywords, called hierarchical keywords, are supported:

OK, thanks Daniel. That is good to know.


Thanks for sharing your workflow. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to someone as all-in on HDR as you seem to be. Interesting how you’ve married together all of that into a workflow, though.

Cheers Matthew,

Yes “all-in” to HDR on this site at least. Trying to keep a consistent look and feel across images. I think there is a particular growth in wallpapers/backdrops for zoom etc. Lot’s of HDR image uses there.

I do enjoy doing other photography for sure though! When I get around to getting my personal site up I doubt there would be many HDR shots in there.


Excuse me for jumping on here. IMO if you want absolutely the best DAM try iMatch.
It allows manipulation of metadata, keywords, versioning, face recognition, and a huge array of other stuff. The 30 day free trial will not give you enough time to really grasp the power and complexity of this beast. I used Photomechanic for many years and loved it. However, iMatch replaced it in my workflow in a matter of a couple months. Since it supports pretty much any way of making selections of images it is truly handy for creating galleries of uploadable images for Backlight. A word of caution: iMatch is big, complex, and powerful but it comes with a learning curve that is nearly vertical and very tall.
Regards, Mark

Actually, I was interested in comparing Lightroom Classic Publisher with Backlight Publisher and to find my new workflow when changing to Backlight Publisher.
:cowboy_hat_face: :beers: