Import to iPad Lightroom from SD card

I thought this was supposed to be possible on iOS 13 but either it still isn’t or I’m missing something.

I have an SD card containing hundreds of photos that I want to triage, sort and edit using Lightroom on my iPad’s local storage.

Local - I don’t want to burn data copying to iCloud. I don’t want iCloud adding random digits to my photo filenames. I want the photos immediately accessible with no download lag and accessible when I have no internet, e.g. on a plane.

Lightroom - I don’t want to use the Photos app for triaging and editing my DSLR photos. I use Lightroom on my Mac at home and want to do the same on my iPad while I’m away from home with my iPad and no Mac. I use Photos and iCloud for my iOS photos, but for the reasons above I don’t want to use it for DSLR workflow.

I have the SD card connected to the iPad via the Apple SD reader. I can create a folder on iCloud, which I don’t want. I can’t seem to be able to create a folder on the iPad’s local storage. I have not succeeded in copying the hundreds of files from today’s shoot onto the iPad.

Lightroom can read from the Apple Files app. It can show me the thumbnails of the files on the SD card. When I select all of them (hundreds) and try to open them, nothing happens. I seem to be able to copy one at a time, although at this point I’m not clear where it is being stored.

I’d appreciate any suggestions for efficient non iCloud Lightroom workflows on iPad.

I do not use Lightroom on my iPad.

According to Adobe, the feature was added in v5.1 in December.

They previewed it on YouTube:

I do not think that Lightroom uses the local iPad storage. It might be cached there but I think they will move it to their cloud in order to sync it.

Maybe, somebody else does know more about Lightroom on the iPad, who actually does use the app.

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There are 3 ways to import into Lightroom for mobile, check adobe’s site for more detail. You’re looking for the second way.
If that doesn’t work, maybe go to adobe community to get more help since they will be more familiar with Lightroom there.

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Thanks both. I got it to work but it’s a complete fail of a user experience.

Using Adobe Lightroom I could create a folder and an album use the option to import to the album from the files app. Lightroom would then display a dialog with the contents of the SD card as thumbnails. I could hit Select and either select a few files or Select All, and Open (sometimes) but after that nothing would happen. The import window would close. I then reopened the import window and scrolled up and down the thumbnails. Eventually I would see the number of photos in the album increment slowly from 0. Eventually the number of files reached the total on the SD card. At no time was any import progress bar displayed. It’s as if I had to scroll up and down the window to kick off the import process.

The Lightroom app now shows it contains several GB of data as well as the 200+ MB app. So the files are stored “inside” the Lightroom app rather than in a folder visible in the Files app.

You’re think like your on a mac and you can just add photos to your catalogue without moving them, or copy them where you want on your mac from you SD card. Lightroom mobile is more like an iOS app where everything is “IN” the app. If you look at other app like Plex for exemple, it’s the same thing, if you download videos in Plex there are only “IN” plex if you look in data management it will show the videos in there and not in the Drive app. So Lightroom Mobile is not different from those apps. It’s just a different way to think about it. Also, Lightoom mobile will sync those files to Adobe’s cloud (the full version, not smart preview like in LR Classic on your mac). Anyway, I think it’s WAY better than to have to go through the Photos app having to import into Lightroom from there.

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Well, I knew how iPad apps worked before but was misled by “there will be a Files app,” “iPad will be allowed to access external storage” and “Lightroom will be able to access external storage.” All these things are true but it still doesn’t mean that you can copy photos to files on the device and have Lightroom access those files, they are hidden inside Lightroom. Agreed, it’s better than going through Photos app.