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Useful Lightroom Plug-ins

Lightroom Export to PicasaWeb plug-in

In previous articles you learned: how to create a photo website using the Koken plug-in for Lightroom, how to use The Fader plug-in to add an opacity slider to Develop Presets, and how to upload photos to 500px using their own plug-in (scroll down to read that section).

Today I’d like to look at some other Lightroom plug-ins you may find useful. To clarify, I’m referring to plug-ins that add extra functionality to Lightroom by enabling you to do things with finished photos. Not programs such as those made by Nik or OnOne Software that are also plug-ins, but are used for editing photos.

Jeffrey Friedl plug-ins

Jeffrey Friedl has written lots of plug-ins for Lightroom (there’s a full list here). I’m going to highlight a few interesting ones here, but feel free to go and check the full list at the link above because there’s a lot of useful stuff there.

Jeffrey’s plug-ins work on a donation-ware basis. They are free to download and install, but will stop working properly after six weeks unless you register the plug-in. To register, you need to make a payment using Paypal. The amount you pay is up to you, the minimum is just one cent, making the plug-ins virtually free. You can pay more if you’d like to make a donation to support Jeffrey’s work.

Lightroom Publish Service

Export to Facebook

Lightroom’s Publish Services has built-in support for exporting images to Facebook. However, the photos are published to your personal Facebook page, not a business page. Jeffrey’s Export to Facebook plug-in lets you publish to Facebook pages as well.

For those of you unfamiliar with Lightroom’s Publish Services, these are found in the Library module and let you export photos directly to a location on your hard drive or a photo sharing website such as Flickr without leaving Lightroom. You get from this (photo right) > to this (below), with just the click of a mouse button.

Portrait published on Facebook page

Export to PicasaWeb

Lightroom’s Publish Services don’t support Google+, but you can get around that using the Export to PicasaWeb plug-in. PicasaWeb albums are used by Google+ to store your photos. Once your photo is uploaded to a PicasaWeb album, go to the photo albums in your Google+ account, select the photo and click Share to share it with your circles:

Lightroom Export to PicasaWeb plug-in

Export to Tumblr

The Export to Tumblr plug-in allows you to export images to a Tumblr account. It works a little differently from the previous two in that in doesn’t set up a Publish Service. Instead, go to File > Export and select jf Tumblr from the Export To menu at the top. You will need to authenticate your Tumblr account to get started:

Export to Tumblr plug-in

Adobe Plug-in Exchange

Plug-in exchange

If you click the Plug-in Exchange button in the Lightroom Plug-in Manager the Lightroom Exchange Classic website opens in your browser. This is the official Adobe marketplace for Lightroom Plug-ins and Develop presets. You’ll find a wide range of both, and plug-ins to do all sorts of things including exporting photos to SmugMug, Zenfolio and Dropbox.

Photographer’s Toolbox

The Photographer’s Toolbox website sells plug-ins written by Timothy Arnes, John Beardsworth and Matt Dawson. They are not free, but you can test them out by downloading them and using them (within the trial limitations). Some of them, such as LR/Mogrify 2, a plug-in that exports your images with borders, watermarks or text annotations, are donation-ware, letting you decide how much you would like to pay for the plug-in.

LR/Blog is another useful plug-in that lets you export photos directly to a WordPress, Blogger or TypePad blog, or a NextGEN gallery for WordPress.

Website Creation

I’ve already mentioned Koken, a free CMS (content management system) that lets you build a photo website, but there are a couple more websites that sell more sophisticated plug-ins for creating photo websites. One of those is The Turning Gate, and another is Sean McCormack’s Lightroom-Blog. Take a look at both of these if you want to create your own website from within Lightroom.

Installing Lightroom Plug-ins

The easiest way to install a Lightroom Plug-In is to start by saving the uncompressed file in a folder on your computer’s hard drive. If you use the same folder for all your plug-ins, you will know exactly where to go each time.

In Lightroom, open the Plug-in Manager (File > Plug-in Manager) and click the Add button in the bottom left-hand corner. Go to the folder where the plug-in is saved, select it and click the Add Plug-in button. If you get a message asking you to update your Catalog, then click the Update button. From this point on the process may vary, so check the installation instructions that come with the plug-in you have added to finish the installation and set-up.

Lightroom plug-in manager

More plug-ins

Here are links to the Lightroom plug-ins covered in earlier articles:

Koken Lightroom plug-in
500px Lightroom plug-in
The Fader Lightroom plug-in

Over to you

I’ve touched on a few of the more popular or useful Lightroom plug-ins in this article, but I can’t possibly cover them all. So now it’s your turn. What Lightroom plug-ins have you used? What do you recommend for other readers? Let us know in the comments.


Mastering Lightroom: Book One and Two

My Mastering Lightroom ebooks are a complete guide to using Lightroom’s Library and Develop modules. Written for Lightroom 4 & 5 they take you through every panel in both modules and show you how to import and organise your images, use Collections and creatively edit your photos.

Read more from our Post Production category

Andrew S. Gibson
Andrew S. Gibson

is a writer, photographer, traveler and workshop leader. He’s an experienced teacher who enjoys helping people learn about photography and Lightroom. Join his free Introducing Lightroom course or download his free Composition PhotoTips Cards!

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