Up until recently I've used iPhoto to catalog all my digital photos. I especially like iPhoto '09 when Apple added features to upload photos directly to Facebook and Flickr. I've uploaded hundreds of photos using that feature. But over time I grew tired of the limited photo editing features and wanted something that could let me push my photos to their best.
Lightroom 3 Beta
I've used the Lightroom 3 Beta for a few months and I love it. Lightroom 3 Beta easily pulled in my existing photos from iPhoto and unlike iPhoto '09, Lightroom 3 Beta also won't dump the meta data in my photos. One of the features of Lightroom 3 Beta that I like the most is plug-ins. Plug-ins extend the export functionality of Lightroom 3 Beta. I've been using a couple of Jeffrey Friedl’s Lightroom plug-ins to export my photos to Flickr and Facebook. Jeffrey has plug-ins for many other services, including PicasaWeb, SmugMug and Zenfolio. I'll be detailing the steps to download, install, and use the Facebook plug-in to upload a set of photos.
Download & Install
Head over to the Lightroom Goodies section of Jeffrey Friedl’s blog and download the plug-in that you want to install. For this article we'll be working with the Facebook plug-in. Once you have downloaded the plug-in we need to add it to Lightroom's plug-in manager. Launch Lightroom 3 Beta and click on Plug-In Manager under the File menu to bring up the manager.
Click Add and navigate to the location of the downloaded plug-in. Select the file and click Add. If you have an existing Lightroom catalog you will be prompted to update the catalog. Do it now. If all goes well the plug-in will be added and activated. Click Done.
Now we are ready to start using the plug-in. Click a photo or set of photos in your library. Click File->Export from Lightroom Beta 3 and then select Facebook from the export options. Since this is your first time using this plug-in you'll be required to authenticate to Facebook to authorize Lightroom 3 Beta. Lightroom 3 Beta will launch a browser window where you can enter your Facebook username and password. Login to Facebook and give Lightroom permission to use your Facebook account. Once that is complete, adjust the other options. Most of the defaults are appropriate.
Create a new Facebook album to save the photos and click Export. Once the export is complete Lightroom Beta 3 will open the facebook album in your default browser.
Many more Lightroom plug-in can be found on Jeffrey's web site as well as the Lightroom Exchange. Experiment, have fun.