Lightroom Plugin Development: Now With Added Encouragement
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.
Totally Unrelated to this post -- Small park in the Shiga countryside -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl,
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Totally Unrelated
to this post

A couple of weeks ago I posted Lightroom Plugin Development: What To Do When a Hobby Becomes Work, a long missive about the weight that Lightroom plugin development has taken on me.... how something that I intrinsically enjoy has become, in part, a chore. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and encouragement, both online and off.

I've decided to take the route that I speculated I would take, and that many encouraged me to take: Tim Armes' “donationware” model.

(The stack of unanswered email and comments has only grown while I've concentrated on implementing this system, so I've got a lot to catch up on. If I have not answered your email or addressed your comment, thank you for your patience.)

I Find Bamboo to be Mentally Soothing -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl,
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
I Find Bamboo to be Mentally Soothing

The details of the new system are on the Plugin Registration Page that new versions of my plugins will soon reference, but in short, here's what I've decided to give a try:

  • Plugins are fully functional for the first six weeks.
    I want people to have a chance to understand what value the plugin brings to them before I nudge them toward the registration window.

  • After that, until registered, they are limited to 10 images at a time.
    I don't want to cripple them completely... that could really leave some unsuspecting users in a lurch.

  • Registration is required (and costs 1 cent); A gift is not required.
    I hope people will choose to make a donation to me (to express thanks or encouragement), but it's not required. If it were required, it would be a “price”, not a gift

  • Registration is done via PayPal
    You make a 1-cent payment to me via PayPal, and the 17-character “transaction code” they generate becomes the registration code that you can enter into the plugin's registration dialog. If you want to make a larger payment, anything left over after PayPal's fees is a gift to me.... yea!.

At least, that's the plan.

Closing My Eyes and trying to imagine a less stressful place -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl,
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/15 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Closing My Eyes
and trying to imagine a less stressful place

Today was a perfect example of why I'm going this route: I spent 8+ hours tracking down and fixing a Windows-filename problem that affects some users of the Geoencoding plugin, but does not affect me.

Come to think of it, much of last week was a good example, too, as I spent inordinate amounts of time tracking down and finally fixing a problem that Windows users of the SmugMug plugin sometimes experienced. I never ran into the bug myself, so had to try to figure it out remotely. It was horrendous. (Much thanks to tech-savvy photographer Kevin King for his tireless help on that one.)

These two bugs were my weekend. And so it goes.

Microsoft Windows is like the Great Outdoors full of bugs -- Amami Ooshima, Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Microsoft Windows is like the Great Outdoors
full of bugs

In implementing this model change, I ended up creating a huge upheaval in the plugin source code, so it's possible that things might not run smoothly at first, so I'll be sure to keep the previous versions of the plugins around. I'll start by releasing the Geoencoding plugin, and see how it goes. Others will follow once the kinks have been worked out.

Crossing my fingers...

My blog color scheme does not suit itself to big blocks of running prose, so I felt it worthwhile to intersperse random photos to this post. I've been hyper-stressed about all this and the backlog of mail and stuff, so I quickly riffled through my archives for photos that are mentally soothing to me that I hadn't yet published. Here are a few extra that didn't fit above...

Just a Snapshot but calming -- Nanzen'in (within Nanzenji) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl,
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62 mm — 1/200 sec, f/3.5, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Just a Snapshot
but calming
Pretty Flowers everyone likes pretty flowers -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/640 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pretty Flowers
everyone likes pretty flowers
A Little Color lifts the mood -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl,
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/500 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
A Little Color
lifts the mood

Photo notes:

Yellow plants:from this outing
Calming bamboo:from this outing
Stump, leaf, and moss:  from the Giouji Temple
Field of red flowers:from a cursed vacation
Stone lantern:from this outing
Purple flowers:from this outing
Fall colors:from my friend's garden

All 32 comments so far, oldest first...

I hope the model works. I, for one, love the plug-in and will not hesitate to pay few dollars for this kind of stuff.

— comment by Kalyan Varma on February 16th, 2009 at 12:44am JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

“Microsoft Windows is like the Great Outdoors
full of bugs”

The comment has been saved. As a Macintosh computer person from way way back ( use Quark in my writings and my editor(s) want “receive and paste” writings) find the comment true, given the complaints from friends. Mind, I also use Linux with an old 8088 box and it too although not without foibles does work better than MS.

— comment by Bryce Lee on February 16th, 2009 at 2:12am JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

English is not my mother tongue Jeffrey so kindly forgive me if I have not fully understood something or am missing the obvious. The way that I am reading this is that there will be a 1 cent compulsory “Registration” fee for each and every plug-in used. However, if these are to be registered individually then PayPals fees will amount to more than the cost of registration itself, and by a hefty amount. Are you/have you considered a method whereby one can purchase a package e.g. as I am currently using 3 of your plug-ins can I submit (via PayPal) a fee of 3 cents and receive in return 3 Transaction Codes. At present it appears that I would need to make 3 entirely seperate PayPal payments of 1 cent in order to receive 3 transaction codes. Again sorry if I have misunderstood something along the way. 🙂 Thanks.

When you make a 1-cent payment, PayPal takes it as a fee and that’s that. Three 1-cent payments is the same to you and me and PayPal as one 3-cent payment. I suppose that the three separate payments might add 30 seconds to the registration process, so I apologize for that hassle. —Jeffrey

— comment by ElliR on February 16th, 2009 at 2:12am JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Congratulations. My donation for GeoEncode GPS support is already registered.

P.S. Love the photos on the page 🙂

— comment by Ina on February 16th, 2009 at 5:17am JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Lots of purrrrty pictures.

Was there any other content to this post?

— comment by Zachary on February 16th, 2009 at 4:33pm JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks Jeffrey. I think this is a reasonable model. I’ve put out a message on Twitter in hopes to get word out about this and to encourage LR users everyone to support your great work. If you’re interested, here’s the tweet I made:

— comment by Jigar on February 17th, 2009 at 4:45am JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey, you’re being extremely flexible by permitting plugin registration for a mere “1 cent” payment. I’m sure (well, I hope!) that the people who find your plugins to be useful (and who proceed to register them) will realize it’s in their own best interest to provide a more meaningful level of support than that token amount.


— comment by Phil Rose on February 17th, 2009 at 12:27pm JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey, when I discovered you were going to this model, it took me only moments decide to register. I have been happily using 3 of your plugins for at least a year now and find them invaluable. I can’t thank you enough for all the work you have put in to maintaining and improving them. I’m sure you’ll find many other like me happy to donate to such a worthy cause.

— comment by Bruce Albrecht on February 24th, 2009 at 6:50am JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

I would be happy to donate to keep you in a position to develop these great plug-ins, but as an expatriate American living (you guessed it!) in Beijing, PayPal is not an option for me. Is there any other way to send my donation?

— comment by James in Beijing on February 24th, 2009 at 7:38am JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Honto ni arigatou gozaimasu. Watashi mo nihon ni sunde imashita. (Yamaguchi-ken, Hiroshima-ken to Mie-ken). Kono “plug in” wa suteki yo!


— comment by Anonymous on February 26th, 2009 at 5:25am JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

I need help I give up. I had no problem loading the plug in the first time now it has failed I donated to the cause I reloaded and downloaded restarted lightroom read every blog it still tells me my version has expired??? I click for new version now and nothing happens? Please help!

Try removing the plugin folder (e.g. “flickr-jfriedl.lrplugin”) completely, downloading and unzipping a fresh copy, and restarting Lightroom. Some old version had issues with automatic upgrade, and even today, it just doesn’t work on some systems for reasons that I don’t know. If this wipe/download/install procedure doesn’t work, email me ( —Jeffrey

— comment by Mike Shepherd on March 1st, 2009 at 9:21am JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey, smugmug plugin is a great stuff and helps me alot. I would be happy to donate you for you knowledge and time, as I do Tim. But unfortunately PayPal service is unavailable in our county. Will it be possible to pay by Visa? Please, Ask Tim Armes for details of implementation. Iam kindly ask you to provide alternative payment method.

If it’s not available in your country, just send me a note and I’ll take care of you. Instead of donating to me, help an old lady cross the street, or do some other random act of kindness locally. —Jeffrey

— comment by Grafin on March 8th, 2009 at 5:33am JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks Jeffrey. Great plug-in. I’ve been using it for the last month or so and just made my donation.

— comment by stefan on March 15th, 2009 at 3:39pm JST (15 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

first of all – thank you for the excellent work.
I use 3 plugins – and i want to register/donate. Can I pay once and us the code for all plugins, or should I make 3 PayPal transactions to receive 3 codes?

… sorry for the stupid question….

Either way is fine, although there are benefits and drawbacks to either. If you want to do just one, generate a code and use it to register a plugin, then shoot me a mail with the code and your needs, and I’ll take care of it. On the other hand, doing them individually takes care of it and you’re done. If you also make a donation and use the associated code to register the geoencoding or metadata-wrangler plugins, I pass along some of that gift to the exiftool author, so if you want to make a donation, and if you want to alot it unequally among the plugins (sort of like voting for your favorite), you have go individually. On the other hand, if you’re inclined to make a donation but one that is less than a few bucks total, separating it out causes most of it to be eaten in PayPal fees (they take the first half dollar or so), so that complicates things. Well, there you go…. way more involved than you expected, I’m sure! But in the end, you can ignore it all and just do a one-cent registration if you like, then send me the code…. —Jeffrey

— comment by Juro on March 19th, 2009 at 4:06pm JST (15 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Am writing from New York, just purchased Lightroom 2 and am a CS4 (upgrade) user. I am very happy with your plug in, it is the first one I have tried. It really will save me time putting my pictures up on Flickr.

My question is really not about your plugin but the quality of the pictures exporting from Lightroom instead of my previous method in Photoshop. Could part of my problem be using 72 resolution as recommended by Lightroom? Should I use a higher resolution?

Thanks again, am getting ready to register and now I will try some additional plugins.

Your photo’s are just wonderful.

Thanks for your kind words. If you set your image size by pixles (e.g. 1600 x 1200, or whatever you choose), the “resolution” setting is completely irrelevant. —Jeffrey

— comment by Lynette on March 22nd, 2009 at 5:46am JST (15 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Cathy in Omaha Nebraska USA

I really appreciate your work and success with this Lightroom to SmugMug plugin. I would donate more, however, I am off work on, mostly unpaid, medical leave and not sure I will be going back.

Excellent work and thanks again.

— comment by Cathy on March 28th, 2009 at 5:12am JST (15 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, i love the way you insert the calming pictures, made me feel to realxed and happy.
Your payment model is exemplary, and as a computer supporter imho the best of all.
Thanks a lot for the big work (yes, i know how it feels to track bugs!) and all the best

— comment by solsang on April 1st, 2009 at 5:56pm JST (15 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Are you planning to add the option of putting a water mark when exporting images to flickr…thanks

No, basic watermarking is already built into Lightroom (although it’s pretty minimal) and Tim Armes already has a very full-functional plugin, LR2/Mogrify, which does watermarking. —Jeffrey

— comment by ED on April 13th, 2009 at 2:22pm JST (15 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Hello, maybe I’m stupid but how can I donate via Paypal? Where the link?
Great Plugins. Thanks, regards. Pat

There’s a button near the bottom of the post (but above the comments) on the Plugin Registration page. Thanks! —Jeffrey

— comment by Pat on April 14th, 2009 at 10:35pm JST (15 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink


Just to add my voice to the (no doubt) large group of people who are grateful for your time and struggles in getting these plugins to us.

Keep up the great work and don’t forget to take some time out to enjoy your faimily and photography

regards – Mike


— comment by Mike Watson on May 15th, 2009 at 4:48pm JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

I am writing you from Tampa Florida, I am new to smugmug, loved photography most of my life. Recently made the move to try my hand professionally and I just want to say
1. thank you
2. I really hope no one actually only paid you 1cent

I just downloaded my plugin and cannot wait to go look at your other stuff but felt compelled to write this first.

I will gladly register and pay for a product that I will use constantly. not sure if anyone else has same problem but exporting photos from light room can take days sometimes (I’m female by nature I exaggerate)

This adds so much efficiency to my workflow and my time alone is worth quite a bit even if only in my own mind. So knowing that you likely consider your time as valuable it is only fair that you be paid for your time and saving mine. Thanks

— comment by Lisa Hunt on May 16th, 2009 at 11:36am JST (15 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink


Your work is much appreciated and recognized. Thanks for making it so easy to donate and keep up the good work.


— comment by Mike Criss on July 3rd, 2009 at 9:36pm JST (15 years ago) comment permalink

Great work Jeffrey!

I already donated for the pro version of Tim’s plugin and will do so with your video asset plugin since I have been awaiting for a solution to the pesky problem of having to manually import videos to my computer. Keep up the great work. My Photography is not on my web site as it is a hobby and I rarely share y photos but you can check out my “professional” work on my site if you wish.


— comment by Andrei on July 7th, 2009 at 3:42pm JST (15 years ago) comment permalink

I really appreciate your work with Lightroom…
actual I am looking for a possibility to get my pictures and videos (+thumbnail pic) shoot by my Canon camera imported with Lightroom.
This video-thumbnail pictures remain on my camera after import, I think because of the extention “*.thm”, which look like unknown by adobe.

If you can have a workflow with Lightroom done or a script, which enables that feature of import this type of pictures, I would be very glad.

It’s now a common feature set for every camera to create videos, so its very anoying for me, that this step of importing the “preview pictures” of that videos, automatically produced by my new Canon, cannot be imported.

Hope you can help
thank you


It’s not a perfect solution, but if you can copy the videos to your disk yourself, my Video-Asset Management plugin might be of use. You can also copy over the THM files, of course, and rename them to JPG. Neither solution is as smooth as one would like…. hopefully, Adobe will address these needs in a future version of LR…. —Jeffrey

— comment by Dieter on August 8th, 2009 at 9:14am JST (15 years ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

Thank you so much for a great plugin. I’ve been playing around with this and the facebook plugin. However, I’m unable to find the two-way synchronization with either flicr or facebook. ie. when I delete photos in flickr they do not get updated in my lr3 beta… Please help.

Thanks much,

It’s. A. Beta. —Jeffrey

— comment by Devender on November 26th, 2009 at 12:56am JST (14 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

You do great things and need to be paid. Just found out about you and without a doubt, I will be leaving money for you through PayPal. Keep up the good work!


— comment by Chris Kittredge on January 6th, 2010 at 7:29am JST (14 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Russ from SC. I am new to Lightroom 2. Will your plug-ins work on a Mac Probook? I did not see any information on the site for that. Of course I may not be seeing very well. I am interested for starters in the Smug Mug Plug – in.

Thanks for all you do!


I’ve never heard of a Mac Probook, but my plugins work on any system Lightroom can run on. They are free, so it doesn’t hurt to try for yourself. —Jeffrey

— comment by Russ WArmath on February 26th, 2010 at 2:10am JST (14 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Hi, Jeffrey–

I’d like to pay for the metadata presets plugin; but I cannot get it to show the additional line that I want: “Metadata Date”. After adding it, I have restarted the plugin and restarted Lightroom (2.7 Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.3). What next?

The “Metadata Date” field is the date that the metadata was last written back to the image file or sidecar, and is empty (and not even shown) if the save has never been done. Not particularly useful, but that’s what they offer. (If you mouseover the name of a field in the right-hand-side of the preset-builder dialog, you’ll get a tooltip with a short description). “Metadata Date” is what Adobe calls it, but it should really be “Metadata-Save Date” or the like. Turns out that in the sample data in the preset-building dialog, I was showing the last-edit date, so that dialog’s sample data didn’t properly reflect this field’s characteristics. Just pushed a new version that does. By the way, I appreciate the vote of confidence, but you can not pay for the plugin… I offer it for free. You can send a gift any time, or not, but the plugin is free. —Jeffrey

— comment by Craig Lewis on May 17th, 2010 at 3:00pm JST (14 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

I am not familiar with the workings of Pay Pal. How about a link I can follow to make a donation.

There’s a “Register via PayPal” button at the bottom of the registration page. —Jeffrey

— comment by Anonymous on June 19th, 2011 at 8:24am JST (13 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Any other ways to pay you for those who don’t like Paypal and would prefer not to give them a (potentially significant percentage) cut?

There’s no “paying” involved (except for the PayPal transaction fee, which can be 1 cent if you want), but if you want to send a gift, I always want to encourage that of course :-)… an gift certificate is nice, or maybe send me some good karma by doing something nice for someone locally. —Jeffrey

— comment by Chris on November 26th, 2011 at 6:15am JST (12 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

1 cent? Are you kidding me? I “donated” way more than this. Keep up the good work, love this plugin even if visually more complex than SmugMug’s. Really, SmugMug should make you a large “donation” and just throw theirs away.

Cheers and happy new year!

— comment by BK on January 14th, 2013 at 1:48pm JST (11 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

From Pittsburgh
Marvelous set of plugins. I have not yet tried them, but you will hear from PayPal when I get to it.

I’m writing to suggest another plugin. I am creating a family photo archive to distribute to the many members of my extended family, who, unsurprisingly, vary tremendously in computer skills. I have probably 10K photos involved in this project. What I would like to do is to add selected metadata fields to the image itself, just as my Aunt Mildred did in the margins or on the back of physical photo prints. I have done this, by hand in PS, expanding the image file, and then cutting and pasting the metadata, usually the date, place, people’s names, and the event into white space at the bottom of the image. The result is a picture that can be viewed by anyone who can, minimally, open an image file. No knowledge of metadata, EXIF, IPTC, or XMP required. My relatives are amazed and enthralled. So far I have done about 300 images.

The process is agonizingly slow and error prone. Which brings me to the request: is it possible to add this functionality to the metadata app?


The easy solution that comes to mind is to stuff the text that you want to appear in a field like “title” or “caption”, then include that text on the image as an overlay. The Lr/Mogrify plugin probably gives the most flexibility in how to include the text on the image. —Jeffrey

— comment by John Kulli on February 23rd, 2016 at 11:00am JST (8 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink
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