There are two methods of creating albums in Backlight. You may create albums and upload images from within Backlight's admin, or you can use the optional Publish Services plugin for Lightroom Classic.
For photographers using Lightroom Classic, Publish Services is the easiest way to manage your albums in Backlight, from within your existing workflow.
For photographers NOT using Lightroom Classic, you may create albums and album sets, and upload images within Backlight's admin.
Basic Concepts and Terminology
In getting started, let's first understand the terms Album, Album Set and Top-level Gallery as we'll be using them in Backlight.
Albums contain images. Album Sets contain albums. Albums and album sets are created as children, within a Top-level Gallery parent. The Top-level Gallery maps to a folder on disk, within which published albums and album sets are contained, and is the shallowest level at which albums and album sets may be created.
Hierarchically, these appear as:
- Top-level Gallery
- Album Set
- Album Set
Albums may appear as direct children within a Top-level Gallery, or as children to an Album Set.
Album Sets may appear as direct children within a Top-level Gallery, or as children to higher order Album Sets.
The Top-level Gallery is always the highest order parent.
By default, Backlight prepares one Top-level Gallery, named "Galleries". At least one top-level gallery is required, but you may create additional top-level galleries if needed.
With our new understanding of albums, album sets, and top-level galleries, let's get into publishing!
Publishing Albums in Backlight
Let's first explore how to create images directly within Backlight.
If using Lightroom, you might prefer to use the Publish Services plugin; see below.
By default, Backlight is ready to create the "Galleries" top-level gallery. However, it does not exist yet, and that's why visiting the Galleries page of our website yields an error.
Following a fresh install of Backlight, we need to kickstart the creation of our first top-level gallery. Click the large BACKLIGHT logo to access the main dashboard; under Special Links, click "Update Album Files" to create the necessary files on disk, and your Galleries page can now be visited. It's empty.
In Backlight's admin menu, click "Publisher" to see a list of existing top-level galleries.
For Galleries, click "Edit" to update or remove text appearing on the page, or to change other options.
To create albums, click the title, "Galleries". This will provide you a high altitude view of the gallery's content, and will see the buttons Create Album Set and Create Album.
Click "Create Album", then open the Base Settings to set an album title. You may explore the other options on your own; for now, click "Save" at the bottom.
You will be given a high altitude view of the album, similar to our previous view of the top-level gallery. Click the "Add Photos" button to upload your first images, and an album is born!
Creating album sets is a similar process, and having created an album, you should be able to intuit the necessary steps.
Publishing Albums from Lightroom
Using the optional Publish Services plugin for Lightroom Classic, Backlight allows you to create albums via your Lightroom library.
Installing the Publish Services Plugin
To install the Publish Services plugin for Lightroom Classic, we first have to download it. In Backlight's admin menu, go to Admin => Backlight Modules. At the top of the page, click the link "Download Lightroom Publisher Plugin".
- Unzip the downloaded file, then locate TTG-Publisher.lrplugin within its contents.
- Place TTG-Publisher.lrplugin anywhere on your system. It's location should be:
- ... easily accessible, to better facilitate plugin installation and updating.
- ... someplace the plugin can reside long-term.
- Launch Lightroom.
- In the File menu, select "Plug-in Manager..."
- Within the Lightroom Plug-in Manager window, click "Add" in the lefthand column.
- Navigate to the TTG-Publisher.lrplugin file, click "Add Plug-in".
- Click "Done".
From this point, you should be in Lightroom's Library module. In the lefthand panel, location the Publish Services section. If absent, right-click the lefthand panel and ensure that "Publish Services" is checked.
Within the Publish Services panel, you should see an entry for TTG Publisher. Double-click the entry, or right-click and select "Edit Settings..."
- The API URL will be
- The API Key, you will have set on the Quick Settings page when installing Backlight.
- Click "Save".
Publishing via Lightroom
It's time to publish your first album of images!
In Lightroom's Publish Services panel, right-click the TTG Publisher and select "Create Album..."
- Name your album. This name is how the album will be listed in the Publish Services panel.
- Provide an Album Title, Album Description and Slug.
- If blank, the Name will be used for both Album Title and Slug.
- The Slug will be used in the album URL, i.e. yourdomain.com/galleries/slug.
- Album Description is optional.
- For now, keep the defaults for all other settings. You can return here later to make any desired changes.
- Click "Create".
You now have an empty album. From your Library's folders or collections, drag any images you want to put online onto the new album in Publish Services. When ready, select the album and click the “Publish” button. Lightroom will export the images and send them to Backlight.
You may create as many albums as you like.
To view your newly published album, right-click the album under Publish Services; select "Go to Published Album".
At this point, you know everything you need to know about adding or editing content in Backlight, and you're probably eager to start designing. Next step, dig into the Templates menu.