Mar 032017
 

Lightroom what is ExportThis is my first article in what will be a several part series on Lightroom’s Export function. This article will focus on what exporting is for and when you should export. Future ones will go into the settings.

Background: Lightroom’s Non-Destructive Approach to Image Editing

Lightroom works non-destructively – meaning that it never touches your original raw or JPEG files. Instead, your editing work is saved separately behind the scenes as a set of instructions.  In Lightroom you’re essentially seeing the instructions hovering over your original photos, but the instructions are not baked in to your originals. This is great, as it means that you can undo all or part of your work at any time – you can’t ruin your photo as you work on it!

lightroom-non-destructive-editing-small

What Exporting Is For

Because of this non-destructive approach, if you go outside of Lightroom to Mac Finder or Windows Explorer/My Computer and preview files that you have edited, you’ll see that your editing work isn’t there – so you can’t share your edited photos with people by sending them these files. Of course sending people the originals plus sets of Lightroom instructions also isn’t an option. Instead, when you want to share your photos you’ll create copies of them with the editing work applied. These copies are made through the Export dialog.

Should I Export to Save My Work?

Many users believe they need to export copies of all their edited photos in order to save their work – this is not the case, and will simply clutter up your hard drive with unnecessary copies. Your work is being saved automatically in Lightroom’s catalog. (Read more about this in, “How Do I Save My Lightroom Work?“)  Instead, exporting copies is only necessary when you want to share your photos with the outside world.

Should I Keep All My Exported Copies?

I almost always delete the exported copies once I send them out since I can always export new copies if I need them again.  Each export shows up as an entry in the History panel in the Develop module, so if I have done additional editing since I exported, I can always get back to how it looked when I last exported, if I need to.  Some pros, however, do retain the copies that they send to clients so that they have readily-accessible  documentation of exactly what was sent out. (Note that while Lightroom will record editing settings when you perform an export, it will not record export settings such as size, so if you need to keep track of these you’ll need to keep your files.)

Whether or Note You’ll Need to Use Lightroom’s Export Dialog

Generally speaking, you’ll export copies by clicking on the Export button in the bottom right in the Library Module, or by going to File>Export…, and then working through the settings.

Lightroom Export

However, there are other ways to share photos, depending on the circumstance. In these Lightroom does the under-the-cover exporting:

  • You can email photos directly from Lightroom. This will save you from the time of exporting JPEGs and attaching them to emails.
  • You can upload photos directly to Facebook, Flickr and some other online services using Publish Services, in the bottom left in the Library module.
  • Creative Cloud subscribers can “sync” collections of photos to the cloud, at which time they are available on mobile devices and on Lightroom web. You can send clients and friends links to these collections on the web and people can like and comment on them.
  • You can create slideshows, web galleries, prints and electronic print layouts, and photo books using Lightroom’s output modules, and then export / upload / print  from there.

These are outside the scope of my current Export series, but I thought I’d mention them.


Related Post: Exporting Lightroom: Location Settings

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Feb 222017
 

Since the release of Lightroom 6.8 and CC 2015.8, some users have reported that their panels in the Library module suddenly go black:

Lightroom's Library Module Panels Go Black

This seems to only be an issue with Mac OS Sierra. Update: also El Capitan. The quickest way to get your panels back is to switch from Library (G) to Develop (D) and back or hide and then show the Lightroom application.  If this doesn’t work, close and reopen Lightroom. If the bug is intolerable for you, consider rolling back to Lightroom 6.7 / CC 2015.7 until it’s fixed. (There will still be some chance that you’ll experience it after rolling back, but much less of a chance.)

UPDATE 4/11/17: Adobe reports that this issue should occur much less frequently in Lightroom 6.10 / CC 2015.10, which were released today. If you still experience this issue after updating, report it here.


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Dec 292016
 

Organize photos and folders in LightroomBelow are two video tutorials from my Lightroom CC/6 and 5: The Fundamentals & Beyond video series that will teach you how to clean up your files and folders.

The first video, File and Folder Management: Reorganizing, explains how to use the Folders panel in Lightroom to reorganize your folders and photos – move, rename and delete folders, create new folders, move photos from one folder to another, and much more. Doing this reorganization from within Lightroom will ensure that you don’t end up with missing files and folders.

The second video, Missing Files and Folders, explains why you get question marks on folders, exclamation marks on photo thumbnails, and the “File cannot be found” message in the Develop module, and teaches you how to find and reconnect these missing files and folders.

If you enjoy these videos, check out the full 15 1/2 hour 76+ video series: Lightroom CC/6 and 5: The Fundamentals & Beyond!

(For best quality, after hitting play, click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.)

File and Folder Management: Reorganizing

Missing Files and Folders


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Dec 262016
 

Lightroom-copyright-metadata-presetI recommend adding copyright and contact information to your photos as you import them into Lightroom so that when you share photos with the outside world, this data automatically tags along with them and people can get in touch with you if they come across your photos and want to use them. For photos already in Lightroom, it’s not too late — you can also add this information in the Library module.

The U.S. Copyright Office states that your copyright should take the form of “© YYYY Your Name” (e.g. © 2017 Laura Shoe), so you should create a copyright preset or update your existing one at the beginning of each year.

In the video tutorial below I show you how to:

  • Create and update a copyright and contact information “metadata preset”
  • Apply your preset to photos as you import them
  • View copyright and contact information for your photos using the Metadata panel in the Library module
  • Apply your preset to any selected photos in the Library module.

This video tutorial was created back in 2014 with Lightroom 5, but it’s applicable to newer (and older) versions of Lightroom as well.

(For highest resolution viewing, after hitting Play, click on the sprocket wheel (Youtube Sprocket Wheel) in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.)

For those of you who prefer written instructions rather than watching a video, here’s an article from a few years ago explaining how to create and apply a copyright metadata preset.

Exporting Copyright and Contact Information:  If you want your copyright and contact information to tag along with your photos when you export copies, then in the Metadata section of the Export dialog towards the bottom be sure to choose Copyright and Contact Info (or All Metadata).  This information will then tag along with  your photos in the file properties data — it will not be written across your photos. To write information onto your photos themselves, use the Watermarking functionality in the Export dialog.

U.S. photographers: note that you won’t have an enforceable claim against someone who steals a photo of yours unless you register your copyright with (i.e. submit your photos to) the U.S. Copyright Office.

Viewing the Information: In the video I show you how to view the information you have added using the Metadata panel in Lightroom. People can also view this information using Adobe Bridge. Outside of these programs the copyright information can be easily viewed, but not the contact information. To view the copyright in Windows Explorer, right-click on your file, choose Properties and go to the Details tab. On Mac, open the photo in Preview, go to Tools>Show Inspector, click on the information tab (i), and then the IPTC tab.


Related Post: Video Tutorial on Watermarking Photos

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Dec 142016
 

Mac Users running Lightroom 6.8 or CC 2015.8: have you gone to back up your Lightroom catalog (like I tell you to!), and encountered this message that your catalog is larger than 4 GB, and that you’ll need a third party utility to extract it?

Your Lightroom Catalog Size is Larger than 4 GB

First, as of right now there is a bug – all Mac users are getting this message and most of you don’t have catalogs this large. (Update: this bug was fixed with 6.9 / CC 2015.9 – now you’ll only see the message if your catalog is indeed over 4 GB.) You can check the size of your catalog by going to Lightroom>Catalog Settings – it displays on the General tab:

Lightroom Catalog Settings - Catalog Size

This catalog has information/editing on just a few hundred photos, so it is only 11.54 MB.

Back to the 4 GB warning dialog: regardless of how big your catalog is, consider checking “Don’t Show Again”, and then hit “Continue”  and back up. (Remember, your Lightroom catalog contains all the work you have ever done on  all your photos – so if it becomes damaged and you don’t have a backup, you will most likely lose all that work!)

Here’s the scoop: with Lightroom 6 and CC 2015, Adobe started compressing catalog backups into zip files to make them smaller, and to speed up the backup process. However,  they didn’t do this for catalogs over 4 GB on Mac, since the default macOS unzip utility is unable to unzip files larger than 4 GB. Starting with Lightroom 6.8 / CC 2015.8, Lightroom now will compress these large 4+ GB catalogs, but if you someday encounter a catalog corruption and need to restore from a backup, you’ll need to use a free third party utility such as 7-zip or StuffItExpander to extract it from the zip file. If in doubt, just double-click on the zip file – if it doesn’t open or says that it is corrupted, you’ll need one of these utilities.  However, if you’re lucky and never have a catalog corruption issue, you’ll never need to do this!


Related Posts:

About Your Images and the Lightroom Catalog: The Library Analogy

I Would Cry If I Lost All the Work I Did Today: How to Back Up Your Lightroom Photo Library

 

 

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Dec 082016
 

WIndowsOnEarth.orgIn this free video tutorial, learn how to use Lightroom’s new Reference view for Creative Cloud subscribers. Reference view allows you to display a reference photo on the left as you edit another photo on the right. It’s useful anytime you want to match the appearance of photos (white balance, contrast, color, etc). Consider using it when when you want to unify groups of photos you plan to display together in a slideshow, portfolio, etc, or when you’ve  come across a photo on the web that has a cool effect that you want to try to replicate!

Lightroom CC Reference View

Lightroom CC Reference View (Photos courtesy of WindowsOnEarth.org)

This video is from my Lightroom CC/6 and 5: The Fundamentals & Beyond video series, for beginners and experienced users. If you enjoy this video, I guarantee that you’ll love the series!

(For best quality, after you hit Play, click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom right, then Quality, 720/HD.)

    00:17  Purpose, examples of uses
    01:37  Opening reference view – button and shortcut
    01:39  What to do if you don’t see the R|A Reference view button / icon
    01:51  Assigning a reference photo from the filmstrip
    02:07  Assigning a reference photo from the Library module
    03:00  Displaying RGB color values for an area of the reference and active photos
    04:30  Reference Photo padlock: preserving the reference photo when leaving the Develop module
    05:03  Closing Reference view
    05:20  Displaying the reference photo above the active photo

 


 

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