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Thread: Lightroom process help

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    Lightroom process help

    HI Guys

    hopefully someone can help me get my head around this.

    Up until now i have used a program called IMATCH to import all my photos to and would save both the DNG file and the JPG - i would edit the DNG with photoshop and save a JPG copy over the original JPG image from the camera (not necessarily every photo but those i thought was worth it).

    So i end up with lots of files DNG and JPG of every shot.

    People i have heard use lightroom to process their photos and therefore only end up needing the DNG file only.

    I have downloaded LR trial and i can import my DNG no problem - can do Wb adjustment etc no worries. However if i need to edit with photoshop - to say remove noise or another editing process - i can export to PS no worries - however when i make the changes and hit save it creates another copy of the file this time in TIFF format.

    If this happens every time - wont i end up with the same situation of a DNG file and a TIFF file for pretty much every image ? - this doesnt seem to make me any better off as ideally i thought i would end up with the DNG which can always be reset to its original state?

    I hope my question makes some sense to somebody as im struggling to get my head around it and am quickly running out of storage room on the PC

    thanks

    Adrian
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I do this all the time with my (preferred) software which is CaptureNX2 and on any given raw file I sometimes create two or more versions of the edit processes.
    eg. I may try out a tone mapping edit step but am still unsure of the edit step, so I create a new version of it.
    CaptureNX simply calls it a new version.
    It's still the same raw file, it's just that the a new set of instructions are written to the raw file describing a new look.
    This is transparent to the user, but all you may see is a new version or a list of currently created versions of the file.

    While it's still more space efficient to save multiple jpg files compared to a single raw file, versioning of a raw file is measured in kilobytes as opposed to a doubling of the original jpg file.
    Most full quality jpgs may transpose to a 1/4 data size compared to the original raw file(I regularly see 20-25Mb raws save to 8-10Mb full high quality jpgs), if you get to the third version of a single file, you;re starting to approach the point where it's much easier to delete the jpgs and simply use the raw as the archived display file too(for your editor).

    From what I think I've seen in LR, you create new snapshots of an image at a particular edit point. I'm not a big fan of the terminology, but this is being pedantic, but the term snapshot implies a less permanent step. Version seems to make much more sense in what it's describing the process as.

    If you create a snapshot of a file(name it), and then a new snapshot(and create a new name) you will see a list of the differing snaps you've saved.
    They are all the same single raw file just internally saved as different points in time. They should act independently of each other in that if you edit one version of a snapshot, because you are not directly alter the raw file the other version(s) remain untouched.

    Is this what you are asking about?

    I only save my jpgs as display sized medium quality images of approx 200-250kb size only, never as full blown high quality full sized copies of the original raw file.
    No one really wants to see this file, and it usually only serves as a copy of the raw file for quick re uploading sharing, distributing around if you do that kind of thing, or printing.
    Re saving the raw file to an appropriately sized jpg is a trivial and insignificant matter.
    At the end of every year or so, I go back through the image bank and delete as many jpg files as I can, or think is appropriate to do, knowing that I don't need them, and that IF I ever do, I can make one up in a few seconds anyhow.
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    thanks for your reply Arthur

    so to understand here - you go back and delete jpgs after a year or so - but what if you spent a siginifcant amount of time 'adjusting' and image - those changes that you have done in PS are lost if you delete those jpgs correct?

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    I've just started playing with LR3 as well. To answer you question, yes every time you export a file it will save an "edit version" of the file - tiff is the default but can be changed in preferences. The reason for this is that you cannot save a raw file. When you edit a raw file the CHANGES are saved a group of commands, if you will. The actual raw file does not change. When you open the same raw file again, your edit program (LR) reads the group of commands attached to the raw file to show you what you have done. If you want to do further processing in photoshop or another program then you need to "export" the raw file and it's group of commands into a format that photoshop can read. Tiff is a universal uncompressed format. PSD is another uncompressed format, but it can only be opened with adobe programs.

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    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    If you are using RAW files, you should do just about all of your editing in LR, and not in Photoshop, unless you need to use multiple files to blend photos together, or to put text on the photo or other special effects.
    LR will do a much better job of exposure correction and colour adjustments etc than Photoshop will.
    Its' sharpening and noise reduction features are also better than PS.
    Check the tabs on the top right of the screen for more options and scroll down the list on the right hand side to see them all.
    There's lots and lots of adjustments to choose from.

    As was mentioned previously, when you export the RAW file from LR, there are a number of variables that you can easily change as to file type, file size (both in pixel count and quality) so you can easily customise the file that gets exported to PS.

    There are some excellent videos that will walk you through LR on the Adobe site and if you have an hour or 2 spare, look through these and you will learn a lot.
    LR looks a bit daunting at first, but once you get a handle on it, you'll never go back to PS unless you need layers or text.
    One of the great things with LR is that if you have a lot of photos that were taken at the same time, or are similar in exposure etc., you can adjust each file by just looking at the one file to do the majority of the work, then you can go into each photo individually to make minor (or even major) adjustments to each one individually.

    By downsizing the exported file from LR, the jpegs can be quite small.

    As mentioned previously, the original RAW file stays the same, and the different versions you may have of the photo are only recorded as an adjustment file, thereby saving lots of HDD space if you have multiple copies of the same original file.
    If you save different versions of a jpeg file, each file will be seperate and will take up far more space on your HDD than multiple copies of the same RAW files.

    I hope this helps you.
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    thanks guys for your replies.....what i did find playing around with LR is that i didnt seem to have the same amount of editing features on hand - for example with the sharpening it didnt seem to be able to go to the extreme like you can with PS - perhaps i just need to play a bit more to learn.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    You should treat your original file, straight out of camera as your digital negative. You should NEVER edit the original file at all, ever!

    All edits should be done on a copy of the original, which is what Lightroom/photoshop workflow basically forces you to do.
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    thanks rick - yes i get that but i guess what i sort of expected was that when you edit in PS from LR that it would still keep a sidecar file (in effect) so that you didnt end up with the original raw file + a version (be it tiff or jpg or whatever) but the RAW file with the virtual changes done.

    what i am really trying to get to here is to free up some space instead of holding RAW + JPG of nearly every photo, perhaps i need to hold RAW of most files and RAW + jpg of any that are edited heavily which will at least reduce the amount of file held

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Ah.. HDD are cheap as these days, you can get 1-2TB ones for around $100.00. Just buy some more storage, it is easier and you don't risk deleting something you may want in future.

    For example, 3 years away someone sees a photo you took and contacts you and says I want this photo, will pay you $1000.00 for it. You go looking and the version they want is one you deleted, you cannot remember how you processed it, but give it a go, show it to them and they say, Nah, I want the one I saw here... (which is a 800 pixel wide, 130KB JPG), and there is now way they can print it to 30 inches wide.

    Moral is, get more storage, and keep the copies and edits.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milesy View Post
    ..... but what if you spent a siginifcant amount of time 'adjusting' and image - those changes that you have done in PS are lost if you delete those jpgs correct?

    All work is done to the raw file!
    But as Rick implied, the work you do to the raw file is not directly applied to the raw file itself and the raw file remains untouched.
    The edits are kept in a separate file in LR and applied as 'renderings' of the raw file.
    Some people like to have different versions of the file as the output file(ie. jpg), I've done this myself for specific reasons too such as to directly compare the different ways I've edited an image with either more or less contrast, either b&w or colour and other reasons.

    The only aspect of the jpg file that I 'work on' is the size of the file saved, eg either 900x600 or 1024x768 or 1200x600 or whatever. This is the only information that I may lose permanently but is unimportant to me.

    As an example of what I mean. I had a series of images saved in various folders over the years and the jpgs were deleted. I'd saved the jpgs to a standard screen format ratio(eg. 1024,768) which fits them nicely on the screen as a desktop image. I now have a screen with a different ratio, and I went back through those folders and recreated the jpgs. But I went back to the original raw files and re cropped them to fit the new screen ratio and now save the jpgs to 1920x1080.
    Some images I recreated, others didn't work well in a wide aspect ratio so I looked to other images instead.

    The point is that the jpg itself is unimportant. edited jpgs really have no value. The value of an image is in the raw file. the raw file can be converted to almost any image format, as it is of the highest quality file type you can have.

    There's nothing wrong with having different version of the same image all saved as jpgs for a particular purpose tho.
    the purpose of those jpgs determines whether you keep them or not.

    This is about archiving, and if you have raw files of these versions, then for simpler management keep the raw file in various states of edit.
    Most folks don't archive their jpg files if they have a raw version of the image already.
    Note that sometimes people shoot in jpg mode intentionally, or may be limited by their camera to the jpg format.
    This is different to what we're describing.

    If you are simply running out of room on your drives, do what Rick said and get more hard drive space.

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    Can I suggest Adobe website for Lightroom videos - You can same the videos on their website for future use if you like.

    Sue

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