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new to lightroom

Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by joking20, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. joking20

    joking20 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2017
    Messages:
    1
    Lightroom Experience:
    Beginner
    Primary OS:
    Mac 10.12.x Sierra
    Lightroom Version:
    6.10 / CC 2015.10
    Lightroom License:
    CC Subscription
    I have been trying to understand the basics of how the software works. It seems Lightroom is a database program that modifies copies of image files for a particular result. The original files from my understanding are never touched only the copies. I believe when Lightroom starts I choose the Source of the images and the destination of the adjusted contents. Catalogs are the collections of the adjusted/modified data recorded by Lightroom at a location of my choosing. I choose to Source my image files from an external device and store the Catalog (which I name) on the same external device. When I open Lightroom I double click the Catalog and Lightroom opens that Catalog or collection of data concerning the adjusted images. When I wish to export the final edited data file I can choose what format, namely .tiff, jpeg or whatever. Is this accurate ?

    thanks -
     
  2. Ian.B

    Ian.B Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Messages:
    856
    Location:
    Mildura, NW Victoria, Australia
    Lightroom Experience:
    Intermediate
    Primary OS:
    Windows 10
    Lightroom Version:
    5.7
    Lightroom License:
    Perpetual (Standalone)
    yep; pretty close as far as I can see --- the gurus might pick up on something

    The big one is not to move photo files in windows --- always use LR to moves file and folders
    Maybe too late --- import a small number of files and folders into LR to learn the basics and set things up with those file. Once you have good enough understand move in more files -- I would suggest moving the more recent files and slowly moving back through the older files. Great time to do some sorting/deleting.
    Have ONE main Photos folder and add required sub folders to that one folder
    Have just ONE catalogue
    I would also suggest a good book . Victoria's free ebook www.lightroomqueen.com/shop/adobe-lightroom-cc6-missing-faq/ will get you started but a full book is a good investment to save doing your head in totally ---- lR can be like that at time haha

    And ask questions before stuffing up your system --- many of us wish we did that !!
     
  3. clee01l

    clee01l Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    12,811
    Location:
    Bellaire, TX USA
    Lightroom Experience:
    Power User
    Primary OS:
    Mac 10.12.x Sierra
    Lightroom Version:
    6.10.1 / CC 2015.10.1
    Lightroom License:
    CC Subscription
    Lets tweak some of your statements for a better understanding of how LR works.
    Lightroom writes everything to a database file. When an image file is imported, it is imported in one of two ways. 1. The original file already on your disk drive can become your master copy and stays where it is. LR stores a reference to that location. 2. Your original file is on a camera card. LR makes a copy of that image file and stored it in the designated destination folder. LR stores a reference to that destination folder location. This copy then becomes your master image file copy and you are free to erase the camera card. In other case, the pixels in image files stored in the reference location are not altered. That does not mean that LR does not touch these files. It can update the metadata in the file header.
    The Catalog is a database of information about the images in its inventory. We have already touched upon the reference location as one of this pieces of information. Other information includes keywords, labels ratings, Titles, Captions etc. Membership in Collections is another type of information. A collection called "My Vacation" can include images taken on your holiday. Some of those images could be in a collection called "Paris,France". If you assign a keyword phrase "Paris France" to every image taken in that city. you can find all of these images with a simple database query. They might be scattered in folders all across your internal and external drives.
    Perhaps the most important pieces of information about an image are the develop instructions. Things like where to position the crop window, Adjust the exposure, etc. Overtime you view an image, LR will take the original pixel image and adjust it in the computer to apply those develop instruction to show you the result on the screen. But if you want to show those results on MY screen you need to create a derivative file and send it to me or anyone else that might not have LR. This is the Export process where the original image and the develop instructions are merged and save into a new image file. You can take this original image and apply different develop instructions and generate several different derivative image files from the same original.

    Two things to remember. LR does not store your images. Only reference pointers to them And LR does not apply develop adjustments to the image, only to Exported images and to Images that you print using the LR Print module.

    Ian has good sound advice that I am sure came from the experience gained from making mistakes. Some of the same mistakes that I made too along the way. Remember that most mistakes can be corrected. But like the advice given of not moving your master image files in Windows after LR has stored the reference location. Some corrections are harder to fix than others.
     
  4. oleleclos

    oleleclos Light, Colour, Form and Texture

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Lightroom Experience:
    Advanced
    Primary OS:
    Mac 10.11.x El Capitan
    Lightroom Version:
    6.10 / CC 2015.10
    Lightroom License:
    Perpetual (Standalone)
    Your description looks spot on. The only thing I’d pick up on is keeping both your picture files and your catalog on an external device.

    There is nothing "wrong" with it per se, but access to external disks is normally slower than internal disks, so things won’t be as quick as they could be.

    If your picture files take up more space than you have on your built-in drive, perhaps you could still fit your catalog internally while leaving the pictures externally. That would at least put all Lightroom’s own data on a faster drive.

    As always, I highly recommend Julieanne Kost’s training videos - she is covering this issue in great detail in her “Importing Photos” series: Lightroom Training Videos
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  5. Ian.B

    Ian.B Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Mildura, NW Victoria, Australia
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    Windows 10
    Lightroom Version:
    5.7
    Lightroom License:
    Perpetual (Standalone)
    so how's it all going Joking??
     
  6. oleleclos

    oleleclos Light, Colour, Form and Texture

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Guernsey
    Lightroom Experience:
    Advanced
    Primary OS:
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    Lightroom Version:
    6.10 / CC 2015.10
    Lightroom License:
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    Hi again Joking, just a couple more comments that might be useful.

    You say that Lightroom “modifies copies of image files... The original files...are never touched only the copies.” This seems to suggest that a complete, modified copy of the original file is made. That's what iPhoto did, but NOT what Lr does. Lr only stores a list of the CHANGES in its Catalog.

    In other words simply a list of instructions: “do this to the exposure, do this to the contrast, do this to the saturation, do this to the upper left corner, do this to the lower right corner etc. etc.” This takes up very little space compared to storing a complete copy of the modified picture, and also allows going back to modify those instructions. It is a beautifully transparent and flexible approach to editing (and is what Aperture also did).

    By default, this list of instructions is stored only in the Catalog, but there is an option to write it to the original file as well (as long as it is a DNG file). This will NOT change the original image but only store the edit instructions alongside it, and it is useful if you edit your pictures in other software or need to exchange them with other people who need access the edits. You can similarly store edit information in JPG, TIFF, PNG and PSD files if you use Lr to edit those formats.

    If you do NOT write the list of edits to the original file, or if this is a proprietary RAW file, the list can be written to a “sidecar” file which will then have to accompany the original file if handed off to other software or other people.

    The place to select these storage options is the “Catalog Settings/Metadata” panel as shown here:

    Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 10.45.03.png

    You may not have the need to do this, in which case just ignore it. If you do need it, here's a link to Julieanne Kost's quick tip video on the subject: XMP Sidecar Files « Julieanne Kost's Blog
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017

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