Posts tagged with Q&A

dragdrop Import raw files into LR Mobile?

You can’t really do this. Mobile is not designed as a laptop replacement for travelling. But did you know dragging and dropping into a browser window uploads photos to Adobe’s cloud?

SNAG-0002 LR Web – clients don’t have an Adobe account?

How can a friend or client review and comment on a shared LrWeb collection if they don’t have an Adobe account? It’s possible, by setting up a dummy account.

“Make a second copy to”

Why does the second copy upon import go into a folder called “Imported on November-11-13” and not into a folder named to match the folder on the hard disk that was set as the Destination for the import?

Can you stop Lightroom re-sorting keywords alphabetically?

Is it possible to stop Lightroom from re-sorting keywords alphabetically?

Check the box “store presets with catalog” box?

Is it better to uncheck the box that says “store presets with catalog”

Should I save as PSD or TIF?

Should I save as PSD or TIF?

TIF. There are no quality differences, and there’s almost nothing that a PSD can do that a TIF can’t do just as well, just obscure things like saving Duotone mode images (hat tip Victoria Bampton). In the long run it’s important to save your Photoshop work in a non-proprietary file format like TIF that’s much more likely to be readable in other programs, because over the years you will try or even switch to other programs.

Coincidentally, a good example of this need for long term thinking has just popped up. Capture One 7 has been released and is now a bit more like Lightroom with cataloguing features. But while you can import TIF files, you can’t bring in PSD’s. Maybe that will be rectified in 7.1 but I’ll bet the PSD’s will still need to have been saved with Maximise Compatibility switched on. Sure, more…

Share your catalogues

Can you share Lightroom catalogues over Adobe’s Creative Cloud?

Photoshop smart objects

How do I update a Photoshop smart object with changes Lightroom has made to the raw file?

In Lightroom, go to the original raw file and make the adjustments. Then either:

Edit as Smart Object, sending a new file to PS with the raw edits. Open your existing TIF file  in PS, and drag this new file’s smart object layer into the TIF document and delete the old smart object layer. You can now discard the new file.
Ctrl S / Cmd S to save the edits back to the original raw file. Open your existing TIF file  in PS, right click the smart object layer, choose Replace, and point to the original raw file.

There’s little to choose between the two options. I prefer the first, but the second works too.

The Royal Navy passes a giant poster of Britain’s hereditary head of state (printed in black and white with a horrid colour more…

FTP directly from Lightroom

Can you upload files by FTP directly from within Lightroom?

Where are my xxxxxxg flags?

Q I just upgraded to Lightroom 4 and something happened with my flags in collections: they are gone! Where the xxxx are they?

A Well, they are not completely gone. But they are very hidden indeed.

As background, in Lightroom versions 1-3 the Pick and Reject flags were local to the folder or collection of pictures. So in one collection of pictures you could mark an image as a Pick, while in another collection it could be marked as a Reject. While many found this useful, many found it unnecessary and confusing – and I think it’s important to acknowledge both sides here.

So in Lightroom 4 Adobe made these flags global, but they did so without letting you save flag data out to XMP or do anything which might have made the change more palatable. Potential compatibility with other apps remains just pie in the sky.

Because of the change to global flags, more…

MacBook Air for Lightroom?

I had to get a new Mac laptop for Lightroom 4 and chose a MacBook Air. What do I think?

Moving from LR3 to LR4

Q Best practice for moving images from LR3 to 4?

How can I copy a folder’s stacks to a collection

QIs there a way to move stacks of images into a collection and have those stacks retain their original stacking “formation”/order?

ADrag a folder and drop it in the Collections panel. LR4 creates a new collection with stacking which matches the folder.

How does Lightroom handle custom XMP?

There’s been no change to LR’s handling of custom XMP since version 1 – I’d characterise it as “preserving” custom XMP data.

So LR does read the data from imported files and stores it in a database field. It never displays the information and it isn’t editable even through the SDK. But at least Lightroom doesn’t do any damage. When you save metadata back to the original files (sidecars or directly into the file) it does not overwrite any custom XMP it encounters, and it does write the custom XMP to any exported files.

It is possible to use a plug-in that calls an external library (exiftools) to read and write custom XMP. I have one working for myself, but I judged the area’s complexity and potential for damage to be so great that I’ve chosen not to develop it for wider use. I’d make far too many enemies!

Does History matter?

Does the order of steps in the History panel make any difference to the end result?

The answer is an emphatic No. Lightroom edits do not build on one another – the current slider values in the right hand panel are all that matters.

If you don’t quite believe this, save the edits back to xmp and remove the image from the catalogue. Reimport it and there’ll be no History – but the image will look identical to before.

The History panel is more like a log of what you’ve done – an audit trail – and I’ve long thought Adobe could have used a different term, like “log”, to clearly distinguish it from Photoshop’s History feature, where the exact order of work does often matter.

Of course, it is not merely a log. One nice touch is when you’re in Before/After view (Y) you can drag history steps into the Before view.

What’s your workflow to Nik software?

What’s your workflow to Nik software?

If you own Lightroom and Photoshop, Photoshop “smart objects” are the best way to use Nik apps.

The workflow is easy. Do all your corrections in LR then select the image, right click and choose Edit In > Open as Smart Object in Photoshop. Then in Photoshop select the smart object in the Layers Palette (F7), invoke Silver Efex, and afterwards save as a TIF.

Why is this?

Send to Photoshop as a smart object avoids baking in the raw conversion adjustments
Smart objects means the Silver Efex work remains editable as a smart filter
TIF because non-proprietary and there’s nothing a PSD can do that a TIF can’t do just as well

Any downsides?

File size is bigger – but why economize on space when extra drives are cheap?
Cost – you need matching versions of Lightroom and Photoshop

“Edit in” or “Open as Smart Object” in Photoshop?

Unless you’ve a good reason, I would always choose Open as Smart Object. Good reasons might be you’re running out of hard drive space, or you have an earlier version of Photoshop than your version of Lightroom.

OK, now why? I tend to assume there’s a fair chance you’ll want to fine tune the raw conversion at some stage in the future. For example, a new version of Camera Raw may have better noise reduction and you may want to rework the picture. Alternatively, you may have overlooked some dust spots and prefer to correct them at the raw level rather than with a retouching layer, or you might notice a lens aberration of some kind. Smart Objects let you do this.

Secondly smart objects allow you to adopt some very effective ways to work. For example, filters are applied as smart filters which unlike regular filters are non-destructive, so you can more…

Will Lightroom ever get away from this modal hangup?

It might, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I know “modal” is a loaded word in Mac-land, but these are “modules” and more akin to the workspaces you see in Photoshop than they are to nasty unMaclike modality. They’re dedicated to tasks like adjusting or organising, and help you focus on the task in hand rather than flipping between adjusting images and entering metadata. The key to getting over the modal hangup is to learn just a few keyboard shortcuts – E G D R Q W . There are lots more, but those combine important functions with moving between workspaces.

How should I set up the Spot healing brush?

Activate the Spot Healing brush and then in the toolbar below the image choose “Auto”. This means that when the cursor is over the image, the circles will display. When you move the cursor out of the image area, they won’t.

Why isn’t history in the xmp metadata?

Lightroom’s Develop History panel is a log of all the work done on an image but it’s never written to xmp because:

To hide it from prying eyes. If you send files to a client, the edit history can disclose your clever methods or your time-wasting incompetence to the client
LR’s history data is of no use in any other existing application and xmp is as much about data interchange as it is about backup or moving work from A to B
There’s also a desire not to bloat the sidecars with what is merely a log.

Had Adobe included history, there would have been loud demands to make it optional, perhaps on an individual image basis, and probably lots of other inconsistencies too. It’s really not worth the development effort.