Surrendered to LR4

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by fransglans, May 11, 2013.

  1. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    Just downloaded the trial from Adobe, and after some YouTube lessons Im starting to understand the main lines in lightroom. And for me its kinda of a new way to think. Im leaning to start shooting only raw, now that I have seen the potential of this software. It almost felt like I have bought a new camera. But im still a little bit worried about two things.
    1. The backups. I have a smugmug account, and a hope that lr4 could work easily together with this.
    2. 80% of my Photos goes to making a photobook every year. How about this, does the book making feature in lr work together with orf files or am I forced to first convert every file to jpeg?

    I really hope that I will conquer this new software and through this achieve the full potential of my ancient sensor in my e-p3 :)
  2. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    1. There are two things that you need to backup: (1) the photograph files themselves (the .orf and .jpeg files); and (2) your LR catalogue (which contains not only organisational information, but also all of the adjustments that you make to the RAW files). I don't know Smugmug, so can't advise about that, but you will want to back up both to a separate hard drive (or equivalent), preferably away from your main computer. Lightroom has its own built in backup system for the catalogue; for the .orf and .jpeg files, you will need to use ordinary backup software. I use network attached storage for both.

    2. I haven't used the book feature, but there is a more conceptual point here: to send any photograph or collection of photographs to be printed, you will, of course, want to work with processed images. The print house is not going to do your raw adjustments for you, nor do you want it to do so: you want (presumably) to be able to make your own raw adjustments. You therefore need to be able to send to the print house your photographs in processed form, which will be as a .jpeg or .tiff or other non-raw format. When exporting (for example, to Flickr), Lightroom will automatically convert to an appropriate file format, so you will not need to do this manually.
  3. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    1. As James has pointed out, you need to backup the raw files + the lightroom catalog folder.
  4. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman

    "Converting to jpg" once you start using LR is really a non-event. If you shoot raw (.orf in Olympus-land), when you view the image inside LR it will automatically create a jpg (actually, so will any viewing program). Anytime you export the files from LR it will automatically create the jpg. Anytime you print it will automatically create the jpg. If you create a book using LR, it will automatically create jpgs or some other external format. So, just shoot raw and don't worry about it any more.

    LR stores your original raw data in one place (a folder structure which you specify), and all of the information used to represent your edits in another called the Lightroom Catalog. Your raw files are never changed. Your catalog is changed pretty much every time you open LR and take any action. LR offers you the choice of creating a backup copy of the Catalog - when you open LR, when you close LR, etc. (I choose when I close). You should take this option and have it create the backup on another disk. In my case, I use Dropbox, and have the Catalog backed up there. This gets this important data out of my house everyday. For my 40,000 images, it takes about 500MB.

    You ought to backup your image files, and you have several choices for backup. Different strategies protect against different problems. The backup should always be on another disk. You can have LR make a second copy when you import the images from your camera. You can use some backup program (on a Mac, you have Time Machine) to copy them. Etc., etc. There are other options for this. The good news is that the raw image files never change, so once you've made a secure second copy, you're done.

    In addition to the copy on another disk, I make a copy which is out of my house. You can use a portable disk which you store at your office or a friend's house; you can use a cloud backup service such as Crashplan; you can use a cloud storage system such as Dropbox. This protects your
  5. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Very important: as you import either existing or new files, add keyword tags. This allows you to create "smart collections" based on keywords that let you organize your material in an astoundingly rapid way. When you have 30,000+ photos cataloged you will REALLY appreciate this feature -- but even with less you will find that if you keyword as you go your material of any type is only a click away in the library.

    Add collections under another to have a hierarchy to organize diverse but related material.

    Any photo can appear any number of times in any collection so you material can overlap. So for instance you can have family, glamor and event collections of some kind that also have photos that appear in a collection called portraits.

    It's tremendous and one of Lightroom's selling points to me in integrating a great organizer and editor together.
  6. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    Thanks everyone for your tips!
    I will sit down this day and hopefully get all things in order. I hope that I will get smugmug to work as a backup As I already have paid for it.
  7. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    I don't always have time to keyword everything all the time, so I've created a special keyword that is automatically assigned at import. I remove that keyword as I properly keyword each or group of images. This way I don't lose track of my "to be keyworded" images.

    Sent from my Kindle Fire HD. Please pardon my brevity!
  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    You can also arrange for LR to save the edits in a so-called "side-car" file as well as the catalog - a file with the same name as the ORF, but with an extension of .xmp. It's an XML file that in principle is portable between different raw converters (so LR, ASP etc), but in my experience anything beyond basic exposure/contrast doesn't work. However, I like the idea that I can just backup the photo directory alone and I get the photos & edits in one place - rather than having the edits separate from the photos in a fancy LR catalog.
  9. littlefish

    littlefish Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 22, 2011
    Glos., UK
    I echo all of entropicremnants' comments but especially the part about adding keywords on import. I made the mistake of not doing this and, 10,000 images later, have a devil of a time finding the images I want.
  10. tomrock

    tomrock Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    You can work with the raw files in the Book module. LR will do the necessary conversion when you upload the book to be printed.
  11. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA

    This is a well-taken reminder. I've been using LR since the original beta and used to do this, but have fallen out of the habit. Gotta start doing that again on import! :thumbup:
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