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How to Save a File in Lightroom?

M. Iqbal , Dec 24, 2007; 11:05 a.m.

After working on a file in PS Lightroom, how do you save the file? There is NO menue for saving file in LR. Under File, there is "save quick collection," but nothing to save an individual file as it is in Photoshop. Your feedback greatly appreciated.

Responses


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Stephen Bay , Dec 24, 2007; 11:09 a.m.

Lightroom automatically saves the changes either in a supplementary xmp file or in it's catalog database file.

Edward Ingold , Dec 24, 2007; 11:29 a.m.

In a word, "EXPORT".

Godfrey DiGiorgi , Dec 24, 2007; 11:31 a.m.

Lightroom is based on a database engine. When you edit your file, the edits you make are recorded as instructions in the database, written as metadata instructions, linked to the image file: the image file is not actually modified. This is called "non-destructive editing" ... you can at any time return to the original data. Saving the edit instructions into the database is automatic.

If you Save Metadata to File, Lightroom writes a .xmp sidecar file containing these instructions to the same directory as the target file, with the same filename and .xmp extension (if the file is a DNG file, it appends the data into the DNG file). You can turn on an option to automatically save metadata to the files if you choose to.

When you want to take an edited file into another application for viewing or editing, you must render the adjustments you've made and the original data into a new file. You do this with the Export command in the File menu. You can export files in TIFF, DNG, PSD and JPEG formats, per what your intended usage is.

When you use the Develop command to edit a photo in an external editor (like Photoshop), Lightroom automatically exports a rendered version of the file into the same directory as the original, in the format you've set it to use in the Preferences, adds it to the database, and then starts the external editing application and sets it to open the rendered version of the file. That way, when you finish your edits in the external application and return to Lightroom, it updates the thumbnail to reflect the edits. You can then do more editing in Lightroom ...or in the external app again ... until you're done. When you're done, you export to a finished image and all edits are included.

Godfrey

F. Fanta , Dec 24, 2007; 12:27 p.m.

File > Export... will allow you to save a copy in a format of your choice. As others pointed out, LR is saving all your changes to the image as metadata (instructions, if you like), and without actually changing the origial file. Metadata are stored in LR database (that one should periodically back up) or you can choose to save them as a sidecar file (.xmp). File > Catalogue Settings > Metadata gives you the switch. If you decide to use the database only, you can still direct LR to save .xmp files when you want with Metatada > Save Metadata to File

Ciao.

Harry Joseph , Dec 24, 2007; 04:26 p.m.

Thanks Godfrey. I just downloaded a 30 day trial copy of Light Room and was also trying to figure out how to save the changes made to an image.

Although the words "Light Room" have popped up in every other sentence on this site, I'm not sure if it's worth the $300 and the additional space on my hard-drive. I already have Adobe Bridge that came with PS CS2 I bought last year.

Those two programs combined are eating up the memory on my computer like there is no tomorrow. Adobe Bridge was promissed as the 'ultimate' in photo file management systems, but I hardly ever use it due to the learning curve. I just upgraded to Photo Shop Elements version 6 after just getting a hang of learning the file Management system on version 4.0. Now it's Light-Room. What next for heavens sakes ?

Godfrey DiGiorgi , Dec 24, 2007; 05:30 p.m.

Harry,

Bridge is not designed to be a photographic image management application. It operates as a live browser and workflow coordinator for broad use of the Creative Suite, coordinating scripting and automation workflow between Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.

(Far as I can tell, the combination of what Photoshop CS2 installs plus Lightroom installs amounts to about 750Mbytes or so, hardly a huge amount of space in a time when a 500Gbyte external drive, ready to use, can be had for $130 if you look around a little bit... !)

Lightroom is an application designed to manage, do basic corrections and editing, and then produce finished image files, prints and web galleries, specifically for photographs. Once you learn its operation (which is very different conceptually from working in Photoshop CS2 + Bridge and Camera Raw or PHotoshop Elements), you should find that your need for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements is greatly reduced.

I use just Lightroom and Photoshop CS2, and 90% of my time is spent in Lightroom. Very occasionally I run Bridge to coordinate a sequence of Photoshop scripts over a batch of image files, but that's a rare thing these days ... Lightroom's embedded batch processing (applying edits to groups of images) is much more efficient most of the time, and consumes far less disk space and machine resources.

Where a big hit on disk space happens with Lightroom is in the creation of the catalogs and previews. You can tune it to build previews and hold onto them for a long time or conversely to only build previews on demand and delete them quickly.

I strongly recommend anyone new to Lightroom to go through one of the tutorial videos on it. These have been proven the fastest way to get a new user up to speed. Michael Tapes did a good job with his free tutorials at www.rawworkflow.org, Adobe offers some good ones at www.adobe.com/lightroom, Luminous Landscape has an excellent 9 module set for $15 at their website, and there are several other good ones available. Do a google search, pick one, go through it, and you'll get up to speed much more rapidly.

And always keep in mind: you don't always need the very latest and greatest software every time a new product comes out. If you have a good system that allows you to efficiently get what you want done already, look at new software carefully, learn it with an evaluation copy, and decide whether it's really necessary. I look at about four or five applications every few months, but I only rarely find I actually get any advantage beyond what Lightroom and Photoshop now provide.

Godfrey

Harry Joseph , Dec 24, 2007; 07:16 p.m.

"Adobe offers some good ones at www.adobe.com/lightroom, Luminous Landscape has an excellent 9 module set for $15 at their website, and there are several other good ones available.'

Thank you !

Eric Lawson , Dec 25, 2007; 08:43 a.m.

The problem with export for me is it is not very convenient for the way I work. I save all my JPG's in the same folder as the RAW's and in Lightroom there is no automatic "save to current folder" option (at least that I can find). Every time I am working on a folder of images and want to save off JPG's I have to select the folder I am in from the export dialog box to do it. Half the time they end up in the wrong folder with me trying to figure out where I saved them to, very frustrating!

Godfrey DiGiorgi , Dec 25, 2007; 09:43 a.m.

Hi Eric,

I'm not sure what the value of exporting JPEGs to the same location as the RAW files might be, but that's for you to decide.

What I'd do if this is what you want to do: create a special directory to export to, somewhere known and easy to get to. Whenever you export, you export to that location. When you're done with the export, you move the files to the desired location. You could write a script which asks you where that is and moves the files, and and set Lightroom to automatically execute that script when it finishes an export.

My schema is a little different, however. In my photo directory tree, I have an area explicitly set aside for exported, finished work. When I finish a batch of files and export them, I tell Lightroom to put them there in a new subfolder, which I name with export date and mnemonic tag (ie: "2007/completed/20071225-xmas_pictures"). The file names always contain the number portion of the original RAW filenames, allowing me to easily locate the originals with a very brief search.

Godfrey


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