All kinds of Adobe questions - Photoshop, file structures, importing and best practices.....

Wm

7DMKII
Jun 11, 2018
54
3
LA
So I'll try an make this short and to the point. Pretty new to the hobby(trying to get better that is, not just take a picture)... Until this 7DII Ive always shot in .jpeg. I have now been getting use to M mode and a lot of reading and shooting and have been writing the files in raw - .CR2 - and .jpeg. Has been more cumbersome in keeping up with the files and have mostly only edited the .jpeg ones but would like to learn how to import the .CR2's .....

What is the best way to learn this?

The adobe lessons dont touch much on the file system - sidecar files, where they will reside, do they have to move with the photos, best to write them into the pic file or keep separate. I have Adobe raw and I look at the raw pics with that but now that im focusing more on raw im trying to figure out the bulk import which leads to Bridge which I do not have but seem to need? Another question there. Do I import and convert to .DNG. Yes, no? Why / why not?

Really trying to figure out this sidecar, DNG, Bridge stuff. Any pointers greatly appreciated! Id like to just keep up w/ raw and im guessing dng and ditch jpeg.
 

PCM-madison

EOS T7i
Dec 9, 2013
98
17
The following only applies to my personal opinions and workflow. I'm sure many do it differently. I do always shoot in M and RAW. I do photography as a hobby so I do not have to process 100's or 1000's of images every day. I do sometimes return from a vacation with ~2000 new photos to work with. I import first into a program like Photos (Mac OS) that lets you see all of the images without processing the RAW files. For keepers, I process RAW files individually in Photoshop. I do not bulk process because Adobe RAW conversion settings tend to be unique for each photo. If you are getting CR2 RAW files, conversion to .DNG is likely not needed. I have only found it useful when I get a newly released camera such that my versions of Photos/Photoshop are not yet compatible with the new RAW format of the camera. Example, I recently got an Eos RP that generates CR3 RAW files that my versions of Photos/Photoshop don't work with so I convert these to .DNG.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,359
612
Yes, the total confusion when trying to get started with Lightroom.

Personally, I do not like sidecars, they are saved in the same folder as the original raw file and must stay with the original, and I'm not good at keeping them together for dozens of years, or even a week!

Adobe offers DNG and you can keep edit data embedded in the DNG file, even embed the raw data in it, files get huge.

So, I learned to use the recommended Adobe method of a database. The database keeps the control settings for edits and a pointer to where the original raw image is at. Move the image, and you must then tell Lightroom where it went or lose your edits.

Importing images can be as simple as having Lightroom copy images from a memory card or just linking to them in their location on a hard drive. It puts pointers to them in the data base, and creates a converted copy (Previews) of the raws to viewable images in resolutions you specify. The original is never changed. Those previews are what you are seeing when you edit a image in Lightroom. They can be kept forever, but normally, you set the preferences to delete them after a few weeks. They are not your actual image and will be generated with edits on the fly any time you open a old raw image where the previews have been purged.

I'd highly recommend getting one of the many excellent books written about Lightroom. The authors give their preferred method of dealing with and handling the images, so there is variation from book to book.

I have two. They cost more than some books, but are worth it. Kindle editions are fine, they can be read on phone, tablet, or PC/Mac, and are much less expensive, plus you often get updates as new features are added to Lightroom. Personally, I'd avoid Tony Northrup books. They are popular due to lower price, but they don't have a good reputation among enthusiasts, and quoting him here will get you ridiculed.

Some are Scott Kelby fans, and I'm sure there are other good books, but I have not read them.

1. By Victoria Brampton (The Lightroom Queen).


2. I like Martin Evening's approach and work flows. I don't purchase each new edition as it appears, as Lightroom evolves, I tend to learn about new features by visiting the Adobe website.


3. Finally, there is a series of videos that Adobe provides and they are comprehensive and free. Julieann Kost is excellent!

 
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Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,359
612
I forgot the most important thing. Output. You will probably want jpeg images to post online or share. You generate them using the export process. Every time you decide to do more edits on the original raw, you must create a new jpeg, they are not updated automatically. Of course, you can upload to one of several online photo sites, I use Smugmug, for example.
 

unfocused

EOS 5D SR
I am a Scott Kelby fan and would recommend his Photoshop CC Book and/or his Lightroom Classic Book. Be sure to get the latest editions.

I am not a Lightroom Fan. I just don't like the way it stores files. If you are starting from scratch, it's probably good to start with Lightroom, but I'm just too used to Bridge and Camera Raw.

Here is something that many people don't realize: The only difference between Bridge and Camera Raw in Photoshop and Lightroom is the file storage. Adobe Camera Raw does everything Lightroom does.

Regardless of which program you use, you will probably end up doing most of your processing in Raw (Either in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom). Kelby's books provide a good starting point for either program. But, be aware that Kelby takes a "Tips and Tricks" approach, rather than a comprehensive linear approach. I prefer that because I can jump around and learn what I want when I want. Others prefer a more linear approach.
 

dppaskewitz

EOS 80D
Jul 19, 2011
176
1
71
I presume you are subscribed to Adobe's Creative Cloud plan, which includes Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC, Photoshop and, of course, Adobe Camera Raw. Someone starting out may be able to figure all of that out without good books, but I don't see how. I second Mt Spokane's suggestions. The Lightroom Queen has books on both Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC. And the digital editions work fine. She also has free basic books on Lightroom, which can at least point you in some of the right directions. I have also gained much from Martin Evening's book. I would add one more to the list: Stephen Laskevitch Photoshop CC and Lightroom from Rocky Nook (again, the digital editions work fine). Covers the basic stuff in Lightroom/Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop, telling you what can be done in each program and the basics of how to do it. I have Kelby's "the Adobe Photoshop CC Book for Digital Photographers." Mine is the 2014 edition, so a little dated. I think it assumes that you already know a fair amount. He may have more basic books, but just starting out I would look at The Lightroom Queen first.
 
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Wm

7DMKII
Jun 11, 2018
54
3
LA
tks all. went to B&N yesterday day to look for books. While I did not make note of the authors I did find 1 or 2 good books. BUT, they were for Lr CC not PS, so I did not buy yet. Had a few Photoshop for Dummies, but I prefer more in depth explaining. I was surprised they had none in stock for PS. While 1 I think did say Adobe Photoshop CC and Light Room, it seemed to focus on Lr..... So now I guess im looking to see the difference between the 2 - another wrinkle I guess. FYI, I am leaning towards Lr Classic not CC and PS CC because I am not a big user of cloud stuff and prefer to keep files on my computer. Syncing is turned off. I have updated by Adobe raw driver and now installed Bridge - I did not have it before. To me it seems simpler to use dng with the raw info embedded so I can keep the file all together if you will and not have to worry about sidecar files. Id like to try and not have pointers as mentioned for fear of the one or 2 times, I hope, that I will have to move computers - dont want to get all the files screwed up in the move.

its important for me to understand the file structure choices and import / export / save as choices, details to make sure I get it. For instance, saw something about lossy (sp?) file info.... Another thing to look up. I did download the Adobe PS guide - 1000 pages I think. My eyes glossed over after a few minutes so I dont remember if it explains some of the file structure nuances. What im thinking -

Shoot raw only
Move pics to computer location where I keep originals
Convert and copy to location I manual sync with iTunes to iPad and iPhone. Another question now is file size of the dng. Just throwing out a for instance - if the raw is 25meg, what size will the dng be? Guessing it depends on how I convert and save and how I then edit and save? I cant see syncing or would want to sync huge amounts of large dng pics....

interesting process here!
 

Wm

7DMKII
Jun 11, 2018
54
3
LA
I presume you are subscribed to Adobe's Creative Cloud plan, which includes Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC, Photoshop and, of course, Adobe Camera Raw. Someone starting out may be able to figure all of that out without good books, but I don't see how. I second Mt Spokane's suggestions. The Lightroom Queen has books on both Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC. And the digital editions work fine. She also has free basic books on Lightroom, which can at least point you in some of the right directions. I have also gained much from Martin Evening's book. I would add one more to the list: Stephen Laskevitch Photoshop CC and Lightroom from Rocky Nook (again, the digital editions work fine). Covers the basic stuff in Lightroom/Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop, telling you what can be done in each program and the basics of how to do it. I have Kelby's "the Adobe Photoshop CC Book for Digital Photographers." Mine is the 2014 edition, so a little dated. I think it assumes that you already know a fair amount. He may have more basic books, but just starting out I would look at The Lightroom Queen first.
tks dppaskewitz - I was tying as you posted. Definitely gonna get some books!
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,359
612
Lightroom is intended specifically for photographers. Photoshop is a much more powerful program that has a much wider usage. It can do many things that Lightroom can't, but its less user friendly.

Learn to use Lightroom, it will let you do edits faster and easier, you can set up standard edits when files are imported which saves time. If you only process a few photos at a time, the free Canon DPP will do a good job.

For quick photos that will be used for something like a facebook post, I use jpeg and ACDSEE because its faster.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,359
612
tks all. went to B&N yesterday day to look for books. While I did not make note of the authors I did find 1 or 2 good books. BUT, they were for Lr CC not PS, so I did not buy yet. Had a few Photoshop for Dummies, but I prefer more in depth explaining. I was surprised they had none in stock for PS. While 1 I think did say Adobe Photoshop CC and Light Room, it seemed to focus on Lr..... So now I guess im looking to see the difference between the 2 - another wrinkle I guess. FYI, I am leaning towards Lr Classic not CC and PS CC because I am not a big user of cloud stuff and prefer to keep files on my computer. Syncing is turned off. I have updated by Adobe raw driver and now installed Bridge - I did not have it before. To me it seems simpler to use dng with the raw info embedded so I can keep the file all together if you will and not have to worry about sidecar files. Id like to try and not have pointers as mentioned for fear of the one or 2 times, I hope, that I will have to move computers - dont want to get all the files screwed up in the move.

its important for me to understand the file structure choices and import / export / save as choices, details to make sure I get it. For instance, saw something about lossy (sp?) file info.... Another thing to look up. I did download the Adobe PS guide - 1000 pages I think. My eyes glossed over after a few minutes so I dont remember if it explains some of the file structure nuances. What im thinking -

Shoot raw only
Move pics to computer location where I keep originals
Convert and copy to location I manual sync with iTunes to iPad and iPhone. Another question now is file size of the dng. Just throwing out a for instance - if the raw is 25meg, what size will the dng be? Guessing it depends on how I convert and save and how I then edit and save? I cant see syncing or would want to sync huge amounts of large dng pics....

interesting process here!
There is much to learn. Lightroom cc for example will upload photos to the cloud from your phone, so when you open Lightroom cc on another device like tablet or MAC or PC or even a different phone, they are almost instantly there. Lightroom classic will download them from the cloud into your computer, you set it up to do that. You can also choose to upload to the cloud to have images available on your phone. When I'm traveling, I link my Canon camera to my phone and copy images there for edits in Lightroom cc, they are copied to the cloud and are a backup to the original which is still on my memory card.

The ways you can use all these tools seem almost infinite, I just use a small portion of the capability of the software.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,359
612
DNG is a file container that is created by Adobe. The image itself is in tiff format, which is also owned by Adobe. The container saves your edit settings, and can even contain the original raw file. You can choose to have the image in lossy format which reduces file size. My take is to save everything at as high of a resolution as possible. If I had reduced the file size of my images in 1998 taken with a 2.1 mp camera, I'd not be very happy about it today. Memory is relative inexpensive and prices are dropping.
 

Wm

7DMKII
Jun 11, 2018
54
3
LA
I am not a Lightroom Fan. I just don't like the way it stores files. If you are starting from scratch, it's probably good to start with Lightroom, but I'm just too used to Bridge and Camera Raw.
Can you add more.... Just read some reviews in the Martin Evening online info and he prefers Lr Classic files not PS ..... What dont you like?
 

Wm

7DMKII
Jun 11, 2018
54
3
LA
DNG is a file container that is created by Adobe. The image itself is in tiff format, which is also owned by Adobe. The container saves your edit settings, and can even contain the original raw file. You can choose to have the image in lossy format which reduces file size. My take is to save everything at as high of a resolution as possible. If I had reduced the file size of my images in 1998 taken with a 2.1 mp camera, I'd not be very happy about it today. Memory is relative inexpensive and prices are dropping.
so if I convert to dng and sync the folder to the iPhone, dng file is viewable in photos on phone? guessing as long as I keep the raw originals it'll be okay to reduce the file to a more manageable size for syncing.
 

unfocused

EOS 5D SR
Can you add more.... Just read some reviews in the Martin Evening online info and he prefers Lr Classic files not PS ..... What dont you like?
Understand that there is no difference between files processed in Lightroom and files processed in Adobe Camera Raw. My complaint about Lightroom involves the way it catalogs and stores files, it has nothing to do with processing files, which is identical, save for minor differences in the interface. Mostly it is just what I am used to. I started with Bridge and have continued to use Bridge as my file preview and selection program. I have a file system that works for me, so I'm content with that. I also do a lot of "double processing" in which I edit a file in Camera Raw and then load it into Photoshop as a smart object. I can then make a new smart object and reopen it in Camera Raw and perform additional edits. Then, when I return to Photoshop, I have two layers of the exact same image with slightly different processing (For example, one may have been processed for shadows and one for highlights). I can use layer masks to paint out areas on one layer and allow those areas to show on the other layer.

You can create smart objects in Lightroom as well, but if you create a second duplicate smart object, Photoshop will open it in Camera Raw, not Lightroom, so if you do any double processing like this, you are going to have to use Camera Raw anyway.

As I said, it's just my own personal workflow. If you have the patience and time to learn the Lightroom file management system, then the more power to you. It is far more robust than Bridge. I'm not that patient. Maybe someday.
 
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LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
1,529
125
Those previews are what you are seeing when you edit a image in Lightroom
AFAIK, not in the Classic develop module. Here all edits should be applied starting from the demosaiced RAW image in memory, to ensure you can see actual edits down to the pixel level.

Smart Previews allow to edit anyway when the RAW files is not available.


Or you can tell LR to use always Smart Preview to speed up editing, but when you zoom larger images:

 

LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
1,529
125
so if I convert to dng and sync the folder to the iPhone, dng file is viewable in photos on phone? guessing as long as I keep the raw originals it'll be okay to reduce the file to a more manageable size for syncing.
As long as the photo app recognizes the format it will display it. Just, with any raw format you will see a standard representation of the RAW image only. Any edit applied, even if stored inside the file, are application specific, and the photo app can't usually read and apply them (unless made by the same maker of the editing app).
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,122
198
Davidson, NC
I am not a Lightroom Fan. I just don't like the way it stores files. If you are starting from scratch, it's probably good to start with Lightroom, but I'm just too used to Bridge and Camera Raw.

Here is something that many people don't realize: The only difference between Bridge and Camera Raw in Photoshop and Lightroom is the file storage. Adobe Camera Raw does everything Lightroom does.
I feel the same way. I keep the Raw files in the folder where I imported them. I may put that folder inside another folder, such as one called “Scandinavia,” or I might rename it by subject matter, or I might leave it named by date, however I think it will be easiest to find it on the computer and in Bridge. Anything like a sidecar is going to be there automatically. If I save a PSD edit, I’ll save it there, too. If I make archives or copies, the whole folder is going anyway. I don’t need no steenken database. The computer takes care of that with folders. If I create a JPEG, then I put it where I need it, such as the local “images” folder for a web site. A PSD optimized for printing might wind up anywhere: Desktop for quick and dirty or the folder with the Raw file for posterity.

I have asked professionals why they use Lightroom instead, and their answers are about workflow, deadlines, automation, and volume. Works for them. No advantage for me that I can see. I keep Lightroom Classic on my computer in case I want to use it for something. Maybe I’ll do a photo book with it some day.
 
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unfocused

EOS 5D SR
...If I save a PSD edit, I’ll save it there, too...
On thing I have done within the folder containing the raw files (such as your "Scandanavia" folder for example) is to create a subfolder called Finals, where I put all my PSD Files from the shoot. The main reason I do that is that I use the "scripts" command in Photoshop (under the "File" menu) to batch process my PSDs into JPGs at a reduced size (usually 3000 px wide), which I find is a good compromise in case I want to use them for print or posting to social media.
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,122
198
Davidson, NC
On thing I have done within the folder containing the raw files (such as your "Scandanavia" folder for example) is to create a subfolder called Finals, where I put all my PSD Files from the shoot. The main reason I do that is that I use the "scripts" command in Photoshop (under the "File" menu) to batch process my PSDs into JPGs at a reduced size (usually 3000 px wide), which I find is a good compromise in case I want to use them for print or posting to social media.
In contrast, I keep the PSD files to do further editing, often for different purposes. Usually when I keep the PSD files, they have multiple layers, sometimes including adjustment layers. So I will retain the option of changing layer masks, opacities, etc., in the reediting process. An obvious example involves output sharpening. I will use completely different layers for making files to print from those for making JPEGs. My internal SSD had over 600GB of free space, and I have several external hard drives in a Thunderbolt-connected enclosure for backups and archives. The 6TB drive has very little on it so far. It will be a long time before I'll need to worry about storage. I do trash all the work files that FCP X produces when I edit if I am sure I won't revisit the same video project.