All kinds of Adobe questions - Photoshop / Light Room Classic , file structures, importing and best practices.....

unfocused

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
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www.mgordoncommunications.com
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.
I should have clarified. I keep the PSD files also in case I need to go back. In fact, I'm terrible about creating multiple layers in Photoshop for any edits I have done as I am always worried about having to go back and redo edits. What I meant was that by having all the PSD files from the project in one folder, the program will quickly batch convert and resize jpg copies and store them in a subfolder. Sorry for not being clear.
 

Wm

7DMKII
Jun 11, 2018
62
7
LA
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).
to confirm - so if I convert a cr2 to dng, make edits to the dng and save them to the file then export to my iPhone pictures folder on the iPhone, I will not be able to see the edits in the photo if viewing the photo with apple photos app if all the converting and editing was done with PS? Tks
 

Wm

7DMKII
Jun 11, 2018
62
7
LA
1st of all, a big thanks for everyones comments. While its invaluable to do the research and look at the books, there is no substitute for the comments on how everyone uses the programs real life if you will. Hope to see more comments like those too!! One thing to get book info and another to get the real life experience input.

a little of what ive picked up so far - please correct me if im wrong.

LR uses a catalogue system to keep track of the edits. If you move systems the catalogue system must come along. Edits are non-destructive to the original file. PS you must save the edits either save as or overwrite the original. The info can go to a sidecar file or in the file, ie, with a dng conversion holding the info. or overwrite the cr2. The files can go where you put them on the import and future moves....

Bridge is the viewer program that can also be used to organize photos. I like that idea as I now use Finder / Preview on an older iOS and I do not like the way the new preview is on the latest iOS. Can be used to open photos inside PS

LR and PS edit programs. each with their own strengths and weaknesses. some say PS can do all LR can do plus more and better. Others find LR all they need.

ACR, another raw edit utility.

3 books ive selected - 2 by Martin evening, The adobe photoshop Lightroom classic cc book(2nd ed) and Adobe photoshop CC for photographers 2018 and Adobe photoshop Lightroom classic CC - the missing faq (ver 7/2018) by Victoria bampton.

I am leaning towards PS. And bridge I guess on getting the photos inside PS. I dont like the idea of the catalogue system in LR - at least if im understang it correctly.
 

LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
1,594
165
LIghtroom can store edits 1) Directly inside the catalog 2) In sidecar XMP files for RAW files 3) In XMP format inside supported files (DNG, JPEG, TIFF and PSD) 4) In XMP format inside exported files (JPEG, TIFF and PSD).


Usually only Lightroom and Photoshop (through ACR) can read and display those edits. Some third party tool could read them as well, but as long as data are for Adobe proprietary algorithms. there's no warranty they are processed exactly the same way. Tools unaware of the sidecar/embedded data will display only the original image without edits.

If edits are stored in the catalog only, you need the catalog as well. For sidecar files, you need the .XMP file also. For files with embedded data, you need only the image file. Anyway, when moving among LR systems it's better to move the catalog anyway because LR is built on it and can't work without one, and you don't have the catalog, you need to re-import images into another catalog - and you would lose everything else stored in the catalog (collections, virtual copies, additional metadata, tags, etc.)

Yet because catalogs may be system-specific (i.e. file paths), you may need to export/import catalogs to ensure everything is correct, and that can be time consuming for large catalogs (you can have multiple catalogs, and export/import subsets). LR is not really a multiuser application. But if two systems can access the images with the same path (i.e. external storage), then the same catalog could work. Beware anyway different catalogs aren't kept in sync automatically.

When you convert to DNG within Lightroom, the original RAW won't be deleted, but only the DNG will appear in the catalog as the "original" file.

The Import pane of Lightroom will let you choose the file destination, and how to create required folders. Once they are in the catalog, it you move them from inside Lightroom it will update the catalog data automatically, and move sidecar files also. If you do it outside LR, you will need to update the catalog manually from Lightroom - i.e. it will tell it can't find the files and ask you for the new position. Same for deletions.

To work with RAW files with PS they need to be opened first in ACR (which shares the processing engine with LR) - PS will do it automatically when you select a RAW file, and then imported into Photoshop (as a bitmap image or a smart object) - then you have to save your edits to another file. As working for Photoshop means you're probably going to use layers, smart objects etc. to take advantage of its full power usually it means you want to save those also (but for final output images), so you need to save in a file format fully supporting that, usually PS its own PSD format. For final outputs you usually want to "flatten" (merge all layers into a single one, and all edits), resize, and then save to JPEG, TIFF, PDF, etc. as required.

PS is designed with a broad range of image/graphic creation and editing needs in mind, making it more complex to learn, while LR is designed for photographers only. It's quite easy to work in LR, export to PS for any editing needs that can't be done in LR, and then back for image management. Some people work that way, others only in LR, others only in PS. You have to find what works best for you.

PS can do a lot more than LR and with extreme control, yet you can edit one file at a time (you can record edits and apply them in batch). LR allows for "synced edits" where you can apply the same edits to a set of images at the same time. LR allows to create easily "virtual copies" also, and apply different edits to them without duplicating the original image.

Some PS edits are "destructive" - after the image is saved they can't be easily rolled back. LR edits are always non destructive, but you need LR/ACR to see them, or to export to a new image with all edits applied permanently.
 
Last edited:

unfocused

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
5,134
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Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
...For final outputs you usually want to "flatten" (merge all layers into a single one, and all edits), resize, and then save to JPEG, TIFF, PDF, etc. as required...
I just want to clarify this for those not familiar with Photoshop. If you want to save all your layers, masks etc., for future editing you do not want to merge the layers. Instead, you can simply save your PSD file and then do a "save as" for a JPEG, TIFF etc., file.That way you don't lose the original PSD file. The easiest way to automate the process is to use the Image Processor function, which you will find under File>Scripts>Image Processor. You can also have the Image Processor automatically reduce the JPEG file to the size you want. Just be sure to put all your final PSD files in a separate folder from your RAW files as the image processor will process everything in the folder you select.
 
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LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
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save them to the file then export to my iPhone pictures folder on the iPhone, I will not be able to see the edits in the photo if viewing the photo with apple photos app
I don't use the iPhone Photo app but I doubt it can read and show Adobe edits, as I explained in my longer answer. What to do depends on your needs. If you need to be able to show and edit the photos on your iPhone you could use the Adobe apps. If you just need to display the edited photos in the default iPhone app, you should export them in a format like JPEG or HEIC (TIFF may take too much space). With both LR and PS you can create presets to quickly export a number of images with a given format and size.

Keep in mind that in a RAW workflow you have "digital negatives" (and their edits) or "masters", from which specific and optimized "digital prints" are created for actual display, on a given screen or on paper (if needed with further specific edits)

The advantage is that the "digital negative" retains all the available information even if it can't be easily displayed directly, and while some information won't be retained in some exports (i.e. JPEG lossy format, limited bit depth and maybe smaller color space), they will be still available for others (i.e. prints on high quality photo printers and papers), without having to process the image from scratch each time. The disadvantage is you can't have a single image file to use everywhere.
 
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Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
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I am leaning towards PS. And bridge I guess on getting the photos inside PS. I dont like the idea of the catalogue system in LR - at least if im understang it correctly.
At first, the catalog system is confusing, but it is actually a very very valuable tool. It allows the Lightroom search function to locate photos in your catalog by many parameters. With Photoshop, to gain the function, you need a separate photo organizer software which, of course means a database. In 20 years, you can get a lot of photos.

In Lightroom, I can find all the photos taken in a specific year, month or day with a specific camera, specify the lens, and even the aperture, and ISO setting, or any combination of parameters.

All those books you mention are going to suggest that you apply key words to each photo as you import it. You can build up a library of key words so they can be quickly applied. By key wording a photo or group of photos, you can find them very quickly. Keywords like Johnson Wedding can bring up all photos with those words, and you can add more if you like.

Don't overlook the power of Lightroom to organize your photos, you don't need separate folders for them.

When considering a new lens, I look at in Lightroom to see just how many images I've taken at the focal range of the lens. Do I need 16mm, or whatever. What apertures do I use, am I limited by aperture? If I see a lot taken at the max aperture of my existing lens, that's a hint that I'd use a wider aperture, if many photos are at the widest focal length I own, I could use wider.

I prepare photo books for a theatrical class at a local school. I send 1200 -1500 photos to the student helping to prepare the book and they pick and arrange the photos for 36-40 pages with 1-7 photos per page. I use Lightroom to name and give unique numbers for each camera and date I used, so they just give me a list of numbers and their placement on a page. I use Lightroom to search for the number, place the photo in a collection with the name of the play sub folders for each page number, so I end up with virtual copies of each photo in the photo book organized by play and page number. I can then edit these virtual copies to crop out a individual person or otherwise edit them to fit in the book without affecting the original edit of the photo. Then, I drag and drop them by page into my photo book software. This virtual copy is just a catalog function and takes almost no additional disk space. I can make as many virtual copies of a photo as I want, each edited differently. Then, they are converted to jpeg images for printing.

There are so many things that can be done efficiently due to the catalog system that would require much more effort and disk space to do them in Photoshop. I do occasionally use some of the Photoshop functions that can't be done in Lightroom. Just right click the photo in Lightroom to edit in Photoshop, it opens and I do the edit, then when I save it, it can be a copy or the Lightroom version is updated. The original RAW is not changed.

I can, and occasionally do re-edit a older RAW photo using the latest Adobe Process version (There are 5). That often lets me get a better image quality that I could get 10 years ago. I can still use any of the 5 process versions if I want, or quickly compare them.

Lightroom is specific to photography, Camera raw and Lightroom can do the exact same edits but lack the database and all the things that go with it.

Read those books before deciding, and give Lightroom a serious try. You won't learn it in a day, and Photoshop takes even longer both are powerful, but designed with different uses in mind.
 
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Wm

7DMKII
Jun 11, 2018
62
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LA
At first, the catalog system is confusing, but it is actually a very very valuable tool. It allows the Lightroom search function to locate photos in your catalog by many parameters. With Photoshop, to gain the function, you need a separate photo organizer software which, of course means a database. In 20 years, you can get a lot of photos........
Tks much! As my inbox chimed, I was on http://www.photoshopforphotographers.com/CC_2013/Help_guide/PDFs/ConfiguringPhotoshop.pdf

reading whats not included in my books.... A lot here as mentioned. Appreciate it.
 

Wm

7DMKII
Jun 11, 2018
62
7
LA
Okay, I changed the topic name to include Lightroom. Im looking still at both, but have started to concentrate on Lightroom and thinking about figuring out more on Photoshop if I need to do more than basic editing - or if I figure out more than basic editing:) in Photoshop. As mentioned, PS seems a little more complicated to me right now so id thought id concentrate on LR....

That being said, Victoria Bampton, LRQ, mentions in her book to make sure you rename files when importing in LR. Question: Why? Im guessing so you dont get the original---Oops---- Ok, so I had to stop an re-read the section to make sure I was getting it right. Glad I did. It actually reads to make sure you rename files from inside LR, not while importing, as not to mix up the database vs directory copy of file. Scratch question 1... Got it, makes sense.

So the 1st batch of pictures ive brought into LR, I copied as DNG and kept the original file names. just double checking here to make sure I did it how I intended - id like to make sure that ive imported and copied all metadata from the original to the dng copy. Ive made some changes from the default of LR, so, question - Is there anything I could have changed while following the book(s) that would have not allowed for a full import and copy of the metadata? i.e., in all the flipping and checking and unchecking of options, I just want to make sure that I inadvertently didnt make a error. Tks much
 

YuengLinger

EOS 5D MK IV
Dec 20, 2012
2,735
888
Southeastern USA
Just remember that photo retouching is a set of skills learned over a period of time. Get started, find books and vids that appeal to you, that help you accomplish immediate goals and learn larger concepts, and practice, practice, practice. Play too!