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Advanced Adobe Lightroom 5 Workflow

Lesson 14 of 33

Traveler Workflow and Smart Previews

Jared Platt

Advanced Adobe Lightroom 5 Workflow

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

14. Traveler Workflow and Smart Previews

Lesson Info

Traveler Workflow and Smart Previews

We've created a catalogue here and we've put this catalog on its on the external hard drives so as that person asked and suggested should I put the catalog on my external drive because it's it's right now it's on a thunderbolt to fire where eight hundred connection so it's dumb down firewire eight hundred but if you have a thunderball connection it's pretty fast it's is almost as fast as whatever's inside your your computer and so that it's perfectly doable to do that however, what we want to do now is we want to talk about the ability of light room so so now we understand the concept of creating a template and using that template in order to make a seamless and easy transition from a catalog catalogue so you have access to all of the things that you need on a regular basis so that's good we've got that but now let's talk about the ability as we import files into light room of traveling with those because I I'm I'm a photographer who travels a lot and so I'm constantly in a plane in an...

airport in a in a hotel or at my house and I have a little office in my house and then have a studio you know, outside the house and so you know I'm all over the place and so really the best place for me to have access to my files is right here and so I need a way to move around and work on things but guess what? I don't want to be plugging in this drive every time I sit down in an airport and you know set the drive over here on this seat you know plug it in because now I have to power that drive and this computer it's just not a viable situation that's not the way I want to work and so if I wanna work correctly I wanna work work in a really good way then what I want to do is on import when I go into the import dialog box when I'm importing let's say I was re importing these images when I was doing that I would want to come uh I would want to come over here to the right hand side and I would want to build my one for one previews in that catalogue and build the smart previews in that catalog if I build both the one for one and smart previews they're two different purposes for those the one for one previews are so that you can zoom in and see if something sharp and zoom out without having to build if it has to build the preview for you while you're watching it there to problems the first problem is it's an insane waste of your time the second problem is that while it's building the preview it's spending energy to do it and if you're not plugged in and you're at an airport and every time it zooms in has spend energy in order to do that, you're going to drain your battery life much faster. So if when you're importing your files, plug in, you've got power, import the files and I'm still going to import the files, so I'm still importing all of my photos. The photos themselves are going to be imported into the solid state drive or the spinning driver. Whatever dr you have, it could be at home. You could have a big tower of drives this big home plug into it you take your photos and put them on that drive where you're going toe always keep them, but then instead, this is for the traveling photographer. Okay, so we're now in traveling photographer workflow mode, right? If I'm a traveling photographer, I'm going to quit this catalog get rid of it and I'm going to work as though I'm traveling. So what I've done is I I've opened up my hard drive, my working hard drive, which let's just say it's a home it's, not a traveling drive let's say it's, not this small and it's not this good looking it's, a big math it's, it's something that's, ugly and stupid like this thing right but whatever it is it's a home and it's going to stay at home but I still plug into it and I import my files into it so that as you see here the scott wedding right there is ready to go like I have pulled all my files into the raw set right there instead of put now I've already made a catalogue here we've already imported we've we've copied our catalog down and we've put the catalog right here so you can do it one of two ways and probably the best way to do it is to take the catalogue and put it into your job so that you know you have a catalog with the job and then you can go ahead and import those files into that catalogue as we've just done then you can take this catalog and you're going to go to your pictures folder which is on this computer it's not on a knot on that drive it's on this computer and you can take that catalogue and inside of your light room folder light room when it opens up makes that folder and then I just colored it orange remember oranges in progress that's my code for in progress so anything it's easy to find my lightman folder because it's in progress always and so I click on that one and I can see all of these catalogs and one of them is called temporary catalogues inside of temporary catalogues these air all the jobs that I'm currently playing with working on doing something with but there's no real files with him so if you look at say, the mats and catalog see that there's a catalogue and there's they're smart previews and there's catalog previews but there are no files but I can still open those files because I don't have to be attached to the actual drive because of the smart previews and because of the one for one previews so what we will do then we're going to go to the pictures and we're going to go into our light room folder and we're going to go into the temporary catalogs and the reason we call it temporary catalogues is so that we know those are the ones of traveling with you but that's going to be the deleted coffee at one point at one point we will take that push it back to the original job file and we'll delete this copy so it's no longer on this it's just a trout it's just a briefcase that's holding the work while I'm we're moving it's only temporary and then it will be sent back to the original job so I can take this catalog and just drag it it's going to coffee it into here and that's how long it took it to copy now the reason it took so little time for two copies because when we imported it we built minimal previous and we didn't build the smart previews we want those things but they take time to build and so I'm going to build them right now but I'll just build them on my laptop not on them on the original so I'm gonna open this catalog back up and when I open it back up it's still pointing to the original files that's on that hard drive and I'm going to highlight not going to highlight a ton of them but I'm gonna highlight some of my favorite shots which are these of these these shots were awesome there's so much fun but it was so cold it was like ten degrees out or something like that were out phrasing in the cold and uh they were troupers you know? She was she had that little shawl on but I couldn't have been all that warm to such a trouper. Erica and this is erica the girl is I shouted out yes or erica's mom shouted out yesterday this is erica and you know so this is in fact this photo is right there on the wall so in the end it looks like that so we're going to build the smart previews and the one for one previews on this set of photos that I I want to play with and so I am going to highlight those images um and I'm going to go up to the library filter are in the library menu and I'm going to go to the previews area right here see that previews and I'm going to build one for one previews and then I'm going to go back up we'll go back up library previews and build smart previews and now I can just wait for those to build if we did it on import, we would just be sleeping during this time, but we're gonna wait for those to build and then we're going to detach the drive and we're going to go on the road and if we if we built those previews and everything with the entire catalogue, the entire catalog would be accessible to us and I'll show you the difference between images that have previews and images that don't have previous yeah so uh I have studied religiously the other classes you did in the one I was in and I totally drank the kool aid, so I only have one catalog now I'm kind of lost about why are you saying this is what you do always when you travel you have these temporary catalogs? Are you saying you're going to talk later about why you would have these smaller catalogues? Because when I travel I just used my regular catalog and smart previous okay and you use the whole catalog you travel with the whole cattle, which is bloated it's fairly big that's all right, hang tight what you notice remember yesterday we showed you what I do that's my main work flow today we're showing what other people might be doing and the best way to do that so I don't work with one catalog at a time, but some people do and so this is the best way to work with one catalog of time make sure that you build a template catalog first coffee the template catalog to the job and then import the files if you're a traveling photographer, then you travel with just the catalog smart previews and one for one previews you don't need to travel with files themselves as you're doing, but you're just doing it with a larger catalog a larger working catalog, which is great because when you work, when you travel with a larger working catalog, you could work on multiple things at the same time you don't have to keep going back and forth so you're you're utilizing my work flow from yesterday plus this little tidbit, so don't get confused. I'm not telling you that I do something differently than what I taught yesterday. What I'm saying is that there are other options available that you can plug in, including taking one job with you and leaving the rest home right now we're doing this we're taking one job with us and we're leaving the rest home all right so this has been finished it's been accomplished now watch what happens to this catalogue when I take this I'm just going to eject this drive so we're no longer a taxed and unplug it so that we can see that truly were not attached okay so that the drive is no longer with us we leave it at home and now I'm on a plane and all I do is pull up this laptop nothing else attached to it and I can still look at that catalog notice that the catalog is missing its source which is the actual wedding itself but that's okay because I can still go in to this file here or let's say this file I I really like this picture so I can go into this file I can zoom in and I can see it so that I can see that it's sharp zoom out that's the one for one preview doing that zoom in zoom out I didn't have to wait for it to build that's the one for one preview so one for one previews allow you to do that watch what happens though if I go to say you know this image right here zoom in nothing and it's not gonna build either why? Because it's not attached and so if I don't build one for one previews all I get is the preview that's available which the previous that's available is a cz bigas that thumbnail that's how big it is and so the best I can get out of that file is that and even that is not good enough to see even if she's got her eyes open okay, so we can't make assessments based on previews that are small we have to make cess mints based on one for one previews, so building one for one previous on import is absolutely essential. However, if I were to build one for one previews and then I was just oh oh, well, I get ahead of myself well then let me go back here to my photo that we're looking at now the other thing that I can do in addition to looking to see if it's sharp is now I can go to the develop module because I've built my smart previews I can go in the developed module and I can work on the file you could brighten it up a little bit I can bring blacks down and add a little clarity to it a little bit of contrast this one I actually wanted to be a little cooler I don't want it to be I want it to feel cold and so I'm going to bring say hi, I'm bringing the blues out I don't want to warm it up, I want to cool it down right there and I'm going teo play around with a tone curve a little bit so that it feels a little bit like film there's gonna be a black and white um let's let's make it a I'm going to go to my everyday favorites here let's make it a rich black and white with a scion a type so once we've accomplished everything that we want, but I'm doing a lot of stuff to this and it's not attached that's because of the smart preview smart preview allows you tow work on the photo unattached now a lot of people this is a question probably that's happening right now out there on the web and the question is generally asked. Okay, well, let's say I do all this work and now I want to synchronize it back with all the other files. What do I do? There's? No synchronisation necessary. All you have to do is plug it back in and export the file because it's a it's there's no synchronisation it's just going to tell the file what to do once the file gets out. However, just because we have to attach it to get the full file out does not mean we can't use the file so I can hit export on this file and I can go to ah high resolution j peg setting here and ichan, I'm gonna put it on my desktop here and I'm going tio I don't need to put it I'm not going to rename the file and I'm going to give it one hundred quality for what it is remember this is a a smart previous a small compressed dmg just a little piney tng well digital negative and so it can actually be printed out I've done about five by seven and been very satisfied with what I got out of it s o that's perfectly doable for a blogger so I can go and say I want to put this on a blogged or say I want to put it on facebook so the long edges going to be you know uh, twelve hundred pixels and then at seventy two d p I and then I can export that I would just throw it to facebook right now, but then you wouldn't be able to see the quality of that file people on the web would but you wouldn't so we're going to do that we're going to do it the old fashioned way on diamond export I should have put my my logo on it but there it is so that's a j paying that's come straight out of light room and it looks great so I again I've printed them up to five by seven and they look they look good so and that's from a digital small digital negative that's being created as a smart preview yeah, but it's only allows you to make changes within light room if there was a trash can in that photo that you want to remove with photo shop, you couldn't then send this to photo shop and come back again. You couldn't do a round trip to photo shop, could you? No that's, your correct you couldn't you couldn't take this and roundtrip photoshopped. However this photo which can't be found, I'm gonna plug this in so that we can find this photo so I'm just gonna plug it in wait for wait for a second that's going to find the photo, but if I get home so let's say, did all this work and I get home and I want to then export the whole job too smug mugs so that they can see him or I want to print them out or I want to, you know, make an album or anything like that. All I need to do is plug in the drive and the drive is going to come online any time now. There it is, okay, so they're okay see how it just popped into focus. So this was a problematic issue in the photo shoot and I and I was struggling with it when I was shooting it because I could have told her to stand here so that she would be in front of the fire hydrant because her dress is big enough to cover it you know see it's this wide enough that you could you could cover the whole thing but then she would be so far away from this that I couldn't get the both in the shot and make it look right and I kept moving back and forth I was like I can't do it so I had to remove it post right? Well if I take this file and I um do I have to show you is a smart premium just trust me and lorca's a smart preview too, but I come in here when it's a smart preview and I could go here to my spot removal tool and then I'm gonna I'm gonna use my pen because it's easier to work on and I'm going to increase the size of this and I'm going to just paint over here and then I need him I'm going to move this over to here like that and notice that I'm now it's a ghost fire hydrant but if I take the opacity up now the fire hydrant is move removed and there's little pieces of the still need to be removed so I'll come in here and paint this out here and then I just grabbed that shifted around so that looks good and then I'll come in here and remove this on we will think the interesting thing about removing this part of the fire hydrant is you've got to get the grass to be the same amount of sharpness because it fades off really quickly so you got it, you really have to choose the correct space for that amount of sharpness and so it's probably better right over here and we'll just put a little extra snow over there and let's see how much and how much based more over there, but I can grab a little bit more of this just to get rid of that and now if we zoom out, say that so and you could you could clean up that little see that line right there that looks like a mower line you could clean that up a little bit, but in the end you couldn't work that out, and then after that we would go into our okay, we're going to make this a rich, black and white we're going to do a little science type to it, we're going to brighten the exposure up a little bit. We're going to bring the blacks down and all of this can be done is a smart preview, so if I go back to the grid and I go to the library and I build a smart previewed just out of the one file, so I'm just gonna build one smart preview and then I'm going to go here and eject the file. I mean, inject the drive, and then when I come back into light room and I'm working, this has a smart prevent, you can, you can see it has a smart previewed by looking here, see that right there, below the history ram, you'll always see that that tells you it has a smart preview. And so now that I'm working on something with a smart preview, I go back and developed. I can still work on this to my erickson, and I could have done all of that adjusting and that retouching as a smart preview. Eso at this point, we're going to do our favorite little radio. In fact, all we made that hold on, we're going to go here, and we're going to do a radial vignette full feather boom! There we go. And so now we just have to go on, adjust it, and so I wanted to the oh, here's okay, this is we're going to go into fun with light room really quickly. Is that okay with everybody? All right, so if you're in a situation where you want to do that, but you want to actually work on both of these say, see, I'm enlarging it like this, and I want I want this to be bright I want the car to be right and I want them to be bright but see how the middle is dark so I actually need to the problem is if I go in and I vigna around them now this one's dark and so then what do I how do I deal with that? So the better option at that point is to take your entire exposure so you start dark so where do I want my forest and my surrounding start dark and then go into your radio and instead of creating a burn you create a dodge that brings it up the same amount so if you went down so in this case we went down our exposure we went down toe minus point two zero so now in this one will go up tow plus two zero or maybe plus three or something like that so we'll go up the same amount that we came down so we're just bringing it back to normal but then we're inverting the mask over here I really need to do it like a zoom in so you can see it so we're inverting the mask right there but we're bringing it up two plus three plus point three so a third to stop or whatever and now we're going to create basically little dodge circles here and then we have then we'll adjust it and see okay, you know that's about the right amount of brightness but you can see out spilling so now we have to change how much of it's going and then we'll do the same thing just grabbed this option click this note that changes it where is it? They're not duplicate so I just control click that that's what it is and then see I just created an exact duplicate of that one and then I'm dragging it over to this guy and then all kind of do that so now I got generally I've got their brightness is correct the only thing I have to do is go in and burn right there which again I could just go into the burn area here and so I'm just going to my brush and I'm going to do this so I'm going to reset this to zero and then I'm gonna take the exposure back down to the same amount that I took the exposure down before and then I'd izumi in here and I'm just going toe burn this back in and I need to change my flo amount the flow amount determines how quickly it burns in that area andi exposure than I could just see how I bring that back down to what it's supposed to be and just kind of run along the edge of his pants there to make sure that that burns in so this is what we did to make this file look perfect and the beauty of working really fast in general is that you can spend a little time on your favorites because you've gotten the bulk of it done yesterday we talked all about getting things done quickly and this you know, this is not quick, right? But we we talked about getting the bulk of your file's done so quickly that then you can stop and take a little time to work on your favorite and really make them shine and really make something cool out of it do a little art and so we only have time to do art if we get the bulk of the work done in almost no time flat so that's why we have time to do a little bit of art so and then the same thing's true over here you wantto because that that circles just got a little bit of it doesn't quite follow the car exactly and then you can take your but you see the point what we're doing is we're saying we start dark and then brighten up the things because you can't make because otherwise that your all of your all of your vignettes are overlapping each other and creating morven getting on each side you can't you can't un vignette um so this is the way to do it you darken it and then you vignette in reverse out that's how you do that and it's not like photoshopped photo shop if you took a file and then you darken it down and then you came in and dodged back out you would be ruining the file dodging back out unless you were doing smart adjustments is that with the adjustment layers but what we're doing here is in the raw and so it never calculates this file until it finally exports it so right now you're not doing as long as you if you go dark on one thing and then brighten it back up and then darken it back down with another tool it's not going up and down and up and down and up and down it's not like it's getting it's not like a xerox copy where you coffee a copy and then a copy of a copy it gets worse and worse as it goes because all you're doing is giving instructions that in the end light rooms only gonna look at that pixel and say in the end that pixel needs to be what brightness so working with your burning and dodging in the raw is far better for quality then it is inside a photo shop because when you're in photo shop, you're actually damaging pixels as you shift them around and move them and stuff like that but in light room or in camera raw because you're in the raw you're actually just assigning pixels of certain brightness and a certain color in the end that's all you're doing and then at the end it's taking it and it's adjusting those and sending him out so it's far less deterioration on the file then if you did it inside of photo shop yeah, so if I understand this work flow then you you create the job file you moved your template light room catalog over imported this job into it then you copied that catalog back on tier hard drive in your laptop so that you could work on it remotely now when you plug that hard drive, let remote hard drive back in it will automatically update those files or do you have to copy that catalog back now? Remember that your set that is blue because that one needs to go up so that people could see the pens and stuff like that. So again, let's remind everybody when we work on files, we're going to be posting them on the paint side of this workshop and so people can look at him and play with the pins and things like that. But keep in mind that they are still copyrighted they're not you, you're not allowed to be posting them on your website and pretending them they're yours or even talking about just play with them look at a museum is a learning experience but don't consider them is yours they not you don't have permission to post them anywhere please be considerate of that because they are, you know, people that have graciously allowed us to use their images too to teach and so that's the purpose of allowing you to see those and play with those so you can play with pins and see what what happens to them the deconstruction, the deconstruction that's right? Um okay so it to answer your question then once you plug this drive back in, that is all the synchronization that's necessary is just plugging the drive back in for the ability to export things toe work on thing to send things out because all it needs of the files attached the process of copying the final file here back over to the hard drive so let's let's quit this so we're getting rid of we're leaving our job so when we leave our job the process of them taking this catalog which is on my laptop and the only reason we put it on the laptop so we could travel with it and move around with it and you could do that with an entire working catalog to steal the catalog take it with you come back and just overwrite catalog that's on the original disk and that is your archive basically so if you're in if you're doing a work floor it's a one catalog per job workflow, then your process of sending that catalog back out so yesterday, when we talked about a working catalogue and we had john multiple jobs coming in the catalog in order to send one out, we had to right click that job and export a catalog we had the right click it exported as a catalog that's what we did yesterday, if we're the type of person that's starting with one catalog, then there is no exporting the catalogue, it just is the only reason that we have to transfer this back is because we travelled with that we took it on the road with us, and we left the coffee here at home so that for safekeeping it's sitting on our working dr, which also has a back up to it and so it's just it's over here. So now what we're going to do is we're just going to go to the scott wedding here's the template that we put in there, we're just going to take this catalog template here, and we're just going to drag it over the top of that one and replace it. And now and now that job is completely done and ready for archive. When you want archive it, you don't have to do anything special, all you're going to do is go to your you're going to go to this uh, this actual scott wedding and you're just going to right click it I mean you're just going to copy it over to the other to the archive and then you'll test the copy and then get rid of it so that the workflow for one catalog per job is to use a template soon as you create the job folder you still create the job full of the same way that we showed you in the workflow yesterday you create the job folder with the date the name and what it is then you copy in your template that you've worked hard at creating and you feel really happy about everything that's going to be in there and then once you've created that template then you start working on you bring the the raw images in you import those images into your catalog template you start working on him if you want to take the job on the road as long as you built those smart previews all you out this is the on ly thing you have to take with you you don't have to copy the whole job onto your laptop take it with you you simply take the catalog that has the smart previews with it that's the only thing that has to go it can run around with you all over the world and when you get back all you have to do is overwrite that catalogue and and then your full job is completely set over here now for me because I travel so much I will do as you do and just take whatever whatever my working cattle long is with me, but my working catalog is right here, so I don't even have my working catalog on I don't even have my working catalog on my computer at the studio. My working catalog is sitting right here in my pictures folder on this computer and aiken that's it that's the working catalog and I guess I could show you how big it is let's see it's two hundred fourteen megabytes for the catalogue and the previews the smart previews I'll tell you how big their right now is two point six seven gigabytes and the oh that that's the regular previous and the smart previous is one point one one gigabytes and that's the entire that's everything I'm working on but it's got smart previous, innit? And if for some reason I have smart if I have a job that I have built smart previews on I'll have to do is plug in my working dr open up my working catalog highlight the job that doesn't have them and build those smart previews and then unplugged and I'm running off with my so I never actually have to move my catalogue anywhere because it's on this and so if I am a photographer travels all the time you're working catalogue should be on your laptop and that's where you'll work most of the time when I get home, if I want to compare these to a very good calibrated monitor that that I can trust better than a laptop screen, all I do is plug in that monitor to this computer. And now I'm looking at my working catalog, that's been running around the world with me. I'm looking at it off of this computer here. All I have to do is plug in that the monitor and the drive, and now I have access to the files. I can export the entire job over to the clients and do anything I need to do. But then, once I unplug this, I still have the ability to work on the files. I, khun blogged about files. I can send copies, places for five by sevens, etcetera, etcetera.

Class Description

Ready for a whole new approach to your post-production workflow? Join CreativeLive instructor Jared Platt for the ultimate three-day introduction to everything you need to know about working with Adobe®Lightroom® 5 (and beyond) to make your workflow efficient.

You’ll learn a basic, seamless Adobe Lightroom 5 workflow, and also how to customize that workflow to fit your specific needs — whether you’re outsourcing, taking pictures on the go, or working in a studio setting. Jared will cover ways to select and retouch images more productively. You’ll also learn about automating settings, plugins, and hacks that will help you work more efficiently. Jared will also guide you through the core image adjustment techniques every Adobe® Lightroom® user should know.

Jared will give you a step by step look at his entire workflow, start to finish. By the end of this course, you’ll have the tools you need to deliver higher-quality images and products while cutting your post-production time in half.

Software Used: Adobe Lightroom 5

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Essentials Preset Collection

Outsource Pack

SnackPack Preset Collection

Making a Sync Box


Presets Made on CreativeLive

Working Files - Images

Course Schedule

Great Deals

ShootDotEdit Catalog Template

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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a Creativelive Student

Jared is the best. Really, his class was absolutely awesome. He can teach you everything with an ease and you will not want to leave your computer untill you see the whole class. I am so happy I purchased this class, it was the best investment! Than you Jared for such a brilliant classes you bring to us.

a Creativelive Student

It takes a lot of devotion to spend so many hours in front of the computer but I found myself not able to leave the monitor. Thank you Jared Platt and Creative Live for providing this quality education and information. We also get the bonus of seeing beautiful images during the sessions. Jared is a wonderfully clear teacher. His extensive experience both behind the camera and in processing digital photography is so very evident in all that he covers in his seminars. I'm looking forward to the next time.


I believe that this man has saved my life, or at the very least returned my life me. So many wonderful tips and time savers. I had never realized how much time I wasted at the computer for no good reason. He is funny, easy to listen too, and he explains in a way that can be understood. If you could only purchase one course, this is it! I attended WPPI and Jared's Platform Class and at the end I wanted more so thank you Creative Live for have him.