Skip to main content

Preferences & Settings

Lesson 7 from: Lightroom® 4 Fundamentals

Laura Shoe

Preferences & Settings

Lesson 7 from: Lightroom® 4 Fundamentals

Laura Shoe

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

7. Preferences & Settings

Next Lesson: Settings Q&A


Class Trailer

Day 1


Pre-Show Banter


9:00 am - Introduction: Why Lightroom®?


The Lightroom Library Catalog


Staying Organized


Backing Up Your Library


Importing Your Photos


Preferences & Settings


Settings Q&A


Reorganizing Files and Folders


Using Views and Labels to Evaluate Photos


Filtering and Stacking Photos


Assigning and Managing Keywords


Keywording Q&A


The Metadata Panel


Searching for Photos


Creating a Collection


Day 2


Day 2 Pre-Show Banter


The Map Module: Assigning Locations


The Develop Module


Fixing Your Photos: Histograms and Cropping


Fixing Your Photos: Spot Removal Tool


11:30 am - Upgrading to Lightroom® 4


11:45 am - Basic Developing in Lightroom® 3 & 4


Basic Developing Part 2


Color Adjustments


Tone Curve Panel


Making Subtle Adjustments


Lens Corrections


Local Adjustments: Partial B&W


Local Adjustments: Portrait Touch Up


Additional Local Adjustments


Graduated Filter


Bonus: Day 3 Preview


Day 3


Day 3 Pre-Show Banter


Bonus: Recap of the Develop Module


Virtual Copies


B&W and Creative Effects


Noise Reduction




Sharpening for Portraits


Syncing Changes to Multiple Photos




Creating and Using Presets


11:45 am - Lightroom® and Photoshop


Sharing Your Work


Exporting for Web


Exporting for Print


Workflow Recap


Thanks + Credits


3:00 pm - Lightroom® 4: Publishing


3:30 pm - Lightroom® 4: Video Editing


3:45 pm - Lightroom® 4: Book Module


Lesson Info

Preferences & Settings

So now we have photos and light room. So now we're gonna We're gonna do the other, the other Not fun part, but necessary part. And that is setting up our preferences. Okay, Before you set up preferences, though, what I want you to do is select your first photo here. Just make sure it's bright. Click on it. And then I want you to type the number five on your keyboard and the number six. Now, if your if your selection is jumping to the next one, just come back to that now. What you just did was you gave it five stars and you gave it a red color label. I just want you to be able to see that information as we set. Some of the preferences will be setting in a little bit. Okay, so there are a few sections, the preferences. So on a Mac, you're gonna go upto light room and on a PC, you're gonna go to edit and let's go ahead and go to preferences. Now, I'm not going to talk through every preference in these dialogues. I could easily spend an hour, and I think half the Web audience would walk aw...

ay. And, um and they're just not mission critical. There really are not many mission critical settings in here. I don't know if any of them truly are, but only gonna talk about the ones that I consider to be the most important. Generally, the defaults are just fine. So on the general tab, I would definitely automatically check for updates. It should be checked. By the way, if you have light room for you've been experiencing bugs. Tom Fogarty, the product manager, put out a posting on a forum a couple days saying that the team is working hard to get out an update this week. So there's definitely something coming fairly soon. Okay, so if you have, like before, you'll this automatically be informed that you need to download the update. Now, when starting up used this catalog, what I like to do is click on the drop down there and choose consciously choose my main catalogue. Now, if you only have one that it should launch, you know, right every time anyway. But this just helps to prevent confusion on light rooms part and I think is particularly important if you set up a catalogue on an external drive or in a different place than your pictures folder. Show import dialog when a memory card is detected. If you have light room, open it well, pop, open the import dialog totally up to you. Now toe Leslie's question here. Treat JPEG files next to raw files as separate photos. So if in camera you shoot raw plus J peg. So every shot you take, you got a raw file in a JPEG by default light room copies both the raw file and the J peg over to your hard drive, but it only shows you the raw file in light room. It kind of still keeps a link to the J peg, but this leaves it out on the hard drive. You don't see it in light room. If you wanted to see that Jay Peg in light room, as well as the raw file, you would check this box Treat J pic files next to raw files. Now I encourage most people not to shoot rockets J. Peg because you can create a J peg from within light room any time you want. But I know there are exceptions when you're first starting to shoot raw It's kind of a little security blanket toe. Have that J pig. That's how I started out myself. And then I got. Then it drove me crazy having all this shape picks. Okay, If you say, don't show again to some morning dialogues and you wish you hadn't resettle warning. Dialogs will get those back. Let's go ahead and go over to the presets tab here on that Ron J pic thing is, that s so it doesn't change how the import works or whether the J pickets imported or whatever. If you shoot raw, close J pick, it always brings him in both. So let's say you had that off, right? Did a bunch of importing a month later you turn that on. Now, all of a sudden, you're going to see all the J picks in light room? No, I think it's just gonna be going forward going for Okay, so it changes your import behavior going forward. Thank you. Okay, so in the presets tab, I like to store my presets with my catalogue. So the presets are your developed presets. Your your print templates, your web templates, your copyright presets, all of these kind of saved settings. Right now, they're stored in an adobe folder in your users folder. Perfectly fine if you backing up your users folder regularly. But I like to store them in my catalogue folder because I'm consciously backing out my photo library. So I just know that my presets are being backed up at the same time. Get the backing up that entire photo library folder so you can check this if you check this and I do check it. If you do check this. What you want to next do is click on each one of these restore buttons and restore all of the canned templates. It's gonna copy all the templates that are presets that the light room program came with. It's gonna copy them over to your new presets folder. Now, if you have already created presets and templates, they won't get copied over. So you will have to dio a manual copy from the old folder to the new folder. So some people would say, I don't want to have to copy over my old stuff. I'm just gonna leave them where they are by users. Folders backed up, and I'm in great shape. Not a problem okay, but if you do need to copy over, you can say show light from presets folder with this checked, and it will open up a finder or an explorer window with your catalog folder and your settings folder is where they are. And then you can actually get light room T to show you another finder window by coming back into the dialogue on checking store presets with catalog show like Presets Folder, and it will open up the old version and then you can copy from the old into the new. I know that was that was very, very quick, and I don't have time to go into details on that. But just know that this button will show you where your presets folder is and whether this is checked or not. Well, will the pet will indicate which folder it's going to show you saying copy from one to the other? Maybe that was too much toe to get into a um, let's go ahead. Now. The external editing tab is for working between light room and photo shop or Photoshopped elements and or another editor. I'm gonna cover these preferences on Day three when I talk about moving back and forth from light room to these other programs, so we'll go ahead and go to the file handling tab. Here we have some settings for D N G. This is D and G's on import. So what should be included with those adobe camera raw files as you're doing the conversion? So camp a compatibility camera raw 5.4 later, I would say, If you're only working with photo shop, CS five and Later or and light from 3.6 and later, I would choose camera raw 6.6, and later. It just gives you all of the latest and the greatest. But if you're working with someone who has an older version of lighter, more photo shop, uh, and you need to share raw files, then I would suggest leaving a camera five point for him later. Let me go ahead and let's see. J Peg preview. This is just what you see out. It's just what you see when you see a thumbnail or you see this. Another program like bridge medium is fine now in bed, fast load data. This is an important one with light room for it's that new feature where light room will in bed a preview of your file in the DMG to be viewed or to be loaded in the develop module. So when you click on a DMG that has fast load data included, light room will load that in the develop module a lot faster. So by checking it here for all imports going forward, if you convert to DMG that fast load data will be included, you also have the choice to embed the original raw file. So this would be within the Adobe DMG file. I would have a seer to file a cannon cr two file the idea there is. What if Adobe doesn't do a perfect job of converting that proprietary can and file over, or we just learned Maura about better ways to convert it later. Um, embedding the original raw file is insurance. Now it doubles the file size. I personally don't do it. Um, D and G has been around for a long time. I have confidence in it, so I don't embed the original raw file. Another option to get your by yourself some insurance is to back up your original camera proprietary DMG files to an external hard drive before you do the conversion and then in the converted one, I would not then embed the original raw file. Okay, let's go ahead and talk about one more. I know that some of this stuff is is too much for beginners, but I know there's a lot of users out there interested in DMG and Raw files. So let me go into this one other section down here. Camera cash settings. So the camera raw cash stores information about photos that you've worked on recently in the develop module. So if you're using can and Raw files Nikon Raw files as you click on them in the develop module for the first time light room, save some information about them so that as you go back to them five minutes from now or later today, it doesn't have to start from scratch, so it's stores some information in its memory or it's camera raw cash. So if you have a larger cash, so if instead of one mega one gigabyte, I say 15 goodbye, it's then light room can store information about more photos, and I could jump back and forth between photos between shoots and have things load faster. If you're short on hard drive space, I wouldn't sweat it if you have lots of hard drive space and time is of the essence, your wedding photographer and every second counts. Then you can increase this the 15. You could even increase it to 200. I think the max is 200 or even higher. At this point, let's go ahead and go to the interface tab. Now, most of these things in the interface have are just aesthetics, and you can come to the interface tab and you can experiment with your background color. Um, a screen color, etcetera. Right now. Remember I said that we're separating keywords using commas. That's because that's the default here. I find that it works very well. This film strip section is important, so it looks like the default is having all of these things checked. If so, I think that's great. Let me see if I can zoom in on the filmstrip a little bit here, see how in the filmstrip of the bottom here I see my stars, my color labels. I see this little pencil badge. That's a badge that means that it has keywords. The fact that it's showing me all that information in the filmstrip is because I have the preferences shut set to show me that information. So that's that's important to me. All right, let's go ahead and close preferences here and go back up to light room on the Mac and edit on the PC and then down to catalog settings. So preferences air global to the program and then catalog settings air specific to individual catalogs. I only have one catalogue, so we have to set them once. The first thing that I love The first thing that I love in catalog settings is that it shows me exactly where my catalogue is. So if I'm not sure where it is, or if I think that somehow I'm working in a different catalog than my main one by accident, I can just go light room or ended catalog settings, and it shows me where it ISS now. It also allows me to set how often it prompts me to do these backups over time to protect against catalogue corruption. So if you click on the drop down there, you'll see that you have various choices. How often should you back up. The catalogue depends on how risk averse you are. How willing are you to lose a day's worth of work? An hour's worth work, you know, week work worth worth of work. So it's It's up to you. I choose every time, like room exits. And then if I haven't done any significant work, I simply say Skip. Okay, so I just make a decision later. Now I'm going to say, every time light room exits now because I want us to actually go into that backup dialogue. So I want to force that prompt to come up. So I'll say every time, light arm exits and let's actually let's since backing up is on my mind now that we've gotten to this setting, let's actually force it to happen. Right now, let's close the catalog settings and then let's close light room. And here's our prompt. The first thing we can do is choose where these backups air going. Now I choose to go with the default here, which is in a Backups folder in my light warm catalogue folder. It's called Light Room within my Pictures folder. So again, sitting in my main Photo library folder on my main drive, and then that whole photo library gets backed up to an external drive. But if you want to put them somewhere else, you'll simply click on the choose button and you'll specify somewhere else for them to go. I like to test the integrity before backing up. I want like them to make sure they're no corruption issues associated with a catalogue. Optimizing the catalogue after backing up is not necessary every time you back up the catalogue. If you start to notice that your performance is bogging down, then it may be time to optimize the catalogue for those familiar with it. It's kind of like a disk. Defrag just kind of reorganizes and cleans up behind the scenes. So let's go ahead and back this up. Click on backup, check the integrity and then it closes light room and then I'll go back. Let's go back into light room from Greg Mack, who says, Why not save the backup to another drive? You definitely can. I just like to have redundancy in my backup system. So the backups go to the main drive, and that may drive. Main photo library gets backed up to an external drive. So I've got on my backup drive. I've got the backups over time as well as the main catalog back up. Okay, so let's go back into catalog settings. So if you're on the Mac light room, PC would be edit and let's go to catalog settings. Now, since we're here, let's take a look at our catalogue. Okay? Whenever I want to get to my catalogue, I just go to catalog settings and I click on this show button here on the general tab. When you click on the show button, Ah, finder or Windows Explorer window will pop open With that catalogue folder highlighted. You may have to open it up. You may have to double click on it. My mind has already opened up here, so I've got a bunch of files in here in here, most of which I'm just going to ignore. Okay, It's just behind the scenes things that light room works. Dlr cat journal and lock files are temporary files because light room is open. I just ignore them completely. I have my catalogue itself. So this L r cat file is your catalog, okay? It contains all of the work you've ever done on all of your photos and labour in that one little file. Okay? And then we also have either a previews file or a previews folder. This contains those J picks. Okay, this jay paid copies that light REM uses for convenience. You never have to come into these J pegs. Just leave the previous folder there or file, and and it will be fine. The next thing that we have is a backups folder. So, light room, when we did our first back up light room created the backups folder. And if I expand it, I can see the backup that I did today. All right, So I have a backup folder for this date, and then within that I have a catalog file in l. A cat file. So every time we do a backup light room just automatically creates that copies that l a cat file a couple a couple things about this. First, don't I would suggest staying out of these individual date folders. What I sometimes see is that people accidentally double click on their backup Eller cat file and end up working with a backup catalogue rather than their main catalogue. So the best way to avoid that is not even to expand or to go into these date folders. Unless, of course, you have a catalog corruption and need to go back in time. The next thing we've gotten the question on and that IHS, should we delete some of these backup folders, we're gonna have one for every day or every week. We're gonna have hundreds of these things, and it's gonna take up in the end, hundreds of gigabytes of storage space in the hard drive. So absolutely I would come into this backup folder on a regular basis, and I would delete most of them. So I have a reminder on my calendar for every three months. That just reminds me to come into this backup folder and delete most of the backups. Now my strategy is to keep a handful of them spread out over time, so we'll have today's back up yesterday's back up, maybe the day before, a week ago, a month ago, a few months ago. That's it's just my theory that, you know, I could keep if if yesterday's was still corrupted. I have another one a week ago and then another one a month ago. So everybody's gonna be different in terms of how many they liked to keep around for comfort. Sick. But you do want to come in here and pare this down. So just delete the individual backup folders. Just drag him to the trash. So McCarthy photo asks, can you specify within light room to keep only a certain number of backups? I'm glad. I'm glad that you asked that because I wanted to mention that. Well, first, No. Okay. Like Trump doesn't have that functionality at this point to manage your backups. But there is a plugging out there by Matt Dawson. Who's the photo gate gun on Twitter? I think it's the photo geek geek dot com that is called Eller backup and that you can set to manage how many backups you keep around. So that would be something worth checking out. Okay, here that we're still in the catalogue of the light room folder here. The last thing I want to show you is just that we now have. If you check that box store presets with catalog, you now have a light room settings folder in here. That used to be. Or there's another copy not being used any more over in your adobe folder. So that contains all of your presets and templates. So if you ever need to make a copy of these to share with somebody, whatever it may be, this is where they're now gonna live in your light room folder because you're lighter, catalogued folders being backed up in your photo library. You know that those will be backed up a swell. All right. Any other questions on that? Before you go back to the rest of the catalog settings, we do have a couple of questions. Laura. Um, one question from Shasta, our backup catalogue holders as large as the original, Yes, their exact copies of the original catalog. But keep in mind, that catalog is much smaller than our photos. So my catalogue might be 500 megabytes for 20,000 photos. You know, the 20,000 photos may take up 200 gigabytes, so they're relatively small themselves. Life by Rebecca is asking. She says. I currently create a new light room catalog for every photo shoot I have. Is this good or bad? Well, I can't judge it is good or bad. I would say that it doesn't work for most people because what you're doing is you're putting a brick wall between your photo shoots. Okay, so, you know, I've heard this for wedding photography, for example. You work the wedding shoot, and they just want to get it, get it. You just don't need to ever see it again. So you you have everything bundled with a catalogue and photos, and you put it on another dry. The problem comes in, though, when you want to update your website, for example, or your portfolio and you want to pull together all of your five star photos. There's no easy way to do that because you have a brick wall between each photo shoot. So you need to go into each light room catalogue photo shoot, find the far, see if there any five star ones in there export thumb, you know, into some kind of folder, then go into your next catalogue through the same. So for most people, those those brick walls are an obstacle rather than something that helps us. No. Finally, a question from Sam Cox and Loveland, Colorado, doesn't even provide a way to check the integrity of the backed up catalogues. No, once I mean, certainly, once you try to launch, one of those will be an integrity test. But that's the only time. Okay, could you just talk briefly about your workflow with your data in terms of getting it backed up on multiple drives and your cattle like air, you copying over 200 gigs every week? Or some argue that work on like the system, like a drove or a raid array, where it's automatically duplicating. And then how often do you put it on 1/3 drive? And how do you work with your cloud system and things like that? I, at this point, don't use the cloud I. It's like on my to do list to do that as well. But what I do is I have scheduled back ups every day, every night. So when I get a new memory card of shoots, you know I will. Actually, I should have mentioned this, but I'll actually outside of light or just, um, put them on a DVD. Back them up to a DVD is the 1st 1st back up, and then every night, my backup system backs up to another drive, and every couple of nights it's backing up to another drive. And and then there's another one that said every couple weeks that backs up the one that I bring from off site So but keep in mind that I'm not a professional. My livelihood doesn't depend on my photos. I still don't want to lose them. But if my livelihood depended on my photos, you know, I know some people have it does you know, eight backups, you know, and very well planned out. But it's more than I personally need. Okay, let's go ahead and close out this finder Windows Explorer window and here in catalog settings, let's go through the rest of the catalog settings So you've seen you can come to catalog settings to see your catalogue by clicking on the show button. You could change how often it's backed up. Let's go to the file handling tab now. The standard preview is what you see when you look at it. Ah, it's We haven't gotten toe loop you yet, but when you're looking at just one photo at a time in the library module, that's the standard preview. How big it should be should depend on the resolution of your monitor if you collapsed everything in light room so you only saw your photo it might be is white is your monitor at most. So you don't want to choose a preview size that's larger than your monitor because you're just wasting hard drive space. So in system preferences on the Mac, you could find screen resolution Windows seven. You can right click on your desktop to find screen resolution, but I would set this to the width of the monitor. This is an important one, and we got a question on this is well, automatically discard 1 to 1 previews. If light Room has a full sized J peg copy of each of your 30,000 photos or 100,000 photos, this is taking up a lot of hard drive space, and you only need a 1 to 1 preview when you zoom in on a photo and you may never touch photos from 2000 for, so I would set this toe automatically discard previews. This is gonna be time after import, so if you generally work a shoot in a week, I would say after a week otherwise, maybe after a month Now there's no harm. Let's say that it throws away the 1 to 1 previews in two months later, I come back and I want to work with a photo shoot. I zoom in on a photo. No problem. It just says, Oh, I don't have a 1 to 1 preview. I'm gonna have to load one and we wait one second while it loads a new preview. So there's no no real costs. Other than that that very short, you know, time Teoh to reload the preview. So I definitely recommend automatically discarding them. Let's go ahead and go to the metadata town and the one I want to talk about here there couple of actually but automatically right. Changes into ex MP. Now again, this is one of those topics that for beginners it may get may send you into overload a little bit for people that are more familiar with these things are ready for that next level automatically rating changes into ex MP. What that does is that in addition to writing your light room work into the catalog, your changes will also be written, as I alluded to earlier into an ex MP file that sits next to your raw file in your folder. So I'm actually, you could say where you are here, but I'm actually going to, um if I could do this quickly, I will. And if not, then let's go ahead. I want to get out to a folder on my hard drive that has raw files in it. So I found some in light room. I'm gonna right click on one and I'm gonna say show in Finder or show an explorer because light one will just pop open, um, finder window with those photos showing. So I have a seer to file 05 dot cr two, and with it, it's a little bit jumbled here, but it has an ex MP file because I'm also writing my light room work out to ex MP. It has created this little ex MP sidecar file stores my light room work. Now, if I have a DMG that ex MP information gets written into the file. But the preference that I'm talking about the setting applies to both of these. It will write the information out to the folder where my photos live so Why would you want to do that? If your work is already being saved into the light from catalogue while first, If you work with Adobe Bridge, then bridge can't read the light room catalogue. So the only way for it to see the work you've done is by setting this setting to write out ex MP now for the rest of us. I mean, I've abandoned bridge simply because I don't need it now that I have have light room. The reason for the rest of us to check this box is that it's more. It's more insurance. It's like if if something happened to the catalogue and if we hadn't backed up to, you know, to another driver, we hadn't done a backup recently. The fact that light room is writing are changes into ex MP is just another place where a light room work lives in case we need to recover from, um, an issue. Okay, now, some people are very sensitive toe. Little time lags, checking automatically, right, changes. It could slow down your light room, work at the level of work that I do. I personally haven't haven't seen any lags that that would cause me toe uncheck this. You can also write the work manually to ex MP. I just find that I don't wouldn't remember to do that, so I like to check that.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Lightroom Day 1 Slides.pdf

bonus material with enrollment


Ratings and Reviews

Miguel Lecuyer

Great workshop! New to Lightroom and found it very helpful. Saved me a couple hundred dollars and time by not taking an evening LR class. Creative Live workshops match my learning style perfectly. Laura is awesome! My only complaint is maybe Laura can use a PC next time which is what she seems more comfortable using. Her shortcut mix-ups on a Mac were making me a bit dizzy :)

a Creativelive Student

I cannot express enough how impressed I was with Laura and this class. I learned more in the 3 days of this workshop than I did in all 6 weeks of a class I took online that cost three times as much. I left not only impressed by the class but MOST importantly - refreshed and energized to put my new knowledge to use! Thank you for that!!!

a Creativelive Student

Excellent workshop bar none. I learned more about Lightroom than I did from any other tutorial/workshp that I previously encountered. Thanks Laura!

Student Work