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Lightroom® Preferences

Lesson 12 from: The Professional Photographer’s Digital Workflow

Michael Clark

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Lesson Info

12. Lightroom® Preferences


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Shooting Workflow: Set-up The Camera


Shooting Workflow: Histograms and Exposure


Shooting Workflow: Sensor Cleaning


Overview of Color Management


Color Management: Monitor


Color Management: Workspace


Color Management: Monitor Calibration


Color Management: Do I Need This?


Introduction to Lightroom®


Download & Import Images With Lightroom®


Lightroom® Preferences


Six Ways to Speed-up Lightroom®


To DNG or Not to DNG?


A Logical Editing Process in Lightroom®


File & Folder Naming in Lightroom®


Batch Renaming in Lightroom®


Entering Metadata in Lightroom®


Managing Images in Lightroom®


Introduction to the Develop Module in Lightroom®


Lightroom® Develop Module


Sharpening, Chromatic Aberration & Vignetting in Lightroom®


Graduated Filters & Spot Tool in Lightroom®


Converting images to Black & White in Lightroom®


Creating Panoramas in Lightroom


Creating HDR Images in Lightroom®


Lightroom® to Photoshop® Workflow


Export Images to Photoshop®


Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Basic Adjustments


Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Retouching


Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Saving Master Files


Make Fine Art Prints: The Cost


Make Fine Art Prints: Ink Jet Printers


Make Fine Art Prints: Ink Jet Papers


Make Fine Art Prints: Understand ICC Profiles


Make Fine Art Prints: Sharpen Image


Printing From Photoshop®


Printing From Lightroom®


Compare Monitor to Physical Prints


Printing Black & White Image


Extended Workflow: Back Up Images


Extended Workflow: Storage Options


Extended Workflow: Archiving Images


Submitting images to Clients


Prepping Images for Social Media


Alternative Workflows


Final Q&A


Lesson Info

Lightroom® Preferences

Preferences. And we won't spend a whole lotta time on Lightroom preferences here. I'm gonna pull up the preferences dialogue. There's a lot of things in here. Honestly, there's not a ton of things that you have to change in here. There's just a few items I'm gonna point out that will help make Lightroom faster, and maybe make your life a little easier. The one thing here is this treat. I don't have it selected 'cause I don't really ever shoot raw + JPEG, but if you do shoot raw + JPEG, that can be kind of a nightmare in terms of organizing your raw and JPEG images, 'cause you might have the raws in the JPEGs, you might have doubles of every image showing up. And if you're shooting thousands of images, that just gets annoying. So, if you click this little box, it actually makes treat-- Okay, well if you click the box, it makes them show up as two separate photos. If you unclick the box, like I had it, it actually only shows the raw image. So, that's just a little caveat. If you are shoo...

ting raw + JPEG, I would honestly separate them into two separate folders, subfolders, just to get that completely out of the works, so you're not having to deal with those, and if for some reason, you need to go back to that JPEG, or the raw, depending on which way you're going, then you can go find it down the road. Just solve your issues. Ideally, I'd say, shooting JPEG or shooting raw. Choose one. It makes your life a lot easier. It terms of the rest of these, like presets, I don't really touch a lot of this stuff. External Editing, if you're going to export images out of Lightroom straight into Photoshop, here's where you would select how those images will be exported, what color space, what resolution, what bit depth, what file format: TIFF, JPEG, PSD. You're probably gonna do PSD because you're going into Photoshop, or a TIFF, or something like that. You're probably not gonna select JPEG here. So, easy to set up. File handling, this is if you're importing and creating D and G's. We'll talk about this a little later. One of the things I do, I think it's by default, this in Lightroom, for the treat the following characters as illegal. I pretty much say all of these are illegal, and replace it with an underscore. This isn't the big deal it used to be with Mac's and PC's. It used to be that PC's did not recognize a bunch of these characters, so you always put underscores, which it did recognize. I don't think that's the case anymore, but, small little thing there. Interface, you can technically go in here and change the color of your interface or the brightness, the background to darker or lighter, or whatever you want. It's up to you. I just leave it as the default. Performance, you know, it depends on your computer. You can change the video cache size if you want, but I pretty much don't touch this too much. A lot of these preferences we're not gonna touch much. Lightroom Sync, this is if you have the Lightroom Adobe Creative Cloud account, so you can sync some of your stuff to their account. You just put your info in there, pretty easy. Network, maybe you have some stuff on a network, and you need to put in your network info here. So, pretty basic. The main thing for Preferences is gonna be in this Catalog Settings. And this is where the big ones are. So, general first one right here is it's showing information about your Lightroom catalog, and this gets very confusing. What is the catalog? Imagine the catalog is a library building, a physical library building, that is the structure that houses all the books. That is your Lightroom catalog. And then your images are the books in that library. And how your organize the books is up to you in the folders system. But this is basically telling you, where is your Lightroom catalog? Well, it's in your pictures folder on an Apple computer. It might be in a different place on a PC. It might be the photos folder. I'm not sure exactly where it goes on a PC. But it tells you here. And then, how often do you want it to back up? You notice, I have never selected. You can actually choose whatever you want. I have never selected because I have a third party software called SuperDuper! That backs up my computer, all of my hard drives, every single night back in the office. So, I don't need to duplicate that back up process here in Lightroom because it's copying my Lightroom catalogs. If I'm on the road, then I have everything backed up onto an external hard drive manually, I'm not relying on this. If you do have this selected, one thing to note, this does not delete old backups when it creates the new ones, so you're just filling up your hard drive with Lightroom backups. So, be aware of that. You might need to go in and clean out your backups folder. Otherwise you're just filling up your hard drive with stuff. Any comments on the maximum size catalog size? It depends on your computer and hard drives you're on. The catalog size at home, my catalog's a terabyte, or, yeah, it's a terabyte. Because it's got half a million images in it. So, no matter how big it gets, if you have a sufficient computer, you can just let it contain one catalog and you're fine? Indeed. And it will slow down the software a little bit, mostly when you start up the software, 'cause it's gotta go in and check that it knows where everything's at. And maybe it depends on how fast your computer is, obviously, if you have a really slow computer, that might be a major issue, but they've, Adobe's worked very hard to dial in Lightroom so it's faster. In the last six months, they've made it much faster, pretty amazingly. And they continually work on that, from what I know, all the time. So, like my catalog at home, it's not on the computer, it's on a set of hard drives that run really fast. And we'll talk about how to speed up Lightroom here in just a bit, or we may have to do that in the next section, but we'll get there. Let's move onto File Handling here real quick. So, File Handling, right here, preview cache, just tells you what size your previews are gonna be. Depends on your monitor. So, this is an Apple Retina monitor. This guy, I think, is 1920 x 1080p the way we have it configured. It's a little more than that normally. You have the option here to choose your standard preview. And when I say standard preview, this is the standard preview. How big is that preview? It doesn't need to be full resolution because it's not gonna be, you know, if you zoom in, that's a whole different deal. But, going back to that, where did my window go here? Catalog Settings, you know, this is a by something monitor, so if I'm working just on this laptop, I definitely wanna choose the biggest possible preview because I might go full screen with the standard size preview. Medium quality will build faster than high quality, but maybe you want a higher quality preview. It's up to you. On the laptop, I stick with medium. How often does it discard your one-to-one previews? Because those are filling up your computer's hard drive with full resolution, basically a full resolution JPEG. After 30 days is what I typically choose, or never, it's up to you. These can always be rebuilt. So it's not the end of the world if they get deleted. It's not deleting the images. It's just deleting the preview inside of Lightroom. And the rest of this I pretty much don't touch. Metadata, so this is the key one. If there's one of these preferences you see, this is how it comes standard out of the, you know, when you download Lightroom. It does not have this automatically write changes into XMP files. And XMP are sidecar files that have the metadata, the history states, all the stuff that you've done to the image in Lightroom. And Photoshop can read this, Bridge can read this, some of their software programs can read that XMP file. What I do, is I check this box, and there's a little warning down there that you saw. I'll bring it back up. Changes made in Lightroom will not automatically be visible in other applications unless written in XMP. So, this is a safeguard. The reason I do this, it slows Lightroom down just a hair, depending on how fast your computer is, but anytime you move a slider, or add any metadata, or do anything in Lightroom, it's automatically saved out, you don't ever save anything in Lightroom, to that XMP file. And if for some reason your Lightroom catalog got corrupted, which is extremely rare in my experience, knock on wood, I've never seen it happen to me, then you have all those XMP files at the image level file structure, and you can just start a whole new catalog and reimport everything, and you won't lose anything except for you history states, and when you do this to an image, which is, I can't remember, create virtual copy. Your virtual copies will disappear 'cause it's only saving whatever one version of the image.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Workflow Outline

Bonus Materials with RSVP

The Professional Photographers Digital Workflow Ebook Sample

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Michael is a true professional and readily explains all of the nitty gritty issues of a photographer's digital workflow, including important things like Color Management, Lightroom workflows, Printing, and more. He is eager to answer your questions and has a thorough knowledge (after all, he worked with the original engineers at Adobe and wrote a book on it) and passion that he loves to share. He can get way deep into the subject, which I found fascinating. You can tell Michael has great experience in teaching and also likes to learn from his students. He is very authentic, honest, and direct. I highly recommend this class, and look forward to another one of Michael's courses in the future!

a Creativelive Student

This is an excellent course. It reinforced what I already knew and enhanced my spotty skills with new knowledge. I really like Michael's explanation of saving the document for print and web and the importance of doing these differently. Using the histogram to show this was terrific. Each session there is some valuable gem.

Elizabeth Harrigan

This class is fantastic and is just what I was looking for! The teacher knows the subject WELL and he makes it understandable and easy to follow along. In each segment, he gets right to the point explaining just enough content to make it understandable. He doesn't waste your time. I highly recommend this class. It's the best tech class I have watched on Creative Live.

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