The Professional Photographer’s Digital Workflow

Lesson 19/47 - Managing Images in Lightroom®


The Professional Photographer’s Digital Workflow


Lesson Info

Managing Images in Lightroom®

Managing your images. We've kind of talked about this quite a bit already, but like I was saying, putting all of your images on one folder or one hard drive or on the hard drive on your computer if it will fit. It depends on how many, how big your archive is. We'll talk a lot more about this tomorrow in terms of archiving and cataloging images, but just make your life easy. Don't mix your photos with, if you have lots of photos don't mix them with all your other documents. Keep that separate, and it'll make your life really easy because you know, it'll make it easy to back that catalog of photos up. It'll make it easy to know where they're at. There's no question about where my images are, and if you're organized in terms of the file and folder naming, you're feeling good about life. You're, you know, your hard drive's nice and neat and tidy, and you've got it backed up, and you know everything's solid and secure. And in Lightroom, I mean even if you move a folder in Lightroom, you can...

actually, you know, Option click or right click on something. Hello, there we go. And you can actually update folder location within Lightroom if something gets untethered somehow. So there's all kinds of these little hidden menus if you Option click on stuff or right click on stuff. And it should keep, you know, this'll mimic this folder structure over here will mimic whatever you've designed outside of Lightroom. So you'll know if you have a rat nest outside of Lightroom. It's gonna look like a rat's nest inside of Lightroom. So, just be aware of that. So I guess one of the users has asked, do you have the ability to go, kinda go backwards? Do you ever go backwards like in time, and like, rekey word or images where you felt like you just kinda rushed through it and didn't keyword them as much as you would like. Definitely. That happens often in that I'll forget. I'm so excited to, I mean, we're all excited to go look at our images. That's kind of the painful part of like stopping and adding keywords to your images, like, oh I just wanna get to the fun part of seeing what I got. You know, bigger on my monitor. So sometimes, you know, I'll get too excited and forget about the metadata or forget to add all the metadata I need to for a certain client or whatever I usually do, and I'll go work on the images and I'll even start exporting them, like, ah I forgot to put captions in this or this or that. And so then I gotta go back in, you know, and this is regardless of Lightroom, whatever software you're using, this could be a possibility. And all of this stuff, just so you, backing up for just a second, if you're in Photo Mechanic, if you're in Bridge, whatever software you're using, this all the same applicable. If you're in Capture One Pro, you can add metadata. So it's not universal to just Lightroom. Or it's universal but not just specific to Lightroom. But yeah, often I'll go back. Sometimes years later I'll go back, you know, and some of these shots of athletes, especially if it's surfing which I keep coming back to surfing, but I don't necessarily know every single surfer, and there is a hundred surfers out there catching the wave, and I may have to go talk to some friends to figure out who that surfer actually is to put that in the caption. Yeah. So, often, but hopefully I get it mostly right when I'm doing the metadata. In, when you first brought your images in from the camera, you put a folder right on your desktop. I did, oh, this is a good question. So, did you impart with Lightroom into that folder or did you-- I did not. Okay. I dragged and dropped. Right, that's what I thought. But that's not where it's gonna end up. Exactly, and so will Lightroom follow that folder to whatever location. The desktop, yep, exactly. All right, great. 'Cause I'm adding them to Lightroom without moving them. So there's, there are actually a few options in the import feature when you import images, and this is something to be very clear about. The default is add photos to catalog without moving them as you see here in this upper workflow. From the source to my catalog. The first one's copy is DNG, so it makes a copy of it, and converts it to a DNG file which may be a good option for you. Copy, if we choose copy, it copies the photos to a new location, but leaves 'em wherever you download 'em. So that's option two. Move means it actually moves photos to a new location, and then it, and then puts them in the Lightroom catalog. So there's, I would just stick with the default. Add photos to the catalog without moving them, and referencing those photos from wherever I download them too. I think somebody had a question earlier over lunch though about well I have a travel laptop, and then I have my main working computer at home which is for most professionals, definitely an issue or even, you know, a lot of us have more than one computer or we have an iPad and a computer or whatnot. And you'll notice that what I typically do on the road is I will actually put the images directly on my desktop like this, and I'll actually create a new Lightroom catalog for every shoot on the road, and the catalog'll sit here right underneath the images. So there's no confusion as to were that catalog is. And then we I get back to the office, what I do is I copy all of the images and the catalog to an external hard drive from my laptop that's on the road, plug it into my computer at home, and then I drag and drop those images over to copy them to my main working hard drives, and what I do in Lightroom is I'll come in here and I'll go File, Import from Another Catalog, and I'll choose that catalog I created specifically for that shoot, and basically I'm morphing that catalog into my main working catalog that has everything else. So that I keep everything together and organized, and then at some point, I delete this off my travel worktop because it's over there on the home computer and backed up. Cool, that went off in the weeds, but that's a really good thing to know 'cause that's a major question for tons of people and something that working pros do all the time. Just a quick question regarding the DNG files. It has like the raw information and something else to mention before like it's a blend-- The DNG files? Uh huh, a blending of two things, kind of thing. The XMP files are within that wrapper, so if you don't convert to DNG, you're gonna have two separate files. If you do convert to DNG, that XMP file is within the DNG file itself. So if I actually have DNG files here which I think I have a few, and I actually save the metadata out. Let me Shift Tab so you can see that. Just select All Save or if I change something, it's not writing that information out to an XMP file, it's just writing it into the DNG file. And to be clear, changing the name of a file is not injuring it in any way. 'Cause there's the old saying. Like, Lightroom works off the basis that it doesn't alter the original raw file in any way. It's just adding adjustments to that file. Do you have a question Jeff? On the DNG specifically, is that easily read by other viewers other than like Lightroom and Photoshop? Not necessarily. All right. So they have to have Lightroom or Photoshop or some software that can read a DNG file. I think most Macs can actually, they might open in Preview, but they may not be able to manipulate it. It just depends. I haven't explored it fully like what can open it, what can't. So it's a little limited, but in NEF, any other raw file, may or may not be able to be opened in any software either, so that is an issue.

Class Description

Setting up a practical and efficient workflow with your photography feels like a daunting part of your business. Internationally recognized photographer Michael Clark introduces you to techniques to allow you more time to shoot the images you want. His workflow philosophy is that you must first know how you are going to edit the image in post production to know how you need to shoot it.

In this class Michael teaches:

  • Best practices for a shooting workflow from setting up your camera to histograms and exposure
  • How to clean the sensor on your DSLR camera
  • Color management workflow including your work environment and monitor calibration
  • An overview of Lightroom® and multiple ways to speed up your workflow including file folder and batch naming as well as metadata and archival processes
  • Techniques to finalizing your images in Photoshop® with basic adjustments and retouching
  • Making fine art prints, choosing your printer, paper, understanding ICC profiles, and much more!

Michael covers everything you need to know in order to streamline your post production workflow in Lightroom® and Photoshop® and best practices for printing your art at home. Digital photography is far more complicated than shooting film ever was. Knowing the best practices for a digital workflow will make you a better photographer.


1Class Introduction 2Shooting Workflow: Set-up The Camera 3Shooting Workflow: Histograms and Exposure 4Shooting Workflow: Sensor Cleaning 5Overview of Color Management 6Color Management: Monitor 7Color Management: Workspace 8Color Management: Monitor Calibration 9Color Management: Do I Need This? 10Introduction to Lightroom® 11Download & Import Images With Lightroom® 12Lightroom® Preferences 13Six Ways to Speed-up Lightroom® 14To DNG or Not to DNG? 15A Logical Editing Process in Lightroom® 16File & Folder Naming in Lightroom® 17Batch Renaming in Lightroom® 18Entering Metadata in Lightroom® 19Managing Images in Lightroom® 20Introduction to the Develop Module in Lightroom® 21Lightroom® Develop Module 22Sharpening, Chromatic Aberration & Vignetting in Lightroom® 23Graduated Filters & Spot Tool in Lightroom® 24Converting images to Black & White in Lightroom® 25Creating Panoramas in Lightroom 26Creating HDR Images in Lightroom® 27Lightroom® to Photoshop® Workflow 28Export Images to Photoshop® 29Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Basic Adjustments 30Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Retouching 31Finalizing Images in Photoshop®: Saving Master Files 32Make Fine Art Prints: The Cost 33Make Fine Art Prints: Ink Jet Printers 34Make Fine Art Prints: Ink Jet Papers 35Make Fine Art Prints: Understand ICC Profiles 36Make Fine Art Prints: Sharpen Image 37Printing From Photoshop® 38Printing From Lightroom® 39Compare Monitor to Physical Prints 40Printing Black & White Image 41Extended Workflow: Back Up Images 42Extended Workflow: Storage Options 43Extended Workflow: Archiving Images 44Submitting images to Clients 45Prepping Images for Social Media 46Alternative Workflows 47Final Q&A


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.

Angelita Sanchez

A fantastic course to give you a complete view of the full process of photography. Michael is an awesome instructor, very organized! A clear mind, and an approachable instructor always willing to answer your questions! A must for all photographers!