Lightroom as batch converter or do I have to keep the raws?

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by Paul Furman, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    I downloaded a trial version of Adobe Lightroom.

    Is it reasonable to use LR as just a batch converter? There's a bunch
    more tempting stuff but I don't know how to integrate it without
    completely tying myself to LR and a pure raw format. Even if I do, I
    don't quite know how to proceed.

    How does it work with tying together metadata to images that move on to
    photoshop? If I need to do more, which copy owns the keywords & ratings
    & such? I messed around with making virtual copies & lost all my LR
    edits (I'll probably figure that out... just whining). But I'm still not
    clear on the best workflow. If I don't tie myself to LR completely and
    just use it to process sets of adjusted jpegs I lose the ability to go
    back and make adjustments and all the ratings, keyword & filter goodies.
    OK, I lose that anyways by not saving PSDs from photoshop but damn, this
    LR stuff is tempting, it's just that it messes up my whole system <g>.

    How did you approach the needed changes with LR?

    One thing that maybe would help me is if the exported jpegs could hold
    keywords and rankings in the IPTC or something. I saw an option to save
    settings in the files... then I could do all that and still be able to
    use it on web pages. It still would be a nightmare migrating web edits
    back into the system though.

    If duplicate export files could act as the home repository for
    annotation I could make this work. Duplicate systems don't seem to work
    well with LR.

    What I'd really like is:

    1) Raw files on an external drive (normally turned off, and the raw
    files will start on the local drive for a few months before being

    2) Web versions where I can either edit annotation/keywords and ranking
    or very easy update from the source files.

    3) An in-between version of final processed jpegs so I can keep the best
    of them on the laptop.

    For the least changes, my file system would look like:

    G:/external drive/raw, seconds, goof around junk...
    -this drive usually turned off

    C:/favorite final jpegs and annotation
    -this is where I'd like to store the data
    -this is where I download & work, then archive to G:/

    http://localhost/local copy of php-based/mySQL database and web shots
    -ideally this level goes away though it'll take work to integrate public web site
    -ideally I'd be able to synchronize public comments from here

    Paul Furman

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    Paul Furman, Dec 23, 2008
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  2. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    OK so you save all the settings in the raw archive which can reside
    off-line while you edit metadata from the exported copies?

    <wishing this was true>

    Paul Furman

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    Paul Furman, Dec 23, 2008
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  3. All settings reside in the LR catalog (ends in .lrcat). You can export
    metadata to sidecars for RAW files; for JPEG, TIFF, PSD and DNG,
    metadata is written to the files when you tell it to do so. (Cmd-S on Macs)

    Metadata changes in exported copies don't get integrated into the
    metadata for the orignals, except by major workarounds- I don't know
    anyone who is doing just that.

    However, if you have your Catalog on your lap or desktop, and the images
    are totally offline, you'll have Previews available, and you can edit
    metadata, rank, etc, but not edit the photo.
    John McWilliams, Dec 23, 2008
  4. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    So it puts the crop instructions & keywords into the jpeg? That must be
    some proprietary system, not exif. I currently use sidecar XMP files. I
    wonder if I edit the file in another program, it'll probably strip the
    LR info...


    I need to study what owns what & how to make virtual copies & learn how
    to delete them & move them with LR & explorer. I think what might make
    sense for me is to adjust the exposures on the raw then export jpegs &
    do my annotation & ratings on those. On the rare occasion that I go back
    to the raw to make adjustments, the annotation & ratings can be redone.
    I will be doing photoshop edits on a decent number of images and those
    will be the final ones I'll want access to so it makes no sense to rate
    and annotate the 'old' raw set.

    I can see all sorts of potential problems with the whole idea of having
    to import images to the database versus working with actual files &
    folders. A whole bunch of actions work in an unfamiliar way like
    renaming, moving deleting, etc. I'd hate to move some files in explorer
    & find out that hosed months worth of work!
    Paul Furman, Dec 23, 2008
  5. It crops the JPEG on Export. Export, as used in LR, ususally refers to
    the rendering out of the instructions into a JPEG, TIFF, etc.
    I don't think programs other than PS read LR Metadata and vice versa.
    There are ways to do so without losing anything. It's easier to move
    within/by LR; then Explorer/Finder will be handled by LR and your
    folders will be quite visible.
    John McWilliams, Dec 23, 2008
  6. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    Something about that bugs me. I don't trust software that much :)

    This is *NOT* intuitive!

    The strange thing is LR is not a file browser and does not necessarily
    reflect your actual file structure, depending how it's set up. LR makes
    no attempt to track whether you mess things up outside LR though you can
    go back & find the original files & link to the data if it gets messed
    up somehow. It bugs me that I have to manually export things but I guess
    that's a good thing otherwise I'd be complaining that it was taking over
    my computer <grin>. This way I can chose not to load the folders with
    thousands of time lapse movie frames in them, but it also means I'm
    bound to forget some things. I really would rather have it scan my
    entire _Pictures folder and at least show ignored folders grayed out.

    Anyways, I'll see you in the adobe forums for more followup...

    Paul Furman

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    Paul Furman, Dec 25, 2008
  7. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    Typo: "manually [import]" not [export].
    Paul Furman, Dec 25, 2008
  8. Hah, o.k., I flew over that one anyway.

    LR on a Mac can track some moves you make in the Finder (Explorer) but
    not all. IAE, if you make your moves in LR, they are tracked in the OS
    (creating/deleting folders; moving images; renaming files or folders)
    John McWilliams, Dec 26, 2008
  9. Anything you Export from LR [JPEG, TIFF, PSD, DNG] will contain the
    metadata, unless you tell it to not do so.
    John McWilliams, Dec 26, 2008
  10. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    Other programs I've looked at try to; which means a windows taskbar tray
    program constantly monitoring everything you do. I can appreciate that
    they just don't try in LR. You need to import what you want & keep track
    of it yourself. I think I prefer that to the take-over-my-computer approach.

    Yeah, bridge in PS (CS1) is seriously slow & crippled for these kinds of
    simple folder making & moving tasks, LR is pretty simple & responsive so
    I can actually use it. With practice.

    Paul Furman

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    Paul Furman, Dec 26, 2008
  11. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    Maybe if you import the results but really once you write out to jpegs,
    the adjustments need to be removed and in my tests, there is nothing
    left but keywords in the IPTC data.. those do show as regular keywords
    in the database, flags & ratings are lost AFAICT if you just grab an
    exported web jpeg & import that, you only get keywords. It would be nice
    if XMP files for raw would work with jpegs.

    I'm going to figure out how to extract those IPTC keywords in php for
    the web pages, then I could do captions & descriptions in LR also and
    that populates the web pages. Now I annotate in a web interface but it
    would be great to have that all in the LR database! Maybe run a little
    batch file to extract the annotation using exiftool or some such similar
    to how I do now. LR can run droplets if you copy them into the LR folder.

    Paul Furman

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    Paul Furman, Dec 26, 2008
  12. Firstly, I agree with just about everything that John has said.
    Things will be a lot easier if you figure out how to work with LR. If
    Lightroom is a screwdriver, and you need a hammer, then get a proper
    hammer instead of trying to use the screwdriver as one.

    Lightroom is really good at serving as a kind of database of your
    photos as long as stuff stays within it, but it is not so good at
    exporting and reimporting stuff and having every single piece of
    metadata go along with the file. So why would you export a jpeg only to
    reimport it again? What are you trying to accomplish by doing this? LR
    already maintains a copy of the file with all its metadata and (mostly)
    keeps you from having to worry about the details of the file as it
    exists in the filesystem. Keeping multiple copies is mostly going to
    serve to eat up more disk space and complicate LR's catalog.
    Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner, Dec 26, 2008
  13. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    Well partly it's my existing archive which I'd like to keyword & flag
    gradually. And I'm just used to archiving the raws & seconds & shooting
    raw+jpeg so many shots don't require heavy adjustments & I work with the
    jpeg. Those that do get converted to jpegs & the raw archived so I have
    a full set of reasonable sized jpegs. From there I don't mind doing
    little adjustments & crops in LR on the jpegs, that works great. Storage
    space is a serious issue, I need to get that junk out of my main photo
    folders & out of LR's database.
    Yes multiple copies are a mess in LR but raw files for everything is
    unweildy too. It can get slow working with raw files when a bunch of
    adjustments need to be made like CA correction etc I can see it working
    and can only imagine the slogging once I get thousands of photos inputted.

    Paul Furman

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    Paul Furman, Dec 26, 2008
  14. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    If I do any editing in photoshop, I've got to move to jpeg or tif or
    something duplicate and that becomes the final image. The raw file has
    little relevance then unless I decide to go back & re-process in a very
    different way. I can almost get away with no PS but not quite.

    Paul Furman

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    Paul Furman, Dec 26, 2008
  15. Paul Furman

    Guest Guest

    you can have lightroom create a smart object for photoshop so there's
    no duplication.
    Guest, Dec 26, 2008
  16. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    Ah yes I just discovered that in a tutorial. I'm not clear, still it
    looks to be creating a psd file, I have an older version, CS1, so the
    layers don't come in but it gives the processed image & that's how they
    used it in the tutorial, abandoning the raw file. What I would do for my
    old setup is copy the unmodified version into an 'orig' folder and I'd
    do that in LR now, copying the adjustments... then with photoshop I'd
    overwrite the file in the 'final' folder using explorer/photoshop and
    clear the adjustments on that in LR (keeping the keywords, flags &
    ratings). I'm not sure where I'll end up but that's the current workflow
    match point.

    Paul Furman

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    Paul Furman, Dec 27, 2008
  17. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    Paul Furman, Dec 27, 2008
  18. Paul Furman

    Guest Guest

    photoshop cs didn't have smart objects at all. you'll need cs3
    (updated to 10.0.1 or later) or cs4 for lightroom-photoshop smart
    objects to work. what you end up with is both lightroom and cs3
    pointing to the raw data and anything you do in either one is reflected
    in the other.
    Guest, Dec 27, 2008
  19. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    relevant discussion (video):

    Paul Furman

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    Paul Furman, Dec 27, 2008
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