Lightroom - What to do with RAW images?

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by Simonch, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. Simonch

    Simonch No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just a quickie;

    So i've edited my photos as far as I want to. What do I do with them now? I'm primarily using my macbook, so HDD space is limited and I don't want to keep all my photos as RAW, but would like to still be able to see them all in lightroom...

    Cheers,

    Si


     
  2. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    get a backup storage device. I personally would never ditch my RAW files.
     
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  3. snowbear

    snowbear Oh, hai. I iz bear. Supporting Member

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    iCloud?
     
  4. Simonch

    Simonch No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I hear you, but do I have to export all my files to JPG first, then re-import them to lightroom? Or how does it work?
     
  5. johngpt

    johngpt Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Here is my system as the macbook pro I got in 2016 has a relatively small SSD.
    I use Lightroom as the database catalog for all my images.
    I hook up two external hard drives to my MBP.
    Hard drive A contains my working Lightroom catalog. Hard drive B is my backup to that.

    When I go out shooting (RAW images) I come home and put the SD card into a USB card reader and use Lr (Lightroom) to import the image files from the card into hard drive A. I rename my images but won't go into that here.
    Lr puts the images into the folders I've chosen. Real physical copies of those RAW files are now on hard drive A.

    By keeping my images in hard drive A, I haven't filled my computer's internal drive.
    The MBP and its USB 3 and Firewire connections are so fast that I don't notice any slow down working on images in a combination of Lr and Ps (Photoshop). When I save my finished works as Ps psd files and tif files they are in the same folders as their RAW files.
    Lr keeps those psd and tif files viewable in its catalog, as I create those psd and tif files from Lightroom's export command.
    By exporting this way to create the psd and tif files, those files have embedded the edits I had done in the Lr Develop module.
    One needs to remember that when we edit in Lr Develop, those are all imaginary changes. The real image files haven't really been edited. Lr keeps track of those edits and we "see" them only in Lr.
    Exporting embeds those changes into the exported image file.

    Later I back up those folders from hard drive A into hard drive B.

    My Lr catalog of course encompasses many more external hard drives than just hard drive A. I've filled a few external hard drives over time. I can hook those external drives up to the MBP any time I want if I want to edit/export from those other drives.
    I can choose to put those exports into the same folder in which the RAW file lives, or I can choose to put those exports into any other folder on any connected drive I desire.

    The party line on keeping Lr able to find all these photos is to ONLY use Lr to move files around.
    There are ways around that but when new to Lr it pays to follow that advice.

    I hope this helps some.
     
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  6. johngpt

    johngpt Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Now that I've written about using Lr to import and export and keeping my smaller sized SSD from filling up, I should probably address your question about jpegs.

    I never get rid of my RAW images. They have the most data. Keeping them allows me to revisit when I learn new things in editing and when editing technology advances.

    Never forget that when one edits an image in the Lr Develop module, those edits are not "real." The original image has not changed. One can only see those changes by viewing it in Lr.

    If one wants a real, physical image that reflects those edits from the Develop module, one needs to export using the Lr export command. One can export the "edited" image as a jpeg, a psd (opening into Ps), a tif or a number of other file formats.

    My primary method for letting the world see my edited images is through Flickr.
    This had started years ago so that I could grab a BBCode for posting an image at online forums such as TPF here.
    I still use that method.
    Other folks here at TPF now seem to predominantly post via "attaching" an image file rather than using BBCode.

    Lightroom lets me "publish" my finished Photoshop image to Flickr.
    It publishes a jpeg there using parameters I've set in Lr's publish settings.
    Lr doesn't bother keeping a jpeg of that published image.

    Lr also lets me export a finished image as a jpeg directly into an email, creating the message as it does so.
    The Lr export dialog can also let me export a jpeg from my finished image or an edited RAW image into any drive I choose. This will create an actual physical jpeg image.

    This might be valuable for a person who chooses to use the "attach" method for posting images here at TPF.
    You could export a properly sized jpeg from an image you've edited in the Lr Develop module to that RAW image's folder. Lr will then keep track of it. You'll be able to "see" it in Lr.
    It will also physically exist in a folder and can then be used for whatever purpose it was created.

    Since I'm not familiar with how to "attach" an image here at TPF, others might be able to tell you the best method for having as high a quality image file as possible for attaching.
     
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  7. Simonch

    Simonch No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is hugely helpful! Thank you so much!
     

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