Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
amateursurfphotog Regular Member • Posts: 201
Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow

right now my workflow is a mess and the space on my HD is suffering b/c of it.

my process (roughly) is as such:

1. shoot RAW+JPEG

2. insert SD card into laptop

3. use the JPEG file as a sort of "preview"

4. move the files (both RAW and JPEG) i want to work with/keep from SD Card to HD or import into LR directly

5. edit RAW file in LR and export

this leaves me with multiple copies of the "same" file:

a. the original RAW

b. the original JPEG

c. the edited RAW(s) - depending on how many revisions i make

d. the edited JPEG

any advice or insight appreciated

dj_paige
dj_paige Senior Member • Posts: 1,358
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow
3

amateursurfphotog wrote:

right now my workflow is a mess and the space on my HD is suffering b/c of it.

my process (roughly) is as such:

1. shoot RAW+JPEG

2. insert SD card into laptop

3. use the JPEG file as a sort of "preview"

4. move the files (both RAW and JPEG) i want to work with/keep from SD Card to HD or import into LR directly

5. edit RAW file in LR and export

this leaves me with multiple copies of the "same" file:

a. the original RAW

b. the original JPEG

c. the edited RAW(s) - depending on how many revisions i make

d. the edited JPEG

any advice or insight appreciated

#4 -- import into LR directly. No need for two steps, copy the photos to the HD and then import, when LR does both of these things in one user action.

If you don't want so many copies of a photo, then don't shoot RAW+JPG, shoot RAW only. It is my opinion, and the opinion of at least one other person, that shooting RAW+JPG in Lightroom is just an extra opportunity for mistakes to happen, plus of course it takes up more disk space. And don't edit the JPG, if you have the RAW. Certainly don't export the edited JPG.

If you make multiple revisions of a photo, you don't need to keep the previous exports. Just keep the last one, the Export dialog box allows you to overwrite previous exports. Or if you want to keep several of your edits, use virtual copies in Lightroom, this takes almost no extra disk space.

But also, if you need to export multiple edit revisions of your photo, then this takes up more disk space, and this is NOT a Lightroom issue at all, it would be the same with any other editor.

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Paige Miller

OP amateursurfphotog Regular Member • Posts: 201
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow

dj_paige wrote:

amateursurfphotog wrote:

right now my workflow is a mess and the space on my HD is suffering b/c of it.

my process (roughly) is as such:

1. shoot RAW+JPEG

2. insert SD card into laptop

3. use the JPEG file as a sort of "preview"

4. move the files (both RAW and JPEG) i want to work with/keep from SD Card to HD or import into LR directly

5. edit RAW file in LR and export

this leaves me with multiple copies of the "same" file:

a. the original RAW

b. the original JPEG

c. the edited RAW(s) - depending on how many revisions i make

d. the edited JPEG

any advice or insight appreciated

#4 -- import into LR directly. No need for two steps, copy the photos to the HD and then import, when LR does both of these things in one user action.

If you don't want so many copies of a photo, then don't shoot RAW+JPG, shoot RAW only. It is my opinion, and the opinion of at least one other person, that shooting RAW+JPG in Lightroom is just an extra opportunity for mistakes to happen, plus of course it takes up more disk space. And don't edit the JPG, if you have the RAW. Certainly don't export the edited JPG.

If you make multiple revisions of a photo, you don't need to keep the previous exports. Just keep the last one, the Export dialog box allows you to overwrite previous exports. Or if you want to keep several of your edits, use virtual copies in Lightroom, this takes almost no extra disk space.

But also, if you need to export multiple edit revisions of your photo, then this takes up more disk space, and this is NOT a Lightroom issue at all, it would be the same with any other editor.

thanks Paige.

some clarifying questions:

1. if i shoot RAW only, i would only import the RAW into LR and make my edits.

but what do you mean by "certianly don't export the edited JPG"? isn't the ultimate goal to export the edited RAW into a JPG?

lastly, how do i remove previous exports and only keep the latest revisions? is there any type of setting to automatically do this?

thanks!

Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 18,127
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow

amateursurfphotog wrote:

right now my workflow is a mess and the space on my HD is suffering b/c of it.

my process (roughly) is as such:

1. shoot RAW+JPEG

2. insert SD card into laptop

3. use the JPEG file as a sort of "preview"

4. move the files (both RAW and JPEG) i want to work with/keep from SD Card to HD or import into LR directly

5. edit RAW file in LR and export

this leaves me with multiple copies of the "same" file:

a. the original RAW

b. the original JPEG

c. the edited RAW(s) - depending on how many revisions i make

d. the edited JPEG

any advice or insight appreciated

Before talking about 1 to 4 which version of LR do you have?

Why do you shoot in both RAW and Jpeg? I have not used Jpeg since 2006. Your adjustments do not effect your original file. I can make as many adjustments as I like in LR and later open that file in Canon's DPP, make changes there and it won't effect LR. LR does alter your original file. It just catalogues you adjustments and which takes very little drive space.

Why keep the edited Jpegs? All your adjustments are in the catalogue and you can go back whenever you want to and just export the files again. So now if you decide not to shoot in Jpeg all you are left with is your original RAW files. I have weddings from 8 years ago and don't have any Jpegs saved. If someone ever came back to me and said they lost there images I'd just export them again.

I can cull using LR but prefer to use Canon's DPP. IMO nothing looks better than Quick Check - Full Screen mode. DPP's downsizing algorithm for 'fit to screen' display is very good - contrasty which creates the illusion of sharpness. Some other applications sacrificed quality for speed. Actually I don't find DPP slow these days.

After culling I import into LR. If I had to use LR to cull I would have no issues doing so.

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 18,127
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow

amateursurfphotog wrote:

dj_paige wrote:

amateursurfphotog wrote:

right now my workflow is a mess and the space on my HD is suffering b/c of it.

my process (roughly) is as such:

1. shoot RAW+JPEG

2. insert SD card into laptop

3. use the JPEG file as a sort of "preview"

4. move the files (both RAW and JPEG) i want to work with/keep from SD Card to HD or import into LR directly

5. edit RAW file in LR and export

this leaves me with multiple copies of the "same" file:

a. the original RAW

b. the original JPEG

c. the edited RAW(s) - depending on how many revisions i make

d. the edited JPEG

any advice or insight appreciated

#4 -- import into LR directly. No need for two steps, copy the photos to the HD and then import, when LR does both of these things in one user action.

If you don't want so many copies of a photo, then don't shoot RAW+JPG, shoot RAW only. It is my opinion, and the opinion of at least one other person, that shooting RAW+JPG in Lightroom is just an extra opportunity for mistakes to happen, plus of course it takes up more disk space. And don't edit the JPG, if you have the RAW. Certainly don't export the edited JPG.

If you make multiple revisions of a photo, you don't need to keep the previous exports. Just keep the last one, the Export dialog box allows you to overwrite previous exports. Or if you want to keep several of your edits, use virtual copies in Lightroom, this takes almost no extra disk space.

But also, if you need to export multiple edit revisions of your photo, then this takes up more disk space, and this is NOT a Lightroom issue at all, it would be the same with any other editor.

thanks Paige.

some clarifying questions:

1. if i shoot RAW only, i would only import the RAW into LR and make my edits.

but what do you mean by "certianly don't export the edited JPG"? isn't the ultimate goal to export the edited RAW into a JPG?

lastly, how do i remove previous exports and only keep the latest revisions? is there any type of setting to automatically do this?

You don't remove exports. Your edits are maintained in LR forever unless you delete a file or files. You can delete the history of your edits which which will not effect the final edited version but I would not do that as you lose your original RAW.

Just export your files and don't worry about anything. If you don't need to keep the Jpegs for any further reasons then just delete them.  You can export them again anytime you want to.

thanks!

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dj_paige
dj_paige Senior Member • Posts: 1,358
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow

amateursurfphotog wrote:

dj_paige wrote:

amateursurfphotog wrote:

right now my workflow is a mess and the space on my HD is suffering b/c of it.

my process (roughly) is as such:

1. shoot RAW+JPEG

2. insert SD card into laptop

3. use the JPEG file as a sort of "preview"

4. move the files (both RAW and JPEG) i want to work with/keep from SD Card to HD or import into LR directly

5. edit RAW file in LR and export

this leaves me with multiple copies of the "same" file:

a. the original RAW

b. the original JPEG

c. the edited RAW(s) - depending on how many revisions i make

d. the edited JPEG

any advice or insight appreciated

#4 -- import into LR directly. No need for two steps, copy the photos to the HD and then import, when LR does both of these things in one user action.

If you don't want so many copies of a photo, then don't shoot RAW+JPG, shoot RAW only. It is my opinion, and the opinion of at least one other person, that shooting RAW+JPG in Lightroom is just an extra opportunity for mistakes to happen, plus of course it takes up more disk space. And don't edit the JPG, if you have the RAW. Certainly don't export the edited JPG.

If you make multiple revisions of a photo, you don't need to keep the previous exports. Just keep the last one, the Export dialog box allows you to overwrite previous exports. Or if you want to keep several of your edits, use virtual copies in Lightroom, this takes almost no extra disk space.

But also, if you need to export multiple edit revisions of your photo, then this takes up more disk space, and this is NOT a Lightroom issue at all, it would be the same with any other editor.

thanks Paige.

some clarifying questions:

1. if i shoot RAW only, i would only import the RAW into LR and make my edits.

but what do you mean by "certianly don't export the edited JPG"? isn't the ultimate goal to export the edited RAW into a JPG?

Yes, but you were talking about editing the JPG (your 5d), which is different than editing the RAW (your 5c), and then export the edited JPG. 5d is what I'm advising against. It's fine to edit the RAW (5c) and export as JPG.

Also, please note that when you edit a photo in Lightroom, it does NOT create a new file on your disk. Your edits are saved without creating a new file on your hard disk (meaning 5c might be worded incorrectly). So you can make as many revisions as you want, and no new files are created. A new file is created ONLY if you export.

lastly, how do i remove previous exports and only keep the latest revisions? is there any type of setting to automatically do this?

thanks!

If you export using the same file name as the previous export of the same original, it will overwrite previous exports with the same file name (I believe it asks you first if you want to overwrite, in this case you would answer YES)

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Paige Miller

g7_chord Regular Member • Posts: 170
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow
2

The reason why you don't have to shoot raw+JPEG when you're using LR is that most raws already contain a full-size JPEG (in addition to a thumbnail). I agree with those here that point out that raw+JPEG is a waste of space and just causes unnecessary confusion.

Also, the various stages of editing within LR do not make copies. These are stored as parameters in the LR database.

An additional reason not to spend too much time on the images on the card is that the longer you wait, the longer it will be until that card is backed up. A single copy of images is dangerous, especially if the computer is accessing the card repeatedly.

I nearly always import the whole card and begin reviewing images after the import. True, some worthless images take up disk space, but at the price of disks these days this is inconsequential compared to the risk of making deletions.

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Marc Rochkind

ernstbk
ernstbk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,069
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow
1

amateursurfphotog wrote:

right now my workflow is a mess and the space on my HD is suffering b/c of it.

my process (roughly) is as such:

There have been some good answers already but if you do not have experience with Lightroom then there is a good chance that you not will immediately understand what is being said.

1. shoot RAW+JPEG

RAW+JPEG is mostly a convenience to be able to grab the JPEGS without the need to import and process the RAW files. If your intentions is to process all photos with Lightroom then JPEG is not needed.

2. insert SD card into laptop

A very good move

3. use the JPEG file as a sort of "preview"

Depending on your operating system you may be able to review the RAW, for Windows you may need additional codecs for some cameras (see FastPictureViewer )

4. move the files (both RAW and JPEG) i want to work with/keep from SD Card to HD or import into LR directly

Best is to import the RAW files directly into LR.

5. edit RAW file in LR and export

NO! There are two misunderstandings in this point:
1) With LR you never edit RAW FILES, you process an image based on the contents of a RAW file and the parameters (editing instructions) are stored in the catalog. The RAW file is not changed in this process.
2) Export is not part of the processing of an image, at this moment in time the best place for your images is within LR and not on your disk.

this leaves me with multiple copies of the "same" file:

a. the original RAW

b. the original JPEG

c. the edited RAW(s) - depending on how many revisions i make

d. the edited JPEG

When you import the RAW into LR then there will be only ONE copy of the original RAW file on your hard disk because Lightroom does not touch your original RAW. The changes are in the catalog and this is where your "final" version lives.

At this moment I have to bring in the output phase. Once you have your processed photos in Lightroom there are many things you can do to present your photos, you can create a slide show, you can upload your photos to flickr/facebook/..., you can create a photo book or create a print on your printer. None of these need a copy of the final image on your hard disk.

However, if you want to show your photos on another device (computer, tablet) or if you want to have photos printed then you can export your final versions to a directory on your computer, but do not use the directory where you keep the originals. These exported files in many cases are temporary, when they have served their purpose you can delete the files because the originals are still on the disk and the changes are in the Lightroom catalog.

It might be worthwhile to have a look at this well structured Lightroom 4 training course, online viewing is free and whatever you learn applies to LR6/7 as well.

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robgendreau Veteran Member • Posts: 5,294
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow
1

I certainly agree with the advice so far.

To further streamline that workflow, I'd wanna know about the exports.

As noted, there's no reason to generate a new file, an export, simply to preserve edits. They get stored as instructions in Lr. And even if you want versions, use either virtual copies or even history and snapshots to do that.

But if you do need exported files, the question becomes whether you need to track those, or if they say just get sent somewhere else and you don't need to keep them (because you can always just do another export at any time from Lr). Sorta like keeping the negatives, and sending off prints.

If you need to keep track of exports, then I'd recommend you explore the powerful publish functions of Lr. Publishing also exports a file, but with more control. Like say publishing to Flickr. And it can be used to keep track of what you're publishing by establishing an on-going connection to the published external images. And that's true even if you publish to disk. I use Jeffrey Friedl's Collection Publisher plugin, for example, to maintain a thumbdrive full of portfolio type shots, and it makes it easy for me to modify what I publish or changes to the individual photos, even though they aren't in the Lr catalog per se. He also has a plugin that can take a snapshot in History every time you export, which can be really handy if you need to go and do the same export again, especially if you've changed something in the meantime.

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irv00 Senior Member • Posts: 1,280
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow
1

amateursurfphotog wrote:

right now my workflow is a mess and the space on my HD is suffering b/c of it.

any advice or insight appreciated

You have been given the exact advice you need from other posters. I will just try to summarize (at least the way I’d do it):

1. Shoot single format (RAW, jpeg, whatever you prefer).

2. Open Lightroom and import your pictures. Edit as needed.

3. Export only *IF* needed.

If you have created duplicates,  versions you no longer want or pictures you don’t like for whatever the reason, just right-click on the Lightroom browser (at the bottom) and select “delete”. Select the ‘delete from disk’ option. You can delete more than one picture at the same time by using ‘shift’ to select a range of pictures.

Those simple steps should keep things in order for you. Please, notice all of your work is done from within Lightroom.

Good luck!

dj_paige
dj_paige Senior Member • Posts: 1,358
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow
2

I am applauding (and agreeing with) the comments of robgendreau and g7_chord

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Paige Miller

MarkNicholas Senior Member • Posts: 1,512
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow

I have been using LR since it first came out around 10 yrs ago. There are many different possible workflows. None are right or wrong. Some take longer than others and some are more complicated. Each to his own. You need to find out what works for you.

I shoot RAW only. After a photo shoot I download my photos from the camera to my desktop. I do this using a cable from my camera to the computer and I do this outside of LR. I do not have a card reader and have never had one.

I have an organised folder system for all my photos. For photos from my current camera, a Canon 6D, I have a dedicated folder named Canon 6D. Inside that folder I place each of my shoots in a dedicated sub-folder, for example 2017.12.25_Christmas day at home. Inside that folder I create another folder called CR2 files and this where transfer all my RAW photos from the camera.

Now the photos are safely on my hard drive I disconnect the camera cable. However, I keep the latest photos on my camera memory card for now.

Next step is to start up LR and I then import the latest shoot into LR. After importing, my first task is to rename. Of course you don't have to rename. It is an option. I went for many years without renaming.

I only rename to avoid possible duplicated file names. I use an alphabetical system. So a typical photo name is IMG_4940 and I will rename it to SMG_4940 and when it gets to SMG_9999 the next one is TMG_0001 etc. LR is very good at batch renaming.

Next task is to apply the blue colour label to all newly imported photos. This means (my coded system) that they are latest process version and that it has not been RAW developed. I could do this automatically on import but I choose not to. After developing I will change the colour label to yellow (partially developed but not finished) and finally purple (finished).

Next step is to apply keywords and metadata, Country, State, City and Location etc. Peoples names, event names etc.

Next step is to star rate. However, I have now started star rating from my Iphone after I have uploaded smart previews to the Adobe cloud.

I will then create a collection inside my already created collection set named Canon 6D. The newly created collection has an identical name as the folder name in which the photos reside. As this collection is synced with Adobe cloud the recently added photos immediately get synced to the cloud.

That's it done. All that is left to do is apply star ratings from the comfort of the sofa using my Iphone which then get synced back to LR Classic on the desktop and all other devices from which I access my photos.

This all probably sounds very complicated and it is until you have get the hang of it, but it soon becomes superfast and second nature after a bit of practice.

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OzarkAggie Senior Member • Posts: 1,820
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow

A JPEG file is included in the RAW file along with thumbnails so there's no reason to save a RAW + JPEG - unless, for instance, you need to immediately upload the photos to a media outlet for evaluation.

Canon doesn't allow you to apply a "style" to the JPEG so it's tone curve is probably the same as setting it on Auto. Not sure about other brands.

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mclewis Senior Member • Posts: 1,050
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow

Zeee wrote:

amateursurfphotog wrote:

thanks Paige.

some clarifying questions:

1. if i shoot RAW only, i would only import the RAW into LR and make my edits.

but what do you mean by "certianly don't export the edited JPG"? isn't the ultimate goal to export the edited RAW into a JPG?

lastly, how do i remove previous exports and only keep the latest revisions? is there any type of setting to automatically do this?

You don't remove exports. Your edits are maintained in LR forever unless you delete a file or files. You can delete the history of your edits which which will not effect the final edited version but I would not do that as you lose your original RAW.

This is incorrect.  You can always reset to the LR defaults (or manually remove all the edits).  It doesn't matter if the history of edits is there  or not.  The LR default is the state when the image was first imported into LR - not edited at all.

dwight3
dwight3 Senior Member • Posts: 2,637
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow

amateursurfphotog wrote:

right now my workflow is a mess and the space on my HD is suffering b/c of it.

my process (roughly) is as such:

1. shoot RAW+JPEG

You can drop the jpg

2. insert SD card into laptop

3. use the JPEG file as a sort of "preview"

Delete step 3

4. move the files (both RAW and JPEG) i want to work with/keep from SD Card to HD or import into LR directly

Don't do anything with the jpg since you didn't take one. Import ALL the raw files into LR with keywords appropriate to all the images. LR will show you all the files you imported in grid mode. Switch to Loupe mode (hit "e"). Now you can start the triage process. If an image is worth pursuing in PP, mark it with a red color label (hit "6"), then hit the right arrow. If it's truly awful, reject it (hit "x"), then hit the right arrow. If it's not worth any effort, just hit the right arrow to switch to the next image, leaving that one unlabeled. When you're done, filter on the rejects. Select them all (Ctrl-A) and press delete. Select "delete from disk". Unfilter on the rejects and filter on the unlabeled images. Select all, press delete. Select "remove from catalog". unfilter on the unlabeled images. You now have all the images you thought might be worth pursuing.

At this point you might want to go through all the remaining images again and add keywords that are appropriate to those images only (you already added keywords appropriate to all the images). Note that if you have a group of images that take the same keyword you can select them all and apply a keyword, but that only works in grid mode (hit "g").

5. edit RAW file in LR and export

You now have deleted the real junk, taken the "meh" images out of the LR catalog, and processed the stuff you wanted. You're done. No more multiple jpgs. Only the one from the edited raw file.

this leaves me with multiple copies of the "same" file:

a. the original RAW

b. the original JPEG

c. the edited RAW(s) - depending on how many revisions i make

I should point out that using LR you never get multiple edited raw files. The edits are contained in the catalog, and the raw file is never altered. If you do virtual copies, again the edits are only in the catalog and the raw files is "copied" only virtually, not physically.

d. the edited JPEG

any advice or insight appreciated

Not directly related to your workflow, but important:

I would also recommend changing the file name to something meaningful. While LR can find an image based on the applied keywords and independent of the file name, in my family there is nobody but myself who knows how to do a search in LR. When I'm gone, the only way they will be able to find family photos is with normal computer searches on file names.

Another thing that you might want to pay attention to is your folder structure. I place all my edited images into a folder with a meaningful file name (same name as the files). All the raw files are in a subfolder of that folder. When I back up the folder I get both the edited jpgs and the subfolder containing the raw files. And all the images appropriate to that description are piled in the same place.

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OP amateursurfphotog Regular Member • Posts: 201
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow

some really great stuff here - thank you all.

quick question: if i import directly into LR what happens to the original RAW (i'd want to keep the original RAW for future editing and what not)?

thanks again!

dwight3
dwight3 Senior Member • Posts: 2,637
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow

amateursurfphotog wrote:

some really great stuff here - thank you all.

quick question: if i import directly into LR what happens to the original RAW (i'd want to keep the original RAW for future editing and what not)?

thanks again!

Nothing.

Assuming the raw file is on your hard drive, the original raw file is read, but not moved nor changed.

If you are importing directly from a card, you will probably want to keep a copy on your hard drive. Otherwise you will have to have the card available whenever you want to edit or export the image. When importing from the card you can Move from the card (not recommended), Copy from the card (recommended) or convert to DNG and save to the hard drive (that's up to you).

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richardplondon
richardplondon Forum Pro • Posts: 10,764
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow
1

mclewis wrote:

Zeee wrote:

amateursurfphotog wrote:

thanks Paige.

some clarifying questions:

1. if i shoot RAW only, i would only import the RAW into LR and make my edits.

but what do you mean by "certianly don't export the edited JPG"? isn't the ultimate goal to export the edited RAW into a JPG?

lastly, how do i remove previous exports and only keep the latest revisions? is there any type of setting to automatically do this?

You don't remove exports. Your edits are maintained in LR forever unless you delete a file or files. You can delete the history of your edits which which will not effect the final edited version but I would not do that as you lose your original RAW.

This is incorrect. You can always reset to the LR defaults (or manually remove all the edits). It doesn't matter if the history of edits is there or not. The LR default is the state when the image was first imported into LR - not edited at all.

Just to adjust that slightly: the LR default is whatever current set of user adjusted camera specific defaults might be in place - and only failing that, whatever camera specific Adobe defaults were installed with the software.

Develop defaults which have been customised by the user, can be reinitialised to their original (Adobe) state using a button in LR Preferences. But doing that won't alter the processing of any extant images, unless you then Reset those - each brand new import shows the currently-in-force default settings initially.

When you Reset an image, you don't get back again whatever particular processing defaults were in place at the time of initial import - rather, you get whatever LR's default processing is currently set to (including user customisation, if any).

If you hold Ctrl+Shift, though, the Reset button disregards all user customised defaults, and reverts to "factory default" Adobe treatment instead.

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toomanycanons Forum Pro • Posts: 12,354
Re: Help me find a lightweight and efficient Lightroom workflow
1

amateursurfphotog wrote:

right now my workflow is a mess and the space on my HD is suffering b/c of it.

my process (roughly) is as such:

1. shoot RAW+JPEG

2. insert SD card into laptop

3. use the JPEG file as a sort of "preview"

4. move the files (both RAW and JPEG) i want to work with/keep from SD Card to HD or import into LR directly

5. edit RAW file in LR and export

this leaves me with multiple copies of the "same" file:

a. the original RAW

b. the original JPEG

c. the edited RAW(s) - depending on how many revisions i make

d. the edited JPEG

any advice or insight appreciated

Here's what I do:  I download the images from my SD card to a folder on some hard drive, first thing, not directly to Lightroom (raw + jpeg).  I check out the jpegs to see which ones I want to work on further (this is usually from a folder of 200+ images), put those raws into a seperate folder (sounds involved, takes no time at all).

Open Lightroom, import the raws I've selected with a "preset upon import" that I've previously put together, then tweak each raw as needed.  Export back to the same folder.

Storage is cheap.  I don't worry about how many copies I've got.  When I'm completely done, finished images are sent to my clients, I'll delete whatever folders/copies I think I'll never need again.

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