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Getting Started with Lightroom 4
Illustration by John Hersey

Establishing Lightroom preferences


From:

Getting Started with Lightroom 4

with Tim Grey

Video: Establishing Lightroom preferences

Most photographers will probably find that they're perfectly happy with the general setup of Lightroom based on the way it's actually installed by default. But you might want to take a look at some of the preferences settings to see if you might like to change some of those settings. To get started we'll go to the menu bar on Windows. We'll choose Edit and then Preferences on Macintosh this will be under Lightroom and then Preferences. Choosing that option from the menu will bring up the Preferences dialog, which features a number of tabs that allow us to change various settings. We'll start with the General tab.

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Getting Started with Lightroom 4
3h 22m Beginner Mar 06, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Whether you're completely new to Adobe Lightroom or have been using it from the start, this course from author and digital imaging expert Tim Grey will help you get up to speed quickly with Lightroom 4. He provides a complete overview of the Lightroom interface and workflow and shows how to set up Lightroom to best suit your needs. Along the way, learn the basics of importing, managing, optimizing, and sharing your images. Plus, discover how to use features like auto-advance, Smart Collections, the Library Filter, the Map module, and more.

Topics include:
  • Getting to know the Lightroom interface
  • Establishing Lightroom preferences
  • Using catalogs
  • Importing images
  • Image review
  • Identifying and locating images
  • Optimizing and sharing images
Subjects:
Photography Raw Processing video2brain
Software:
Lightroom
Author:
Tim Grey

Establishing Lightroom preferences

Most photographers will probably find that they're perfectly happy with the general setup of Lightroom based on the way it's actually installed by default. But you might want to take a look at some of the preferences settings to see if you might like to change some of those settings. To get started we'll go to the menu bar on Windows. We'll choose Edit and then Preferences on Macintosh this will be under Lightroom and then Preferences. Choosing that option from the menu will bring up the Preferences dialog, which features a number of tabs that allow us to change various settings. We'll start with the General tab.

The language option is first, that one is pretty self explanatory. Which language would you like the interface elements to be displayed as. You can also choose whether or not you want to see the splash screen during startup. That's basically just a title screen for Lightroom that displays by default at start up. We can also choose whether we want to automatically check for updates. With this option turned on, if your computer is connected to the Internet, Lightroom will check periodically for updates. And let you know if there is a newer version of Lightroom available.

Lightroom utilizes a catalogue to maintain the information about your photos. And you can specify which catalogue you'd like to open when you launch Lightroom. Chances are you're only using a single catalog. So you don't really need to worry about this option, and so you can leave it at the default of just, load most recent catalog. In other words, when you start Lightroom just open whichever catalog was opened last time you closed Lightroom. But you can also specify a particular catalog that you'd like to open every time regardless of which catalog was opened last. Or you can have Lightroom prompt you at startup to determine which catalogue should be opened.

In the import options section, the first checkbox allows you to determine whether the import dialog should be displayed in Lightroom. Any time you insert a card that contains images. I actually prefer to turn this option off, because very often I'll insert a USB drive, for example, that has images. And I don't want that import dialog to be displayed. To me it's just as easy to click the Import button when I actually want to import photos. Most photographers won't need to worry about the next checkbox, especially if you import into a flattened folder structure.

This simply allows you to ignore the folder names created by the camera, when you're naming folders during Import. If you shoot RAW plus JPEG? In other words, every time you take a picture, you capture both the RAW capture, and an accompanying JPEG picture. You can turn on this option, to treat JPEGs as separate photos. I actually prefer to only capture in RAW from the start, and so I don't have those extra JPG files. But if you prefer to capture in the RAW plus JPG mode, then you might want to turn this option on, so you can actually see those JPGs in Lightroom. In the completion sound section we can specify a sound that we'd like to have play when an import or export operation is complete. These tasks can take a little bit of time, and so it can be helpful to have your computer alert you when the ask is completed.

Simply choose a sound from the popup and that sound will play whenever an import or export is completed. In a variety of different situations you'll see warning dialogs in Lightroom. And most of those have a checkbox that allows you to specify that you don't want to receive that particular warning in the future. If you later decide you'd like to see those warnings, your only option is to reset all warning dialogs by clicking this button. That means that any applicable warnings will be displayed. Even if you had previously told Lightroom that you don't want to see that specific warning.

We don't need to worry about catalog settings at the moment. So, we'll move to the Presets tab. And here you can adjust a number of settings related to presets in Lightroom. The first checkbox allows you to determine whether you'd like tonal adjustments to be applied automatically to your images. I prefer to have this option turned off. However, I do like to leave the next option turned on, which will apply an automatic mix. In other words an automatic adjustment, when converting to black and white. I find that the automatic settings for black and white actually provide a good starting point, so I leave this option turned on. If you work with multiple cameras, you might want to make the defaults for your presets apply to a specific camera serial number.

This enables you to apply different adjustments to the images from different cameras. Generally speaking, I find that this setting causes more confusion than help, and so I prefer to leave it turned off. You might however want to turn on the option to have your settings be specific to the ISO setting of an image. This allows you to, for example, apply stronger noise reduction to images that have a higher ISO setting. We also have a button here that enables us to reset the develop settings. If you've changed any of the default develop settings for the presets in the develop module.

This button allows you to reset all of them to their default values. The presets Lightroom creates are stored in a particular folder where the Lightroom application is installed. However, you can turn on the store presets with catalog check box so that all of those presets are stored in the same location as the current catalog. If you'd like to see where the presets are stored. You can simply click the Show Lightroom Presets folder button which will open up a window in your operating system. At the bottom of the Presets tab, you'll find a series of buttons that allow you to restore the default values for a variety of different templates and presets.

Again, this would only be necessary if you've changed those default presets, and want to revert them to their original values. On the external editing tab, we'll find options for how we want to send files to Photoshop if we use Photoshop as our external editor. This includes options for the file format, the color space to be used, bit depth resolution and in the case of a TIF file, a compression that should be applied. You can also specify similar settings for an additional external editor.

In other words if you want to have other software used in conjunction with Lightroom. If you send an image to an external editor such as Photoshop you can also specify whether you want to stack that copy with the original. For example, the TIFF file that was created for Photoshop along with the original raw capture. I prefer to keep those images together, so I encourage you to keep the stack with original checkbox turned on. You can also specify the particular file naming structure that you'd like to use for images that have been edited with an external editor.

You can see that by default. The word Edit is added to the existing file name. I'm perfectly happy with that setting. But if you like to change it, you can choose a different option from the template pop-up. On the far handling tab, we'll find a series of settings related to how our files are done with. These include a variety of options for DNG files, the digital negative files, if we choose to use that option upon import. We can also specify that the period or slash key should be used as a key word separators not as indicators of a hierarchical keyword structure. In most cases if these characters were used at all they were probably used by other software to define hierarchical keywords.

And so in most cases you would not want to turn these check boxes on. We can also specify which characters are not allowed for file names that we create within Lightroom. And to replace any illegal characters with an underscore, a dash, or whatever Lightroom determines to be the most similar character. We can also specify whether or not we want to eliminate spaces. We can replace a space with an underscore or a dash. But since today's operating systems are able to handle spaces in file names just fine, I leave this set to the, Leave As Is option. At the bottom of the file handling page, we can adjust our cash settings for camera raw.

In other words, the cash that's used to store settings for our develop module. And we can also adjust the Cache setting for video. This Cache helps to ensure smooth video playback, but more advanced users may want to fine-tune these settings. Finally, we have the Interface tab, and here we can change the overall appearance of Lightroom. This includes being able to indicate which graphic should be shown at the bottom of each panel. And what the font size within Lightroom should be set to. For the Lights Out Display, where we can hide the overall interface if you adjust the image, we can specify the color for the overall screen display. I prefer black here, and we can also specify when we just dim the lights rather than turning the lights out altogether.

What the dim level will be. I find the 80% level to work just fine. And so I leave that at its default. We can also specify the background color for the main window, or the secondary window if you're using multiple displays. And we specify whether we want a pinstripe texture. I find that pinstripe to be rather distracting, so I always leave texture set to none. Under keyword entry we can specify whether we want to use commas or spaces to seperate keywords. I recommend commas so that your keywords can include spaces.

For example, Pacific Ocean could be considered one keyword rather then being considered as two individual keywords. You can also specify whether you want Lightroo­­­­m to automatically complete your keywords as you're typing them in the keyword tags field. The next selection allows you to specify which items you'd like displayed on the film strip. It can obviously be helpful to have information about your photos displayed with those photos on the film strip. But in cases you might find it a little bit distracting, and here you can turn off some or all of those information items.

Finally down at the bottom we have a tweaks section. We can specify that when we click to Zoom on an image we want the point we click to become the center of the display. We can specify whether we want to use the System Preferences instead of the Lightroom settings for font smoothing. Which is not generally something you'll need to concern yourself with. And we can also turn off if need the open GL for video. Obviously, most of the settings and preferences are as the name implies, clearly a matter of preference. Once you haveUNKNOWN you can figure things, you can simply click Okay and those changes will take effect

There are currently no FAQs about Getting Started with Lightroom 4.

 
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