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When you're all done processing a file, either a photo or video in Lightroom, you may think that you need to save your changes but in fact you don't. There is no Save button in Lightroom and that's because you're never really changing your files when you work on them on Lightroom. You're just writing instructions to Metadata, to the catalog. The actual files remain pristine and original. So, you never need to save in Lightroom but sometimes you do need to export. For example, let's say that after I process this photo, I want to upload it to a website.
Well, I need to get a copy of it in the JPEG format. If you look down here, you can see that this is currently a .DNG format file which is a RAW format. It happens to be Adobe's universal RAW format. So, to get a copy of this processed file as a JPEG, I'll have to go to the Export dialog box. To do that, I'll select the thumbnail for this file here in the Develop module or if I am over the Library module I could select one or more thumbnails for export in grid view. And then I'll go up to the File menu and I'll choose Export.
That opens this export dialog box. I could start with one of the export presets that comes with Lightroom. For example if I were going to burn JPEGs to a CD or DVD, I would choose this first preset but none of these are really relevant to what I'm doing so instead I'm just going to fill out the fields myself and that will also give you the opportunity to see what fields are here. When I'm done filling out all these fields then I can save those settings so that next time I wanted to output a JPEG for the Web I would just go to User Presets and I would find my Save settings as a preset there.
I'll start at the top of the dialog box. I want to export not to a CD or DVD but rather to my hard drive, so I'll choose that. Here, I can choose exactly where in my hard drive Lightroom will put the JPEG that it's going to create. I'll leave export to set to specific folder and then I'll click the Choose button. I'm going to navigate to my desktop. And I'll click Choose. And on my desktop, I'd like to put this JPEG into a sub-folder. I don't have one there yet so I'll check Sub-folder and I'll call this Sub-folder Website Files.
I'm not going to add the JPEG copy of this image to my Catalog. I already have the DNG in my catalog. I know that there won't be any existing files with the same name in that folder so I won't worry about this menu either. I'll come down to the file renaming section. I like to keep my files with the same base name throughout my process. That way I'll always know what belongs with what so my original file was named 05050944. I'd like the JPEG to have that base name too. But if you like to rename your files you can check Rename To and then you can make a choice from this menu.
For example if I had selected multiple files to export at once, I could choose Custom Name and Sequence and then type the Custom Name website here. Choose a sequence number to start with and I would get a number of files website two, website three, website four etc., and don't worry about the file extension yet. That will change automatically when we choose the format for our JPEG output. In an earlier movie I covered the Video Export settings in this Export dialog box.
Since this isn't a video, those aren't relevant now. Here in the File Setting section I'll choose the image format which will be set to TIFF by default. I don't have a lot of choices here. TIFF is a universal potentially uncompressed format so it's a good one. If I know that I am going to be using this file in Photoshop, I could save it in the PSD of Photoshop Document Format, if I were starting with the proprietary RAW file, one in my camera company's RAW format for example like an NEF file from Nikon and I wanted to convert that to Adobe's universal RAW format, I could choose DNG from this list.
And if I choose original then whatever format my current file is, that's the format that the copy that's exported will be in. I'm trying to get a JPEG for my website so I'll choose JPEG. When I choose JPEG I have to set the compression quality. I'm going to set that at around 80. The more compressed the file, the smaller it will be but it may also not look as good. The appropriate color space for a file for the Web is SRGB. If I were printing this file, I would choose one of these other color spaces. And I'm not going to limit the file size.
I do want to limit the actual dimensions of the image though. Because I know that it has to fit in the certain space on the website. So, I'll check re-size to fit. I'll choose Width and Height and I'll type the maximum width and height that the file can be here. So let's say that this is going to fit in the space that is 300 pixels wide. I don't want the file to be larger than 300 and the space on the site for this image is, let's say, 200 pixels high. So, this is going to be a really small one so if I don't have to worry about checking Don't Enlarge.
The resolution isn't really relevant when you're preparing an image for the Web. This is more a number that is relevant for print because it's the measure of the number of pixels that would be allocated to each inch if and when I printed this image. Here, I can choose my second stage of sharpening. Earlier in the course I explained how to do the initial capture sharpening in the Detail panel of the Develop module. Now when I'm exporting I can have Lightroom sharpen for this specific kind of output that I'm performing as well as for the size that I've chosen so I'll check Sharpen 4 and I'm going to be sharpening for screen.
I'll leave the amount set to Standard. Here, I can specify what information is going to be included in the file. And this is isn't always available but it is available for JPEGs. If perhaps for privacy reasons, I didn't want all of the information in the exported file that came from my digital camera and that I may have added to the file here in Lightroom, I could choose one of these other option other than All, like Copyright Only, but I'll just leave that at all for now. If there is any location information associated with the file, for privacy reasons, you might want to check Remove Location Info.
And then I'll skip through the Watermark section because I haven't created a watermark and I don't want one on this photo. And down here, under Post Processing, Lightroom is asking what it should do when it finishes exporting. I'd like to see the file in my finder. So, I'll select that and I'll click Export. Up here is a progress bar that tells me that Lightroom is exporting my file with the name and the other settings that I specified and when it's done it opens my finder to my destination folder and there is the JPEG that Lightroom created for me using the settings that I asked it to.
So that's how you get a copy of your file out of Lightroom with the changes that you've made there and remember the that operative word is Export not Save.
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