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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques, photographer Chris Orwig shows how to master the subtleties of Lightroom 3 and maximize its efficiency. The course begins with an in-depth exploration of Lightroom catalogs to keep track of photos, collections, keywords, stacks, and more. Along the way, Chris shows how to integrate Bridge and Photoshop in the Lightroom workflow and shares advanced techniques, including image editing with the adjustment brush, automating actions, using plug-ins and extensions, exporting to email or an FTP server, and more. Exercise files are included with the course.
Because this chapter is all about export and workflow, I thought it would be helpful to take a couple of minutes to talk generally about the settings that we want to use when we are exporting an image that we are going to share online. Maybe it's a photograph we are going to put on our portfolio site or on a blog, or maybe we are just going to e-mail an image to a client or a friend. Well, in those situations, what we want to think about is that this image is going to be viewed on a monitor. How then do we want to dial in our export settings? Well, first we want to select an image, and then we want to go to our File pulldown menu and choose Export.
Now the first thing that we want to do is export to a hard drive. Here I want to choose a location, and I am going to choose a specific folder. And in this case, I will just go to the Desktop; that will work fine there. You could always select a different folder if you wanted to as well. But in my case Desktop will be fine. Let's go through our other options. We can choose to rename the file if needed. Again, sometimes this is helpful. For example, let's say that we are going to send this to a client, or we are going to e-mail this to someone or post it on our site. I am just going to go ahead and call this "santa_barbara_surfing_museum." And that's a little bit of a long name, so how about "sb_surfing_museum?" That looks good.
Next, what about File Settings? Well, this is where it gets important, our Settings and our Image Size and Sharpening. So for the Settings, we want to go to a JPEG format. We want to choose sRGB. Video Files, that's really irrelevant, so I am going to go ahead and check that off. Now what about our Quality size here? Now one of the problems with Lightroom is that when we change the slider, we don't have a little preview. We can't see what the image is going to look like. So we need a default number. Typically, a good default number is going to be 75.
And we don't want to go too high, because it will increase our file size too much for viewing online, whether in an attachment e-mail or on a blog or for posting on our portfolio web site or whatever. But 75 is a good number. Right there, it'll give us a good quality file. Now next, Image Sizing. What size do we want to use? Well, typically it's a good idea to go to Long Edge and to determine the actual length or height of the Long Edge. What I recommend you do is 800 or less.
So say, for example, for my portfolio site it's actually 750 pixels wide or tall, so I am going to choose that here. Now Resolution, it doesn't really matter, because monitors have fixed resolutions. It's not a bad idea to just change resolution, just to get in that mindset of saying, okay, I'm optimizing this, or I am exporting this to be viewed on a monitor. Now Output Sharpening, pretty straightforward. We are sharpening for screen. The majority of the time, the standard amount is going to work best. And then if you want to add metadata or watermarking, you could do so, but in my case, don't need to do that.
After the export, I am going to have it show in my finder, so I can see that file and then take it somewhere else, wherever I want to put it or post it. And then next, simply click Export. This will then take this full-res DNG file, it will change the image based on the parameters that we just entered, and now you can see I have this nice, small JPEG file, which is ready to be posted either on my portfolio site or another web site, my blog, or to be sent as an attachment with an e-mail.
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