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Importing images and looking at file formats

From: Lightroom 4 Essentials: 01 Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module

Video: Importing images and looking at file formats

Because Lightroom is a workflow application and because it has this built-in database catalog, how we import our images is really important. In other words, if we get it wrong or if our Preferences are off, we are really going to pay for it in the long run. Because of this, I find it helpful to kind of break down this whole process of importing our photographs. What I want to do here is simply start off by talking about what are the different file types that we can import and what are a few considerations that are worth keeping in mind with those different file formats.

Importing images and looking at file formats

Because Lightroom is a workflow application and because it has this built-in database catalog, how we import our images is really important. In other words, if we get it wrong or if our Preferences are off, we are really going to pay for it in the long run. Because of this, I find it helpful to kind of break down this whole process of importing our photographs. What I want to do here is simply start off by talking about what are the different file types that we can import and what are a few considerations that are worth keeping in mind with those different file formats.

Well, for starters, we can import a wide range of different types of documents whether they are JPEGs or TIFF files, Photoshop documents, RAW files, CMYK or movie files. Now what do we need to consider with these different file formats? Well, the first thing that we need to consider is that if we are going to work with this PSD format, there is a specific preference. Now I've taken a picture of this preference, it has to do with maximizing PSD and PSB file compatibility. Now you may be thinking okay Chris, why does this really matter? Well, it matters because a lot of times what happens is we've worked in Photoshop a lot.

We have all of these documents, all of these old Photoshop files, we are gong to import in and as we move forward, we are going to continue to work with Photoshop. So if we are going to choose this PSD format, there's a really important preference we have to consider. What I want to do here is open up the Photoshop Preferences dialog and talk about this preference. So here it goes. Let's go into Photoshop and go to File Handling. Now previously, what you most likely chose here is in Maximize File Compatibility, you may have selected Never.

What this would do is it would just save your file as is, not adding anything else. Another option would be to choose Always or Ask. Now if you choose Always, what happens is, is it saves with this layered file inside of that also a flattened version of the document. Now you never see this "extra flattened version", but you experience it in increased file size. One of the reasons why you might want to do this is if you're sending this Photoshop document to someone who's using a much older version of Photoshop, pre layers, or maybe if they are going to view this file in another application.

Well, for most of us this wasn't very relevant, so we didn't use this option. The last option would be Ask. This is where you get to choose. Do you want it to have this File Compatibility or not? Now previously in my own workflow, I chose this option. I said, if this is a Photoshop doc that I want to use in Lightroom, well, yes, let's maximize that compatibility, if it isn't, then no. But in reality now, because we are using Lightroom so much, what I've turn this to is Always, because I don't want to have to worry about whether or not Lightroom can read that file.

Now you have to make your own decision on which option will work best for you, but the one I recommend is Always. It will increase your file size, but it will allow you to import and work with those Photoshop documents in Lightroom. Now another option, to skip this altogether, would be just to use this TIFF file format. It's much more flexible and it works much better with Lightroom. So that maybe something to consider as you move forward and you think about how you are going to save your files out from Photoshop in the future. Another thing that we need to consider is this RAW file format.

Now the RAW file format is really interesting. This could be an NEF file from a Nikon camera or a CR2 RAW file from a Canon camera or whatever, and Lightroom supports all of these different types of file formats. Yet there's one file format that a lot of Lightroom users have adopted and it's called the DNG format. We'll be talking about this format more throughout the course, but for now what I want to highlight is that this format what it does is it kind of wraps like a container around the image, like a Tupperware container and it gives us archival confidence.

And what this will allow us to do hopefully is to access this file and work with it into the future. It also allows us to compress the file in a unique way in order to decrease the file size without losing quality. And now new in Lightroom 4, we have this ability to create what are called Fast Load DNG files and also Lossy Compression files. Again, I'll deconstruct this a bit more, but here I just want to highlight that the DNG file format is more important than ever and it may be something worth looking into, worth considering as you look at importing your files.

Again, more on that format later, but I just want to highlight it here. The last thing I want to point out is that now inside of Lightroom, we can work with different movie formats, AVI, MOV, MP4, AVCHD and more. Lightroom allows us to import and work with movie files from our smartphones or from our DSLRs or from video cameras and what's great about this is so much of us are starting to shoot video. We have RAW files sitting next to video files and now we can start to kind of bring those files together, organize them, access them, and even work on them in some pretty interesting ways.

We'll talk about that topic later, but here again, I am just trying to highlight, we have these different file formats and there are a few things to think about as we're working with these file formats. All right! Well, now that we've looked at that, the next step is to take a look at our Importing Preferences and let's do that in the next movie.

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This video is part of

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  1. 2m 1s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 0s
  2. 13m 33s
    1. The broad Photoshop Lightroom overview
      3m 52s
    2. The photographic workflow puzzle
      3m 45s
    3. Why use Photoshop Lightroom?
      5m 56s
  3. 30m 18s
    1. The Photoshop Lightroom interface
      5m 21s
    2. Using the interface shortcuts
      4m 57s
    3. Working with panels
      4m 24s
    4. Customizing the identity plate and module pickers
      5m 49s
    5. Customizing interface elements
      5m 5s
    6. Creating a custom panel end mark
      3m 45s
    7. Using module tips
      57s
  4. 36m 32s
    1. Importing images and looking at file formats
      5m 27s
    2. Importing preferences
      3m 13s
    3. Introducing the Import dialog
      5m 10s
    4. Setting catalog preferences and import and preview options
      5m 38s
    5. Importing from a folder
      4m 2s
    6. Importing photos from a CF card
      10m 22s
    7. Creating an import preset
      2m 40s
  5. 11m 37s
    1. Drag-and-drop importing
      2m 8s
    2. Auto-importing from a watched folder
      4m 48s
    3. Importing from iPhoto or Aperture
      4m 41s
  6. 9m 36s
    1. Introducing tethered capture
      3m 47s
    2. Working with tethered capture
      2m 55s
    3. Considering color management with tethered capture
      2m 54s
  7. 24m 21s
    1. Introducing catalogs
      3m 12s
    2. Demystifying catalogs by way of comparison
      3m 34s
    3. Optimizing and backing up catalogs
      6m 13s
    4. Importing and updating legacy catalogs
      6m 38s
    5. Exporting a catalog
      3m 53s
    6. Learning more about catalogs
      51s
  8. 41m 51s
    1. Working in the Grid and Loupe views
      2m 14s
    2. Navigating and zooming
      4m 47s
    3. Customizing the Grid and Loupe views
      5m 14s
    4. Customizing the Filmstrip
      3m 17s
    5. Comparing two images
      5m 23s
    6. Surveying two or more images
      3m 15s
    7. Working with folders and files
      4m 2s
    8. Deleting and removing images from folders
      3m 1s
    9. Working with multiple hard drives
      8m 2s
    10. Dual-monitor support
      2m 36s
  9. 30m 25s
    1. Working with flags, stars, and labels
      5m 20s
    2. Adding ratings with the Painter tool
      3m 32s
    3. Filtering by flag, stars, and labels
      3m 58s
    4. A filtering workflow
      5m 54s
    5. Filtering by file type
      1m 54s
    6. Filtering by type and metadata
      3m 22s
    7. Sorting photos
      1m 58s
    8. Stacking photos into groups
      4m 27s
  10. 21m 51s
    1. Using Smart Collections
      4m 7s
    2. Using Quick Collections
      2m 25s
    3. What is a collection?
      3m 39s
    4. Working with collections
      3m 22s
    5. Going further with collections
      3m 17s
    6. An evaluative-collection workflow
      5m 1s
  11. 12m 23s
    1. Overviewing the new Map module
      2m 32s
    2. Tagging images with locations
      3m 46s
    3. Creating saved locations
      6m 5s
  12. 10m 44s
    1. Using Quick Develop
      3m 39s
    2. Synchronizing settings
      3m 12s
    3. Making incremental adjustments
      3m 53s
  13. 31m 41s
    1. Playing video in Photoshop Lightroom
      3m 50s
    2. Trimming a video
      4m 11s
    3. Editing the color and tone of a video
      5m 2s
    4. Using presets to edit the color and tone of a video
      1m 49s
    5. Setting the poster frame
      1m 35s
    6. Capturing a still image from a video
      3m 9s
    7. Exporting to a hard drive
      2m 37s
    8. Publishing to a hard drive
      3m 35s
    9. Publishing video to Facebook
      3m 18s
    10. Publishing video to Flickr
      2m 35s
  14. 17m 11s
    1. Why use DNG?
      7m 32s
    2. Converting to DNG and the Embed Fast Load Data option
      3m 45s
    3. Reducing file size with the lossy compressed DNG
      5m 54s
  15. 22m 39s
    1. Adding keywords
      3m 33s
    2. Creating and using keyword sets
      3m 6s
    3. Synchronizing keywords
      1m 58s
    4. Keywording with the Painter tool
      1m 29s
    5. Working with the Metadata panel
      4m 44s
    6. Adding copyright metadata with a template
      4m 23s
    7. Filtering photographs based on metadata
      3m 26s
  16. 27m 34s
    1. External editing preferences
      5m 14s
    2. Editing raw photos in Photoshop
      4m 43s
    3. Editing an original TIFF, PSD, or JPG file in Photoshop
      3m 40s
    4. Editing a modified TIFF, PSD, or JPG file in Photoshop
      4m 44s
    5. Opening an image as a Smart Object in Photoshop
      4m 34s
    6. Including multiple images in Photoshop as layers
      4m 39s
  17. 29m 1s
    1. Exporting photographs to a hard drive, CD, or DVD
      4m 44s
    2. Publishing to a folder
      4m 5s
    3. Using exporting presets
      4m 51s
    4. Emailing photographs from Photoshop Lightroom
      5m 34s
    5. Exporting to Adobe Revel
      3m 39s
    6. Uploading photos to Facebook and Flickr
      6m 8s
  18. 32s
    1. Goodbye
      32s

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