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Join photographer and author Chris Orwig in Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials: Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module, as he explores the interface of this popular image-management program and shows how to use its Library module to organize and manage a photo library. The course covers importing both still images and video; shooting in tethered-capture mode; organizing and rating images with flags, stars, labels, and location tags; and working with collections. The course also details how to export, email, and share photos, and introduces the Lightroom 4 video-editing features, as well as its ability to work together with the full editing power of Photoshop. Exercise files are included with the course.
In one of the previous movies I had a slide where I talked about DNG Compression, and I mentioned that by default DNG Compression, well, it's lossless. In other words, smaller file size, without losing information. Well, now there's also a way to work with the DNG file format and compress those files so that it's lossy, in other words, so that you lose information. Now, why in the world would you want to lose information? Well, it's a great question, right? Well, there are certain situations where you're going to have files and you don't want to save all of the data of those files.
So let's say, for example, with this folder here. If you navigate to Exercise Files > Photos > People and then Becky, you can see that I have three images. And let's say that out of these three images I really like the first one and the third one, but I want to keep the second one just in case. I want to have it in my archives, just because I might need that, although I don't really think so. Well, in situations like that what you might want to do is use this Lossy Compression, which actually makes a much smaller file size.
So in order to do that we would navigate to our Library pull-down menu and then we would choose Convert to DNG, and go ahead and stick with me, even if this is seeming a little bit confusing. I think it will become more clear by the end of this movie. So here what I am going to do is I am going to Convert this Raw file. I don't want to delete the original, I am going to keep that. I am going to choose this DNG Extension, file Compatibility, we can see that there. JPEG Preview: Medium. Sure we'll go with Fast Load. But then, I'm checking on Lossy Compression.
So this is the thing that's going to make this file different. I am going to go ahead and click OK and it's going to convert this file to that format. Well, now that it's done that, what I want to do is I want to take a look at this file in the Finder or Explorer window. So let's do that. Here I am going to right-click or Ctrl+Click and choose Show in Finder. This is going to show me all of these files. Now, if we take a look at this for a second, we can see this is the new file. This is the one with compression that we just created.
Now, this file, well, that was our original file, that was the normal DNG. If you look at the file Size, this one is approximately 5 megs, while this one, it's approximately 18 megabytes. There is a really huge difference in file size here. What's great about this is, there won't be a significant difference in quality. Now, of course it's going to have less quality, because there is less information there. This compression is very similar to JPEG compression. Yet, what it's doing for us is still giving us access to a lot of the raw capabilities of this file format.
So we have the smaller file size, yet it's a really nice and high quality version of the file. Just to illustrate that, over here in this folder in Lightroom, I am going to choose to Synchronize this folder. What that means is if there's an image in this folder that it's not showing, I want it to display that. Here I am going to right-click or Ctrl+Click and then choose Synchronize. This is going to tell me, hey, there's one photo which is missing, that one which I had converted, I want to bring that one back, and let's go to that folder now.
So here you can see we have becky -2, and then we have becky-2-2. So this is the one with Lossy Compression, this is the one without any compression. I am going to double-click on this one, and go to this 1:1 view. In this 1:1 view what I am interested in doing is kind of seeing the detail that I have in this photograph. So we'll zoom in to say an area of the eye. So in this case, the quality of this file, it looks really good. Well, let's compare that. We can do a nice comparison by using either the Compare or Survey, or we could just go back and forth between two images.
I'll click on both of these images, hold down the Command key, and then click Compare. Now, what Compare is going to do for me is allow me to have these side-by-side and evaluate these pictures. I am just going to wait for the full DNG photo on the right to load in. Right now it's just loading the data for that preview. And as you look at these side-by- side, again, keep in mind these are unprocessed, they look pretty similar, even at this 1:1 view, which is absolutely phenomenal.
Now, where we'll see these images fall apart, and where we'll see stronger differences is when we start processing them. In other words, you can kind of think of it this way. Let's go back to the Grid View for a second. With these two files, the one that's been compressed and the one that hasn't, well, the one that's been compressed, it's a little bit more brittle. You can't quite stretch it or push it as far or as hard. Well, the DNG file that just has all of the raw data in there, well, you can get away with a lot. You can pull a lot of data out of the Highlights, you can boost those Shadows without getting too much noise, you can do quite a bit.
So keep in mind that while this does save file size, there is a downside, right? Of course you're losing some information. So again, what's another scenario for this? Well, let's say that you shoot a wedding. At a wedding, you shoot 1,000 pictures. Out of the 1,000, you're going to give the client 300. Let's say you're really generous and that's your image count, those are great photographs. Well, you also may want to keep those other 700 photographs just in case something happens or you need to pull from them for some reason.
But you don't want all of that file size. I mean, that is a lot of file size. So in those situations perhaps you'll select all of those images and convert them to that DNG format, with Lossy Compression turned on, therefore you can save them, but you'll be saving them at a smaller file size. Well, whatever the scenario, this whole capability, it opens up new options for us as we explore how we can work with this DNG format and integrate this into our overall workflow.
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