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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.
An important step in importing your photographs into Lightroom is considering the File Handling options. After you've selected, say, the folder you're been import, how you want to import those, in this case Add. We have this File Handling panel. Now we have a couple options for Render Previews, Minimal, Embedded, Standard or 1:1. Now Preview is really important, because choosing this option will help Lightroom figure out how you want to work with these files. And what it will do is it can generate a preview in the background, so you don't have to wait every time you click, you have to wait for the preview to be generated, you can just get onto your work and work in Lightroom effectively.
So understanding these various options can be really helpful for looking at different ways of working with Lightroom. Because of that, what I want to do is jump to a few slides and see if we can deconstruct or understand how these options actually work and how these options also connect to a catalog settings that we may want to change. Let me go ahead and jump to my slides here and talk a little bit about File Handling Previews. Again, we've seen this dialog, we have seen that there are these four options. These options are really about speed versus quality.
Now what do I mean by that? Well, the top two options allow us to have quicker previews of our images, Minimal is the absolute quickest, yet it's not that high of a quality of a preview, it's not that accurate, Embedded & Sidecar is little bit better, but again it's just the embedded preview that you get, say when you shoot in raw capture, all RAW files have a little JPEG in them, that's how we view the image on the back of the LCD screen on our cameras. So again it's a good but it's not perfect.
On the other hand, we have Standard and 1:1. These are a higher-quality preview. Standard allows us to select a pixel dimension, so that when we see this image, we can see it in a way that it's accurate to the color and tone all these things and we can make a decision on how we might want a process it or work with the file. 1:1, that creates a preview that is just everything. Now you may be thinking well, why not just choose 1:1, I mean that seems like the best bet right.
Well sometimes you can have too much information and that can take too much time and it kind of bog down your workflow. In my own experience, I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II. I find that Standard works really well and that that's the best option, giving me good quality. It takes a while to generate it but it's well worth it. The other thing to keep in mind with File Handling is this idea of that this connects to a catalog settings, I mentioned this before. And if you look at these two dialogs, they both have to do with File Handling.
They both have to do with the Standard Preview size which again is the most common preview size. You can choose a certain pixel dimension with this and basically you want to choose something, which is close to the resolution of your monitor. The other option is Preview Quality. This dialog allows you to choose high medium or low, which is a little bit vague in my opinion. What exactly is this? Well, High gives you a pro photo color space or a wider gamut color space, more colors, more accuracy, Medium and Low, less colors, less accuracy.
Lightroom uses this really big color space, it taps into a lot of the data in the digital file which helps us to process them in really powerful ways. This preview of High gets closer to being able to see what that is, pro photo is really close to the color space that Lightroom uses. So that may be a preference that you want to consider. Now that we've seen this in the slides, let's go back to Lightroom and take a look at how we can dial in these preferences ourselves. First of all we have seen that we can choose the different options, I should also point out why would you want to use Minimal.
That could be great when you're the wedding photographer, you just want a quick preview and then create a slideshow at the wedding. You are not really concerned about evaluating the image in this full form or on the other hand if you're a photographer like me who does a commercial, personal, or editorial shoot and then comes back the computer and really wants to sit down and work, really wants to see the information of the file, Standard is probably going to be the best bet there. Of course, this all depends on how you shoot, what you shoot, what type of camera you have.
But again, my recommendation is to try standard. Before you import what you want to do though is go to your Catalog Settings Preference, so I am going to cancel out of there and navigate to Lightroom Catalog Settings and navigate to File Handling. Now here's where I can choose that Standard preview size. If I am on my desktop and I have a pretty high resolution monitor, well, I am going to choose a preview size which is much higher. If I am on a little teeny laptop, may be something smaller. So again, it's going to be contingent upon your own workflow.
Next step is Preview Quality, here typically High is best, it gives you a more accurate preview, and then if you do generate 1:1 previews which will happen when you zoom in on files and whatnot, it's asking you how often you want to get rid of those, because those take up a lot of space as you can imagine for generate a high-res preview from a pretty high end capture camera. So the default setting there of 30 typically works best. Well now, that we've looked at some of these options that we have to consider with importing and also some of the catalog settings, let's go ahead and take a look at how we can finish off this whole process of importing photographs from a folder and let's look at how we can do that in the next movie.
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