Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing and file formats, part of Lightroom 5 Essentials: 01 Importing with the Library Module.
When you first open up Lightroom, you won't have any photos or video files in it, and you may get excited to start working in Lightroom, and want to go ahead and press the Import button in order to begin the import process. Yet before you do that, here in the next two movies, I want to talk about a few considerations, when thinking about different file formats that we can work with. I also want to highlight a couple of important importing preferences. Alright, well first, I'm going to jump to a slide in order to talk about file formats. Now in order to have fun with Lightroom and start to work on our photographs, we need to consider, well, what type of files can we work with? Here you can see the entire list.
We can work with JPEGs, TIFFs, PSD, RAW files, CMYK files, MOVIE files, and PNG files. Now most commonly we'll work with JPEG, TIFF, and RAW files. Yet here what I want to do is just highlight a few considerations, when we're working with a few specific file formats. You know we can work in Photoshop, and we can save a layered Tiff file, or a layered PSD file. And when we're working with layers, one of the things we have to keep in mind, is that Lightroom doesn't have layers. So how can we work with and access those files? Well if we choose to work with the TIFF file format we won't have any problems at all.
Yet what about working with the PSD file format? Well in that situation, there is a preference that you may need to customize or change. Because remember, Lightroom doesn't really understand layers. So what you need to do with those Photoshop files that you want to work on in Photoshop which have layers, and also in Lightroom, you need to turn on a preference which is called maximize PSD file compatibility. Let me show you that preference in the Photoshop Preference dialogue. Here's I'll open up the dialogue, in this dialogue you navigate to an area that's called File Handling, and I recommend you do this in your version of Photoshop.
The next, navigate down to an area which is called File Compatibility. At the bottom of this little area, you'll notice we have this option to maximize our PSD or PSB File Compatibility. Now you may be wondering, well what does this mean, and why would I want to do this? Well again, what this allows us to do is to work back and forth between Photoshop and Lightroom easily when we have layered files. Because when you maximize the file compatibility, it actually saves a flattened version of the file, inside of that file format.
Now you and I would never know that that's happening, but Lightroom knows it's happening, which in turn allows Lightroom to read, access, and work on the file. So again if you're going to work with this file format, just make sure you turn on this option to Always. That will ensure that all of your layered PSD files, will be able to be viewed and worked on in Photoshop and also in Lightroom. Alright, well here I'll go ahead and click OK, in order to exit out if that dialog. The next thing that I want to highlight, is how we can work with various RAW file formats.
Now ideally, you'll change your camera settings to capture native RAW files. Yet when you start to work with Lightroom, you may consider to convert those native RAW files to a DNG format. Many Lightroom users do, and we'll talk more about this later. Yet here, I simply want to introduce you to the topic. The reason why people work with this DNG format, is because you can create what are called Fast Load DNGs, and you can also do some DNG Lossy Compression. Now what does that actually mean in street language? Well, what it basically means is you can work with these DNG files more quickly, and you can also have a smaller file size.
So they can speed up your work flow and also decrease your file size, which is a big bonus. And again, we'll talk more about that later, but I simply wanted to highlight it here as we're talking about importing and file types. All right. Well, next you can import a wide range of different types of MOVIE files. There are a whole slew of MOVIE file formats that you can work with. So know that Lightroom is able to import and bring those in really easily. Last but not least, you can work with the PNG format. Often, you'll use this format if you want to have a file which has some transparency.
Now in Photoshop you'll see that there is transparency, but if you import and view that image in Lightroom, well the transparent area will appear white. Now it doesn't mean that it blocked out or whited out that area, rather it's just the way that Lightroom reads that transparency and displays it. If you're to open up the PNG in Photoshop, well that transparency would then appear transparent. So you could then continue to work on the file in that way. Alright, well there are a few considerations for you, as you think about what files you're going to import into Lightroom.
Now that we've talked about working with different file formats, next let's highlight a few important Lightroom importing pregerences and we'll do that in the next movie.
- What is Lightroom?
- Importing images and video files
- Choosing an import destination
- Renaming files
- Importing from iPhoto or Aperture
- Working with tethered capture
- Exporting a catalog
- Using Smart Previews
- Customizing the Lightroom background