Lightroom and side effects

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by yjchua95, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #1
    Hello.
    I'm new to Lightroom 3 and I just need to clear up something.
    When I import my images, are they copied again and put into LR? I wouldn't really want it to occupy my hard drive, as space is limited.
    I know this question may sound dumb, but I'm new.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. snberk103, Dec 8, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011

    snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #2
    The answer is a "depends on... " one.

    There is a way to let LR manage the images while they remain in their original locations. However, I don't believe that is the best way to work with LR. When I import my images I let LR "copy" the images into its own library. In my case I am generally copying from the camera. Once I know my LR library is backed up, I will delete the images from the camera (or where ever they came from) so that they appear only in LR and its backups.

    I let LR manage it's own library in its own default way, and I rarely change anything in that library.

    Instead I use collections (both regular and "Smart") and keywords to find anything I need to locate, instead of browsing the folders. If you are disciplined about keywording as you import then you should eventually find it easier to find images with LR than before you started using it.

    Note that any edits you make to an image in LR are 'non-destructive'.... the original file is never changed, LR merely makes a note of the edits. Set up preset exports in order to save time when you need web-quality images, or print-quality, or etc etc

    There is much more about LR on the Adobe web site, and I suggest you start there. LR only works well when you understand its underlying design philosophy. In LR you never "save" a file.... and it makes sense for LR. Photoshop is a different beast altogether.

    Luck.
     
  3. yjchua95 thread starter macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #3
    Thanks buddy ;)
    I think I'll be removing it pretty soon :p
    LR looks more like Aperture and well, I don't think I can get used to the way it handles my images.
    I think I'll just stick back to PS CS5.1 Ext for the moment.
    Thanks again for your advice.
     
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #4
    Aperture and LR are very similar. Which one someone use is entirely a personal preference. However, I do prefer the noise reduction feature in LR.

    However, LR and PS are two entirely beasts, and for many photographers a complete workflow involves both (or Aperture instead of LR, of course).

    PS is designed to take a single image, and to make it better, replacing the original. It does lots of other things, and you do batch batch processing and "save as" - of course ..... but at it's core it wants to replace the original image with a better one.

    LR/Aperture are for managing your images, helping you find/sort/label/rank and cull them. They are designed to make changes to masses of images at once, and they are designed to export an image meeting certain specs, on demand.

    This is a gross oversimplification, of course... but if you start thinking about the applications starting from here, then they make more sense. You may not need LR/Aperture ... but if you are going to reject using them, I just want you to reject them for the right reasons. I love LR, and use it 90% of the time. I get into PS for the other 10% for very specific actions, and then the image is saved right back into LR.
     
  5. huck500 macrumors 6502

    huck500

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Southern California
    #5
    Just an FYI, I picked up LR3, full version, for $99 on Amazon around Cyber Monday. It's since gone up to $188 or so, but that's better than the $299 retail.

    There's still the student and teacher version for about $90 if you qualify. That one requires you to mail some paperwork in, so check out the requirements before you buy.

    I use LR about 99% of the time, and GIMP for a few things. GIMP is pretty rough, but the price is right. I'd use LR for cloning and such, but I have that freezing while cloning problem that's been around for a while. :(
     
  6. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Location:
    Calgary AB
    #6
    Lightroom does not copy your images. It simply addresses them from wherever you point it to look for images. i.e. if you have a folder called 'Images' and you drag new folders of pictures into it (after a trip or a shoot or something), you simply tell lightroom to sync that folder, and it will update what it sees inside of it. Lightroom then has a single 'lrcat' file that acts as a database file that contains the addresses and pointers, as well as the settings of all the changes you've made to your images, (while not actually changing them- the highlight 'non destructive editing' feature of LR). You can back up this file separately and even if you have a hard drive die on you, when you rebuild it and reimport your library and the catalog file from backup, it'll be just as you left it.

    You can let it manage it somewhat for you, but in the end its still just addressing the images wherever they are on your computer (that you've told it to look). This is why i chose LR over Aperture (and iPhoto obviously) cause of the ability for you to really dictate where everything is in it, as well as the photoshop integration as well. But hey, to each his own. I like LR and definitely recommend it (fool around with the 30 day trial, and also check out their fb page cause they post some great walkthroughs on there all the time too)
     
  7. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #7
    Sorry to disagree with you, but that is not necessarily true:
    "During import, you can choose either to move or copy the photo files into a specific folder, or reference the photo files in their current location." [emphasis is mine] Link

    What you are talking about is the "reference" option. If someone is importing their images directly from a camera or memory card, then referencing won't work since the images won't be available to LR once the memory card is formatted for the next shooting session.

    I'm not sure what the default import action is, but I believe referencing photos in their existing location is not usually the best practice. It's too tempting to much about with the photos outside of LR, which risks corrupting the catalogue (the database). There are very few reasons why someone should need to access their images outside of LR. I choose to let LR do what it was designed to do, and to work within LR for all my needs.

    Most of my images are imported from a memory card, so I've set LR to copy the image and convert to DNG. I store the memory card for a few days, until I've got a good backup of my LR images. Eventually I format the card, and use it for the next shooting session.

    LR also has the ability to copy the imported images, during import, to a backup location.
     
  8. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Location:
    Calgary AB
    #8
    oh fair enough. i manage my imports from outside LR and just use the finder to copy the images to my images folders on my computer and then get LR to address them there.
     

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