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Thread: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    This is really a workflow question. Right now I enjoy Lightroom as a single do everything solution. I follow the book ...import to disk and backup,import to lightroom,edit and make selections,develop and process the best (maybe 10%) and output to web based collections or print on Epson R2400. I know not much imagination here but I have a well managed library of 20K images and I can always go back and redo the processing( I get smarter a little at a time). But I know I should be using other raw processors to get optimum results..even straight CS3 beats my workflow and I would like to use C1 and CaptureNX(for my D3 files). So where does it best fit...I would think as early as possible and before I import to Lightroom. Does that make sense?

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    I think nowadays you need to view the process as about 5 or 6 distinct steps: 1) importing/browsing, 2) cataloging, 3) raw conversion, 4) global adjustments, 5) local adjustments and if you do it, 6) Printing. Once you've settled on these, the problem is none of the programs available do all of them, let alone all of them well. So, a modern workflow may require the use of three or more pieces of specialized software to fully optimize the final image.

    The advantage I see to LR is it does the first 4 of these very well, and while it may not be the best raw converter, it is good enough on most images for my purposes. I understand other folks may require otherwise, but there is no reason other pieces of software can't be slotted in the appropriate step to obtain what they feel are better results -- worst case it just means giving up a bit of efficiency to get that result.

    FWIW, efficiency is the main reason Guy and I spend so much time helping folks get the most out of LightRoom on our workshops.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Jack That is a helpful framework and likewise I find Lightroom excellent for most practical uses. With the DMR and the M8 I can get the results I would like without using really anything else. However with the Nikon .NIF files I would like to use Capture NX for the raw conversions. The part that is confusing me is do I do this before or after editing. Right now the big time waster for me is editing ..going from a shoot of say 1000 images to the 100 worth working on and then the 25 worth showing. I guess I could just do everything in Lightroom until I have the 100 identified and then reprocess the raws . The other alternative would appear to be converting everything in Capture NX and then import to Lightroom but this would make fine tuning another round trip. Am I confusing the raw conversion with the subsequent workflow steps?

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    You're not confusing anything --- it is the rub of the raw workflow, both options you present are viable for different reasons.

    Personally, since raw converters seem to continually improve, I would choose the former: browse, catalog and edit in LR, convert using the best converter for your files AT THE TIME (in your case, Capture NX). IOW a basic LR workflow inserting a raw converter to optimize the raw conversion output, then into CS3 for both global and local adjustments. (Or even back to LR for global-only adjustments.) This way the workflow is most consistent regardless of camera used to generate the file.

    The other side of the coin is that for web output, the raw converter in LR is probably more than adequate since the full level of detail is mostly lost on the web downsize anyway. If you agree with that, then you'd only need/want to use Capture NX for images destined to PRINT, thus using the most complex workflow on the fewest images: LR to Capture NX to CS3 to Printing program. I'd of course then have sub-libraries in LR for my print images.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    now if I can just find the discipline to edit down to 10%...Thanks

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    LR to Capture NX to CS3 to Printing program. I'd of course then have sub-libraries in LR for my print images.

    Cheers,
    Jack:

    Is there a way for make Lightroom hand off the RAW file to another RAW developer without Lightroom making the raw conversion?

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Not that I know of. I move them to a separate folder, then open that folder with the raw converter.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Not that I know of. I move them to a separate folder, then open that folder with the raw converter.
    I was thinking about how RAW files can be opened in Photoshop, but I don't think there are any other RAW programs that can accept a single file from another program.

    Are there any RAW developers other than Photoshop that will allow a RAW file to transfered to them from another program? For example, when I used PhotoMechanic to sort, I hit CRL-E and the RAW file was sent to Photoshop, Photoshop then opened and the ACR window appeared. I can't think of any other RAW program that would just accept a file from another program, rather than having to start the RAW program and open a folder with the files in it.

    Robert

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Both Aperture and Lightroom allow you to use an external editor from within, but they output to it an already developed RAW file in the form of a Tiff or PSD.

    I also really wish that I could use Capture NX to develop the RAW file on the D3 files from within Lightroom or Aperture, but alas that is not possible.

    Ray

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Not that I know of. I move them to a separate folder, then open that folder with the raw converter.
    Is there anyway you can bring them back into Lightroom for purposes of DAM(digital asset management). It would be great to at least be able include the folder within the same shoot or collection catalogs.

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Re: Digital Asset Management. Does anyone use IView Media Pro anymore or has Lightroom taken over as the asset management software of choice?

    thanks

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    First off, I am not a "power user" of LR. I use it as a sophisticated raw converter and batch processor. I do not use it as a library because I do not like its conventions --- and my own conventions allow me to easily find most any images I want whenever I need to find them. So now we're getting into what I dislike about LR: It wants to be smarter than us as users and does NOT let us decide where to put what versions of an image on the fly...

    In short, here is the way I work around it. I load my files as shot onto my image drive using "Job" folders I create directly -- my images are arranged as YEAR>JOBNAME>DATE. Inside the Jobname sub-folder, I will make a "JOBNAME_Print" Subfolder where I keep working print copies. I export LR-adjusted images to CS3 for print prep, then save those files inside that print subfolder. Then at future editing or printing sessions, I simply browse to them directly from the OS browser or use Bridge (yuck) to go to them, then open them in CS3 again for revised edits. I have NOT found anyway to *conveniently* manage this situation within LR and leave them in a similar folder structure on the drive separate from the LR library...

    In short, LR DAM doesn't work well for my uses when faced with multiple re-work print versions of an original file, so I simply don't use it for that...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Jack I believe I do exactly what you are doing ....with Lightroom. My folder structure is year/subject/date and sometimes for higher volume I add month. So as an example its 2008 / 2008 Spring Training/ 2008-02-25 Roger Dean Stadium. Since I know spring training will be probably 30-40 cards of say 100-200 images . It will get a folder of its own. Now by importing the 2008 Spring Training Folder ..I get only the new cards added to the Library. All the raw images will be on an external drive in the 2008 Spring Training Folder. I can use Lightroom or not because the raw stuff is organized (similar to your method) . Now lets say I want to save the best 50 images for use on the web..I just add a small jpeg folder to the 2008 Spring Training Folder. Could follow similar logic for prints or my zenfolio account where I use larger jpegs. I use collections to in essence tag the best and ratings . So for example say I take 4000 images of Spring Training. I select the best 10% for a collection thats 400 ..from these I might take it down to a further 10% or 40. These I might add to my bloated portfolio. After that its configure to order....as I get smarter ....I go back to the 40 and sometimes rework the conversion and maybe further reduce it to say 25. Lots of ways to use collections then flags , ratings and colors to look at the best. This all works great and yet I could bag it all because the raws are organized the same way . Using photoshop seems pretty seamless..because I can export to photoshop and then bring the image back into the Lightroom structure. Sorry I know thats long winded! But I would really like to be able to process just the 400 in say Capture One or Capture NX or maybe even Lightzone and still fold them back into the Lightroom database.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Using photoshop seems pretty seamless..because I can export to photoshop and then bring the image back into the Lightroom structure.
    I get it totally. But where do the CS3-manipulated images actually land when you bring them "back into LR" from CS3, and what steps do you have to take to physically open them in a 3rd party program, like a RIP?
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    poboxnyc
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    [QUOTE=Jack Flesher;12272]First off, I am not a "power user" of LR. I use it as a sophisticated raw converter and batch processor. I do not use it as a library because I do not like its conventions --- and my own conventions allow me to easily find most any images I want whenever I need to find them. So now we're getting into what I dislike about LR: It wants to be smarter than us as users and does NOT let us decide where to put what versions of an image on the fly...

    Jack,

    This is a sensible, simple and elegant solution. I've been trying to figure out how to make LR work for me for asset management and it seems too cumbersome--too complex to troubleshoot --- so was Iview as far a I am concerned. Been using a solution similar to yours-- not even as sophisticated --- basically Job bags by year backed up on a hardware raid. The simplicity of this actually adds to veratility and ease of use. It's more reassuring as I can at least trace the logic if something goes wrong.

    I thought I was missing the boat by doing it this way. Thanks for the reassurance.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I get it totally. But where do the CS3-manipulated images actually land when you bring them "back into LR" from CS3, and what steps do you have to take to physically open them in a 3rd party program, like a RIP?
    You got me I have been beating on the front end to stay organized and improve my editing. This for me is where all the wasted time occurs. While I am admiring images that will get pitched ...I am slowed from really working on the right ones. If I can get it down to only really processing the best 10% and optimizing the best 1% . I think once you move from the raw format to say a TIFF or a PSD ..you will no longer automatically process the file. I will try some tests. If you can put it back in the catalog ..you can do whatever you want form there on ..including additional processing. Organization however is I believe dependent on the how you catagorize it. I need to try a few things.

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    OK,
    So here is where I am confused. When you (Jack or Glen) open Lightroom what if anything is in your Library? Since Lightroom wants to keep copies in a particular folder are they residing in your original file structure and the folder where Lightroom wants to see the files? Don't answer just yet...as I want to see if the below is your workflow.

    If I understand it correctly then:
    1. Copy files to a hard drive in shoot folders.
    2. Use something to decide what you like - perhaps LR
    3. If LR wasn't used in #2 import the files you like to LR and process
    4. Save LR files as 16bit TIFFs (saved where?)
    5. Open files in CS3 make adjustments
    6. Save web adjustments to subfolder in shoot folder
    7. Save print files to subfolder in shoot folder
    8. Leave processed DNG's in Lightroom

    terry

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Terry:

    That is my workflow, but one clarification:

    When I import I use the the "import from disk" dialog, then at the dropdown, I select "Import from Current Location." In addition, my LR Library is stored on its own partition (and is backed up by Time Machine), but since I import form present location, the images stay on my image drive. Thus, all I have in my library are the data tags for the images and it's physical size stays relatively small since it contains no images.

    So,

    1. Copy *RAW* files to a hard drive in shoot folders.
    2. Use something to decide what you like - perhaps LR *or C1 or Bridge/ACR*
    3. If LR wasn't used in #2 import the files you like to LR and process *but import from base location*
    4. Save LR files as 16bit TIFFs (saved where?)
    *You don't save a LR File as a 16-bit tiff, you EXPORT them as one and save a copy of the adjustments in a stack (or not). So here I export them to CS3 as 16bit tiffs, work on them and then save an actual layered tiff or PSD, or web jpeg back to the original shoot folder, but usually with an identifying name and usually in an identifying sub-folder within the shoot folder, one for web versions and another for print versions.*
    5. Open files in CS3 make adjustments
    6. Save web adjustments to subfolder in shoot folder
    7. Save print files to subfolder in shoot folder
    8. Leave processed DNG's in Lightroom. *To clarify, the DNG's are not stored in LR as processed files --- they are rather stored in LR as the original raw with a "data tag" for the adjustments when you export. In this fashion, LR does not bloat, but simply stores a data tag with the adjustments for the specific RAW file it's associated with. It however does generate a preview with the adjustments, which you can save in a stack with the original or not.*

    So, the cluge with LR is that since I am putting a "new" processed file back in the original folder on my original image drive (leaving the raw intact), and since my LR library was not directly involved in that operation, I will need to re-import the images on that drive to the appropriate folder in LR AFTER EVERY CS3 SESSION to browse them in LR as processed with the new name... The next problem is if I just use the "save" command in CS3 and not the "Save As", CS3 assumes I want the revised file saved by LR and LR will save it by default into a folder on the LIBRARY drive and NOT on the original image drive in the shoot folder...

    So, this is why I'm asking others what they do, as I have not figured out any other workaround for this... The LR workaround is to let LR library reside with your raw files on your main image drives and let LR manage the CS3 saves, but I'm not comfortable letting LR mess with my original images (You can delete a group of images in LR with a single back-space if the images are selected, and there is no warning that happened!) Some folks keep one drive with only original RAW files, then do an import with copy of all of those to a dedicated LR drive, which then LR will library directly. This gives them a safe "back-up" set of originals on a a separate drive. My problem with that is I don't trust the way LR manages files, so it requires one more complete set of duplicate image drives for all my images, unless I count the original raw file drive as my redundant back-up copy. But then of course it does not have all the LR library info and if the LR drive fails, I need to have a backed-up library database somewhere else. I could probably just back them up to a subfolder on that original image drive, which is probably a reasonable alternative at present even for me... Maybe in another 6 months when I'm more comfortable with it this is what I'll do
    Jack
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Thanks,
    I really need to get this all in order....I was only really running with my main computer hard drive and one external for backup. Now with Time Capsule about to be released (need it for laptops), I'm rethinking my whole set-up....

    To take things one step further. When you were in Moab where did you copy your files to? Laptop HD and External (for safety)? Then when you got home did you copy the folder (including subfolders for images you worked on) from your laptop to your main image drive? What did you do with the stuff that was sitting in Lightroom?

    Sorry for all the questions but this is so helpful. My methodology was working out fine for me but as I said now that I am putting in a new laptop and back up regimen I need to take a second look at this.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    I had a total of 10 SD cards in Moab. After each days shoot, I copied the files onto my Laptop, but did NOT erase the cards, simply put new ones in when one filled up. Thus when I got home, I had all the original cards and complete set of back-ups on the Laptop drive. I did not use up all 10 cards in Moab, however, on a longer shoot I would have. That is why I have the 100G external I linked to in the other thread -- plus it makes for faster transfer to the desktop when I get home, AND the file structure is already done.
    Jack
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I had a total of 10 SD cards in Moab. After each days shoot, I copied the files onto my Laptop, but did NOT erase the cards, simply put new ones in when one filled up. Thus when I got home, I had all the original cards and complete set of back-ups on the Laptop drive. I did not use up all 10 cards in Moab, however, on a longer shoot I would have. That is why I have the 100G external I linked to in the other thread -- plus it makes for faster transfer to the desktop when I get home, AND the file structure is already done.
    I got it all but one thing....the little files in Lightroom that have your adjustments, where did they reside? Do they stay with the original files or is there a piece sitting in Lightroom that you had to copy over independently?

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post

    So, the cluge with LR is that since I am putting a "new" processed file back in the original folder on my original image drive (leaving the raw intact), and since my LR library was not directly involved in that operation, I will need to re-import the images on that drive to the appropriate folder in LR AFTER EVERY CS3 SESSION to browse them in LR as processed with the new name... The next problem is if I just use the "save" command in CS3 and not the "Save As", CS3 assumes I want the revised file saved by LR and LR will save it by default into a folder on the LIBRARY drive and NOT on the original image drive in the shoot folder...
    Jack:

    Can't you just send the files to Lightroom as PSD or Tiff files and then hit save once you have done your work in CS3? It will save the file in the same directory the DNG came from, but with a PSD or Tiff file type. This edited file will also show up in Lightroom without having to import it. You can then choose the PSD/Tiff or DNG version in lightroom. Rather than use file names or directory structures, you can just use the tags to define your files, such as "30x40Print" for ones you optimized for 30x40.

    If you then want to make another working file, start with the DNG version and send it to CS3 again and it will create another unique TIFF or PSD file. You then do your work, hit save, go back to Lightroom, select that file and put your description tag into it.

    I think the Lightroom tags go into the IPTC fields, so you should also be able to search your regular disk structure using an IPTC aware program such as Photomechanic. A mac my also have this feature built into its OS or one of the iLife type programs.

    This system will not work if the RAW file is sent to CS3 via another program rather than Lightroom. In that case, you would have to import the files into Lightroom after you save them in CS3. That of course was the original question of this thread, having Lightroom manage files but processing them with another program such as Capture One.

    Robert

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    I got it all but one thing....the little files in Lightroom that have your adjustments, where did they reside? Do they stay with the original files or is there a piece sitting in Lightroom that you had to copy over independently?
    That's what goes into the actual LR library, wherever you have that set up to reside.
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Jack:

    Can't you just send the files to Lightroom as PSD or Tiff files and then hit save once you have done your work in CS3? It will save the file in the same directory the DNG came from, but with a PSD or Tiff file type.
    It will only save it to the *same* directory the DNG came from IF the library imported the actual RAW files and they are on the same drive AND you save the file with the same name as when LR exported it. Change the name or use a different directory, and you need to re-import to re-build the library. As I described above, my library folder is on a different drive than my raws and all I've been able to make it do is save the CS3 version back to the Library folder... If somebody knows a workaround, I am all ears.

    The big problem is LR is not a browser in the true sense. If it was, it would browse an existing file structure and build it's data table off that structure without the need to import anything. Unfortunately, it needs to do the import to build the library. So if you want a change made on a file to show in LR, you need to do everything inside LR or send it back to LR with the same name and in the same format as the export so it can modify the library. The second you go outside LR to do anything, any changes to your original image files won't show in LR unless you do a fresh import. The good news is LR is smart enough to not re-import duplicates, so it does quickly find the new files and import them.

    However! It does not have any form of automated library check to re-import newly added or modified images and you have to do that manually. Neither will it allow an image over 10,000 pixels in any dimension, so a pano stitch of 5 or so M8 images won't re-import into the library at all.

    So more than a few issues with it...
    Jack
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    That's what goes into the actual LR library, wherever you have that set up to reside.
    That is what I was trying to get at, when you get back home with your laptop are you importing the small files into lightroom from the laptop by using the command:

    File, Import from Catalog

    I'm sorry for being so dense I've just never split the original files from the whole process. Just trying to figure out the commands for combining your main LR library with the new stuff sitting on the laptop. I totally get the first part of simply of copying the originals to the correct place on your hard drive.

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Ah, got it. I simply load the raw files only into my permanent file structure then do a fresh import to generate the new libray. None of the processing I did on the road will show up, but I don't care since most of the time it is minimal and done for a rapid or "quick-look" result only. I'm sure there probably is a way to transfer library settings, but I don't know how to do it.
    Jack
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Terry:

    I don't think you can do what you want to do. I think you have to export as a catalog and then use the import a catalog. It may break the files for use later in Capture One, so I would do a small test first.

    What I do when on a trip is similar to what Jack described.

    1) Import to Lightroom on the Laptop, selecting the back up to option so the files go to both the laptop and an external drive.

    2.) When I get home I will take the external drive and import all the files into my desktop system. I do not import anything I might have done to them on the laptop, just start from the fresh files again.

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Thanks Jack and Robsteve!

    That was the crucial step! I haven't imported my Moab stuff from the Laptop because I couldn't decide if I wanted to start again from the untouched external hard drive copy or if I wanted to import my Moab Lightroom Catalogue from the Laptop to the desktop and preserve the changes we made to some of my shots in the workshop (for instance we cropped quite a few shots to make up for some less than ideal framing ).

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    You bring up a lot of additional issues with using lightroom as the core of a workflow. Isn t a basic that you should never import the images into the lightroom catalog? Keeping the raw files outside of lightroom and often on a separate drive ..keeps the lightroom database from bloating and as jack mentioned ...you can always change you mind .

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    This is a great thread, not the least of showing me I'm not alone in trying to get a handle on this stuff.

    Does any one have an opinion on how well Aperture handles these image management issues compared to LR?

    Thanks,

    Mitchell

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    You bring up a lot of additional issues with using lightroom as the core of a workflow. Isn t a basic that you should never import the images into the lightroom catalog? Keeping the raw files outside of lightroom and often on a separate drive ..keeps the lightroom database from bloating and as jack mentioned ...you can always change you mind .
    Keeping the files in a normal directory tree on the hardrive is probably the best way to do it.

    To get back to Jacks problem, Lightroom will allow you to create subdirectories on the hard drive and then move your edits there.

    I think you can also edit the file names it uses when processing the files out to Photoshop. Let me play with it for a little today and see if I can figure out a workflow.

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    I think I just figured the workaround to having the edited tiffs or PSD files in another directory.

    First off, under preferences, you can set a naming scheme for exporting photos to CS3. In my case I set it to prefix "print" to the file name upon exporting to photoshop.

    You can then do the edits in photoshop and then save the file.

    Going back to lightroom in the Library view, right click the folder and select "create subfolder inside". Here you can create your normal working folders. If you do it this way, you will not have to do an import to see them.

    Next, highlight your files you want to move (the psd you just saved) then right click the folder you just created and choose "Move selected photo to this folder"

    The only thing a bit odd about this is if you select the parent directory you see the thumbnails for not only that directory, but any subdirectorys of it, such as the one you just created. It will look like your file hasn't moved, but if you select it and choose "show in Explorer" you will see it is in the new directory. If you just want to show the print directory, select that rather than the parent directory. You could probably get around this by making a parent directory above both the raws and the prints, such as:
    MOAB/
    MOAB/Raw
    MOAB/Print

    You would then just select the RAW directory to see only the RAWS, the print to see only the prints.


    Robert

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Rob:

    Makes sense, but sure sounds more complex than it needs to be. For me, just browsing directly the print folders in my basic file structure is easy enough as-is, and also easy to find them from inside third party programs like my RIP. I don't think I need my print files in LR since I'm not likely to use LR to make further adjustments on them anyway. Maybe nice to be able to browse them inside LR, but frankly has not been a big issue for me yet...

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
    This is a great thread, not the least of showing me I'm not alone in trying to get a handle on this stuff.

    Does any one have an opinion on how well Aperture handles these image management issues compared to LR?

    Thanks,

    Mitchell
    Mitchell,
    Aperture allows something a bit different, but useful I think. I do not import the originals into Aperture. Instead, I create a folder/file structure similar to what Jack and other are describing. I keep that on an external FW portable drive while on the road. I then import things as "referenced" files into Aperture. That basically brings in a higher resolution image, if you choose, and all of the edits stay in the Aperture Library (like LR, I think), but the original RAW files are still in the folders I set up for them. This permits me to access those files easily with C1, Bridge/ACR, or other RAW developer options, should I so choose. I can store those converted/edited files in sub-folders, and selectively import files or referenced files into Aperture from those folders also.

    When I get back to my office, I can copy the external drive files to my main system, and then re-establish the links to Aperture. I can also export the Aperture project folder to another Aperture Library if I want, so that I can access it with another machine, if I choose. That way, any of the edits (versions, IPTC info, etc.) will be saved and can be used. Also, since I kept the originals in their own folder structure, and kept subfolders from other app work (C1 or ACR), I can still access those files too.

    In the end, my bias is thinking that Aperture may allow a bit more flexibility than LR for this stuff, but since I really do not use LR, I cannot say for sure. The one key that I think is important, at least for how I work, is to keep the original files in their own folder/file structure. That does not lock me into any app (Aperture or LR). With some of the new features in Aperture, I think one can even save IPTC edits directly to the RAW files now, making all of that effort more portable. Aperture seems to have a "cleaner" export option for masters and versions, if one needs that also.

    Bottom line, both LR and Aperture are great programs, but they are a bit different for DAM, and overall file access flexibility, I think. The key for me is the ability to keep the originals in their own folder/file structure and work on referenced files in Aperture. As long as you are connected to those source folders, you can do everything and not balloon your file storage on your laptop, for example, as you will only be saving the small instruction sets in the library, plus smaller image files for viewing. If you are not connected to the original source files in Aperture, you can still do edits to IPTC data, create book layouts and other stuff, and then have all of that sync when you reconnect. That is a sweet option for being able to do some cataloging stuff without having to have all the files with you all the time.

    Not sure if that helps answer you question or not.

    LJ

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Thanks LJ. That is helpful.

    I'm using LR. I've been very disorganized up til now, but at least I've had the sense to store originals in their own files. I am redoing my whole file structure. I'm also trying to figure out a backup routine.

    I'm wondering about Aperture because some seem to like images out of it better, and I remember someone saying they thought Aperture file handling was better.

    Best,

    Mitchell

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
    Thanks LJ. That is helpful.

    I'm using LR. I've been very disorganized up til now, but at least I've had the sense to store originals in their own files. I am redoing my whole file structure. I'm also trying to figure out a backup routine.

    I'm wondering about Aperture because some seem to like images out of it better, and I remember someone saying they thought Aperture file handling was better.

    Best,

    Mitchell
    Mitchell,
    You are welcome. I think the best thing one can do is to have some sort of organization and file structure that makes sense for them OUTSIDE of any application or program, as those things can and will change at some point.

    As for a back-up routine....I keep at least two copies of everything, and three of the RAW originals, one stored offsite for safe-keeping. That is a lot of storage need, but HD prices are low and that still seems to be the best way to keep things right now, as you can always roll things forward with format changes whenever they come along.

    With respect to RAW conversion and edit features of Aperture versus other things.....there may be some differences that favor one over another, but most of it is personal taste, followed closely by how things fit into a workflow. I happen to like how Aperture handles reds and yellows for my shooting over ACR, for example. I did not like how Aperture handled my 1DsMkII files before, but think it does much better now. However, for the vast majority of my polo and equestrian event shooting, I use Bridge/ACR/PS in my workflow, simply because it has the tools I need readily available (Noise Ninja plug-in for handling those shots that were in borderline light conditions, but I have to have; or getting specific crops for routine printing, using masks and filters that Aperture and LR do not have, etc.). I do not love the results, but when I am shooting and processing several thousands of shots from a single day, I can develop a consistency that is important. The processing may not be stellar on each shot, but the overall consistency I have in that workflow for that volume is, and that is important for folks buying smaller prints throughout the season.

    If your machine can run it, download the trial version of Aperture 2.0 and play with it for a bit. It has some highlight recovery and color channel adjustments that seem to offer a bit more flexibility than others. RAW conversion in all of the apps has gotten a lot better recently, so none are truly that bad, but there are lots of subtle differences. I like C1 for some things, but not all. I like Aperture for some features, but not others. I use ACR the most by volume, but am not thrilled with some color renderings. RAW developer does some really interesting things too. None is perfect for all things. I think the trick is finding the ones you can use comfortably and regularly for your preferred workflow, and then filling in the gaps with other tools as needed.

    LJ

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    LJ,

    Thanks alot for your responses. I have already downloaded Aperture 2, but haven't had a chance to work with it much, but it looks promising to me.

    I agree with all your backup methods and developing a routine to accomplish that is what I'm after. I'm getting there.

    Best,

    Mitchell

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Aperture 2 is now on my machine and it looks good, but mother of god, will it EVER be done processing thumbnails and previews?!?!?!?

    We're on day two of this now.

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Aperture 2 is now on my machine and it looks good, but mother of god, will it EVER be done processing thumbnails and previews?!?!?!?

    We're on day two of this now.
    Maggie,
    You must be importing high res previews, I guess. Hoping not to get flamed here, but "All good things come to those that wait"

    LJ

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    LJ, I have no idea what it is (or I am) doing!!!!


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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    LJ, I have no idea what it is (or I am) doing!!!!

    Maggie,
    Under Preferences>Previews, you have options to generate new previews (which takes time) or to use the embedded JPEG thumbnail. You also have the options to limit the quality of the previews, as well as to control their size. All of these will dramatically change the import processing activities. It may be worth playing with those settings a bit to find what best suits your needs (resolution, speed, trade-offs, etc.). Just a suggestion.

    LJ

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    What's the difference in Aperture between a preview and a thumbnail?

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Maggie,
    Basically, the Preview is the image that will be displayed in the large Viewer pane, while the thumbnail is the smaller image that is displayed in the filmstrip bottom pane. If you have files like JPEGs that have been processed in camera, or imports of other files from things like PS, you can import those to be displayed as is, and not have Aperture generate a new view by reading the entire file and running it through its algorithms.

    The Previews that are displayed in the Viewer window can also be generated to specific sizes of resolution, with higher resolution creating larger files and taking longer to generate. When you work on an image file, you are essentially working with the Preview, but the instruction set is applied to the entire image file. The size of the Previews is more related to how you plan to view things while working. So if your viewer pane is relatively small, you do not need to have large previews generated as they will only take up more space and time. However, if your viewer is a second large display, you may want larger Previews generated in order to see the greater details on the larger screen. (When you zoom in to 100%, or use the Loupe, the app is only working on a portion of the file for display, and that overrides your Preview settings while using that mode. As you move around a file that is zoomed in at 100%, Aperture creates/refreshes that portion of the image to fit your Viewer pane.)

    Not sure if I am making that completely clear, but that is how I understand how things work. So, if you have the Preferences>Preview set to a large size, the image file stored will be larger, but it still will display to fit the viewer pane. If you set the preference to a smaller size than your Viewer pane, it will not fill the pane. I have been experimenting with using "1/2 size" as the Preview preference. That seems to be an acceptable compromise for speed and detail. There is also the option for overall quality. I have been working at level 10, and that slows things a bit compared to a lower level, sort of like JPEG compression in a way....only an analogy.

    So, if you have the horsepower, both in RAM and video card RAM, going to larger sizes at higher quality levels will create outstanding looking images on your display. If you do not have fast processors, lots of RAM and a more powerful video card, such as many laptops have to deal with, dialing things back a bit will speed things up. Aperture uses the CPU, the video card and RAM for its processing more than other apps, so you can tune the app to your set-up and needs. And, lest folks forget, when you plug in a second display, you are sharing the video RAM and processing across both displays. That is another reason why one should select a higher end video card that has more video RAM if they have the option.

    O.K., that is about all the Aperture geek I can manage this evening.

    LJ

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Not sure if I am making that completely clear, but that is how I understand how things work. So, if you have the Preferences>Preview set to a large size, the image file stored will be larger, but it still will display to fit the viewer pane.
    OK, I think I get it. This also explains why I suddenly lost 26GB of space on my MacBook Pro's hard drive, despite storing images on a Fire Wire disk. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Mama not like. I'm guessing all those gigabytes of previews live in the Aperture library in my Pictures folder. Dammit.

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    OK, I think I get it. This also explains why I suddenly lost 26GB of space on my MacBook Pro's hard drive, despite storing images on a Fire Wire disk. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Mama not like. I'm guessing all those gigabytes of previews live in the Aperture library in my Pictures folder. Dammit.
    Bloat... It's what I *hate* about browsing software that refuses to browse MY existing file structure as-is. At the very least, it should offer me an option to store the sidecar files and previews in separate, identifiable folders INSIDE the corresponding image folders of my existing file structure, but none do.
    Jack
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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Bloat... It's what I *hate* about browsing software that refuses to browse MY existing file structure as-is. At the very least, it should offer me an option to store the sidecar files and previews in separate, identifiable folders INSIDE the corresponding image folders of my existing file structure, but none do.
    Jack,
    I agree with your feelings about this. In the case of Aperture, it is not entirely "bloat". The app is merely capturing a smaller version for previewing. You can still keep your files wherever you want, and you can export adjusted files and masters to wherever you want also, such as separate/same folder as originals, so you are not losing any options there.

    By having created a Preview version within the Aperture Library, it gives you the flexibility to have all of the images that you want with you, plus the ability to edit IPTC data and do cataloging without being connected to the original files. I sometimes load in bunches of images as referenced files just to show clients stuff on the laptop. The quality for that display is excellent, and it does not really take up all that much space in comparison to dragging the full files around. And those previews load at blinding speed, so I can do fast slideshows, or rip through images almost as fast as I can hit the arrow key, all the while, pushing an image to full screen on my 15" MBP. (This was one of the things I really like about PhotoMechanic also....very fast full screen renderings for quick viewing. That app does work on whatever folder/file structure you have, but it is really only a browser tool with good IPTC edit capabilities.)

    I am not defending nor pushing Aperture, as that should be an individual choice. It has some very nice features, and also lacks some things that many wish it had.....that may change as new plug-ins and stuff get created. In some respects, it is not unlike iView Media Pro, but Aperture actually generates a larger, usable Preview file that can be moved about and used to do layout work for other projects, like books, Web templates, etc. In the end, it is creating another smaller copy of the original image for its internal storage, and that does duplicate some files, but it still appears to be rather economical when configured. Not a tool that everyone may want or need, but this latest version (2.0) has made some nice improvements for workflow and RAW conversion, in addition to all the DAM features. The learning curve for all the deeper functionality is a bit steep at times, but overall, it still seems to provide one of the more complete workflow feature sets. I still do not use it for full production work myself, as there are still too many things I need to do in PS, but I import those final images from PS (as referenced files) into Aperture so that I can carry a decent library around on my laptop to deal with client needs on the fly. This has been helpful for me.

    LJ

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    I'd prefer it if Aperture only generated a preview file when I called up an image, instead of filling my hard drives with thousands of .jpgs that I will probably never look at.

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    I'd prefer it if Aperture only generated a preview file when I called up an image, instead of filling my hard drives with thousands of .jpgs that I will probably never look at.
    Maggie,
    You can turn off the Preview generation, if you want, and that will speed import tremendously and not tax the machine in background processing. The downside is that if you want to view your projects, Aperture will need to generate previews as you select individual files for viewing or working. So rather than have a bunch of things preloaded and ready to view, you will be creating new Previews on the fly. It will be a bit slower and not allow you to rapidly flip through things, but it will save space. You can always flip to just filmstrip viewing and enlarge those thumbnails to scan through stuff. Much less overhead processing and storage demands. And....the Loupe should still allow you to zoom in to a larger look for focus detail.

    LJ
    Last edited by LJL; 27th February 2008 at 09:39.

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    I can't get the damn thing to stop making previews for every last photo in my collection. I've maxed my HD out, and now Aperture just hangs when I open it, because IT REALLY WANTS TO KEEP MAKING THOSE GODDAMNED PREVIEWS.

    Circular file. ASAP, I reckon.

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    Re: Lightroom and other Raw Developers

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    I can't get the damn thing to stop making previews for every last photo in my collection. I've maxed my HD out, and now Aperture just hangs when I open it, because IT REALLY WANTS TO KEEP MAKING THOSE GODDAMNED PREVIEWS.

    Circular file. ASAP, I reckon.
    It's a dumb computer that is only following that last command to completion, rather than understanding your frustration and desire to change things

    Couple of options: let it finish its tasks, though you may consume too much disk space and slow things down. Second is to go into your Picture folder in Finder and trash the entire Aperture Library, start over with the new import criteria and see how that works. I know that last idea seems like you just wasted several days, which you have, sort of, plus the aggravation of not being able to do other things on the machine, but it is an option to get settings to where you probably want them. If it is any consolation, I have gone down this path already before. However, before I trashed things, I exported any stuff that I had adjusted. I understand your issue is that it just keeps doing the background Preview building. If you "cut off the source", meaning the external folders it is working on, it cannot work on them to create Previews, so that may be another way to interrupt the processing. (Not completely sure, but I think that may work.)

    LJ

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