Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Photoshop Lightroom, Part 2
Although Photoshop gets all the glory, in Photoshop Lightroom, Adobe has created a tool that will help professionals take control over their image libraries and catalogs of work
Editing In Photoshop
It should be understood that Lightroom's major focus is in maintaining image organization. As a result, Lightroom's actual pixel editing is simple. There are two methods of producing pixel-based images for consumption outside of Lightroom—Export (which will be covered next) and Edit in Photoshop.
Depending on the file format of the image source, the command to Edit in Photoshop will produce different initial options. The dialog that appears here is for RAW files. Since Lightroom considers RAW files to be “read only,” your only option when opening a RAW file is to edit a copy with any Lightroom settings currently applied. If you're editing a TIFF, PSD or JPEG, you can choose to edit either the original or a copy. Understand that when editing an image in Photoshop via this command, you automatically will be saving a TIFF (or PSD, depending on your preferences) in the exact same folder as your original file with an appended “-Edit” added to this new file's name. No, you don't have a choice to simply open an image in Photoshop without adding a saved file because Lightroom wants to be able to keep track of renderings of your original file. You can choose to merely Export your files and bypass this requirement.
Once you select an image for editing, Lightroom renders the file and automatically saves in the background before the image opens in Photoshop.
The primary reason for editing inside of Photoshop is to accomplish specific tasks that Lightroom can't do, such as local tone and color adjustments, as well as special filter processing or major retouching work such as multi-image compositing—something that Lightroom will probably never try to do.
If you selected the option to auto-stack the edited image with the original image (a good idea if you're going to do a lot of this), your -Edit image will be right with your original image. In many cases, I've stacked both the -Edit image file as well as the Virtual Copy into an image stack. Image stacks can be done only on images that reside inside of a single folder or volume. You can't stack images in a collection, for example, nor can you stack images whose location spans multiple folder locations.
In addition to fully named and stored collections of images, the Library module also offers the ability to quickly add a selection of images for various purposes. Quick Collections (which is denoted by the round icon in the upper right of the image) are useful when you need a smaller subset of images for temporary use in the various modules of Lightroom. I've used this Quick Collection to move images down through the subsequent modules of Slideshow, Print and Web.
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