How to Save a File in Lightroom?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by iqbal, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. After working on a file in PS Lightroom, how do you save the file? There is NO
    menue for saving file in LR. Under File, there is "save quick collection," but
    nothing to save an individual file as it is in Photoshop. Your feedback greatly
  2. Lightroom automatically saves the changes either in a supplementary xmp file or in it's catalog database file.
  3. In a word, "EXPORT".
  4. Lightroom is based on a database engine. When you edit your file, the edits you make are
    recorded as instructions in the database, written as metadata instructions, linked to the
    image file: the image file is not actually modified. This is called "non-destructive editing"
    ... you can at any time return to the original data. Saving the edit instructions into the
    database is automatic.

    If you Save Metadata to File, Lightroom writes a .xmp sidecar file containing these
    instructions to the same directory as the target file, with the same filename and .xmp
    extension (if the file is a DNG file, it appends the data into the DNG file). You can turn on
    an option to automatically save metadata to the files if you choose to.

    When you want to take an edited file into another application for viewing or editing, you
    must render the adjustments you've made and the original data into a new file. You do
    this with the Export command in the File menu. You can export files in TIFF, DNG, PSD
    and JPEG formats, per what your intended usage is.

    When you use the Develop command to edit a photo in an external editor (like Photoshop),
    Lightroom automatically exports a rendered version of the file into the same directory as
    the original, in the format you've set it to use in the Preferences, adds it to the database,
    and then starts the external editing application and sets it to open the rendered version of
    the file. That way, when you finish your edits in the external application and return to
    Lightroom, it updates the thumbnail to reflect the edits. You can then do more editing in
    Lightroom ...or in the external app again ... until you're done. When you're done, you
    export to a finished image and all edits are included.

  5. File > Export... will allow you to save a copy in a format of your choice. As others pointed out, LR is saving all your changes to the image as metadata (instructions, if you like), and without actually changing the origial file. Metadata are stored in LR database (that one should periodically back up) or you can choose to save them as a sidecar file (.xmp). File > Catalogue Settings > Metadata gives you the switch. If you decide to use the database only, you can still direct LR to save .xmp files when you want with Metatada > Save Metadata to File

  6. Thanks Godfrey. I just downloaded a 30 day trial copy of Light Room and was also trying to figure out how to save the changes made to an image.

    Although the words "Light Room" have popped up in every other sentence on this site, I'm not sure if it's worth the $300 and the additional space on my hard-drive. I already have Adobe Bridge that came with PS CS2 I bought last year.

    Those two programs combined are eating up the memory on my computer like there is no tomorrow. Adobe Bridge was promissed as the 'ultimate' in photo file management systems, but I hardly ever use it due to the learning curve. I just upgraded to Photo Shop Elements version 6 after just getting a hang of learning the file Management system on version 4.0. Now it's Light-Room. What next for heavens sakes ?
  7. Harry,

    Bridge is not designed to be a photographic image management application. It operates as
    a live browser and workflow coordinator for broad use of the Creative Suite, coordinating
    scripting and automation workflow between Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.

    (Far as I can tell, the combination of what Photoshop CS2 installs plus Lightroom installs
    amounts to about 750Mbytes or so, hardly a huge amount of space in a time when a
    500Gbyte external drive, ready to use, can be had for $130 if you look around a little bit...

    Lightroom is an application designed to manage, do basic corrections and editing, and
    then produce finished image files, prints and web galleries, specifically for photographs.
    Once you learn its operation (which is very different conceptually from working in
    Photoshop CS2 + Bridge and Camera Raw or PHotoshop Elements), you should find that
    your need for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements is greatly reduced.

    I use just Lightroom and Photoshop CS2, and 90% of my time is spent in Lightroom. Very
    occasionally I run Bridge to coordinate a sequence of Photoshop scripts over a batch of
    image files, but that's a rare thing these days ... Lightroom's embedded batch processing
    (applying edits to groups of images) is much more efficient most of the time, and
    consumes far less disk space and machine resources.

    Where a big hit on disk space happens with Lightroom is in the creation of the catalogs
    and previews. You can tune it to build previews and hold onto them for a long time or
    conversely to only build previews on demand and delete them quickly.

    I strongly recommend anyone new to Lightroom to go through one of the tutorial videos
    on it. These have been proven the fastest way to get a new user up to speed. Michael
    Tapes did a good job with his free tutorials at, Adobe offers some
    good ones at, Luminous Landscape has an excellent 9 module
    set for $15 at their website, and there are several other good ones available. Do a google
    search, pick one, go through it, and you'll get up to speed much more rapidly.

    And always keep in mind: you don't always need the very latest and greatest software
    every time a new product comes out. If you have a good system that allows you to
    efficiently get what you want done already, look at new software carefully, learn it with an
    evaluation copy, and decide whether it's really necessary. I look at about four or five
    applications every few months, but I only rarely find I actually get any advantage beyond
    what Lightroom and Photoshop now provide.

  8. "Adobe offers some good ones at, Luminous Landscape has an excellent 9 module set for $15 at their website, and there are several other good ones available.'

    Thank you !
  9. The problem with export for me is it is not very convenient for the way I work. I save all my JPG's in the same folder as the RAW's and in Lightroom there is no automatic "save to current folder" option (at least that I can find). Every time I am working on a folder of images and want to save off JPG's I have to select the folder I am in from the export dialog box to do it. Half the time they end up in the wrong folder with me trying to figure out where I saved them to, very frustrating!
  10. Hi Eric,

    I'm not sure what the value of exporting JPEGs to the same location as the RAW files might
    be, but that's for you to decide.

    What I'd do if this is what you want to do: create a special directory to export to,
    somewhere known and easy to get to. Whenever you export, you export to that location.
    When you're done with the export, you move the files to the desired location. You could
    write a script which asks you where that is and moves the files, and and set Lightroom to
    automatically execute that script when it finishes an export.

    My schema is a little different, however. In my photo directory tree, I have an area
    explicitly set aside for exported, finished work. When I finish a batch of files and export
    them, I tell Lightroom to put them there in a new subfolder, which I name with export date
    and mnemonic tag (ie: "2007/completed/20071225-xmas_pictures"). The file names
    always contain the number portion of the original RAW filenames, allowing me to easily
    locate the originals with a very brief search.

  11. Thanks Godfrey, I was afraid I would have to change the way I have always done things. Maybe it's time to alter my work flow. If Lightroom were not so good at what it does "except this" I would NEVER consider changing how I post process.
  12. Here's a great blog post on this subject:

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