How to export and overwrite?

Deb27

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
I'm new to lightroom, trying to figure out my process flow. I'm stuck at the export step. Here's what I've done:

My camera creates a RAW and JPG photo for each photo taken.
  • I imported all the photos into lightroom and converted the raw images to DNG. LR is smart enough to understand that the DNG and JPG are really the same photo so I don't see 2 of everything in my catalog.
  • I went through all my photos, modified a bunch of them and now I want to export them as JPGs back to my hard drive, overwriting the original JPG images which the camera produced.
  • I chose File -> Export with Export To set to "Same folder as original photo" and the "Existing Files option set to Ask what to do".
  • I click Export
I get a dialog box with a list of files that says "The following files already exist". I expected this since the camera JPGs are still there.
But...at the bottom it says "You cannot choose to overwrite the existing files since some of them are the source files".
This is where I'm stuck.
None of them should be the source file. Lightroom should have been modifying the DNGs, not the JPGs. So why can't I overwrite the JPGs? :confused:

Now what do I do? Yes I can export another set of JPGs but I really don't want the first set any more now that I've made edits.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
10,862
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
They are indeed source files, because Lightroom treats them as XMP files. Why do you want to overwrite these JPEG's if you can't see them in Lightroom anyway? What's the purpose of trying to do this in the first place? The whole idea of working with raw files in Lightroom is that you do not have to do this. You can work directly with your raw files.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,410
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
I'll take the question one step further -- why do you even want to import them as JPG's? There are situations where that makes sense, perhaps - people on a hard deadline or contractually obligated to deliver JPG straight out of camera shoot Raw + JPG, but it is worth asking whether dealing with JPG's at all in your workflow is solving a problem for you, or just creating one.

The only JPG's in my catalog date to the time when my cameras did not do Raw.

The only JPG's I export are for a specific purpose, and often never stay on my computer, e.g. most are published to a web site directly from lightroom.

On a related note -- it is also worth asking if conversion to DNG is solving a problem for you. It is not a bad thing so much, and I am not saying you should stop, but be sure you know why you are doing it, and are capitalizing on that for a reason.
 

Deb27

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
FYI - I'm a newbie to lightroom. Just started using it a few weeks ago.

I will address your questions below but at the moment, I really do need a solution to my current problem. I'm afraid to delete the existing JPGs (via Windows from the hard drive) because lightroom claims some (all?) are considered the source. I can't delete them from lightroom because I can't see them from there (see below). And I really don't want a double set of JPGs if I export to a new copy.

Regarding Importing:
I don't know that I explicitly imported them as JPGs. Maybe I did. I connected the camera to lightroom and told it to import everything. Is there a way to tell lightroom to ignore the JPGs on import? When I'm in the lightroom library (grid, loupe or even the folder view), I don't see anything that says jpg. All the file names say DNG.
So maybe I imported them wrong? What do you recommend doing on import so I don't get into this situation again?

Why do I have the JPGs in the first place? Two main reasons:
  • I chose to capture raw+jpg on the camera because when I travel, my backup device is an ancient android tablet. Every day I dump the camera contents into the tablet (both raw and JPG) as backup. But the tablet is too dumb to read the Olympus raw ORF format. So the only way I can view my pics while traveling is to look at the jpgs.
  • When I return home after traveling, I like to have a (temporary) copy of the JPGs on my computer because it can take me weeks to go through my pictures and in the mean time, the JPGs are the only thing my husband can view on his computer which doesn't have the ability to view raw files.
Regarding DNG vs ORF
I've already encountered an issue with Olympus changing their ORF format when I upgraded my camera which caused compatibility issues with my software. I thought that DNG, being a more standardized format would be easier to deal with in the long run. It's certainly possible that 10 years from now I may dig up an old RAW file for some purpose and I think my odds are better that the DNG will be readable than the ORF.
I am not a pro photographer, I'm a hobbyist. Most of my photos are of family and vacations. I keep them forever and do refer back to them over the years. I want long term longevity. I believe JPG is more likely to be readable 50 years from now than DNG. But I believe DNG is more likely to be readable than ORF. That's my personal opinion of course.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
10,862
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
FYI - I'm a newbie to lightroom. Just started using it a few weeks ago.

I will address your questions below but at the moment, I really do need a solution to my current problem. I'm afraid to delete the existing JPGs (via Windows from the hard drive) because lightroom claims some (all?) are considered the source. I can't delete them from lightroom because I can't see them from there (see below). And I really don't want a double set of JPGs if I export to a new copy.

I still think you should learn to use Lightroom properly, so you'll understand that you don't have a problem, but here's the solution for the time being. In Lightroom, go to Preferences - General. About in the middle you see 'Treat JPEG files next to raw files as separate photos'. Check this option. Now your JPEG's will show in Lightroom and they will no longer be considered part of the raw file, so you can delete them if you want.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,410
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
Just to elaborate a bit on what Johan said... that option will affect new files imported, it does not separate the ones already imported.

If you want to delete ones already imported that you KNOW are duplicates, do this:

- Go to the folder they reside in with Explorer (not lightroom); you can right click an image and Show In Explorer as a short cut.
- In Explorer, sort by file type
- Ask again if you are sure they are the duplicate JPG's (for example, are there the same number of JPG's as ORF's)
- If so, just delete them

Go back into Lightroom and it will still show the raw + jpg indication (if you have that displayed), but if you SYNCRONIZE the folder it figures it out and removes the JPG indication and should be OK.

If you un-check the option Johan mentioned, when you are importing, you can see during the import both the JPG and ORF separately. at the bottom of the enlarged import dialog is a sort, and you can sort by Media type and un-check all the JPG (click on the first JPG, shift-click the last, uncheck and all get unchecked), this will skip them from being imported at all. Though that might not meet your need of having the JPG's on disk. You could also manually copy from the card to two places on disk - one to have JPG's for temporary use, the other to import to Lightroom (as only raw).

There is nothing actually wrong with having raw + jpg together in the catalog, people do it all the time. For example, some news reporters are required to provide shots straight from the camera, but may also want raw for later edits or other editorial use, and so need to keep both. But I do think it fair to ask whether it is solving a problem for you, or just creating more work.

You could also store as Raw + JPG, then delete the JPG later manually.

What I would NOT suggest doing is later exporting new JPG's into the catalog. That truly is redundant (since LR will produce a JPG anytime you need it). If you want JPG's from LR's edits on disk, just export them separately, or better still use one of the publishing functions, like building a web display or PDF slide show or similar.

DNG is a similar thing. I get the whole "long term compatibility" thing, but the fact is that Lightroom continues to support old cameras. One day if they drop support for a camera, the whole world will scream -- and that may be the day one should go through and convert to DNG. And you can -- it's all automated, you just push a button and go to bed, wake up and all done. Until that day, it is worth asking if it is worth doing ahead of time. DNG's do provide some integrity checking that raw does not (if you are remembering to run the integrity check of course). But DNG's also, unless you also keep raw, remove your ability to re-do the original raw conversion later if someone finds a better converter. Both address very low probability issues, and a lot of people find the simplicity of a raw-only workflow much easier to keep track of. I am not trying to talk you out of DNG -- I am saying if you want DNG, know for sure why you are using it.
 

Deb27

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
Thank you very much for your solution. I was able to export and overwrite the existing JPGs. I am very grateful that you were willing to take the time to solve this issue.

In summary, the work flow I should have used for import is as follows:
  • Connect camera to PC
  • Copy all photos to hard drive (ORF (raw) and JPG)
  • Open Lightroom
  • Import all ORF files and convert to DNG on import (see previous comments on why DNG)
  • Delete all ORF files from hard drive
Once the import is complete, perform processing on the files in LR including deletions, edits etc. When all processing is complete:
  • Delete the original JPGs from the hard drive (via Windows OS since they aren't in the LR library)
  • Export the remaining edited photos as JPG
Does this sound like a viable process? Or am I still doing something wrong?

Regarding "you should learn to use Lightroom properly".... if you are going to make that statement, it would be nice to follow it up with some guidance on how to accomplish that. I can't deny that I have a lot of learning to do. Before doing ANYTHING with lightroom I spent at least 20 hours watching videos, reading web sites, reading instructions, reading up on work flows etc. I didn't dive into this completely clueless. It became immediately clear that everyone has a different opinion on how to use LR properly. And the tool is so vast that there are many ways of using it. I did a lot of things right, at least in my opinion. This issue just happens to be one that I didn't see addressed in any of the work flow discussions. Like you, many people tend to avoid using JPGs for anything other than export and will work exclusively in raw. But they don't discuss what to do when you have devices that can't view raw!
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
10,862
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Regarding "you should learn to use Lightroom properly".... if you are going to make that statement, it would be nice to follow it up with some guidance on how to accomplish that. I can't deny that I have a lot of learning to do. Before doing ANYTHING with lightroom I spent at least 20 hours watching videos, reading web sites, reading instructions, reading up on work flows etc. I didn't dive into this completely clueless. It became immediately clear that everyone has a different opinion on how to use LR properly. And the tool is so vast that there are many ways of using it. I did a lot of things right, at least in my opinion. This issue just happens to be one that I didn't see addressed in any of the work flow discussions. Like you, many people tend to avoid using JPGs for anything other than export and will work exclusively in raw. But they don't discuss what to do when you have devices that can't view raw!

Point taken, but if there is anything that the Lightroom videos should have taught you, it's that Lightroom works with raw files. Anything you do in Lightroom (print, make a book, make a web gallery, make a slide show) can be done directly from your raw file. You've understood that, because you do shoot in raw (+ jpeg). Whether other devices can display raw is irrelevant, because you can export a jpeg (generated from the raw file) to use on those devices. Using the jpeg from the camera for this (and overwriting that jpeg in case you have edited your raw file) is only making your workflow more complicated.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
10,862
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
In summary, the work flow I should have used for import is as follows:
  • Connect camera to PC
  • Copy all photos to hard drive (ORF (raw) and JPG)
  • Open Lightroom
  • Import all ORF files and convert to DNG on import (see previous comments on why DNG)
  • Delete all ORF files from hard drive
Once the import is complete, perform processing on the files in LR including deletions, edits etc. When all processing is complete:
  • Delete the original JPGs from the hard drive (via Windows OS since they aren't in the LR library)
  • Export the remaining edited photos as JPG
Does this sound like a viable process? Or am I still doing something wrong?

There is nothing 'wrong' with this, but you should ask yourself what your are exporting those JPEGs for. If you need a JPEG copy from a certain photo, export it right there and then, at the correct size for that purpose. There is no reason to export a whole lot of JPEGs if you do not have a specific use for these right now. That's the basic idea of using raw files in Lightroom. You work with the raw file, and you export a JPEG (or TIFF or PSD) only when you need it.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,410
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
In summary, the work flow I should have used for import is as follows:
  • Connect camera to PC
  • Copy all photos to hard drive (ORF (raw) and JPG)
  • Open Lightroom
  • Import all ORF files and convert to DNG on import (see previous comments on why DNG)
  • Delete all ORF files from hard drive
Once the import is complete, perform processing on the files in LR including deletions, edits etc. When all processing is complete:
  • Delete the original JPGs from the hard drive (via Windows OS since they aren't in the LR library)
  • Export the remaining edited photos as JPG
Does this sound like a viable process? Or am I still doing something wrong?

I think so. The export of the JPG's would be to somewhere outside of the library area, right? I would strongly recommend that you keep entirely separate the files that are in your catalog, from files that are not. So if you (for example) plan to export JPG's for other purposes (browsing with other tools, etc.), and they aren't cataloged, I would put them into a whole separate tree. You will avoid a large amount of future confusion if you use Lightroom, only, to manage what is in the folders Lightroom manages, and keep everything else separately. Lightroom can move folders, rename photos and folders, and (almost) any file operation you can do with Explorer, but it will ensure that it keeps the catalog pointers updated with the new information. Similarly, it may NOT properly handle files that are in the same folders but not in its catalog. This is also a good excuse to periodically do a Synchronize and make sure it comes up with nothing to do, meaning you successfully kept the catalog and folders in sync over time.

Regarding "you should learn to use Lightroom properly"....

Yeah, that wasn't me, and is a bit impolite, but if you take the spirit of it, it is good advice. A lot of people approach Lightroom in a more "classic" paradigm, for example, and want to "save" their edits, or get all hung up on folder structure when the real organizational strengths are in collections and metadata coding. Lightroom is not a tool with which you can have an affair - you need to marry it, and like many spouses adapt your ways to more than you might like. If you just dally with it, it will end badly. :(

It sounds like you really did try to get in the "Lightroom" mode, and that's a goodness. One indication of trying to step outside of Lightroom's paradigm is when things get overly complex. While there are a few complex areas, most of the normal workflow in Lightroom just... flows. When you feel like it is getting tied up in knots, usually if you step back a bit you find you are trying to do things you might not even need to do.

For example, above you are copying JPG's in because you want them available before you review things in Lightroom. You might over time find that with presets and some planning, you can import into Lightroom and get first-cut images for review so quickly you do not even need the JPG's from the camera at all. Or maybe not -- maybe that becomes part of your workflow forever.

But one of the paradigm aspects of lightroom that vary from other tools is that (absent editing in external tools) all the intermediate steps are metadata, and do not need to be realized on disk, and indeed many steps (like publishing or printing) skip the intermediate steps entirely. I mentioned I keep a whole website updated from Lightroom -- I do not need to export the JPG's and then copy to my website, a plugin handles all that directly. I then read about people maintaining theirs the "classic" way, and having to deal with keeping up with which photos are changed, which have metadata (titles, captions) changed and need to be synchronized on a web site, and just wonder why they bother. I just push "publish" and it brings everything into sync.

There's a lot in lightroom that is obscure, but when it starts to sound complex and have a lot of steps, take a step back and see if perhaps you are following the wrong path. There is still no single "right" path (e.g. the DNG issue) but there are some that are just wrong.
 

Deb27

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
Whether other devices can display raw is irrelevant, because you can export a jpeg (generated from the raw file) to use on those devices.
The problem is that while I'm on vacation and backing up my pictures, i don't have lightroom and therefore cannot export the JPGs. If I only shoot raw, I can back the files up to my tablet but I can't see them (except within the camera and my eyes are too darn old for that). Also, once i get home, I'd rather not do the export to JPG until after I've cleaned up and processed the photos I wish to keep. In the mean time, my husband can't see the pictures on his computer at all. So the JPGs in the camera are temporary, used only during the duration of travel and for a short time after returning. After that, I'll use LR to create the JPGs.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
10,862
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
The problem is that while I'm on vacation and backing up my pictures, i don't have lightroom and therefore cannot export the JPGs. If I only shoot raw, I can back the files up to my tablet but I can't see them (except within the camera and my eyes are too darn old for that). Also, once i get home, I'd rather not do the export to JPG until after I've cleaned up and processed the photos I wish to keep. In the mean time, my husband can't see the pictures on his computer at all. So the JPGs in the camera are temporary, used only during the duration of travel and for a short time after returning. After that, I'll use LR to create the JPGs.

That's indeed a perfect reason to shoot raw + jpeg, but it's also a perfect reason to only import the raw files when you do get home and start to use Lightroom. Now that you do have access to the raw files in Lightroom, you don't need those jpegs anymore.

The workflow where you create new jpeg's from the edited raw files and then overwrite the camera jpeg's with these new jpegs, is illogical. You don't need the camera jpegs anymore at all, so you also don't need to 'update' them with a new version that was created from the raw file. You now have something better (edited raw files).
 

Rose Weir

Active Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
293
Location
Chesley Ontario Canada
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
The problem is that while I'm on vacation and backing up my pictures, i don't have lightroom and therefore cannot export the JPGs. If I only shoot raw, I can back the files up to my tablet but I can't see them (except within the camera and my eyes are too darn old for that).

There are simple photo viewers such as (Free) Faststone Image Viewer which will display the embedded jpg in a raw file. It is not a large software if your tablet is of limited storage capacity. This software gives you the opportunity to view what you have backed up while on a trip.
I view my camera images which are raw only using the Faststone Viewer. If your husband had this software on his computer then he can view your original images or whatever associated file types that are chosen in the settings of Faststone Image Viewer.
It is a fast viewer, accommodates color calibration,some simple tool editing and selected images can be viewed side by side.
 

rwde

New Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
5
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
My thoughts as another newbie on Lightroom. I have some of the same issues as the OP, and until my LR skills get better, shooting raw plus JPEG and keeping those JPEGs seems to make sense. Maybe that's a crutch that I won't need at some point, but I've read different things about the quality of in camera versus LR conversions from RAW. So for now, I'm planning to keep the camera created JPEGs. How and where to keep them, I'm not quite sure - seems like the best solution is in LR.

Keeping the camera created JPEGs also lets me share those immediately with other family members who won't use LR and don't really want to adopt some other viewer or software solution. I likely won't process many of the images I take - at least initially I will work on the better images. Where I'm stuck is on how and where to store/share the camera created JPEGs, and then how to share the LR developed and edited files that I do create. Ultimately I'd like to have "final" JPEGs on a network attached storage drive for all family members to access.

Just another perspective from a new user trying to figure this all out. For what it's worth, I've chosen LR over ACDSee based on lots of comments here - but the ACDSee approach to libraries might appear to make the sharing with other users easier - at the risk of another user screwing up the file structure.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
17,478
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
My thoughts as another newbie on Lightroom. I have some of the same issues as the OP, and until my LR skills get better, shooting raw plus JPEG and keeping those JPEGs seems to make sense. Maybe that's a crutch that I won't need at some point..
Many of us have traveled this RAW+JPEG route. Your skills will get better and maybe even the default develop process that LR applies to RAW files will become adequate that you will find the SOOC JPEGs superfluous.
Keeping the camera created JPEGs also lets me share those immediately with other family members who won't use LR and don't really want to adopt some other viewer or software solution...
I'll caution you here to recognize that LR is first and foremost an image asset manager. It is best to access your master image copies through the LR interface as anything that happens outside of LR is unknown to LR. If you want to sa=hare images with other, use LR to share those images. You can export a JPEG copy of the original JPEG just as easily as you can export a JPEG derivative of the original RAW. You should never access the original master image files in the folder structure that is being managed by LR using Windows Explorer or any other app. Those that do sooner or later wind up here with problems of missing files and other LR issues.

BTW, if I haven't already, welcome to the forum.
 

awp

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
118
Location
Scotland
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
6.x
When you use Lightroom you don't have to 'save' edits - they are all written to the catalogue. Once edited your camera file - whatever type - is available to be exported with the Lightroom edits according to need. Editing is non destructive - but if you export and overwrite your original camera files you are destroying that. As has been said - you need to learn how Lightroom works - right now I don't think you understand that.
 
Top