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Making my changes permanent

Fredosaurus

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It's been an interesting exchange here. Despite best practice being to preserve the original, I'm very much in favor of an *option* to have edits applied (destructively), but preserving other catalog information. "Best practice" should be used in most cases, but not when there is a good reason not too. As a semi-beginner non-professional I do use Lightroom non-destructively but sometimes use Photoshop destructively.
 
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Sometimes it is in the best interest of all to protect the stupid from themselves. Any time you write over the original, that original is irretreivably lost. If you have ever pressed the wrong key or later exclaimed "Oops!" you can get a grasp of what irretreivably lost means. The worst example is the JPEG. Which is a lossy format. Even the 1st generation JPEG from the camera never returns all of the pixels contained in the original file before it was saved. If you overwrite the lossy original with a new derivative file it loses even more pixels and further edits and saves destroy even more pixels resulting in eventually an unusable image file. As a semi-beginner, you simply have not gained enough photo file knowledge to see what a bad decision it would be to write over the original.

I have JPEGs that were taken 20 years ago and processed using a destructive editor. They are not much good to me today since the processing was so rank amateur and the processing app so technically abysmal that my faded memory of the event has more use to me that any image retained.
 
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cyrc

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Aug 6, 2018
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Thanks to all for your time and suggestions. I'll do some more research and develop my workflow hopefully avoiding doing anything I'll regret further down the line.

Back to studying the Missing FAQ book!

Dave
Did you ever settle on how to accomplish your goals? I am doing the same kind of thing -scanning old photos going back over 80 years, the bulk of which are in horrible shape, and trying to make them better. I am also tagging people and changing capture dates to match when I believe the photo was taken as opposed to the time of the scan. It is a lot of work and I want these changes to be permanent, especially the new capture date. It is too easy to revert the capture date to the date of the scan because the revert and the edit commands are right next to each other on the menu list. I mistakenly reverted dates an entire folders and lost weeks worth of dating where I had pored over the details of each photo one by one to settle on a best guess as to the time it was taken.
 
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It has been so long since I made the transition from photoshop to lightroom that my memory of how strange a concept lightroom was is now a distant memory. One of those strange concepts was the fact that you didn't open a photo file, edit it and then save it. In lightroom you imported it into a catalogue, edited it and that was it, you didn't save anything and so it did feel incomplete at first. Also in those early days in lightroom because of unfamiliarity there was much greater scope for disasters such as having thousands of photos selected and applying edits to what you thought was 1 photo ! If you caught it before closing lightroom then Ctrl + Z was there to save the day but if you didn't then ........

Now after may years of using lightroom it is of course second nature and doesn't feel strange at all. When I have done with editing etc. I feel as if those edits are permanent, even though of course I can further edit and change. However, if you really want a permanent version you can always export to create a new file in whatever format you like.

In my view having a feature that makes edits "permanent" would defeat one of the fundamental principles of lightroom. In any case, due to the nature of lightroom such a feature would have to be unlockable thereby rendering it not permanent.
 

Jimmsp

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Having moved to shooting only Raw a number (>15) of years ago, I have come to appreciate many of the arguments discussed above.
But I have also come to learn that little in photography is ever "permanent", except perhaps the raw negative.
I have grown as a photographer over the years, Lightroom has grown as a processing package over the same time frame, and what I think of as "good processing" has changed a bit as well.
I sometimes go back a few years and relook at a photo I once had given a 5* rating to - meaning one of my best.
I resurrect the Raw - unchanged - make a virtual copy, and reprocess it. Most of the time when I am done, it looks different than what I had first did.
Sometimes the changes are small, other times not.
Is this bad? No. But if I had tossed the Raw negative, I would be missing something important.
I have a few scans of both prints and of negatives. Again, the same. I can go back to the original scans, call them my Raw, and reprocess.
Once again, I am happy to have the original, and to be able to compare my version 1 with a version 2 done a few years later.
Some of these new processed photos also include (destructive) enhancements in Photoshop. But keeping the original unchanged Raw is vital to me.
Good luck in your journey.
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
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Did you ever settle on how to accomplish your goals? I am doing the same kind of thing -scanning old photos going back over 80 years, the bulk of which are in horrible shape, and trying to make them better. I am also tagging people and changing capture dates to match when I believe the photo was taken as opposed to the time of the scan. It is a lot of work and I want these changes to be permanent, especially the new capture date. It is too easy to revert the capture date to the date of the scan because the revert and the edit commands are right next to each other on the menu list. I mistakenly reverted dates an entire folders and lost weeks worth of dating where I had pored over the details of each photo one by one to settle on a best guess as to the time it was taken.
cyrc (and Cheshire4Dave)

How do you handle the situation where only the year of the photo is known? Or maybe only a range of years?

Phil Burton
 

Roelof Moorlag

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gwwinaz

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Jul 18, 2020
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Hi, this is an old discussion but since I'm new to Lightroom this is new information for me. I fully understand the Lightroom philosophy of keeping revisions in a database and not changing the original. The problem is, Lightroom isn't the only tool I use and once an image is improved future changes are extremely rare. For example, I have other software I find much better for making movies that include pictures as well as making "ordinary" slide shows. These tools reference by folder structure.

I'm also in the group that is improving scans of slides. I've found many of my slide scans need additional exposure and sometimes additional tweaking (scans were made years ago). Once that is done, along with adding keywords, I doubt I'll ever go back to any of the 5,000+ images, all JPEGs, for revisions.

Unfortunately, for any pictures I edit, be it a scan of a slide or a picture taken today, it seems I have to keep the version in Lightroom and an exported version for other applications referencing images by folder structure. Luckily disc storage is now relatively cheap since I also keep multiple backup copies of all of these files. A simple, "Update With Changes" feature would be very helpful and eliminate a tremendous amount of overhead for those using non-Adobe tools to access individual pictures.

On the very positive side for Lightroom, exporting a smart collection provides amazing capability for digital picture frames and sharing selected images. These are exported into a Lightroom Temp Exports folder, Dropbox etc., or directly to USB. If the images are needed for an external program then an appropriately named collection is exported to a Lightroom Exports folder structure (and may need to be exported again if there are future edits).

If I'm missing an easy way to include the lightroom edited images by file reference when using non-Adobe tools, please let me know your technique.
 
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