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What is the best format (and which settings for it) to save the edited photos with?

Biff

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What is the best format (and which settings for it) to save the edited photos with?
 
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None. The whole idea of using Lightroom is that you don't need to save the edited photos in another format. You only export them in another format if and when you need them in that format, and when you have used them you can discard the exported photo because you can export it again if and when needed.
 
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What Johan said within lightroom, but...

If you use Edit In Photoshop, the answer is a bit different. Those should be saved (assuming you might edit them further in the future) in a format that supports all the resolution and color and features. Generally that means 16 bit PSD or TIFF formats, with a wide gamut color space (e.g. ProPhoto RGB). PSD seems to be more efficient in terms of space if you are using layers, TIFF is a bit more widely accepted for as input to other processes.

But generally these should be thought of still as an intermediary format -- for use in printing, web, etc., you should still export a disposable copy from Lightroom for that use, retaining this one.

And all the above is only when you do edit-in-photoshop (or some other similar external editor).
 

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None. The whole idea of using Lightroom is that you don't need to save the edited photos in another format. You only export them in another format if and when you need them in that format, and when you have used them you can discard the exported photo because you can export it again if and when needed.

So one can only watch them in Lightroom then. What is the best way to do it? In the full screen library modus? How can one show an image over the entire screen (like one can do in an image viewer)?

Lightroom runs very sluggish here, so it lasts some time until another view is built up. And vice versa or until the next image is loaded / shown. So watching images (other than in an image viewer) is a bit inconvenient here.

How could one handle images with different variations (with virtual copies, snapshots?), e.g. different presets? If one has exported e.g. 3 different variations (each after another by going back one step in history and set the next preset one by one) of the same image one can watch them in an image viewer. But how could one watch these images in Lightroom the best?

If you use Edit In Photoshop, the answer is a bit different. Those should be saved (assuming you might edit them further in the future) in a format that supports all the resolution and color and features. Generally that means 16 bit PSD or TIFF formats, with a wide gamut color space (e.g. ProPhoto RGB).

So if one wants to save the photos in Lightroom in best quality (may be to edit the images in Photoshop) one must use either TIFF or PSD, both with ProPhoto RGB and both with 16 bits/component. There is no further setting needed regarding the quality? What is AdobeRGB (1998), seems to be quite old?
So these settings are the right ones, I guess:
5hiAiqj.png

or
ig8vIlT.png


PSD seems to be more efficient in terms of space if you are using layers, TIFF is a bit more widely accepted for as input to other processes.
That means PSD needs less space on the hard drive only if using layers? So the quality of both formats are the same?

And all the above is only when you do edit-in-photoshop (or some other similar external editor).
Yes, otherwise counts what Johan says above.
 
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None. The whole idea of using Lightroom is that you don't need to save the edited photos in another format. You only export them in another format if and when you need them in that format, and when you have used them you can discard the exported photo because you can export it again if and when needed.
I haven't seen a more useless answer to a topic so far. Your answer implies that everyone has LR available any time and anywhere, and that you can use the exact same raw engine in other software to replicate the same results. if Adobe decides to stop LR (or if I decide to stop using it) how do I ensure that the final work is retained if I do not export these photos in some way or another?

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What is the best format (and which settings for it) to save the edited photos with?
I would say it depends on the use you would like to have for these exported photos. If you use a 100% size 80 quality jpeg to print, then that format is good enough for any other use of that product.

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I haven't seen a more useless answer to a topic so far. Your answer implies that everyone has LR available any time and anywhere, and that you can use the exact same raw engine in other software to replicate the same results. if Adobe decides to stop LR (or if I decide to stop using it) how do I ensure that the final work is retained if I do not export these photos in some way or another?
What part of "if and when you need the exported image" wasn't clear?
 
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Let me ramble a bit and see if I can answer some of the above with less argument.

Lightroom's paradigm, i.e. how it is most often used (not looking for niche case exceptions) is that you never "save" anything when Lightroom does edits, or more exactly Lightroom always saves continuously. But it never renders a final output as part of the editing workflow.

Rendering to an output file is done when you need it for a purpose, so you might print (it renders during that process and discards the result after printing), export for a purpose such as a web site or to send to a lab (and you would probably want to discard that after doing so), or it publishes through a publishing service or related web or book modules. Those are purpose specific renderings that may vary in size, sharpening, watermarks, etc.

But you generally should not edit in lightroom and then export because you were done and wanted to "save" it. That is pointless within its paradigm.

The exception is when you need to edit NOT in lightroom but in an external editor. The best way to do that is set the editor up (Photoshop should already be set up) so when you say "Edit in XXXX" inside lightroom, it automatically passes the image to the editor in the appropriate format. You should not generally need to export yourself. You CAN export, then open in that editor, but that defeats the workflow built in.

Now let's say you Edit In Photoshop - by default it's going to return a file (I forget which type) to Lightroom and create a new entry in the catalog. You have the original raw, and the new file. It has saved it for you. For some variations (e.g. changing file types, say you wanted to purposely save as a PSD if the default is TIFF or vice versa), you might save-as from photoshop, and depending on exactly how it is done, you may need to import/synchronize to get that back into Lightroom's catalog. Regardless, all those techniques are the equivalent of saving the output as a file that has been rendered, unlike LR's paradigm where it is never saved, but rather reconstructed on the fly.

That rendered format coming back from the editor can be any type (that LR accepts), but is best as a lossless file -- 16 bit TIFF or PSD being the most common. They are identical in quality, they differ in various attributes like how big they are and how acceptable they are to 3rd party programs, but there is no loss in going from one of those types to the other. You should not generally save-as a JPG as there is quality loss there. Export/publish from LR as JPG is fine, as that's the (disposable) final output you use for printing, web, etc. Intermediate formats should be losslessly compressed and 16 bit minimum (JPG is 8 bit).

The problem with Lightroom is that people over decades got used to editing being a "open file, edit file, save file". LR's paradigm is different -- it saves the COMMANDS for editing, and re-applies them on the fly modifying them as needed (e.g. a print rendering may not be precisely the same as an export-for-web rendering and may be different still from an on-screen preview -- as they should be). This makes it slower as well at times, but saves HUGE amounts of disk space as a side benefit. But the biggest reason this is helpful is that it is non-destructive -- you can UNDO any of those edits without any quality loss. In Photoshop or any similar bitmap editor, edits are destructive (mostly), you clone out an artifact, it's gone. You can't get it back. In LR you can always get it back.

Let me see some of the questions above:

Color space - all are slightly different but the main difference is in sRGB and all the others. sRGB is "narrow", it does not represent some colors at all. Others are "wide" generally, and while a bit different from each other, on a practical level they make little difference FOR INTERMEDIATE FILES YOU PLAN TO EDIT. For exports to the web, printers, etc. you want sRGB (exceptions exist buy you would generally know about them).

Viewing in Lightroom - yes, Lightroom is the easiest place to review your images. You can build standard or 1:1 previews (the latter if you want to zoom) and then reviewing them is fast (building may be slow). If others want to review them you need to figure out the format that is best -- maybe a web site, a book, a PDF. All of those are things you can build from publishing or export (or related 3rd party plugins). I personally load most things to a web site by publishing in Lightroom- those copies are rendered, pushed to the web site, and deleted; I never keep them on my disk.

That's more than long enough, hope it helps a bit.
 
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That means PSD needs less space on the hard drive only if using layers? So the quality of both formats are the same?

Yes, it's the same. Choose TIF rather than PSD. There's no difference in size if you choose either of the compression options, and TIF supports everything that PSD supports - except for some pretty obscure options. Those are the Duotone image mode, Displacement Maps, Transparency in InDesign.

ProPhotoRGB is a better choice.
 
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Yes, it's the same. Choose TIF rather than PSD. There's no difference in size if you choose either of the compression options, and TIF supports everything that PSD supports - except for some pretty obscure options. Those are the Duotone image mode, Displacement Maps, Transparency in InDesign.

I thought that, but someone showed me that PSD's (sometimes? Always?) have much better handling of layers and disk space. I could not find an option in TIFF that gave equivalent disk space savings when there were many layers. Am curious if I just missed it?

They are equivalent in terms of quality, I agree.
 
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The size difference is usually negligible, though one way to save space with a PSD is to save without maximising compatibility. That is a very poor long term choice since it makes them liable to be unreadable in other apps - including LR. And what you wrote earlier about readability elsewhere seems decisive. Given a choice between a proprietary format and a non-proprietary one like TIF, a few megabytes seems a small price, if you even pay it.

I'm not sure what better handling of layers means, but functionally TIF can do everything a PSD can do, apart from those 3 or 4 obscure details.
 
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What part of "if and when you need the exported image" wasn't clear?
You are assuming that LR is eternal. But since it switched to the subscription model it isn't anymore. Before you were licensed a piece of software, now you pay for a service. Unless you save somewhere else your work, you will never be able to reproduce exactly the same work with any other software. Therefore it is lost without LR. The catalog, the recipe, the xmp file are useless to recreate the same output file or screen image, without the LR engine. How do you prevent that? Export your thousands of images last second? If "the internet" goes down, how would you continue using your images if LR can't verify your subscription on their servers?

Just asking...

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You are assuming that LR is eternal.
No, I’m not. If you decide not to use Lightroom anymore, then that is an example of a situation where you need exported images.
 
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The size difference is usually negligible, though one way to save space with a PSD is to save without maximising compatibility. That is a very poor long term choice since it makes them liable to be unreadable in other apps - including LR. And what you wrote earlier about readability elsewhere seems decisive. Given a choice between a proprietary format and a non-proprietary one like TIF, a few megabytes seems a small price, if you even pay it.

I'm not sure what better handling of layers means, but functionally TIF can do everything a PSD can do, apart from those 3 or 4 obscure details.

OK, I did some testing. I started with a raw image and converted to 16 bit ProPhotoRGB, then saved in various ways. With no layers a TIFF (zip compressed) was slightly smaller than a PSD.

With three duplicated layers (i.e. image layers) the PSD (with zip compression) is smaller, though it gets larger in Maximize Compatibility.

With 3 more adjustment layers added there is negligable difference in size.

Note that Tiff using default, not zip, compression (for more coimpaibility) is larger still. So a lot of this depends on how much compatibility you may give up.

It is important to note -- since these are intermediate formats, there is little downside in using a less compatible format, since you could always (without loss of quality) open it, and re-save in a different format.

I think the point is there are options available that have subtle but significant changes in storage, but they do NOT impact quality, they do impact compatibility if you take that image directly to some other program. But so long as you still have photoshop you can always convert later, it is not a quality issue.

Sizes.jpg
 
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I wouldn't even compare the smaller file PSD option. Not having a go at you, but while you say there is "little downside in using a less compatible format", try getting those files into LR. Opening and re-saving a single file later might be acceptable, but when "later" comes you've got tens or more files and may not even be using Photoshop or Lightroom. Long term, it's always been a bad choice. If someone is going to use PSD, they simply should Maximise Compatibilty. With TIF, you don't even have to think about the issue.
 
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Export your thousands of images last second? If "the internet" goes down, how would you continue using your images if LR can't verify your subscription on their servers?
LR checks for license every 2 or 3 months (I don't remember exactly) only. You don't need Internet to run LR, except once each 2 or 3 months.
Even if your license has expired (for whatever reason) LR will stil run on your PC, but with the develop and map modules disabled (however the quick develop in library will still work). You will still be able to export your images with all their settings in whatever format you choose.
Therefore if you decide to stop (or are forced to) stop your LR licensing, at that time you could still manage your images in LR and/or export them for use in another application.
 
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@johnbeardy, excellent point, I forgot LR is picky. You might think it would support all the file formats Adobe uses, especially an Adobe proprietary one, but it doesn't. :(
 

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I would say it depends on the use you would like to have for these exported photos. If you use a 100% size 80 quality jpeg to print, then that format is good enough for any other use of that product.
First of all I want the finished, edited images in the best quality I can have. And from that I would make in any case resized images for the website and may be for prints, e-mails or whatever, if need be.

That rendered format coming back from the editor can be any type (that LR accepts), but is best as a lossless file -- 16 bit TIFF or PSD being the most common. They are identical in quality, they differ in various attributes like how big they are and how acceptable they are to 3rd party programs, but there is no loss in going from one of those types to the other.
But how acceptable they are to other programs, their compatibility, is not a big drawback, isn't it? If one needs the other format an image was saved in then one just could save / export the TIFF in / to PSD or the PSD in / to TIFF without losing quality or causing any problems. I just would take a little effort. Do I understand that right?

Intermediate formats should be losslessly compressed and 16 bit minimum (JPG is 8 bit).
TIFF and other losless formats are an intermediate format in best quality, a format which is used to make compressed copies of for special purposes, do I understand it right?

The problem with Lightroom is that people over decades got used to editing being a "open file, edit file, save file".
Yes, that was my approach. And - until now - I have been realized it like that. I just wanted the edited photos being saved (and never again edited). So using Lightroom I was not following its paradigma / the use how Lightroom should be used obviously. So as a result now I could not use (most of) its advantages, I guess. May be I should begin to regret that...

For exports to the web, printers, etc. you want sRGB (exceptions exist buy you would generally know about them).
For a photo web gallery sRGB is good / enough? Although it is narrow?

That's more than long enough, hope it helps a bit.
Yes, it helps very much, indeed, many thanks!

Yes, it's the same. Choose TIF rather than PSD. There's no difference in size if you choose either of the compression options, and TIF supports everything that PSD supports - except for some pretty obscure options. Those are the Duotone image mode, Displacement Maps, Transparency in InDesign.
OK, TIFF then with 16 bits, ProPhotoRGB for best quality.
I can find only one comression method here, is there another one:
KlZRviI.png


So a zip compressed TIFF does not have any loss (of quality), but it does not seem to be the same compression usual zips have, zipped e.g. with WinRar, 7z? I am wondering whether to save the TIFFs in zip or not. zip obviously saves about 10 % of space per image (if I see it right after some tries). And it seems as if one does not have to unzip them, if one wants to edit them again? Are there drawbacks using zipped TIFFs (besides of the compatibility, space), if not, why not always save as zipped TIFF?

Note that Tiff using default, not zip, compression (for more coimpaibility) is larger still. So a lot of this depends on how much compatibility you may give up.
The default TIFF is not compressed? Or is it? Give up? But the only thing one would have to do is just to unzip it first to get back the bigger compatibility, a little effort or is there anything else I am missing? Are there other drawbacks than the compatibility, space?

It is important to note -- since these are intermediate formats, there is little downside in using a less compatible format, since you could always (without loss of quality) open it, and re-save in a different format.
Sorry, I do not understand, what is the downnside when using a less compatible format (like TIFF?)?

So now I have those settings, should I check "Save Transparency"? Whatfor is it?
UVKw7Zw.png
 
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I won't quote all the above but try to zero in on where some of the issue may be. I THINK your screen shots are from the export.

Export is for a specific purpose. Don't think about export yet. Export has nothing to do with saving.

To repeat the above -- if you are NOT editing in photoshop right now, at this time, do not save in any format, just use lightroom.

ONLY if you are editing at this moment in Photoshop (or similar) do you need to end up with a TIF or PSD, and you do NOT want to get it by exporting. Let's just talk about photoshop for the moment. The place you want to look for it is in Preferences, External Editing.
External.jpg


The top section is photoshop. The bottom section is exactly the same thing but for a specific 3rd party editor I use. They are basically the same thing. You do not need to fill in the bottom section unless, well, you need to.

This is where you set the format in which LR passes files back and forth between itself and another editor like photoshop. The last two seconds are whether you want the returned file stacked (or not), and what the format of the file name should be.

To edit in photoshop you right click and "Edit in Photoshop" (or from the menu). You do not export first, or save first, or anything else. Now internally LR is going to do a sort of export (well, there are nuances here that are not relevant) but you do not want to do it by hand, just Edit In.

When you finish editing, you just exit (and if it prompts to save say yes) and it will pass the file back to LR and automatically add it into the catalog.

Now you have the original raw image, AND you have a TIFF (if you set up as above). IN the future you can edit either one -- if you edit the raw inside lightroom you are editing that copy and it does not affect the TIFF. If you edit the TIFF you can "edit original" and will end up back in Photoshop in the same file you saved (there are variations that, for example, edit a copy and make yet another TIFF but let's keep it simple).

If you just use the above settings and do not try changing color space in photoshop (explicitly or by preference), and if you avoid the Save As in Photoshop, this is all just magic. You don't need to worry about options, etc (well, other than what is above). IF You create layers and used PSD as the format it may prompt to "maximize compatibility" and you need to say yes (this is on exit).

Some specifics: Zip or not or other compressions are all about efficiency and compatibility. Anything you pick in LR is compatible there with LR. None of the options you can pick for TIFF or PSD are lossy, so there is no quality impact. Bit Depth is crucial -- use 16. Resolution has no real impact (other than on estimate sizes if you look at sizes in inches or cms or whatever).

OK, so do all that, edit as you like, look at them in LR.

Full stop. Pause. Change of subject.

Now if you want a copy of your image exported to upload to a web site, NOW you do the export. This is when you would want to consider the appropriate format. For MOST things, you want to use JPG and sRGB, because most things (printers, labs, web sites) work with those. JPG is always 8 bits by the way. You may also want to resize the image up or down, and might want to apply sharpening, watermarks etc. This is done in the export dialog which has NO impact on your image inside the catalog -- it produces a new image somewhere else (that you choose). Do not import that back into the catalog -- send it to the lab or web site or whatever and delete it when done.

Just to touch on some details before someone points out I have been cavalier in what I said.

Not everything is sRGB. Sending images to an average lab (say walgreens) you want sRGB because they are not very bright. Sending images to someone like Bay Photo you CAN send them ProPhotoRGB or other. Discuss with the lab. They may also take TIFF and 16 Bit (or might not). ASk. The point of the export as a separate one-off function is you adjust it as needed without impacting your image. For the most part, the circumstances of your use should answer all the questions you have, you won't be (generally) choosing the "best" settings but the settings that accomodate your use.

Meanwhile back in Lightroom your raw image is unchanged (and is recalculated for display as needed), if you have edited in Photoshop your TIFF or PSD is unchanged, and can be displayed as needed, and either one can be exported if you have a need for the export.

Similar steps to export apply to publishing, books, etc. They are just variations on the theme of "output".

Think "export=output" not "export=save" and a lot more of this makes sense.
 

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I won't quote all the above but try to zero in on where some of the issue may be. I THINK your screen shots are from the export.
Yes, that is right.

Alright, understood everything, I will try to use Lightroom in that way.

Thank you very much!
 

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But, what I still do not understand: if one has more than one version of an image, e.g. 5 versions of a single image, how can one Lightroom make to automatically export those 5 versions (different crops, presets, colors, etc.) of an image (instead only one of them) for a special purposal? And how can oneself recognise, find images which have more than one version.

And should I check "Save Transparency"?
 
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But, what I still do not understand: if one has more than one version of an image, e.g. 5 versions of a single image, how can one Lightroom make to automatically export those 5 versions (different crops, presets, colors, etc.) of an image (instead only one of them) for a special purposal? And how can oneself recognise, find images which have more than one version.

That's for you to decide. You would select the one(s) you need for the specific purpose based on choosing the crop or colour or whatever.

And should I check "Save Transparency"?

I do, but unless you are using those images in InDesign I don't think it matters.
 

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That's for you to decide. You would select the one(s) you need for the specific purpose based on choosing the crop or colour or whatever.
Sorry for my bad expression: suppose I have 100 photos to be exported, among them are 10 images wich have different versions of each image, one of the 10 images have 3 different versions, others 5 and 8 versions. I want these versions to be exported, so all versions of these 10 images shall be exported as well. How can I make Lightroom to automatically export these versions together with the 90 ohter images not having other versions (without to search for each image that has more than one version and manually export each version of an image)?

And should I check "Save Transparency"?

I do, but unless you are using those images in InDesign I don't think it matters.
Might there be any drawback to check it anyway? Or not to check it?
 
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I would check it - I don't see any drawback.

I still don't understand the first problem. If you want to export files, you have to find and select them. LR doesn't go off and automatically find other files that may be related to the ones you have selected.
 

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OK, with transparancy.

Sorry, again.
Suppose some images (100 of 10.000) are keyworded with "Landscape" and one wants to export all of the landscape images. Then one would - I assume - export all images with the keyword Landscape or move / copy them to a special folder and then export them. A few clicks - I assume - and all of those images were exported in a single step. And to make Lightroom able to export that way also the different versions of the ten images, how does one have to save different versions of an image in Lightroom / its catalog ? A virtual copy for each version (to which one could gibe the keyword "Landscape"? A snapshot? Anything else?
 
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