2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 17, 2012 12:49 PM by yose43

    not sure about derviatives, file types, and export for lightroom



      I am a new LR user and new to the DAM process. I am confused about something that is probably basic and fundamental to this process. My computer setup is two internal drives (working drive and a photo archive), as well as external backup and burning to dvd. Using LR for both image adjustment and catalog management (not using Photoshop).  For raw I will be converting to dng on ingestion. I will add bulk metadata on ingestion and then bring images into LR to rate images and make basic image adjustments. These images will then be archived as originals.



      Now, if I perform additional work on any of these archived images (addl. image adjustment or metadata) would these images be considered derviatives?  If so, would I then go to export in LR to add to file name (e.g., masterfile, master.dng or .tif) before sending to, for instance, a working derviative folder before sending off to the archive?


      Also, if I am sending these images to archive, but not sending out for email or web, do I need to change the dng to another file type (e.g., tif)?



      Lastly, I have some old jpegs on media cards that I want to put through this process. Is there anything special that I need to do in handling these images versus dealing with raw?



      I have read the DAM book as well as reading through various online resources, but this whole process is quite confusing for a beginner.


      Please respond anytime.



        • 1. Re: not sure about derviatives, file types, and export for lightroom
          dj_paige Level 10

          Lightroom is a non-destructive editor. This may be different than anything you have used in the past.


          With non-destructive editors, there is no concept of original and derivative (unless you choose to use a 2nd program like Photoshop, sounds like you're not planning to do that). With a non-destructive editor, you make your changes in the editor (Develop Module), and these instructions are stored by Lightroom as a "recipe" and not as a distinct file on your hard disk. These instructions about your edits are applied whenever you use Lightroom to view your image (or whenever you choose to print from Lightroom or make a slidesehow from LR or make a web page from LR). The original is completely unchanged, and there is no edited derivative photo exported or saved. Thus, there is no need to segregate original and edited photo, because there is no saved edited photo. Additional edits in Lightroom are handled the same, original is unchanged, your edits are stored, and there is no derivative or saved photo.


          The only time you would save a copy of the photo is if you wanted a copy for some non-Lightroom purpose, in which case you use File->Export... to make a file on disk in a "temporary" folder, then you use the file created in whatever non-Lightroom purpose you have, and when completed, you can delete the file in the temporary folder, knowing that LR can re-create it exactly if you ever need it again. If you are going to print from LR, or e-mail from LR, or create a web page from LR, or create a slideshow from LR, you do not need to create an exported photo.


          JPGs and RAWs and DNGs are all handled the same by you, the user. Yes, there is internal differences that aren't important to your workflow.

          • 2. Re: not sure about derviatives, file types, and export for lightroom
            yose43 Level 1

            thanks for your answer and clarification: very helpful. I am making this more confusing that I need to, but as a beginner there is a learning curve.