12 Replies Latest reply on Jul 10, 2016 8:15 AM by trshaner

    RAW to lossy DNG after processing

    kaczorf87161529 Level 1

      Hi,

       

      I've decided to keep RAW files only for highly rated photos (4 or 5 stars), and to keep the rest as lossy DNG. I know, I know....storage is cheap, however this decision was partially motivated by a cloud back-up consideration. Anyway, the point of the post is to get some help with automating the process...

       

      My understanding is that (lossy) DNG (unlike JPEG) keeps all LR edits intact with no sidecar file required. What I am hoping to do is, once the RAW photos are rated (last step in the processing), they are exported as JPEG to a folder for general consumption, and then also (easily) moved from a 'work' directory to 'source' directory, and in the process, converted to lossy DNG. RAW files in 'work' will be deleted. The key is for the LR catalogue to then have the lossy DNG file with all the edits in tact.

       

      I tried using a Publish Service to export to lossy DNG following the editing process, however once I sync'ed the 'source' directory with the new file, the develop module does not show the edits in the History...

       

      - Does this mean that the edits are not 'un-doable'?

      - Is there a better way of doing this (efficiently)?

      - Is my workflow 'flawed'?

       

      Any help would be appreciated!

        • 1. Re: RAW to lossy DNG after processing
          99jon Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          As with any export, you are creating a new file. It makes no difference whether you choose to add the lossy DNG to catalog in the export dialog or sync folder. The history steps will only show the date of import. However all the slider settings will remain the same as the original raw file. The reset button remains available.

          • 2. Re: RAW to lossy DNG after processing
            Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

            The edits you see in LR are only visible in LR. Exporting or converting to DNG does not burn those edits into the file like they are when exported to JPG or TIFF. So the only program that can read and display the edits you have made it either LR or Adobe Camera RAW.

             

            DNG files are RAW files basically. There are cameras that use the DNG file format for there RAW output. like Leica.

             

            I just did a test of converting one image to DNG inside LR. I used the option under the Library menu item and I got some funny response. I unchecked the option to Delete original RAW after converting so I could compare the 2 images. I made some adjustment on it before the conversion.

             

            The DNG retained the edits I had done in the History panel but I had to Reimport the original RAW file which wiped out the history for it. But I could still revert, clear the edits I had done by clicking the Rest button in the Develop module.

             

            Also the Fuji RAF file that is 32+MBs got reduced to 4.38MBs. I don't know what LR is throwing away but it has to be a lot of info to reduce the file size by that much, by 28+/-MBs.

             

            Also there is a bug in the newest LR that can't read DNG files from certain cameras. I had been converting all my images to DNG for my Nikon and Fuji cameras and with the last update of LR and the ACR in PS and Bridge I couldn't read any of the DNGs from the Fuji.

             

            Personally I will NEVER use the DNG format again unless a camera uses that as its RAW output. I thought I'd be save with all my RAW files being DNG and I was mistaken. Adobe has fixed the ACR for Bridge and PS but has not yet comes out with an undated LR. So I had to revert LR back the 2015.5.1 version.

            • 3. Re: RAW to lossy DNG after processing
              kaczorf87161529 Level 1

              Thank you both for your detailed replies.

               

              So putting aside the issue of DNG, clearly 'export' is not what I want. I suppose (after exporting the jpegs), I should simply convert to DNG and archive in the 'source' directory. This if fine, but is there a way to automate this (keeping in mind that I only want to do this for the 1-3 star photos)?

              • 4. Re: RAW to lossy DNG after processing
                dj_paige Level 9

                My understanding is that (lossy) DNG (unlike JPEG) keeps all LR edits intact with no sidecar file required. What I am hoping to do is, once the RAW photos are rated (last step in the processing), they are exported as JPEG to a folder for general consumption, and then also (easily) moved from a 'work' directory to 'source' directory, and in the process, converted to lossy DNG. RAW files in 'work' will be deleted. The key is for the LR catalogue to then have the lossy DNG file with all the edits in tact.

                So putting aside the issue of DNG, clearly 'export' is not what I want. I suppose (after exporting the jpegs), I should simply convert to DNG and archive in the 'source' directory. This if fine, but is there a way to automate this (keeping in mind that I only want to do this for the 1-3 star photos)?

                 

                This whole idea of somehow moving your work to a "source" directory (or "archive") might be a good idea with other types of photo editing software, but is completely unnecessary in Lightroom, and in my opinion is extra work that produces no benefit whatsoever.

                 

                Your RAWs are both the source file (Lightroom never changes the image portion of your original photos), and can produce edited versions of your images by viewing the photos in Lightroom, or outside of Lightroom by using the Export command.

                 

                So in other words, Lightroom is the archive of your edits, and when you have that and your original RAW photos, you have everything you need. There's no real need to convert to DNG some photos, leave the rest as RAW, and then put them somewhere else.

                 

                A separate issue is that you do need to have backups of your catalog file and backups of all of your photos, and these need to be on a different physical disk than the originals.

                2 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: RAW to lossy DNG after processing
                  kaczorf87161529 Level 1

                  Right. In my case, the reason for having a 'work' directory is to easily keep track of what images need to be edited. I always have plenty of photos that need processing and since I am not a professional this is not something I do on daily basis... Separating the finished and unfinished images into 'work' and archived 'source' folder was a simple way of keeping track.

                   

                  When 'finished', all that is important to me is (after processing) to convert the 'not-so-great' images to lossy DNG (but retaining the ability to go back and make changes). Exporting is not the right approach, but has the advantage of being very efficient (Smart Folder with the correct criteria etc etc, 'publish', done)

                  • 6. Re: RAW to lossy DNG after processing
                    dj_paige Level 9

                    kaczorf87161529 wrote:

                     

                    Right. In my case, the reason for having a 'work' directory is to easily keep track of what images need to be edited. I always have plenty of photos that need processing and since I am not a professional this is not something I do on daily basis... Separating the finished and unfinished images into 'work' and archived 'source' folder was a simple way of keeping track.

                    If you are not a professional (I am not either), then in my mind the best workflow is to keep things as simple as possible, and to not add in complications into your workflow.

                     

                    A simple way of keeping track? Import all the photos into Lightroom, edit photos, and when you are finished editing the photos, assign them a particular color label (for example, green — select all the photos and press number 8) so you will know these photos have been edited. Or even simpler still, turn on the "badges" in Lightroom, and see if the photo has the "edits" badge, indicating it has been edited.

                     

                    The whole idea of using folders means that the photos have to be MOVED somewhere, and especially for beginners in Lightroom, this can be problematic. It is also unnecessary work. You also need to get this idea out of your mind that Folders are the tool to segregate photos other than at import; use Lightroom tools instead of folders.

                     

                    When 'finished', all that is important to me is (after processing) to convert the 'not-so-great' images to lossy DNG (but retaining the ability to go back and make changes). Exporting is not the right approach, but has the advantage of being very efficient (Smart Folder with the correct criteria etc etc, 'publish', done)

                    My whole workflow tends to be as simple as I can make it, and so I find it confusing to see someone wanting to add this complexity to their workflow, where some photos are converted to DNGs while others aren't. I can't see a reason and I can't see a benefit. But in any event, if you really want to do this, there is no automated way to do so, you'd have to do this manually on each batch of photos. Your life would be so much easier if you handled EVERY photo (that's 100%, no exceptions) in the exact same way, and the easiest way is either to convert to DNG on import, or convert the entire batch to DNG after editing, or even easier still, leave them as RAW, as I described in my earlier message, and use Lightroom+your original photos files as your archive.

                    • 7. Re: RAW to lossy DNG after processing
                      99jon Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      The lossy DNG format was developed with wedding photographers in mind. They generally have lots of out-takes which rarely get used. Converting them to lossy DNG rather than discarding means they could at least produce a reasonable 5 x 7 print if ever called upon by a client. So you get a compressed file somewhere between a raw and a jpeg.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: RAW to lossy DNG after processing
                        trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Along with the excellent workflow suggestions provided by

                         

                        kaczorf87161529 wrote:

                        My understanding is that (lossy) DNG (unlike JPEG) keeps all LR edits intact with no sidecar file required.

                        This is only partially correct. DNG and XMP sidecar file metadata contain no information concerning Develop Edit History, Virtual Copies, Flags, and any Collections the file has been added to. If the DNG files are removed from LR and placed into a separate archive location this information is lost.

                         

                        kaczorf87161529 wrote:

                        What I am hoping to do is, once the RAW photos are rated (last step in the processing),

                        Rating the photos should be the very first step, before any other processing of the image files. The only reason you might apply Develop edits to the image files first is if they are very underexposed and difficult to review. Even then I would suggest doing no more than apply a global Exposure correction (EX +1.0 EV). After the 'Picks' have been edited you may want to check those specific image files again for Rating.

                         

                        kaczorf87161529 wrote:

                        once the RAW photos are rated (last step in the processing), they are exported as JPEG to a folder for general consumption

                        There's no need to Export image files to JPEG until you have a specific need to do so. Creating JPEGs for "general consumption" wastes disk space, which you seem concerned about. That's the beauty of non-destructive editing–There's no need to 'Save' multiple copies of your edited raw image files. Export them as needed to a specific file format, color space, and image size as needed, and delete them when no longer needed! If you want to create more than one "style" of image edits create Virtual Copies, which also use virtually (pun) no disk space.

                         

                        For more information on "organizing" your images in LR I recommend this eBook by Peter Krogh:

                         

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: RAW to lossy DNG after processing
                          dj_paige Level 9

                          Thanks, trshaner. I second your recommendation of The DAM Booki.

                           

                          The OP seems to have a concept in his mind about his workflow, which is at complete odds with the generally accepted best usage of Lightroom, and thus he gets less benefit from Lightroom and does more work than others would do using the generally accepted best practices. You add a very good point about not exporting photos until you need them for some reason, again the proposed method by the OP of exporting JPGs on every photo is more work than what I would do.

                           

                          If I could give some very high level advice to the OP, it would be to just throw out this concept about your workflow, and start from scratch, using the ideas presented here (and ask additional questions as needed). You will be much better off in many ways.

                          • 10. Re: RAW to lossy DNG after processing
                            kaczorf87161529 Level 1

                            Dear all,

                             

                            Thank you kindly for your valuable suggestions. I have quite some time ago read Peter Krogh's excellent book, but will indeed look at the newest edition.

                             

                            In response to the suggestion of not exporting JPEGs - I do that so that others in the family can access the photos, email them to others family members etc, without having to access the LR catalog to export them, or asking me for a specific image.  So while this may be, to paraphrase dj_paige, at complete odds with what is generally perceived as best usage, it 1) seems like logical solution and 2) is not that rare, as I have seen multiple posts on other forums describing this very approach.

                             

                            Again, thank you for the suggestions, you have been most helpful.

                            • 11. Re: RAW to lossy DNG after processing
                              kaczorf87161529 Level 1

                              Just to add to the above - the exported JPEGs are obviously not part of the LR catalogue.

                              • 12. Re: RAW to lossy DNG after processing
                                trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                kaczorf87161529 wrote:

                                In response to the suggestion of not exporting JPEGs - I do that so that others in the family can access the photos, email them to others family members etc, without having to access the LR catalog to export them, or asking me for a specific image.

                                There's nothing wrong with creating JPEG Export files it's just that for many purposes it's not necessary. Email and posting to social media sites like Facebook and Flickr can be done without creating additional files: How to publish photos from Photoshop Lightroom to social media

                                 

                                If you're creating JPEG Export files for other purposes such as outside printing (Costco, etc.) I suggest keeping them inside LR. Others may disagree, but by keeping them in LR you are less likely to create multiple copies of files or lose track of where they're located. Once they've served there purpose you can easily locate them from inside LR and delete them if no longer needed. Peter Krogh's Ebook on 'Organizing Your Photos in Lightroom' contains many more helpful tips and workflow suggestions.

                                1 person found this helpful