In the last articles we focused on the use of “Develop Presets” and how they can be used to apply quick changes to an image. We also touched on how they can be used to bring efficiently to the work-flow by allowing the photographer to apply develop settings to a number of images at the same time. In this article we will focus on . How to use Import presets to improve the efficiency of the import work-flow and how to use export presets to do the same for the export process. We defined “Presets” to be; Presets are simply actions or settings in Lightroom (LR) that have been combined in such away that they can be executed with one click of the mouse button.
During a typical work-flow the photographer can make use of three types of presets as shown in the work-flow diagram below.
In a previous article we discussed the process of importing images into the Lightroom catalogue but we did not spend very much time on how the process can be automated with the use of presets. In the “Apply During Import” panel of the import screen , Lightroom provides the facility to apply a “Develop Preset” and a Keyword preset to a group of images whilst they are being imported to the Lightroom . As an example lets say that in a previous session the photographer had created and saved a preset which adjusts the white balance and colour temperature to match the conditions of a specific location. we can call this preset X. Two months later the photographer shoots another session at the same location. He/She can select Preset X in the Apply During import panel and during the import process the white balance and colour correction settings will be applied to each image .In addition the photographer can use a Metada preset to apply a specific set of keywords to all of the images being imported at that time.And finally the photographer may define a preset to capture all of the settings in the Import screen (file naming, Import Settings, Locations etc)
Exporting and Export Presets
It has been my experience in leading Lightroom workshops that the acts of importing and exporting images from Lightroom provides the most difficulty for new users of the software. Every time I lead a basic workshop on Lightroom I find that I need to devote at least one third to one half of the workshop time on these two topics. Unfortunately due to the limited amount of space allotted these introductory articles I cannot go into any real depth but must limit myself to an overview of the export section. Hopefully a future article will afford me the time to do a more in-depth presentation on these critical areas.
At some point in time you will need to get your images out of Lightroom , either for upload to the web, for printing or to just store as finished work in some type of archive. Lightrooms export function provides a wide variety of options to assist you in your task. Lets us take a look at the basic. export screen.
At the top of the screen is the selection box which is used to determine where your images are sent to during the export process, the dialogue boxes shown in the settings box will be dependent on the export source that has been selected.. In the example shown the settings are those associated with exporting the images to a hard drive. If you have installed third-party plugins from vendors such as “NIK” or “On One” they may appear as export locations and the dialogue boxes will change to reflect their specific settings. On the left panel are the export presets. These preset are similar in function to the “Develop” presets in that they allow the user to apply a series of predefined actions to an image whilst it is being exported “more on this later”. The right hand or central panel contains all of the settings required to manipulate the final output image.
Export Location: Sets the physical location of the output file and determines how Lightroom will deal with things such as duplicate file names
File Naming: Sets the parameters for how export files will be named .For example if the files are to be renamed using a specific naming convention or if they are to be exported using the original names.
File Settings: Set the parameters relating to the export file type. file (tiff,jpeg), Its colour space , compression and bit depth.
Image Sizing: Controls the pixel dimensions (resize to fit) and size of the output file.
Output Sharpening : Controls the application of sharpening during the export process
Metadata: Controls how much metadata is applied to and exported with the Image
Watermarking: Allows a watermark to be applied to the image during the output process.
Post Processing: Controls what happens at the end of the export process (Show the files in explorer, Launch another application )
All of these settings can be saved as an export preset and reused at any time. As an example if the photographer wants to output a set of images as Jpegs with a pixel dimension of 640 X 480 , resolution of 72dpi ,colour space of Srgb and Standard output sharpening for use on the web. He/She would dial in those settings in there respective panels and save the preset as “Weboutput” for future use every time he/she needed to generate images for the web.
Have you ever tried to create a watermark for your images using Photoshop , it takes a bit of work to get it done and if you wish to repeat it then you need to record and action. Lightroom makes “light” work of watermarks.
Lightroom facilitates the creation of either text or graphical watermarks by selecting the watermark style at the top right hand section of the watermark screen . The example above shows the creation of a text based watermark but the principles are the same for the graphical watermarks. .
Image Options: Select the image to be used as the basis for the watermark, when the watermark style is set as Graphic
Text Options: Set the font type,colour,opacity, when the watermark style is set as Text
Watermark Effects: Determines how the watermark will appear on the image, (offset, location, opacity etc)
And as usual all of these settings can be saved as a preset for future use on other images.
Next time we explore the Print module of Lightroom
Hugh Walker is an amateur photographer who has dreams of shooting exotic locations. His job as an IT professional keeps him in touch with the dynamic world of technology, whilst his passion for photography acts as a creative balance. He favors landscape, fashion and architectural photography. He can be found on Twitter as @hughied and his work can be seen at http://www.Art4life.zenfolio.com