About Me

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Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a weekly blog about photography in New England.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Exporting Files in Lightroom

 Lightroom is an amazing program, but, after years of using Adobe Photoshop, there are several procedures that I had to re-learn. One of these was how to “save” files after editing.

Where is the Save Button?

Chesterfield Gorge
The important thing to remember is that Lightroom does not create files that incorporate all of your edits. As we say over and over, Lightroom is a non-destructive program, the changes that are made are not burned into the image, but only exist as a set of instructions that are applied to the image to yield the result that you see on the screen. Only when the images leave Lightroom are the changes actually applied to a copy of the picture. You won’t find a “Save” option among the menus. This can be a bit frightening at first, but the program’s “Export” tool provides a powerful set of options to control how your images make it to the real world.

Safe at Home

Think of Lightroom as a warm, protected home where your precious images, like your children, can develop and grow in safety. Whether it is staying out too late or screwing up the color balance, your physical and digital children can always be healed in your welcoming arms. When your progeny have gained all they can, they are ready to take the perilous step off to college or much more frighteningly into the clutches of Photoshop.

Enough of this tortured analogy. The point is that Lightroom does an amazing job with non-destructive global editing and can even do some localized adjustments. It is possible to send images directly to the printer, to the web, to a slide show, or to the bookmaker, but, at some point, I usually want to do more.  I want to save a finished image for sharing or archiving and that requires exporting.

Exporting to Photoshop etc

The simplest exporting occurs when I send images directly to Photoshop. The resulting image files can have all of the changes from Lightroom burned in.  I can then fine tune with masking and other global, and localized adjustments, in brightness, color, sharpness and more. From here the image files can be archived as PSDs or Tiffs or saved to JPEGs for sharing on the web or elsewhere. I can also choose to edit the original file without the Lightroom adjustments.

 Export Dialog

The Export Dialog box is used when a Lightroom image is ready to be saved, with all its adjustments, to a folder on your computer. The box is found in the file menu or is among the selections which appear when any image, or group images, is selected and right clicked. The dialog is intimidating at first, but it is arranged top to bottom with simple choices which are in logical order.


Location and Naming
The first section allows you to select where the files will be sent.  In addition to a hard drive, images can be directed to email, burned to a CD/DVD or sent to other programs.  Choices include the option to add files to your existing Lightroom Catalog, and to set how the program will handle duplicate files. File names can be left unchanged or can be altered to match a format from a list of possible naming schemes.

File Types
Skipping the video options, the next menu allows changes in the file format; JPEG, PSD, TIFF, DNG or original. Each selection opens a different menu of options based on the requirements and capacity of that format. For PSD, you get to choose color space and bit rate, but others the options are more complex. With Digital Negtive (DNG), you can decide on the size of the JPEG preview, possible lossy compression, and the depth of backward compatibility. You can also choose to save a copy of the original RAW image within the file. Don’t panic. It is not as complicated as it may seem and the defaults generally work well.

Resizing, Sharpening, Metadata, etc
The rest of the options include the ability to resize the image, and to perform output sharpening to match your intended purpose. The existing metadata can be edit to remove person information or location coordinates, and a custom watermark of any size can be added in the location of your choice. Some, or all, of these options can be ignored on the way to outputting your images.

What to Do?
Finally, you can decide what will happen to the Images as they leave Lightroom’s warm embrace. Post-processing options include, to open the images in Windows Explorer, Photoshop, or another editing program.

Export with Previous
On final export trick is one of my favorite time savers. When exporting a number of files to the same location and with the same
exporting options as my last file, I can simply select one or more files and click “Export with Previous” to direct them all to the same folder. 

That’s about it. It is not as simple as pressing the “Save” button, but exporting is a much more powerful way to release your images. Your digital off-spring have taken wing to explore the world, but remember, Lightroom is non-destructive and you kids are still safely cloned in your catalog.

For More Lightroom Tutorials:


  1. Brilliant photographs . I think you have a great skill about capturing .

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