View Full Version : General Questions Re: Raw, Lightroom, Card Size

05-20-2011, 10:14 AM
Heading to WDW in 2 weeks. I just recently bought Lightroom 3. I have never used Lightroom before. I have been a JPEG shooter on a Canon 40D.


1. If you shoot RAW+JPEG, how many total GB's will your memory cards at WDW add up to? I currently have a 2GB which I am estimating will hold about 100 shots when shooting RAW+JPEG.

2. For a novice RAW shooter and novice Lightroom user, is it unnecessary to really shoot RAW+JPEG? My main editing prior to Lightroom was very basic stuff using Picasa.

3. What resource did you use (or, more importantly, would you recommend) for learning Lightroom?

4. I would appreciate if someone could give me a very basic rundown of your workflow process using Lightroom and RAW files.

Any advice is appreciated. You can surely gather my level of (in)experience when it comes to editing, so if there is advice beyond what I thought of asking, I would be pleased to hear any of it.


05-20-2011, 10:57 AM
How many cards you need depends on how you shoot and the size of your files. I can easily shoot 2000 images in a day, and an 8GB card in my 50D holds just under 300 RAW files.

I personally don't feel the need to shoot RAW + Jpeg, but I know some people have reasons they do. Lightroom has plenty of pre-sets to help you out if you don't want to. It's really a personal choice.

I didn't really use any resources to learn lightroom, but I was already comfortable working with images before it ever came out.

My workflow... I import the images, tag the keepers (I never delete anything) then I go through and edit. Usually I'll hit the white balance if it needs it, then adjust the basics (exposure, recovery, fill light, blacks) so that the histogram looks how I want it and nothing is really clipped. Then I desaturate so I can easily see the tonal values and adjust for contrast. Lastly I do any noise reduction and sharpening, though usually I do very little sharpening.

05-20-2011, 01:08 PM
I think you will like shooting Raw. There is a lot more info in the Raw files that can be manipulated once inside Lightroom. I usually don't have camera save jpg but you might want to until you get used to using Lightroom. The first thing I usually do when I Import the photos is to have Lightroom convert them into DNG format. This was just a preferance I adopted a couple of years back. One reason is that when you edit a Raw file Lightroom with create a secondary file (sidecar) file that sits in the same directory as the Raw. This other file contains the editing info that Lightroom has made. I really hate these extra files on my HDD. I like that Lightroom does not really edit the original file but rather just keeps the info seperated that it has done. With the DNG file it still does not really edit the original digital negative but it stores the info in the DNG file instead. This is not really a huge issue or anything I feel that strongly about it is more of a personal quirk than anything. There are some other small reasons I started to use DNG instead of the Mfg Raw file but again more of a personal liking than anything.

Anyway once I get it into Lightroom I suggest going through and Tagging the photos. This is a do as I saw not as I do. I am really bad at doing this but am starting to get better. It just makes finding stuff later a little easier. I then usually go and rate the photos with stars to find out which ones I really like and want to edit later.

Once I see the shots I like, I then usually just start editing. I might spend a couple of minutes just looking at the file to get a plan on how I really wanted that picture to look when I took it. I start at the top in the Develop module and work my way down the list adjusting as I go. I sometimes use a "Preset" (have a huge collection of these) that might be a certain look I was thinking about and then I am done. I might then go back and readjust later but for the most part my first run through is pretty close. On some more complicated shots I also might "Edit in Photoshop". Lightroom does a nice job of round tripping into Photoshop and then it automatically pulls it back into Lightroom. For the most part I really don't leave Lightroom that much. I do 95% of my edits there. I guess I just too lazy and figure if the shot was not good enough to get it right in camera I should not waist time "fixing" it. I will just have to recapture it later and learn from my mistakes. I really do love Lightroom a lot. It have made me enjoy editing again and saved me a lot of time in post production.

Once I finish I usually stick the files in a certain area and either make books, post to my Flickr page or even send to relatives. Once I am ready I usually just Export the file to save as a jpg and it is off to wherever.

It is not really difficult to pick up. To help learn I watch some videos. Lightroom Killer Tips (Google) has a lot of great helpful tips (free as well). Enjoy and good luck.

05-20-2011, 02:11 PM
I agree with the others that said saving both files is not necessary. One thing I would urge you to do is to buy more memory prior to your trip. 2GB would not be even close enough for me, and once your are there (unless you have a car) memory is VERY expensive on site. I have 2 16GB cards, 1 8GB card, and 4 4GB cards and I am planning to buy an additional 16GB card for my trip in July. You can get a 16GB card for $25 from Best Buy as well as many other places.

One site that I was recommended to by someone here on the DIS where I have picked up a few post processing tips and inspiration is:

Also Preset Heaven has tons of Lightroom Presets that you can use if you don't want to dial in each image.

Have fun!

05-20-2011, 11:00 PM
Like others have said, definitely get some more memory. I think you could get to 100 shots without even blinking.

A good book to maybe get to learn pretty much everything about Lightroom is Scott Kelby's Lightroom 3 for digital photographers. It has loads of great information, and is a very easy/nice read. But it's pretty easy to get a grasp of LR on your own. Like Doug said, just work your way down the develop settings panel. You'll eventually learn what every setting does.

For some processing tips, there's an "image post-processing" thread here on the boards. But start at the last page and work your way back. A newer thread was combined with a real old one; and I think that old one wasn't all that great. I'd post a link, but I'm on my phone right now. But good luck.

05-22-2011, 11:19 AM
Thanks for all the advice! I have been playing around with Lightroom and am learning! I appreciate the links and video tips. Also appreciate the tips on workflow, Photo Chick and DR! Still kicking around the card purchase, but will have to decide quickly!

05-22-2011, 11:07 PM
1. DEFINITELY you will want a bigger card! On my last trip, I shot somewhere about 65 gigs. Granted, that was a bit extreme and included some videos, but with memory cards being fairly cheap, it's always better to have too much than not enough.

2. I wouldn't bother with RAW+jpeg unless there's some compelling reason that you need basic jpgs immediately.

3. I think that when I first started playing with Lightroom, I used a Lynda.com tutorial. (It's been a while so it may not have been them, but I think it was!)

This is probably the course that you'd want (http://www.lynda.com/Lightroom-3-tutorials/photoshop-essential-training/59972-2.html). You can see certain parts of it for free, or sign up for everything they've got for $25/month. I find this type of video training a lot more useful for "getting it" than the books - though I admit that I haven't actually read any of the Lightroom books. I think there are one or two other similar sites with tutorials.

4. I copy the files to my PC manually (LR will do this for you, but I prefer to do it myself), then import them all. I have an import preset that includes some basic settings that I like in it that I apply to all imports.
Once they're imported, I run through and do my tagging. I tend to tag all my photos, not just the "keepers", though I could certainly see the reasoning behind doing only the keepers, especially when you get into family or group gathering photos where you are tagging each person in the shot!
I then go through the photos one by one and pick out the keepers and do whatever post-processing that I want to them. I then label the keepers with a color label - this is a step that I rarely see mentioned. IMHO, you need some way to easily find the keepers, and your options are a color label, add to Quick Collection, or use the "flagged" or "rejected" flags. I like to use the color labels - I use Red (press the "6" key) for photos that'll be for public consumption - like on my website or Flickr - and Yellow ("7" key) for family photos. Occasionally I'll use others colors as the need arises. I find this more flexible than the flagged/rejected method.
Once I'm done, I filter by the color that I want and do an export. I have various presets depending on where the pictures are going.
I will also often add the keepers to a Collection - for example, I have a "Disney 2011" collection, and I filter by red and yellow labels and then throw all those pictures into the collection. In the future, if I want to find them, I can do it that way rather than guessing with original folder of RAWs has what I'm after.

05-23-2011, 10:31 AM
I agree with everyone that you will definately need more memory. My last trip I went with 2- 8gb, 4-4gb and 4-2gb and still had to upload to dvds so I could reuse cards. I shoot raw only. With the reasonable prices you can find on memory cards going with just one is risky. In my camera bag I also carry a sheet of the 1/2 x 3/4 small white stickers pre-numbered with the number of memory cards I have. That way as I have to change cards I can put a number on the individual card case or on the card itself so I know the order in which I used them. Makes life easier when uploading to Lightroom and renaming files. Even though Lightroom can sort them by time taken I still like to upload in order so the file name sequence also matches the shot sequence if that makes sense. I also agree with the others on the raw + jpeg question. My first time shooting raw I also shot raw + jpeg. After that first card of pictures I switched to raw only and have never gone back to jpeg.

My workflow is similar to photo_chicks above. I import them and at the same time copy to an external hard drive with a folder for unedited files (within the unedited files they are sorted by year and then month). I don't import every file because Lightroom 3 makes it easy to go thru them and only import those you want to edit. There is a box at the bottom of each picture to click or unclick for inclusion in the import. Once in Lightroom I will keyword them as a batchif it applies and then start the edit process. First thing I do is adjust the white balance if needed. Then do any other tweaks I feel necessary such as crop, exposure, brightness, saturation, vibrance, clarity etc. Last thing I do is noise reduction if needed and rarely some sharpening. I also at this point add any photo specific keywords I want to attach to that photo. Once the photos are edited to my satisfaction I will pick certain ones to add to collections (ie birds, flowers, landscapes, etc) or make a new collection for the entire lot if they are from a single event. I also export them as a group to an external hard drive to a folder for edited files (also sorted by year and month). Certain ones I will pick and choose to publish to certain galleries or albums on Facebook, Smugmug or Flickr.

When I first started with Lightroom 2 I purchased a book from Amazon.com called Classroom in a Book. There is a companion cd with lessons and walks you through learning the basics. It was very helpful in learning my way around the program. I think they do have a newer version for LR 3. I also like to watch the tutorials offered by Matt Kloskowski on his website Lightroom Killer Tips. The Adobe website also has video tutorials by Matt. There is a wealth of links for different tutorials listed here on the Adobe site. http://community.adobe.com/help/search.html?searchterm=lightroom+tutorials&q=lightroom+tutorials&l=lightroom_product_adobelr&x=0&y=0&area=0&lr=en_US&hl=en_US Every so often I will search YouTube for tutorials on Lightroom 3. I have seen some good ones and some not so good ones but there are lots out there if you search for them.

05-26-2011, 04:33 PM
Thanks again for all the responses.

Stupid question: I've been playing with the adjustments available in Lightroom and am getting more comfortable with them. Still a little confused about the whole raw file thing though. Once you are done editing, how do you finalize your file? Assuming you've started with a raw file, do you resave it as a raw file with a new name (preserving the unedited original), or is Lightroom automatically creating a duplicate of the original in a new raw file? Or is it better to save to a dng format (I assume this causes no loss of info/editing capability in the file). Do you create a jpeg for storage/viewing, or would you only do that if you're wanting to share it via the web/email?

Also, when you want to take a file into Photoshop for further processing, do you simply open the Photoshop program and go at it, or does Lightroom have a tool for sending it over? Just confused as I see comments about Lightroom's ability to send a file to Photoshop and bring it back again. Do I need to do something to integrate or plug Lightroom and Photoshop (Elements 8 in my case) into each other?

Thanks again for all your help!

05-26-2011, 05:21 PM
Lightroom saves the adjustments as part of the library. It is non-destructive and does not save over the original file. If you want a jpeg to share, upload, print, etc, you need to export it. That option is under the file menu. To open in photoshop I usually just use the right click option. right click on the image in the editing window and go down to edit in and choose photoshop or whatever other program you have. When you do that you will need to save the changes you make in Photoshop as a different file. I usually save as a PSD since that's the easiest to bring back into Photoshop and work with later, and when I'm ready to upload it or whatever I'll save a copy as a jpeg.

05-27-2011, 11:15 PM
I recommend that you use Canon Digital Photo Proessional software to process Raw images, then export to TIFF or JPG format.

Canon raw format is proprietary to Canon, so only Canon software can get the absolute most from raw image file. Other software packages can process raw files, but Canon software does it best because they designed the format specifically for each camera.