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This chapter is from the book

Saving Your Photos as JPEGs, TIFFs, PSDs, or DNGs

Once you’re done editing, tweaking, and otherwise processing your photos in Photoshop Lightroom (and/or Photoshop), how in the world do you get them out of Photoshop Lightroom as a TIFF, JPEG, a Photoshop PSD file, or an Adobe DNG? It’s easier than you’d think.

  • Step One. You start by selecting which photo(s) you want to save as a JPEG, TIFF, PSD, or DNG. You can either do this in the Library module by Command-clicking (PC: Ctrl-clicking) on all the photos you want to save (as shown here), or you can do this in the filmstrip while you’re in any of the modules (you select the photos in the filmstrip the exact same way).
  • Step Two. Next, if you’re in the Library module, click on the Export button at the bottom of the left side Panels area (circled here in red). If you’re in a different module and using the filmstrip to select your photos, then use the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-E (PC: Ctrl-Shift-E). Whichever method you choose, it brings up the Export dialog (shown in the next step).
  • Step Three. At the top of the Export dialog is a Preset pop-up menu with a list of built-in presets, like the one shown here that burns (saves) your photos as full-size images in JPEG format at the maximum quality setting. If you have a RAW photo and want to export it as an Adobe DNG file (see the importing tutorial in Chapter 1 for more on DNG), then choose the Export to DNG preset and it fills in all the appropriate settings for you. If you want Photoshop Lightroom to prepare these photos for easy emailing, choose the For E-Mail preset and it will enter the proper settings to lower the photo’s file size, resolution, and physical dimensions so they’re ideal for emailing. If you don’t want to use these presets, then ignore this menu and enter your own settings. However, once you enter your own settings, if you think you’ll be using these settings often, you should save them as a preset by going to the Preset pop-up menu and choosing Save as New Preset. When the New Preset dialog appears, give your preset a name and click Create. From now on, your preferred settings will appear as an Export preset in that pop-up menu.
  • Step Four. We’ll assume for now that you want to enter your own custom settings. Start by choosing the folder you’d like your photos exported into by clicking the Choose button (at the top right) and then navigating to the folder where you want your photos saved. If you want your photos put in a subfolder within that folder, turn on the Put in Subfolder checkbox (shown circled here) and give that subfolder a name in the field that appears to the right of the checkbox.
  • Step Five. If you’d like, you can leave the filenames as they currently are, or you can have them automatically renamed as you export them (it’s totally up to you). There are built-in naming templates, and the one I personally like best (because it’s just so simple) is Custom Name – Sequence. This template lets you type in any filename you’d like, and then it automatically adds a number to the end of your new name, starting at whichever number you tell it to by typing it in the Start Number field to the right of the Custom Text field (as seen here). Here, I simply named these shots “Bridal Shots” and Lightroom will add the numbers after, so the photos will wind up being named Bridal Shots-1, Bridal Shots-2, and so on.
  • Step Six. Next you choose which file format to save your photos in. Under File Settings, there’s a Format pop-up menu (shown here) where you can choose to save your photo as a JPEG, Photoshop PSD, TIFF, or an Adobe DNG (digital negative). If you choose JPEG (as I did here), a Quality slider appears on the right (as seen here). The higher the quality, the larger the file size. I generally choose a Quality setting of 80, which I think is a good tradeoff between quality and file size, giving you a photo that looks nearly identical to a 100 quality setting, but with only a fraction of the file size. PSD and DNG have no extra options, but if you choose TIFF, a pop-up menu will appear (where the JPEG Quality slider once was), where you can choose whether you want to compress your TIFFs as they’re saved.
  • Step Seven. Near the bottom of the Export dialog, in the Image Settings section, you can choose to embed the color space of your choice from the Color Space pop-up menu (choose sRGB for photos that are destined to appear on a webpage. Choose Adobe RGB [1998] or the wider-gamut ProPhoto RGB [Lightroom’s native color space] if you’ll be printing these or editing them again in Photoshop). Under that, you can enter the resolution you want your exported files to be. You can also choose to constrain them to a particular size (handy for the Web and/or video production). Below that are checkboxes for having your copyright info added as a visible watermark and for having much of the EXIF metadata automatically stripped out of your photo (handy because your clients don’t need to know the background info on your camera, lens, etc., especially if you’re selling these as stock photography).
  • Step Eight. At the bottom of the dialog is a Post-Processing section, where you can choose to have a simple task take place immediately after your export. For example, if you’d like your exported photos to be automatically backed up to a CD or DVD, choose Burn the Exported Images to a Disc from the After Export pop-up menu (as shown here) and after they’re exported, it will launch your CD-burning application, and burn those same exported photos to a blank CD or DVD for safe backup of your final images (it will even ask you to insert a blank disc). Now, click the Export button and Lightroom will take it from here, placing the processed, saved files in the folder you choose in this Export dialog. Not bad, eh?
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