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best resolution setting when exporting in Lightroom

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10 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

I am also suprised to see people saying that there is no

need to do a color balance when shooting RAW?  In the

studio I do a custom white balance and shoot a color chart

at the start of every session.  Shooting the color chart allows

me to have accurate color temp and tint settings for all finished

images.  My DSLR's, monitor and PS and LR are all set to work

in aRGB color. 

The key point with raw images and colour is that it doesn't matter what colour space (as Russell says) or WHITE BALANCE setting you set in camera. This is set at the raw conversion stage without any impact on the image. Not so if shooting jpegs. You can't change the white balance later without impacting on image quality. 

 

That is not to say you should not shoot a grey card or colour chart which as you say makes it much easier to get accurate colour later but it does not need to be applied in camera if shooting raw. 

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9 hours ago, Octavio Campos Salles said:

 

Of course you have your workflow and if it works for you, great. However, if you use LR you don't really need to save the TIFFs, you are just occupying a lot of extra disk space. With LR you can go back at any time and edit the NEF any way you want (including crop wise, something you can't with TIFFs in PS) and then save it as wherever file type you need at every color space available. Of course this is considering you shoot RAW, as any self respecting photographer should do.

 

To be honest, today I only use PS when I'm soft proofing to convert to an inkjet printer profile or for the odd advanced tasks that LR won't do, such as panorama, removal of objects, difficult color balance fix or for selective sharpening for web or print. All the other cases, such as exporting to Alamy, I use LR only.

I disagree with several statements here. There are many things that cannot be done easily or at all in LR that PS does very well. Also LR is far better than PS for panoramas, colour balancing, soft proofing and, in many cases, selective sharpening. 

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Don't think many understand what I wrote about workflow.  I do a lot of commercial studio

work which is why I shoot a color chart.  With a product I do not know what is 100% white, 255 255 255

what is 100% gray 153 153 153.  If I am working with 7ft Octadomes, 4600k, 22 inch white beauty dishes, 4800k

silver umbrellas, 5,000k to 5200k etc, many times I can have a 12ft Octadome, umbrellas, reflectors and strip lights.

All will contribute light at a bit different color temperature.  The only way to prep a product image correctly is to have a color

chart as a reference.  The workflow I've described allows me or anyone to work quickly to produce

a color correct aRGB image.  Doing a custom white balance also gives a consistent file to work from in

the studio.  When doing existing light work or fill flash I use AWB most of the time.

 

Also, there is a lot that can be done in LR, that is not easily done as well in PS.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Don't think many understand what I wrote about workflow.  I do a lot of commercial studio

work which is why I shoot a color chart.  With a product I do not know what is 100% white, 255 255 255

what is 100% gray 153 153 153.  If I am working with 7ft Octadomes, 4600k, 22 inch white beauty dishes, 4800k

silver umbrellas, 5,000k to 5200k etc, many times I can have a 12ft Octadome, umbrellas, reflectors and strip lights.

All will contribute light at a bit different color temperature.  The only way to prep a product image correctly is to have a color

chart as a reference.  The workflow I've described allows me or anyone to work quickly to produce

a color correct aRGB image.  Doing a custom white balance also gives a consistent file to work from in

the studio.  When doing existing light work or fill flash I use AWB most of the time.

 

Also, there is a lot that can be done in LR, that is not easily done as well in PS.

 

 

 

and not limited to only in the studio. Xrite's Colorchecker Passport is a valued of a tool also out in the field, as well as to colour profile the cameras.

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2 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Don't think many understand what I wrote about workflow.  I do a lot of commercial studio

work which is why I shoot a color chart.  With a product I do not know what is 100% white, 255 255 255

what is 100% gray 153 153 153.  If I am working with 7ft Octadomes, 4600k, 22 inch white beauty dishes, 4800k

silver umbrellas, 5,000k to 5200k etc, many times I can have a 12ft Octadome, umbrellas, reflectors and strip lights.

All will contribute light at a bit different color temperature.  The only way to prep a product image correctly is to have a color

chart as a reference.  The workflow I've described allows me or anyone to work quickly to produce

a color correct aRGB image.  Doing a custom white balance also gives a consistent file to work from in

the studio.  When doing existing light work or fill flash I use AWB most of the time.

 

Also, there is a lot that can be done in LR, that is not easily done as well in PS.

 

 

I agree. Determining the correct white balance (colour temperature) is really important. I use a gray card and/or colour checker pasport for all colour-critical work. The point I am making is that it is not necessary to apply that white balance in camera if shooting raw. This can be done easily in LR afterwards. 

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Maybe this is slightly off-topic, but it relates to Lightroom export settings and I would be grateful if anyone more technically savvy than I can give an explanation.

 

Alamy uploads are limited to 25MB in compressed size.  This has not been too much of a problem to date, but now I have to be increasingly wary of keeping within this cap with images taken with my Canon 5DXIV, which has a resolution of about 30 megapixels.  How each image compresses when exporting to JPEG varies from image to image: while the pixel size can be calculated from image dimensions, the compressed exported size cannot (I only shoot in RAW, and use my own pre-set in Lightroom to export in Adobe RGB colour space, at full size whenever possible).  I use the invaluable Alamy SizeChecker to make sure that the exported files are not too big.

 

In the batch on which I am presently working, 2 of the files would have failed for being over 25MB.  The difference was trivial: they were about 25.7 MB.  I therefore tried limiting the file size by various amounts, getting as close as possible to (but under) the 25MB cap: I was trying to include as much information as possible within the permissible limit.  Working my way downwards, a limit of 26,500k in the Lightroom export dialogue box still produced a file size in excess of 25MB.  But then reducing the limit to 26,000k worked - but instead of being slightly under 25MB, the exported file was only around 16MB.  I would have expected that small changes in the export size limit would have produced correspondingly small changes in the exported file size, but this is not always the case.

 

This is not a one-off occurrence of this phenomenon, I have noticed the same thing happening before.  The currency of this thread prompted me to enquire whether anyone has any explanation for this behaviour.  It does not matter: so long as the file size conforms to Alamy's limit, it is fine, and I cannot detect any sudden degradation in image quality (a 16MB JPEG is likely to contain plenty of information, all other things being equal), but I just find the issue puzzling.

 

I wonder whether Alamy might re-consider its upper cap on file sizes.  I am encountering this on a reasonably frequent basis with the Canon 5DIV, but there are already higher resolution cameras than this, and the trend towards higher megapixel counts, such as with the newly announced Nikon 850, is only going to exacerbate the issue.  I would have thought that Alamy would have wanted the greatest possible quality: it seems a pity to have a very high resolution camera and then to have to limit upload size to meet what seems to be a fairly arbitrary upload size cap, with the consequent risk of some, maybe undetectably marginal, loss of quality.  With over 100 million images and six figure daily uploads, presumably Alamy has plenty of server capacity and upload bandwidth to make the cap unnecessary.

 

Graham

 

 

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1 hour ago, Graham said:

Maybe this is slightly off-topic, but it relates to Lightroom export settings and I would be grateful if anyone more technically savvy than I can give an explanation.

 

Alamy uploads are limited to 25MB in compressed size.  This has not been too much of a problem to date, but now I have to be increasingly wary of keeping within this cap with images taken with my Canon 5DXIV, which has a resolution of about 30 megapixels.  How each image compresses when exporting to JPEG varies from image to image: while the pixel size can be calculated from image dimensions, the compressed exported size cannot (I only shoot in RAW, and use my own pre-set in Lightroom to export in Adobe RGB colour space, at full size whenever possible).  I use the invaluable Alamy SizeChecker to make sure that the exported files are not too big.

 

In the batch on which I am presently working, 2 of the files would have failed for being over 25MB.  The difference was trivial: they were about 25.7 MB.  I therefore tried limiting the file size by various amounts, getting as close as possible to (but under) the 25MB cap: I was trying to include as much information as possible within the permissible limit.  Working my way downwards, a limit of 26,500k in the Lightroom export dialogue box still produced a file size in excess of 25MB.  But then reducing the limit to 26,000k worked - but instead of being slightly under 25MB, the exported file was only around 16MB.  I would have expected that small changes in the export size limit would have produced correspondingly small changes in the exported file size, but this is not always the case.

 

This is not a one-off occurrence of this phenomenon, I have noticed the same thing happening before.  The currency of this thread prompted me to enquire whether anyone has any explanation for this behaviour.  It does not matter: so long as the file size conforms to Alamy's limit, it is fine, and I cannot detect any sudden degradation in image quality (a 16MB JPEG is likely to contain plenty of information, all other things being equal), but I just find the issue puzzling.

 

I wonder whether Alamy might re-consider its upper cap on file sizes.  I am encountering this on a reasonably frequent basis with the Canon 5DIV, but there are already higher resolution cameras than this, and the trend towards higher megapixel counts, such as with the newly announced Nikon 850, is only going to exacerbate the issue.  I would have thought that Alamy would have wanted the greatest possible quality: it seems a pity to have a very high resolution camera and then to have to limit upload size to meet what seems to be a fairly arbitrary upload size cap, with the consequent risk of some, maybe undetectably marginal, loss of quality.  With over 100 million images and six figure daily uploads, presumably Alamy has plenty of server capacity and upload bandwidth to make the cap unnecessary.

 

Graham

 

 

The 25MB limit doesn't exist. This is a long held misconception. Perhaps it was the case some years ago but it certainly hasn't for many years. There is a 200MB upper uncompressed file size which can be exceeded by large panoramas but all that happens is the file is rejected at the upload stage - no QC failure. 

 

I'm not sure the upper 200MB for uncompressed files even exists any more. 

Edited by MDM
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The 25MB limit doesn't exist.

Thank you.  I just checked the image guidelines, and indeed it is no longer mentioned.

 

I would still be interested to know why, conceptually, there is a sudden decease in file size as export size limits in Lightroom are gradually decreased.

 

Graham

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I use a 50 megapixel Canon 5DS and have had no problem with an upper limit. JPG with lots of detail are often over 30 MB.

 

I uploaded this multishot panorama this month 963 MB uncompressed TIFF when open in photoshop 29,000 X 5,792 pixels.
JPG size I do not remember, but probably over 300 MB.

 

toronto-skyline-cityscape-panorama-water

Edited by Bill Brooks

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On 27/08/2017 at 19:59, MDM said:

I disagree with several statements here. There are many things that cannot be done easily or at all in LR that PS does very well. Also LR is far better than PS for panoramas, colour balancing, soft proofing and, in many cases, selective sharpening. 

 

I didn't know LR does panoramas now, to be honest I rarely ever do panoramas and when I do I use PS as I think it does a terrific job as well.

 

Soft proofing is about the same as in PS, except that I like to do this when I'm finishing the image for print, which also means resizing and then selective sharpening - all this finishing process for fine art I do in PS. IMO sharpening should always be done after resizing, also I do it in a pretty complicated way using layers and channel masks that is impossible in LR.

 

Now for color balance, 95% of the time or more LR is good enough, but there is that odd case when the colors just seem strange and no matter how much tweaking in LR I can't really get it to my liking. Then I edit as a smart object in PS because there I can do another process where I get mathematical samples of whites and blacks and correct the color based on those, using color curve masks. The difference can be quite big and you get consistent results.

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10 hours ago, Octavio Campos Salles said:

pretty complicated way using layers and channel masks that is impossible in LR.

 

Same as me, i have an action setup and then use a brush to selectively apply more or less sharpness to certain parts of the image

I find PS does a far better job at spot removal too.

I have been using PS since the very first editions I just don't need that power most of the time, but nothing can beat it still (I guess that's why it's still the industry standard)

 

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On 25/08/2017 at 15:35, NYCat said:

I know that Alamy used to request Adobe RGB. Is that still the case? Any more knowledgeable people want to have a say? I do love the way Octavio's images look. Octavio, I'm not seeing captions on the cattle images.

 

Paulette

 

My question to Alamy:

 

Hi,

This has cropped up a few times on the forums recently and I would like a definitive answer from Alamy please, what colour profile should we be sending you our jpg's in, sRGB or Adobe RGB.
Thanks

Paul


This is the response I got this morning from Alamy:

 

Hi Paul

This is totally up to you and your own workflow, but we work with Adobe RGB and ignore any embedded ICC profiles when we process your images so before sending we recommend saving all images as Adobe RGB (1998).

Thanks,
Shelley

Alamy Contributor Relations

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Thank you for letting us know. I had looked in the latest instructions about submissions and couldn't find anything about it. The instructions looks like a children's book these days. We used to be a little more sophisticated, I think.

 

Paulette

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13 hours ago, Octavio Campos Salles said:

 

I didn't know LR does panoramas now, to be honest I rarely ever do panoramas and when I do I use PS as I think it does a terrific job as well.

 

Soft proofing is about the same as in PS, except that I like to do this when I'm finishing the image for print, which also means resizing and then selective sharpening - all this finishing process for fine art I do in PS. IMO sharpening should always be done after resizing, also I do it in a pretty complicated way using layers and channel masks that is impossible in LR.

 

Now for color balance, 95% of the time or more LR is good enough, but there is that odd case when the colors just seem strange and no matter how much tweaking in LR I can't really get it to my liking. Then I edit as a smart object in PS because there I can do another process where I get mathematical samples of whites and blacks and correct the color based on those, using color curve masks. The difference can be quite big and you get consistent results.

LR panos are way superior to PS for two reasons. Firstly, you get a DNG file which is effectively a raw file and has all the advantages of working on a raw file in LR before refining in PS. Secondly, it is a massive speed boost in workflow as LR generates the pano in the background and you can continue working on other raw images or whatever. PS is a memory hog when generating large panos. 

 

If you actually use soft proofing, then it's really worth checking out LR (obviously on finished images ready for printing). The soft proofing is amazing direct in the Develop module and the Print module is now far superior to PS if you do your own printing so they integrate very well. The soft proofing is also worth checking to see what you are losing exporting in sRGB as LR uses a color space close to ProPhoto automatically behind the scenes.

 

For quick selective sharpening, LR is very good and fast if you don't need a very accurate selection. Use a radial filter on eyes for example and apply clarity or sharpening. You can even do negative sharpening. Much quicker than selecting and masking in PS. Worth checking. 

 

LR is generally superior to PS for colour balance as you can work on the raw image using the WB sliders and this can be done for whole or parts of images. If you are not working on raw images there is probably not much of an advantage. 

 

I use PS a lot still (selections, layers, cloning etc) but LR has introduced so many excellent features in recent versions that are superior to PS for one reason or another and are worth checking out. 

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23 minutes ago, MDM said:

superior to PS

How can it be superior when they use the same engine, now if you were saying easier to implement in a nicer layout, I''ll give you that

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32 minutes ago, LawrensonPhoto said:

How can it be superior when they use the same engine, now if you were saying easier to implement in a nicer layout, I''ll give you that

What parts do you mean are  the same engine?  LR and PS are generally very different. ACR and LR use the same raw converter engine sure but LR was designed from the ground up  and is totally different to PS (pixel editor) in most respects. 

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On 27/08/2017 at 23:41, MDM said:

The key point with raw images and colour is that it doesn't matter what colour space (as Russell says) or WHITE BALANCE setting you set in camera. This is set at the raw conversion stage without any impact on the image. Not so if shooting jpegs. You can't change the white balance later without impacting on image quality. 

 

That is not to say you should not shoot a grey card or colour chart which as you say makes it much easier to get accurate colour later but it does not need to be applied in camera if shooting raw. 

 

Just to further emphasise the point that it is not necesary to set the white balance in camera, I was out shooting landscapes early this morning and I accidentally set the WB to tungsten so that a lot of the pictures have a strong blue cast when initially imported into Lightroom. Not a problem though as I shot raw and can change the WB to whatever without affecting image quality. It would be a very different story if I had shot JPEG. 

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On 25/08/2017 at 18:41, Bill Brooks said:

I set camera for AdobeRGB and shoot in RAW. Lightroom uses ProPhoto RGB internally for processing, so colour could be misleading within Lightroom if you convert to sRGB after.  sRGB will have less saturation.

 

I Alamy export JPG 300 DPI in ProPhoto RGB.

 

Trend is to a higher gamut in monitors, output devices, etc so you are getting more saturated colour, more colour detail, and future proofing your collection, if you use Prophoto RGB

 

Here is a very complete discussion:

https://www.color-management-guide.com/choosing-between-srgb-adobe-rgb-and-prophoto.html

Hi Bill, Thx for the reply. Interesting 'discussion' article. ProPhoto would seem to have a wider range and makes a lot of sense but what about the issue that most monitors are, apparently,  calibrated for SRGB? BW, John

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Hi John:

I always create and archive, a master file TIFF in the highest colour resolution available, regardless of todays monitor technology.

Images are not just for monitors. A printing press operator may want to make extra use of the spectrum in ProPhotoRGB in order to emphasize one color to suit the image, depending on the printing paper, inks, and the number of plates on his press in the process.

Monitors change. Before AdobeRGB there was a standard called colormatchRGB that had less colors than sRGB or Adobe RGB. colormatchRGB was based on state-of-the-art monitors back in 1995. We would not use it today.

AdobeRGB is todays standard, and high end monitors used for color control, will today show 98% of the color in AdobeRGB. Tomorrow probably 98% of ProPhotoRGB. sRGB is fine for lower quality newspaper output, or for viewing on a standard inexpensive monitor, or other uses where a full color spectrum is overkill.

If you are using a sRGB standard monitor, you do not have to see the extra colors in ProPhotoRGB.

I cannot think of any way that ProPhotoRGB will hurt your images, but it will futureproof them.

Bill

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18 hours ago, MDM said:

 

Just to further emphasise the point that it is not necesary to set the white balance in camera, I was out shooting landscapes early this morning and I accidentally set the WB to tungsten so that a lot of the pictures have a strong blue cast when initially imported into Lightroom. Not a problem though as I shot raw and can change the WB to whatever without affecting image quality. It would be a very different story if I had shot JPEG. 

 

What you're saying is absolutely true, but just wanted add that there is one slight "hazard" that might escape some/many. The camera LCD preview, most importantly the histogram, is the result of what ever settings you've chosen, so an incorrect WB might in some cases influence how you choose to progress with adjusting/exposing a scene after having checked it. At the the far end, there might be highlight/shadow warnings that are going off or not going off depending on the incorrect setting. No actual RAW data is of course changed due to an incorrect wb, but your choices for exposure might be. 

Edited by Martin Carlsson
deleted an extra "the"
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6 hours ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

What you're saying is absolutely true, but just wanted add that there is one slight "hazard" that might escape some/many. The camera LCD preview, most importantly the histogram, is the result of what ever settings you've chosen, so an incorrect WB might in some cases influence how you choose to progress with adjusting/exposing a scene after having checked it. At the the far end, there might be highlight/shadow warnings that are going off or not going off depending on the incorrect setting. No actual RAW data is of course changed due to an incorrect wb, but your choices for exposure might be. 

True and may be significant though I think the camera histo relates to the JPEG and not the raw so not highly accurate indicator as far ad I know.

 

I use Nikon D800 series cameras and the exposure latitude is such that highlight and shadow clipping is only a problem when contrast is extreme so I don't tend to use the screen except for quick check to see I'm.in the right ballpark. Yesterday I was shooting into strong light and couldn't see the screen at all properly so only realised WB was off after several shots. However no problem thankfully. 

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Just now, MDM said:

True and may be significant though I think the camera histo relates to the JPEG and not the raw so not highly accurate indicator as far ad I know.

 

I use Nikon D800 series cameras and the exposure latitude is such that highlight and shadow clipping is only a problem when contrast is extreme so I don't tend to use the screen except for quick check to see I'm.in the right ballpark. Yesterday I was shooting into strong light and couldn't see the screen at all properly so only realised WB was off after several shots. However no problem thankfully. 

 

Yes, the histogram on all cameras as far as I know are based off an internal Jpeg and can be significantly off. Of course modern camera are very capable at pulling back details from both highlights and shadows, but if one is "particular" about getting it as right as possible in camera one has to keep this "issue" in mind. The flipside is that one can sometimes also push the camera further than the histogram alludes to.

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I shoot only RAW but I have my jpg settings set to give the blandest JPG thumbnail possible, as I think it will get the JPG histogram as close to the RAW as possible.

 

Even so, none specular highlights may continue to blink slightly  in the jpg display image, but I know the RAW is OK.

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