Tag Archives: Lightroom

Lightroom: Slow Develop Module? Increase RAW Cache

While I can’t say this Adobe Lightroom cache optimization tip did all that much to increase speed for me, I recognize the benefits could be workflow dependent. By default (at least for me), Adobe Lightroom’s RAW cache is configured for 1GB. But, if you have the hard drive space available, why not increase this cache setting? And for an even greater speed boost, if you have a solid state drive (SSD), make sure that is where your cache is located.

Here’s what Adobe has to say.

Every time you view or edit raw images in the Develop module, Lightroom generates up-to-date, high-quality previews. It uses the original image data as its foundation, and then updates the preview for any processing or adjustments that have been applied. The process is a little faster if the original image data is in the Camera Raw cache. Lightroom checks the cache for the original image data and can skip early stage processing if the image data is cached. (Adobe Lightroom – Optimize performance)

To change the cache value (and location), go to Preferences (Edit menu on Windows / Lightroom menu on Mac), then click on the File Handling tab. Near the bottom there is a section called Camera Raw Cache Settings.

adobe-lightroom-camera-raw-cache-settings

Bump up the Maximum Size to whatever value your free drive space can reasonably handle. And change the Location for the cache to an SSD (if you have one available with enough free space). On my MacBook Air, I bumped the cache up to 10GB, but if free space allows, you might want to consider 20GB, 50GB, or more, especially if you have a lot of photos (tens or hundreds of thousands) in your catalog.

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Adobe Lightroom: How To Select Multiple Photos For Import Without Clicking Each Checkbox

Adobe Lightroom is a fantastic darkroom editor and photo organizing application for photographers who want to spend more time taking photos instead of sitting at a computer editing them. And the workflow in Lightroom is mostly straightforward, but something that has always bugged me is the Import screen. Why is it so limited?

When you launch the Import screen and point it to a folder location, it defaults to selecting every image in that location. Luckily there is a “New Photos” feature for importing new photos not already imported into Lightroom. That one feature might be good enough for most people. Also, don’t forget about the “Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates” checkbox on the right-hand side of the Import screen, that can be useful as well.

But for me, I only want to import the best of the best. I know some use Lightroom to catalog and organize every single photo they take, but for me, Lightroom is a way to catalog and organize only the shots I think I “might” publicly display some day. In this scenario, it would seem you have to check each little checkbox to import only the photos you want. But there happens to be a slightly quicker way to do this.

Below are the instructions to easily select multiple photos for import into Lightroom.

  • Click the Import button
  • Click the “Uncheck All” button on the Import screen.
  • Now you need to figure out if the photos you want to import are randomly scattered or contiguous and follow one of the two procedures below.

RANDOM

  • On a PC use CTRL – click, on a Mac use Command – click. Do this anywhere on each photo you want to import. It will highlight the box (thumbnail) of each photo, but it will not put a check in the checkbox.
  • Now that you have all your photos selected, all you need to do is click the little checkbox on one of those selected photos (it doesn’t matter which one) and the checkbox will be checked on all selected photos. It’s a little weird, but hey, it works.
  • Click Import.

CONTIGUOUS

  • If all the photos you want to import are contiguous (all next to each other), then instead of CTRL – clicking or Command – clicking each photo you can select them all with two clicks.
  • Click the first photo using CTRL – click (or “Command – click”)
  • Click the last photo using SHIFT – CTRL – click (or “SHIFT – Command – click”).
  • Now click the little checkbox on one of the selected photos (it doesn’t matter which one).
  • Click Import.

Again, a little weird, but I think this helps the workflow just a bit compared to clicking that little checkbox on every single photo each time you import a new set.

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Does White Balance Matter If Shooting Raw?

Should you set white balance if your photo is captured using your camera’s raw format? This is a common question when just starting out shooting raw. So does white balance matter if shooting raw? The short answer is: no. When you set the white balance on your camera (or if you leave it up to the camera), whatever white balance that is applied to the final image is only for the purposes of display on your camera’s LCD (and if you also save JPEG with your raw file). The white balance setting that is “attached” as part of the metadata info on your raw image file is used by your photo processing software (Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.) as a default when you first open your image. But at that point, you are free to manipulate white balance as you see fit, and it will not negatively impact image quality. That’s because raw format (which really isn’t an image format per se) is exactly as the name implies, the camera is capturing the raw data seen by your camera’s sensor. White balance is applied in post-processing to a final image, and when you shoot raw, you don’t yet have a final image. If you only shoot in JPEG, white balance post-processing is done in-camera. But when you shoot raw, the white balance that is “attached” to your raw image file’s metadata serves only as a suggestion.

So that means you should never worry about white balance when you shoot raw? Well, just a second there, professor. While it is true that you don’t “have to” set white balance when you shoot raw, there might be a reason why you “want to.” Consider this scenario: You dial in your settings, compose your shot, then you fire away. Now you take a look at your photo on the rear LCD display to confirm it is the masterpiece you saw through the viewfinder. After careful scrutiny you decide you can do better, so you make some adjustments, re-compose your new shot, but damn, things still aren’t exactly as you expect them to be. Well, it’s entirely possible that your camera’s choice of white balance is throwing off the “processed” image you are seeing in your rear LCD, and in-turn may affect your decision-making. Many times a bad white balance choice is obvious (ever try shooting at the sun with auto white balance?), but it could be a more subtle effect on the final image that is leaving you with a less than perfect capture. Setting the white balance for the given conditions could lead to a better initial capture, giving you better “information” to work from, and hopefully leading to good decisions that make it possible to capture that work-of-art.

In practice you will likely use auto white balance most of the time, I know I do. And when shooting raw, its reassuring to know you have the ability to set your white balance later. But next time you are in a complex lighting situation and your camera just can’t seem to figure out the white balance on its own, its time to set your white balance manually. It might be the difference between discarding a mediocre shot and capturing something special. After all, if you later pass judgement on this photo before adjusting the white balance, you will never know.

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