Work smarter

Ge­orge Cairns shows how you can edit im­ages that you don’t have to hand by us­ing Light­room’s Smart Pre­views

NPhoto - - Contents -

Edit im­ages in Light­room even when the orig­i­nal file isn’t avail­able

As we re­vealed in is­sue 43, Light­room can gather pho­tos from a va­ri­ety of lo­ca­tions, such as your ex­ter­nal hard drives, into its Cat­a­log. It then creates and stores stan­dard-res­o­lu­tion pre­views of each im­ported photo on your PC or Mac, while the orig­i­nal, high-res­o­lu­tion im­ages are kept on your hard drives. This en­ables you to save valu­able disc space on your ma­chine.

If you plan to use a lap­top to edit your pho­tos while you’re away from home, you won’t want to have to lug around a col­lec­tion of hard drives in or­der to ac­cess and edit your im­ages. By cre­at­ing a Smart Pre­view of a photo you can edit the im­age while on the move with­out re­quir­ing ac­cess to the ex­ter­nal hard drive where the ac­tual im­age is ac­tu­ally stored.

Here’s how it works: af­ter you’ve dis­con­nected the ex­ter­nal hard drive con­tain­ing the orig­i­nal RAW file, you can still ap­ply all of the photo-fix­ing tweaks in Light­room’s De­velop mod­ule to the Smart Pre­view version of the photo. When you re­con­nect your lap­top with the ex­ter­nal hard drive, Light­room will au­to­mat­i­cally look at all the ed­its you made to the Smart Pre­view, and then ‘ap­ply’ them to the high-res­o­lu­tion orig­i­nal (Light­room is non-de­struc­tive, of course).

In the fol­low­ing walk­through, we’ll be work­ing with an over-ex­posed start im­age that’s been im­ported from an ex­ter­nal hard drive. You can down­load this im­age from the link be­low, and then copy it onto an ex­ter­nal drive, so you can dis­cover how Smart Pre­views work their magic to give you the free­dom to edit any photo at any time, and in any place.

By cre­at­ing a Smart Pre­view of a photo, you can edit the im­age while on the move with­out re­quir­ing ac­cess to the hard drive where the pho­to­graph is ac­tu­ally stored

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