Q&A Day

Hi folks. Here’s another quick round of Q&A’s.

Q. Is there a way to add music to a web gallery created in Lightroom’s Web module?
A. Nope, you can’t add music to a web gallery. Thankfully. But the more important question is why do you want to? I’m sorry to be the one to break this to ya’, but nobody likes a web page that automatically plays music. It’s horribly intrusive and I’ve never met anyone that auto-music in a web page doesn’t incite anger and rage in them. I’m just sayin’ :)

Q. Can I resize my image in Lightroom without exporting?
A. No. You can crop to a specific dimension but you can’t resize. Actually, you don’t really want to resize your original in LR. Remember, the images you look at in LR are your negatives. They’re your original source files. You’d never do permanent damage to your negatives back in the film days and the same goes here. If you need to resize then go to File > Export and do it there.

Q. Can I apply a frame inside of LR?
A. There’s are some fake ways to do it with identity plates. Sean McCormack has a video on it over at his blog. Honestly, none of the “workarounds” with identity plates are really that great though. I mean, they word but in the end, they’re just workarounds and you’re probably not going to fall in love with the results. However, onOneSoftware’s PhotoFrame plugs directly into Lightroom so you can go from LR into PhotoFrame to add the frame and then back seamlessly. It’s really your best alternative unless you want to go into Photoshop.

Q. Should I break up my libraries into multiple catalogs?
A. Personally, I create a catalog for my “work” related stuff and one catalog for my “personal” photos. Honestly though, I don’t even always follow it because it’s just easier to store everything in one catalog. I also know a lot of wedding photographers that create a new catalog for each wedding and store that catalog with the wedding photos. That’s about it though. I don’t know of many other reasons to add the complexity of multiple catalogs. One thing to keep in mind with multiple catalogs is that you can’t search across them. Plus it’s just more hassle to manage. So if you’ve got a reason to create multiple catalogs then go for it. For me, it just complicates things and I’m a member of the keep it simple club.

Q. How about an easy tutorial on how to pick a White point and a Black point in Lightroom? Please.
A. Well, since you said “please” :-) Here goes. There is no way to set the white and black point like you’re used to in Photoshop’s Levels adjustment (or Capture NX’s double threshold feature). There are no white/black point eyedroppers. You can, however, hold down the Alt/Option key when adjusting Exposure and Blacks. This shows you which areas begin to clip so you can adjust the white (Exposure) and black (Blacks) sliders accordingly. However, those two adjustments have nothing to do with color so you’re not color correcting anything when you move them. That’s what the white balance settings and eyedropper are for.

Thanks for reading! Keep the questions coming.

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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44 Comments

  1. hi!
    How to find files in different foldres by mask (for example img_8135.*)?

    PS in my workflow I use 3 folders: CR, Tiff, Jpg and I need to check Have I done a file (is there the file img_8135 in that three folders)

    PPS sorry my english :)

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  2. Any idea what Adobe plans for lightroom in the next release ?

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  3. Is there a way to crop in light room so when it imports into Photoshop it’s the actual crop size? For example, when you crop 8×10 in LR it will be sized 8×10 in PS when you look at image size.

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  4. Hey, I just had a question, I was hoping you might have an answer to ;=)

    Is there a way to create a copy of your entire lightroom library. Like physically make a copy, moving or copying the entire thing, images, .xml and everything.
    Right now I have to manually copy them to the external drive, but I wanna do it from inside lightroom ^^

    -ole

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  5. Hello Matt,
    Hope this is not a double post. I agree that most websites with music are annoying, but I invite you to go to my site. Very careful consideration of music was given to each gallery.
    Regards,
    J. Paul

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  6. RE: Can I resize my image in Lightroom without exporting?
    You could make a virtual copy and crop. It will in some way re-size your picture.
    Sayonara
    Martin

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  7. J. Paul – First off, you’ve got some amazing work!!! Love your photos! Next… your music, while nice, still brought about rage in me (hey, I’m an angry person I guess) :-)
    Anyway, I just don’t think it helps the site. The only time I can see music on a website is when you’re viewing a slideshow with multiple photos that auto advance for you. Then you’re assuming the person sits back and watches your photos to music. Not great, but I get that aspect of it. Your site only showed the one photo on the home page and just played music. Its not a page that I would sit back and stare at so the addition of music was still annoying to me. Sorry man.

    Thanks,
    Matt K

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  8. Matt,

    I have been using LR for quite a while now and am in the habit of creating a lot of Collections to organize my work. I know that if I move an image from the hard drive or delete it from LR it is also removed from the Collection. Don’t you think it would be a good idea if Adobe came up with a warning before you detete “XYZ” image(s) that it will also be deleted from the collection(s)?

    Thank you

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  9. Hey Matt,
    Thanks for the kind words regarding my photography! I appreciate the feedback. It is a relatively new site for me so I am still tweaking it.

    Maybe you should have that rage thing checked out…Ha! Just kidding.

    Keep up the great work!
    J. Paul

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  10. Hey Matt,

    I’ve a question about nik software.
    You’re using nik software and it’s lightroom plug-in, but how does that work. Does it create a new file and take up extra space, or works it just like lightroom and stores it information in the file itself with a preview?

    Thanks,
    Vince

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  11. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the great info. Love the site, and I use your presets all the time. Great stuff.

    I’d like to mention one more consideration for using multiple catalogs: performance. I had a fairly substantial catalog (35,000+ photos) that included digital photography from recent years plus scans from 20+ years of film photography, and when I had everything in one catalog, LR just slowed to a crawl (using a 4yr old dual proc PowerMac w/ lots of RAM and fast HD). Breaking things up into separate catalogs (roughly corresponding to different areas of the world I’ve lived in over the years) improved performance in LR substantially. Obviously, YMMV, but for me this performance improvement overcame all of the downsides of using separate catalogs.

    Thanks again for a fantastic web site.

    Cheers,
    Brian

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  12. Hello,

    I am brand new to Lightroom 2, but I follow up with your blog and other Photoshop blogs (like Scott Kelby’s). I have seen a lot of workflow tutorials, videos, tips, opinions and so on. But, I have not seen any tips on efficient ways to do the initial migration of all your photos to Lightroom.

    I just imported all my photos and ended up with thousands of photos order by date, but there are so many that I don’t know where to begin in the organization of it.

    May be you or your fans have any tips for me.

    Thanks,
    Miguel

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  13. I agree that having multiple catalogs can be inconvenient. However, I started using multiple catalogs back when I was using Lightroom 1.0. Lightroom did not perform well with the number of photos in my catalog. I have since upgraded to Lightroom 2.0 and upgraded my computer, but I haven’t tried going back to just using a single catalog. With Lightroom 2.0 and a fairly powerful MacBook Pro, what are recommendations for catalog size? Perhaps I should recombine my catalogs?

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  14. No real comment here…..just a quick thank you for your site and info Matt. Keep up the great work! :)

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  15. The reason I have multiple LR catalogs is that as the catalogs increase in size, due to more images and more work in the modules, the time to backup increases. I’ve found that my tolerance/patience extends to 30,000-40,000 images. I’ve set my preference to prompt for a backup each time LR is launched. If a backup takes longer than about 2 minutes, I’ll consider exporting some pix to a new catalog and deleting them from my main “work” catalog.

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  16. As someone already said, on cropping, just create a virtual copy, then crop to your desired aspect ratio/size; that way your original really stays original and you can use the compare view to see the difference and tweak from there versus looking at the dimmed portion outside the crop area of the original when cropping on an original.

    That way, when you export, you can add in your file title it is a 4×6, 5×7, etc….

    PF

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  17. Matt,
    Like you I am also a member of the ‘keep it simple club’ but my Lightroom catalog has 40.000+ images in it now and it seems that LR has really slowed down. Any word on the ideal max size of a LR catalog? Some of the other comments here seem to struggle with the same question.
    Thanks = appreciate this site a lot!

    Rogier Bos, photographer, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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  18. I agree that music on static pages is definetly annoying. However, photo slideshows are a different animal, and absolutely need background music, whether online or offline. Therefore, I resent that Adobe removed that capability on CS4. I had to re-load the CS3 web site creator to have access to that capability. In any case, why not give the choice to users? Adobe, are you listening?

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  19. Matt,

    Can you call Terry over at Adobe and tell him that we really need a black point/white point button in the next release of Lightroom :-). Seriously thinking about Capture NX after attending DLWS with Moose in OBX. Capture seems to be very easy and quick to make these critical adjustments which can really make a photo pop.

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  20. RE: Re-sizing, I had a similar question. I’m thinking of buying the Canon 5D Mark II and shooting it at full frame as I do plan on printing a photo a month at 20×30 (which admittedly I don’t need full frame to do
    - bare with me here). However, I don’t want to keep full frame versions of all the photos if they are “just OK” to reduce disk space – I’d rather keep those at “4×6 resolution” as I know I will never print these larger than that. I’d be interested in re-sizing an image within Lightroom so I don’t have to select all my “just OK” pictures, Export them, delete them from Lightroom and then re-import them back to the same place. It would be easier to have a menu option to “Downsize images” and have Lightroom do all the heavy lifting for me. I think this is the use case we’re trying to solve. LR feature request?

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  21. Hey, Matt, I think it’s about more than just the music. It’s about permission marketing and a larger question -
    Should a website control the user experience or allow the user to experience the website as they wish?

    (…maybe you just have underlying music-rage issues from reading all of Scott’s books …?? :)

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  22. Hey Anita,
    Good point.
    I’ve asked around for days since I wrote this and I have yet to find a person that says “Yes, I like the auto-play music”.
    The only people I ever do find that like it are (you guessed it) people that have auto-play music on their website :)

    Thanks
    Matt

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  23. Matt,

    I’d like to add my endorsement of LR2/Mogrify for adding frames to photos using Lightroom. Once installed, it’s relatively easy to use, doesn’t consume tons of memory (like onOne’s Photoframe), and can be used to add EXIF and IPTC information to the frame. Plus it’s cheap!

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  24. Agree with your views on music. A small point is that SlideShowPro’s LR web engine does allow you to add it.

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  25. Hi Matt!

    Music: No way!

    A single LR Catalog? I love the concept, but with 120k+ images on file it seems to kill my new MacBook Pro :(

    I agree with Joseph; LR needs white/black points!

    Love the blog! Keep it coming!

    BTW… when are you bringing the LR Tour to NYC?

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  26. Hi Matt!
    I have question about a past video you did on the Pic Pacs. I loved the vidoe and was able to make a collage but I can’t figure out how to export the actual collage so I can post it online. I do see that I can export from the
    Template Browser but that only puts the coding in my folder. Also, when I just go to file and export, it just exports one of the pics from the collage. I must be missing a step. Any help would be awesome. I hope it’s ok I posted here..I couldn’t find a place to comment under that video. Thanks!

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  27. Firstly sorry Matt! There is a third party Lightroom 2 web gallery template available from a website called the turning gate (google it) that will allow you to add music to your gallery. Use with care – remember adding a song you don’t have rights to is against the law so you’ll need to find a Royalty free track to add.

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  28. One Question that bothers me for a long time is what’s the difference between a the exposure and brightness slider. I use both of them if I want to make a picture in my words “brighter”. I guess the exposure function tries to simulate the way a camera would exposure a picture in reality.
    It would be nice if you could answer that question either personally (mail) or via an episode :)

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  29. I agree, static pages should not have any music; slideshows for sure need music. Someone above mentioned Slideshow Pro, which I downloaded yesterday; definitely great for creating web galleries that can autoplay… the problem I have is w/ music control. It seems you can only choose 1 mp3 as a url… the idea would be to control the music across several frames.

    Is there an app for that?

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  30. Yep. Auto music is annoying. Love it in slideshows… don’t appreciate the jolt on static pages….especially when I’m trying to surf the web undetected. ;)

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  31. I understand not being able to transfer music to a web site but I followed all of the steps in your book and still can’t add music to a slideshow and then burn it. I can watch it in Lightroom perfectly with music. Any suggestions ? Thanks

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  32. Thank goodness there are other people that hates music with websites as much as I do. I will click off the website if I start to hear the canned music starting up.

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  33. Hi Matt. Hope you can help me with this problem. I’ve changed the route of my Itunes music Library to an external drive and now, Lightroom can’t find it and, therefore, I can’t see my slideshows with music in the background. When I refresh the playlists, LR does nothing.

    I thought LR would have a precedure to change that route and guide it there but, this option doesn’t exist

    Is there any solution for this?. I created alias to where the original route should be but it doesn’t work either.

    Hope I made myself understood

    Best regards and thanks in advance

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  34. Just trying LR2, and amazed at how poor the cloning/spot removal tool is compared to equivalent (nondestructive) on Capture NX2 and Aperture. You basically have to create a tiff/psd file to remove any significant object like a street sign, pole, etc. Are there any ways to deal with this within LR2 that I’m missing?
    Thanks!

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  35. Hi Matt,

    Lovin’ the blog … seems like every time there’s a post there’s always a snippet of information that i didn’t know, so thankyou.

    Recently updated my website and have made use of the Lightroom Web Module in the Portfolio Section and I’m loving it. Yet another benefit of this feature…I can update any of the 4 portfolio’s within my website with a click of a button right from within Lightroom … awesome, and just so incredibly easy to do.

    Keep up the great work and fingers crossed in the not too distant future I’ll pop over to the US and buy you guys a drink.

    Best wishes to you and yours,
    Glyn ;o)

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  36. What is your workflow for using Lightroom but exporting so that you can use your pictures in iPhoto and in the media browsers with all the other iLife programs? This is what keeps me in iPhoto instead of Lightroom full time.

    Is there any plan for future Lightroom upgrades to allow the LR library to be accessible to iPhoto similar to Aperture? I really like Lightroom and don’t want to use Aperture.

    Julie

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  37. You don’t have to go hunting for the “not-yet-clipping” exposure and black settings by moving the sliders until you finally notice a clipping warning. Just save some developement presets including blacks and/or exposure. Open them in a text editor and where it says “AutoExposure = false,/AutoShadows = false,” change “false” to “true”. Application of such a preset sets the corresponding value to the point of no clip. Both together give you “Auto Tone”, but without the annoying adjustments to brightness and contrast.
    Expanded from Peter Krogh’s “Auto Black” preset, mentioned in the book Lightroom2Adventure http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-Lightroom-Adventure-Mikkel-Aaland/dp/0596521014/ref=sr_1_8/102-8448475-0747319?ie=UTF8&s=books

    Andreas Weber

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  38. I’ve really enjoyed reading your articles. You obviously know what you are talking about! Your site is so easy to navigate too, I’ve bookmarked it in my favourites :-D

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  39. Then you’re assuming the person sits back and watches your photos to music. Not great, but I get that aspect of it.

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  40. Matt

    When Lightroom 3 Beta came out I starting using it to see what it could do. I was not planning on it becoming my main image program. I didn’t think it was a good idea to abandon Lightroom2 until Lightroom 3 was final.

    I keep LR3b separate from Lightroom 2 until the Beta period is over and the real deal comes out.

    I’m importing new images into both Lightrooms incase the Beta version had bugs etc… I keep the catalogues separated on different drives.

    As time goes on until the final version comes out, the Beta version catalogue has become quite large. Now I’m starting to get confused keeping track of the same images in two different versions of Lightroom ahahhaah..

    I’ve been using the Beta version as my main image program so all my latest processed images are in Lightroom 3 Beta.

    I’ve reprocessed some older images in LR3beta that exist in LR2 so now I have duplicates of files that are before(LR2) and after (LR3b) haha its getting out of control.

    Any guidance you might provide to clean up this kind of mess and latter merge it into the final version of LR3 would be greatly appreciated.

    George

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