Its time for another round of Lightroom Q&A’s. Keep the questions coming.

Q. When I export images sometimes I export to 640 x 480 for web viewing. The problem is that the images that were shot using a vertical orientation are exported as 360 x 480 instead of 480 x 640. Is there a way to export a ‘mixed’ group of photos to a custom size yet retain the original aspect ratio?

A. That’s because by setting 640 x 480, you’ve essentially set a max size for the height of the image at 480 right? So it couldn’t do 480×640 because that would be going against what you’ve set as a max height. So if you want 640 to be the max width and 640 to be the max height, then set both width and height to 640. Lightroom won’t give you square images (640×640) but rather use 640 as a max setting for each side.

Q. Do I have to leave the Develop preset file on my desktop after I import it? Or is it saved in another location?

A. I gotta admit, I’m surprised this questions hasn’t been asked before. I always tell people to download the presets to their desktop and then importing them from there. So do they live on the desktop then? It does, after all, make a little sense that they would but they don’t. When you import them into Lightroom they actually get copied to Lightroom’s preset folder. So its safe to delete them from your desktop.

Q. Are you going to do a bootcamp for the Lightroom ACE Exams at

A. Probably not. There haven’t been many of requests for it. But hey, things can change.

Q. I have now started experimenting with DNGs in Lightroom. One problem though the files end up twice the size of my raw file. Is there a setting in Lightroom I am missing?

A. Yup. I wrote a DNG post a few weeks back and talked about the whole DNG thing. Basically, there’s a setting in Lightroom’s Preferences dialog (Lightroom > Preferences on Mac / Edit > Prefs on PC). If you go under the Import tab, there’s a setting to Embed Original Raw file. If you choose that then your files will double in size rather than get smaller. Just uncheck that option as its redundant and you should be good to go.

Q. This one came from a post about the Lightroom 2 Exam Aid, the other week. “If I’ve gone through the Lightroom classes on Kelby Training and have read Kelby’s Lightroom 2 book… would the Exam Aid still be a benefit or would it be fairly redundant”?

A. Here’s the thing about Adobe ACE Exams (I’ve taken many so I can fairly say this). They tend to test you on what they WANT you to know about a product, rather than what you know about a product. Now I’m not saying that’s bad. They have to be complete if you’re going to get to call yourself an ACE after it. You need to know your stuff, but as authors (of books and DVDs) we don’t have to be complete. We feel our job is to try to distill Lightroom down into what we think you need to know. Otherwise, we’d create a reference book which we don’t. So going through some one’s book or DVD means you’ve learned their workflow and what they use – but not everything. That’s where you’ve got to download the free exam bulletin from Adobe and at least look through it. If at that point you feel you need more help, then I’d turn to the exam aid.

That’s it for this time. Have a great day.