I figured I’d catch up on some Q&A’s today as well as going back to some old ones that I was asked again recently.
Also, don’t forget, if you’re in Tampa I’m teaching a Lightroom/Photoshop Workflow class at Dave Cross Workshop’s next week. Sign up here.
And I’m taking the Lightroom 3 Seminar Tour to Phoenix and Indianapolis in late October. You can find out more about the full-day seminar and sign up here.

Q. I watched your eyeglass reflection video the other day. Would onOne Software’s Perfect Layers do the same thing.
A. Almost. Perfect Layers doesn’t have the Auto-Align feature that Photoshop has, but as I mentioned in the video, that feature doesn’t always do the trick and I end up resorting to changing the blend mode or opacity of the layer anyway.

Q. I use Photoshop Elements 9 in combination with Lightroom 3. Do you know why it’s not possible to open images as layers in Elements 9 (Photo > Edit In > Open as Layers in…)?
A. I really don’t know “why” you can’t do it with Elements other than you simply can’t. However, the workaround is to open one photo in Elements, then open the 2nd one and put them into the same document manually. It’ll take an extra 20 seconds but you can definitely get to the same place without that feature.

Q. How can I save my print templates to a JPEG like you did in your multi-photo print preset?
A. In the Print module, scroll down on the right hand side panels to the last one (the Print Job panel). The first setting is called “Print To”. Just turn it to the JPEG option and you’ll save your layout as a JPEG instead of sending it to the printer.

Q. I really like the look of that multi-photo grid preset you released a while back. But how do I get my photos in to it?
A. Just drag photos from the filmstrip into a grid square. Once they’re there, you can reposition how the photo looks in that square by holding down the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and clicking on the photo to drag it around.

Q. If I store my photos on an external drive, does the speed of my external drive affect Lightroom’s performance?
A. Definitely! There’s still lots of information being read back and forth between those photos and the speed will affect how fast Lightroom feels. From what I’ve found, a 5400 RPM drive would fairly slow. A 7200 is better. USB is going to be mostly bad and Firewire will of course be better.

Q. So Matt, knowing what you just said about storing your photos on an external drive, what do you do?
A. OK, I really asked myself this question 🙂 I store all of my photos (not my catalog) on a Lacie 1TB external 5400 RPM Firewire drive. It does feel sluggish sometimes but for the most part things move along pretty quickly.

Thanks for all the questions. I hope this helped a little. Have a great weekend!