Lightroom Tips

Weekly Worth-a-click Post

A few things to keep you busy over the weekend:

• Dave Cross was a guest-blogger on Scott’s blog last week. There’s some really interesting comments when it comes to shooting with Photoshop in mind.

• I love these fake online photo shoots. Yes, I know it’s sad. They’re fun though 🙂 (warning: half naked sumo wrestler alert!)

• In case you hadn’t heard, the Drobo backup device now supports firewire. I’m definitely thinking about getting one.

• Some really inspiring car photography.

• Lightroom tip: Start using DNG. It’s easy and saves you 20% disk space. And if you have a lot of folders to convert from earlier shoots then start picking one or two away each day. Just select the folder and go to the Library module. Then choose Library > Convert to DNG. Here’s a video with some more info.

Also, next week I’m probably going to start a new type of blog post. I get so many questions and comments that I want to answer, but I just never have time to email each person. So, I’m starting a “catch-all” post each week (assuming there’s enough questions/comments to fill a post) and I’ll answer them right here on the site. Sound good? Enjoy your weekend?



  1. Shadzee 6 August, 2008 at 23:30 Reply

    Before jumping on Drobo bandwagon, read this:

    The new version seems to be even slower than OLD USB only version!

    If you’re looking for a FAST, reliable external drive, then best current solution is the Fusion F2:

    LaCie’s Little Big Disk could be good too, only if you knew what brand of H.D. they would install in the one you buy ;-(

  2. Richard McD. 30 July, 2008 at 08:40 Reply

    I can’t bring myself to convert to DNG at this time. It’s mostly because I don’t want to manage even more data on my disks as I will definitely not delete my original RAW files.

    I’m sure that the current Adobe management team has the absolute and firm commitment to maintaining the format forever, but who knows what the future brings? Adobe is in the business of making money and the DNG format is just another way to bring people to their products. Once the resources they need to invest into maintaining the DNG format is superior to the revenue it generates for them, it will make perfect business sense to forget about DNG.

    The same can be said about Canon and Nikon’s RAW formats. These will undoubtedly evolve with time as the technology evolves. I’m just as uncomfortable with my current format as I would be with DNG.

    I feel like I can’t win with this situation. My raw files are going to be dead bits in 50 years or more, probably sooner. They will be unusable unless I package the tools needed to read the files alongside them. Even then, will the OS I’m using be even able to run those tools? Who knows, but I doubt it. I just threw away hundreds of 5.25 inch floppy disks I had been sitting on, just in case. I couldn’t easily read the data on them, so I tossed them to save on some space in my house. Bad idea? Maybe.

    It’s distressing to hear that some data is lost for some RAW files as pointed out in another comment. Is this true? More research needed…

  3. Lee 27 July, 2008 at 17:23 Reply

    Tell us more about converting Nikon’s NEF to .dng. What is the best method? Should I put meta data in NEF or wait until I get the photo in Lightroom? If I modify the NEF in CaptureNX, save the NEF and then import the edited NEF in Ligftroom .dng do I loose any of the work I did in CaptureNX? I like the idea of getting away from from side car files for my NEF files in Lightroom but not sure I know the best workflow from Nikon NEF to Lightroom .dng. Then there is always the question of taking the .dng to Photoshop for some pixel editing. Even Adobe’s training books tell you the best file format for transfer into Photoshop is TIFF. Man! There just isn’t a perfect workflow yet as far as I’m concerned.

  4. Paulo Jordao Photography 27 July, 2008 at 02:29 Reply

    I still don’t know about DNG, I might have to learn more about that. But I was reading Dave Cross’ post, it was a realy good post.
    Hey any more good PRESETS? I love the ones that you created here already.

  5. ElliR 26 July, 2008 at 07:50 Reply

    In response to Jay – I wonder where you get this optimistic outlook especially when you say quote ‘but I honestly don’t think that we have much to worry about with .DNG, NEF, or CR2’ unquote. I have a 4-5 year old Canon G5 whose raw format is of the CRW type. Who still supports this format – Canon? No – but Adobe do thank God. I personally would place more faith in Adobe than Canon any time.

  6. Mike Paterson 25 July, 2008 at 14:31 Reply


    I really excited about the “catch-all” post! I’m definitely going to have to be thinking of questions. Plus anything that means you giving “us” more information sounds like an awesome idea to me!


  7. Chris Fitch 25 July, 2008 at 10:56 Reply

    Drobo wont be up to par untill it has eSATA. It may be redundant but its much slower. If your looking for external your better off going with a LaCie external raid that supports 5 disks and 3Gbps data transfer. It may not be fully automatted but I’d rather not be automated then loose production speed.

  8. Jay Heiser 25 July, 2008 at 04:39 Reply

    I’ve been marooned before with proprietary formats (anybody remember MAX?), and I still find lots of compatibility issues with TIFF, but I honestly don’t think that we have much to worry about with .DNG, NEF, or CR2. It doesn’t take much for a vendor to add support for an additional bitmap format, and once they’ve done that, it doesn’t cost much to continue to support it. Any recent examples of Adobe dropping support for a bitmap format?

    Today, there are millions (billions?) of images taken with the major DSLRs, and lots of them have been converted to DNG. 100 years from, many of these images will still be around, and sometimes, people will want to use them. Its difficult to imagine a scenario in which this is totally impossible. I think support will continue in the major graphics products (if such things still exist), and its not difficult to imagine that computers of 2100 will figure it out on their own without needing hints from the early 21st century.

    Worst case would be that that support fades over time, and a conversion step will be necessary at some point, which is what I did for my MAX files. There’s a slim chance that a century from now, some of what you are taking today will be unreadable, no matter what format you use, but I think that very unlikely. Its far more likely that color film and prints will fade to uselessness. If you haven’t seen what 2 decades in a damp basement will do to Tri-X, its hard to appreciate the archival value of digital.

    Just remember to backup your pictures in at least one other physical location–I update my hard drive every year and leave the old one at a relative’s house. Periodically attempting to create thumbnails is a good way to locate digital images that have become corrupted (and need restoration from backup).

  9. Paul Hodgson 25 July, 2008 at 04:29 Reply

    Further and speaking only as a Nikon shooter for I don’t know about Canon software, any embedded data written into the NEF file like Nikon’s picture controls gets totally wiped out converting to DNG.

    My primary workflow starts with CNX2 that reads the NEF files and stores any changes/picture controls etc on the NEF. Converting NEF via NX is superior to Lightroom but it’s slow. I know use LR as a DAM primarily storing TIFFs converted from NEFs, but the NEFs I’ll retain to ensure that in future, ALL the information embedded is retained; converting to DNG for me is a none starter.

  10. Seim Effects 25 July, 2008 at 03:44 Reply

    Hmm I keep thinking about DNG. One concern I have is that I though DNG was an Adobe format. Who’s to say software will support DNG 20 years from now? Adobe may not even be the big dog at that time! I guess it’s one type of file at least, rather than dozens.

    I’m also wondering how presets work with it. Is is just like raw? Or like JPEG. RAw preset work lousy with JPEG. I went so fat as to make a whole set of JPEG presets for Seim Effects. I wounder if we’d have to do that for DNG as well. I’ll have to play with them.


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