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Post Production Tips

How to Customize Catalog Settings in Lightroom 4

By Pye Jirsa on January 24th 2013

Overview

The following is an excerpt from the SLR Lounge Lightroom Workflow System Workshop on DVD, a system designed to increase your post production speed by 5 to 10 times. Click here to learn more.

Unlike general preferences, catalog settings are specific to each catalog within Lightroom. Clearly, it is important to verify that Lightroom has the right settings in order to ensure an efficient workflow. Similar to the previous article about Lightroom preferences, we have provided a written article as well as a video tutorial that goes through the customization of these catalog settings to potentially improve your studio workflow.

Watch the Video Tutorial

General Catalog Settings

First, we have the ‘General’ tab within ‘Catalog Settings’. If your studio has a back up system for storing information, which it definitely should, we recommend that you set the “Back up catalog” section to “Never.” That way, there aren’t a bunch of extra redundant back-up catalog files within your hard drive. It will also give you reminders that interupt your workflow if you don’t select “Never”.

general-catalog-settings

File Handling

Moving on to the ‘File Handling’ tab, we have the “Preview Cache” section. Set the “Standard Preview Size” to the highest quality, which is 2048 pixels. High quality preview size allows your monitor to display very sharp images for better post-production. However, you may want to select a lower resolution if you have a slower machine because it will take longer for your standard previews to generate. Also, smaller monitors are unable to display high resolution so it is best to set the size accordingly.

For our studio, we set the “Automatically Discard 1:1 Previews” to “After one week” since we usually get our projects finished and exported within a few days. Decide what time frame best fits your studio workflow needs. However, we advise that you do not select “Never” since those preview cache files will stay on your drive forever, just taking up space, until they are deleted manually.

file-handling-catalog-settings

Metadata

Finally, we have our ‘Metadata’ tab, where we recommend selecting “Offer suggestions from recently entered values.” This option proves valuable for a quicker workflow by auto-filling the remainder of your text based on what you type and also what has previously been entered.

We recommend deselecting “Include Develop settings in metadata inside JPEG, TIFF, and PSD files” because when we deliver photos to our clients, we only want to send JPEGs with the basic copyright information.

Also, for a much quicker workflow, deselect “Automatically write changes into XMP”. We do this since XMP is only used for editing these images within third-party applications that are not Adobe applications (Photoshop or Lightroom). If this option is selected, it will write each editing change to your images twice where one is in XMP format, which is unnecessary and slows things down.

Under the “Reverse Geocoding” section, we have both options deselected since we do not use geocoding.

metadata-catalog-settings

Conclusion

We are finished setting up our optimal Lightroom Catalog settings, so let’s move on to the next article.

To learn more about the SLR Lounge Workflow System Workshop on DVD or to purchase it, click on this link.

About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Good tutorial.

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