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Author Topic: C2PS - LR4 parametric question  (Read 17607 times)
Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« on: August 19, 2012, 05:33:23 PM »
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In C2P&S (which is excellent BTW), it is discussed between Michael and Jeff that all image manipulations in LR4 are parametric and so non-destructive to the original Raw file. I accept this, but my question is this - If after working the image, you then wish to do anything with it, other than look at it on your own monitor, such as print it or post it on LuLa for example, you will then need to create some form of output file and by so doing, all the changes and tweaks you applied to the image parametrically in LR4, are then baked into the image just like any other image editing program.

I can only assume that the supposed benefit of this parametric workflow, is to allow you to go back to the image and rework it, but surely you can do that in PS by using non-destructive layers and/or smart objects etc.

I therefore do not understand the supposed advantage of working parametrically, nor the high regard it seems to be given, as it would seem to me, that it becomes totally redundant as soon as you use the image for any and every type of output.

Am I wrong? And if so would someone be kind enough to enlighten me as to why?

 Smiley

Dave
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 05:55:15 PM »
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Consider:
File size
File management - no extra files
Applying parametric edits to entire shoots - modern photography isn't about processing individual images
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 06:12:13 PM »
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Once you get it, you will consider parametric editing the best thing since sliced bread Smiley

Think about, say, D800 36 Mpx files: every time you create a new layer in PS, it adds another 36 Mpx (or whatever the actual number is). Some people end up with dozen of layers, and even hundred is not unheard of, so think about the file size, as John pointed out.

Besides, in PS you have to apply a very disciplined work flow that always uses non-destructive layers and smart objects... LR does it by default, without you having to think about it.

It certainly does not "become totally redundant as soon as you use the image for any and every type of output". On the contrary, it remains as a master file to which you can return many times and rework it just as well, including multiple virtual copies (e.g., b&w version). I actually delete the output file the moment I use it (e.g., post it to LuLa), preventing file clutter.


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Tony Jay
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2012, 06:18:18 PM »
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Dave, even if you were working non-destructively in Ps once you save your file then that is it: everything is hardbaked - no going back.
Ps has no memory of what was done to the file the following week or next year.

In Lr when you output a file it is done as something else, a TIFF or DNG, or JPEG, and so the original RAW is untouched and the file that recorded the edits is untouched and at any time subsequently you can undo those edits or change them in any way. Virtual images allow multiple edits of the same RAW file - each virtual image has an edit file containing the history of the edits done and the RAW file itself is not duplicated (a small issue for this topic but this can be a massive saving of HD real estate).
Of course that means generating another TIFF or whatever when an exportable file is required but this is not required if one is printing from Lr.

No doubt that parametric editing in Lr is the way to go.

Regards

Tony Jay
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2012, 07:53:51 PM »
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In C2P&S (which is excellent BTW), it is discussed between Michael and Jeff that all image manipulations in LR4 are parametric and so non-destructive to the original Raw file.

note that all raw converters are parametric, so why it was/is necessary to mention that again and again, except to FUD that others are somehow not  (and even image editors like photoshop can work parametrically), as for "non-destructive to the original Raw file" - there you can actually be destructive to the file (!= raw data) if it is DNG and you instruct LR to save parametric edits/previews back to DNG file ... .
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Schewe
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2012, 09:15:53 PM »
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there you can actually be destructive to the file (!= raw data) if it is DNG and you instruct LR to save parametric edits/previews back to DNG file ... .

Saving XMP to a DNG is in no way destructive to the raw data...the XMP is only in the headers and doesn't touch the raw data and the preview is the preview, not the raw data. Oi vey...talk about FUD...
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Schewe
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2012, 09:21:21 PM »
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I therefore do not understand the supposed advantage of working parametrically, nor the high regard it seems to be given, as it would seem to me, that it becomes totally redundant as soon as you use the image for any and every type of output.

Maintaining your original raw file + parametric edits means you always have access to your raw master images. Heck, in Lightroom you can even print your raw images without needing to spawn off a gamma encoded rendered image. If you take your raw image and and render it, yes you must spin off a new rendered image but only if you want to edit it in a pixel editing application like Photoshop.

Yes, one "can" use Adjustment Layers in Photoshop to edit parameters and have a similar parametric editing experience...but painting and retouching in Photoshop is not parametric but pixel-based editing.
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Robert-Peter Westphal
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 06:32:49 AM »
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Dave,

I hope I will ot repaet the other answers too much.

When using Lr, you have 2 complete different sets of data. The first opne is the raw file and the second one is / are the steps you did when you developed it. As you can image, the first dataset is a constant which doesn't chnage ever, the second changes everytime you do any developments.

The finished developed ( resultng) image can be seen in Lr as well as printed without the need of creating any physical file like jpg or tif. When you print a file in Lr, Lr reads the raw, applies the changes from dataset 2 and then does the printjob very well. When you want to post it to any site, you will need a physical file, and this can easyly be done by export, and, as you imagine, it consists of the raw data + the developement changes.

This concept has myn advantages - and to be honest, I personally don't see any disatvatages !

Your fimage exists only one time - and you will be able to create any output within seconds. You don't have dozends of jpg lying on your computer with different sizes and dpi for diffeent purposes, just one image file and a set of develpoement steps.
When yo decide later that the developement of a file was not as good as you want, simply go in the history to the step were you want to restart and redevelope it. Pretty simple - !

But, tehre is one important thing to consider - backup both the pictures and the database ( dataset 2 in my example) !

Robert
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2012, 05:02:47 AM »
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Ah, I see. So LR4's main benefit is to cater for high volume studio photographers, who shoot large amounts of images that require identical edits, but who also happen to have very limited hard disk space.  Huh

Yes I am being facetious - and I do get it and I can now see why LR4 might appeal to some photographers even though I now know why it has no appeal to me, as I do work on each image individually and the final version remains the final version, well most of the time - although I do think I would be quite worried about relying on the ongoing validity and integrity of your associated LR4 databases. I worked with and coded database systems for quite a few years back in the 90s and helped create some high end bespoke accounts packages and I know from bitter experience, that databases and their indexing structures will always become corrupt at some point, this is not an if it happens, but a when it happens situation..

But thanks for the info  Grin

Dave
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2012, 06:20:34 AM »
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As someone who does not do a lot of batch editing - limited to multishot panorama's - I cannot really agree with your conclusions.
Being able to start again with an editing process from scratch because "it isn't working" or just reversing one step is an immense help in fine-tuning individual images. Making several virtual copies with subtle editing variations and being able to compare them side-by-side - that cannot be beaten for fine-tuning.
Your comments about the databasing may have some validity but if the database does become corrupted ones images are not ultimately lost just because Lr has forgotten where they are. I may be wrong but I am not personally aware of this being a major issue.
Ultimately, Dave, you may enjoy and prefer a Ps-based workflow (I was there once too) but the reasons that Lr has become the de facto standard for most image editing cannot be ignored (most professional and amateur photgraphers would be in agreement here).
I actually think that the digital-asset-management capabilities of Lr are an immense asset - just ask anyone who understands and uses smart collections extensively.

Sadly you may be damning with faint praise a very fine and robust software package.

Regards

Tony Jay
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2012, 06:53:13 AM »
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Sadly you may be damning with faint praise a very fine and robust software package.

Regards

Tony Jay

I am not damning it Tony please believe me, really I am not, as I now fully understand what all the fuss is about with the parametric editing thing and agree this may well be great for the folks who use it and rely on it. It is just that even though I have a deleted copy licensed to me through my previous teaching (and occasionally ongoing) employment, I still don't use it, as I actually find its automatic cataloguing system extremely annoying, although I am sure if I cared to dig around in the setting enough, there is probably a way to turn that aspect of it off - is there a way to turn it off?

I just wondered if I was missing something with this parametric thing and so needed to give it yet another go after posing the parametric question to the group, which was all I was wanting to know I suppose.

Dave
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2012, 06:59:26 AM »
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It is a catalogue and that helps you organize your pictures and therefore frees up time for creative tasks. So you can't "turn it off".
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2012, 07:09:39 AM »
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... I actually find its automatic cataloguing system extremely annoying, although I am sure if I cared to dig around in the setting enough, there is probably a way to turn that aspect of it off - is there a way to turn it off?

I am not sure I understand your point.
Lr cannot edit an image if it doesn't know it exists.
What the catalog does is keep track of images that have been introduced to Lr (ie imported) as well as all the edits done to the image.
Without the catalog Lr has no "memory" of what is done with the image.

The term 'automatic cataloguing system' that you use betrays a fundamental weakness of understanding what Lr is doing (or not doing) to an image file when one is working in the develop module. It certainly has NOTHING to do with "automatically" organizing one's images, unless, one specifically sets up the collections and smart collections to do so.

Regards

Tony Jay
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 07:26:31 AM »
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I think that the beauty of Lightroom lies in the integrated package. If you don't want to embrace the integrated package (at least database features + development), chances are that you won't "see the light" of any of the subcomponents.

I was very sceptical about Lightroom when I first tried it (I am a "show me the files in Windows Explorer"-kind of guy), but now I hardly use anything else. I still put my raw files into a sensible folder structure prior to import, though.

-h
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 08:54:37 AM »
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I am not sure I understand your point.
Lr cannot edit an image if it doesn't know it exists.
and ACR somehow can  Wink
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2012, 08:56:46 AM »
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Saving XMP to a DNG is in no way destructive to the raw data...the XMP is only in the headers and doesn't touch the raw data and the preview is the preview, not the raw data. Oi vey...talk about FUD...
that is exactly what I wrote, however the topicstarter was under wrong impression that LR can't change the file itself... granted Adobe responded to that and made it more difficult, yet possible, to overwrite the file - as you perfectly know before it was possible to do w/o any warning.
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2012, 09:05:05 AM »
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but painting and retouching in Photoshop is not parametric but pixel-based editing.
create a layer and everything become parametric then, consider pixel based editing operation as a single unit of work.
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 09:37:53 AM »
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and ACR somehow can  Wink

Don't know about you but I was talking about how Lr works - not ACR.
You know as well as I do that how one goes about getting an image to be edited in Lr is different to ACR anyway.

Regards

Tony Jay
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2012, 10:00:24 AM »
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I am not sure I understand your point.
Lr cannot edit an image if it doesn't know it exists.
What the catalog does is keep track of images that have been introduced to Lr (ie imported) as well as all the edits done to the image.
Without the catalog Lr has no "memory" of what is done with the image.

The term 'automatic cataloguing system' that you use betrays a fundamental weakness of understanding what Lr is doing (or not doing) to an image file when one is working in the develop module. It certainly has NOTHING to do with "automatically" organizing one's images, unless, one specifically sets up the collections and smart collections to do so.

Regards

Tony Jay

Thanks again Tony, I have obviously developed (excuse the pun) such a deep and possibly irrational dislike for LR4, that it is stopping me from fully understanding and embracing its finer points and methodologies. So I think it is possibly just as well to think of me as a lost cause on this one - but thanks again everyone for your more than helpful input.

Dave
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MarkH2
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2012, 12:29:12 PM »
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Dave,

A parting shot: here's an 18 page technical paper from Adobe's website on non-destructive editing which may appeal to your software engineering side: http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/pdfs/non_destructive_imaging.pdf

In addition, I understand your concern about corrupt catalogs (databases).  With Lightroom there is an option to store the editing commands in the image file's xmp space (which is a separate sidecar file for raw image files), as well as in the catalog.  LR also has a robust catalog checking and backup capability.

Mark
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