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The Best Settings to Export your Images in Lightroom and Photoshop

  • Tutorials
  • 21/01/17

Do you feel like pulling out your hair when someone asks you to export your images according to a certain format?

The Best Settings to Export your Images in Lightroom and Photoshop

So many different sizes, boxes and ways to do this… what does it all mean?

I hear your pain and there is a simple solution.

  1. Find out the specific purpose of your image. You don’t want a ‘weighty’ list of JPEGs heading to your website and likewise the printers won’t be able to get the best quality from low resolution images. You might have to save your image twice 1. For print and 2. For the internet.
  1. You would be forgiven for thinking ‘I’ll send out the biggest possible… they can worry about sizing on the other side!’ But this can lead to issues of using YOUR image for all sorts of purposes and you might never know who might be making a shilling or two from your photographs.
  1. Resizing your images and saving them as JPEG or Tiff which are the only two relevant file formats is always the last step – or you might run into reducing file quality.
  1. You could be trying to size your images till the cows come home with the software you are trying to use just not professional enough to give you options. Use a professional image editing software like Adobe Lightroom which can be downloaded on your phone, laptop etc. and/ or Adobe Photoshop.

Now for the Nitty Gritty:

A JPEG is a compressed file format and this is now the standard file format used for sending images via the internet. It is important to work on your RAW file as opening and re-saving a JPEG will reduce image quality.

Select sRGB as this is the standard colour space for the internet and ensures that the colours are reproducible on a variety of devices.

When you are saving your image as a JPEG you will be asked for Quality. This is the amount of Image compression. The higher the number, the better the image quality and the larger the file size. Did you know Lightroom has a sweet spot?-This is between 60-80.. Who knew?! And 8-10 for Photoshop. You can whack it up to 100 but that doesn’t actually increase image quality visibly but just increases the file size.

Tiff’s are a slightly different matter. Tiffs were the traditional file format for high-end delivery. JPEG has since caught up – but when file size doesn’t matter go Tiff.

If possible, select option LZW compression that is a lossless TIFF compression. This doesn’t reduce the image quality and instead of SRGB, select Adobe RGB colour space.

IMAGE SIZE: for images to be viewed on the screen (counts for 99% of all cases – yes, we have lost the art of printing our images) only pixel dimensions matter, the resolution in PPI (Pixels per inch) is irrelevant.

As with all technology we have high resolution screens that are just getting better and better. Save your images 2000px on the long edge, this gives the viewer a good impression of the quality of your images.

If you decide to Print.. oh yes baby! This has a whole other beautifulness to it.. PPI is very important – define the size in inches or cm and set the resolution to 300ppi.

Want to learn more about your photography? At the London Institute of Photography, we offer a range of photography courses in London – check them out today!