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I have a large number of jpeg images that I've added to Lightroom Classic which I intend to use as thumbnails on my Wordpress website. I'm wondering... if I edit/retouch those same images that reside on my hard drive outside of lightroom, do the corresponding images that are in Lightroom reflect those changes? I'm aware that edits to an image in Lightroom are non-destructive and do not impact the original files on the hard drive, but I'm wondering if the reverse is true. The objective here is to edit/retouch the full-size original images perhaps in Photoshop and avoid having to duplicate those edits when I create thumbnails or perform other processes on those files when they are in Lightroom or before adding them in Lightroom. Clearly, I'm a novice and am unsure of the best and most efficient way to process my images for upload to myWordpress galleries where I'll need to upload both optimized, watermarked thumbnails and the corresponding full size images for linking and download
I ask- do you even need to use Photoshop, or any external editor? You can do the Develop edits in Lightroom-Classic and then Export both Full-size and Thumbnails (both with watermarks added) from LrC. Then your 'original' JPGs are never changed (which would be to their detriment if they were) and you have all the files you need for Wordpress in the Export folder destination.
You can even create the Export Presets and use the 'Batch' export function (exporting full-size + thumbnails in one action.)
I'm embarresed to admit that I've been a bit imtimidated by the prospect of using Lightroom for editing. I've read so much about the non-destructiveness of Lightroom, that I'm not sure how to save the editing work to my origial files. I'm more comfortable with Photoshop, but would love to streamline my work by doing most of it in Lightroom. I must also confess that my learning has been imparied by the demands of caregiving (my 92 year-old mother), building a website and a host of other things I'm atempting to do. Perhaps it's ufair to rely on the knowledge and generousity of the community when I have so many irons in the fire. I appreciate your response and input.
"I'm not sure how to save the editing work to my origial files."
The non-destructive 'Lightroom' mantra is- Never touch the original files (whether they be RAW or JPGs). (Treat them like film negatives!)
Your Lightroom editing work is always automatically 'Saved' in the Lightroom Catalog (which you backup of course!) and when you want to use the edited photos for any purpose (outside of Lightroom) you Export a 'Derivative' file from the Catalog that 'bakes in' your edits to the new file (including watermarks, etc).
You would NOT want to add watermarks to your original files, or risk changing them by an editing mistake!
If a JPEG file changes outside Lightroom Classic, Lightroom Classic should update the preview of that file in the catalog the next time you open the catalog. But there are a lot of “if”s:
It is often better to simplify all of that, so that Lightroom Classic is both the catalog and the editor of the master files, only sending them to Photoshop if there is something Lightroom Classic can’t do. If I want to gather images for a specific WordPress post, I might add them all to the same Collection (which does not move the originals because it’s just a list), and when they are all ready, I export all of them at once, as JPEGs, into a folder used to stage WordPress uploads.
That last step can be avoided by using the WordPress export plug-in for Lightroom Classic, which can upload directly into the Media Library of whatever WordPress site you signed it into.
As for thumbnails and watermarks, in Lightroom Classic you could set up a separate Export Preset where Lightroom Classic Export settings set the image frame to lower pixel dimensions and add a watermark. But after uploading your thumbnails, you’d have to figure out how to manually associate the thumbnails with the originals on the WordPress site, because it’s not usually done that way. WordPress automatically generates thumbnails from every image in that site’s Media Library, using the thumbnail sizes specified in Settings > Media Settings.
However…if you are using a good gallery manager plug-in on your WordPress site (such as NextGEN Gallery), those types of plug-ins typically generate their own thumbnails and watermarks on the site, so that you can upload watermark-free originals that the site can provide only to customers who bought a print or a download, while the version shown to the public has a watermark that was added by the WordPress gallery plug-in.
The simplest solution is to edit and upload just high quality originals straight from Lightroom Classic, and let a WordPress photo gallery plug-in manage downsampled thumbnails and watermarks on the site side. Some WordPress gallery plug-ins integrate with Lightroom Classic through an Export plug-in or a Publish Service, which again gives you that direct line from an LRC catalog to a WordPress site’s Media Library, so you can skip the export-files-then-upload steps.
Another advantage of using a good photo gallery plug-in on a WordPress site is that many of them have real support for IPTC Keywords and other fields entered in photo editors like Lightroom Classic. The default basic Media Library in WordPress supports only Title and Caption/Description.
Excellent! A more thorough and useful answer is not to be found. Because of people like you, the learning curve for these applications is drastically flattend. I can't say how much I appreciate the expenditure of time and knowledge you provided in answering my questions - Thank you so much.