Lightroom: Please let us make "destructive" changes to our images

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Explorer ,
Dec 27, 2017 Dec 27, 2017

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I work on a library of 7K+ images across 220 directories/folders. When I make changes to an image I want the option to write those to the original file, not just to the catalog/database. There are many reasons for this need but for some reason Lightroom seems to be uniquely defiant and righteous on this topic. Please don't be condescending and tell me to use the Export option because it's just to cumbersome, especially when working on large numbers of files. I just want Ctrl-S to write all changes to the file I'm working on, not a copy.
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LEGEND ,
Dec 27, 2017 Dec 27, 2017

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So the rest of us should change the way we work because one person wants to? I find this request insultingly selfish. Adobe, don’t.

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Explorer ,
Dec 27, 2017 Dec 27, 2017

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My thought is to make it an option, not a requirement. So you wouldn't have to make any changes to the way you work if you don't want to... 🙂 Maybe not using Ctrl-S then...

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Engaged ,
Dec 27, 2017 Dec 27, 2017

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I assume your image library consists of jpeg files, not raw files. There is no way you can save changes to a raw file. Use a destructive editor for your files if that is what your workflow requires. Obviously, Lightroom isn't the right editor for you. It is a non-destructive editor that works best for raw files and it should stay that way.

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Explorer ,
Dec 27, 2017 Dec 27, 2017

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I'm not seeing the downside...yet. Is there one? You could keep things safe and status quo with new defaults. My guess is Adobe made this choice to increase sales of Photoshop, and learning Photoshop is something I've had to do occasionally. And having both programs running at once is very sluggish.

It's hard enough learning Lightroom, let alone adding in other software just to make permanent changes to the original. And you really have to be careful in LR or very weird things can happen that may go unnoticed. Which of course means you have to know LR well...it's got to be one of your main interests in life, the kind that attracts people to a monthly payment, or reading tons of posts.

I'm wondering if there's a better way to make "destructive edits" in Lightroom 6 than my list? I would love to hear your thoughts:

 1. export, with careful attention to naming and location, and metadata
 2. delete original
 3. locate export
 4. move export
 5. synchronize
 6. check metadata

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 27, 2017 Dec 27, 2017

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Reads original poster's name and thinks, "Ah, this must be a joke". 🙂

Seriously though, why, when there are many apps that work the way you want, would you specifically choose one that doesn't and expect it to be changed to suit your very different requirements?

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Enthusiast ,
Dec 27, 2017 Dec 27, 2017

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An original Raw that never changes, otherwise how to resume in another software? This application is really wacky and 7K image, it's not much, we're dealing here with an amateur, for whom Lightroom is not done.
Yves Crausaz, Suisse, retraité actif dans le monde de la photo et des arts graphiques.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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As far as I know, The principe of Adobe LR is very simple: don't destroy the originals! And I don't think that Adobe change something about that.

As far as I have correctly read your comments, I cannot say what's your production flow. Do you take pictures in RAW or in JPEG.?

What I understand is that you would like to have the corrected pictures written on HDD in place of the original one's. This won't work with LR.

If you are working with RAW files there are other ways to realise what you intend to do.
You could use DxO Lab following what I say.
Even if DwO Lab don't destroy the RAW files, It's possible to reach your dream but not completely. With DxO Lab, you can correct your pictures and write them in a specific folder. After you may destroy your originals and the attached sidecars. The final images would be elsewhere. You will be then able to make a LR catalog just on these final files. 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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So the status of a pro relies on the numbers of files he has? What kind of an arrogant posting this is 😞

Maybe his request is not the smartest one in regard of the basic behaviour of LR, but at least some respect should be shown here in this forum.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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Steve, it's just not the tool for the job. It wasn't a choice to increase Photoshop sales. Lightroom and the Camera Raw engine behind it were designed for raw editing, and raw data is just that - raw. You can't apply the changes to original files. All raw processors work this way, so Lightroom isn't being defiant or different in this. It just happens they opened it up to editing a couple of other file types too. 

The feature request will remain open, but to set expectations, it's highly unlikely they'll change the entire foundation on which Lightroom built.
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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New Here ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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Just because ctrl-s MIGHT be enabled does not mean you have to use it 🙂

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New Here ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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There may be many apps that support destructive edits, but not all have the features/functions that LR has...so to me that argument does not hold water..

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New Here ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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I don't see this as changing the entire foundation. Its like saying ps should not have "compress layers" because its a layer-based editor.  Well it does, and it incorporates all the edits represented in the layers into a single layer, and you continue your work. 

I agree that updating to a RAW file does  not make sense, but updates to dng does which is adobe's preferred path for storing "raw" files").

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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>  updates to dng does which is adobe's preferred path for storing "raw" files").

Writing to DNG CAN embed a full resolution version of the edited file. Most other software just chooses to ignore it.
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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It's not only changing the entire foundation of Lightroom, it's changing the entire foundation of raw files. It's like burning your negatives after you've made a print. And for proprietary raw files it's not a matter of 'making sense' or not, it's simply not possible. A raw file is defined by the very fact that it contains raw data and burning edits into the file would change these data to rgb.
-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Enthusiast ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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Downside? - millions will lose data.  The number of screaming people who've accidentally overwritten their unrecoverable data will flood the support areas.

Even it were only an option (a preference) I would not only vote against but lobby with every fiber of my being to prevent this. 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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I do follow you! It's an evidence. Suggestion made by Steve is against what any photographer like the most

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Explorer ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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I have 40+ years of family & friends & places photos to organize and edit. I'm not a pro, as you can see by my low number of posts. But I have used Lightroom for a few years now. And I am a technical director and software developer with a degree in computer science and I live in the change control process.

I'm using JPEG, not RAW. I don't shoot in Raw for the same reason I don't run Lightroom and Photoshop at the same time--too slow, too complicated, for too little payoff (because I'm not a pro). The only way I'm ever going to make it big in photography is if something very special is happening and nobody else is there. The main reason I use Lightroom is for cataloging, but also for edits. I will continue to use the clunky export process in LR, rather than buy/learn another software package. I already spend too much time on the computer.

Regardless, I still haven't seen a credible downside presented that makes sense. I'm sure there are a thousand features you don't use. What's the problem with one more? Nobody will "lose" data that unless they explicitly chose to overwrite. And this certainly would not be any kind of software rewrite. It would simply be a new method that ties together functionality that already exists, and burying it somewhere that it won't accidentally be invoked. I'm guessing a day or two of developer time.

And yes, it wouldn't work for Raw files...

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Explorer ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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Because it has very good cataloging / organizing features and there are more than enough picture editing features built-in for my needs. The reviews I trust like LR.

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Explorer ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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I shoot JPEG, not raw. And I don't think this has anything to do with any "foundation". It's just another button in a bewildering sea of buttons, and hot spots, and drop downs, and checkmarks. And if the option is there then I don't need to buy anything else... :). And if it's buried somewhere then the traditional LR workflow is not affected and nobody is in danger. It's simple.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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You answered your own question. Lightroom is designed with raw files in mind. And burning edits into a jpeg means re-saving the jpeg, which causes extra degradation because of the lossy compression.
-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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7K images is a very small catalog. Perhaps Photoshop would be a better option for you. It fully supports destructive operations. Non destructive editing is part of Lightroom's dna.

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New Here ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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Steve,
I agree with you...I also don't see a credible downside on a workflow perspective. Its similar to compressing layers in ps. and like any tool, if used incorrectly will cause more harm than good. So don't use the tool or learn to use it the right way.

John's comment about cumulative degradation in you edit and resave the same jpeg. but if you are only doing one edit and done, then that should not be a problem.

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Explorer ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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Does Photoshop have a catalog? I tried Photoshop Elements for years but even recent versions of that program are horribly slow with a very much smaller catalog. If I remember right, even Elements let you save changes to the original images.

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Explorer ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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I'm using JPEG so overwriting should be simple, and optional, retaining all metadata. There wouldn't be any danger unless you make a mistake, and human error is always the greatest danger.

How specifically would this change "the foundation"?? And what evidence supports the claim that Adobe didn't do this to increase sales of Photoshop? I bet their developer could knock this out in a few hours. Cataloging and editing is the job and that's what LR does. I would just like to be able to overwrite more simply.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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Steve, what is the final destination for these files? What happens once you export them ? I’m only asking as maybe moving over to the Cloud Based Lightroom CC Desktop would help and the recipient can either download a JPG from a shared link or from LrCC Web?

I may be off the mark here though but it would save you exporting?

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