I have a client that is asking me to export small hi-resolution images from Lightroom. I asked what sizes or file sizes and told me I should be able to export the picture but small file sizes without changing dimensions or pixels. How can I do that if she has not given me the size file she wants as she said I don't need this?
If the client wants small but high resolution images then export JPEG full-sized images. That's about the only option you have. Changing the PPI setting isn't going to have any impact on quality because the only setting that really means anything is the dimensions of the image. How small does the client expect the image to be?
Thank you! She has not mentioned how small the image should be.
So if she wants Big Hi-Res images what should it be? Sorry if seems simple as questions, I am new to LR and need to learn more.
I think you're going to have to get some clarification from the client. Really, there isn't much you can do to increase the resolution of an image. For instance, if the image is 4000 x 6000 pixels that is its resolution. If it's a raw image it's probably quite large, but it can be exported as a JPEG image at 4000 x 6000 pixels and it will be around 8 MB depending on the image content. It doesn't matter what you set the PPI to, that isn't going to change the resolution of the image at all. The image will still be 4000 x 6000 pixels. So I would ask your client what she is expecting.
If you have Photoshop and the latest camera raw, and understand how to use the new super resolution feature, you can use it to double the size of the image and then save that DNG file as a JPEG image, but it won't be very small.
Small and hi-resolution? Generally, that's not possible except if you want to lose the quality of the image. Maybe you need to ask more questions.
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…but small file sizes without changing dimensions or pixels. How can I do that if she has not given me the size file she wants as she said I don't need this?
If the client wants all of the original pixels (no change to dimensions), then the only things you can change are the file format (JPEG is potentially the smallest file size), and JPEG Quality (lower number means lower file size). If the client hasn’t given you a specific file size target, then the Limit File Size option can’t be used.
Maybe the client does not understand that although you could slam the Quality slider all the way to the bottom, resulting in the smallest possible JPEG file sizes out of Lightroom Classic, the quality would be terrible. Are they aware that JPEG compression trades off image quality?
If they aren’t aware of that, one thing you could do is export a sample image at three different Quality levels (like low, medium, high), send them to the client, and ask them which level of quality is acceptable. If they are OK with the lowest one (smallest file size), then export the rest that way. If they prefer one of the higher levels, then export and deliver those…and then if the client comes back and says “These are too large” then explain that the client did not accept the look of the lower Quality setting test image you sent them. They need to understand that tradeoff.
The client’s being kind of vague because “small” is relative…an 8MB JPEG is too large for a web page, but perfectly small for storing on a computer because there’s space for thousands of them at that size. So that’s another approach: Ask them where the images neeed to look their best. If it’s family web pages or social media, then a lower Quality setting may be OK. If they want to print large enlargements, then Quality should be 75–85 and they have to live with the resulting file size.
One last thing…you probably don’t need to go above 85. Between 85 and 100, any improvement in quality becomes increasingly difficult to see with the human eye, but the file size goes up a lot, so above 85 is often not worth it, especially if file size is a concern.