ULTIMATE Lightroom Exporting Guide

Ahhhh, exporting.

From my experience with hundreds of students, exporting is the one thing people struggle with the most in Lightroom.

Let’s fix that.

I’ve made an awesome guide to exporting that really is the ULTIMATE guide to exporting. It’s super thorough and easy to understand. I’m going to walk through what it includes below and you can download it or watch the related video with the buttons at the bottom of this post!

Exporting is the process of getting your images out of Lightroom and into the world. If you want to post a photo to Instagram, you need to export it. If you want to email a photo to a friend, you need to export it. If you want to send a photo to a lab for printing, you need to export that, too.

When you export an image from Lightroom, you are telling Lightroom to make a copy of the image(s) you are exporting, apply any edits you made in Lightroom to the image(s) and save that new copy in a location of your choosing.

The steps/settings that need to be checked when exporting files are as follows:

  • Preparation: This involves making decisions beforehand about the end goal of the exported photos, such as where you want to save the files, what type of files you want to produce and what you need to name the files.
  • Export Location: This step is simple, yet commonly overlooked. Setting the export location tells Lightroom where you would like your files to be saved. It’s important to set this properly each time you export so that you can maintain organized export files.
  • File Naming: This is pretty self-explanatory. This is where you simply tell Lightroom how you would like your exported files to be named.
  • Video: How you want Lightroom to handle video files.
  • File Settings: What file format, color space and compression do you want to use on export? This is the MOST important step and can be easily glossed over by photographers who get into bad habits with exporting.
  • Image Sizing: What dimensions and resolution would you like to use on the images that you export?
  • Output Sharpening: Should Lightroom add additional sharpening to the exported images?
  • Metadata: Would you like to limit the metadata that Lightroom includes on export?
  • Watermarking: Watermark? No watermark? Why?
  • Post Processing: What should Lightroom do when it’s done with the exporting process?
  • Presets: This is how you save your settings to use on a future export!

To learn more about all of these steps, watch the video below, or enter your informationto download the PDF guide. It’s nine pages long and full of excellent information. You want it. Trust us!

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  • Forest Chaput de Saintonge

    Forest Chaput de Saintonge directs Rocky Mountain School of Photography with his wife, Sarah. He has been immersed in photography since he was born. He grew up in Missoula and began taking photos with an SLR when he was seven years old. He started working for Rocky Mountain School of Photography at age 13. During his free time, he likes to become a master at new things, build stuff, run, hike, bike, photograph, and be an amateur astronomer. Forest has a BA in Astrophysics, just because. He really enjoys teaching and loves to help students understand concepts thoroughly. Forest has vast experience working with and teaching Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, and has worked many hours in the black and white darkroom.