Page 14 - Microsoft Word - Lightroom CC Classic Book.docx
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 Removing the mystery about Lightroom
What Does Non-destructive Mean?
It is important to understand that Lightroom does not move or change the images on your hard drive nor does it modify them in any way. Lightroom creates a database of things you are doing to the file instead and records them. It creates a list of instructions, so to speak, of each edit you want to do to any one image. So, when you import an image, Lightroom creates a record in the database that contains its image properties, its name, its location and then adds to that record the edits that you do to that image in Lightroom. It displays the image as you edit it as if it has been changed by those edits, but doesn’t change the image in any way in its original location. Its only when you Export the image into whatever file format you choose, that it creates a new and separate image file with those changes made to it and saves that new file to wherever you want to put it. That could be to another folder, thumb drive, hard drive, CD or DVD.
The original file is never touched, therefore Lightroom is non-destructive.
Furthermore, when you import files into Lightroom from a memory card, you tell it where to put those files on your hard drive beforehand. When you import existing files from a folder on your hard drive into Lightroom, it doesn’t move them unless you direct it to do so first. Lightroom, therefore, works with the files where they are on your computer. If you Cut, Paste and Move those files with some other program such as Finder on your Mac or File Explorer on your PC or another editing program such as ACDSee, Lightroom will lose focus of those images and will show either a “?” on the folder or an “!” on the individual image file. In order to avoid that problem, let Lightroom move the files from one folder or hard drive to another. That way Lightroom will always know where the files are and no errors will occur when it can’t find them. There are ways to find those missing files with Lightroom if you inadvertently move them to some other place. We will discuss how to do that later in the book. The key though is to put them in the right place in the first place by letting Lightroom do it at the beginning.
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