January 2021 // The Beauty Edition


Since the inception of Lightroom 5, smart previews have been the single best upgrade for editing workflow. Beyond the shareability of catalogs and smart previews without the need to carry around the originals, smart previews have altered the editing landscape. You can edit faster and cover 90% of what you need from these previews. Now keep in mind these are just low resolution .dng files stored in multiple subfolders. More importantly, you can edit on the Raw instead of converting your files. I recommend building smart previews at import to implement these in your workflow—it’s too tedious to remember to build them after. (fig. 9) Once you have your images imported and previews built, you are all set. The only remaining thing to do is test speed with or without your originals attached. According to the performance preference option it should not matter, however I have noticed standard previews take longer due to accessing originals. Keep it simple and disconnect them until you need to do more 1:1 adjustments like sharpening and noise reduction or file export of course.

fig 9

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