Post-Processing Tips for Bird Photography: Import, Export, & Watermarking in Adobe Lightroom

Wow!  This is my 100th post. It’s been a colorful journey so far.

A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL!

Okay! As I said in my previous post, Post-processing bird photographs in Lightroom is probably the easiest of all.

Let’s look at folder structure, importing, exporting, and placing a watermark in Adobe Lightroom in this article.

Folder Structure

I follow a very simple and efficient folder structure as shown below. Follow it to make it easier to maintain in the long run.

Best Bird Photography Post Processing Tips for Bird Photographers Using Adobe Lightroom. Birds, Wildlife, and Nature Photography by Prathap. Nature Photography Simplified.

Place all the RAW files in the RAW-Files folder. Name the folders with date and place. You can make subfolders if you want.

Masterprints folder will have all the full-resolution post-processed files.

Portfolio folder will have low-resolution post-processed files for social media posting.

How to Import the Photographs in Adobe Lightroom?

It’s quite simple.

Go to File -> Import Photos and Video…

Best Bird Photography Post Processing Tips for Bird Photographers Using Adobe Lightroom. Birds, Wildlife, and Nature Photography by Prathap. Nature Photography Simplified.

You’ll see the below window.

Best Bird Photography Post Processing Tips for Bird Photographers Using Adobe Lightroom. Birds, Wildlife, and Nature Photography by Prathap. Nature Photography Simplified.

  1. Browse to the RAW-Files folder to find your file. Note that I have a TIFF file here, but you would be finding a CR2 file (for Canon) or an NEF file (for Nikon).
  2. Choose the Add option so that Lightroom doesn’t make a copy.
  3. Check Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates option, so that Lightroom doesn’t import already imported files.
  4. Write the keywords that are relevant to your files. These keywords are applied to all the files in the folder during import. So, give generic keywords here. Later you can modify them per file basis.
  5. Click Import.

This will import all the selected files. They will appear in the Library module.

Best Bird Photography Post Processing Tips for Bird Photographers Using Adobe Lightroom. Birds, Wildlife, and Nature Photography by Prathap. Nature Photography Simplified.

How to Post-Process your files in Adobe Lightroom?

After you import your file, you can post-process your bird photographs in Develop module in Lightroom.

Check out this very simple and effective step-by-step guide to post-processing your bird photographs using Lightroom.

How to Export the Photographs in Adobe Lightroom?

Exporting is nothing but saving your post-processed files into another folder. Remember, Lightroom is non-destructive software which means it will never overwrite your images. Once you are satisfied with your post-processing, you can export (or save) them in another place so that your RAW files are untouched!

That’s awesome! You can reuse the RAW file later if you want to re-edit or start all over again.

While exporting a file, you should export a Master File (in TIFF format), which is the full-resolution processed file. And then you should export a Portfolio File (in JPEG format), which is a low-resolution file for web usage.

 

The master file is quite useful to make various resolution files depending on the need. You might need an 8” x 12” for a magazine, 800px or 1024px for Facebook, 1920px for some competition, 12” x 18” for archival print, and so on.

Your full resolution Master File is your new RAW file!

TIFF vs JPEG

TIFF is a lossless compression format, which means they don’t throw out any information during compressing the data. It can be assumed as zip format, where you don’t loose any data but still make the file size smaller. Storing the master files in TIFF format allows you to keep ALL the information that was present in RAW file. This is extremely important especially when you want to print exhibition prints.

JPEG is a lossy compression format, which means it throws a lot of information in order to make the file size smaller. The loss is usually based on a few algorithms that take care of Human Visual System. These algorithms throw out the information that human visual system might not be able to make out. It’s a long story…

The point is, JPEG files are small and are quite suitable for web usage.

How to Export the Master files (TIFF files)?

Go to File -> Export.

Best Bird Photography Post Processing Tips for Bird Photographers Using Adobe Lightroom. Birds, Wildlife, and Nature Photography by Prathap. Nature Photography Simplified.

Choose the folder to place the exported files. Use a custom name with the original file number so that you can automatically put your name in all the files.

Best-Bird-Photography-Post-Processing-Tips-for-Bird-And-Nature-Photographers-Step-13-Export-File-TIFF-1

Choose TIFF with no compression. Make sure the Resolution is set to 300 pixels per inch. It’s extremely important while printing.

Best-Bird-Photography-Post-Processing-Tips-for-Bird-And-Nature-Photographers-Step-13-Export-File-TIFF-2

Export the file.

Best-Bird-Photography-Post-Processing-Tips-for-Bird-And-Nature-Photographers-Step-13-Export-File-TIFF-3

How to Export the JPEG files for Web Usage?

Follow the below steps to export a JPEG file.

Choose the right folder. I have chosen Portfolio folder. And rename the file.

Best-Bird-Photography-Post-Processing-Tips-for-Bird-And-Nature-Photographers-Step-14-Settings-JPEG

Follow the File Settings and Image Settings as shown in the screenshot. Choose JPEG & restrict the Long edge to 1024px. Change the Resolution to 96 pixels per inch, because the monitor screens only support up to 96.

Best-Bird-Photography-Post-Processing-Tips-for-Bird-And-Nature-Photographers-Step-15-Settings-JPEG

Hit export and you are done.

But wait…am I not supposed to put the watermark? Well, you should.

How to Place Watermark in Adobe Lightroom?

Before you export the JPEG files, you can place the watermark on your post-processed bird photograph.

Go to Watermarking menu in the Export window and select Edit Watermarks… option.

Best-Bird-Photography-Post-Processing-Tips-for-Bird-And-Nature-Photographers-Step-15-Settings-JPEG-Watermark

Write you copyright information in the Text box as shown. The easiest way to get a copyright symbol is this:

  1. Press and hold the ALT key
  2. Type the number 0169 (using the Numeric Keypad)
  3. Release the ALT key

This will print the copyright symbol in the text box. Thanks to our reader Jorge for bringing this up.

For MAC users, it looks like ALT+g works fine. Please check this.

Not so easy method (I thought this is the easy method :)) is:

  1. Open a Microsoft Word document.
  2. Press “(” key followed by the letter “C” followed by “)” Here it is: (c).
  3. This will give you © symbol.
  4. Copy paste that into the Lightroom text window as shown.

Select the font and the style.

Best-Bird-Photography-Post-Processing-Tips-for-Bird-And-Nature-Photographers-Step-15-Settings-JPEG-Watermark-1

Now, align the copyright information to your taste. Play around with Horizontal and Vertical offsets. It’s not gonna hurt you.

Best-Bird-Photography-Post-Processing-Tips-for-Bird-And-Nature-Photographers-Step-15-Settings-JPEG-Watermark-2

When you are happy, give it a name and just save it. For all the other files, you can use this new watermark.

Best-Bird-Photography-Post-Processing-Tips-for-Bird-And-Nature-Photographers-Step-15-Settings-JPEG-Watermark-3

In the Export window, you’ll see your new watermark. Use it and Export it. And you are done!

Best Bird Photography Post Processing Tips for Bird Photographers Using Adobe Lightroom. Birds, Wildlife, and Nature Photography by Prathap. Nature Photography Simplified.

By playing around a bit with the offsets, here’s what I got.

Best Bird Photography Post Processing Tips for Bird Photographers Using Adobe Lightroom. Birds, Wildlife, and Nature Photography by Prathap. Nature Photography Simplified.

Simple and Cool! Isn’t it?

Conclusion

If you follow the steps outlined in this article and my previous article, you should be able to have a fairly good post-processing workflow for yourself.

Though this workflow is for post-processing your bird photographs, it’ll be helpful to process any other photographs too.

If you enjoyed reading this article, don’t forget to say a few words about it. I will feel happy about it.

Also, I would greatly appreciate if you share it with your friends on your favorite social media.

Do you want to know my complete post-processing workflow for bird photography?

Check out my most popular eBook “A Step-by-Step Guide to Post-Processing Bird Photographs using Lightroom & Photoshop.”

Best Bird Photography Post Processing Tips for Bird Photographers Using Adobe Lightroom. Birds, Wildlife, and Nature Photography by Prathap. Nature Photography Simplified.

Think Photography. Think Simple.

Best Books on Bird Photography. Bird Photography eBooks. Free Bird Photography book. Post processing eBook. Best Nature and Wildlife Photography eBooks.

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15 Responses to Post-Processing Tips for Bird Photography: Import, Export, & Watermarking in Adobe Lightroom

  1. Jorge March 11, 2016 at 10:43 pm #

    The easiest way to get a copyright symbol is as follows:

    In Lightroom text window press and hold the Alt key and the numeric keypad type 184 that is the ASCII code for the copyright symbol. Release the Alt key.

    Please note: Alt not Alt Gr.

    • Jorge March 11, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

      Oops! This in Windows system, Mac do not know.

      • Prathap March 12, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

        Hi Jorge, thank you for bringing this up. But, I don’t seem to get it working with ALT + 184. But here’s what works.

        The easiest way to get a copyright symbol is this:
        1. Press and hold the ALT key
        2. Type the number 0169 (using the Numeric Keypad)
        3. Release the ALT key
        This will print the copyright symbol in the text box.

        For MAC users, ALT+g seems to work. MAC users, please check this.

        • Jorge March 13, 2016 at 2:34 am #

          Well, for me it works Alt + 184 or Alt + 0169. Interestingly, 169 is the ® ASCII code, but by typing Alt + 0169 get © (!?).

  2. Adaltro March 12, 2016 at 1:36 am #

    Just heard about your blog and bird photography tips and I’m really enjoying… Buying the books in dollars is a little hard for Brazilians right now… but I will in the futurge… Tks for sharing your knowledge. I love photographing birds and your lightroom tips are so nice. I downloaded the free ebook (mistakes & solutions) and when I read it I’ll let you know what I thought!!
    Hugs!!!

    • Prathap March 12, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

      Hi Adaltro, thank you so much for your kind words. I can understand the issue. Currently, I don’t have any other means. Hopefully, someday I can make it available in different currencies.
      Let me know how it goes.

  3. Jose March 12, 2016 at 6:50 am #

    Prathap, I am enjoying your articles since long. The matter is conveyed by you in a very simple words, which is easily understandable by beginners like us. I have read and seen so many articles and videos on lightroom but your article simply exaplains the concept. I have one doubt, why are you using the tiff file for masters and jpeg for portfolio. What is the basic difference between them. Have you done an article on printing your images and how to go about it. If not then it would be appreciated.

    Pls. keep it up.

    Jose

    • Prathap March 12, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

      Hi Jose, thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad that you are able to learn from my articles and eBooks.
      I have updated the article with differences between TIFF and JPEG formats. I hope this clarifies your doubt.
      As per the printing, it’s quite tricky. It’s different for different printers and it usually involves several trial and error prints until you get satisfactory results.

  4. Vasanthan.J March 15, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

    Hello Prathap,
    All your articles are very informative and very helpful. I started birding for almost a year and your articles helps me in getting great images.Keep it going.

    • Prathap March 16, 2016 at 7:46 pm #

      Thank you so much! Vasanthan. I am glad that you are able to improve your bird photography.

  5. Eric Hamilton April 27, 2016 at 9:14 am #

    Hi Prathap,

    Thanks for your simple guide to processing RAW files. I look forward to trying it out very soon.
    I have been taking RAW + JPEG files of birds for 9 months now, but have never processed any RAW files yet, so I must get going – I am getting backlogged!

    Thanks again – keep up the great work.

  6. Nancy April 5, 2017 at 8:22 pm #

    Hi, Prathap, I’m enjoying your articles and am learning. Thank you for the clear, straightforward info. One question on importing/exporting: why do you suggest watermarking only for JPEGs? Why not TIFF’s, too? Thank you.

    • Prathap April 6, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

      Hi Nancy, Thanks for the kind words. The TIFF files are your master files. They are not to be shared anytime, so there’s no need to watermark. You watermark the files that are to be shared over the net (which are usually small resolution JPEG files), for all other purposes like publishing in the magazine, printing, etc. you don’t need watermarks.

  7. Nancy April 7, 2017 at 11:09 pm #

    Hi, Prathap, Thank you for †he info on watermarking TIFFs. I just tried your post processing flow on a RAW bird photo that I had previously edited in Light Room….your approach resulted in a big improvement. Great suggestions which I shall use henceforth. Thank you, Nancy

    • Prathap April 12, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

      That’s great to know, Nancy. I am glad to see that you are getting results. That’s important to me.

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