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Depending on the capabilities of your digital camera, you have the option of capturing images in different formats. While each format has its own advantages and disadvantages, you’ll eventually need to save your photographs as a file that can be read by your intended audience. For most applications, the best choice for your files is the JPEG standard, which is used both online and for lower-resolution printing projects, but how do you get to that standard from RAW or other formats? Here’s a brief look at how to convert RAW to JPEG in Lightroom.
Converting Your Files
One of the reasons for Lightroom’s popularity among photographers is the simplicity of its design, and that’s definitely reflected in the process of converting your images from one format to another. Once you’ve imported your images and done your editing, you can then export the finished product into a folder of your choosing. Once you click the “export” button or choose that option from the dropdown menu, you’ll get to select your desired file type. Simply select JPEG on the dialogue screen and choose the level of quality you’d like for your images, and you’re done. You can use this same process if your project calls for TIF, PNG, CMYK or other supported file extensions.
Why Not Just Shoot in JPEG?
If so many people prefer the JPEG format, the obvious answer is to simply shoot your photos in this format, and most cameras are certainly capable of doing that. While this might be easiest way to go, you could be sacrificing a lot of flexibility during the eventual processing of your photography. Your camera actually already shoots in RAW, but it runs it through a compression algorithm when it creates JPEGs, which discards a lot of information. By electing to shoot in the uncompressed format, you get to control the way your photographs look, and the choice of what to discard is your decision.
Take Control of Your Photography
Now you know how to convert RAW to JPEG in Lightroom, you’ll be able to get the most out of this powerful editing program’s capabilities. If you’re still wary about working with this file format, many cameras offer the option of saving duplicate copies of each image, but you will eat through your memory card faster. If you’ve gone through all of your photographs and you still don’t have the images needed for your project, turn to Shutterstock for a searchable database with millions of royalty-free photos available in the file format of your choice.