Using a five-year-old Mac computer to travel, I found some good tips to speed up my Lightroom Classic and I wanted to share these tips with you! This is going to save you time, so you can spend more time going out and shooting more amazing photos!
Tip #1: Use an SSD Drive
If you’re using a laptop or desktop that doesn’t have an SSD drive and are working with a Lightroom catalog, then you need to get a computer with an SSD. I personally use a Drobo to store all my photos, which are not on my SSD; but the Lightroom catalog is on the SSD. That’s very important, because SSDs are much faster than hard drives.
Tip #2: When You Import, Use Smart Previews
When you’re importing photos, make sure that Build Smart Previews is checked. This does take more space than regular previews, but it will let you to do most of the job on your SSD. (They’re around 2500 px on the long side.) Even if your photos are on an external hard drive, it’s only when you export that Lightroom will render everything and use the original data from the external hard drive, so it really eases the process a lot. You’re better off importing for a longer time and being faster in your retouch!
Tip #3: Use Embedded & Sidecar When You Import
Also, when importing your photos, make sure to select the Embedded & Sidecar option from the Build Smart Previews menu, because that will create a nice JPEG preview. Then, when you retouch a large number of photos, you can go very fast! You can also import your photos as DNG, because it’s an open-source format that makes the RAW files smaller, and it will continue to be accessible far into the future.
Once you’ve imported your photo, you can see that it’s labeled as an embedded preview. You can also go through all your photos very quickly with no waiting for them to load, which is so convenient! It’s literally 10 times faster using this option. That’s only while you’re in the Library module, but you can go through all your photos, sort and rate them, and decide which ones you want to retouch, and you truly gain a lot of time!
Tip #4: Check the Graphic Processor
Before you start, check your graphic processor: Open the Preferences (under the Lightroom menu on a Mac, or the Edit menu on a PC). Click on the Performance tab and then turn on Use GPU for display. This will help to render things and make your Lightroom much faster!
There you go! I hope that these four tips will help to make your workflow much faster and smoother. As for me, these definitely give me so much more time for creating instead of sitting in front of the computer, waiting for it to load my photos!
ALL IMAGES BY SERGE RAMELLI