04 File Settings, Image Sizing and Output Sharpening
I’m covering all three of these panels at once because they related directly to the way the image is processed and saved.
1) File Settings: I want to export my photos as JPEGs – the obvious choice for web use – and at a quality setting of 80. You could lower this to 60, though, if you’re worried about file sizes and page loading times. sRGB is the best choice for Color Space if you’re displaying images online.
2) Image Resizing: I need to check the ‘Resize to Fit’ box because my original images are all different sizes, whereas for online use I want the dimensions to be standardised. I’ve chosen the ‘Width and Height’ option from the pop-up menu alongside, and I’ve entered 1024 x 1024 pixels in the boxes below. This means my pictures will be resized to fit an imaginary box this size – they’ll be 1024 pixels wide if they’re horizontal shots, or 1024 pixels high if they’re vertical.
3) Output sharpening: I wouldn’t normally bother with sharpening if I had to do it manually, but since this is an automatic option I might as well tick the box. Resampling processes do generally introduce slight softness, so a little sharpening won’t hurt. And the key thing about sharpening on export is that Lightroom can match the sharpening settings to the final image size and output device.
05 Metadata settings
You’ve probably added all sorts of metadata such as keywords, captions and location information to your images in Lightroom, and you might not want to share that with other people online. But you can fix this with the Metadata tab, either stripping out all the metadata on export or just leaving the Copyright and Contact Info only.
The last panel in the dialog could prove rather useful. It tells Lightroom what to do when the export is finished, and in my case I’d like to see the folder where the pictures have been saved – the ‘Show in Finder’ option on my Mac. You could also opt to have them opened in an image-editor of your choice.