Traditional photo editing is ‘destructive’. That means every adjustment you make permanently changes the pixels in the photo and there’s no way back unless you’ve saved a copy of the original and you’re willing to start again. ‘Non-destructive’ editing is fully reversible. You can go back and undo or redo all of your editing work at any point in the future. Naturally, there’s a catch
More and more photo editing applications now work non-destructively, so that the editing changes you make are stored alongside the image in a metadata file or within the software’s image browser, and are not applied directly to the image. To produce a photo with your changes ‘baked in’, you have to export a finished version of the image.
Lightroom doesn’t directly edit your original photos, so even though your pictures look different in Lightroom when you edit them, these adjustments exist only within Lightroom. If you want to send an edited version to someone else or for use on a website, for example, you need to ‘Export’ a new version of the picture […]