I’m a Fan of Lightroom 5 Smart Previews

Adobe Lightroom 5 Smart Previews make fairly large jpegs of all your RAW files. If you don’t care about Smart Previews then just scroll down to see one of my favorite images from the Glacial Lagoon and Beach.
I just recently started using Lightroom having transitioned from Apple’s Aperture, when Apple decided to stop development of Aperture. Like Aperture, Lightroom allows you to store your images in a different location(i.e. an external drive) and only references the files. Lightroom acts as a database to organize all the photos that could be spread out over multiple drives.
I store my Raw files on external drives to keep my local hard drive space freed up. If something happens to the drive where the Raw images are stored, you lose your images even though a place holder image shows up in Aperture or Lightroom. In Aperture you couldn’t do edit the image if the referenced file was not connected. I have lost quite a few images due to external drive failure to other issues.
Lightroom 5 will create something called a Smart Preview. Smart Previews will allow you use the develop module on your images even if the referenced files are not connected. This is convenient in that if you store your files at home and then take your Laptop somewhere you can still work on photos in the Develop module. Smart Previews will not allow you use plug ins or edit the file in say Photoshop since all the menus to do that are grey. But one thing you can do is export a JPEG file. And this JPEG is roughly half the pixel size of the original RAW file. If the Raw File is say 5500 pixels wide on the long edge, then the JPEG that is exported is roughly half that dimension. This is great! No matter what happens to your referenced file Lightroom will preserve a decent sized JPEG file of the original. According to Smugmug’s Photo Labs an image 2200 pixels on the longest edge is enough data to get large prints up to 40″.
So, I had never used Lightroom before until my trip to Iceland and every night I would save my images to an external drive and import them to Lightroom and create Smart Previews. So I have Smart Previews of all my images as I wait to hear about the condition of my damaged drive.
So until then I’m going to keep sharing images(thanks to Smart Previews) from Iceland!
These are the cool ice bergs that flow out of the Glacial Lagoon and into the Atlantic Ocean and then are washed up onto the beach!

If there is one place in all of Iceland that one must go, it’s to the Glacial Lagoon and Beach… Its magical.
On our first night at the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon we had clouds and rain, in fact for most of the time on the beach we were cursing around the rain, but that didn’t really deter us. In fact the only reason we could be pulled away from the beach in the rain at 2am was a promise to return the next night.