Lightroom: exporting pictures to print from commercial sites without losing parts of pictures

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  • Updated 7 years ago
This is a feature suggestion/request for Lightroom:

I want to print a bunch of pictures from a commercial photo printing site. Unfortunately, they crop the pictures to fit the paper size and throw away image information. I have played with the various export options related to size from Lightroom and none of them does what I want -- and what I think makes the most sense for the way most people would want to see their pictures.

Rather than throw away picture information to fit the paper, how about putting in white space to fill the smaller dimension. For example, exporting a 3x6 image to print on 4x6 paper, rather than expanding the 3 to 4 and losing picture information from the longer dimension, why not have the longer dimension fill the paper and leave blank space in the other dimension.

I realize that Lightroom just produces (in this case) a jpg that's 3x6. But it could create a 4x6 image with an inch of white space to fill it out to the appropriate dimension. That way, there would not be any issue printing from Smugmug, Costo, Shutterfly or any of the other services.
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David Kessler

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Posted 8 years ago

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Photo of Lee Jay

Lee Jay

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You can already do this using the Print to JPEG function of the Print module. Yeah, it's not as convenient as export, but it works for those rare occasions where this is really necessary. Most of the time, you should be cropping to a ratio that matches your export dimensions before exporting.
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David Kessler

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Thanks for the help.

It seems to me that it's more desirable to crop the image so it looks best rather than trying to make it fit a particular paper size.

I hadn't realized that Print to jpg was there and would do the job -- kind of. It will produce a file like I want, but it's going to require A LOT of renaming. Export will keep the file name (which is fine with me) but Print to jpg requires naming each file individually, or if there are more than one selected it creates a directory and names each file with the directory-name-1, ...-2, ...-3 etc.

I can do this for now, but I still think that Lightroom should have an easier way to do this.
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Rob Cole

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Isn't this one of the things people do with Lr/Mogrify?
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Frank Elston

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LR Mogrify does the job as export - creating flexible borders in your chosen colour to fill out the short dimension.
btw print to JPG should not require re-naming - make sure the output is in a different folder form the originals if starting with JPEG.

Some issues have been discussed and arisen in printing dimensions smaller than 4" - described as LR's smallest dimension. While not entirely bottomed out as an issue using a pdf printer driver (e.g. Acrobat) gives more flexibility than conventional printers to create smaller dimensions.