If you are looking to switch from Adobe Lightroom to Exposure X3, this article is for you. Exposure offers many unique attributes including a lightning-fast, catalog free design, robust organizing tools, and gorgeous special effects. After they try Exposure, many people prefer its faster, more intuitive workflow. We’ve answered plenty of questions about how to migrate data from Lightroom to Exposure, so we put this guide together to help with that.

Before you begin, there is one important caveat to mention. If an Exposure sidecar file already exists for an image, Exposure will ignore Lightroom’s data to keep from merging information that could cause conflicts. Make sure to complete the steps outlined in this guide before you start performing photo editing with Exposure.

What data can be brought over to Exposure from Lightroom?

Much of the organizational information added in Lightroom can be carried over to Exposure. Lightroom normally stores changes to images in a catalog file, but you can have Lightroom write those changes to a location Exposure can access.

Some of the edits made to your images in Lightroom are recognized by Exposure. They are:

  • Crop
  • Rating
  • Image SIze
  • Image Orientation
  • Color Labels
  • IPTC Copyright, Name, Address, and Email

Exposure will not recognize any visual edits you have made to your photos in Lightroom. This includes adjustments such as exposure, white balance, tone curves, or vignettes. If you want to preserve visual edits on your images, you will need to perform an export step to render those changes to the image files. Additionally, Lightroom’s collections, virtual copies, presets, and stacks are not transferable.

Prepare your Lightroom data

You need to write Lightroom’s metadata to the images for all files in the catalog. This enables Exposure to access that info. When that is complete, Exposure will read the saved metadata info when you open the folder. And when it does, it will convert the info to an Exposure sidecar file.

To save Lightroom’s metadata to all your images, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Library module.
  2. Select the ‘All Photographs’ catalog.
  3. Select all images in the catalog — Edit > Select All.
  4. Save the metadata to images — Metadata > Save Metadata to Files.

If you only want to write metadata to some of your image files, instead of selecting all images, you can just select the ones that you want to bring into Exposure.

Migrate Lightroom data into Exposure

Exposure reads XMP files and existing image metadata stored with your photos, so it will automatically import any keywords, ratings, color labels, etc. that you’ve applied to your images. Exposure’s catalog free workflow means there is no import process, so you only need to navigate to a folder of images to start working on them.

Exposure’s folder panel is where you navigate to the images you’d like to work with. Adding bookmarks in the folders list gives you one-click access to your photo library. When you add a folder bookmark, all subfolders and image files contained within them can now be accessed. If your photo folders aren’t already listed in that panel, here is how to add them:

  1. In the Folders panel, click the Add (+) icon.
  2. Navigate to the folder that you want to bookmark.
  3. Click Open.

One last tip: If you have a structured hierarchy of folders, it’s best to add a single root folder that contains them. Learn more about file management in Exposure in our tutorial video.

If you haven’t used Exposure, but you’d like to give it a try, download the free trial and use it for 30 days. Subscribe to our newsletter for new tutorial videos, inspiring customer stories, and the latest information about contests and other special promotions.

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