After editing your image to your liking, you’ll need to be able to export in Lightroom properly for the desired media. As with most things in life, there is more than way one to export images. My favorite is simply right-clicking on the image and then selecting Export->Export… If you want to select multiple images to export an entire collection that is also possible. After selecting all of the images, you simply export the same way if you were doing a single image. Once you’ve opened the export window you’ll see the following:
The export window is very easy to understand in Lightroom. Each section of important information has its own collapse-able menu: export location, file naming, video, file settings, image sizing, output sharpening, metadata, watermarking, and post-processing. Most of the time, I have a majority of these options collapsed because I don’t touch them. Like most other settings related to processing images, Lightroom allows you to create presets to speed up the process. Regardless if you use presets or not, you’ll find yourself changing the export location, file name, settings and image sizing most frequently. When exporting multiple images, I like to create a custom name in sequential order. I do not want a client to receive a bunch of files named IMG_XXXX so I use their name. Another viable option is the custom name with the original file number, especially if you’re letting clients select images before editing them.
When it comes to the file settings and image sizing that will depend on what the image is being used for. For the most part, when I’m posting images on the web I export with the long edge of the image measuring 960 pixels. I also reduce the quality by 20-30%. I don’t adjust the resolution to decrease file size. I find with the settings I change, the image file sizes are small enough. The smaller image file size allows faster load times, which is especially important on websites. If you are printing images or sending images to printing companies, all of your settings need to be maxed. Anything less than 300ppi resolution is going to become blurry, especially when printed larger.
If you’re worried about people stealing your images you can include watermarks. It’s my opinion that a watermark can take away from an image. Even if you try and place it in a corner making it indiscreet, a person can chop it out of the image in Photoshop, defeating the purpose of having it in the first place. I do use metadata on all of my images though. It does allow a little protection of your images.
I know this was a rough run through of an editing process and much more time can be devoted to the intricacies of processing images. My goal was to provide a good foundation to move from. Hopefully you learned something. Please let me know if you have questions about specifics and I’d love to be able to help.