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Tag Archives: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

A Rough Guide to Adobe Camera Raw

Shooting in RAW and having to spend time processing your images might seem a bore when your camera produces perfectly nice jpegs as you press the shutter release however most serious photographers only shoot in RAW. This is because of the extensive image adjustments you can make to colour and density without producing ugly damaged looking images. Shooting RAW and using Adobe camera RAW found in the various versions of Photoshop and as the backbone of Lightroom has distinct advantages in the range of adjustments but also the plug ins and controls on offer.

On the pages of Lightstalking    gives a basic breakdown of the important options available

“Although many of us now use image management programs to process our Raw files, Adobe’s Camera Raw is still one of the most comprehensive convertors around and benefits from being tightly integrated into Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. One bonus of this, is that its user interface will be very familiar to Photoshop users. In this brief guide, we will give a rundown of ACR’s interface and most important features.

ACR Overall
ACR’s Main Screen

When you open a Raw file in Photoshop, the program will automatically open the ACR plugin and preview the image in a large window. Surrounding this window are the important tools you need for your Raw conversion. Running along the top of the preview window are a set of image manipulation tools, in essence, very similar to Photoshop’s own tool palette.”

The Modules of Adobe Lightroom

I use Lightroom every day, I must say that in most areas it is a joy. Understanding how the software works can be a bit confusing though as bits sometimes will not do what you expect. As such I am in the process of writing a course on the use of Lightroom and hope to have it ready for next term. In the meantime this excellent explanation by Chase Guttman over on Lightroom will help to explain one of the main features, the use of modules.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is an essential component of any digital photographer’s toolbox. As with all post-processing software, Lightroom is a program that photographer’s can use to improve and organize their visual art. Yet, Lightroom is unique in many ways. Unlike other popular post-processing software, Lightroom is a modular program and has the advantage of non-destructive digital editing (in other words, the original files are never altered within the program). The program is designed in such a way, so that each module found in Lightroom, can be used to accomplish different tasks in an efficient manner.

Another unique feature of Lightroom is that the software is designed to handle many images at once, so it’s equipped to deal with the fast paced workflow of many digital photographers. This is due to the fact that with Lightroom, your images are separated into different catalogs, where Lightroom  handles only a specific set of images at one time.

Finally, with less of a learning curve than Photoshop, Lightroom is the best choice for amateur photographers who are just starting with post-processing.”.…MORE

This weeks photography tutorials and links

“The Toad has been busy hopping all over the internet this week finding the best links to tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone.  This weeks list showcases a series of really great images and blog posts sure to be enjoyed by the photography fan in all of us!  We hope you enjoy viewing this comprehensive series as much as the Toad did in bringing it to you.” Via Lightstalking from Toad Hollow Photography

The Toad is busy compiling his first eBook, feel free to head over to sign up for exclusive Free HDR Guides, Tips and News as they become published!

Stairway to heaven 63/366 by Skley, on Flickr

Here is a taste of the full list of links and tutorials

TUTORIALS

Aquarium photography: hook great fish photos with five simple tips – Indoor home aquariums offer great photographic opportunities.  Photographer Chris Wray offers up detailed guidelines for taking beautiful reflection-free, tack-sharp aquarium photos in this comprehensive guide.

The Power of Curves – Blake Rudis delivers a 9:37 video tutorial on the power of curves for post processing.  Blake goes into great detail showing the viewer how best to employ this technique, delivering a great interactive tutorial.

Capturing Wildlife Photography from a Distance – a brief and straight-forward tutorial that discusses some basic tips and tricks for photographing wildlife.  This genre can be challenging due to physical constraints and technical details, and this article touches on these points.

Great Links

Menomonee and Underwood at Night – CJ Schmit produces some of the very best black-and-white pieces I’ve ever seen, and in this shot he really delivers.  Incredible crisp details are all vividly captured in this night shot that uses long exposure techniques to bring a sense of life and motion to the scene.

Mist Through the Trees – an almost surreal and perhaps even a little otherworldly scene awaits the viewer in this awesome image from Barbara Youngleson.  This game reserve in Africa finds itself enveloped in a mist, which in turn is wonderfully captured and shared here by Barbara, producing a really compelling and dramatic image.

Loch Leven Reflections. Scotland. – what an utterly mesmerizing photograph, straight from the studio of Barbara Jones.  This beautiful landscape photograph showcases the inherent beauty in the Scottish landscape, and is accented by one of the most incredible natural reflections in any image posted in this weeks list.  A true must-see shot!

London Wall At Night – Mark Blundell delivers another one of his jaw-droppingly awesome 360* panorama’s, this time taken at night in the bustling city of London.  The presentation delivers an incredible amount of detail and wonder in the format he uses, producing a piece that is absolutely breathtaking.

Adobe Camera RAW for Beginners: Basic Adjustments

Last night when teaching the first class of our Photoshop course I was asked about RAW processing. This is not something we cover on this course but I am writing a course on Lightroom at the moment however whilst over at Photo Tuts I found this tutorial. RAW processing is not difficult to understand, it might take a while to fully get to grips with all the permutations, and this tutorial will get you started if you have never tried. Go here for the link to the Photo Tuts RAW processing tutorial

 

Lightroom 4 free Beta Version download

I am just in the process of writing a new course based on the use of Lightroom. As with all our courses it will feature the most useful aspects to photographers, highlighting those functions that make life easier and better. All software can do more than we ever possibly need unless our interests are specific and well…extreme. The new course based on Lightroom 3 should be ready for the new term after Easter. You will understand my consternation at the imminent arrival of Lightroom 4. It is now available as a free download in beta form. This means it is at testing stage and Adobe make it available for use with the understanding it may have bugs that need ironing out and tweaks to make it even better. These are determined by testing the beta version by working professionals. I have had a good look at 4 and it’s basic functions and way of working is not dissimilar to 3 so I am relieved all the work I have already done on the proposed course is not wasted.

You can download this version here

new book module in LR4

Lightroom 4 beta builds on the vision of the very first Lightroom beta. From day 1, Lightroom was designed for photographers and by photographers to help them focus on what they love—the art and craft of photography. Lightroom provides photographers with an elegant and efficient way to work with their growing digital image collections, bring out the best in their images, and make an impact from raw capture to creative output, all while maintaining the highest possible quality each step of the way.

Download here

 

“For the development of this latest release, we’ve focused on further maximizing image quality and expanding output options. New tools let you extract more detail from highlights and shadows, make a wider range of targeted adjustments, and easily share your images and video clips on social media and photo sharing sites.

New Features in Lightroom 4 Beta

  • Highlight and shadow recovery brings out all the detail that your camera captures in dark shadows and bright highlights.
  • Photo book creation with easy-to-use elegant templates.
  • Location-based organization lets you find and group images by location, assign locations to images, and display data from GPS-enabled cameras.
  • White balance brush to refine and adjust white balance in specific areas of your images.
  • Additional local editing controls let you adjust noise reduction and remove moiré in targeted areas of your images.
  • Extended video support for organizing, viewing, and making adjustments and edits to video clips.
  • Easy video publishing lets you edit and share video clips on Facebook and Flickr®.
  • Soft proofing to preview how an image will look when printed with color-managed printers.
  • Email directly from Lightroom using the email account of your choice.

Typical Digital Image Management Workflow

I am often asked what work flow I use, the question is really how do I import my images, what software do I use to sort and edit and how do I archive, back up and output my work. This isn’t rocket science, a good understanding of the software, Aperture and  Lightroom being the most popular but there are many more, Bibble, ACDsee are two I have enjoyed using. My preference now is for Lightroom, I got fed up with Aperture falling over, maybe Apple sorted it out in Aperture 3 but my version of 2 was a dog.

The basis of work flow is what logically works for you, how do you think. I import to an external hard drive and then immediately back up to a second. Then I rate my images and create a set that will require final editing down but at least I have the best one or two from every set or scene. I then go through image prep. adjusting density, colour, cropping etc. Finally I out put to tif. my preferred images and depending on final use may also prepare jpegs. This works for me, many people have a more intense relationship with their work flow and need to tag and keyword images. Anyway this very useful article By on 9 Jan 2012 in Post Production via Lightstalking has much good advice, here is a taste of this long article

“Until a few years ago, workflow was a virtually unheard of word. Now it is the mantra of nearly every professional photographer but what does it mean? Well, put simply, its carrying out the day to day work tasks in a consistent and hence efficient way. Following on from my last article on Digital Image Management I want to talk about my workflow for ingesting and organizing images.

As mentioned before, there are a number of image management programs out there, my personal choice is Apple’s Aperture, mainly because I am Apple orientated and like the way the program interfaces with the rest of the Apple operating system. I allow Aperture to manage my library, meaning that I do not import my images separately to a folder then catalogue; I import them directly to Aperture and allow the program to deal with filing them.

So, for efficiency, start as you mean to go on. Get into the habit of uploading your images every time you return home. This way you can clean your cards, and start afresh next time you go out to shoot. It also means you are cataloging whilst things are still fresh in your mind.

The first thing I do when returning from a shoot is ingest my images into Aperture. As most of my images are travel based, my cataloging hierarchy is date and place related. My images are organized into projects by year, into folders by month and into individual shoots by albums. Typically I would return from a shoot and create a new album called for example 2012-01-01 Odessa. This album would reside in a folder called 2012-January inside a project called 2012-Images. Upon importing, I would batch name each image 2012-01-01 Odessa-(Sequential Number) Most image management software allows you to batch name your photographs in various ways. Before importing, I also add any keywords that are consistent throughout the shoot and most importantly add my copyright and date information to the metadata. I then import all the images.”……MORE

 

 

Learn Lightroom in a week

I regularly recommend the use of Lightroom as my preferred RAW conversion software. There may be others that are more refined but I’m not a refined sort of guy, LR has everything I need to make global alterations to an image. The setting of perfect exposure and colour, the bringing back of blown highlights or opening up the shadows. The many options it has as a way of improving an image and then the opportunity to apply presets that give a defined different look to the image as well as the chance to create my own presets are essential. My favourite place for presets is Preset Heaven. I use the cataloging systems to organise my images, I don’t need the keywording facilities much but appreciate their ease of use when I do. As a piece of software I find it essential and a joy to use.

I have people asking if I will run a course on LR but to me it seems so easy to use that I am not sure what I would teach except what seems obvious. There are some magnificent tutorials on line for Lightroom and one of the best that we have featured before is

Learn Lightroom in a week

Here are the links to our pages from where you can access the original tutorials on Photo-Tuts

Day 1, Monday I suppose

Day 2, Tuesday

Day 3 Wednesday

Day 4 Thursday

Day 5 Friday

The weekend Days 6 and 7

You are now an expert and know everything that you need to know.

 

RAW Processing – Weekly Lightroom Edit Episode 1

I am a great believer in RAW, I only ever shoot in this mode, of course that means I spend more time at my computer than is healthy but I do love the cotrol RAW processing gives me. This series of tutorials on the Digital Photo School site by Post Production Pye will give you an insight that might help you to do better and convince you to only shoot in RAW.

Here are the links to part one and part two, if you want the rest then follow DPS and get them directly fed to your computer. These tutorials use Lightroom, if you want the most comprehensive instruction in Lightroom have a look at our earlier posts here is a link to parts 6 and 7, there are the preceding 5 as well just go search for them in our search box

10 Cool Places to Learn the Art of Photoshop

Another collection of great sites from Lightstalking

“The great thing about the internet is how much people are willing to share a heap of valuable information. When it comes to our favourite post-processing software, then it’s staggering the amount of great information on Photoshop if you know where to look. Well, now you do know”

Or you could take our Photoshop course starting next week

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