Lightroom Performance – Workflow Tweaks

workflowBesides optimizing your computer and Lightroom settings, you can also save yourself a lot of frustration by thinking ahead and allowing your computer to do many of its processor-intensive activities at a time when you’re not using the computer.

 

Build previews overnight

In the previous post, we learned about the different kinds of previews and caches that can be used to speed up Lightroom. You’re going to need rendered previews, but you don’t have to sit there waiting for them! Decide which size rendered previews you’ll need, then set the standard sized or 1:1 previews building overnight, or at least while you go and make a drink. The same goes for smart previews, if you want to use them to speed up the Develop module. While Lightroom’s rendering previews, it’s using a lot of the computer’s processing power, so you’re better off doing something else while it works.

 

Apply presets before rendering previews

While we’re on the subject of previews, think about Develop settings you apply to all or most of your photos. There’s no point rendering the standard or 1:1 previews and THEN applying a preset, because the previews will need to be updated again. Apply your presets or sync your most-frequently used settings first, and then build your previews to save wasted effort.

 

Pause background tasks

Lightroom runs a series of background tasks, including Sync, Face Recognition and Reverse Geocoding. These use additional processing power, especially for Sync and Face Recognition, so if you’re struggling for speed, it can be useful to pause these tasks while you’re working in Lightroom. To do so, click on the Identity Plate in the top left corner and press the Pause buttons in the Activity Center. Don’t forget to start them again when you’ve finished.

 

Use optimum slider order

In the Develop module, regardless of the order in which you move the sliders, the end result is always the same (with the exception of spot healing which can be affected slightly by lens corrections and also by overlapping spots). There is, however, a slight performance advantage to using the tools in the following order:

  1. Tonal Adjustments (e.g. Basic panel, etc.) can be done at any stage, but are often done first
  2. Spot Healing
  3. Lens Corrections (Profile, Manual Transform sliders, Upright, etc.)
  4. Local Corrections (Adjustment Brush, Graduated Filter, Radial Filter)
  5. Detail Corrections (Noise Reduction, Sharpening)

If you apply some of these settings  (e.g. the lens profile or noise reduction) on import using a preset or default settings, but you’re struggling for speed, you can temporarily disable the panel using the panel switch on the left, and then reenable it when you’re finished.

 

Clear history

If the History panel becomes extremely long, particularly with local brush adjustments or spot healing, it can slow down Lightroom’s performance. It also inflates the size of the catalog considerably. You can clear the History for individual photos by clicking the X button on the panel, or you can clear the History for a large number of photos by selecting them and navigating to Develop menu > Clear History.

Clearing the History does not remove your current settings. It only clears the list of the slider movements/adjustments you made to get to the current state. Even if you clear the History, your current settings remain, and if you want to change them, you simply move the sliders.

 

Use pixel editor for intensive local edits

In the first post of this series, we learned the difference between non-destructive parametric editing (Lightroom) and pixel based editing (Photoshop). Extensive local adjustments, such as detailed adjustment brush masks or large/numerous spot heals, are better suited to Photoshop. While it may be possible to do them in Lightroom, they won’t be fast. It’s also worth noting that the Auto Mask setting in the adjustment brush has a significant impact on performance too.

 

Close extra panels

If you’re really struggling for speed, you can also help by minimizing the work Lightroom has to do.

This includes closing panels such as the Histogram panel, the Navigator panel, the Develop Detail panel 1:1 preview, the Keywording & Keyword List panels, the Metadata panel and the Filmstrip. Closing the Collections panel and then restarting Lightroom also saves having to count the smart collection contents, which can slow down metadata entry on large catalogs.

When you’re moving photos to a new folder, start the move and then switch to an empty folder or collection, such as the Quick Collection, so that Lightroom’s not having to constantly redraw the Grid view while it’s working. You can also turn off the thumbnail badges in View menu > View Options.

 

Leave exports for when not using computer

Finally, leave large exports for times when you’re not using the computer. It’s a processor-intensive task that can slow down the fastest of computers, due to the complex calculations involved.

 

Next week, the final post in this series… a summary of where to look when you’re suffering speed issues in specific areas of the program.

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Lightroom Performance – General System Maintenance

Lightroom can’t perform well if the operating system is struggling. While not specific to Lightroom, it’s worth running regular computer maintenance and optimizing other software running on your computer. This includes operating system and driver updates, keeping hard drives in good condition, and minimizing the number of other programs running in the background.

 

OS updates

updatecomputer2Updates to the Windows or Mac OS X operating systems not only fix bugs and add security fixes, but also improve its performance and compatibility with applications. Windows service packs and other updates are available from the Microsoft Windows Update website and Mac OS X updates are downloaded from the App Store.

 

Driver updates

Windows Update includes some drivers, however these are rarely the latest, so you’ll need to visit the component manufacturer’s website, or for laptops, the laptop manufacturer’s website to get the latest drivers. It’s important to keep drivers up to date, especially for the graphics card and input devices such as Wacom tablets and other mice, as older drivers can cause crashes as well as performance issues.

Most Mac OS X driver updates are downloaded from the App Store, but you’ll need to check manufacturer’s websites for third-party hardware drivers such as Wacom tablets.

 

Care of Hard Drives

In the previous post, we said that it’s important to keep enough space available on your hard drives, especially for the boot drive and the drive containing your catalog. Both the operating system and Lightroom need room to work.

You can clear space on your hard drive by emptying the Recycle Bin/Trash, deleting files (be careful!) or moving them to another drive. You can also clear out temporary files and caches to help to free up additional space. Both operating systems include tools to make this easier: Windows 7, 8.1Windows 10 and Mac.

If you’re working with spinning drives on Windows (not SSD’s), you also need to defragment/optimize the hard drive from time to time. This moves the data back into contiguous blocks, making it faster to read/write. Microsoft provide instructions for Windows 7, 8.1 & 10.

The Mac operating system automatically defragments small files, so it’s not necessary unless you’re working with large numbers of huge files (e.g. 1GB videos).

 

Other system tasks and software

Other programs running in the background also reduce the resources available to Lightroom. To make these resources available to Lightroom, quit other open applications, including those running in the system tray (Windows) / menubar (Mac), and prevent unnecessary programs running on startup. To stop apps opening on startup, try these instructions for Windows and Mac.

Anti-virus/security software running real-time scans also use your computer’s resources, so it may be useful to pause the scan while you’re working in Lightroom, and exclude specific files such as the catalog and previews.

The same goes for other software that runs automated tasks in the background, such as backup software or cloud sync such as Dropbox. If you’re struggling with performance issues, temporarily pausing these tasks can help.

 

Reboot occasionally

Finally, it’s worth rebooting from time to time… yes, even on a Mac!

 

Next week, some of Lightroom’s settings and preferences can be optimized for speed…

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Why use collections to organize photos?

In previous posts, we’ve learned how store photos and videos in folders on your hard drive, but now let’s start organizing them into virtual collections based on their content.

Collections are designed to group photos and videos for a specific purpose. Unlike folders, a single photo can be in multiple different collections without taking up extra space on your hard drive, and these grouped photos can come from any number of different folders on the hard drive.

Collections aren’t limited to containing photos and videos—they store your chosen sort order, and they can also remember your filtering (depending on a preference setting). Special types of collections also store the print/book/slideshow/web settings.

When would you use collections?

So when might you want to create a collection?

  • You prefer photos grouped by topic or genre. Perhaps you regularly view all of the photos of your grandchildren, or you want to group the photos from your vacations.
  • You’re gathering your best photos for your portfolio.
  • You’re working on a creative photo project over a long period of time.
  • You want to share a collection of photos with friends and family using Lightroom Web.
  • You want to sync photos to your phone or tablet.
  • You’re gathering photos for output – perhaps as prints, books, slideshows or web galleries.

What’s the downside?

Collections are virtual, so they don’t exist outside of Lightroom. This means they can’t be viewed in other software, and they’re not written to XMP metadata stored with the files, so they’re difficult to transfer if you move to alternative asset management software in the future. These aren’t major disadvantages in most cases, but they are worth being aware of.

For this reason, collections are best used as temporary groupings. Keywords remain the best choice for long-term storage, as they can be written back to the files in a standardized format which can be understood by any photographic software. (We’ll come back to keywords in a few week’s time, along with smart collections, but if you want a head start, see pages 140-150 and 190-192 in my Lightroom CC/6 book.)

But what if I have too many collections?

Eventually you’ll end up with a lot of collections and the list can become a little unwieldy. Like folders, you can organise them into a hierarchy of Collection Sets. It’s a little different to a folder hierarchy, because collections can only usually contain photos and videos, whereas collection sets can contain collections or other collection sets but not the photos or videos themselves, but it still allows a degree of organization.

That’s the theory of collections and collection sets… next week, we’ll put it into practice, learning how to create them.

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Travel Photography – Lightroom Before & After

What kind of keywords should I assign to my photos?

In previous weeks, we’ve discussed the benefits of keeping all of the photos in a single catalog and using Lightroom’s tools to organize them. For the next four posts in the series, we’re exploring keywords. Keyword tags are text metadata used to describe the content of the photo. Unlike collections, keywords can be stored in the metadata of the files and understood by a wide range of software, so your efforts are not wasted, even if you later move to other software.

Image recognition software is already able to identify many subjects, reducing the need for keywords. If you’re a CC subscriber, you can try it today with your own photos using Lightroom Web, or the Excire plug-in adds similar functionality to Lightroom Desktop. However, it’s likely to be some time before software can correctly name your friends and family, or tell the difference between a lesser spotted and great spotted woodpecker, so some keywords are still important.

What kind of keywords would you use to describe your photos?

If you’ve never keyworded photos before, you may be wondering where to start. There are no hard and fast rules for keywording (unless you’re shooting for Stock Photography). Assuming you’re shooting primarily for yourself, the main rule is simple—use keywords that will help you find the photos again later!

For example, they can include:

  • Who is in the photo (people – Face Recognition can also be useful)
  • What is in the photo (other subjects or objects)
  • Where the photo was taken (names of locations)
  • Why the photo was taken (what’s happening)
  • When the photo was taken (sunrise/sunset, season, event)
  • How the photo was taken (HDR, tilt-shift, panoramic)

Before you start applying keywords to photos, think about the kinds of words you would use to search for your photos.

The importance of consistency

While you’re planning the kind of keywords you’ll use, also think about consistency within your keyword list, otherwise you’ll spend a lot of time tidying up your keyword list later. For example:

  • Grouping—as with folders and collections, you can use a hierarchical list of keywords instead of a long flat list. We’ll consider the pros and cons in the next post.
  • Capitalization—stick to lower case for everything except names of people and places.
  • Quantity—either use singular or plural, but avoid mixing them (either have bird, cat and dog or birds, cats and dogs). Where the plural spelling is different, for example, puppy vs. puppies, you can put the other spelling in the Synonyms field so it’s still fully searchable.
  • Verbs—stick to a single form, for example, running, playing, jumping rather than mixing run, jumping, play.
  • Name formats—consider how you’ll handle nicknames or last names for married women. Many use the married name followed by the maiden name (e.g., Mary Married née Maiden), while others choose to put previous names and nicknames in the Synonyms field.

Need some ideas? While controlled vocabularies are overkill for most amateur photographers, they can be a great place to get ideas for your own keywords and list structure. Here’s a list of some popular keyword lists, both free and paid.

In the next post in the series, we’ll consider the advantages and disadvantages of flat and hierarchical keyword lists, and then we’ll put the theory into practice in the following posts.

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What is a Lightroom catalog?

There are basically two different types of image management software – databases (catalogs) and file browsers. So what’s the difference? Let’s compare to a physical library of books to illustrate.

libraryperson

A file browser looks at the files directly on the hard drive and organizes photos by folder. This is like walking straight into the library and looking round the shelves of books organized by topic. If someone’s borrowed a book, you won’t even know it exists.

A database is a series of text records. This is like the library’s catalog of books. In the old days, it was made up of drawers full of cards, but these days it’s all computerized. Each card – or computerized record – contains information about the book, who wrote it, a description, its ISBN number, perhaps a picture of the cover, and most importantly, which shelf the book is stored on. The books themselves are still on the shelves. They’re not IN the catalog. If someone’s borrowed a book so it’s no longer on the shelf, you can still see the information describing the book, but you can’t read the book until it’s returned to its shelf. If someone moves the book to a new shelf, the information on the card is incorrect and you’ll be looking in the wrong place until the record is updated.

librarycards

Lightroom’s catalog works in the same way. Photos are never IN the catalog. The Lightroom catalog contains text records of information describing the photos, with small previews stored nearby, and most importantly, a note of where each photo is stored on the hard drive. If the hard drive is disconnected or a photo is moved to a new location, you can still see the information describing the photo and a small preview in the catalog, but you can’t work with the photo until the original file is found.

Why does understanding the catalog matter?

We’re very familiar with working in file browsers. Windows Explorer and Mac Finder are used on every single Windows and Mac computer, so handling files in a browser comes naturally to most computer users.

Catalogs are different. If you move, rename or delete a file outside of Lightroom, the records in the catalog won’t get updated to match. Lightroom will still be looking in the old location on the hard drive for the file, and won’t be able to find it. When this happens, you’ll be left with exclamation marks on the photos, and you won’t be able to edit or export the photos (just like you can’t read a library book until you find the book itself).

As well as the information about the original image files, the catalog contains all of the work you’ve done to the photos. This includes flags, stars, keywords, captions, stars, flags, collection membership, and more. Even your Develop edits are stored as a series of text instructions in the catalog itself. While it is possible to store some of this metadata with the files (in a format called XMP), by default it’s only stored in the catalog. If you remove the photos from the catalog, all of your Lightroom edits will be gone. Even if you reimport the photos later, you won’t get this information back.

What do you need to remember?

  • Always rename photos within Lightroom, using the Photo menu > Rename command. If you don’t, you have to fix the links one at a time. BIG job!
  • Move photos within Lightroom by dragging and dropping them on another folder – or if you move them using Explorer/Finder/other software, update Lightroom’s records immediately, before you forget where you put them.
  • Don’t remove photos from the catalog unless you’re also intentionally deleting the original photos (e.g. the fuzzy ones).
  • Back up your catalog regularly. It contains a lot of essential information!

So should you have one catalog or multiple catalogs? That’s up for discussion in the next post in the series.

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Oooops, how do I undo?

man slip banana skinIt happens to all of us… you move the wrong slider, sync settings across too many photos, or the cat walks over the keyboard and all of your hard work disappears. Your beautifully edited photo ends up looking completely different and they all end up with the wrong star ratings. Oooops! But don’t panic, there are a few options to undo your mistake, so let’s walk through them one by one.

Undo

If the mistake has only just happened, the first port of call is the Undo command. That’s Ctrl-Z on Windows or Cmd-Z on Mac. When pressed repeatedly, it steps back through your recent actions, whether that’s slider movements, metadata changes, or simply switching between modules. If you go too far, press Ctrl-Y (Windows) / Cmd-Shift-Z (Mac) to redo the last action.

There are a few actions that can’t be undone using these shortcuts, such as deleting photos from the hard drive, but the dialogs always warn if an action is not undoable using this shortcut.

History

Lightroom Develop History panelBut what if you come back to a photo some time later and discover you synchronized Develop settings across the wrong photos, or applied some other incorrect Develop settings? Undo won’t help if you’ve restarted Lightroom, but the History panel can.

Lightroom keeps a record of all the Develop changes made to each photo. You can see this list in the History panel on the left in the Develop module.

To go back to an earlier version, click on an earlier history state in the History panel. If you make further changes, a new history is written from that point on, replacing the steps that followed.

Restore from a Backup Catalog

If you’ve made a massive blunder, perhaps syncing settings over a large number of photos or removing photos from your catalog, it can be quicker to restore from backups. If your backup is recent, it’s easiest to simply restore the entire backup catalog, however if you just want to restore metadata and edits for specific photos, it is possible to restore only part of the backup catalog… more on that next week.

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New Lightroom Preset System

The brand new Cuba Gallery two step Lightroom processing will revolutionise your color grading. The Color Grading+ and Lightmap+ presets work in tandem to give you a highly flexible and powerful processing tool. The Color Grade+ presets adjust hue and tonal effects. The Lightmap+ presets then shape the image.

The new Color Grade+ presets are available in a variety of classic effects, including Basic Color, Cinematic, Desaturated and Black & White. They include essential fine tuning such as sharpening and noise reduction. All effects are specifically designed to work with the Lightmap+ presets. This combination provides a unique approach to image processing.

Once you've applied the Color Grade+ presets it's then time to craft the lighting and mood of your image. The Lightmap+ presets provide a library of presets that help shape your image by adding depth, light and shade. Images can be shaped in variety of ways allowing photographers a refined fast track approach to image processing.

Click here to buy

 

Lightroom Catalogs – Top 10 Misunderstandings

confusionLightroom has two primary functions – organizing your photos and editing them. Although its organizational tools are powerful, they’re also the most misunderstood, so over the forthcoming weeks, we’ll discuss the best practices for using catalogs, folders, collections and keywords, and then we’ll discuss how to tidy up your existing catalog, if you wish to do so. First, however, let’s talk about some of the most common catalog-related misunderstandings.

#1 – Your photos are not “in” Lightroom

When you import photos into Lightroom, they’re not really “in” Lightroom. The metadata describing the photos is added to a database (called the catalog) as text records, along with a link to that file on the hard drive. Small JPEG previews are also stored next to the catalog, so you can view the photos when the original files are offline.

Imagine an index of the books in a library. The library catalog tells you a little about the book and which shelf it’s stored on, and maybe even gives you a preview of the cover, but it doesn’t contain the book itself. The Lightroom catalog works in the same way.

We’ll come back to the catalog concept in more detail next week, but for now, remember one thing: don’t delete your original photos thinking that they’re safely stored in Lightroom. They’re not.

#2 – Your photos are not hidden away by Lightroom

The photos are not stored in some magical location, hidden away from your view. They’re just normal image files stored in folders on your hard drive. You choose where they’re stored when you import them. This means you’re not locked into just using Lightroom, but it also means YOU are responsible for looking after the photos. If you move, rename or delete photos outside of Lightroom, you’ll create a mess.nocloud

#3 – Your photos are not “in the cloud” either

Even if you have a Creative Cloud subscription, and you’ve set all of your photos to sync, Lightroom only syncs low resolution previews to the cloud. The original photos are still stored on your computer, and you still need to back them up. You’re still responsible.

#4 – Lightroom’s Catalog Backup does not back up your photos

When you quit Lightroom, it’s probably asked you to back up, and you may have hit ok without reading the rest of the dialog. In doing so, you’d have missed a very important warning: Lightroom’s catalog backup only backs up the catalog. It does not back up your photos.

Lightroom's backup does not back up the photos

You need a solid backup system, and ideally something that’s automated. Copying and pasting files onto another drive when you happen to remember does not constitute a reliable backup system. Neither does RAID. And if you’ve ever tried restoring from backups created using the “Make a Second Copy” option in the Import dialog, you’ll have the grey hairs to prove it.

There’s a multitude of backup software available free of charge. One easy option is Crashplan. Their software allows you to back up to another hard drive free of charge, and if you have a fast internet connection, their online backup is also inexpensive. For the more technically minded user, Vice Versa (Windows) and Chronosync (Mac) allow even more control over your local backups.

#5 – You still need Lightroom’s catalog backup even if you run your own backups

Even if you have your own backup system, you may still need to run Lightroom’s own catalog backups too. Why? There are two main reasons:

1. Many backup systems overwrite the previous backup with the latest one. If your catalog becomes corrupted (relatively rare) or you make a mistake that you don’t spot immediately (incredibly common!), your normal backup system will overwrite your last “good” backup with the corrupted/incorrect catalog. Lightroom’s catalog backup, on the other hand, is versioned, which means that it keeps each of the backups, so you can go back to an earlier version at any time.

2. Backup systems that create versioned backups, for example, Time Machine, may run at a time while Lightroom is open. As a result, the backup can be corrupted. Lightroom’s catalog backup, however, runs when Lightroom quits.

If in doubt, let your backup system back up Lightroom’s own catalog backups.

#6 – Keep the photos in Lightroom even when you’ve finished editing them

If you remove photos from Lightroom when you’ve finished editing them, or only add specific photos in the first place, you’re kind of missing the point of Lightroom. It’s designed to help you search and work with ALL of your photos now and in the future, and it can’t do that if you’ve removed them from the catalog.

removephoto

Some people remove finished photos because they’re concerned that their catalog will get too big. The largest known catalog is 4.2 MILLION photos, and yes, that’s getting a bit big to handle. But most Lightroom users don’t have 4.2 million photos.

While we’re on the subject, let’s state the obvious. Don’t delete your original photos from the hard drive when you’ve finished editing them. That would be like throwing away the film negatives when you’ve made a print, or throwing away the recipe when you’ve finished making a cake.

Unless you’re completely deleting the photos from your archives, add them all to your Lightroom catalog and leave them there.

#7 – Adding all your photos to Lightroom doesn’t mean using masses of hard drive space

If your photos are already on the hard drive, you don’t have to duplicate them when adding them to your Lightroom catalog. In the Import dialog, you can select Add to leave them in their current location, or Move if you want to rearrange them into a new folder structure.

addimport

Once the photos are added to your Lightroom catalog, you still have plenty of options. You can move all of the photos to another hard drive if you start to run out of space, or you can split them over multiple hard drives. Archive hard drives can be disconnected. Even if you split over multiple hard drives, Lightroom can manage all of this in a single catalog, and I’ll explain how in more detail in a few weeks time.

#8 – Sometimes moving photos in Lightroom can be a bad idea

You’ll often hear Lightroom experts (including me) tell you only to rename, move or delete photos inside of Lightroom, because otherwise you’ll break the links. There is one exception. If you’re moving entire folders containing large amounts of data, for example, you’re archiving old photos off to another hard drive, it’s actually quicker and safer to move them in Explorer/Finder and then immediately update Lightroom’s links.

#9 – You don’t have to “Save” when you’ve finished editing

In most conventional photo editors, you must save the changes to each file when you finish editing. Lightroom is different. The database is automatically updated whenever you move a slider or update the metadata. You don’t have to do a thing.

There is a Save Metadata to Files command in the Metadata menu, but this isn’t a conventional save either. It writes the metadata to the header of the file (or a sidecar XMP file for proprietary raw files). We’ll come back to the pros and cons in a future post, but if you want a head start, see pages 343-346 in my LRCC/6 book). Saving the metadata to the files doesn’t touch the image data, so your Lightroom Develop changes still won’t show up in other photo editors. To do that, you have to export the photos, which is like a Save As.

#10 – You don’t have to keep your exported photos

To see your Lightroom edits in other software, or send your edited photo to someone else, you must export the photos out of Lightroom as a JPEG, TIFF or PSD file. This creates a copy of the image with your Develop settings applied, so the original isn’t touched in the process.

You don’t need to keep these copies once they’ve served their purpose. Why not? Because as long as you have the original photos and the records in the catalog, you can export another identical copy when you need it, in exactly the size and format you need.

 

In the next post in the series, we’ll discuss the concept of a catalog and how it relates to your photos in more detail.

The post Lightroom Catalogs – Top 10 Misunderstandings appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

The cat walked over my keyboard and now Lightroom…

Whether it’s the cat walking over the keyboard, the toddler pressing random keys, or simply the slip of a finger, the result can be part of Lightroom’s interface going missing. These are the most frequent mishaps:

 

The minimize/maximize/close buttons are gone!

If the window buttons at the top of the screen are missing, and you can no longer move the Lightroom window around, you’re in one of the full screen modes. Press Ctrl-Alt-F (Windows) / Cmd-Opt-F (Mac), or to go Window menu > Screen Mode > Normal.

Lightroom window buttons

 

Everything’s gone black!

If everything goes black apart from the photos, you’ve hit the L key and enabled Lights Out mode. Press the L key once or twice until everything reappears.

If there’s only one large photo filling the screen, you’re likely in Full Screen view. Press F or Escape to cancel.

Lightroom black lights out

 

The Done button is missing

If the toolbar under the photo, which contains the view mode buttons and sort order in the Library module, and the Done button in the Develop module (among other things) goes missing, then you’ve accidentally pressed the T key. Press it again to make the toolbar reappear.

Lightroom missing toolbar

 

My Filters are missing

If the filters at the top of the Grid view are missing, you’ve pressed the \ key. Press it again!

Lightroom filter bar

 

My panel is missing!

If a side panel goes missing, right-click on one of the other panel headers and check the panel name again, or go to Window menu > Panels and select the name of the missing panel.

Lightroom missing panel

 

There’s writing in the corner of my photo!

If the Info overlay is showing in the top left corner of the photo, press the I key once or twice to hide it.

Lightroom info overlay

 

There are red and blue marks all over my photo!

If there are red or blue patches on photos in the Develop module, you’ve turned on the clipping warnings. Press the J key to disable them.

Lightroom clipping warnings red blue

 

My local adjustment pins are missing!

If you have the adjustment brush, graduated/radial filter or spot removal tool selected, and your existing adjustments aren’t displaying their pins, you’ve press the H key to hide them. Press it again to show them, or select Always or Auto in the Show Edit Pins pop-up in the toolbar.

Lightroom missing pins

 

My photo’s gone red

If you’re in a local adjustment tool (graduated filter, radial filter or adjustment brush) and the picture goes red, green, white or black, you’ve pressed the O key. Press the O key again to disable the mask overlay or toggle the checkbox in the toolbar.

Lightroom red mask

 

These are the most frequent issues, because they’re all caused by a single keypress or the accidental click of a mouse, but if you have another issue you can’t figure out, you’re welcome to post a description and screenshot on the forum at http://www.lightroomforums.net.

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What’s New in Lightroom CC 2015.10 / 6.10?

Lightroom CC 2015.10 and Lightroom 6.10 have been released today. Only a few weeks after the previous update, it’s focused on new camera/lens support and bug fixes. (For the update links, skip to the end of the post.)

New camera support:

New camera profiles:

  • Panasonic FZ1000
  • Panasonic GH4
  • Panasonic LX100

Tethering for new cameras:

New lens profiles:

  • Apple
    • OOWA 15mm Wide-Angle Lens for iPhone 6 (JPEG only)
    • OOWA 15mm Wide-Angle Lens for iPhone 6s (DNG+JPEG)
    • OOWA 75mm Telephoto Lens for iPhone 6 (JPEG only)
    • OOWA 75mm Telephoto Lens for iPhone 6s (DNG+JPEG)
  • Canon EF
    • SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM C017
    • SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM A017
    • Tokina AT-X 24-70mm F2.8 PRO FX (IF)
  • Canon EF-S
    • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II
    • Tokina AT-X 14-20mm F2 PRO DX (IF)
  • Leica M
    • Voigtlander VM HELIAR-HYPER WIDE 10mm F5.6
    • Voigtlander VM ULTRA WIDE-HELIAR 12mm F5.6 III
  • Leica M39
    • FED Industar-61 52mm f/2.8
  • M42
    • Helios MC 44-3 58mm F2
  • Minolta SR
    • Minolta MC ROKKOR-PF 85mm F1.7
    • Minolta MD ROKKOR-X 85mm F2
  • Nikon F
    • Samyang 12mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS Fisheye
    • SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM A017
    • Tokina AT-X 14-20mm F2 PRO DX (IF)
    • Tokina AT-X 24-70mm F2.8 PRO FX (IF)
  • SIGMA
    • SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM A017
  • Sony FE
    • Sony FE 85mm F1.8
    • Sony FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS
  • Click here for the full list of available Adobe Lens Profiles
  • Further user-created profiles can be downloaded using the Lens Profile Downloader (scroll down that page slightly – it’s at the end of the Resources section on that link)

Bug fixes:

There are loads of bug fixes. Adobe only publishes the bugs reported by users, which this time include:

Import/Tethering

Library/Map

Develop

Slideshow

Export

  • FIXED – Incorrect file renaming when using Cropped rename token.

Workspace / Performance

  • IN PROGRESS – The black panels bug on macOS has reduced in frequency although it may not be a complete fix. If you continue to see this issue, please report it using the link below.

If you find another bug, click here to report it.

How do I update?

To update, go to Help menu > Updates or click the Update button in the CC app. The update servers take a while to push the updates around the world, to avoid crashing the servers. If you’re a CC user, you can open the CC app, click the cog icon and select Check for Updates to give it a nudge. Alternatively, here are the direct links to the patches: Windows – Mac

The post What’s New in Lightroom CC 2015.10 / 6.10? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

Lightroom gadgets – PFixer (Mac only)

PFixer, designed by Pusher Labs, is a very interesting project, but I should note at the outset that it’s only available for the Mac operating system. Sorry Windows users.

Although their website highlights their MiniMal midi controller, the flexibility of their software is far more interesting in my opinion. The main PFixer software works with any midi controller, or with your existing keyboard (like Motibodo) or Apple trackpad.

pfixer minimal

 

Controls

The main PFixer software offers over 200 different Lightroom functions, including up to 20 Develop presets and 10 Local Adjustment presets, so you can pick and choose which controls you’d like to use. There’s also a light version of the software, named Core, which offers a more limited range of functionality.

If you’re using the software with your standard keyboard, this means you can have a huge number of settings applied to keys and their modifier combinations, just like Motibodo, except you’re in control of which sliders are assigned to each key.

You can also use it with a trackpad, assigning different areas of the trackpad to different commands. For example, you could divide your trackpad into 4 imaginary squares. Using one finger to move vertically in the top left corner could adjust Temperature and moving horizontally could adjust Tint. The top right corner might adjust Exposure and Contrast, and so forth.

The MiniMal midi controller has 8 dials, 18 buttons and a fader. As you turn the dials, the sliders move. Using the buttons, you can switch between different groups of adjustments, so the dials can adjust Basic sliders in one mode, Tone Curve sliders in another, Hue sliders in another, and so forth. This means you can adjust a huge range of sliders without ever having to touch your mouse. The buttons can also be assigned to specific commands, such as Copy, Paste, Sync or Crop, to name a few.

A new Xtremist panel is also due to be added in the near future, which benefits from motorized faders. This is particularly interesting if you like the idea of moving Lightroom’s sliders using physical sliders, rather than dials. Using most midi controller faders, when you start to adjust the fader, Lightroom’s slider jumps back to match the fader position. In contrast, the Xtremist’s motorized faders jump to match Lightroom’s slider positions.

 

Flexibility

PFixer only works with Lightroom, but within Lightroom it’s very flexible. You’re not limited to a specific panel layout or workflow, and you can reprogram the controls to your own preferences.

It comes with a number of sample shortcut layouts, and you can tweak the settings to your hearts content. For example, if you’re using the software with your standard keyboard, you can use a mix of PFixer shortcuts and native ones. This is particularly useful when certain key combinations are burned forever into your memory.

You can also reprogram the controls on the MiniMal controller. For example, if you never add a Vignette, you can reprogram that dial to adjust the Vibrance instead. One of the first adjustments I made was to promote the Temp & Tint dials to “first layer” on the controller, and change the order of the Blacks/Shadows/Highlights/Whites dials to match the slider order, because that’s how my brain works. You can reprogram them to fit the way your brain works.

 

Learning Curve

The basics of the MiniMal were straightforward to pick up – turn the first dial and the Exposure slider moves. It gets more complicated when you start switching layers (different dial behaviors depending on which buttons are depressed), and I was still getting confused after a few hours, although I’m sure this would become second nature in time.

The software came with presets for other popular Lightroom keyboard solutions, so it was quick and easy to get started. Reprogramming the keyboard commands to suit my own preferences was also fairly intuitive, and simply involved replacing the shortcut in the Preferences dialog.

The only downside I ran into is the History panel fills up quickly, which is true of many of the gadgets. Extensive History states tend to balloon the catalog size and have been known to slow Lightroom down. However, this can be adjusted in PFixer’s Preferences, at the cost of slowing down preview update times, or the History can simply be cleared if it starts causing problems.

 

Size & Ergonomics

Midi controllers aren’t designed for this kind of use, so the ergonomics of the MiniMal aren’t great. The dials rise high above the desk, and the buttons take a little effort to press. Editing with the MiniMal on your lap is a little more comfortable.

The software, on the other hand, has taken up permanent residence on my laptop. Using the keyboard to “touch-type” adjustments is very comfortable, and the new trackpad support holds a lot of potential for gesture based adjustments.

 

OS & Lightroom Compatibility

The software is Mac only, but it runs on 10.7 and later, and uses Lightroom 4 or later.

 

Instructions & Support

There’s a good set of installation instructions on their website. Other instructions are a little more limited. Reprogramming midi controllers appears to be more complicated and undocumented, but if you order one of their midi controllers, they arrive already set up.

Ben is very responsive to support requests, and there’s also a Facebook user group for sharing ideas and settings.

 

Cost & Trial Versions

The light Core software is $29.99*

The main PFixer software is $99.99*

The MiniMal bundle, which includes the MiniMal midi controller and software, is $179.99 (plus any shipping/customs charges)*

There is a fully functional 14 day free trial for the PFixer software, and since it can use your own keyboard and trackpad, there’s no cost involved if you fancy giving it a whirl. Just make sure you take enough time to play with it, as the benefits increase with use.

You can use any midi controller, but some work better than others. They’ve provided step-by-step instructions for popular models, many of which can be purchased second-hand on eBay if you’re undecided.

* Prices correct at the time of writing.

* Full disclosure – When I told them I was planning to test their software for this review, Pusher Labs sent me a MiniMal panel and software for testing. I receive no compensation for this review.

The post Lightroom gadgets – PFixer (Mac only) appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

What’s New in Lightroom CC 2015.9 / 6.9?

Lightroom CC 2015.9 and Lightroom 6.9 have been released today, with new camera/lens support and bug fixes for everyone. (For the update links, skip to the end of the post.)

So what else is new?

There’s better error reporting for sync errors. If you click on the Sync Status in the Identity Plate, it opens the Sync Progress section of the Preferences dialog. If you click on some errors, it even displays a possible cause.

Lightroom mobile for iOS and Android were also both updated yesterday, adding raw HDR capture on both operating systems (specific devices only) and local adjustments on Android too. You can read more about the changes here.

New camera support:

  • Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
  • Casio EX­ZR3200
  • Fujifilm GFX 50S
  • Fujifilm X100F
  • Fujifilm X-A10
  • Fujifilm X-T20
  • Leica M10
  • Olympus E-M1 Mark II (full support)
  • Panasonic DC-FZ80 (DC-FZ82, DC-FZ85)
  • Panasonic DC-GF9 (DC-GX850, DC-GX800)
  • Panasonic DC-GH5
  • Panasonic DMC-TZ82
  • Phase One IQ3 100MP (excluding S compression mode)
  • Click to view the full list of supported cameras

Tethering for new cameras:

New camera profiles:

  • Olympus E-M1 Mark 2 now has full support, including camera profiles

New lens profiles:

  • Apple
    • Moment Macro Lens for iPhone 7 (DNG + JPEG)
    • Moment Macro Lens for iPhone 7 Plus (DNG + JPEG)
    • Moment Superfish Lens for iPhone 7 (DNG + JPEG)
    • Moment Superfish Lens for iPhone 7 Plus (DNG + JPEG)
    • Moment Tele Lens for iPhone 7 (DNG + JPEG)
    • Moment Tele Lens for iPhone 7 Plus (DNG + JPEG)
    • Moment Wide Lens for iPhone 7 (DNG + JPEG)
    • Moment Wide Lens for iPhone 7 Plus (DNG + JPEG)
  • Canon EF
    • Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM
    • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM
    • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
    • TAMRON 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD B023E
    • TAMRON SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 A025E
    • TAMRON SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 A025E +1.4x III
    • TAMRON SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 A025E +2x III
  • Canon EF-M
    • Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM
    • Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 MACRO IS STM
  • DJI
    • DJI Mavic Pro FC220 (DNG + JPEG)
  • Fujifilm X
    • Fujifilm X100F
  • Nikon F
    • TAMRON 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD B023N
    • TAMRON SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 A025N
    • TAMRON SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 A025N x1.4
    • TAMRON SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 A025N x2.0
    • Voigtlander SL II – S 58mm f/1.4 Nokton
  • Sony E
    • Sony E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS
  • Sony FE
    • Rokinon/Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 FE
    • Voigtlander ULTRA WIDE-HELIAR 12mm F5.6 III
    • Zeiss Loxia 2.4/85
  • Click here for the full list of available Adobe Lens Profiles
  • Further user-created profiles can be downloaded using the Lens Profile Downloader (scroll down that page slightly – it’s at the end of the Resources section on that link)

Bug fixes:

There are loads of bug fixes. Adobe only publishes the bugs reported by users, which this time include:

Import/Tethering

Backup

Library/Map

Develop

Edit in Photoshop or Merging

Export

  • FIXED – Export was taking longer than previous version.

Workspace / Performance

  • FIXED – The panels and filmstrip turn black intermittently
  • FIXED – “Error changing modules”
  • FIXED – Zoom to Fill then to Full Screen Mode crashes Lightroom on Mac retina displays.
  • FIXED – No way to reassign keyboard shortcuts when using English app on foreign keyboards, as TranslatedStrings.txt no longer works. (Full instructions in the next post.)
  • FIXED – Issue related to abnormal Lightroom exit when using Full Screen mode (Mac OS 10.12 Sierra only).
  • FIXED – Memory Leak

If you find another bug, click here to report it.

How do I update?

To update, go to Help menu > Updates or click the Update button in the CC app. The update servers take a while to push the updates around the world, to avoid crashing the servers, but if you’re in a hurry to update, here are the direct links to the patches: Windows – Mac

The post What’s New in Lightroom CC 2015.9 / 6.9? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

It’s New Class Thursday!

PhotographyRockstars

The Secrets To Becoming A Photography Rockstar with Adam Elmakias
Learn how to get started as a concert photographer with Adam Elmakias! Adam is a music photographer based in San Diego who got started in the business at a young age and has learned the ropes from spending time in the trenches with bands on the road, and in all kinds of venues. In this class Adam will teach you all the tools you need to be a successful artist today, from how to get a photo pass to the importance of networking, and from how to build your brand to how to find balance with social media. The photo industry is constantly changing, and one of the most important things you can do is position yourself to be an influencer within your photographic community. Adam addresses all of these points and so much more!

It’s Throwback Thursday!
If you missed this class on KelbyOne, you need to watch it right now! It’s one of the best on the topic anywhere – it’s Daniel Gregory’s class Visual Literacy – it’s just brilliant! (ask anybody’s who has seen it).

https://youtu.be/TDMmOoQWHjk

The post It’s New Class Thursday! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Lightroom updates – what a week!

Just over a week has passed since Adobe released the CC 2015.2 and 6.2 updates, and it’s been a tough week for the entire Lightroom community, from the Lightroom team right through to the users who have had their work disrupted.

The thread about the new Import dialog shot to the top of the listing on the Feedback forum in record time, primarily due to missing Import functionality that broke the workflows of many advanced and professional users. Forums do tend to give a distorted view of how people are feeling, as happy users have no reason to post, but even so, I’ve never experienced a response like it.

 

Adobe Apologizes

On Friday, Tom Hogarty made a public apology, admitting they’d made some bad decisions with this release and promising to “work hard to earn your trust back.”

To be fair, we’ve all made mistakes. Adobe may be a big corporation but it’s made up of imperfect humans.  We all make bad decisions at times, and unfortunately this one affected a large number of people.  What’s important now is what they do next.

 

So what’s happening with Import?

The short answer is “we don’t know what’s going to happen with Import yet.” The immediate priority was the stability issues, and now Adobe will be figuring out exactly how to integrate all of the feedback they’ve received. That’s going to take time – possibly even 2 or 3 months – but that doesn’t mean you’re being ignored.  Your feedback has been heard loud and clear.

 

I’m on TheFix podcast

To hear a little more about this week’s events and the new Import dialog, you can catch me on episode 35 of The FIX podcast with Sean Duggan this week. It should be available to watch later today.

 

Is it safe to upgrade now?

On Friday, Adobe released the CC 2015.2.1 /6.2.1 updates, which appear to have solved many of the crash and performance issues.

Some users are still seeing stability problems, particularly having to force quit the application, and the team are investigating these leftover issues.

There are a couple of other smaller bugs that have been discovered in these updates and they will be fixed in due course, and they have easy workarounds noted on the linked threads:

On a production machine, I’d recommend staying with 2015.1.1 / 6.1.1 for now, until things settle down, although the number of users continuing to see issues is now comparatively small.

If you do decide to upgrade and then get stuck, it’s quite simple to downgrade using these instructions.

 

Book updates – and a free download or two

As the new Import dialog looks nothing like the old one, I’ve rewritten the Import chapter of my book. For registered LRCC/6 book owners, it’s been available for download in the Members Area for the last few days.

Since so many people are trying to figure out the new Import dialog, I’ve decided to help by making my new Import chapter available for ALL of my newsletter subscribers for the next couple of weeks.

To download it, enter your name and email address into the Newsletter Signup form (see the sidebar or below this post on a mobile device). If you’re a new subscriber, click the link in the confirmation email to access the download. If you’re already subscribed, the link to the download page displays in the signup form when you click Sign Me Up!

Putting the new Import dialog into my free Quick Start eBook has given me the opportunity to do a number of other updates to the eBook at the same time. I’m on course to have this finished by the weekend and will send all subscribers an updated download link as soon as it’s ready.

Lightroom and macOS Sierra Compatibility

macOS SierraThe newest Mac operating system, macOS 10.12 Sierra, goes live later today. The big question is, does Lightroom work?

The good news is Lightroom CC 2015.7 and Lightroom 6.7, which are available right now, do work on Sierra. It’s possible that there are minor issues that haven’t been spotted yet, but it has been through extensive testing on Sierra and the known issues have been fixed.

 

Lightroom CC 2015.6 / 6.6 and earlier

The bad news is, if you’re on Lightroom CC 2015.6 / 6.6 or earlier, you will need to update, but don’t worry, it’s a free update for Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 users. Earlier LR CC/6 versions have known issues including:

  • In the Import dialog, the Apply During Import and Destination panels are not visible.
  • Canon cameras are not detected for tethering. Nikon cameras may also have issues.
  • The message “Modify Exposure with +/- keys” is displayed during every launch.
  • Right-clicking to access context menus anywhere in Lightroom throws an uncaught exception.

To update, go to the CC app and press the Update button, or go to Help menu > Updates from within Lightroom.

 

Older Lightroom Versions

Older Lightroom versions are not supported, and will not be updated. They haven’t been extensively tested, but I upgraded to Sierra 10 days ago (developer’s GM build) and have done some initial testing. I’ll add new issues to this list as I hear about them.

  • LR 3, 4, 5 – In the Import dialog, the Apply During Import and Destination panels are missing. To show them again, right-click on another panel header and reselect them in the menu.
    missingpanels
  • LR 3, 4, 5 – Canon, Nikon and Leica tethering do not work.
  • LR 2, 3 4, 5 – The message “Modify Exposure with +/- keys” or similar is displayed during every launch
  • LR 3 – Some direct camera connections not detected by Import dialog (workaround – use a card reader)
  • LR 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.0, 5.1 – Cosmetic sliders issues shown below:
    sierrasliders2

 

If you want to upgrade to Lightroom CC/6, to help you decide whether to upgrade to a subscription or a perpetual license, there are pros, cons and purchase links on my How to Buy Lightroom page.

The post Lightroom and macOS Sierra Compatibility appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

Lightroom gadgets – LrControl

The new kid on the block, LrControl from Peltmade, is looking like a very promising and economical option for midi controllers on both Windows and Mac.

 

Controls

The LrControl functions are almost entirely focused on the Develop module, apart from star ratings and flags. At the time of writing, LrControl can affect about 160 different Lightroom sliders/buttons, depending on the number of buttons, dials (encoders) and sliders (faders) on your midi controller.

If you had a fader for every slider in the Develop module, you’d need a controller that took up your entire desk, and you’d need very long arms. Hardly ideal! To solve this issue, midi controllers use the concept of layers – essentially switching sets of controls, like a modifier key. When you press one button, the faders affect the Basic sliders. Press another button, and the faders change the Effects panel sliders (and LrControl very helpfully opens the applicable panel too, so you can see what you’re doing). This means a huge number of controls can be fitted into a small space on your desk.

Behringer BCF2000Most midi controllers are not motorized. This means that the fader position doesn’t match the slider position when you switch photos. If you moved the Exposure fader right to the bottom on the previous photo, when you start to move it on the next photo, Lightroom’s Exposure slider jumps to -5 and the picture goes dark. This can be quite disconcerting, and is hopeless if you’re trying to tweak photos that you’ve already edited. This can be avoided by using devices such as the Behringer XTouch Mini, with its endless encoders (dials), or the Behringer BCF2000 with its motorized faders that automatically move to match the Lightroom settings for the selected photo.

nanoKONTROL2On devices which don’t have motorized faders, such as the nanoKONTROL2, you can use a button to enable “pickup mode”. This ignores your fader movement until you reach Lightroom’s current slider value. It feels quite odd to move the slider in the wrong direction before you can move it in the right direction. For example, if the fader is at the bottom, and you want to darken the photo, you have to move it upwards, past the current setting (e.g. half way), and then down to your desired brightness. If you have an inexpensive and small midi controller, this is the compromise you make.

There are still some missing functions that I consider essential – most notably, the Previous and Sync buttons. It’s also missing a few checkbox toggles, such as Constrain Crop, so you may still need to reach for the mouse occasionally. LrControl can’t apply Develop presets yet either, which may be an issue for heavy preset users. These omissions are purely a sign of its early stage of development, and having talked to the developer, I’m sure they’ll be added in due course.

 

Flexibility

Because LrControl uses a Lightroom plug-in, it only works with Lightroom. That said, other software is available, which would allow you to use the same midi controller in other programs.

I’ve been testing the 1.4 release, due for release later this week, which adds customization. This means you can change the behavior of various sliders and dials to suit your own needs, which will be a welcome addition.

Because LrControl uses a separate device, rather than your standard keyboard, it doesn’t override any of Lightroom’s normal keyboard shortcuts. This is particularly useful where specific commands, such as the Previous button, aren’t currently available on the midi controller.

LrControl uses a Lightroom plug-in, so it’s quite responsive. There’s a slight lag initially, just to give Lightroom time to fully load the photo. If you’re looking for blazing speed on a high volume of photos, midi controllers aren’t the tool for the job, in my opinion, as there’s too much hand movement involved. They’re better suited to slower, more thoughtful editing, allowing you to focus entirely on the photo without having to look at the sliders.

 

Learning Curve

The setup process is very simple, with a standard installer that puts the plug-in in the correct location. If the midi controller is at its factory defaults, there’s no additional setup to do. If you purchase a second hand midi controller, you may need to figure out how to reset it.

Personally, I found the layout of the Behringer BCF2000 quicker to learn than the nanoKONTROL. The only oddity is the Temperature control, which is split across 2 dials because the slider range is so wide. The first dial makes large adjustments, and the second makes finer adjustments.

There are a couple of places where the default fader order doesn’t match the Lightroom slider order (for example, the Tone Curve faders), which makes it difficult to remember which is which, but with the new customization feature, you’ll be able to switch them round quite easily.

 

Size & Ergonomics

The size of midi controllers varies. By way of comparison, here’s the  Behringer BCF2000 (left), the Apple keyboard (top right, for comparison), the nanoKONTROL2 (center right), and the Behringer X-Touch Mini (bottom right, aka the PFixer MiniMal).

Lightroom midi controllers

As we said in the PFixer review, midi controllers aren’t built for this type of use, so the ergonomics aren’t perfect.

The Behringer BCF2000 is huge, at approximately 13″ x 11.8″ x 4″ (33cm x 30cm x 10cm), so you’ll need plenty desk space to spare. The sliders and dials move easily, and if you’re going for a midi controller, the motorized faders are worth having. Even with its huge size, this would be my choice of midi controller. Because of its height, it would be more comfortable to use on a lower desk or on a lap tray. A large under-desk pull out keyboard drawer would be ideal if it had enough clearance, saving desk space and putting the device at a more comfortable height.

At the other end of the scale, the nanoKONTROL2 is just 12.80″ x 3.27″ x 1.18″ (32.5cm x 8.3cm x 3cm). The encoders (dials) and faders (sliders) are slightly stiffer to move and the shorter length of the faders makes it more difficult to fine tune the slider position. However, it’s very inexpensive, has a huge number of controls, and if you’re interested in using a midi controller with Lightroom, it’s a good way of dipping your toe in the water.

 

OS & Lightroom Compatibility

LrControl only works with the current Lightroom version – Lightroom CC or Lightroom 6. Since it uses Adobe’s Lightroom SDK, it should work in future versions of Lightroom too.

It works with all of the operating systems that Lightroom supports. All of the supported controllers are USB compliant, so no drivers are needed. This means you don’t need to worry about it breaking when you upgrade your operating system.

 

Instructions & Support

The installation process is simple, using a standard installer, and there are demo videos on Peltmade’s Vimeo channel, showing how the controls work with the most popular controllers.

The tables of controls for each midi controller look quite complicated to start with, due to the sheer number of controls, but they become easier to understand once you get the hang of layers (sets of settings). It’s worth printing the PDF so you can refer to it frequently until the controls become second nature.

It’s clearly early days for LrControl, and the website and software are still under development, but I’ve found Boudewijn to be very responsive to suggestions and feedback.

 

Cost & Trial Versions

The LrControl plug-in costs just $49*

You’ll also need a midi controller. The two I’ve tested are:

  • nanoKONTROL2 costs around $48/£34.00 * from Amazon.
  • Behringer BCF2000 costs around $220/£269*

There is a trial version of the software which works for the first 10 minutes every time you open Lightroom. You’ll need a controller, of course, but many online stores accept returns if you decide it isn’t for you.

* Prices correct at the time of writing.

* Full disclosure – Boudewijn loaned me a Korg nanoKONTROL2 and Behringer BCF2000 for testing. I receive no compensation for this review.

The post Lightroom gadgets – LrControl appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

Where Will You Be….

…when the world’s best teachers take the stage in Las Vegas next month, on the 19th – 21st, at the Photoshop World 2016 Conference?

instrcu2

Why not come and be a part of it all? Don’t just read about it afterward. Experience it yourself.

Save $100 by getting your tickets before this Friday!
The Early Bird special $100-off deal ends this Friday, so get your tickets right now…then:

(1) Get your special hotel room discount for conference attendees
(2) Grab your airfare (we have a discount airfare finder)
(3) Start booking some show reservations, and making dinner plans
(4) Pack your bags, ’cause we’re going to Vegas, baby!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Need help convincing your boss you need to be there? We’ve written a “letter to your boss” for you, and it’s awesome — just copy and paste it into a letter, than do #1’s one thru four above. Here’s the link. See you there!

The post Where Will You Be…. appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

How do I use flags and star ratings to identify my favorite photos?

In the last post, we discussed using collections to group photos. You don’t need to create additional collections for your best photos, because you can use flags/stars and filter them.

Flags vs. Stars

Lightroom offers multiple ways of rating your photos.

Flags have three different states—flagged (picked), unflagged and rejected. It’s a popular ranking system among Lightroom users, but flags can’t be written to the files or shared with other software, so many prefer to use it as a temporary ranking (for example, when initially sorting through the photos, deciding which to keep.)

  

Star Ratings are used by photographers worldwide, with 5 stars being the best photos. Stars are standardized metadata so they can be understood by other software. Many photographers limit themselves to using 1-3 stars when initially ranking their photos, and leave 4 and 5 stars for the best photos they’ve ever taken.

Lightroom also offers Color Labels, which can be used for a variety of different purposes, but we’ll stick to flags and stars for now.

How do I assign flags or star ratings?

There are numerous ways to apply or remove star ratings and flags, so we’ll just use the basic keyboard shortcuts in this post. For information on additional options, see pages 107-112 in my Lightroom CC/6 book.

The keyboard shortcuts are easy to remember:

Applying a flag or a star rating couldn’t be easier – just tap the keyboard shortcut, then use the right arrow key to move on to the next photo. If you change your mind, just tap a different key to assign a different rating.

If you’re in a decisive mood, hold down Shift while using these keyboard shortcuts (or turn on Caps Lock). Lightroom applies the ranking and automatically advances to the next photo.

These keyboard shortcuts work in all view modes, but viewing photos in the Library module (Grid, Loupe, Compare & Survey views) is faster than the Develop module. Don’t forget to build the correct previews before you start, otherwise you’ll have to wait for Lightroom to load each photo.

In next week’s post, I’ll walk you through my personal rating workflow, including how I decide which star rating a photo deserves, but first…

How do I find photos based on their flags or star ratings?

All these star ratings and flags are pointless unless you can use them to find photos again later. This is where the Attribute Filters come in.

  1. Click on the flags or stars to highlight them. The Grid updates to show only photos with the selected rating.
    For example:
  2. In the Filter Bar at the top of the Grid view, select Attribute. If the Filter Bar is missing, tap the \ key.
  3. To search your whole catalog, select All Photographs in the Catalog panel on the left, or select a folder or collection to search a smaller group of photos.

    • Click on the first flag to show only flagged photos.
    • Click on it again to show everything.
    • Click on the 3rd star to show photos with 3 or more stars.
    • Click on the > symbol until it becomes a = symbol to show photos with exactly 3 stars.
    • In the pop-up on the right, select Filters Off to clear the filters.
  4. Click on None to the Filter Bar to hide the filters.

That’s the basics, but you’ll find further tips and tricks, including how to use Smart Collections, on pages 181-192 of my Lightroom CC/6 book.

 

Next week, an infographic showing my Lightroom Rating Workflow…

The post How do I use flags and star ratings to identify my favorite photos? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

Should you have one catalog or multiple catalogs?

weigh-multi-catSince version 1.1, Lightroom has been able to create and switch between multiple catalogs, but the question is, just because you can, should you?

There is no ‘right’ number of catalogs. As with the rest of your Lightroom workflow, it depends on how you work. So should you use a single main working catalog*, or should you split your photos into multiple catalogs?  Let’s consider the pros and cons…

Why is a single catalog the best choice for most photographers?

  • The whole point of a DAM (Digital Asset Management) system like Lightroom is being able to easily search through them and find specific photos, but you can’t search across multiple catalogs (e.g., to find the best photos from multiple shoots) without opening each catalog in turn.
  • It’s a pain to keep switching catalogs, especially since you can’t switch catalogs while a process is running (e.g., if you’re running an export in one catalog, you have to wait for it to complete before switching to another catalog).
  • Mobile sync only works with one catalog.

Why do some people recommend multiple catalogs?

  • Some people say that small catalogs are faster than big catalogs, and this is true in some circumstances:
    • Smaller catalogs are faster to open and back up than very large catalogs – but how many times a day do you need to open and back up?
    • Big catalogs can be slow to search, if you’re searching the whole catalog – but it’s still faster than opening multiple catalogs in turn to search through each one.
    • We should define big/small catalogs – even 50,000 photos counts as a small catalog… 4 million is big!
    • As long as the catalog’s optimized regularly and stored on a fast drive, viewing and working in individual folders/collections should be almost the same speed regardless of catalog size.
  • Some people encourage multiple catalogs on the basis that you’ll have less to lose if your catalog becomes corrupted – but simply backing up the catalog regularly works just as well.
  • Some people say it’s easier to organize photos by topic in separate catalogs, perhaps separating their bird photography from wildlife. We’ll consider alternatives that may be simpler, later in this post.

For most amateur photographers, the benefits of a single master catalog massively outweigh the disadvantages. Professional photographers may need to weigh the pros and cons a little more carefully and decide what’s right for their workflow.

Who should consider multiple master catalogs?

  • You want to separate “Work” shoots from “Home” (or “His” and “Hers”) and there’s no overlap.
  • You have multiple employees who need to be working in Lightroom at the same time, and the web interface doesn’t offer the features that the “other” people need.
  • You shoot for other people and it’s essential that their photos don’t mix (e.g., The Smith baby shoot doesn’t get accidentally dropped in the Jones folder, and Mr Smith doesn’t accidentally see Mrs Jones makeover shoot.)

How do you differentiate between shoots in a single catalog?

If your reason for multiple catalogs is simply wanting to separate work from home, or His and Hers, then consider the ways you can do so in a single catalog. For example, your Folders, Collections and Keywords panel may have separate hierarchies for each style:

splitfolderssplitcollectionssplitkeywords

This way, you still have all of the benefits of a single catalog, but with the ability to quickly and easily view and search specific photos.

What if there’s more of an overlap? Perhaps some of your holiday landscapes are used in work brochures. Then leave all of the photos in a single dated folder structure and just use ‘virtual’ divisions, using Collections and metadata filters (based on Keywords, or even Copyright metadata) to differentiate.

splitfilters

If you do decide to use multiple catalogs, there are some danger areas to look out for:

  • Be careful that the same photos don’t end up in multiple catalogs, as this causes no end of confusion (for example, they may be edited in one catalog but not the other, have different keywords in different catalogs, or when renamed/moved in one catalog they get marked as missing in the other, etc.)
  • Be careful that the photos don’t end up in the “wrong” catalog, as transferring them is a pain.
  • Be careful that you don’t completely miss importing some photos.
  • Watch out for different keyword spellings and hierarchies, especially if you’re going to merge catalogs later.

If you decide you need multiple catalogs, there are also a few questions to ask yourself:

  • How are you going to divide the catalogs?
    • By client (all of the shoots for the Jones family – engagement, wedding, baby, family)
    • By job (the Jones baby shoot)
    • By date (2016)
  • How will you know which catalog to open to find a specific photo? For example, it would be easy to remember that Kate & John’s wedding photo would be in Kate & John’s catalog or in the 2016 Weddings catalog, but it’s not so simple to remember whether a photo of a friend would be in the 2014, 2015 or 2016 catalog.
  • Do you ever need to search through all of your photos to find a specific photo, or group together your best shots for your portfolio? If so, you may choose the best of both worlds: keep your current photos in a small working catalog (or a catalog per job), and then use Import from Catalog to transfer them into a large searchable archive catalog when completed.
  • Where will you store the catalogs? Will you keep all of the catalogs together in a single folder, or keep the catalog in the same folder as the photos?
  • How will you make sure they’re backed up regularly?
  • How are you going to make sure there’s no crossover, with the same photos appearing in more than one catalog?
  • Where are you going to put the photos that don’t fit into the categories you’ve selected?
  • How will you make sure your keyword lists are consistent in all of your catalogs?

As a general rule, use as few catalogs as you can. For most photographers, that’s a single catalog, but if you need additional catalogs, think it through carefully before you act. Multiple catalogs can work, but they also add a degree of complexity that’s unnecessary for most photographers.

If you already have multiple catalogs and you want to figure out which ones you can delete, or how to merge them into a single catalog, don’t worry – we’ll come back to tidying up existing catalogs later in the series. If you want to get started now, see pages 522-524 in my Lightroom CC/6 book.

In the next post in the series, where should you store your photos?

 

* In this post, we’re not referring to temporary catalogs which are created for a purpose, for example, to take a subset of photos to another machine before later merging them back in, but more specifically, your main working or master catalog.

The post Should you have one catalog or multiple catalogs? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

Lightroom Performance – What’s Slow?

identifyproblemOver the past 8 weeks, we’ve learned the pros and cons of non-destructive editing, how different computer components affect different areas of the program, and the ways you can adjust your Lightroom workflow to get the best performance.

In the first post, we said simply saying “Lightroom is slow” doesn’t help, because different areas of the program benefit from different optimizations. In this final post, we’ll summarize the main places to look for improvement, based on what specifically is slow.

 

Loading Lightroom

Loading the Lightroom program is primarily dependent on your drive speeds, for both the OS/program files and also for the catalog. If you’re finding it slow to load, replacing your spinning drive with an SSD can help, and is a relatively inexpensive upgrade.

Load time is also affected by the size of the catalog, however I wouldn’t recommend breaking the catalog up into smaller catalogs to solve this, as this causes more problems than it solves for most people.

 

Importing Photos

Importing photos is also primarily limited by file transfer rates. This includes the speed of the source – whether that’s a camera cable, card reader or hard drive – and the speed of the destination drive(s).

For the source, card readers are usually more reliable than direct camera connections, and faster USB card readers (e.g. USB 3) are available to help improve the import speed.

For the destination, there are potentially two drives in play: the main Destination folder and also the Second Copy location. If these are on external drives, the connection speed (USB2 vs USB3, etc.) is usually the main issue. Many photographers send their second copies to a NAS, which can reduce the speed further.

If you choose to add the photos at their current location, this is a lot quicker than moving/copying the files, however take care that the photos are on a hard drive, not a memory card.

Finally, the additional work you ask Lightroom to do immediately after import can prolong the import time, especially conversion to DNG format or building previews.

 

Building Previews

The time it takes to build previews is largely dependent on your computer’s processing power, but also the drive speed for the catalog and original images.

Improving preview build times frequently requires a newer CPU, so it’s not an easy fix. If you’re running low on RAM and having to use temp files, this may slow you down further, so it’s worth keeping an eye on Task Manager (Windows) / Activity Monitor (Mac) to see which computer components are reaching their limits.

The simplest solution for building previews is simply to let them build overnight, or at another time when you don’t need the computer. Also, you only need to build the previews you actually use, so if you never zoom in the Library module, there’s no need to build 1:1 previews.

 

Viewing In Library

You can speed up viewing in the Library module by building the right size previews in advance. If you need to zoom in, you’ll need 1:1 previews. Otherwise, standard sized previews (set to Auto in Catalog Settings) will be plenty. If you’ve made Develop edits since building the previews, don’t forget to rebuild them, otherwise they’ll have to update when you select the photo.

Once the previews are built, the drive speed for the catalog/previews is next in line. Putting the catalog/previews on an SSD can make Library browsing smoother.

 

Applying Metadata

Applying metadata is mainly limited by the speed of the drive containing the catalog, so again, putting the catalog/previews on an SSD makes a notable difference.

It also helps to minimize the amount of work Lightroom has to do, especially closing the Collections, Metadata and Keyword panels if you’re not using them.

Don’t forget to optimize the catalog regularly, as this saves Lightroom skipping around the catalog to find the information it needs.

 

Moving/deleting photos

Moving or deleting photos is also affected by drive speeds – both for the original images as they’re moved, and also the catalog as the image records are updated.

Lightroom also has to redraw the grid view as photos disappear, so switching to a different folder or collection (e.g. Quick Collection) can speed it up slightly.

Finally, rather than trying to delete one photo at a time, consider marking them as rejects and then deleting the rejects when you’ve finished sorting through the photos.

 

Loading in Develop

Moving over to the Develop module, let’s talk about loading speed. This is primarily dependent on any data that is already cached, then on a mix of processing power (CPU/GPU), screen resolution, drive speeds, and of course, the size and complexity of the image files too.

If you’re moving through photos sequentially (and not too quickly!) in the Develop module in CC 2015.6 / 6.6 or later, Lightroom automatically caches the photos either side in the background to improve loading speed. Once the image data is loaded from the cache (held in RAM), the CPU/GPU is responsible for additional image processing. In this scenario, buying a computer with a faster CPU is your main upgrade potential.

If you’re not moving sequentially, additional factors come into play. The full resolution image data has to be read from the hard drive, so hard drive speed is a major factor. Once the image data is read from hard drive, then initial processing has to be applied, which is dependent on the CPU or GPU processing power.

If you’re using a standard HD resolution monitor (e.g. 1920×1080), it’s worth leaving the GPU disabled in Preferences > Performance, as this increases image loading time without a noticeable benefit, but the smoother interactive performance makes it worth enabling on 4K/5K screens.

The higher the resolution of the image, the more data there is to process, so 50MP images will naturally take longer than 5MP. Some sensors (I’m looking at you, Fuji!) also require more complex calculations.

Whether you’re moving sequentially or skipping around, building Smart Previews in advance and then taking the original photos offline is the greatest potential improvement, simply because there’s less data to read and process. If you’re struggling for loading times in Develop, this is your first place to start.

 

Editing in Develop

Once the photo is loaded into the Develop module, as long as you have enough RAM, then you’re primarily limited by your processing power – the CPU or GPU, depending on your screen resolution.

If you’re using a 4K/5K monitor, it’s worth enabling the GPU for smoother interactive performance, but on standard HD resolution monitors (e.g. 1920×1080), you’re better to leave it disabled and let the CPU do the image processing.

The more image data to process, the longer it takes, so you can reduce the preview size to limit the number of pixels Lightroom has to crunch. You can do this by resizing the Lightroom window, enlarging the panels or selecting a smaller zoom ratio (e.g. 1:4).

We also learned that the slider order can make a slight performance difference. Some tasks are more processor intensive than others, so using a pixel editor such as Photoshop for more complex local adjustments can be a good choice. Temporarily disabling complex calculations such as Lens Corrections can also help with interactive performance.

And finally, like the Develop Loading time, utilizing Smart Previews has the biggest potential gains.

 

Exporting

Like building previews and working in the Develop module, exporting photos is largely limited by the CPU, where multiple cores can help, and also the speed of the hard drive containing your original photos and the export destination.

 

Syncing to Lightroom Cloud

Finally, sync speed is largely dependent on the speed of your internet connection, especially the upload speed, which is often around 1/10 of the download speed.

 

That’s it for our performance series! For the full index of posts, see the first post. A free printable eBook will be available soon, so sign up for the newsletter if you’d like to be notified of its release.

 

Let me know which of the tips helped you the most in the comments…

The post Lightroom Performance – What’s Slow? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

Lightroom Presets for iPhones: Posting on Instagram

There is a fantastically simple trick to using Cuba Gallery Presets in Lightroom Mobile.
Here are a few simple steps:

1. Create a collection of images with your favourite presets applied in the standard desktop version of Lightroom.
2. Using Adobe Creative Cloud sync images and collections between the desktop and mobile versions. 
3. Once you’ve synced up the images from your desktop you can copy and paste image settings onto new images
4. Now you can start posting on Instagram from your phone using Lightroom.

 

How do I change or create keyboard shortcuts?

If you’re using the English version of Lightroom with another language keyboard, some of the keyboard shortcuts might not work.

Mac only

On a Mac, the easiest way to change a keyboard shortcut is to use the operating system keyboard preferences.

  1. In Lightroom, make a note of the menu command, being careful to note any punctuation too.
  2. Go to Applications > System Preferences.
  3. Open the Keyboard preferences and select the Shortcuts tab.
  4. Select App Shortcuts and click the + button.
  5. Select Lightroom in the Application pop-up. If it doesn’t show up, scroll down to the bottom, select Other and navigate to Applications > Adobe Lightroom > Adobe Lightroom.app.
  6. In the Menu Title field, type the menu command, for example, Build Standard-Sized Previews. You must type the command exactly as it appears in the menu, including ellipses (such as Synchronize Folder…) and any other punctuation. To type an ellipsis, use three periods without spaces.
    If you run into problems, you can enter the full menu path with a hyphen and right arrow to divide each menu, for example, Library->Previews->Build Standard-Sized Previews.
  7. Click the Keyboard Shortcut field and tap your keyboard shortcut, holding down Cmd, Opt and/or Shift as needed.
  8. Click Add.
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 for any additional shortcuts.
  10. Quit and restart Lightroom.

Windows or Mac

If you’re on Windows, there isn’t a user interface for changing shortcuts, but it’s possible to edit Lightroom’s TranslatedStrings file. This file is designed for language localizations, but can be edited to change various user interface elements including keyboard shortcuts. This isn’t officially supported by Adobe, but works reliably. If you run into problems, you can simply delete the file (or restore a backup), so it’s relatively risk-free.

  1. Quit Lightroom.
  2. Navigate to:
    • Windows—C: \ Program Files \ Adobe \ Adobe Lightroom\ Resources \ en \
    • Mac—Macintosh HD / Applications / Adobe Lightroom / Adobe Lightroom.app. Right-click on the app and select Show Package Contents, then navigate to / Contents / Resources / en.lproj /
  3. Create a plain text file in that folder and name it TranslatedStrings_Lr_en_US.txt. Use a plain text editor such as Notepad on Windows or TextWrangler on Mac (free on the Mac App Store), rather than a word processor like Word. (This was previously called TranslatedStrings.txt in Lightroom CC 2015.7/6.7 and earlier.)
  4. In another text editor window, open the TranslatedStrings file for another language, for example, TranslatedStrings_Lr_es_ES.txt from the es or es.lproj folder.
  5. The file is long and includes translations as well as shortcuts, so you’ll probably need to use your text editor’s search function to find the shortcut that you need to change.
  6. Copy your chosen line into the TranslatedStrings_Lr_en_US.txt and edit the shortcut after the = sign. For example, to change the Decrease Rating shortcut from a to ; you’d find the line that says “$$$/LibraryMenus/MenuShortcut/DecreaseRating=a” and change it to “$$$/LibraryMenus/MenuShortcut/DecreaseRating=;”.
  7. Save the file, and keep a copy somewhere else too, as it may be replaced when you update Lightroom.
  8. Restart Lightroom. If it doesn’t seem to work, check for curly quotes (“ ”) and replace them with straight quotes (” “), and ensure there are no blank lines at the end of the file.

If you’re using Lightroom in another language, the principle is exactly the same, but the TranslatedStrings file will already be in your language’s project folder (e.g. the ‘fr’ or ‘fr.lproj’ for French), and you’ll need to edit it, rather than creating a new file. If you’re editing an existing file, obviously back it up first!

The post How do I change or create keyboard shortcuts? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

Automatically Matching Exposure Across Multiple Images

It’s Tuesday, and we have another awesome tip from Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde, and this one is a tip I showed this past week in my tips & tricks session on the Lightroom Track — how to automatically match exposure across multiple images. It’s less than 60-seconds (as always), and it’s a really handy tip:

Thanks Benjamin! 🙂

Hope that gets your Tuesday off with a little learnin’ 🙂

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Don’t forget — I’m in Minneapolis and Indianapolis next month with my full day Lightroom seminar. Come on out and spend the day with me. 

 

The post Automatically Matching Exposure Across Multiple Images appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

Lightroom Performance – What Computer Hardware Do I Need?

Every single day, I see posts asking how to choose a new computer for Lightroom. We’re not going to go into specific hardware recommendations, because they’d be out of date almost immediately. (If you want specifics, Puget Systems are doing regular testing.) What we will do is talk about which hardware benefits different Lightroom tasks, so you can make your own decisions based on your needs and budget.

computerrepairAdobe publishes system requirements for Lightroom, but we should be clear… these are MINIMUM system requirements. They allow Lightroom to run… well, it’ll walk. If you want to enjoy using Lightroom, you’ll definitely want to exceed these minimum requirements. Your hardware needs depend on how many photos you’re editing each week, the size of the images you’re shooting, the amount of time you have available and let’s be honest, your tolerance for slow computers.

 

CPU

There are two primary factors to weigh up when selecting a new CPU: the number of cores on the single CPU (two physical CPU’s don’t help much) and it’s clock speed.

Lightroom makes good use of multiple cores for image processing tasks such as building previews, working in the Develop module, and exporting photos, so it’s worth selecting a quad-core processor if possible, even though other areas of the program are only lightly threaded.

A high clock speed (measured in GHz) is equally important, as it determines how quickly computations are made, not only for image processing tasks, but also all of the other tasks Lightroom has to perform.

The release date of the processor also affects performance. The clock speed isn’t a perfect comparison, because the manufacturers have been working hard on efficiency, so a recent 3.0GHz processor is much faster than a 3.0GHz processor released 10 years ago.

So if you can’t trust the clock speed for comparison, how do you figure out which CPU is faster? One easy way to compare is to check the Geekbench scores for both Windows and Mac – you’re looking for the 64-bit Single and Multi-Core scores.

Need a rule of thumb? If you’re looking for a new CPU, a recent generation Intel quad-core desktop processor with a fast clock speed is a great choice. For a high end machine focused primarily on editing, a six-core CPU is also a good choice, although they’re a little more expensive and often have a slightly slower clock speed.

 

Memory (RAM)

The operating system, open programs and their data are held in RAM. The more data you’re working with, the more RAM you need. If you don’t have enough RAM, some of the data has to be written to the hard drive, which is much slower.

Like most image-editing programs, Lightroom works with large amounts of data, so it needs more RAM than, for example, a word processor. The amount of RAM available affects how many photos can be cached, which can affect image loading time. Some tasks, such as merging panoramas and HDR files, are particularly memory hungry.

Although Adobe lists 4GB of RAM minimum, you don’t really want any less than 8GB. 16GB is a much better choice for most users, especially if you’re buying a quad-core processor.

If you’re running other programs at the same time, perhaps switching to Photoshop, you may need additional RAM.

A tip – if you’re buying a desktop Mac (not a laptop), it’s much cheaper to buy the extra RAM from OWC (US) or Crucial (International) and install it yourself, rather than paying the Apple premium. Minimal computer knowledge needed!

 

Hard drives

harddrivesThe speed of the drive that holds the catalog and previews makes a fairly substantial difference, especially in the Library module and also for startup times. This is where an SSD really helps, and therefore it’s the first thing I’d put on my shopping list. This is an upgrade that can be beneficial on existing systems, as well as new builds.

Bear in mind that the catalog and its previews – especially if you’re building 1:1 and/or smart previews – can grow quite large. For example, my 50k catalog is currently 1.6GB, the previews are 70GB and the smart previews take up another 50GB.

Next, think about where the images will be stored. The access speed primarily affects the loading speed in the Develop module, although with the Develop pre-caching introduced in Lightroom CC 2015.6 / 6.6, it’s less of an issue than earlier versions. In an ideal world, you’d put the original photos on an incredibly fast drive such as an SSD, but the cost per MB is still quite high. For most users, a 7200rpm internal or fast external drive is adequate for storing photos, but if you need greater speed, a striped RAID is a cost-effective solution.

Also, if your photo storage drive is external, think about connection speed. Even the fastest SSD would be horribly slow in a USB1 external enclosure! If you need to use external drives, look for USB3 or Thunderbolt connections if your computer supports them. The photos can be stored on a NAS (network accessed storage), but the connection speed can be painfully slow, so NAS units are better suited to backups.

Maximum Transfer Rates (theoretical)

drivespeeds

Don’t forget your backup drives. You need a minimum of one backup drive kept onsite, plus some kind of offsite backup, whether that’s an additional drive held at a different location or an online backup such as Crashplan.

As an example configuration, you could choose a good-sized SSD for the operating system and Lightroom catalog/previews, and then a second reasonably fast drive to hold the photos (plus additional backup drives, of course).

While we’re thinking about hard drives, remember to leave the operating system and Lightroom space to work. Aim to keep at least 20% free space on your boot and catalog hard drives.

 

GPU

When deciding on the GPU or graphics card, think about the resolution of the monitor you’ll be using. A standard HD screen (1920×1080) is 2 megapixels (MP), a MacBook Retina Pro 15″ is 5 MP, a 4K display is 8 MP, and a 5K display is a whopping 15 MP. This means that Lightroom has to calculate and display 4 times as many pixels on a 4K display, compared to a standard HD screen, and nearly 8 times as many on a 5K display. This is why Lightroom slows down on big screens!

Lightroom can use the GPU in place of the CPU to accelerate Develop rendering on high resolution screens – most notably, 5MP and up (e.g. Retina, 4K and 5K displays). To take advantage of this, you need a mid-range graphics card, with 1-2GB VRAM (ideally 2GB) and Open GL 3.3, released in the last couple of years. It’s also worth checking Adobe’s support page, to see which cards are not supported, due to issues with their drivers.

On lower resolution screens (e.g. standard HD), there is usually no benefit to utilizing the GPU, and can actually make Lightroom slower, because it takes time to pass the data from the CPU to the GPU. Using older and under-powered GPU’s can also be slower than leaving it disabled in Lightroom’s preferences.

If you’re using integrated graphics, such as the GPU in many laptops, bear in mind that they share the computer’s RAM, so the more RAM, the better. For example, if you’re buying a 13″ MacBook Pro, which isn’t available with a separate graphics card, then it’s definitely worth getting 16GB of RAM, as the graphics card will need a chunk of it.

It’s also important to keep the graphics card driver up to date. To do so, check the graphics card manufacturer’s website (Windows) or the App Store (Mac).

 

Desktop vs. Laptop

laptopdesktopUnless portability is essential, a desktop computer is usually a better choice for Lightroom. There’s only a limited amount of space in a laptop, so everything has to be smaller. This means most laptops have slower mobile CPU’s, less RAM, and are reliant on slower external hard drives for storage. They’re also much more difficult to keep cool due to the lack of space, and when components get hot, they slow down. There are, of course, exceptions: performance laptops are available, but they come at a premium price.

 

Interaction & Budget

The final thing to remember is that all of these hardware components interact. The fastest CPU in the world won’t help if your hard drives can’t transfer the data quickly enough. Having 32GB of RAM won’t help if your CPU is incredibly slow.

There are also budgetary considerations to weigh up. If you’re buying a new machine with a limited budget, $400 for a minor clock speed upgrade on a CPU would be better spent on an SSD, or on 16GB of RAM instead of 8GB, because you’ll get a bigger performance boost for the money.

 

Upgrading Existing Computers

If you’re considering upgrading components of your existing computer, think about what specifically is slow. Slow catalog loading and Library updates may benefit from installing an SSD, but the SSD will have less of an impact in the Develop module. Replacing the GPU will only help in the Develop module, and even then, it’ll only help if you’re running a high resolution screen.

Also check Resource Monitor (Windows) / Activity Monitor (Mac) to see where you’re hitting your computer’s limits. For example, if you’re running out of RAM and using virtual memory, then adding additional memory may help.

 

Next week, we’ll move on to discussing general system maintenance that can help keep your computer – and therefore Lightroom – running smoothly.

The post Lightroom Performance – What Computer Hardware Do I Need? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

How do I send a bug report or feature request to Adobe?

As carefully as Adobe and prerelease testers check each release, Lightroom is now an incredibly complex program and it’s inevitable that bugs will slip through the net. As a result, you’ve likely already found bugs in Lightroom – but who do you tell? How can you be sure it’s really a bug? And why don’t they all get fixed?

The Feedback Forum

Most software companies offer a bug report form that’s akin to a black hole. You submit the bug report and that’s the last you hear of it. You have no idea whether anyone else is suffering the same issue, whether there’s a workaround, or whether it’s been fixed.

Adobe has taken a different course with the Photoshop family of products, which includes Lightroom and Lightroom mobile. Some years ago, the Digital Imaging team introduced the Feedback Forum.

At first glance, it looks like yet another Lightroom forum, but this one’s different:

  • It’s a direct line to the engineering teams. Although Adobe staff can’t reply to every single thread, they do read everything, and often you’ll see the engineers personally replying to threads.
  • If Adobe can’t replicate the issue, they can communicate with you to get additional information. You’ll note some users have additional titles:
    • Official Rep, Principle Computer Scientist, Employee and other similar titles are Adobe staff, whether they work in the support, development or quality engineering departments.
      bug-staff
    • Champions are volunteers who have been recognized by Adobe as being helpful forum members with excellent product knowledge. They assist staff in testing reported bugs and requesting additional information necessary to reproduce issues.
      bug-champion
  • When lots of users are reporting the same issue, spotting the commonalities can be the key to tracking down the cause of the problem.
  • Because it’s public, you can check to see whether someone else has already reported the bug you think you’ve found – and often there are workarounds posted in the same thread.
  • The forum software allows users to report bugs and request new features – but more importantly, it also allows users to vote on the bugs/features are that most important to them. Does this actually matter? Yes. For example, it was your feedback on the updated Import dialog in 6.2 that reversed Adobe’s decision. Some of the most popular feature requests, such as face recognition and HDR/Panorama merge were also implemented by popular demand. Your votes do count.

How do I report a bug or request a feature?

  1. Go to the Feedback Site.
  2. In the top right corner, select Sign In.
    bug-signin
  3. Click Photoshop Family and sign in with your Adobe ID (or you can use a Facebook or Google ID if you prefer).
    big-signin2 bug-signin3
  4. In the Find or Start a Conversation field, type a few words that describe your problem (as you would in a Google search, for example “Lightroom GPS Data”) and hit Enter.
  5. The forum searches existing reports and shows you threads that may be the same issue.
    bug-continue
  6. If your issue matches one of the search results, read the thread to look for workarounds, click the Me Too button to vote for the issue, and add any additional comments using the reply field. You’ll automatically be subscribed to threads you’ve created or commented on. This email subscription can be controlled using the Follow/Unfollow button in the top right corner.
    bug-metoo
  7. If your issue isn’t shown in the search results, click the Continue Creating Conversation button at the bottom of the page.
  8. Update the Title to a short phrase that describes your issue, such as “Lightroom: GPS data format is inaccurate”.
  9. Select the Conversation Type – “Problem” for a bug report, or “Idea” for a feature request. (Don’t worry if Adobe later changes this. Something you call a bug might be considered an enhancement or feature request if it’s working the way they originally designed it, but this is just a technicality.)
  10. In the Description field, write a longer description of the problem you’re having, and don’t forget to include your system specs. We’ll come back to tips on writing great bug reports and feature requests in a moment.
  11. In the Related Categories section, check either Lightroom for mobile or Photoshop Lightroom. This ensures that the report is seen by the right team.
    bug-report
  12. At the top, select Preview to check the information before posting.
  13. Finally, click Post.

How do I write a great bug report?

The more specific the information you provide in a bug report, the better the chances of the engineers being able to reproduce and fix your bug, so here’s a quick checklist.

  • Do a search to see if your idea has already been submitted and add your vote/comments to existing topics before creating a new one.
  • Pick a descriptive title (e.g., “Lightroom CC 2015.7: Badge numbers in Grid view not visible on Sierra” is much better than “Really bad Lightroom bug!!!!”).
  • Create a separate thread for each bug instead of a single laundry list thread, otherwise your bug may get lost.
  • Follow a standard bug report checklist:
    • Description – write a brief description of the problem you’re seeing.
    • Steps to Reproduce – list the exact steps to reproduce the issue. If Adobe can’t reproduce it, it probably won’t get fixed.
    • Expected Result – write a brief description of what you expected to happen.
    • Actual Result – write a brief description of the incorrect result you’re seeing.
    • Workarounds – note any workarounds you’ve discovered, just in case anyone else is having the same problem.
    • System Specs – list your system specs including the exact Lightroom version, your operating system version and any other information that might be related, such as your graphics card and driver version. The easiest way to do this is to go to Help menu > System Info in Lightroom and copy/paste the contents.
      bug-sysinfo
    • Screenshots – if you can illustrate the problem with screenshots, that often makes it much easier to reproduce.

How do I write a great feature request?

There are some tricks that add weight to your feature request:

  • Do a search to see if your idea has already been submitted and add your vote/comments to existing topics before creating a new one.
  • Pick a descriptive title (e.g., “Lightroom: Mark a photo as final version” is much better than “My great Lightroom idea”).
  • Create separate threads for each request instead of a single laundry list thread, otherwise people can’t vote on your idea.
  • Imagine you’re trying to sell your idea to the team, so make the description clear and concise.
  • Describe WHY you want the feature you’re requesting – the problem you’re currently hitting, and how this new feature would solve that problem. The team need to understand how your idea fits in, as they may come up with an even better way of solving your problem.
  • Don’t be offended if someone suggests a workaround or plug-in to solve your problem, at least temporarily, or if someone asks additional questions to fully understand your request.

Why hasn’t my bug been fixed?

It can be discouraging if your bug doesn’t get fixed, or your feature request doesn’t get implemented.

Does this mean that Adobe isn’t listening? No. All of the suggestions and reports are weighed up, and as with everything in life, they have to be prioritized. One thing I’ve learned through many years of beta testing is that bugs and feature requests are rarely as simple as they sound to us as users. Fixing that “tiny irritating bug” may create another 10 much more serious bugs, and that “easy feature request” can have far reaching effects.

So should we give up reporting bugs and requesting new features? No. A huge number of bugs do get fixed in every release and new features are also being added. Your feedback does count.

The post How do I send a bug report or feature request to Adobe? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

How do I use the Import dialog’s Destination panel to put the photos in per-shoot folders?

In the last post, we learned how to automatically place photos into dated folders, but if you need to find photos outside of Lightroom, you may want to store your photos in a year/shoot-named hierarchy instead. This still meets the best practice principles described in the How to organize your photos post. Here’s an example of a year/shoot folder structure:

First, in the Destination panel, look for the parent folder that contains all of your photos. In the “Where should you store your photos?” post, we suggested calling it something like Lightroom Photos.

Inside that Lightroom Photos folder, I’d recommend you have a folder per year. This makes it easy to split your photo archive over multiple drives, or archive some photos offline, as you outgrow your hard drives. For most of the year, this folder will already exist, but it’s January and you may not have a 2017 folder yet. If not, right-click on your Lightroom Photos folder and select Create New Folder (or create it in Windows Explorer/Finder and then select it in the Destination panel, if that’s more comfortable for you).

Select this year’s folder so that it’s highlighted in white. In the Organize pop-up at the top of the Destination panel, select Into one folder. This places the photos into the selected/highlighted year folder. This is a great choice for random photos that don’t need their own shoot subfolder.

But let’s go one stage further. Let’s create a new subfolder to hold the photos you’re importing, because they’re from a specific shoot. At the top of the Destination panel, check the Into Subfolder checkbox, and then enter a name for the shoot. In this example, we’ll call it Marwell Zoo, but you can add the date if you prefer.

Before you click Import, remember to double check that the photos are landing in the right place. Remember we said that Lightroom previews any new folders in italic? This is a useful double check to ensure that you have the right folder selected.

 

We’ll come back to reorganizing existing photos, but first, we need to learn how to use collections to group photos by topic without duplicating them on the hard drive.

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Using the Lightroom Preset system – Desaturated Preset and Left Glow Preset

Here is the Desaturate Preset in action, combined with the Left Glow Preset to add light and shape to the image. The combination of the two Lightroom Presets give a distinct level of flexibility and speed.  It is an incredibly quick way to bring an image to life.


Should I use flat or hierarchical keywords?

In the last post, we were talking about the kind of keywords to add to your photos, but this week, let’s talk about the pros and cons of flat vs. hierarchical keyword lists.

On the left, we have a single long flat list of keywords, and on the right, a hierarchy of keywords nested inside other keywords. So which should you choose?

 

There are a number of factors that might influence your decision. They include:

  • Simplicity – Adding new keywords to a hierarchy requires a little more forethought and logic, whereas adding random keywords to a flat list can be done on-the-fly.
  • Universally Understood – Flat keywords are understood by most photographic software. If you create a hierarchy in Lightroom, it writes out the keywords as both flat and hierarchical, so if you move to other software, your keywords will still go along for the ride, but probably as a flat list.
  • Editing in Other Programs – In addition to moving to other software in the future, you can also run into issues with keyword hierarchies when exporting photos to edit in other software and then adding them back into the catalog. If some keywords are set to “Don’t Export” (often used for parent keywords like who, what, when), when the photos come back into Lightroom’s catalog, their keywords will be listed as new root level keywords.
  • Scrolling – If you start adding a lot of keywords to your photos, a flat keyword list can become very long very quickly. If you’re on Windows, you may even run into a bug/limitation, which prevents the Keyword List showing more than around 1600 keywords at one time. A keyword hierarchy allows you to collapse the list, so you’re seeing fewer keywords at any time.
  • Automatic Entry – One of the major advantages to a hierarchy of keywords is that parent keywords are automatically added to the photos. For example, if I tagged a photo with “my house”, the parent keywords “Southampton, Hampshire, England, UK, Europe” would automatically be added to the photo too. This can save a lot of time.
  • Time Spent Reorganizing – If you don’t start out with a clear idea of how you’ll organise your keyword hierarchy, you can spend a lot of time organizing and reorganizing the keywords into a list you like.
  • Multiple Catalogs – If you use more than one catalog (and we considered the pros and cons in this earlier post), and you reorganize a hierarchical keyword list in one catalog, you’ll end up with a massive mess and duplicate keywords when you try to merge that back into another catalog. This can even apply to travel catalogs.

Your final decision will probably depend on how many keywords you think you’re going to add. If you’re shooting for stock photography, a hierarchy is the obvious choice. If you’re shooting for your own use, a flat list may be a simpler choice.

There is, of course, a compromise. You could have a very simple hierarchy, with a few parent keywords and all of the other keywords nested directly inside, for example, your parent keywords might be who, what, where, when, why, how. These can also act as a prompt, to remind you to add at least one keyword for each. You can even create a smart collection to show photos that don’t have at least one keyword under each heading.

If you decide on a hierarchical keyword list, draft your list in a text editor or spreadsheet, or even on a piece of paper. By doing so, you’ll save yourself a lot of time rearranging your keyword list later. One more tip… when adding People keywords, don’t try to create a family tree. Since most of us have more than one parent, it gets messy fast!

In the next post, we’ll start on the practicalities – how to create keywords, apply them to your photos and most importantly, how to use them to find the photos again later.

The post Should I use flat or hierarchical keywords? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

It’s “Photoshop COPS” – The New Reality TV Show?

We kick off each Photoshop World Conference with a Photoshop-based parody of a movie or TV show, and this year we went with the long-running Fox TV series, “COPS” but of course, we added our own Photoshop twist to it. :)

It stars Corey Barker, Matt Kloskowski, Dave Cross, Yours Truly, a special appearance from Kristi Sherk (you’ll hardly recognize her), and Kaylee Greer, along with a special cameo (can’t tell you who it is, but if you’ve ever been to Photoshop World, you’ll instantly recognize him).

Here’s the ‘Photoshop COPS’ video (below) that kicked off the Conference last week:

Hope you got a chuckle or two (and keep watching for just a couple of minutes afterward to catch the Blooper Reel).

Hope you have a Photoshop COP-free Tuesday!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Don’t forget — I’m in Minneapolis and Indianapolis next month with my full day Lightroom seminar. Come on out and spend the day with me. 

The post It’s “Photoshop COPS” – The New Reality TV Show? appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Merging Catalogs – Stage 1 – Identifying Catalogs

In the last post in the series, we gained an overview of the process of merging multiple catalogs into a single Master catalog. The first task is to identify which catalogs contain metadata you want to keep. The easiest way to do this is to make a list or spreadsheet of all the catalogs, something like this: (Click here to view PDF list of further examples).

Let’s get started…

  1. Identify the current working catalog.
    • Open Lightroom and go to Edit menu (Windows) / Lightroom menu (Mac) > Catalog Settings > General tab and note down the name, location, created date and file size of your current catalog.
  2. List any other known catalogs.
    • If you already know which catalogs you need to merge (for example, your Animals catalog and your Travel catalog), list down their names and locations.
  3. Search for additional catalogs that may contain important data.
    • Use Search (Windows) or Spotlight (Mac) to search for files with an LRCAT extension.
    • There may be hundreds of results when you search, because it will also find your backup catalogs, so we’ll need to use the file dates and other clues narrow it down a bit. The aim at this stage is to exclude as many catalogs as possible, ready for step 4.
      • If the file type is zipped/compressed, you can probably exclude the catalog from the list, because it’s a backup catalog.
      • If the date created and date modified are identical, you can exclude the catalog from your list, because it’s likely a backup catalog.
      • If the filename ends in -2, look for a file with the same name, but without the -2. (-2 is added to the filename when upgrading a catalog.) If you find the original catalog, check that the date modified on the earlier file matches the date created on the -2 file. If it does, you can ignore the earlier file and just add the -2 catalog to your list.
      • You can check the location of each catalog in the search results. On Windows, you’ll be able to see the folder path in the Folder path column of the Windows Explorer view. On a Mac, go to Finder’s View menu > Show Path Bar if it’s not already showing at the bottom of the window, and check the location shown for each of the search results. If the catalog is on one of your backup drives, you can probably exclude it from your list.
    • Add the rest of the catalogs to your list, noting down:
      • The filename
      • The file location/path
      • The date created
      • The date modified
      • The file size
    • Leave some additional space for further notes about each catalog’s contents.
  4. Check the catalog contents and make notes.
    • Using Lightroom, open each of the catalogs on your list into Lightroom in turn, and have a look around. There’s no need to note down every single photo, but it can be useful to get a feel for what the catalogs contain, for example, if one catalog stops in 2014 and another starts in 2015, note that down. Or if your travel photos appear in more than one catalog, with keywords in one and Develop edits in another, make a note of that too. Here’s a few key places to look:
    • Catalog panel
      • How many photos in the All Photographs collection?
      • Go to Library menu > Find All Missing Photos. How many photos are in the resulting Missing Photographs collection?
    • Folders panel
      • Are any folders marked as missing, shown with a question mark?
      • Which folders are included? For example, do the folders stop in 2014?
    • Collections panel
      • Have you created collections in this catalog that you’d be upset to lose?
    • Photo Thumbnails
      • Have you edited many of the photos?
      • Have you flagged or star rated many of the photos?
      • Have you added keywords to many of the photos?
    • Do you recognize the photos from other catalogs you’ve already looked through? And if so, have you edited the photos in one catalog or another?
  5. Decide which catalogs you’re going to merge.
    • With all of this information to hand, decide which of the catalogs contain information you want to transfer into your new Master catalog, and which catalogs you’ll just ignore.

 

Phew! That’s enough for this week. In the next post in this series, we’ll work on preparing the catalogs and then merging them into a new Master catalog.

The post Merging Catalogs – Stage 1 – Identifying Catalogs appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

Lightroom Catalogs – Top 10 Misunderstandings

confusionLightroom has two primary functions – organizing your photos and editing them. Although its organizational tools are powerful, they’re also the most misunderstood, so over the forthcoming weeks, we’ll discuss the best practices for using catalogs, folders, collections and keywords, and then we’ll discuss how to tidy up your existing catalog, if you wish to do so. First, however, let’s talk about some of the most common catalog-related misunderstandings.

#1 – Your photos are not “in” Lightroom

When you import photos into Lightroom, they’re not really “in” Lightroom. The metadata describing the photos is added to a database (called the catalog) as text records, along with a link to that file on the hard drive. Small JPEG previews are also stored next to the catalog, so you can view the photos when the original files are offline.

Imagine an index of the books in a library. The library catalog tells you a little about the book and which shelf it’s stored on, and maybe even gives you a preview of the cover, but it doesn’t contain the book itself. The Lightroom catalog works in the same way.

We’ll come back to the catalog concept in more detail next week, but for now, remember one thing: don’t delete your original photos thinking that they’re safely stored in Lightroom. They’re not.

#2 – Your photos are not hidden away by Lightroom

The photos are not stored in some magical location, hidden away from your view. They’re just normal image files stored in folders on your hard drive. You choose where they’re stored when you import them. This means you’re not locked into just using Lightroom, but it also means YOU are responsible for looking after the photos. If you move, rename or delete photos outside of Lightroom, you’ll create a mess.nocloud

#3 – Your photos are not “in the cloud” either

Even if you have a Creative Cloud subscription, and you’ve set all of your photos to sync, Lightroom only syncs low resolution previews to the cloud. The original photos are still stored on your computer, and you still need to back them up. You’re still responsible.

#4 – Lightroom’s Catalog Backup does not back up your photos

When you quit Lightroom, it’s probably asked you to back up, and you may have hit ok without reading the rest of the dialog. In doing so, you’d have missed a very important warning: Lightroom’s catalog backup only backs up the catalog. It does not back up your photos.

Lightroom's backup does not back up the photos

You need a solid backup system, and ideally something that’s automated. Copying and pasting files onto another drive when you happen to remember does not constitute a reliable backup system. Neither does RAID. And if you’ve ever tried restoring from backups created using the “Make a Second Copy” option in the Import dialog, you’ll have the grey hairs to prove it.

There’s a multitude of backup software available free of charge. One easy option is Crashplan. Their software allows you to back up to another hard drive free of charge, and if you have a fast internet connection, their online backup is also inexpensive. For the more technically minded user, Vice Versa (Windows) and Chronosync (Mac) allow even more control over your local backups.

#5 – You still need Lightroom’s catalog backup even if you run your own backups

Even if you have your own backup system, you may still need to run Lightroom’s own catalog backups too. Why? There are two main reasons:

1. Many backup systems overwrite the previous backup with the latest one. If your catalog becomes corrupted (relatively rare) or you make a mistake that you don’t spot immediately (incredibly common!), your normal backup system will overwrite your last “good” backup with the corrupted/incorrect catalog. Lightroom’s catalog backup, on the other hand, is versioned, which means that it keeps each of the backups, so you can go back to an earlier version at any time.

2. Backup systems that create versioned backups, for example, Time Machine, may run at a time while Lightroom is open. As a result, the backup can be corrupted. Lightroom’s catalog backup, however, runs when Lightroom quits.

If in doubt, let your backup system back up Lightroom’s own catalog backups.

#6 – Keep the photos in Lightroom even when you’ve finished editing them

If you remove photos from Lightroom when you’ve finished editing them, or only add specific photos in the first place, you’re kind of missing the point of Lightroom. It’s designed to help you search and work with ALL of your photos now and in the future, and it can’t do that if you’ve removed them from the catalog.

removephoto

Some people remove finished photos because they’re concerned that their catalog will get too big. The largest known catalog is 4.2 MILLION photos, and yes, that’s getting a bit big to handle. But most Lightroom users don’t have 4.2 million photos.

While we’re on the subject, let’s state the obvious. Don’t delete your original photos from the hard drive when you’ve finished editing them. That would be like throwing away the film negatives when you’ve made a print, or throwing away the recipe when you’ve finished making a cake.

Unless you’re completely deleting the photos from your archives, add them all to your Lightroom catalog and leave them there.

#7 – Adding all your photos to Lightroom doesn’t mean using masses of hard drive space

If your photos are already on the hard drive, you don’t have to duplicate them when adding them to your Lightroom catalog. In the Import dialog, you can select Add to leave them in their current location, or Move if you want to rearrange them into a new folder structure.

addimport

Once the photos are added to your Lightroom catalog, you still have plenty of options. You can move all of the photos to another hard drive if you start to run out of space, or you can split them over multiple hard drives. Archive hard drives can be disconnected. Even if you split over multiple hard drives, Lightroom can manage all of this in a single catalog, and I’ll explain how in more detail in a few weeks time.

#8 – Sometimes moving photos in Lightroom can be a bad idea

You’ll often hear Lightroom experts (including me) tell you only to rename, move or delete photos inside of Lightroom, because otherwise you’ll break the links. There is one exception. If you’re moving entire folders containing large amounts of data, for example, you’re archiving old photos off to another hard drive, it’s actually quicker and safer to move them in Explorer/Finder and then immediately update Lightroom’s links.

#9 – You don’t have to “Save” when you’ve finished editing

In most conventional photo editors, you must save the changes to each file when you finish editing. Lightroom is different. The database is automatically updated whenever you move a slider or update the metadata. You don’t have to do a thing.

There is a Save Metadata to Files command in the Metadata menu, but this isn’t a conventional save either. It writes the metadata to the header of the file (or a sidecar XMP file for proprietary raw files). We’ll come back to the pros and cons in a future post, but if you want a head start, see pages 343-346 in my LRCC/6 book). Saving the metadata to the files doesn’t touch the image data, so your Lightroom Develop changes still won’t show up in other photo editors. To do that, you have to export the photos, which is like a Save As.

#10 – You don’t have to keep your exported photos

To see your Lightroom edits in other software, or send your edited photo to someone else, you must export the photos out of Lightroom as a JPEG, TIFF or PSD file. This creates a copy of the image with your Develop settings applied, so the original isn’t touched in the process.

You don’t need to keep these copies once they’ve served their purpose. Why not? Because as long as you have the original photos and the records in the catalog, you can export another identical copy when you need it, in exactly the size and format you need.

 

In the next post in the series, we’ll discuss the concept of a catalog and how it relates to your photos in more detail.

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I’m Back, and It’s Time for a Quick Lightroom Tip

Hi Gang – I’m back from a wildly fun week at the Photoshop World 2017 Conference in Orlando, so I should be back on my regular blogging schedule again. Such a great conference – met so many great people, including lots that read the blog (btw: I posted a ton of photos today over on my daily blog at http://scottkelby.com if you want to see what it was like). A big shoutout of thanks for everybody who came out! 🙂

Today, just a quick tip – but it’s a thing I get asked about a lot, and that question is…

Q. I shoot in RAW + JPEG mode on my camera. Is there a way that I can see both files, the RAW and the JPEG as separate files, rather than just the RAW file?

A. Absolutely! It’s actually a preference setting (see below):

Just go to Lightroom’s preferences, under General, and turn on the checkbox for ‘Treat JPEG files next to raw files as separate photos’ as seen above. Now, your JPEG file will appear right beside your RAW file, as its own separate thumbnail.

Hope that helps. 🙂

It’s great to be back, and I’m already working on “Part Two” of my “Everything Else in Lightroom” course. Can’t wait! 🙂

Best,

-Scott

The post I’m Back, and It’s Time for a Quick Lightroom Tip appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

Highlights From The Photoshop World 2017 Conference

What an AWESOME week!!!!
I know I say this pretty often, so I’m going to paraphrase one of our longtime attendees, (known as drchevalier in the KelbyOne community), who came up to me at the end of the conference and said,

This is my 7th time at Photoshop World, and out of all of them, this was the best!”

I could not agree more. I heard the same thing again and again — even from some longtime instructors who said they felt this was absolutely the best Photoshop World ever!

The one phrase that came up again and again…
…was that everyone there felt like family. We felt like we were all in this together. I have to give a lot of the credit for that to the attendees who came ready to learn, and laugh, and get involved, and make new friends, and a team who was so psyched to meet everybody — there was a real spirit of community all week long, everywhere you went — you could feel it in the air. I know Brad and Rob shared some shots from the show with you last week, but I want to share some of the highlights and standout moments (in captions below) with you today if that’s okay. Here’s goes:

I know Brad and Rob shared some shots from the show with you last week, but I want to share some of the highlights and standout moments (in captions below) with you today if that’s okay. Here’s goes:  (photos by Brad Moore and Rob Foldy)

Above: Moose Peterson’s aviation photography workshop with World War II-themed models posing with classic Warbirds in a hangar on location. 

Above: The classic WW2 Poster pose, as the workshop participants photograph the planes and people. 

Above: Moose coaching his class on how to get the shot.

Above: Shooting on location – the whole class gets involved at Erik Valind’s workshop.

Above: Using reflectors during the workshop.

Above: Lindsay Adler had multiple shooting bays for her workshop

Above: Is it just me, or is that one huge umbrella? 

Above: Kaylee Greer getting the doggies ready for their close up during the workshop. 

Above: Lots of wonderful dogs for the students to shoot at Kaylee’s workshop on location. 

Above: Tim Wallace had two cars in the classroom for his workshop on how to light car interiors and exteriors. 

Above: Glyn Dewis talking about lighting and what to look for when they start shooting. 

Above: The temps were great outdoors (unseasonably mild), but the sun still makes it tough to see the screen on the back of your camera. 

Above: Frank Doorhof and his location workshop class totally rocking it, with their stylist and model Nadine. 

Above: We even snuck in an episode of ‘The Grid’ live on location. That’s Photoshop World instructor Victoria Pavlov on the set as my guest. She was so much fun (and such an incredible talent).

Above: After the workshops, we head for ‘The Meetup’ at the Rocks lounge in the Hyatt Regency, our host hotel for the event (it’s connected directly to the convention center — a perfect location!). 

Above: The instructors and staff are there to meet everybody just as the party starts up. 

Above: The crowd is ready to rock! 

Above: Inside, they’re hyped for the opening keynote to begin.

 

Above: The next morning, we kick things off with the opening keynote, and I come out after our “Photoshop COPS” spoof video (it’s a tradition to kick off Photoshop World with a parody video). 

Above: WIelcoming the standing-room-only crowd at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. 

Above: The star of the opening keynote is Adobe’s own Julieanne Kost. 

Above: All eyes on Julieanne!

Above: Julieanne did an awesome presentation – she showed so many cool features, techniques, and different programs and apps, but it was her Mobile apps presentation that really wow’d the crowd.

Above: After Adobe’s presentation, we honored Photoshop World instructor and master photographer Jim DiVitale with his posthumous Photoshop Hall of Fame award. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after the wonderful tribute video to Jim and his career (put together by Jim’s dear friend Steve), his wife Helene took the stage to accept the award on Jim’s behalf, and she was met with a tremendously long standing ovation, as Larry Becker presented her with Jim’s award. It was a very special moment for all of us. 

Above: The always awesome (and witty) Larry Becker wrapped up the keynote, and then it was off to class for everybody. 

Above: Crowd favorite, Adobe’s own Terry White doing a great session in the Adobe booth

Above: Joe McNally just killed it in his “Town Hall” session where participants could have Joe critique their images. 

Above: Moose comes out front during one of his many sessions. He crushed it (as always!).

Above: Adobe’s Bryan O’Neal Hughes sharing some Adobe Mobile awesomeness.

Above: Everybody loves “The Justins!” Two of the most talented wedding photographers and fast rising stars in the industry, sharing their secrets with the crowd.

Above: KelbyOne member favorite and hero to photographers everywhere, the awesome Stella Kramer teaching for her first time at Photoshop World. 

Above: Hanging out in the Partner Pavilion, chatting with the vendors and checking out their latest goodies.

Above: Photographer Levi Sim showing off Athentech’s new Perfectly Clear 3 plug-in. 

Above: Oh Yeah — that’s Gabe Biderman, and yes, B&H Photo (the greatest camera store in the world) was there in a big way! 

Above: Robert Vanelli doing his thing in one of the Pavilion’s theaters. 

Above: Photoshop World instructor Rob Sylvan teaching in the Peachpit Press theater. 

Above: We had six ‘Shooting bays” set up in the Partner Pavilion, where attendees can simply walk up and start shooting. 

Above: These shooting bays, most with live models (which are much better than the ones with dead models), are lit with continuous light (Westcott Spyder Lights) so everybody can shoot at the same time. 

Above: James Bond with his white tux, red carnation, and a sleek Bond-like fake pistol with silencer. 

Above: The shooting bays were super popular, and they changed each day with different models and themes. High five to my wife Kalebra who planned, styled and set up the shooting bays. :)

Above: Besides the six indoor studio-lit shooting bays, we had an entire section of Natural Light shoots as well, making the most of that beautiful Florida sunshine!

Above: Later that night it’s party time again — this time at B.B. King’s Bar and Grill. 

Above: The awesome house band let me get up and play a few songs with them. I played one on drums, one on keyboards, and one on guitar. Note the awesome Fender Strat my wifey got me for our 27th Anniversary last year. Had to take it with me to Orlando!

Above: Can you feel the soul? It’s not as impressive as it looks – I’m just singing backup. 

Above: Nothing like playing to the home crowd! The band was just so good (with a horn section and the whole nine yards), they were really just such good players – it was a treat to get to jam with these guys and gals. 

Above: Did I mention Midnight Madness? It’s a tradition — for ‘Photoshop Geeks who just can’t sleep,’ we stay up really late one night, playing games and doing really silly stuff. 

Above: The doors swing open, our DJ cranks the music, and the late night fun begins!

Above: Yes, we even played Photoshop Bingo. I’m not proud of this. ;-)

Above: Another Midnight Madness tradition — Krispy Kreme Donuts for everybody! I was surprised she ate the entire box herself. ;-)

Above: Getting hyped for the madness!

Above: Your Midnight Madness hosts (from L to R): Matt Kloskowski, Yours Truly, and Terry White. 

Above: The next day, we’re back at it. Canon was on hand to clean attendees cameras (I had two of mine cleaned while I was there). What do they charge? Nothing. Not a dime! What an incredible thing they do for Photoshop World attendees. High-five to our friends at Canon for being so awesome! :)

Above: Joe Glyda giving a one-one-one portfolio review. These are a huge hit with our participants.

Above: The one and only Dave Black during a one-on-one portfolio review. 

Above: I wonder if he’s asking Kaylee about her hair? ;-)

Above: We did a special after-hours event called “An Evening with Stacy Pearsall” that was absolutely just spectacular! Her stories and images from her time as a military combat photographer are just incredible!  Her class last year in Las Vegas was such a huge hit, we knew it needed more time and a chance for more people to hear her message. 

Above: Stacy absolutely captivated the audience. Her Veterans Portrait Project is really something special. If you get a moment, it’s so worth giving it a look – here’s the link. 

Above: At the end, the crowd was on their feet cheering Stacy. It’s a night they’ll never forget. 

Above: Before you know it, we’re back on the big stage for the Guru Awards ceremony (a competition just for people who attend Photoshop World),. Here’s the talented Mark Rodriguez receiving his Guru Award from Larry Becker. 

Above: So many people’s careers have been launched after winning a Guru Award. Very happy for all the winners. 

The days really did just fly by…
…it was so much fun, and great to see so many familiar faces. It’s always a treat seeing old friends, and it was really fun to make some new ones as well.

Thank you to everyone who came out and made this Photoshop World so special. Thanks to all our sponsors and vendors, including Adobe Systems — without whom none of this would be possible. Thanks to our brilliant team of instructors who are the very best at what they do. A special thanks to our Conference Director Julie Stephenson, and the awesome crew here at KelbyOne who worked their butts off to make this the best Photoshop World yet! :)

Thanks for letting me share a glimpse of the conference with you. Details on the next Conference coming very soon – stay tuned. :)

Best,

-Scott

The post Highlights From The Photoshop World 2017 Conference appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Lightroom Performance – Preferences & Catalog Settings

In addition to optimizing the computer, you can optimize your Lightroom preferences and catalog settings for best performance.

 

Lightroom Updates

Lightroom is usually updated every 2-4 months, and these updates frequently include performance improvements as well, so it’s worth staying up to date.

If you have a CC subscription, open the CC app to check for updates. If a new update has been released but isn’t available in your CC app, click the cog icon and select Check for App Updates. If you have a perpetual (standalone) license, go to Help menu > Updates.

updatelr

Occasionally, an update introduces new bugs that aren’t spotted before release, so it’s also worth knowing how to roll back, just in case you do run into problems. If you’re not completely comfortable with this process, you may be safer to wait until the update has been available for a few days, just in case any serious new bugs surface. Keep an eye on my What’s New blog posts for the latest news.

 

Optimize the Catalog

Over the course of time, with many imports and deletions, the data in Lightroom’s catalog can become fragmented and spread across the whole database, making Lightroom jump around to  find the information it needs. The File menu > Optimize Catalog command “tidies up” and sorts it all back into the right order, bringing it back up to speed.

optimizecatalog

It’s worth running the catalog optimization whenever you’ve made significant database changes, such as removing or importing a large number of photos, or any time you feel that Lightroom has slowed down. There’s also a checkbox in the Back Up Catalog dialog to automatically run the optimization each time you back up your catalog, which saves you having to remember.

 

Enable Graphics Processor checkbox

We’ve already discussed the GPU in the last couple of posts. As a reminder, if you’re using a standard resolution screen, you probably want to turn it off. If you’re using a 4K or 5K screen, you probably want it turned on. If you’re using a smaller retina/HiDPI screen (e.g. a MacBook Pro), try it on and off and see which you prefer. The checkbox is found under Edit menu (Windows) / Lightroom menu (Mac) > Preferences > Performance.

 

Auto-write XMP off

By default, all of the work you do in Lightroom, such as adding keywords or Develop edits, is stored as text instructions in the Lightroom catalog. If you need to make the metadata available to other programs, such as Bridge or Camera Raw, you need to store it in/with the files using a metadata format called XMP. Some users also use XMP as an additional (but incomplete) backup of edits.

If you frequently edit your photos in other software such as Bridge, writing changes automatically saves you having to remember to do so. However, it can have a notable impact on performance, especially if the photos are stored on a slower drive. To check and change your auto write preference, go to Edit menu (Windows) / Lightroom menu (Mac) > Catalog Settings > Metadata tab > Automatically Write Changes Into XMP. If you choose to turn auto-write off, you can manually write to XMP at any time by selecting the photos in Grid view and selecting Metadata menu > Write Metadata to Files.

 

Render the Best Previews & Cache Settings for Your Needs

Finally, Lightroom uses a number of different types of previews and caches, and it’s worth gaining a basic understanding so you can optimize the settings for your own workflow. We’ll discuss this in the next post in the series.

The post Lightroom Performance – Preferences & Catalog Settings appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

More from Photoshop World Day 1!

Here’s a glimpse at what happened yesterday at Photoshop World Orlando after the keynote! Photos by Brad Moore and Rob Foldy.

The post More from Photoshop World Day 1! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Photoshop World Opening Keynote and More!

Hey gang, here’s another quick update from Photoshop World Orlando, day one! Check out these shots from today’s opening keynote presentation and some other things that have happened so far. Photos by Brad Moore and Rob Foldy.

The post Photoshop World Opening Keynote and More! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Scenes from Photoshop World Workshops and More!

We’re off to a great start at Photoshop World Orlando! Here are some scenes from our pre-conference workshops, The Grid Live, and The Meetup. Photos by Brad Moore and Rob Foldy. Check back later for photos from the opening Keynote with Adobe!

The post Scenes from Photoshop World Workshops and More! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

10 Years of Lightroom

On February 19th 2007 – 10 years ago today – Adobe officially announced the release of Lightroom 1.0. How time flies! So today, I thought we’d take a trip down memory lane…

 

Lightroom Betas

On January 9, 2006, Adobe released the first public beta of Project Shadowland, which became Lightroom. The project had already been in development for a few years, and Jeff Schewe does an excellent job of telling the story of the earliest stages.

The first beta was only for Mac OSX and didn’t even have a crop tool, although that was quickly added. The Develop module had many of the tools from Photoshop’s Camera Raw plug-in, so even in its earliest stages, it was a capable raw processor. Further beta versions added Windows support, hierarchical keywords, Develop History, the Web module, and more.

In June 2006, Adobe purchased Pixmantec, and its developers moved over to work with Thomas Knoll on the Camera Raw raw processing engine for Lightroom, resulting in new sliders such as Vibrance.

Over 500,000 individuals were reported to have used the beta versions. I recently installed beta 2 in a virtual machine, so here are a few screenshots, showing just how far we’ve come. How distracting those bright panels were!

In 2006, the Canon 1DS Mk II (16.7MP), 5D (12.8MP) and 30D (8.2MP), and the Nikon D2Xs (12.4MP) and D200 (10.2MP) were current. What a contrast with the huge sensors we see today!

In 2006, there was no such thing as a tablet, most people had never heard of smartphones, and the first Intel MacBook Pro had only just been released. 2GB of RAM was considered high-end, with many systems shipping with just 512MB. Those were the days of 80GB hard drives. Twitter wasn’t even launched until July 15, 2006! Photoshop was still on CS2.

I bought my first Mac to run those early Lightroom betas, but I’d just started a raw processing business, so I didn’t have much time to play. Nevertheless, I saw enough to know it was going to be great.

 

Lightroom 1

On February 19, 2007, Lightroom 1.0 was officially released. The release version had some major changes from the earlier betas. In the Library module, Folders replaced the previous Shoots concept, and a Survey view was added. You could flag and label photos, filter photos based on their metadata, create virtual copies and snapshots, and stack similar photos. The Develop module gained the TAT tool, red eye reduction and spot removal.

As is often the case with brand new software, development continued at a remarkable pace over the following months. Dot releases added the ability to use multiple catalogs and transfer photos between them. The Develop module also gained better sharpening controls and the Clarity slider, and the Painter tool was added to the Library module.

  

2007 was also the year of the first iPhone, the Kindle, and the year Dropbox was founded. Photoshop CS3 was released on April 16, 2007.

I had a Lightroom training session booked for just one week after 1.0’s release (hello Dan & Ann!), so I had to learn quickly. Of course, it was a much simpler program in those days.

I’ve always been a big fan of keyboard shortcuts and there wasn’t a list available, so I immediately set about tracking down all the known shortcuts, and more importantly, the hidden ones. I’ve continued to update the list with each new release, so if you ever need keyboard shortcuts, you’ll find them in the Resources section of this website. With each new release, I also started publishing a detailed blog post on what had changed. That series is still running today, in the “What’s New in This Release” category.

I spent a lot of time on the forums over the following months, and that’s where I was given the nickname “The Lightroom Queen.” Since I was answering many of the same questions over and over again, fellow forum members suggested I turn all of these FAQ’s into a book, and so this Lightroom Queen website and the Missing FAQ series of books were born. It was a much smaller book in those days, with the LR1 book totalling around 42,000 words.

 

Lightroom 2

On April 2, 2008, a public beta of Lightroom 2 was released, followed by the official release of 2.0 on July 29, 2008.

The Library module added better filtering and smart collections and Lightroom started suggesting keywords based on previous keyword combinations and images nearby.

The Develop module gained the adjustment brush, graduated filter and post-crop vignette. The DNG Profile Editor and Camera Emulation profiles were also released for the first time with 2.0.

Other improvements included 64-bit OS support, dual monitor support, output sharpening, picture packages and JPEG output in the Print module, and more.

In 2008, the Canon 1DS Mk III (21.1MP), 5D Mk II (21.1MP) and 50D (15.1MP) and the Nikon D3 (12MP), D700 (12.1MP) and D300(12.3MP) were popular choices. Sensor sizes were growing, and more importantly, the noise in high ISO images was starting to improve.

Also in 2008, the first Android smart phone was released, iPhone was updated to 3G, the iOS App Store was launched, and Google released the first public version of Chrome. Photoshop CS4 was released on October 15, 2008.

I’d released my first Missing FAQ book, for version 1.4.1, just a few weeks earlier, and the Lightroom 2 version was ready for release day. Shortly after my Lightroom 2 book was published in PDF format, readers started requesting printed versions, so a few months later it was published in B&W print for the first time.

 

Lightroom 3

On October 22, 2009, Adobe released the first public beta of Lightroom 3. A second beta followed in March 23, 2010, and Lightroom 3.0 was finally released on June 8, 2010.

Image quality was priority for this release, so the raw processing engine was given a major overhaul with new demosaic algorithms, improved sharpening and noise reduction, new lens and perspective corrections, a more advanced post-crop vignette, grain effect and a point curve. This was called PV2010, which replaced the earlier PV2003.

The Library module added Publish Services for managed exports, making it easy to keep photo sharing websites updated with changes.

The new Import dialog was the biggest visual change – and the biggest shock for many users. It went from being a very simple dialog with minimal controls, to a much more complex and capable dialog.

Other improvements included watermarks, custom print packages, tethered shooting, and basic video support.

 

In 2010, the Canon 5D Mk II (21.1MP), 7D (18MP) and 60D (18.1MP) and the Nikon D3S (12.1MP), D700 (12.1MP) and D300S (12.3MP) were popular choices.

In 2009, Gmail came out of beta, and for the first time, Facebook saw more traffic than MySpace. In 2010, we were introduced to the iPad, and Instagram was launched. 2011 saw the first “phablet”  with the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note. Photoshop CS5 was also released on April 30, 2010.

The beta period was so long that I released “rough cut” versions of my Lightroom 3 book. With the increasing popularity of eReaders, the final version of the book was released for the first time in ePub and Kindle formats, as well as PDF and B&W paperback.

 

Lightroom 4

On January 9, 2012, Lightroom 4 beta was released. It was just a short beta this time, with Lightroom 4.0 released on March 5, 2012.

Lightroom 4 was a huge release, adding 2 new modules (Book & Map) and completely rewriting the Basic panel tools, with the release of PV2012 and its tone-mapped Highlights/Shadows sliders.

The Develop module also added soft proofing, RGB curves, more local adjustments, intelligent chromatic aberration controls, support for 32-bit HDR files, and folders for Develop presets.

The Library module added basic video editing, export direct to email, reverse geocoding and changed flags from local to global.

There was also a new lossy DNG format, which allowed the creation of much smaller files with much of the editing flexibility of raw files.

To top it all off, Adobe halved the price tag! This meant that Lightroom was now within reach of many amateur photographers, as well as professionals.

By 2012, we were using cameras like the Canon 1DX (18.1MP), 5D Mk III (22.3MP), 7D (18MP) and 60D (18.1MP) and the Nikon D4 (16.2MP), D800 (36.3MP) and D300S (12.3MP).
In 2012, Facebook officially had more than 1 billion active users for the first time, and Pinterest became available to everyone. Photoshop reached CS6 on May 7, 2012, as the last of the Creative Suite versions.

In November 2011, Adobe had announced their plans for the Creative Cloud subscription service, and on June 26, 2012, Lightroom was added to the Creative Cloud for the first time. Just over a year later, on September 4, 2013, they announced the Photographer’s Bundle at just $9.99 a month… and 3 1/2 years on, the price still hasn’t increased (other than for currency fluctuations in some regions).

There were so many changes in Lightroom 4, I decided to completely rewrite the book, making it a more complete guide to Lightroom. The book grew fast, going from around 100,000 words for LR3 to more than 150,000 for LR4.

 

Lightroom 5

Lightroom 5 followed only 15 months after Lightroom 4’s release, with the public beta being released on April 15, 2013, and the Lightroom 5.0 release following on June 10, 2013.

It was a smaller release this time, but with some very nice tweaks. The Library module gained the ability to build and use Smart Previews to work with offline images, and the new DNG Validation feature checked the integrity of DNG files.

The Develop module added the Radial Filter, advanced spot removal (non-circular healing), the Visualize Spots tool to help to identify sensor dust, and automatic perspective correction (Upright).

Adobe also added support for PNG files, video files in slideshows, and some simple custom layout tools in the Book module, among other small tweaks.

Lightroom mobile for iPad was introduced on April 8, 2014, with the iPhone version following on June 18. The Android version took a little longer, with the first phone release being launched on January 15, 2015.


In the Lightroom 5 book, I added a new Quick Start section for new Lightroom users, as previous versions had assumed some previous experience with editing software. I also released a free Lightroom Quick Start eBook for email subscribers, which was downloaded tens of thousands of times in the first few weeks, and has been updated again a few times since, for changes in later Lightroom releases.

 

Lightroom CC / 6

On April 21, 2015, Lightroom 6 was released without a public beta, and at the same time, Adobe changed the branding, separating Lightroom CC from the perpetually licensed version 6. They’re still the same program files, but the CC version has access to additional new features. For the first time, Lightroom 6 also requires online activation. We can thank the pirates for that!

The big news in this release was Face Recognition, which had been one of the most requested features for some years. Touch enabled PC’s also gained a touch workspace similar to Lightroom mobile.

They also added HDR merge, which creates high dynamic range files ready for editing in the Develop module, and Panorama merge, saving a trip to an external editor.

Since 4K and 5K monitors have become much more common, work began on GPU acceleration, to help make editing on high resolution screens much smoother.

The Develop module also gained smaller features, such as the ability to brush away parts of gradients and move adjustment brush strokes, and the new Pet Eye tool.

For CC users, there have been additional new features added since the 6.0 release. They include Dehaze, local Whites/Blacks, improved panorama merge and the new Guided Upright tool, as well as all of the improvements made to Lightroom Mobile and Web.

Cameras have continued to make significant progress. Popular DSLR’s now include the Canon 1DX Mk II (18.1MP), 5D Mk IV (30.1MP), 7D Mk II (20.2MP) and 80D (24.2MP), and the Nikon D5 (20.8MP), D810 (36.3MP), D750 (24.3MP) and D500 (20.9MP). In recent years, mirrorless cameras have also gained popularity, with pro-level cameras from Sony, Fuji and Olympus.

Sensor sizes have grown at a crazy rate, with the Canon 5DS (50.6MP) and the Sony A7R II (42.4MP), and even higher resolution sensors in development. With these “improvements” comes a need for greater storage and processing power in our computers too. Fortunately, 512MB of RAM and 80GB hard drives are no longer the norm!

The difference in noise handling, compared to 10 years ago, is night and day. In 2006, cameras could shoot up to around 3200 ISO, and they were almost unusably noisy. Now, many cameras offer up to 51200 ISO, and even as much as 409600 on some cameras.

Lightroom CC/6 The Missing FAQ BookI spent the 2 years between Lightroom 5 and Lightroom 6’s release completely rewriting the entire book, making it easier for new users to grasps the basics of Lightroom using the new Fast Track feature, but also ensuring that all of Lightroom’s features are covered in detail, making it a complete reference book. For the first time, the book was published in color print, as well as multiple eBook formats. This blog has been busier than ever, and I also released a free Lightroom Performance eBook for email subscribers.

 

What’s next?

Who knows what the next 10 years will hold for Adobe, Lightroom and other photography software.

 

Finally, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your continued support. My life has changed completely over the last 10 years, thanks to Lightroom, and more importantly, thanks to you, my lovely readers. I look forward to continuing to support you in the years to come.

The post 10 Years of Lightroom appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

Using Lightroom Mobile Presets to post on Instagram

There is a fantastically simple trick to using Cuba Gallery Presets in Lightroom Mobile.
Here are a few simple steps:

1. Create a collection of images with your favourite presets applied in the standard desktop version of Lightroom.
2. Using Adobe Creative Cloud sync images and collections between the desktop and mobile versions. 
3. Once you’ve synced up the images from your desktop you can copy and paste image settings onto new images
4. Now you can start posting on Instagram from your phone using Lightroom.

 

Adding Overlays To Lightroom’s Loupe View

It’s Tuesday (did I mention it’s the day before the Photoshop World Preconference workshops start? Well, it is. Whoo hoo!!!), and of course, that means it’s time for Benjamin Warde’s awesome 60-second Lightroom Coffee Break. This time, he’s showing you some very helpful overlays you can add to your Loupe view (the larger zoomed-in view) in the Library module.

Good to know these are there, right? Thanks Ben! 🙂

OK, I’m heading to Orlando today — looking forward to meeting everybody over there. It’s gonna be a Lightroom love-fest! 🙂

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Next month I’m in Minneapolis and Indianapolis with my Lightroom full-day seminar. Hope you can come out and join me. 

The post Adding Overlays To Lightroom’s Loupe View appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

Bridal Shoot (with behind-the-scenes shots and camera settings)

Hey, it’s Photoshop World week, and to celebrate, today I thought I’d share some shots from a recent bridal shoot I did for a project I’m working on.

The shoot took place at Casa Bella – a beautiful 9,000 sq ft. luxury home/venue for weddings and events in our area. I teamed up with my awesome wife Kalebra who did all the styling and art direction for the shoot (she’s just a blast to be on a shoot with — she brings an energy, and fun to the shoot that’s contagious. Also, seeing how she sees things, and how she works with our subjects is really something to see — she should do a class on it).

Above: Here’s the behind-the-scenes shot (photo by Juan Alfonso) of me taking the image at the top of the page. I’m sitting on an Apple box (see below) so I’m not quite on the floor (maybe 6″ up from it) but I put my camera (a Canon 5D Mark III)  directly on the ground in front of me, tilted up at the bride, using a Canon 14mm super wide-angle lens. You can see I’m pretty close to where the bride is standing, but look how much farther away she looks in the image up top.

Above: These Matthews Apple Boxes come in really handy. This is a half box (just 4″ high), but in a lot of cases, it’s a whole lot better than sitting on the ground. They are sturdy as anything, and you can stack ’em, too! We have them in different sizes, and use them mostly in the studio, either to get a higher angle or a much lower one. 

Two things that super wide angle does:
(1) When you put it on the floor like this, it makes the entire scene have more of an epic sprawling look — even in small spaces like this.

(2) Putting it on the floor like this, makes the floor appear MUCH more reflective than it really is, and you get a shine and reflection that you won’t get standing up, or even shooting on your knees. I can’t tell you exactly why it works like that…but it sure does.

Above: Shooting w inith our bride the same spot— I just stood up, backed way up, and used my 70-200mm f/2.8 zoomed in to 140mm.

Camera Settings:
I’m at 200 ISO at 1/400 of a second at f/2.8. I shot at f/2.8 for two reasons: (1) To get the background behind her a bit soft and out of focus, and because believe it or not, even though she was standing in front of a door with glass panes, the door is inset from the front of the house by quite a bit (there’s a large covered entryway), so the light wasn’t that bright. That’s also why I had to increase my ISO to 200 — there’s not as much light there, at that time of day, then you’d think.

Above: A third look with her in the exact same spot — I just walked closer, and then zoomed into 142mm. 

Lighting
When we first walked in, I asked Kathy (who was assisting me on the shoot), to rig up a flash with a Westcott 26″ Rapid box octa mounted to the end of a monopod, but as it turned out — we were able to just go with natural light the entire 4-hour shoot, and we never used it once. That’s pretty rare, but the lighting throughout was pretty good, even though a few times I had to raise my ISO to 200 or 400 here and there.

Above: More of an editorial look for this shot taken in the bride’s dressing suite, just using the light from the windows. f/2.8 at 1/80 of a second at 200 ISO. Again, not as much light as you’d think, which is why I had a slower shutter speed and higher ISO, even at f/2.8.

I converted the image to black and white in Lightroom CC, and added the duotone effect using Lightroom’s Split Toning panel (shown here).To get the duotone look, I boosting the Saturation amount and moved the Hue slider to a brownish hue in the Shadows only (no adjustments to the Highlights split toning at all). TIP: When you’re setting the Hue and your Saturation amount is low like it is here, it’s sometimes hard to see exactly which hue you’re choosing, so hold the Option Key as you drag it, and it acts as though the Saturation amount is set to 100 which helps a lot.

Above: This is one of my favorites from the shoot, taken in the bridal suite. I switched to the 70-200mm for this one, and I’m at 70mm (I would have liked to have gotten back farther and shoot at 150mm or so, but my back was against the wall, so I couldn’t go back any farther, and didn’t want to switch to a wide angle — I wanted the look that the 70-200mm gives. I’m at f/2.8 at 1/250 of a second shutter at ISO 200).

She’s far enough away from the window that the lighting is very soft and subtle, which I really like.

Above: The “dream-like” quality is provided with a soft glow in post. While you can get a glow effect in Lightroom, it’s not awesome, so I usually use a plug-in. I’ve been using Luminar a lot more lately (a plug-in from Macphun that’s gotten really popular in the past few months), and they have a great built-in glow effect. I also have a bunch of presets that I made (that MacPhun is giving way with a promotion they’re doing), but in this case, I’m not using one of my presets — just the Soft Glow filter.

Above: I loved this hallway, and since our bride had been in ballet, she was cool with doing some dramatic poses. All natural light coming in from a nearby door.

Above: That’s me, sitting on a 1/2 height Apple box again, with the camera directly in front of me, right on the tile floor, with the 14mm lens aiming up. Once again, note the reflection on the floor.

Above: Finally, a shot with lots of light — I let the windows totally blow out again, and I intentionally overexposed the whole image for a bright, airy look. I had to go down to 1/30 of a second shutter speed to let this much light in, at f/2.8 at 200 ISO and I’m at 85mm on my 70-200mm. Again, my back is up against another wall. Would have liked to have gotten back further, and zoomed in tighter, but it’s still one of my favorites from the shoot.

Above: Taking advantage of our subject having been a ballerina, Kalebra had her strike this pose, with her positioned in front of one of the French Doors in the estate. We pulled the sheers to cover the window and somewhat control the light, but we wanted that blown out, over-exposed look — we just wanted it soft.

Hope you found any/some/part of that helpful. Can’t wait to share the whole project with you when it’s done. :)

A big thanks and shoutout to Kalebra for the styling and art direction, and for being my partner in this production from the start, and to Jen Coffin for helping with the production side big time. Thanks to Kathy Porupski for assisting on the gig, keeping things moving, and helping all the way around, and to our bride Julianna for being so patient, and easy to work with. :)

Have a great start to your week, and see ya back here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday.

Best,

-Scott

The post Bridal Shoot (with behind-the-scenes shots and camera settings) appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Merging Catalogs – The Overview

Some weeks ago, we discussed the arguments for and against multiple catalogs.

Perhaps you’ve unintentionally ended up with multiple catalogs, because you opened a backup catalog and continued working in it, or you’ve started a new catalog each time you’ve upgraded Lightroom. If you have metadata and edits scattered across multiple catalogs, you won’t want to lose all of the work you’ve done, so you’ll need to merge the catalogs… but how do you do that?

Or perhaps you previously used multiple catalogs because someone said it was a good idea, but having weighed the pros and cons, you’ve now decided to combine your multiple catalogs into one… how do you do that?

When merging multiple catalogs into a single master catalog, there are four distinct stages. We’ll summarize them in this infographic (which may take a moment to load), but then we’ll break it down into the individual stages over the next few weeks.

It can seem like an overwhelming task at first, but don’t worry, we’ll go into more detail over the new few weeks.

It’s more time-consuming than complicated, although some basic computer knowledge is required. You need to know how to use your operating system to search for files, show additional columns of metadata in Windows Explorer/Finder, and how to move files.

Depending on the level of disorganization, it may not be a quick job, so set some time aside to complete each stage. You don’t have to do all of the stages in one go, as long as you keep track of your progress.

If it still sounds too overwhelming, or you don’t have the needed computer knowledge, don’t worry. Many Lightroom teachers offer one-on-one support, and can help you figure it out. Just one word of warning… don’t ask your IT person to do it unless they’re going to follow these instructions to the letter, as this kind of cleanup requires an understanding of how the catalog relates to files on the hard drive.

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Tip For Seeing a Better Color Preview in Lightroom’s Split Toning Panel

As excited as I am that it’s Photoshop World Conference week (awwwwww, yeah!), I’ve got some tips to share, so let’s get to it. This one is for when you’re using the Split Toning panel. The problem is that when you drag the Hue slider (as shown above, on the image I’ve already converted to black and white), you don’t’ see any color whatsoever. If you increase the amount of Saturation to where you want it, the color is so subtle that it’s hard to clearly see which Hue you are choosing. That’s what this tip is about — how to clearly see the Hue color as you drag, without cranking the Saturation slider up to +100, and then later having to adjust it back down.

STEP ONE: Simply hold the Option key (PC: Alt-key) as you drag the Hue slider and Lightroom treats it as if you set the Saturation amount at +100, so you can clearly see the Hues clearly at full strength as you drag the slider, and in this case you can clearly see that green isn’t the color you’re looking for. 😉

STEP TWO: When you’ve found the Hue you’re looking for (ahh, that’s more like it), simply let go of the Option key (PC: Alt key), and you can dial in the right amount of Saturation, knowing you’ve got the Hue right on the money.

Hope you found that helpful!

It’s Photoshop World Week!
I am so looking forward to meeting a bunch of you this week. The Pre-Conference Workshops start Wednesday, and the conference starts with the opening Adobe keynote at 9am on Thursday. We’ll be streaming the keynote live, and you can get the link Thursday morning from any of our social media sites.

Have a butt-kickin’, boot-scootin’, slap-happy Monday, and we’ll catch at back here tomorrow for “Lightroom Coffee Break.”

Best,

-Scott

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It’s Photoshop Word Conference Week. Awwwww, yeah! :-)

It’s finally here, and I’m so excited (well, technically it starts Wednesday with the pre-conference workshop, and then the opening Keynote (streamed live, featuring Adobe), kicks off the conference on Thursday morning at 10:00 AM ET, but ya know — it’s Photoshop World week! Whoo Hoo! :)

If you’ll be there…
Two things you definitely want to do:

(1) Go to the free Orientation class 
If this is your first time at Photoshop World, we have a special crash course just for you. Hosted by Larry Becker, this orientation is designed to make sure you get the most out of your experience. Free and open to all attendees on Wednesday (the day before the full conference kicks off).

(2) Download the App 
We have an awesome conference app (for IOS and Android) that you will find invaluable during the conference. The full schedule is in there; directions; events times and locations, and a whole bunch more. Find it on the App Store for iPhones, or on Google Play for Android.

If you can’t go this year…
Then make sure you tune in Thursday morning at 10:00 AM ET (I’ll put a link here on the blog on Thursday morning, and on all our social media) so you can watch the opening keynote LIVE. It’s going to be (wait for it…wait for it…) epic!

Hope you have a great Monday (and safe travels if you’re heading to Orlando to join us for the big event!). :)

-Scott

P.S. Tomorrow I’m sharing some finals, and BTS shots, along with camera info from a recent location shoot I did – hope you’ll stop back by then. 

The post It’s Photoshop Word Conference Week. Awwwww, yeah! :-) appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Trialling my new Lightroom Presets – Great Ocean Road photography trip


Stuff to Watch This Weekend

Hi gang – sorry for the late post today – with the Photoshop World Conference coming next week, it’s hard to work on anything else (really exciting, but busy as heck!). Anyway, I thought I’d share a few courses for you to watch this weekend that are just getting tons of love from our members — these are classes that people are just raving about, so if you’re looking for some learning this Holiday Weekend, I hope you’ll give these a look:

Larry nailed it in this class, and people are writing in that even though they thought they really knew about focus, they learned some seriously helpful things from this class. Here’s the link. 

Tracy Sweeney is becoming a sensation – plain and simple. She shares exactly how she does it, and her images, and her style of teaching, are on the money. People are raving about her class (some are calling it the best class on all of KelbyOne). Here’s the link.

Terry has always been awesome (and one of the best guys on the planet), but this class is giving him “cult hero status.” If you read them comments, they are filled with people signing up and selling their images already online. It’s crazy, but Terry’s class is literally that good. It’s opening people’s eyes to things they either had never considered, or had turned away from. You will love this! Here’s the direct link. 

KelbyOne members so love Stella, for her straight talk, her no-nonse style, and for sharing insights you simply won’t find anywhere else. Her whole career has been about hiring photographers, and she tells you things that will change the way you market and sell yourself, and your work, forever. If you’re thinking of going pro (now, or in the future), this is a must-watch! Here’s the link. 

These classes have HUGE buzz with our KelbyOne members, and I hope you’ll check them out this weekend.

Here’s wishing everybody a happy, healthy Easter (hope you get lots of chocolate eggs, and maybe a Cadbury or two), and we’ll catch you back here next week for Photoshop World Week. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m sharing a location bridal shoot on Tuesday that Kalebra and I worked on. Behind the scenes shot, lighting, post processing – the works, so don’t forget to stop by here on Tuesday. 

The post Stuff to Watch This Weekend appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Lightroom Maintenance Update Release

Hi gang, and welcome to the somewhat rare Thursday update. Adobe released a maintenance update for Lightroom, which includes support for a few new cameras, some new lens profiles, and of course, a host of bug fixes.

You can read about the update (along with a list of newly supported cameras and lenses, and bug fixes) at Adobe’s official Lightroom blog.

That’s it for today – see ya tomorrow! 🙂

Best,

-Scott

The post Lightroom Maintenance Update Release appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

It’s New Class Thursday!

Everything Else in Lightroom, Part One with Scott Kelby
Time to learn everything else there is to know in Lightroom! Join Scott Kelby in this class designed to teach you a wide range of specific topics every Lightroom users needs to know. You can jump in on any topic that interests you and get up to speed on that aspect of Lightroom, and use this class as a go-to resource any time you need to expand your skill set even further. Maybe you need to know how to transfer a collection of photos from one computer to another, how to get the most out of the powerful Before and After options when editing, how to find any missing photos, or finally master Lightroom’s search feature. All these topics and more have been bundled into this first part of a multi-part series of classes, so pick the topic that interest you the most and dive right in!

In Case You Missed It
Photoshop is an invaluable tool for all Lightroom users, and in this class Scott Kelby teaches you the most important Photoshop techniques you’ll need to know to get the most out of it. Starting off with the basics of moving between Lightroom and Photoshop, Scott moves on to covering the fundamentals of working with selections and layers, and then builds up from there using various projects to demonstrate how it all comes together. Through the class you’ll learn how to remove distractions, how to blend layers with layer masks, how to work with high contrast images, the fundamentals of portrait retouching, how to get started with compositing, and how to deal with all kinds of problems you might encounter in your photographs. By the end of the class you’ll realize that Photoshop is not that hard when you focus on just the techniques you can’t do inside of Lightroom.

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It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Mark Condon of Shotkit!

Photo by Daniel Stark

Three Years of Shotkit | Photographers & Their Camera Gear

Hey guys, this is Mark here from a site you may have heard of called Shotkit. Thanks for having me here on ScottKelby.com – it’s truly an honour.

I started Shotkit back in 2014 to scratch my own itch of wanting to know what my favourite photographers carried in their camera bags.

Everyone knows that a good camera does not a good photographer make, but most of us in the industry are still very passionate about the photography equipment we use… and whilst few like to admit it, we’re all a little curious about the camera gear used by others!

What photographer wouldn’t be curious as to what on earth this wedding photographer takes with him on shoots?!
Photo by Emin Kuliyev for Shotkit

Since 2014, Shotkit has morphed into a popular blog for all things photography and gear related, but the raison d’être of the site is still a place for nosey photographers to have a snoop at the gear of their peers.

To celebrate Shotkit’s third birthday, I put together a one-minute slide show of the hundreds of successful submissions I’ve received over the years. Keep your eyes peeled for Scott Kelby’s own gear load-out… or I should say, one of his many!

After receiving so many submissions from photographers from around the world, I’ve been given a unique insight into the most popular photography equipment in use by professionals today.

As perhaps no surprise to many of you, wedding photographers outnumber all other genres of submission to Shotkit. It’s also unsurprising that the wedding photography gear in use around the world is by and large, very similar across the board.

The effort that photographers go into with their Shotkit submissions is very impressive. Being creative with how we lay out and photograph even our gear is often just an extension of the creativity used each day in our jobs, after all.
Photo by Neville Black for Shotkit

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see how other camera formats continue to disrupt the industry, with photographers of all genres slowly switching to the best mirrorless cameras available, mostly from the likes of Sony, Fuji and Panasonic.

Whatever your stance is on the great mirrorless cameras vs dSLR debate, the future of cameras which rely on cumbersome mirrors to capture images is looking admittedly bleak.

Personally, I’ll be sticking with my trusty dSLR for a few more years though, and I’m sure I won’t be the only one…

Whilst Mirrorless Cameras may be the future, the fight isn’t over just yet…

Whilst I continue to publish a new photographer and their gear every other day of the year on Shotkit, I spend the majority of my time writing content for the Shotkit Blog, the newsletter, a range of ebooks, and most recently, development of an interactive tool for Lightroom & Photoshop Shortcuts.

The topic of photographer workflows is one that I’m passionate about (I’m an avid follower of Scott’s excellent Lightroom Killer Tips), and I intend to explore the subject more in 2017.

Using keyboard shortcuts in the software we use for post production every day as professional photographers is an important step in spending less time behind a desk and more time behind a camera. I hope this shortcuts tool will be a step in the right direction in helping us all achieve this.

Save some time whilst editing and speed up your post production workflow with this handy interactive shortcuts keyboard

As for the Shotkit blog, posts such as the best cameras under $500 and the best camera bags may seem like an Amazon affiliate link carnival to some (!), but they’re actually very popular posts, especially for beginner photographers who need some advice about their first purchases… not to mention of course those of us with a dose of the dreaded G.A.S.!

I’ve tried to include a selection of links to some of the most popular blog posts published on Shotkit in this article, but the truth is, I’ve really only scratched the surface.

From photographers showing off their best work and favourite photography gadgets and gizmos, to gear reviews, business advice and creative inspiration, there’s something on Shotkit for everyone. I hope you enjoy reading Shotkit as much as I do putting it together!

My own camera equipment and travel gear which I take for destination wedding photography work.
Photo by Mark Condon for Shotkit

I’ll close this guest post off by thanking Scott, Brad and the team behind ScottKelby.com and Lightroom Killer Tips for producing such incredibly useful content for photographers like us. Sites like these are a constant inspiration for both my own photography work and my work with Shotkit.

I’m looking forward to seeing you part of the Shotkit Community and I encourage you to submit your kit!

Now, which photographers’ camera bags would you most like to take a peek into? Leave their names in the comments below…

Mark Condon is a British wedding photographer based in Sydney. He is the founder of Shotkit and author of the Shotkit Books, Lightroom Power User, More Brides and LIT. You can follow him on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

The post It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Mark Condon of Shotkit! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

It’s “I got nuthin’” Tuesday!

Hi folks, and greetings from the Wayne County, Michigan (I’m here for my seminar today – over 300 Detroit area photographers here today for my Lightroom seminar. Whoo hoo!). A big shout out to all the kind folks who came out and spent the day with me yesterday in Chicago. Always love being in the Chicago area – so many friendly folks – thanks for coming out. :)

Watch ‘The Grid’ on Facebook’s App for Apple TV
So, it’s Tuesday and I kinda got nuthin’ – our flight was delayed and we didn’t get in until around 1:00 am, and well, blah, blah, blah I don’t really have a post. However, while I’ve got you here – my buddy Terry White sent me the shot above of ‘The Grid” (which airs live every Wednesday), being seen on the Facebook App on his Apple TV (on a 70″ HD screen). The reason this works is—we simulcast to my Facebook page (http://facebook.com/skelby) so if you have the Facebook App for Apple TV you can watch our Facebook stream live (and you can comment right there on Facebook – we monitor all your comments there as well).

Hope you’ll join us tomorrow and try it out.

Who: Me and a guest usually
What: The Grid (our weekly photography show)
Where: http://kelbytv.com/thegrid 0r http://facebook.com/skelby
When: Wednesday at 4PM ET (New York time)
Why: ’cause for six years this is what we do on Wednesday at 4pm – we talk about photography and stuff.

Hope you all have a stellar Tuesday, and we’ll catch you back here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. The next stops on my nationwide seminar tour are next month in Minneapolis and Indianapolis. Hope to meet you there. 

The post It’s “I got nuthin'” Tuesday! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Auto-Hiding Your Side Panels to Give You More Workspace

It’s Tuesday, that means it’s time for a “Lightroom Coffee Break” with Lightroom team member, Benjamin Warde.

Here we go:

There ya go (thanks, Benjamin!).

Thanks Chicago! Howdy Detroit!
Just a quick shoutout to all the photographers who came out to spend the way with me yesterday in Chicago (and a welcome to those of you with me today in Detroit, where I’ve got a packed house — over 300 photographers. It’s gonna be a fun day of Lightroom love!). Next stops: Minneapolis and Indianapolis next month. Come out and spend the day with me learning Lightroom. It’s gonna be epic! 🙂

Have a good one everybody!

-Scott
In Detroit Rock City!

The post Auto-Hiding Your Side Panels to Give You More Workspace appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

How do I clean up my keyword list?

In the previous post, we learned how to start keywording from scratch, but many Lightroom users have already added a few keywords, so this week, we’ll do some cleanup.

How do I edit an existing keyword?

If you want to edit a keyword, perhaps to correct the spelling, simply right-click on the keyword in the Keyword List panel and select Edit Keyword Tag. When you rename a keyword, it’s automatically updated on all of the tagged photos too.

How do I delete a keyword from a single photo or from all photos?

If you add a keyword to a photo by mistake, you can remove it using either the Keywording or Keyword List panel. With the photo(s) selected, select the keyword in the Keywording panel and press Delete/Backspace to delete the keyword, or remove the checkmark against the keyword in the Keyword List panel.

To delete the keyword from the keyword list as well as any tagged photos, select it and press the – button at the top of the Keyword List panel, or right-click and select Delete.

How do I create or change the keyword hierarchy?

By default, new keywords are added as a flat list, but you can drag and drop them into a hierarchy of nested keywords.

As you drag a keyword onto another keyword, that new parent keyword is highlighted. When you release the mouse, the keyword moves inside the new parent keyword, just as you would drag folders onto other folders to make them into subfolders.

If you want to do the opposite and change a child keyword into a top-level keyword, drag and drop the keyword between existing top-level level keywords instead. As you drag, a thin blue line appears. Don’t worry about dropping it in the right place in the list, as the Keyword List is automatically set to alpha-numeric sort.

If you’re building your keyword hierarchy for the first time, and want to add a series of child keywords inside the same parent, select Put New Keywords Inside this Keyword from the right-click menu. Any new keywords are then added to that keyword as child keywords, unless you specifically choose otherwise. The keyword is marked with a small dot next to the keyword name to remind you. To go back to adding new keywords at root level, right-click and uncheck the same command.

How do I merge duplicate keywords?

At some stage, you’re sure to end up with duplicate keywords. Perhaps, before you decided on consistent capitalisation, you added dog to some photos and dogs to others. Or perhaps you edited photos in another program and the photo came back into your catalog with new flat keywords. Merging them isn’t as easy as it should be, but it is possible:

  1. In the Keyword List, click the arrow to the right of the “wrong” keyword to show the photos tagged with that keyword.
  2. Select all of the resulting photos in the Grid view and drag them onto the “right” keyword, or check the checkbox next to the “right” keyword. This assigns the “right” keyword to the photos.
  3. Finally, go back and delete the “wrong” keyword.

 

Over the last 4 weeks, we’ve only skimmed the surface of keywording in Lightroom. We’ve discussed the kind of keywords you might add, whether to use flat or hierarchical keywords, and the basics of getting started with adding keywords to your photos. For more detailed information, see the Keywording section of my LRCC/6 book, starting on page 140.

 

Next week, we’re carrying on with the cleanup – this time, merging and deleting multiple catalogs.

The post How do I clean up my keyword list? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

Direct Access to Your Sync’d Lightroom Collections On The Web

Happy Monday, y’all. Just a quickie to start off the week – it’s a menu command in a place you might have missed in Lightroom, that takes you straight to a Web page with your sync’d Collections (just collections you chose to sync to Lightroom Mobile).

Go under Lightroom’s Help menu and choose ‘View Your Synced Collections on the Web’ as seen above.

BTW: Even if you don’t have the catalog open that you sync to LR Mobile, it still takes you to the sync’d page on the Web, so you don’t have to switch catalogs to your sync’d catalog before you choose that menu command. 

Above: Choose that menu item, and it launches your Web browser and takes you to lightroom.adobe.com and asks you (well, the first time anyway) to enter your Adobe User ID and password to access your collections.

Once you’re logged in, from there you can share any sync’d collection you’d like by clicking the Share Button, which brings up the dialog you see above (you can share by copying the private URL, or you can share publicly to Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Lots of options to share your collection just the way you want to, here.

Hope you found that helpful. 🙂

Best,

-Scott

P.S. This Thursday I think my new online class is coming out called “Everything Else in Lightroom, Part One” which is a class on how to do all those things that aren’t big enough to warrant a full class, but you might want to know how to do anyway, and I did the class so each lesson is just one topic, so you can jump to the topic you want, like “How to create a watermark” or “How to relink missing photos” or “How to create a custom copyright template” and stuff like that. Part One is going up this week, and then Part Two and Part Three (and probably a Part Four)  are coming soon. 🙂  Keep an eye on KelbyOne.com on Thursday for the new class release. 

The post Direct Access to Your Sync’d Lightroom Collections On The Web appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

Four Simple Steps To Create Your Own Custom Photoshop Actions

Happy Monday everybody — ready to learn about Actions? Wild cheers ensue! (Hey, it could happen). Anyway, I still get questions about Photoshop’s Action feature, so I thought I’d do a ‘quick start’ kinda post to get you up and running in five minutes.

What’s an Action?
If you’re wondering what “Actions” are, basically it’s like a tape recorder in Photoshop that records your step and plays them back really fast, so you can automate repetitive tasks. Best of all, simple actions (yes, you can create really complex ones if you want), are really easy to create and use.

In our example, let’s say you want to resize a high-res image for posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and since you’re resizing it down pretty small, you want to sharpen it before you post it (you lose some sharpness when you size down like that, so I always apply a little sharpening to bring it back, and maybe even a bit more than I lost so it looks nice and sharp). So, rather than going through the process manually from now, you’ll create a simple action; assign it to an F-key on your keyboard, and from now on the process because a 2-second, one key automated thingy.

Let’s get started:

STEP ONE: Open an image you would normally post on social, then go under the Window menu and choose Actions to bring up the Actions panel (shown here). To create your own custom action, press the ‘New Action’ button (it’s looks like the New Layer button — I’m clicking right on it in the capture above).

STEP TWO: This brings up the ‘New Action’ dialog (shown above) where you name your action (I did), assign it to a Function Key on your keyboard (I chose F11, as seen here). You’ll notice there’s no ‘OK’ or ‘Done’ button. Instead it says ‘Record’ because once you click that it is now recording your steps.

STEP THREE: Now do the things you want Photoshop to automate from here out. In this case, we’re only doing two thing, and the first is resizing the image to 1000 pixels wide (as seen here). Note: take a look over at the Actions panel on the left. See how there’s a red dot? That’s the ‘Record’ button, and it’s letting you know it’s recording your steps. Just a handy visual.

Above: After you resize your image, then go under the Filter menu, under Sharpen and choose Unsharp Mask. Input your favorite settings (I used 70, 1.0 and 10 here, which are pretty decent settings for sharpening low res 1000-pixel images like this for the Web). NOTE: Take a look over at the Actions panel and you can see it now lists the first thing we did to the photo — Image Size. The red dot tells you its still recording.

STEP FOUR: After you’ve run the Unsharp Mask filter, go ahead and Save the photo, and then close the image window. Yes, it records the ‘Save’ and the ‘Close.’ Now press the square ‘Stop’ button at the bottom of the Actions panel (as shown here). That’s it — you just created your first action. At this point, I usually open a different image, and I then I click the ‘Play’ button (it looks like a triangle — just to the right of the red record dot), just to see if the action works properly (of course, you could also just press F11 on your keyboard, and it will run the action). Doesn’t matter which one you use — you’re just testing it to see if it works. Now you’re ready to rock! (Guitar pun intended. I know. Groan). ;-)

Q. Hey, how many steps can an action like this record? Just two?
A. Nope — it will record for as long as you do stuff — your action can have one step, 10 -steps, 500-steps or more — I haven’t found a limit  (there may actually be one, but I haven’t found it yet). 

Next Time: Applying an Action to an entire folder of images
Where Actions get really fun is when you create an action, and then apply it to an entire folder of images at once, and you simply walk away from your computer (or switch to another program), and in the background, Photoshop just cranks away working on your behalf, totally unattended, like some autonomous robot from Skynet who will soon become self aware and take over the world. But not this year, so they’re safe to use for now. I’ll show you this ‘Batch Action’ feature on another day — for now, go and make your first action.

If you want to learn more about Actions…
And all the other automation stuff Photoshop and Lightroom can do (and there is plenty), we have a awesome course on it (here’s the link).

I’m up in Chicago today with my Lightroom seminar
So looking forward to meeting a whole bunch of photographers up here today (and tomorrow in Detroit — got a packed house!). Hope if you there’s you’ll come up and say hi between sessions. Next month I’m in Minneapolis and Indianapolis. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Only 10-days ’till the Photoshop World Conference (Whoo hoo!). It’s not to late to come join us, ya know. Weather’s beautiful in Orlando this time of year.  :)

The post Four Simple Steps To Create Your Own Custom Photoshop Actions appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

It’s Photo Tip Friday (Well, Lightroom Tip Friday Anyway)

Hi Gang. Thought I’d share this photo tip from KelbyOne instructor (and Photoshop World Conference instructor) Erik Valind — it’s a quick 60-second  tip on using Lightroom’s bult-in HDR feature.

Thanks Erik!

Looking forward to meeting some of you on Monday in Chicago, and Tuesday in the Detroit area (Livonia), for my Lightroom On Tour seminar. It’s not too late to join me for the day if you wanna – tickets and info here. 

BTW: We added two more cities: Minneapolis on May 19th, and Indianapolis on May 23rd.

Have a great weekend everybody, and I hope to catch ya here next week. 🙂

Best,

-Scott

The post It’s Photo Tip Friday (Well, Lightroom Tip Friday Anyway) appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

Nice Tutorial on Blending Masks in Photoshop CC

I ran across this Blend Mask tutorial on one of Adobe’s official blogs over in the UK, and it’s a great little tutorial (a little more of an advanced technique, but well worthwhile and easy to follow). It’s from Adobe’s Richard Curtis, and the post itself is from September of last year.

In the tutorial Richard shows how to make the robe of the 2nd monk (well, the 2nd from the left), perfectly match the color and luminance of the first monk. Really good stuff.

Here’s the link to Richard’s Blending Mask tutorial.

Hope you found that helpful (and thanks to Richard for sharing it). Looking forward to meeting a whole bunch of you in Chicago and in Detroit next Monday and Tuesday (respectively) with my Lightroom OnTour seminar. :)

Have a great weekend, and we’ll catch ya here on Monday.

Best,

-Scott

The post Nice Tutorial on Blending Masks in Photoshop CC appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Happy Independence Day, Y’all!

fireworks1

Howdy Lightroom Lovers across the land, and Happy 4th of July to ya!

Our offices are closed today as our nation celebrates our Independence from England (some 240 or so years ago), but what’s most important is…it’s a day off from work! Whoo Hoo! 🙂

If you’re here in the US, and you’re going to be shooting the traditional fireworks displays that are held in most cities across the country, I did a post on how to shoot fireworks for CocaCola’s blog.

Here’s the link to the basics (it’s easy).

Then, if you want to take it up a notch with some more advanced techniques, (but honestly, the overall technique is pretty simple, even with this extra stuff added), head over to my blog for four more tips, including a Lightroom one as well! 🙂

Here’s the link to the more advanced stuff over on my blog (still easy).

Hope you have a safe, happy, and healthy fourth and we’ll see ya back here tomorrow. 🙂

Best,

-Scott

The post Happy Independence Day, Y’all! appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

It’s New Class Thursday!

Family Photography: The Art of Storytelling with Tracy Sweeney
Learn how to cultivate beautiful memories for your client families! Join Tracy Sweeney as she shares her years of experience as a family photographer to help you prepare for success in this business. Tracy starts off the class with a focus on planning, preparation, and scouting; all of which will help you get the most out of your session while feeling confident and looking professional. From there you’ll witness Tracy at work with two different families in a park and on the beach. Tracy talks through her approach to lighting, to working with the families, the importance of building a relationship with the family members, and how she poses them as a group and one-on-one. After the shooting is done, you’ll head to the studio where Tracy teaches you her post processing workflow from Lightroom through Photoshop to create the final images that go on to become family treasures for years to come.

In Case You Missed It
This class is all about photographing kids! Tamara Lackey covers the technical side of working with natural light, reflectors, and her go-to gear, as well as the critical people skills needed to recognize personality types, handle tantrums, and roll with the range of moods your subjects will exhibit.

The post It’s New Class Thursday! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Exporting Your RAW Image from Lightroom Mobile

Hi Gang, and happy Wednesday! In the most recent update to Lightroom Mobile, Adobe added in a feature that was requested by a lot of users — the ability to download a RAW image taken using Lightroom Mobile’s built-in camera to the Camera Roll (rather than syncing it back to Lightroom desktop as the only way to move a copy of that RAW image). Here’s how to do it:

Tap on the image you want to save your Camera Roll, then tap on the “Share” icon. A pop-up menu (seen above) will appear and now there’s a menu item called ‘Export Original.’

When you choose ‘Export to Original’ the RAW image saved to your camera roll.

The RAW files are pretty HUGE (like you’d expect from a RAW file, right?). When I went to email the image from my camera roll to myself (probably not the most efficient method, but it works), a file size warning comes up that the file is probably too big to email, at a whopping 48.2 MB for a single image (many folks maximum email attachment size taps out at 10MB). So, now that your image is on your camera roll, you might want to consider moving it via DropBox, or iCloud Drive, or Google Drive, or AirDrop, or anything other than email.

Hope you found that helpful. 🙂

Come catch The Grid today at 4pm
If you haven’t caught an episode of “The Grid” (my free weekly show for photographers broadcast live every Wednesday), come on by and check it out (it’s open to everybody), and we take your comments and questions live on the show. Here’s the link to watch it live today (We also simulcast it to my Facebook page if you prefer that). My guest is the ultra awesome iPhone princess herself, the one and only Kalebra Kelby (whoo hoo!).

Have a kick-butt Wednesday everybody!

-Scott

The post Exporting Your RAW Image from Lightroom Mobile appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Scott Valentine!

I’ve always been fascinated by the nature of creativity. There are all the usual questions, of course… What is creativity? Where does it come from? How close do I have to stand to a creative person for some of it to rub off on me?

The last question comes with certain social restrictions (also possibly certain restraining orders), but the first two we can sit and discuss over coffee. Even better, we can put the results of that discussion to use, make the answers work for us. Ready? Go!

If I had to nail down a working definition, I’d say creativity is seeing and thinking about and exploring new connections. We tend to view creativity as having some element of surprise – when we see something we would call ‘creative,’ it’s almost always because there is something we didn’t expect, and it usually is built from pieces we know that are put together in new ways. It shows us a connection we had not previously considered.

In the world of digital photography, this shows up in works of photographers like Erik Johansson, Kirsty Mitchell, and Cheryl Walsh, among many others. Connections, however, are not just between conceptual elements. They are also between tools, interactions with media, and technical pieces. Check out the beautiful work of Bonny Lhotka who uses unique transfer process to create amazing physical pieces, or the sculpture of Andrey Droszdov.

How can we make use of this notion that creativity is seeing connections? Well, we can give ourselves more opportunity to see connections, for one thing. And we give ourselves opportunity by setting up situations where we’re likely to be exposed to new things, especially new thoughts. Like most things, it takes practice, and practice is something we generally know how to do. But for practice to be useful, we have to want to do it, and we have to do it with intent. One technique I’ve had success with is directed experimentation. The basic idea is to do what you already know how to do, but change one thing.

That by itself is not enough, though. You have to be receptive to the previously unseen, and you have to let it get into your head so you can hang on to it for future use.

The secret sauce is to pay attention when the connection is made, and that’s what loses some people. It’s not necessary to go in looking for any specific revelation – in fact, that can be counterproductive. What you are aiming for is to provide the raw materials and set up the situation where your mind can wander a bit, but then condition your reflex to store that connection when you are triggered by surprise. Going through your normal routine lets your mind work more subconsciously, and that one change is what seeds the possibility of a new connection.

A great way to get yourself to plant this seed is to ask yourself “What if?”

Let’s say you’re a portrait photographer. You know your craft and get great results, but you want to spice things up. “What if” you say to yourself with a devilish grin, “my model was facing the other way?” You’ve changed one thing. Without any other action or thought, you look through the viewfinder. Hopefully at this point, you start asking yourself some other questions. Should the lights be adjusted? How will you show emotion or character? Are other things in the scene jumping out that you previously missed? If you think this is a weird concept, check out Tony Gale’s personal project of women’s backs (link contains artistic nudity).

Not only are you seeing something new, you’re engaging and thinking. You’re paying attention. More importantly, you’re present in the moment. And you’re unconsciously making new connections. The next step is to save those connections actively. Let the seed germinate.

For the human mind to really hang on to things in a meaningful way, it generally uses language to describe the things. Feelings and memories can be incredibly powerful, but they’re difficult to act on or share without putting words to them. This is especially true for new concepts, and every time you get creative, you’re working with new concepts. When you discover something, when you’re surprised, delighted, thrilled, annoyed, or bored, use words. They can be in your head, you can write them down, you can talk with someone, but use words. The seed sends out roots.

By describing what you’re thinking, feeling, or seeing, you’re better able to retain memory, but you’re also able to build on it. In the portrait example above, you might suddenly notice the angle of your model’s shoulders, so think about how you’d explain that. Maybe you go into Photoshop and start drawing gesture lines like an animator over the pose and that gives you an idea about movement or relationships. As a side benefit, you might discover a career in stick-figure cartooning. It’s been known to happen.

Comic by XKCD

The other thing about using words, especially when you’re trying to describe something to another person, is that you’re forced to find common ground if you truly want to communicate. And that frequently means finding simpler and clearer concepts that you can stick together. Which brings up deconstruction. Sometimes before you can build up, you have to tear down.

Deconstruction is frequently just another thought process. Look at something and allow yourself to wonder. Start with, “why?” Why did I get this effect when I twiddled this knob? Throw in some “how?” to the mix: how do these things relate? Move into the future with a few “what if?” questions and you’re just primed for success. What if I put this one weird rule in place for my next photoshoot? You don’t have to answer completely, let alone correctly; you just have to create the space for the answer to eventually reside. In our seed metaphor, deconstruction is the process of providing basic nutrients. It’s fertilizer. You can laugh if you feel like it.

Deconstruction isn’t just for language, though. You can use it with your tools. This brushed ink portrait was the result of limiting myself to the Threshold adjustment layer in Photoshop as a starting point, then using the Smudge tool with the Bristle Brush to refine it. I didn’t have a solid plan going in except to start exploring the Threshold tool. I call this a Limited Challenge because I set a rule for myself going in, limited to and requiring only one tool as a starting point. Where deconstruction is the fertilizer, practice is the light and water. And this is the end of the plant analogy.

Let’s pause a moment to see what we’ve got…

If creativity is being able to see new connections between things, we can use experiences in order to have more things to connect and thus increase our chances of being creative. But experience isn’t just going out to see new things, it’s also seeing old things in new ways. We can do this with simple changes, and we take advantage of the results of those changes by thinking about and describing them. Describing them allows us to find more common elements to put together, and helps us see the basic components that make things fit. We can begin describing things by asking ourselves questions about what we’ve experienced, thus making connections.

See what I did there?

And here’s the point of that little diversion: don’t build up expectations of your own creativity. Either it happens now or it doesn’t until later; it generally takes its own time; and it’s frequently unexpected. But you’ll have a much better chance if you set yourself up for success. Here are some of my favorite exercises for inviting creativity to come in and have coffee.

TLDR Version:

  • Set yourself up for surprise and seeing connections by experiencing new things
  • Be present
  • Describe what you’re seeing, thinking, or feeling about the connections

Change One Single Variable – Directed Experimentation

As I noted earlier, directed experimentation is awesome, easy, and it’s what I do most often. For me, this usually involves Photoshop or lighting, but it can really be anything, including rules. Take a process that you know really well and pick one thing to tinker with. Change the horizon line in a landscape, add a colored gel somewhere, swap layers around or change blending modes, whatever. Don’t get too hung up on sticking to the one thing, but do try to limit what you do so there’s some way to control it. Remember to pay attention!

Change Everything Except One – Limited Challenge

Think of this as related to the last exercise, but instead of picking a variable, you’re picking a rule. Give yourself just one rule to explore, and beat it up. Years ago, I was part of a huge Photoshop forum that devised some really amazing challenges. We would choose one tool in Photoshop that absolutely must be used, then we’d give some other guidelines or goals. For example, we might have asked you to create a landscape using only Lens Flares. You could warp, liquify, mask and blend, but all pixels had to start from the Lens Flare tool.

Ask Questions – Why & What If

This is the most common thing I do, but it takes a lot of energy and honesty with yourself. Pause a moment with whatever strikes you and engage, right then and there. Make a mental (or real) list of elements that grab your attention and ask yourself why they interest you. Be as specific as possible in your analysis, but don’t seek truth beyond what’s true for you. This is part of paying attention and being active in your viewing. What if another artist had tackled the same concept – how would it be different? This is mostly for viewing art, but can be applied to anything that catches your eye. Allow your mind to wander, but don’t try to capture everything – keep the connections you discover and toss the rest.

Final thoughts…

Some seriously creative folks genuinely do all of the stuff above automatically. It just happens internally and organically for them. Some have to nudge it along, and some pour blood, sweat, and tears into the process before anything useful happens. Can you imagine cleaning up after that? Anyway, the most usual thing I’ve discovered is there’s a mix. To be sure, some people just seem to do all of this better than others. But some of us just don’t feel creative at all, or at least not as often as we’d like. We don’t get it, we are flabbergasted at just how creative some people are. Well, here’s a dirty little secret about all those so-called “creative geniuses” out there: they are indeed creative geniuses. That does not mean all of them do it naturally, nor that all of them just work their keisters off to maintain their creativity. Some do, some don’t. But I don’t believe that creativity is an inherent characteristic that you can never achieve if you don’t start with it at birth.

Bonus! Make mash-up lists

This one can lead to some really wacky ideas. I use a spreadsheet with a randomizer function to pull words from different lists and put them together. I’ve got one that describes scene elements, one for Photoshop tools and functions, and another with just random dictionary words. There are several online generators for free, too. The point is to give yourself a project framework, then use a mashed-up combination to challenge yourself.

Now get out there and be surprised by the connections you find!

(All photo credits: Scott Valentine)

More Bonus!

My favorite contemporary surreal photographers:

You can see more of Scott’s work at Scoxel.com, and follow him on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Behance, YouTube, and Twitter.

The post It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Scott Valentine! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Where should you store your photos?

In an earlier post, we said that Lightroom doesn’t hide your photos away from you. They’re kept as normal image files in folders on your hard drive.

The benefit? You have complete control over where they’re stored, you’re not locked in to using Lightroom forever, and you can access the photos using other software.

The downside? That makes you responsible. You need to know where they’re stored, how to back them up, and you need to understand how what you do in Lightroom affects these files on the hard drive.

Starting on the Right Foot – Import

When you import your photos, YOU make the decision on where to store the photos (even if that decision is to accept Lightroom’s defaults). It’s possibly the most important decision you’ll make in Lightroom, so it’s worth taking the time to pay attention to the choice you make.

At the top of the dialog, you’re given three main choices: will you copy the photos to a new location, move them to a new location or just add links to the catalog, leaving the image files where they are.

addimport

Stop and think about these options for a moment, because your choice will depend on whether you’re copying new photos from a memory card or adding existing photos.

If your photos are currently on a memory card, and you tell Lightroom to “add” them at their existing location, Lightroom will record their location as being on the memory card. What will happen when you eject the card? Lightroom will look for the memory card but won’t be able to find them any more, so you won’t be able to edit and export them. And when you format that memory card? Gone forever. There won’t be a copy on your computer’s hard drive, because you didn’t tell Lightroom to copy them. So when you’re importing photos from a memory card, it’s ESSENTIAL that you select Copy at the top of the Import dialog.

But what if you’re adding photos that are already on your hard drive? Your choice will depend on how organized your photos are:

If your photos are beautifully organized into an existing folder structure, you’ll want to select Add. This simply adds the information describing the photos to Lightroom’s catalog, but the photos remain in their current location. Remember, though, if you then rename, move or delete the photos outside of Lightroom, Lightroom will no longer be able to find them.

If your photos aren’t quite so organized – or if they’re spread haphazardly across your computer’s hard drives – then you might want to consolidate them in a single location. While importing, Lightroom can copy them to a new location, leaving the originals scattered across your computer (and therefore taking up twice the hard drive space), or it can move them to a new location.

Whether you’re copying or moving photos, you pick the location in the Destination panel.

Where will you store your photos?

In order to pick a location in the Destination panel, you have to make a decision… where will you store your photos?

The default location is the Pictures folder in your user account. This is a perfectly good location, as long as you don’t have too many photos and you have a big hard drive. But what if your hard drive is too small?

Lightroom doesn’t mind where you choose to store the photos. They can be on an internal drive, an external drive, a network drive, or even a mix of different drives. The important detail is that YOU know where they are.

You can make life easier for yourself by keeping your folders of photos under a single parent folder (or one for each drive), rather than scattering them in random locations. Why?

  • If the folders of photos are stored in folder called “Lightroom Photos” or another easily identifiable name, it reminds you not to rename, move or delete these photos.
  • If you need to move them to another drive or another computer, it’s far easier to copy/move a single folder with its subfolders than it is to hunt around 300 different folders on your computer.
  • If the drive letter changes, it’s easier to relink a single parent folder than a large number of folders.
  • It’s easier to back them up when they’re all stored under a single parent folder.

As your collection of photos grows, you may need to expand onto additional hard drives, which isn’t a problem for Lightroom.

Selecting your chosen location in the Destination panel

In the Destination panel, you’ll see a volume bar for each drive that’s attached to your computer. When you click on the bar, the drive opens to show the enclosed folders. To see hidden subfolders, click the small triangles.

The Pictures folder is selected by default. On most computers, this is on the C drive (Windows) or Macintosh HD drive (Mac). But what if you want another location?

Let’s imagine you want to put your photos inside a Lightroom Photos folder inside your Pictures folder. It’s possible to create folders from within the Import dialog, but for simplicity, use Windows Explorer (Windows) / Finder (Mac) to create the Lightroom Photos folder in the Pictures folder. Now open the Import dialog and we’ll navigate to that Lightroom Photos folder. If the triangle next to the Pictures folder is pointing to the right, so the subfolders are hidden, click on the triangle. Now click on the Lightroom Photos folder so it’s highlighted in white.

But what if you want to put your photos inside a Lightroom Photos folder on another drive? The same principles apply. Create the folder, then navigate to it in the Destination panel. The external drive might be collapsed, so you may need to click on the drive to show the contents. Again, click on the Lightroom Photos folder so it’s highlighted in white.

The folder you select doesn’t have to be called Lightroom Photos, but you do need to check the correct folder is selected every time you import, so giving it a name you’ll recognize at a glance will help. Lightroom will place the photos inside the highlighted folder.

The Destination panel may be set to automatically create subfolders, which show in italic. We’ll come back to this level of organization in a few weeks time, after we’ve discussed how to organize the photos into subfolders, but if you want a head start (and even more detail), see pages 43-49 in my Lightroom CC/6 book.

How do you find existing photos?

Learning how to import correctly is great for new photos, but what about all of the photos you’ve already imported? How do you know where they’re stored on the hard drive? Simply right-click on a photo or on a folder, and select Show in Explorer (Windows) / Show in Finder (Mac). Lightroom opens an Explorer/Finder window directly to the location of the photo.

You can go a step further, and make the Folders panel reflect the folder hierarchy on your hard drive, using the Show Parent Folder command. I’ve previously written about displaying your folder hierarchy here.

If your photos and folders are in a mess, don’t worry. We’ll tidy up existing photos later in the series. First, though, we’ll discuss the best ways of organizing your photos into subfolders in the next post.

The post Where should you store your photos? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

Awesome 60-second tutorial on using Guided Upright in Lightroom

Happy Tuesday, gang. Today’s tutorial from Benjamin Warde is one of my favorites yet — it’s how to use Guided Upright for doing lens corrections, but he takes it a step further for an artistic reason, and he does it all in less than a minute. Big high five, Benjamin.

Is that awesome or what! (thanks, Benjamin). 🙂

Have a good one everybody,

-Scott

P.S. The Photoshop World conference is almost here (we’re just 16 days away). If you haven’t got your ticket yet…it’s not too late. 

The post Awesome 60-second tutorial on using Guided Upright in Lightroom appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

Awesome Little Photoshop ‘Find The Best Font’ Tip

OK, if you’ve ever struggled with finding just the right font for a project, you will love this tip.

Adobe made a change in Photoshop CC that makes being able to see what different fonts look like live in your document on screen, and it’s so much easier and faster than the old versions. It’s a really handy tip to know if you ever work with type on any level at all.

See, that’s much better than the old method (and if you’re saying to yourself, “Heck, I didn’t even know the old version” that’s cool — this is a better way anyway.”)

Hope you found that helpful. Come on back ’round tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. We’re just 16 days from the Photoshop World Conference 2017. It’s not too late to come and spend three-days away from all the cares and hassles of the world, and just immerse yourself in learning, becoming more creative, more efficient, and have a bunch of fun while you’re doing it. You’ve always wanted to come to Photoshop World — now’s your chance. Tickets and info right here. – This is the year. You’re going. :)

 

The post Awesome Little Photoshop ‘Find The Best Font’ Tip appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

How do I assign keywords to my photos?

Having decided how you’ll keyword your photos and whether to use a flat list or hierarchy, you can either start by building your keyword list in the Keyword List panel and then apply these keywords to your photos, or you can start keywording the photos and allow your keyword list to build gradually.

Adding your first keywords

There are numerous ways to add keywords to your photos, including:

  • Type in the Keywording panel
  • Create a new keyword using the Keyword List panel
  • Click the Keyword Suggestion buttons in the Keywording panel
  • Use Keyword Sets to group your most frequently used keywords
  • Assign an existing keyword using the checkbox in the Keyword List panel
  • Click and drag to/from the Keyword List panel
  • Use the Painter tool to quickly assign keywords
  • Use a Keyboard Shortcut
  • Use Face Recognition for names of people

To help you get started, we’ll cover the first two options, but for more detailed information, see pages 140-150 in my Lightroom CC/6 book.

Type in the Keywording panel

Select the first photo, perhaps in Loupe view, and go to the Keywording panel in the right panel group in Library. Click in the keywords field that says Click here to add keywords (or the field above) and type your keywords, separating them with a comma (,). As you start to reuse keywords, they’ll be suggested as you start typing, which helps to avoid differences in spelling. When you’ve finished, press the Enter key and your keywords appear in the Keyword List panel, as well as being attached to the selected photo.

Create and apply keywords using the Keyword List panel

At the top of the Keyword List panel is a + button, which is used for creating new keywords without applying them to the selected photo. Click the + button and enter your keyword in the Create Keyword Tag dialog.

There are a number of additional options in this dialog. They’re all explained in a diagram on page 146-147 in my book (the interaction is complicated!), but there are three we’ll look out for here:

  • Unchecking Include on Export is useful if it’s a parent (grouping) keyword such as WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, etc. I suggest using all caps when naming these keywords, so they can be identified at a glance.
  • If another keyword is already selected in the Keyword List panel, it offers to Put inside [keyword]. This is useful when building your keyword hierarchy. Once the keyword is created, you can also drag/drop keywords onto each other, but we’ll come back to this next week.
  • If one or more photos are selected when you’re creating the new keyword, Add to selected photos automatically applies the new keyword at the same time. If you forget, click the square to the left of the keyword in the Keyword List panel, which adds a checkmark.

Don’t go overboard!

Don’t go overboard, especially to start with. If you try to add 30 keywords to every photo you’ve ever taken, it can become an overwhelming job, so just start with a few significant keywords on your best photos.

If you want to add the same keyword to a lot of photos, for example, you have a series of photos of snow, select them all in Grid view (it must be Grid view!) before typing the keyword in the Keywording panel or checking the checkbox in the Keyword List panel.

Finding photos using keywords

Once you’ve keyworded your photos, there are also a number of ways of finding the photos again later, including Text Filters, Metadata Filters and Smart Collections. We’ll come back to filters in more detail in a future post, but they’re all explained on pages 181-192 in my Lightroom CC/6 book. But for now, here’s the easiest… simply click the arrow on the right of the keyword in the Keyword List panel. This opens the Metadata Filters to the right keyword. When you’re finished, click None at the top of the Grid view.

Have you already been doing some keywording, but created a mess? Or you want to convert your flat list to a hierarchy, or vice versa? Don’t worry, we’ll tidy up in the next post.

The post How do I assign keywords to my photos? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

My rating workflow

In the previous post in the series, we discussed how to apply flags and star ratings to your photos, and how to filter them… but when you’re faced with thousands of photos, where do you start? How do you decide which photos deserve which ratings… and how do you keep the meaning of the ratings consistent over time?

There are lots of different ways of sorting through photos. Some photographers use Grid view and others prefer Loupe. Some like to rate their photos in a single pass, and others like multiple passes. Some like flags and some prefer stars. Some only use 1-3 stars and some use all 5. Some pick out their favorite photos and others just reject the bad ones. It really is up to you.

Flexibility is a wonderful thing, but so much choice can be confusing, so here’s my tried and tested rating workflow, which you’re welcome to use. Feel free to share it with others too.

(Infographic may take a moment to download)

Lightroom Rating Infographic

The post My rating workflow appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

Why I added Two More Lessons To My ‘Lightroom 7-Point System’ Course

Happy Monday everybody. You might remember me mentioning a few weeks ago that we released a new course on KelbyOne on my ‘Seven Point System for Lightroom’ (it’s all about how I edit all my images in the Develop Module, and how you can do it, too).

Now when we release a new class on KelbyOne, we have a new button called ‘Discuss This Course’ (I added a red arrow to it above), and when you click that, it puts you into a discussion with other members, and quite often the instructor, about that particular class. I go in there daily answering members questions about my courses (and anything else I can answer), and last week I saw a comment from a woman named Svetlana who wrote:

In the last segment (where images being edited start to finish), I would really love to see a portrait of a woman or child edited. Actually two portraits, one lit with studio lights, and one shot outdoors in natural light with a shallow depth of field. Would you consider making a little extension to the class?

I thought it was a great idea! So, I went back into the studio and recorded two bonus sessions — one in the studio with studio lights, and one shot outdoor in natural light with a shallow depth of field. Those two bonus lessons have already been added to the course.

Beyond adding these two bonus lessons…
Svetlana had a great idea, and I was happy to be able to go and add to the course, but beyond that, I think these course discussions are awesome, and to be quite honest with you, by the time I get in there at night to answer some questions, another KelbyOne member has often beat me to it. I actually love that — not because it saves me from having to answer it (answering questions is why I was there in the first place) — but because it speaks to something bigger that’s happening in our community. Thousands of members are participating in these discussions (and members can create their own topics and questions outside these class discussions), and to see members helping members around the world — it’s what thriving helpful community is all about.

It has to be a helpful, friendly place
When a member joins the discussion for the first time, we let them know the rules of the house, which essentially are this: Be really nice, respectful, and kind to everyone. If you’re mean or disrespectful, you’re outta here. We don’t know these discussions to become what sadly we see so often online, where people are mean (especially to newbies), and talk down to people, or call them names, or just act like jerks. We monitor those forums daily for just that reason, and thankfully the discussions there are just what you’d hope they be — friendly, kind, engaging and informative. If you’re a member, make sure you check out this vibrant, growing helpful community of KelbyOne members from every corner of the globe.

So thanks, Svetlana
Thanks for helping me to make my 7-point-system course more helpful to you, and hopefully some other folks, too. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by, and hope you’ll join us tomorrow for “Lightroom Coffee Break” (it’s a really good one!)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. The biggest Lightroom training event anywhere is only about 18 days in Orlando, Florida. The best Lightroom trainers are there, and there are live Lightroom seminars on every topic — come join us — you’ll learn more in three days than you have in three years. 

The post Why I added Two More Lessons To My ‘Lightroom 7-Point System’ Course appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

My Current Setup For Shooting Tethered Into Lightroom

Happy Monday everybody! I’m out doing my Lightroom seminar tour this year (I’ll be in Chicago and the Detroit area with my seminar next Monday and Tuesday respectively), and I get lots of questions about the tethering rig I use, so I thought I’d share a few Behind-the-Scenes shots from a studio shoot I did a few weeks ago (shots for an upcoming book), where I can break down the set-up (and the lighting while we’re there, right?).

Here’s the basic set-up:

The Cable:
The long orange cable is the essential thing you need to connect your DSLR to your computer (and into Lightroom). It’s from a company called Tethertools, and their entire company is dedicated to making stuff for tethering (so, with the exception of the tripod and ballhead and lights, all of which I mention shortly, all the tethering gear itself is from Tethertools (btw: great company, great people behind it, great products, and awesome customer service – I totally dig them!). Anyway, the cables come in different lengths and different connectors to fit your particular make and model of camera (USB 2.0, USB 3, Firewire, Micro-B, Mini-B, etc.). The bright orange color is to help you see the cable in a dark studio environment so you don’t trip on it. Prices vary based on length and ends chosen, but figure around $32 to $55.

The Bar:
It’s all sitting on a tripod (in this case, it’s a heavy duty Really Right Stuff tripod I believe), and the crossbar attached to it is the ‘Rock Solid Tripod Cross Bar’ from Tethertools (it holds a laptop table on the right, and my Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ballhead on the left, which gives me a place to put my camera between frames, while I’m tweaking the lights, or looking at the images in Lightroom). It’s $129.95 at B&H Photo.

The Laptop stand (and safety strap):
It’s called the Tethertools ‘Aero Table’. NOTE: If you get this Aero Table, I would strongly (in the strongest most strongly of strong terms) suggest that you get the optional SecureStrap that keeps your Laptop from sliding off the table, which is most likely to happen when you and a friend/assistant pick up the rig to move it). It has saved me countless times. Get the strap. It’s a must. It’s optional, but shouldn’t be. It’s strap time. Strap it on.  The Aero Table is $195 for a 15″ MacBookPro, and the SecureStrap is around $18 (btw: all the prices shown are what they’re selling for today at B&H Photo).

External Hard Drive Holder:
The little box under the right the side (seen more clearly in the shot above, taken from another shoot that same day), which is currently holding the “brick” for my Apple charging cable, usually is holding an external hard drive (that’s what it’s really designed for). That little external drive holder is called the ‘Aero XDC‘ and they make ones that hold one drive or two drives. Super handy because if you don’t have one, then your hard drive is just kinda sitting there leaning against your computer, waiting to fall off during the shoot (said from experience). Around $54.

 

 

Rolling Base For Your Tripod
The accessory to this system that I just started using in the past few months, and one in which I have deeply fallen in love with is their Rock Solid Tripod Roller, (seen above) which lets you easily roll the entire rig around, rather than having two people pick it up and carefully move it around the studio, which I often have to do a dozen or so times during a shoot. This way, your tripod sits right in special mounts on the roller, and it just glides around. Much safer, faster, and you don’t need a 2nd person to wheel it around (nor do you have to worry about your laptop falling off when it’s just gliding across the floor, much like Belle in Beauty and the Beast. But I digress). It’s around $79. Can’t recommend it enough.

Not Seen, But Felt…
You can’t see it in this photo, but it’s super awesome is their optional Aero Cup Holder accessory, which slides under the Aero Table and you slide-it-out when you need it. It can hold a water bottle, coffee cup, but it’s also awesome for holding your phone during the shoot, or extra batteries, or whatever you need handy during the shoot. It’s $29.95. Totally worth it.

My Entire Kit
The folks at Tethertools are putting together an entire kit of all the stuff I use, and doing a bundle deal for all of it. I don’t have all the specifics, but one day, it will be available, somewhere, somehow. How’s that for specific info? ;-) BTW: When it does come out, I don’t get a commission or kickback (sadly), it’s just for the convenience of folks who come to my seminar and want the same rig. I’ll share the details here on the blog when it’s available. 

Now, let’s look at the lighting
Since we brought all this up, we have to take a quick look at the lighting, right? It’s simple Clamshell lighting with both lights directly in front of our subject. The top light is an Elinchrom 17″ beauty dish (no diffuser — you can get away without using a diffuser if your subject has really clear skin), and the bottom light is a 24″ square Elinchtrom Rotalux softbox. Both strobes are Elinchrom ELC 500-watt strobes, and I’m triggering them with a Skyport Transmitter sitting in my camera’s hot shoe.

Hope you found that helpful. :)

Pop Quiz: what happens one week from today?
I’m in Chicago with my brand new Lightroom OnTour full-day seminar. Guess what happens the next day? That’s right — I’m in the Detroit area (Livonia, Michigan to be exact) with the same seminar. Two days. Two seminars. What could go wrong? ;-)  – Hope you can come out and spend the day with me (you can still grab a ticket right here).

Hope today is the start of a great week for you, and we’ll catch ya here tomorrow for a slick little Photoshop tip I’ve got fer ya! :)

Best,

-Scott

The post My Current Setup For Shooting Tethered Into Lightroom appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Come Take a Tour of B&H Photo’s Store in New York!

Hi Gang – this week on “The Grid” we broadcast live from B&H Photo’s HQ up in New York, and while the first part of the show was in a meeting room, at the end of the show we walked over to the actual store itself where you give you a tour inside the greatest photography store in the world! Here’s where the tour starts (below), with my guest Gabe Biderman. 

We had that wild “Inception” Moment when we ran into a woman in the store who was watching The Show live on her iPad from inside the store. Hope you can check it out.

If you want to watch the full episode (our topic was Night Photography and Gabe was absolutely AWESOME!), here’s the link.

I’m back home now, kinda beat, so I’m hitting the sack – I’ve got a class to record tomorrow – it’s the follow-up to my “Just One Flash” course, it’s called “Just One More Flash!” That’s right — it’s how and why to add a 2nd flash. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. It’s only like 21 days to the Photoshop World Conference in Orlando, but it’s not too late for you to come join us!

The post Come Take a Tour of B&H Photo’s Store in New York! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

It’s New Class Thursday!

Make Money While You Sleep By Selling Your Images on Adobe Stock with Terry White
Learn how to get started licensing your work through Adobe Stock! Join Terry White as he breaks down what stock photography is all about and how to contribute your work directly to Adobe Stock so that you can make money while you sleep. Terry takes you through all of the steps required to become an Adobe Stock contributor, as well as an in-depth look at what makes a good stock photo. You’ll learn the ins and outs of keywording, preparing your photos for submission, how to get model and property releases, and even how to submit vectors and video. Terry wraps up the class with a review of the most common questions he gets on stock photography, and you’ll leave feeling ready to start uploading your first submission.

Outdoor Lifestyle Photography with Erik Valind
With outdoor lifestyle photography your job is to sell the experience to the viewer. You need to be able to work in all kinds of lighting situations and with a range of gear-from strobes to diffusion panels-to get the kind of killer shots that makes the viewer wish they were there. Erik Valind takes you through a series of locations and situations demonstrating lighting, posing, and composition tips and techniques all along the way.

The post It’s New Class Thursday! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Lightroom Performance – What’s Slow?

identifyproblemOver the past 8 weeks, we’ve learned the pros and cons of non-destructive editing, how different computer components affect different areas of the program, and the ways you can adjust your Lightroom workflow to get the best performance.

In the first post, we said simply saying “Lightroom is slow” doesn’t help, because different areas of the program benefit from different optimizations. In this final post, we’ll summarize the main places to look for improvement, based on what specifically is slow.

 

Loading Lightroom

Loading the Lightroom program is primarily dependent on your drive speeds, for both the OS/program files and also for the catalog. If you’re finding it slow to load, replacing your spinning drive with an SSD can help, and is a relatively inexpensive upgrade.

Load time is also affected by the size of the catalog, however I wouldn’t recommend breaking the catalog up into smaller catalogs to solve this, as this causes more problems than it solves for most people.

 

Importing Photos

Importing photos is also primarily limited by file transfer rates. This includes the speed of the source – whether that’s a camera cable, card reader or hard drive – and the speed of the destination drive(s).

For the source, card readers are usually more reliable than direct camera connections, and faster USB card readers (e.g. USB 3) are available to help improve the import speed.

For the destination, there are potentially two drives in play: the main Destination folder and also the Second Copy location. If these are on external drives, the connection speed (USB2 vs USB3, etc.) is usually the main issue. Many photographers send their second copies to a NAS, which can reduce the speed further.

If you choose to add the photos at their current location, this is a lot quicker than moving/copying the files, however take care that the photos are on a hard drive, not a memory card.

Finally, the additional work you ask Lightroom to do immediately after import can prolong the import time, especially conversion to DNG format or building previews.

 

Building Previews

The time it takes to build previews is largely dependent on your computer’s processing power, but also the drive speed for the catalog and original images.

Improving preview build times frequently requires a newer CPU, so it’s not an easy fix. If you’re running low on RAM and having to use temp files, this may slow you down further, so it’s worth keeping an eye on Resource Monitor (Windows) / Activity Monitor (Mac) to see which computer components are reaching their limits.

The simplest solution for building previews is simply to let them build overnight, or at another time when you don’t need the computer. Also, you only need to build the previews you actually use, so if you never zoom in the Library module, there’s no need to build 1:1 previews.

 

Viewing In Library

You can speed up viewing in the Library module by building the right size previews in advance. If you need to zoom in, you’ll need 1:1 previews. Otherwise, standard sized previews (set to Auto in Catalog Settings) will be plenty. If you’ve made Develop edits since building the previews, don’t forget to rebuild them, otherwise they’ll have to update when you select the photo.

Once the previews are built, the drive speed for the catalog/previews is next in line. Putting the catalog/previews on an SSD can make Library browsing smoother.

 

Applying Metadata

Applying metadata is mainly limited by the speed of the drive containing the catalog, so again, putting the catalog/previews on an SSD makes a notable difference.

It also helps to minimize the amount of work Lightroom has to do, especially closing the Collections, Metadata and Keyword panels if you’re not using them.

Don’t forget to optimize the catalog regularly, as this saves Lightroom skipping around the catalog to find the information it needs.

 

Moving/deleting photos

Moving or deleting photos is also affected by drive speeds – both for the original images as they’re moved, and also the catalog as the image records are updated.

Lightroom also has to redraw the grid view as photos disappear, so switching to a different folder or collection (e.g. Quick Collection) can speed it up slightly.

Finally, rather than trying to delete one photo at a time, consider marking them as rejects and then deleting the rejects when you’ve finished sorting through the photos.

 

Loading in Develop

Moving over to the Develop module, let’s talk about loading speed. This is primarily dependent on any data that is already cached, then on a mix of processing power (CPU/GPU), screen resolution, drive speeds, and of course, the size and complexity of the image files too.

If you’re moving through photos sequentially (and not too quickly!) in the Develop module in CC 2015.6 / 6.6 or later, Lightroom automatically caches the photos either side in the background to improve loading speed. Once the image data is loaded from the cache (held in RAM), the CPU/GPU is responsible for additional image processing. In this scenario, buying a computer with a faster CPU is your main upgrade potential.

If you’re not moving sequentially, additional factors come into play. The full resolution image data has to be read from the hard drive, so hard drive speed is a major factor. Once the image data is read from hard drive, then initial processing has to be applied, which is dependent on the CPU or GPU processing power.

If you’re using a standard HD resolution monitor (e.g. 1920×1080), it’s worth leaving the GPU disabled in Preferences > Performance, as this increases image loading time without a noticeable benefit, but the smoother interactive performance makes it worth enabling on 4K/5K screens.

The higher the resolution of the image, the more data there is to process, so 50MP images will naturally take longer than 5MP. Some sensors (I’m looking at you, Fuji!) also require more complex calculations.

Whether you’re moving sequentially or skipping around, building Smart Previews in advance and then checking the Preferences > Performance > Use Smart Previews instead of Originals for Image Editing checkbox (in 2015.7 / 6.7 or later) or taking the original photos offline (in 2015.6 / 6.6 or earlier) is the greatest potential improvement, simply because there’s less data to read and process. If you’re struggling for loading times in Develop, this is your first place to start.

 

Editing in Develop

Once the photo is loaded into the Develop module, as long as you have enough RAM, then you’re primarily limited by your processing power – the CPU or GPU, depending on your screen resolution.

If you’re using a 4K/5K monitor, it’s worth enabling the GPU for smoother interactive performance, but on standard HD resolution monitors (e.g. 1920×1080), you’re better to leave it disabled and let the CPU do the image processing.

The more image data to process, the longer it takes, so you can reduce the preview size to limit the number of pixels Lightroom has to crunch. You can do this by resizing the Lightroom window, enlarging the panels or selecting a smaller zoom ratio (e.g. 1:4).

We also learned that the slider order can make a slight performance difference. Some tasks are more processor intensive than others, so using a pixel editor such as Photoshop for more complex local adjustments can be a good choice. Temporarily disabling complex calculations such as Lens Corrections can also help with interactive performance.

And finally, like the Develop Loading time, utilizing Smart Previews has the biggest potential gains.

 

Exporting

Like building previews and working in the Develop module, exporting photos is largely limited by the CPU, where multiple cores can help, and also the speed of the hard drive containing your original photos and the export destination.

 

Syncing to Lightroom Cloud

Finally, sync speed is largely dependent on the speed of your internet connection, especially the upload speed, which is often around 1/10 of the download speed.

 

That’s it for our performance series! For the full index of posts, see the first post. A free printable eBook will be available soon, so sign up for the newsletter if you’d like to be notified of its release.

 

Let me know which of the tips helped you the most in the comments…

The post Lightroom Performance – What’s Slow? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

First Look at Portrait Retouching Plug-in for Lightroom: Perfectly Clear Complete 3

Hi Gang, and greetings from New York City!!! I’ve just got a sec, but I wanted to share this clip I’m going to show on The Grid later today (we are broadcasting LIVE from B&H Photo at 4pm today – my guest is night photography guru Gabriel Biderman – here’s the link). Anyway, I’m sharing my first look at the latest major update to “Perfectly Clear Complete 3” which is a portrait retouching plug-in for Lightroom (or Photoshop if you like). Here’s a first peek:

Hope you find that helpful! (and don’t forget to watch the Grid today at 4pm). 🙂

Best,

-Scott

The post First Look at Portrait Retouching Plug-in for Lightroom: Perfectly Clear Complete 3 appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Moose Peterson!

Photo by Emerson Chen

You Know You’re Learning If You’re Falling Down

I have no clue why these thoughts cross my mind, but they do. When the shooting gets slow and I’m with some friends and we just start talking to kill the time, my mind wanders to the bad side. Someone leaves their camera sitting on a tripod unattended, I slip over, remove the battery and then go back innocently to my own shooting. There’s the time I slip my CF memory card wallet vertically in the shade of a fellow photographer’s big lens. They can’t see it through the viewfinder but the AF can’t function at all. And of course, there’s the always-immature move of taking photos with another’s camera when they aren’t looking. A photo they definitely would not have taken themselves. My favorite comes from the days of film when someone would ask, “Got any good photos?” I had a dummy roll of film in my vest pocket that I would take out, grasp the leader, pull out all the film and look through it at the sun, then simply shrug. Oh the look on their faces when I did that! My only excuse for all of this is, photography has gotta be FUN!

I’m very blessed with two great sons who had to suffer through dad’s teaching as well as bad jokes. When the opportunity arose though for the shoe to be on the other foot, they made good use of it. Both are great cross-country skiers, something I will never be able to do despite all the help they provided and the fun we had together. Brent said something once though that I will never forget, because it so pertains to photography. I had all the right gear on, had read all I should do, and watched the videos. But falling I did with absolutely no grace. We were up on the mountain and I was soaking wet from falling so many times in my attempt to XC ski. Brent simply looked down at me as he helped me up and said, “You know you’re learning if you’re falling down.”

While simply said and blatantly true, it’s pretty darn deep if you ponder it at all. In order to learn how to ski, you gotta fall down, and a lot until you master staying up. This directly applies to photography. Your photography will only grow if you fall down, fail. The thing is, you have to learn from your failures or you’ll either just keep failing, or worse, give up. Just how can we learn from photographic failures so we can keep growing? Having been falling for four decades and still being able to laugh at myself, I think I might have a suggestion or two to pass along.

It’s Only A Photograph!

The first is to understand this very important principle. It’s only a photograph! The right photograph taken of a powerful subject in a powerful way at a time when its clarity is needed by the world can have a huge impact. And I always remind folks their photographs can change the world. But at the same time, I also realize that if I totally toast a photograph, the sun will still rise tomorrow and life will go on. It is just a photograph. We put so much pressure on ourselves when we’re shooting that really shouldn’t be put there. Ever go back and look at photos you took a year ago, really look at them and think back at your thoughts when taking them? It’s those times if I were standing next to you, I might pull one of my bad photographic jokes on you just to remind you that it’s just a photograph.

KISS

The second is to remind you of the KISS theorem…Keep It Simple Stupid (the last word being key). We tend to not only take our photography too seriously but also make it too complicated. While there are times for fun, we go complicated. But making that part of our regular photographic ritual is suicidal for so many reasons. The main reason relates to, it’s just a photograph. When we make things complicated, they become a task, a chore. And how do we mentally treat chores? We tend to put them off. But more importantly in taking advantage of the best teacher we all have for our photography, ourselves, complicated makes learning really hard.

When we KISS, when we are successful, it’s really easy to figure out what we did right so we can repeat it again and again. But when we make it complicated, determining what went wrong is difficult so we run the risk of repeating that mistake. Failure is so important to our learning only when we learn from that failure. There is the practical side of KISS that you might like even more it – costs less! It takes a whole lot less gear and time to KISS than make it complicated. And when you take all you’ve learned, working with KISS and removing the stress of the importance of a photograph, you know what happens in time? You become a better photographer and that’s the whole goal (perhaps why my mind wanders and I cause trouble…hmmmm).

Wanna prove my point to yourself? Next time you’re working in the digital darkroom with a friend and they leave to take a break, take a screen shot of what’s on their computer. Then open that screen shot in Photoshop, make it full screen, and just leave it. They will come back and click on it like a madman to make it work, but nothing will happen because it’s just a screen shot. KISS! Take a deep breath, enjoy the amazing rewards photography brings to us every time we venture into it and remember to not take it too seriously. KISS and the most important thing, you know you’re learning if you’re falling down.

You can see more of Moose’s work at MoosePeterson.com and WarbirdImages.com, and follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Come see him live at Photoshop World in Orlando April 19-22!

The post It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Moose Peterson! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Lightroom Performance – Workflow Tweaks

workflowBesides optimizing your computer and Lightroom settings, you can also save yourself a lot of frustration by thinking ahead and allowing your computer to do many of its processor-intensive activities at a time when you’re not using the computer.

 

Build previews overnight

In the previous post, we learned about the different kinds of previews and caches that can be used to speed up Lightroom. You’re going to need rendered previews, but you don’t have to sit there waiting for them! Decide which size rendered previews you’ll need, then set the standard sized or 1:1 previews building overnight, or at least while you go and make a drink. The same goes for smart previews, if you want to use them to speed up the Develop module. While Lightroom’s rendering previews, it’s using a lot of the computer’s processing power, so you’re better off doing something else while it works.

 

Apply presets before rendering previews

While we’re on the subject of previews, think about Develop settings you apply to all or most of your photos. There’s no point rendering the standard or 1:1 previews and THEN applying a preset, because the previews will need to be updated again. Apply your presets or sync your most-frequently used settings first, and then build your previews to save wasted effort.

 

Pause background tasks

Lightroom runs a series of background tasks, including Sync, Face Recognition and Reverse Geocoding. These use additional processing power, especially for Sync and Face Recognition, so if you’re struggling for speed, it can be useful to pause these tasks while you’re working in Lightroom. To do so, click on the Identity Plate in the top left corner and press the Pause buttons in the Activity Center. Don’t forget to start them again when you’ve finished.

 

Use optimum slider order

In the Develop module, regardless of the order in which you move the sliders, the end result is always the same (with the exception of spot healing which can be affected slightly by lens corrections and also by overlapping spots). There is, however, a slight performance advantage to using the tools in the following order:

  1. Tonal Adjustments (e.g. Basic panel, etc.) can be done at any stage, but are often done first
  2. Spot Healing
  3. Lens Corrections (Profile, Manual Transform sliders, Upright, etc.)
  4. Local Corrections (Adjustment Brush, Graduated Filter, Radial Filter)
  5. Detail Corrections (Noise Reduction, Sharpening)

If you apply some of these settings  (e.g. the lens profile or noise reduction) on import using a preset or default settings, but you’re struggling for speed, you can temporarily disable the panel using the panel switch on the left, and then reenable it when you’re finished.

 

Clear history

If the History panel becomes extremely long, particularly with local brush adjustments or spot healing, it can slow down Lightroom’s performance. It also inflates the size of the catalog considerably. You can clear the History for individual photos by clicking the X button on the panel, or you can clear the History for a large number of photos by selecting them and navigating to Develop menu > Clear History.

Clearing the History does not remove your current settings. It only clears the list of the slider movements/adjustments you made to get to the current state. Even if you clear the History, your current settings remain, and if you want to change them, you simply move the sliders.

 

Use pixel editor for intensive local edits

In the first post of this series, we learned the difference between non-destructive parametric editing (Lightroom) and pixel based editing (Photoshop). Extensive local adjustments, such as detailed adjustment brush masks or large/numerous spot heals, are better suited to Photoshop. While it may be possible to do them in Lightroom, they won’t be fast. It’s also worth noting that the Auto Mask setting in the adjustment brush has a significant impact on performance too.

 

Close extra panels

If you’re really struggling for speed, you can also help by minimizing the work Lightroom has to do.

This includes closing panels such as the Histogram panel, the Navigator panel, the Develop Detail panel 1:1 preview, the Keywording & Keyword List panels, the Metadata panel and the Filmstrip. Closing the Collections panel and then restarting Lightroom also saves having to count the smart collection contents, which can slow down metadata entry on large catalogs.

When you’re moving photos to a new folder, start the move and then switch to an empty folder or collection, such as the Quick Collection, so that Lightroom’s not having to constantly redraw the Grid view while it’s working. You can also turn off the thumbnail badges in View menu > View Options.

 

Leave exports for when not using computer

Finally, leave large exports for times when you’re not using the computer. It’s a processor-intensive task that can slow down the fastest of computers, due to the complex calculations involved.

 

Next week, the final post in this series… a summary of where to look when you’re suffering speed issues in specific areas of the program.

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Why Auto Hiding Your Edit Pins Can Help

Hi y’all. It’s Tuesday, and Benjamin Warde has a quick little 60-second (or less) video on why Auto Hiding pins can be awesome when you’re working with the Adjustment Brush.

Not too shabby, eh? 🙂

Hope you found that helpful, and we’ll catch ya back here tomorrow (well, that’s the plan, so stick to the plan). 😉

Best,

-Scott

The post Why Auto Hiding Your Edit Pins Can Help appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

It’s “Copyright Your Photos” Tuesday

Hi gang, and welcome to “Copyright your photos, Tuesday” where we stop for a moment from all the other stuff we’re doing, and make sure our photos are protected by registering them with the U.S. Copyright Office (of course, this is for folks in the US — if you’re in another country, this is when you look up what the process is in your country to make sure your images are protected).

It’s never been easier to copyright and protect your images than it is today — you just go to the US Copyright Website; create an account; upload your images (yes, you can upload thousands at a time); pay the $55 registration fee, and in a few weeks they’ll get back to you and say, ‘Yup, We got ’em. You’re set,” or something along those lines (it sounds a bit more formal than that when they say it).

Here’s where you go to start the simple process: https://www.copyright.gov/registration/photographs/index.html

Also, check out this article from PDN magazine about a plug-in that lets you send your images for copyright directly from Lightroom (thanks to our friend and Lightroom guru Rob Sylvan for that one).

If you’re not sure why you should copyright your images, or what the benefits are (and how it protects you), check out our online course called “Copyright Essentials for Today’s Photographers” from attorney Ed Greenberg and photographer’s rights advocate Jack Reznicki (hosted by Mia McCormick). Not only will you learn a lot in a short amount of time, you’ll be thoroughly entertained along the way (Jack and Ed are so much fun). Here’s the official trailer:

This is something you know you’ve been putting off, but today’s the day — now let’s get to it!

Hope you have a kick-butt Tuesday!

-Scott

P.S. We are about 24-days from the big Photoshop World Conference in Orlando, Florida – if you want to come and totally immerse yourself in getting better at Lightroom, Photoshop, Photography and Flash, this is the place to do it. It’s not too late to get your ticket. You’ve always wanted to go — now’s your chance. :)

The post It’s “Copyright Your Photos” Tuesday appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

How to Make Keyword Lists and Get Them Into Lightroom

Hi gang. Hard to believe it’s already Monday (sigh). OK, well, let’s brush that off by learning something new to start the week off. If you’ve got a lot of keywords to want to add, it can be faster and easier to enter them in a text editor outside of Lightroom, and then take those into Lightroom. Here how:

 

STEP ONE: Open any text editor (I used Apple’s built-in TextEdit app), and enter your keywords. Put a return after each keyword (as seen above).

STEP TWO: To be able to import this keyword list into Lightroom, this has to be “unformatted text” — so my Mac I pressed Shift-Command-T which is the shortcut in the TextEdit application to convert from “Rich Text” (text with formatting, like font selection and bold, italic and such) to “Make Plain Text.”

STEP THREE: If you want to create hierarchical keywords, then the trick is to hit the ‘Tab” key on your keyboard before you enter the keyword. If you want to go another level deeper (like I did here — my top level keyword is NFC Divisions; then nested below that would be NFC East, and then under NFC East I want to list the four teams, so for that last nested level, you’d have to hit the Tab key twice before entering those keywords.

To recap: For a top level keyword; just type it. To have a keyword nested inside of that keyword; hit tab then enter the keyword. If you want to have keywords nested inside at that level, add two tabs then a keyword, and so on.

STEP FOUR: Now go into Lightroom, to the Library Module, and from the Metadata menu up top choose ‘Import Keywords’ (as shown above). Those keywords are now added to the Keyword list panel in the right side panels.

NESTING EXAMPLES:  Here’s what it looks like when you add a keyword list with a Top Level keyword, and then other keywords nested inside it (note the right-facing arrow to the left of ‘NFC Divisions’ shown circled in red above.

Above: When you expand the NFC Divisions top level keyword, you can see the other other divisions, and the teams in those divisions nested with them.

Hope you found that helpful. 🙂

-Scott

P.S. Only 25-days ’till the Photoshop World Conference in Orlando. It’s not too late to get your ticket. Just sayin’

The post How to Make Keyword Lists and Get Them Into Lightroom appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

5 Tips For Customizing Your Copy of Photoshop

Happy Monday everybody. Today we’re doing five tips for making your Photoshop look and act the way you want it by customizing a few key things (including a couple of hidden things that are pretty cool. Check out the short video below.

Hope you found that helpful.

Here’s wishing you the best Monday this year so far!

Best,

-Scott

 

The post 5 Tips For Customizing Your Copy of Photoshop appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

The survey results are in!

First of all, thank you so much to the 4240 of you who took the time to fill out my 2016 reader survey. The results have been fascinating and will help shape my plans for the next couple of years, so watch this space…

So are you wondering about the results?  Here are the highlights:

Most of my readers are using Lightroom CC or Lightroom 6, with the majority on subscription.

Chart_Q1_160523

You’re mainly amateur and advanced amateur photographers, although some of you earn some money from photography.

Chart_Q2_160523

You love the intermediate to advanced blog posts and tips and tricks, as well as the what’s new posts, and you gave me some great ideas for future blog posts. You also told me you’d like me to do some short videos, so I’ll be playing with some video blog posts over the next few months, and I’d love to get your feedback on them.

time managementThe most frequent issue you have with Lightroom is simply a lack of time to learn and explore. I’m afraid I can’t help with that one, other than highly recommending David Allen’s Getting Things Done system. 🙂

Many of the things you find confusing in Lightroom are already covered in my free Quick Start eBook and the free Articles section of my website, so if you haven’t checked these lately, it’ll be well worth your time exploring. I don’t remember spotting any questions that aren’t covered in my main Lightroom CC/6 FAQ book.

 

There were some great questions and comments, some of which made me laugh out loud, resulting in some very strange looks from others in the coffee shop!  I’d love to be able to email everyone back personally, but since there aren’t enough hours in the day, allow me to answer the most frequently asked questions…

 

“You’re English.  Why do you use US spellings?”

I use the US spellings because the Lightroom interface uses them, and it feels wrong to say “go to the Color panel to adjust the colour”.  I try to use the same in emails and blog and forum posts for consistency, otherwise I end up confusing myself.

 

“I think you act as a sort of champion with/against Adobe. I’d like to see you do more of this, recognizing that Adobe sometimes has it wrong.”

My aim is always to be honest – both with you as readers, and with Adobe too.

I do tell Adobe when I think they have something wrong, but I usually do so in private, where we can have a much more productive conversation. However, if I ever think something needs to be said publicly, as with the Lightroom 6.2 release, I promise to do so.

 

“I can’t make up mind on whether to go for CC or perpetual license: have you done pros & cons?”

Yes, you’ll find them here. To be honest, I was skeptical when I first heard about the subscription plans, wondering whether Adobe would rest on their laurels with everyone “locked in” to a subscription. The team have been working hard to allay people’s fears about losing their work, as well as adding new features in dot releases. Watching their progress over the last year, and seeing what they have planned for the future, I’m now comfortable in saying I think the CC subscription is a great deal for most users.

 

“Where can I buy your books?”

You’ll find my books right here on my website, or the paperback is also available from online bookstores such as Amazon. Most local bookstores can special order if you prefer to shop offline.

 

“[I would like to] have the Missing FAQ book be accessible online (not as a PDF) so that its information can be found using keywords.”

Good news… it already is. If you’ve purchased the paperback and registered it, or you’ve purchased the eBooks or paperback direct from my website, the entire book is available in the Members Area and is fully searchable. It’s also kept up to date with the changes as Adobe adds new features.

 

“I bought the book digitally but now wish I’d bought the paperback”

No problem, just drop me an email.

 

“Many of the books, blog posts and videos are for Mac and don’t address Windows equally.”

That’s true, many educators and authors do seem to use Macs, and you’ll find the screenshots on my website are mostly of the Mac version as I write on a MacBook Pro. But don’t worry, it’s just cosmetic. Lightroom works the same way on both platforms, and where there’s a difference in behavior, I always note the difference.

 

“I’d love to be able to write in with questions when in doubt, but I realize this is unreasonable.”

It’s true that my time is limited, so I can’t answer everyone’s Lightroom questions personally, but email support is one of the bonuses I offer free of charge when you purchase my main FAQ book, either direct from this website or when registering a paperback. Why only book owners?  Because I can almost always point you to the right page in the book, and if something isn’t quite clear in the book, I can update it in the next version.

If you don’t own my book, you’re welcome to post your questions on the forum. We have a great team of experts, and I spend some time there each day too. If your question gets missed, feel free to reply to “bump it” up the listing again.

 

help-man“I wish you offered 1 to 1 screensharing support!”

I do! The purchase page is fairly well hidden under the Contact button as there are a limited number of hours in my day, but I’m here to help if you get stuck.

 

“You won’t share my email address, will you?”

No, don’t worry, I take your privacy very seriously.

 

“Can you pass what I said on to Adobe?”

If there was anything specific you asked me to tell Adobe (e.g. why can’t I buy an upgrade in Malaysia?), I have passed it on to Lightroom’s Product Manager, Sharad.

Don’t forget, you can always have your say on the Official Feedback Site. It’s the best place to report bugs and request features as the Lightroom team consider all of the requests posted there, even though they can’t reply to them all. You’ll also find helpful suggestions for workarounds, and you can vote on other people’s requests. Your votes DO make a difference.

 

Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts, and I look forward to another busy year of Lightroom Q&A’s.

The post The survey results are in! appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

How do I create and manage collections?

In the “Why use collections to organize photos?” post, we learned why you might want to use collections to group photos. Now let’s learn how…

How to create a collection

To create a collection, scroll down to the Collections panel, which you’ll find in the left panel group in all modules, click the + button at the top and select Create Collection.

Name the collection (leave the checkboxes unchecked for now) and click Create, and your new collection appears in the Collections panel. When you want to view a different collection of photos, just click on its name.

From the Grid view, select your chosen photos and drag them from the preview area onto the collection. Don’t forget to grab the photos by their thumbnails, not the border surrounding them. If you don’t like dragging, right-click on the collection and select Add Selected Photos to this Collection from the context-sensitive menu instead.

Removing photos from a collection is as simple as hitting the Delete key. When you’re viewing a collection, Delete only removes the photo from the collection, rather than from the catalog or hard drive.

There are a few more collection tips and tricks on pages 115-120 in my Lightroom CC/6 book.

How do I organize my collections into sets?

As your list of collections grows, it can become harder to find the right one. Collection sets allow you to build a hierarchy of collections, just like you would with folders.

To create a Collection Set, press the + button on the Collections panel and select New Collection Set. Name it, and then drag existing collections onto the set to group them. When you’re creating new collections, you can select which set to put them in using the pop-up in the New Collection dialog.

The one downside is collection sets don’t sync to the cloud. The collections show as a flat collections list in Lightroom mobile, which can become rather long if you’re syncing a large number of collections. You can start the names of similar collections with a word such as Vacation or Genre, which will group them together on mobile as well as in Lightroom on the desktop.

Do you need to create additional collections for your best photos of each grouping? No, that would just make the list even longer! You can use flags, star ratings and filters instead. More on that in the next post.

The post How do I create and manage collections? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

It’s New Class Thur… Err, Friday!

Scott Kelby’s 7-Point System for Lightroom
Scott Kelby’s Seven Point System book revolutionized how photographers edit their images, and in this new course you’re going to learn his latest updates and refinements to the system (including his own post processing “secret sauce”) for Lightroom (or Camera Raw) users. Once you learn these Seven Points, you’ll know exactly what to do, in what order, and why for every JPEG, Raw, and TIFF photo you edit. It will transform the way you edit your photos from this moment on.

In Case You Missed It
Streamline your mobile photography workflow with Lightroom Mobile! Join Josh Haftel, senior product manager at Adobe, as he teaches you how to use Lightroom Mobile to import, organize, edit, and share your mobile photography, as well as how you can synchronize it all with Lightroom on your desktop and Lightroom Web.

The post It’s New Class Thur… Err, Friday! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

If your camera doesn’t have GPS built-in, you will LOVE this Lightroom tip!

Hi gang, and happy Friday. Adobe’s own Terry White was on “The Grid” as my guest this week (we were talking about travel photography), and he showed this tip about how to instantly tag all your photos with GPS data for people whose camera doesn’t have built-in GPS tagging (or any other kind of 3rd party GPS add-on). So simple, very clever; super easy. Check out the video below:

A big thanks to Terry for sharing that tip with you guys here on Lightroom Killer Tips. 🙂 If you’d like to watch the actual episode of The Grid with Terry (with our travel photography topic), click here.

Hope you all have a great weekend, and we’ll catch ya back here next week.

-Scott

P.S. Today we’re releasing my new class: “Scott Kelby’s ‘Seven Point System’ for Lightroom” — an expanded version of what I taught on my live “Shoot Like a Pro Tour” and if you’re a KelbyOne member, you can go watch it right now (or, at the very least, I hope you’ll check it out this weekend). If you’re not a KelbyOne member yet, take the 10-day free trial and you can start watching it immediately. 

The post If your camera doesn’t have GPS built-in, you will LOVE this Lightroom tip! appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

It’s Photo Tip Friday

Well, actually it’s at least 3-photo tips for this Friday (we do these every week – have been for a long time — if you follow KelbyOne on Facebook, you’ll see them every Friday, even when I don’t blog about ’em). In fact, there’s a new tip there today that I’m not featuring here, so when you’re done with these, head over to catch today’s new tip. Here we go:

We’ll start with a very clever tip from KelbyOne Instructor Dave Cross:

Dave’s new KelbyOne course on Photoshop selections is right here (ya know, in case you’re so inclined).

OK, here’s a nice one for Wacom tablet users from KelbyOne Instructor Erik Valind:

If you’re digging that, check out Erik’s class on Active Lifestyle portaits. Ready for another one? This one’s from KelbyOne Instructor Gabriel Biderman:

 

Thanks, Gabe! By the way (ahem…) Gabe’s awesome class on nighttime photography is right here. 

Well, folks — there ya have it. Some Friday Photo Tip love.

Here’s wishing you an awesome weekend! :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’re looking for a new class to watch this weekend, Today we’re releasing my new class: “Scott Kelby’s ‘Seven Point System’ for Lightroom” — an expanded version of what I taught on my live “Shoot Like a Pro Tour” and if you’re a KelbyOne member, you can go watch it right now (or, at the very least, I hope you’ll check it out this weekend). If you’re not a KelbyOne member yet, take the 10-day free trial and you can start watching it immediately. 

The post It’s Photo Tip Friday appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Here’s the Lightroom Class Schedule for The Big Conference Coming in April

Hey gang — we’re just about a month away from the Photoshop World Conference in Orlando (April 20-22nd at the Orange County Convention Center), and I wanted to share the full 3-day Lightroom Training Track class schedule with you (yes, you can come to “Photoshop World” and take nothing but Lightroom classes the entire time). Here’s the schedule:

THURSDAY April, 20:
>
Organizing Your Images with Lightroom (with Terry White)
> Getting Creative with Lightroom Presets (with Matt Kloskowski)
> Lightroom Tips & Tricks (with Scott Kelby. Hey, that’s me!)

FRIDAY, April 21:
>
Tack Sharp! Sharpening in Lightroom (with Daniel Gregory)
> Cityscape Master Class (with Serge Ramelli)
> Creating Unique Styles & Looks in Lightroom (with Rob Sylvan)
> Black & White Today & Yesterday (with Serge Ramelli)
> Everyday Portrait Retouching in Lightroom (with Kristina Sherk)
> The Lightroom Ecosystem: Working in Lightroom Across All Devices (with Rob Sylvan)

SATURDAY, April 22:
>
Creating Beautiful Photo Book in Lightroom (with me.)
> All The Other Lightroom Stuff: HDR, Panos, Video, History, Customizing, and more (with Terry White)
> Working with Photoshop (with Serge Ramelli)

Plus, there’s all this:

and it’s just a month away (and it’s not too late to register).

Sign up right now at PhotoshopWorld.com and we’ll see you next month in Orlando for the biggest, best, Lightroom love fest on the planet! You are gonna love it! Whoo Hoo!

Hope you have a rockin’ Wednesday!

-Scott

P.S. My guest today on The Grid (at 4pm ET) is none other than Adobe’s own Terry White. Come join in the discussion. http://kelbytv.com/thegrid

The post Here’s the Lightroom Class Schedule for The Big Conference Coming in April appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Joe Glyda!

My name is Joe Glyda and I am a commercial photographer specializing in food photography.

I would like to thank Scott for inviting me to be a guest on his blog. This year marks my 40th year as a commercial food photographer. Yes, I am one of those photographers that worked my way through the darkroom and started my career using 4×5, 8×10, and 11×14 Deardorf view cameras that used film.

The one thing I loved about shooting film was, ‘the set’ had to be ready and complete before the film was loaded into the camera. There wasn’t “I’ll just fix it in Photoshop.” Getting it all put together in one shot and looking at the subject upside down and backwards taught me to see the food ‘as a subject’ very differently. Painstaking details went into every shot, as Polaroids were used to get the test shot done, before exposing the film. But seeing that transparency on the light box was extremely rewarding.

I thought I would talk a little about my favorite subject, Food Photography. The unique aspect about commercial/food photography is that it’s ALL about the product. It’s NOT about you the photographer and your style, or your vision. It’s about the client’s vision, who in turn, hires an art director to come up with an approved layout and make the product be the hero. It then becomes the photographer’s responsibility to engage in a conversation with the art director and concur on a plan of action.

In other words, ask questions, LISTEN, then solve the problem.

Engage in a conversation prior to the photo session. Do not wait until the art director shows up to start setting up. Be prepared and ready to go. Do some testing to get yourself familiar with the product that’s about to be photographed ahead of time.

One of the key elements in food photography is finding the products with the right elements of detail that work with all the other elements in the photo. So, in the case of this print ad, what seemed to be an easy shot ended up taking a dozen cheese wedges and twice as many Polaroids to create the cut marks on the cheese wedge so they fell exactly under where the package artwork was to be placed. The client wanted the package to represent the natural look and flavor of real Cheddar cheese. Knowing what the client wants is so very important before the camera is even set-up.

That doesn’t mean photographers can’t have their own ideas or be able to contribute an idea regarding the images. At first, it’s important to leave your personal vision at the door. What I mean is, waiting for the right opportunity to share your ideas with the art director or client, after learning what the vision of the product is. Don’t be afraid to talk to the art director. Take an AD to lunch. Share ideas with them.

This image was part of a year-long campaign which stemmed from a lunch appointment with an AD who just finished meeting the client from Cracker Barrel Cheese. We talked about the client’s needs to make their snacking product look different and more trendy. Polaroid transfers were very popular at the time, so I suggested to shoot the real food on a Polaroid of an empty plate. The art director drew up layouts and our collaboration was a success.

When shooting multiple dishes, it is crucial to work with a prop stylist. They have resources beyond the photographers’ prop room. They tend to watch trends and have a pulse on what’s hot and what’s not. It’s also important to know what foods will last on the set longer than others, especially with multiple dishes. In this case, it was the spaghetti sauce that was put in place last so the sauce wouldn’t run through the tortellini.

In 1986, I witnessed my first retouching job on a Scitex Response-300 computer and knew right then that I had to get into digital technology. By 1993, I was using a Kodak DCS 460 digital camera and stopped using film by 1995. I helped convert the Kraft Foods in-house photography department from film completely over to digital by 1999. I wanted to have more control over the quality of the final image using the digital process. With the art director on set, we could see instantaneously together what we were getting, and make sure the color and direction was correct. Color management in food photography is so important. Food products have a certain color and their companies pay extra to make sure their products are not falsely advertised.

I use an X-rite color checker before every shot series to ensure the color is correct. Changing the color checker every time the light source changes is very important. This will ensure that the color of the food is right on.

Even though Photoshop 2 was a big part of the digital process, at the time, I continued to have the mind set of getting things done on set, prior to engaging the camera. I used the digital technology to my advantage whenever possible. It helped me create these images using digital fire in a campfire scene, and digital water from a pool on the deck while still having full control in the studio. Then creating outdoor lighting effects on the food to match the digital images made them look like they were photographed on-location.

Working with a food stylist is a must when working with food products. The job of a food photographer is lighting, composition, and the technical aspect of the photo session. The food stylist’s responsibility is to make sure the food looks good for the camera. They get the camera position in relationship to the plate from the photographer, and then position the food on the plate to make the food look its best. Dummy food is usually used during the set-up. Dummy food is a representation of the hero food but not yet styled. This helps the photographer light the food and create the composition needed to make the food look great. In this case, the soup was replaced by a salad and the sandwich direction was changed once the client saw the dummy food shot.

Dummy Food
Hero Food

My favorite foods to photograph are desserts, for the obvious reason, they taste the best. They tend to be difficult to maneuver around the set during the set-up, but once the hero food is placed on the set, the shot is taken quickly before the food dies. My lens of choice is a Nikkor 100mm macro lens, and in some cases I love to use a bellows attached to my Nikon D800. It brings the texture and details of the food to the forefront. And the clients are thrilled because it shows off their product.

Another kind of food photography that I enjoy doing is packaging photography. It takes more patience because the image needs to FIT in between words, logos, or call-out flags. If there are multiple products, they all have to fit together like a family! Usually in this situation the camera angle is locked down so the position of the image stays the same throughout the series of shots. Notice the color under the plates on these packages change but the plate position does not.

Styles and trends, like in fashion, come and go in food photography. It’s important to watch how these trends influence the images across all media. Over the past year, straight down shots have been the angle of choice. Panera, Qdoba, and Starbucks are a few companies changing their look to this elevated level. I just had a client this month that wanted to see their cake recipe from this angle, and they loved it!

Even some of the car companies are now using this look and some say that it’s because of the increase of drone photography that has inspired the look. But I guarantee you, this trend is not new. It was very popular in the late 80’s, and here is one of my shots of asparagus I did in 1988. I remember an art director back then, saying after meeting with a client, “Do they really want to shoot from above again? I’m tired of this angle” Watch for the new trend to take over, and believe me, it will.

Finally, the secret to good food photography is backlight. The food looks best when the shadow falls under the front of the food to act as a base for the food to sit on. The light from behind the food creates a highlight effect along the top and back edge of the food to give the food a heroic effect. Fill cards are used to bounce the backlight back into the front of the food, creating a soft and pleasing appetizing appearance.

In summary, remember these five steps when working with food:

  1. Listen to the client, It’s ALL about the product, not you!
  2. Talk to the art director, engage in discussion about the project prior to the session, don’t wait till the day of the shoot.
  3. Use a color management system to get accurate color.
  4. Hire a professional food stylist. (and a prop stylist when necessary)
  5. Backlight most food subjects for ultimate results.

Using these simple ideas will make your food images more appetizing and give the illusion that they are jumping off the page.

You can see more of Joe’s work at JGlyda.com, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Check out his courses on KelbyOne, and come see him at Photoshop World Orlando where he’ll be teaching a food photography workshop on April 19 and a class on creativity on April 21.

The post It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Joe Glyda! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

How do I restore some of the photos from my backup catalog?

Last week, we discussed the options for fixing mistakes using Undo, History and restoring an entire backup catalog.

But what if you only want to restore part of the backup catalog? Perhaps you accidentally synchronized Develop settings across a folder of photos, or you accidentally removed specific photos from your catalog. If you’ve worked on other photos since the backup was created, you probably won’t want to restore the entire backup catalog, as you’d lose the other work you’ve done. Instead, you can restore just the settings for specific photos.

  1. Find your most recent backup in your Backups folder. The backups are stored in dated subfolders, with the zip file named to match your catalog name, to make them easy to identify. (If you’re using Lightroom 5 or earlier, the catalog won’t be zipped.)
  2. Double-click on the zip file to decompress it. The *.lrcat file appears next to the zip file.
    Lightroom backup catalog in Finder unzipped
  3. Move the backup *.lrcat file to a temporary location, such as the Desktop. (If you’re using Lightroom 5 or earlier, copy rather than move.)
  4. Double-click on the *.lrcat file to open it into Lightroom.
  5. Find the photos you’d like to transfer to your normal working catalog. Double check that they’re not marked as missing, and if they are, fix the broken links. (If the backup catalog is quite old, you may have moved some of the files).
  6. Select the photos and go to File menu > Export as Catalog. Select a temporary location, such as the Desktop, and give the exported catalog a name such as “Transfer.lrcat”. Check Export selected photos only and leave the other checkboxes unchecked.
    Lightroom Export as Catalog dialog
  7. Go to File menu > Open Recent and open your normal working catalog.
  8. Go to File menu > Import from Another Catalog and navigate to the Transfer.lrcat catalog file you created in step 6.
  9. At the top of the Import from Catalog dialog, check the All Folders checkbox.
  10. The availability of the other options in the dialog depends on your reason for restoring the data from the backup catalog. (For a deep dive into the Import from Catalog dialog, see the Multi-Computer chapter starting on page 481 in my Lightroom CC/6 book.)
    These are the most likely options:

    • If you’re restoring photos you accidentally removed from the catalog, select Add new photos to catalog without moving in the New Photos section.
    • If you’re restoring metadata for photos that still exist in the catalog, select Metadata and develop settings only from the Replace pop-up in the Changed Existing Photos section. (To keep the current settings as a virtual copy, check the checkbox below too.)
  11. Press Import to transfer the metadata into your working catalog.
  12. Once you’ve confirmed that the settings have transferred, delete the backup and exported catalog from the Desktop.

Before we finish this topic, we should just mention one limitation. When importing from other catalogs, Lightroom imports all of the data about your chosen photo. For example, you can’t import just the Develop settings for a photo without also importing its keywords. There is, however, a workaround. If you check the Preserve old settings as a virtual copy checkbox, your current settings are retained as a virtual copy. You can then use John Beardsworth’s Syncomatic plug-in to sync specific metadata (e.g. keywords) from the virtual copies to the updated masters.

The post How do I restore some of the photos from my backup catalog? appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

A hidden secret for using Keyword Sets

Hi everybody. First, as many of you know, I kinda messed up last week’s “Lightroom Coffee Break” by accidentally posting the wrong video (instead of the one that showed how to get more info from your library module thumbnails). It’s fixed now (sorry about that), and thanks for letting me know about it.

This week, in a video that has doubly tested to ensure that it is indeed the correct video from the awesome Benjamin Warde, he shows us a little-known secret about why Keyword Sets are limited to just nine key words, and believe it or not, it’s a good thing, because he reveals why, and the why will make your keyworking faster! 🙂

Ahhhh, see? That’s a pretty sweet little tip-a-roomie!

Hope you found that helpful, and we’ll catch ya back here tomorrow. 🙂

Best,

-Scott

The post A hidden secret for using Keyword Sets appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

Another Custom Lightroom Photo Album Layout Idea (and free downloadable template)

Hi Gang – I had planned on doing another photo book/print layout last week, but my whole schedule got off with my trip to Philly on Monday, and then the HDR camera thing, and blah, blah, blah, etc. here it is today:

This is another 5-photo layout (since Lightroom doesn’t have any 5-photo template), and I give you an alternate layout as well, and a free downloadable preset, too! Here’s how to make your own:

And without further ado, here’s the downloadable template I made for you:

Download

Hope you found that helpful.

Here’s wishing you a spendifilious Monday!

-Scott

P.S. Do you know a photographer in Chicago? Maybe one in Detroit? Can you let them know for me that I’m headed their way next month with my full-day Lightroom training seminar (Monday, April 10th in Chicago and the 11th in Detroit). Much appreciated. 🙂

The post Another Custom Lightroom Photo Album Layout Idea (and free downloadable template) appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

Behind-The-Scenes at the Opening Night of “The Gallery at KelbyOne”

It was just a couple of months ago when Kalebra called us all together to share her idea of showcasing the work of our KelbyOne members — to lift them up and help them reach a wider audience — and give them a solo gallery showing and a live broadcast to share their work with other people around the world. Of course, step one was — build an art gallery, and with the help of a lot of wonderful folks, it all came together in seemingly no time. Saturday night, we were thrilled to be able to cut the ribbon (see below) on “The Gallery at KelbyOne” — a place where our members’ work would be celebrated and showcased in openings just like this all year long.

After nearly 1,000 submissions from around the world, our judges chose the photographic work of Sonoma, California graphic designer Mark Wegner to open the gallery. We flew Mark and his lovely wife Carol in for a wine and cheese reception in the gallery on Saturday night, followed by a one-on-one interview with Mark about his work, his life, and his vision. It was such an inspiring, fun evening with Larry Becker hosting the presentation/interview (and of course, Larry was just marvelous).

I’m going to share some behind-the-scenes images from Saturday (below), but I wanted to give a special shoutout to the folks at Bay Photo Lab, who graciously not only provided the beautiful prints (and they were gorgeous), but also their clever mounting and exhibition system called “Xpozer” which couldn’t have been a better fit for our gallery, or for displaying Mark’s beautiful images. We had so many questions about the printing and mounting, that we were literally doing demo’s to the guests to show how it all works. Very clever (thank you Bay Photo — you guys rock!).

Here’s a peek behind the scenes (I’ll tell a bit more of the story in the captions — photos by Melvin Rodriguez unless otherwise noted):

Above: Cutting the ribbon to officially open “The Gallery at KelbyOne” (L to R: Jean A. Kendra, yours truly, Kalebra Kelby, our featured artist Mark Wegner, and our host for the evening, Larry Becker). 

 

Above: A couple admiring one of my favorite’s of Mark’s images — his dramatic black and white shot of a Bison.

Above: Mark chatting with some of our guests in the gallery. 

Above: One of our guests (far left) peeks behind one of the prints to see how they’re mounted. 

Above: Lots of wonderful cheeses and wines on hand for our guests as they head into the gallery. When you first enter the gallery, we have a collection of photographic work from our KelbyOne instructors on display.

Above: Giving some love to BayPhoto for their awesome prints and mounting system. 

Above: Mmmmmm. Cheese. :)

Above: A few scenes from Mark’s opening. 

Above: Mark chatting with guests about his work.

 

Above: We opened the video area so guests could take a peek at the KelbyOne Studios and the sets we use for everything from training classes to live webcasts and even the set of “The Grid” (both the new one, and the classic set which is still intact for a few more weeks).  

Above: After the reception, we moved into the KelbyOne theatre to learn more about Mark and his wonderful work. This is me briefly welcoming the crowd as I introduce Larry Becker, our host for the evening, and our featured artist, Mark Wegner. 

Above: Larry and Mark begin their chat, streamed live all over the world. 

Above: Larry was such a great host. Such a great wit, but also, so great at getting the most out of his guests. It made for a very inspiring night. 

Above: Mark shared so many great insights, tips, and he was funny, clever, and such an inspiring artist.

Above: Mark talked about a number of his pieces in the gallery and what went into making them. 

Above: A little behind-the-scenes from the production side of things. That’s Leighton on the jib crane camera. 

Above: The chemistry between Larry and Mark really made the talk captivating. 

Above: It was the perfect setting for such an intimate talk with the artist, and before you knew it, it was time to say goodnight.

Above: Larry looks on as Mark shares the story of his work.

Above: At the end of the night, after we said goodbye to our last guest, Kalebra snapped this shot of the gallery with her trusty iPhone. For me, it was really something to see her idea come to life so quickly, and it was especially gratifying in how our team embraced the idea of showcasing someone from our own community, and how they all came together in such a short amount of time to build a beautiful gallery to give our members that opportunity. I’m so proud of our crew — Kalebra, Jean Kendra and I are very blessed to be able to work with them each day. 

In just a few weeks, we’ll start on the course to find the next KelbyOne member who’ll have their own solo opening here in our gallery, and I’ll be sure to let you know when submissions are open.

Again, our hearty congratulations to Mark for sharing his beautiful work, and for sharing his wonderful wife Carol with us during their visit. She was a joy. They both are — and it’s the icing on the cake to be there when really good things happen to really good people. Also, my humble thanks to my wife Kalebra for sharing her vision, and her heart for making people’s dreams come true, and for letting us all be a part of it.

Here’s to a day when your dreams come true. :)

Best,

-Scott

The post Behind-The-Scenes at the Opening Night of “The Gallery at KelbyOne” appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

It’s “Lightroom Love” Friday!

Hi Gang — the weekend’s almost here, and there’s a lot going on in Lightroom land, so let’s get to it:

Freakin’ awesome Lightroom guest blog post from Lightroom Guru Rob Sylvan
The guest blogger this week on my blog was none other than Photoshop World Instructor Rob Sylvan, and he did one heck of a Lightroom post called “10 Years of Lightroom Help Desk Advice” where he shared the answers to some of his most-asked questions over the years. Such a helpful, practical post — you’ve got to read it — here’s the link. Thank Rob!

If you went to my Lightroom seminar in Boston or Philly, and you downloaded the custom presets I made for you…
Here’s how to install them:

Go to the Presets panel in the Develop Module, and right-click on any existing preset to bring up the pop-up menu you see here. Choose Import, and navigate your way to the preset of mine you want to import, and click ‘Import.’ That preset will now appear in the Presets panel under ‘User Presets.” That’s all there is to it!

Big shoutout to Boston & Philly!
I had over 650 photographers come out to my new Lightroom seminar, and I am so grateful for the wonderful turnout and gracious welcome to your towns. Such fun days — such totally engaged crowds — I loved it (and I got out before the storm hit). Thanks for coming out, and for making me feel so at home.

If you’re thinking about using the Cloud to back up your photos…
Then check out this past Wednesday’s episode of The Grid (my weekly show for photographers) where our topic was Backing up; my guest was backing up techie guy Erik Kuna, and we answering so many questions, but really dug deep into cloud backup strategies and pricing (including some that were free, or that maybe are included in something you’re already paying for). Really good stuff — you can watch it below:

TODAY IS THE DEADLINE…
…to save $100 using the “Early Bird Discount” on the Photoshop World Conference 2017 coming up April 20-22, 2017 in Orlando — make sure you sign up now, today, and save 100 bucks. Right here for details and tickets. 

NOTE: We have a ton of Photoshop, photography, flash, and lighting training (nearly 100 classes in all), but come for the Lightroom training Track – and  lose yourself in three days of “Lightroom love!” 

My Lightroom Tour is Coming to Chicago on Monday, April 10th
I hope you can come out — I’ve got lots of helpful stuff to share, including how finally get your images really organized (on a level you’d never thought they’d be — you will so dig it). It’s just $99 for the full day (you can save $10 if you sign up now). Skip another boring day at work and come out and spend the day with learning all the latest Lightroom techniques. It’s 100% money-back guaranteed if it’s not the best Lightroom seminar you’ve ever been to, at any price, period! Here’s the link for tickets (Boston sold out in advance, so don’t miss out — seating is limited).

Here’s wishing you an awesome weekend! 🙂

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Tomorrow night is the grand opening of The Gallery at KelbyOne, and we’re having a wine & cheese reception (open to KelbyOne members) at our Headquarters in Tampa, Florida. If you can’t make it, you can watch LIVE as it happens on my Facebook page (including the interview with our featured solo exhibition artist, Mark Wegner), and you’ll be totally inspired seeing Mark’s images, hearing his story, and seeing all the Behind-the-scenes stuff. It’s starts at 8PM ET tomorrow (Saturday) over on my Facebook page (where we’ll be streaming live) or at https://kelbyone.com/gallery-webcast 

The post It’s “Lightroom Love” Friday! appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

It’s “Back-up Your Photos Friday” (and I’m giving away 5-copies of my Photoshop CC book!)

Go Back Up Your Photos. Right Now!
Seriously. If you want to do the most important thing you’ll do all day — stop what you’re doing right now and go back up your photos.This past Wednesday on The Grid our topic was backing up your photos and people were writing in with such heartbreaking stories of how they lost everything, or if they were lucky it was only thousands of photos they’ll never get back. They all mentioned how devistating it was. It takes much less time than you’d think, and you’ll sleep a whole lot better tonight knowing you’re finally, and fully backed up.

I’m embedding Wednesday episode below – we talked about which types of drives to get; how big, and different solutions for backing up to the cloud, and we answered a whole bunch of questions. If you’re not sure where to start, which this episode.

Today’s the last day to save $100 on a Photoshop World 2017 Conference Ticket
That’s right — the Early Bird Discount ends tonight at midnight for next month’s mega-conference in Orlando, Florida (it’s warm here btw), but if you get it on right now you’re not too late to save 100 bucks.

Head on over to photoshopworld.com right now and snag your tickets. You’ve always wanted to go — you keep saying “I’m going to go one of these years…” why not come join us now. You’ll learn more in three days than you have in three years, and you’ll come back faster, better, and totally re-energized. Get on it tonight – right now (well, right after you backup your photos). :)

Tomorrow night — it’s the Grand Opening of “The Gallery at KelbyOne”
We are just so excited — the gallery is complete, and tomorrow night we’ll be celebrating the photographic work of KelbyOne member Mark Wegner (Mark won our competition for a one-man show), and you’re invited to be a part of the opening, no matter where you are in the world. We’re streaming our “Artist Interview” live tomorrow night, and you’ll get a peek at the gallery, and you’ll be inspired by Mark’s work and his stories about how he “got the shots.” It’ll be a night to remember, and you’ll see it unfold live.

Details: 

Who: Me, Photographer Mark Wegner, and our host Larry Becker (Plus, a bunch of people enjoying wine and cheese). Mmmm. Cheese.
What:
The Grand Opening of “The Gallery at KelbyOne” and a solo gallery showing of photographer Mark Wegner’s work
When: Tomorrow night – Saturday, March 18th @8pm ET
Where: My Facebook Page, or at http://kelbyone.com/gallery-webcast
Why: To showcase the amazing work of KelbyOne members, and share their photography with a worldwide audience

The presentation starts at 8PM ET (Note to International viewers: the US observes Daylight Savings Time so we recently moved our clocks forward 1-hour). Hope you can join us. :)

For more details about the gallery competition (including how to enter when we open the 2nd round of entries shortly), jump over here.

 

That’s right — I’m giving away FIVE free copies of my latest Photoshop CC Book for Digital Photographers
Just leave a comment below in the comment section, and you’re entered. We’ll pick a winner this weekend and announce the winners on Monday. You can enter anywhere you are in the world — good luck everybody (if don’t win, you can buy the book online at Barnes & Noble or Amazon, in print or ebook formats)

Thanks for stopping by, and please consider this your friendly reminder that this is, officially, “Back Up Your Photos Friday.” :)

Have a great weekend, everybody!

-Scott

 

The post It’s “Back-up Your Photos Friday” (and I’m giving away 5-copies of my Photoshop CC book!) appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

It’s New Class Thursday!

Camera Focus Techniques: The Key To Super Sharp Photos with Larry Becker
Learn all about focusing with Larry Becker! You’ll hit the ground running in this class, as Larry starts off with some basic concepts and terminology before digging deeper into everything related to focus techniques, tips, and best practices. Beginners and experienced users alike can benefit from learning how to take advantage what your camera (regardless of manufacturer) has to offer to help you get super sharp photos in all kinds of situations and subject matter. You’ll learn how to set the diopter for your vision, how to control depth of field, the differences in focusing when using the viewfinder versus live view, the benefits of back button focusing, and so much more!

In Case You Missed It
Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, there’s no getting around the fact that photography gear can be expensive. Join our Larry Becker as he shares all kinds of cool ways you can save money on a wide range of photographic accessories. Larry is always thinking of clever alternatives to conventional gear and do-it-yourself ways to make the things you need at a much lower cost. Sometimes we can save money just by learning from the cautionary tales told by our peers. In this class Larry has gathered up a ton of his favorite tips, tricks, and projects to help you find low cost solutions for things all photographers need and use. By the end of the class you’ll be ready to head out to your local hardware store and start experimenting with your own solutions and alternatives, so that you’ll have more money to spend on the important things.

The post It’s New Class Thursday! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Getting More Info From Your Grid View Thumbnails in Lightroom

I missed posting Benjamin Warde’s Lightroom Coffee Break yesterday because of that new HDR in-camera thingy, but I didn’t want skip it this week, so I just moved it until today. It’s a pretty handy one, too as Benjamin shows how to see more detail on your image’s thumbnail (plus, he shows how to customize it to show exactly what you want to see). Good stuff.

Thanks Benjamin!

2-days left to save $100
Don’t miss out on the Photoshop World Conference early bird discount — just 2-more days. Come join us in Orlando and learn some Lightroom in warm sunny Orlando. 🙂

Hope you have a great day!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Chicago and Detroit – I’m bringing my full-day Lightroom seminar there next month – hope I’ll meet you there!

The post Getting More Info From Your Grid View Thumbnails in Lightroom appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Rob Sylvan!

Photo by Levi Sim at Photoshop World 2016

10 Years of Lightroom Help Desk Advice

On Feb 19th, 2017 Lightroom celebrated it’s 10th anniversary, which also happens to be the
day I celebrated 10 years of providing Lightroom Help Desk support. Huzzah! I’ve had the honor
and pleasure of helping a lot of people in that time, and I owe that all to Scott. Being invited
back for a second guest post here is a privilege, and I figured it was the perfect opportunity
to share back some of the most important (and hopefully useful) Help Desk advice I’ve given in
that time. Here are the top 10 things every Lightroom user should know*:

*Disclaimer, these tips are intended to be helpful, but don’t just do them without
understanding all of what is involved. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me
directly before you act, and I can help you with your specific situation.

1. Set Your Default Catalog

The most important thing every Lightroom user needs to know is where your Lightroom catalog
is located on your system. Even if you think you know, it’s worth taking a moment to make sure
(you’d be surprised how many people find it is not where they expect). With Lightroom open,
go to Lightroom > Catalog Settings > General (Win: Edit > Catalog Settings >
General), and note the name of the catalog and the path to where it is located. Is it where you
expected? If so, great! If not, here’s how you can move it to a new location:

  1. Click the Show button on the General tab of the Catalog Settings to open the folder
    containing your catalog in your file browser.
  2. Quit Lightroom. If prompted to backup, click skip for now.
  3. Copy the folder containing the Lightroom catalog (.LRCAT) and its associated preview
    caches to the location you want it to be stored (pick a locally connected internal or external
    drive).
  4. Once the copy operation is complete, double-click the catalog file to open it back
    into Lightroom. This way you can make sure all is working fine, and the new location will be
    included in the preferences.

Now, whether you moved your catalog or not, this next step is important. I highly recommend
that you manually configure this catalog to be the Default catalog (in other words, don’t use
Load most recent catalog). To do this, go to Lightroom > Preferences > General (WIN: Edit
> Preferences > General), and set the When starting up use this catalog option to the
specific catalog you just opened.

Remember, if you moved your catalog to a new location, don’t forget to go back and remove
the original folder containing your old catalog. Having a good backup in place is good idea too
(which I’ll cover in a bit).

2. Know Where Your Photos are Located

It is equally important for all Lightroom users to know how to find exactly where a given folder
or photo resides on your drive from inside Lightroom. There are a few ways to identify where
your folders and photos exist on your drive. The easiest is the good old right-click contextual
menu. Go ahead and right-click any folder in the Folders panel and choose the Show in Finder
(WIN: Show in Explorer) menu. This will open your file browser right to that folder and show
you where it exists on your drive.

Similarly, you can right-click any photo and access that same Show in menu to take you right to
that photo in your file browser. You don’t have to go that far to find that information though. If
you just hover your cursor over a folder you should see its path revealed in a tooltip popup. So
take a moment to make sure you know exactly where all of your photos are located on your
drive.

If they’re not where you want them, then let’s look at how to move them.

3. Know How to Use Lightroom to Move Photos and Folders

Now that you know where your photos are located it is in your best interest to use Lightroom to
move them if you need to put them somewhere else (with one exception that I’ll cover in tip 5).
Moving photos between folders or moving entire folders is as easy as drag and drop. By using
Lightroom to do the moving it not only moves the photos to the new location, but it also keeps
the catalog up to date with where the photos can be found. You see, Lightroom stores the
complete path to each photo in the catalog, and if anything in that path changes outside of
Lightroom you end up with a situation where Lightroom tells you that your photos are offline or
missing (here’s a link to an article I wrote on how to reconnect missing
photos
). This is easily avoided by doing the moving inside of Lightroom.

So to move a group of photos (or even just a single photo) from one folder to another try this:

  1. In the Folders panel, select the folder containing the photos you want to move.
  2. Press G to jump to Grid view.
  3. Select the photo(s) you want to move, and drag/drop them on the folder you want
    them to be moved into. The destination folder will highlight in blue to signal it is the target of
    the drop.

Lightroom will then do the moving, and update the catalog accordingly. You do need to have a
destination folder already showing in the Folders panel to complete the move, so let’s look at
how to add a folder next.

4. Keep All Photo Folders Within a Single Parent Folder

I have found it incredibly useful to always keep all my photo folders within a single parent
folder on each drive I use to store photos. The reason is that it makes my life so much simpler if
I ever need to move the entire photo library on that drive, or if I need to reconnect the catalog
to the photo library in the case of a primary drive failure/loss.

In typical Lightroom fashion there are a couple of ways to create new folders. To start, you can
go to the Library menu and choose New Folder, or click the plus sign at the top of the Folders
panel and choose Add Folder to launch the Choose or Create New Folder dialog. From here you
can either choose an existing folder you may have created in your file browser or you can
create a brand-new folder. For example, let’s say I want to add a new drive to my catalog and
want to select/create a folder on it:

  1. Connect drive.
  2. Go to Library > New Folder, to open the dialog for finding and creating a new
    folder at the location of your choosing.
  3. Create a new folder or select an existing folder. In my case, I had previously created
    a folder on this drive in Finder.

Note, my screen capture shows the dialog on a Mac, but on Windows you’d get a
Windows dialog. This is one of the few visual differences in Lightroom due to the operating
systems.

That drive and folder will now appear in my Folders panel. I can drag and drop photos or folders
into that folder from anywhere else in my catalog.

Another common scenario is the need to create sub-folders within existing folders to help with
your organizational needs. This process works in a similar fashion, but you start by selecting the
parent folder you want to create the subfolder within.

  1. Select the folder you want to create the subfolder within.
  2. Right-click to open the contextual menu and choose Create Folder Inside
    “foldername.” This opens a smaller Create Folder dialog box where you can give the subfolder a
    name and click Create to complete the process. The subfolder will then appear in the Folders
    panel. These folders are ready for me to add photos, and even new folders as my organizational
    needs demand.

Now that I have a parent folder, and a subfolder within it, I can move folders from another
drive into this drive by dragging and dropping on my new folder.

5. Know How to Move Your Photo Library to a New Drive

This is useful if you are wanting to move your entire photo Library from an internal drive to an
external drive, or if you are running out of space on one drive and want to move to a new larger
drive. Now, you could use Lightroom to move the folders as I just did in the previous tip, but I
don’t recommend doing that when your entire library is at stake. Using a move command is
risky, because if anything goes wrong in the middle of the transfer you could lose data. I prefer
a technique that involves copying the folders to the new drive outside of Lightroom, updating
Lightroom to this change, and then later manually deleting the files from the original location.
Here’s how:

  1. Open Finder (WIN: Explorer).
  2. Copy the entire folder structure (as-is without changing the structure) to the other
    drive.
  3. Open Lightroom.
  4. Once the copy operation is complete, right-click/ctrl-click the top-most-level folder
    in the Folders panel and choose Update Folder Location.
  5. In the resulting dialog box, navigate to and select that same top-most-level folder in
    the new drive (the one you just copied over there).

Lightroom will update the catalog to point to the folder in the new location (and everything
inside of that folder). If you have all your folders/photos in a single parent folder then you are
done, but if there are additional folders at the same level as that top folder you just need to
repeat steps 4 and 5 with those folders. Give it a test run to make sure everything is as it should
be before removing the originals. Again, having a good backup in place before you do this is
always a good idea.

6. Know How to Back Up Your Catalog

On the subject of backing up, there is a lot to say about backup strategies in general, but in the
context of Lightroom catalogs I simply want to address the built-in functionality Lightroom
provides. On the Catalog Settings dialog (see first tip) there is a place at the bottom where you
can configure Lightroom to create a duplicate copy of the catalog at some interval of time. This
is a set-it-and-forget-it type of feature, and its sole purpose is to create an exact duplicate of
your working catalog file in a location of your choosing (no photos are included in this backup).

I will assume you already have some sort of full system backup running that regularly backs up
all your important files, and so you may wonder if you really need this option running too.
Based on the experience of helping people with Lightroom problems over the years I feel that it
is in your best interests to take advantage of this built-in functionality. Sure, it may be
redundant, but it is free, it is easy, and it may just one day make you weep with gratitude. I set
mine to run every time I quit Lightroom, which make Lightroom throw up this prompt every
time I exit.

It is only in this prompt that I can choose where I want my backup copy to be saved by clicking
the Choose button and selecting a location. I recommend that you choose a different drive than
the drive where your working catalog is stored. In my case, my laptop has a single internal
drive, so I direct the backup to be saved to my Dropbox folder, which is automatically synced
with the cloud and my other computers. I also take this opportunity to check the boxes for
testing integrity and optimizing the catalog. Now, just because it prompts me each time doesn’t
mean I backup every time. There is a Skip button that I use when I’m in a hurry and just want to
quit.

I try to create a backup at least once a week or after I’ve done a whole lot of work. Each time
this function runs it saves a copy of your catalog to the folder you chose. Lightroom does not
overwrite existing backup copies. As a result you end up with a folder of iterative copies of your
catalog. This can be very handy for recovering from self-inflicted problems or from the rare case
of catalog file corruption.

7. Know How to Restore From Your Backup

Since a backup copy of the catalog is an exact duplicate of your working catalog at the time the
backup was created all you must do to restore from the backup is the following:

  1. Close Lightroom (if open).
  2. Open the Lightroom folder containing your working catalog file in Finder/Windows
    Explorer.
  3. Move the “bad” catalog file out of that folder to another location for
    safekeeping.
  4. Move the latest/greatest “good” backup catalog copy into the Lightroom folder to
    replace the bad one. Starting with Lightroom 6/CC 2015 the backup copy is also compressed
    into a zip file to reduce file size (and keep people from accidentally opening a backup copy), so
    you may need to unzip the backup before you can move it into the Lightroom folder.
  5. Once placed in the Lightroom folder, double-click the catalog file to open it into
    Lightroom and take it for a test drive.

The backup copy of the catalog has the same name as your working catalog, so you should be
good to go. It will only contain all the work up until the moment you made that backup copy, so
backup frequently. If restoring from the backup solved your problem, don’t forget to delete the
“bad” catalog that you moved out earlier.

8. Mange those Backup Copies

The only downside to running the catalog backup function (aside from the time it takes to run)
is that Lightroom will keep putting new copies of the catalog into that folder until the drive is
full. The management of the backup folder falls on us. Since we only value the most recent
version(s) of the backup copies I periodically go into that folder and delete all but the most
recent 2 or 3. Note that Lightroom doesn’t backup the preview caches because those can
automatically be regenerated if lost. I’ve seen people regain hundreds of gigabytes of free
space after clearing out old backup copies.

9. Know How to Rename Your Catalog

I often hear from people who are using the most up to date version of Lightroom, but have a
catalog file named with an older version of Lightroom and it may also have some other
numbers in it, such as Lightroom 5 Catalog-2. They wonder if this is a problem, and they want to
know how to rename the catalog. First, it is not a problem at all. You can call your catalog file
anything you want to call it. Lightroom doesn’t care. However, if you want to rename it to
something that makes more sense to you, here’s how:

  1. With Lightroom closed, go to the folder where the catalog resides using your
    operating system’s file browser; Finder on Mac, and Windows Explorer on WIN.
  2. Using your file browser you can rename the catalog file, but keep the file extension
    the same (.LRCAT). Then rename the Preview cache and Smart Preview cache (if applicable) the
    same way, but retain the word Previews and Smart Previews in the name along with the
    original file extension.

So, for example if your catalog and preview cache was named:

Lightroom 5 Catalog-2.lrcat
Lightroom 5 Catalog-2 Previews.lrdata

And you wanted to change it to “Lightroom Catalog,” you would end up with:

Lightroom Catalog.lrcat
Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata

Once renamed, double-click the catalog file to open it into Lightroom. Now you can give it a
quick test drive to make sure all is well, and this writes the new catalog name into the
Lightroom preference file. Be sure to update your Default catalog setting to point to this
renamed catalog (see Tip 1).

10. Create a Custom Camera Raw Default

OK, all those tips were focused on library management, so let’s end on a Develop tip that could
speed up your workflow. Lightroom has a set of default processing settings that are applied to
all raw photos after import. Did you know that you can customize those settings to start your
raw photos down the processing pipeline using your preferred choices? I’m not talking about a
preset selected on the Import screen, but rather the built-in default settings. Save your import
presets for something creative, and customize the baseline settings.

Let’s go through the steps to customize the default settings to include two of the most common
adjustments people ask me about, lens corrections and camera profiles, but feel free to add any
other settings you want to customize your process (or not include these if you’d rather not).

  1. Select a raw photo that has not been processed at all beyond the default settings
    and press D to jump to Develop. Click the Reset button for good measure to ensure it has no
    other settings applied because every adjustment (even set to 0) is included in the default
    settings.
  2. Expand the Lens Corrections panel, click the Profile tab if not active already, and
    check Remove Chromatic Aberration and Enable Profile Corrections.

Note: Including profile corrections can be resource intensive, so exclude this from your
defaults if performance is degraded.

  1. Expand the Camera Calibration Panel, click the Profile drop-down menu and choose
    the camera profile you prefer to be the starting point.

Note: The list of camera profiles varies with the camera model used to create the selected
photo.

  1. Go to Develop > Set Default Settings to open the Set Default Develop Settings
    dialog box. Default settings are specific to each camera model, in this case a Nikon D610, so if
    you are using multiple camera models you will need to update the defaults for each model
    separately.

Tip: You can also hold the Option (WIN: Alt) key and watch the Reset button change to Set
Default and click that button to open the Set Default Develop Settings dialog box.

  1. Click Update to Current Settings to customize the default settings to include the
    changes you made.

Note: While it states the changes are not undoable, this just means that you can’t revert
back to the Adobe defaults via the Edit > Undo menu. You can always open this dialog box
and click Restore Adobe Default Settings if you want to go back to the original settings.

This will only affect raw photos from that specific camera model as they are imported in the
future, and if you hit the Reset button on a previously imported raw photo from that specific
camera model. You must repeat that process to set defaults for any other camera models you
are using. This does not change the settings on any previously imported photos.

I hope you’ve found some of those tips helpful. Please feel free to reach out to me with any
questions you may have, or come see me at Photoshop World, where I’ll be teaching, and
answering questions at the Expert Bar.

You can see more from Rob at photofocus.com and follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Aside from also being a KelbyOne Help Desk Specialist, and Adjunct Professor at NHTI, he is a founding member of Stocksy United (a stock photography co-op). Rob writes the “Under the Loupe” column for Lightroom User Magazine, and is the author of many photography related books. His latest book is Taming Your Photo Library with Lightroom.

The post It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Rob Sylvan! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Lightroom Mobile’s Awesome New In-Camera HDR

I love what Adobe has been doing with Lightroom Mobile, and the direction it’s been going, and their latest edition (in an update released late last week for iPhones and Android phones that can capture RAW images) adds an HDR shooting mode to their already robust in-app camera (you access the HDR feature from the pop-up menu in the app, as seen above). BTW: Professional mode allows you to control Aperture, ISO, and shutter speed among others.

Anyway, I did a field test shooting with HDR at Disney Springs, (a shopping and recreation area that’s part of Walt Disney World) and I’ll share my thoughts in the captions below.

1: Taken in “Automatic” (normal, non-HDR) mode. (note the super blown out windows). It looks pretty much like what you’d get with the iPhone’s regular built-in camera.

2: Here’s the new HDR version (un-edited). Now you can see detail out the windows. It takes three separate images (the normal exposure; one under-exposed and one that over-exposed) and merges them into a single image with the data from all three, and it uses the same technology that Lightroom on the desktop uses. The blue color here out the windows is a bit funky, but overall it’s a big improvement, and it doesn’t look too “HDR-y.”

3: Here’s the same HDR shot but I tweaked it in Lightroom Mobile, mostly by adding contrast, a little bit of clarity, and a -11 edge vignette. The blues in all these shots looks a bit “off” to me somehow (they look too cyan), but of course that’s something I could have probably fixed when I was editing the image in Lightroom Mobile.

Here’s another example:

1: Taken in “Automatic” (normal, non-HDR) mode. Notice the outside is pretty blown out (look out the door, and the windows directly above it, and the window panes up near the roof. Totally blown out).

2: Here’s the HDR version of the same shot. Now you can see what’s outside the door (it’s no longer blown out), and compare the window panes near the roof with the previous shot. It captured all that detail. All that being said — the image looks kinda flat and kinda HDR-y, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on how you feel about that look.

3: Here’s that same HDR photo with contrast added, a little bit of clarity, a slight edge vignette (-11), and a slightly warmer white balance. I think it makes the HDR image look less “HDR-ie.”

One last one:

1: Taken in “Automatic” (normal, non-HDR) mode. Blown out, outside.

2: Here’s the HDR version of the same shot. Now you can see what’s outside the door (it’s no longer blown out).

3: Here’s the HDR shot tweaked in Lightroom Mobile, in the same way, but making the white balance warmer. The look outside in the HDR version, and this one, aren’t awesome, but still an improvement over the straight non-HDR shot.

An added benefit: Lower noise (big time!)
Because of the wider dynamic range of these combined HDR images, if you have to open up any shadow areas, the noise is dramatically lower than it would be using the regular camera without the HDR, and that’s a big win. In fact, the difference is pretty startling (like it is on the Desktop version of Lightroom as well).

One downside…
Lightroom Mobile is doing quite a bit of processing and de-ghosting in the background to make this all happen, so it takes a while for the image to appear in Lightroom (it’s processing in the background). I imagine over time, it’ll get faster (in later updates of LR Mobile), but for now, there’s a very noticeable lag (seconds) between when you take the HDR image and when you can actually see it.

Hope you found that helpful (and thanks for being patient while I was out launching my new Lightroom seminar tour).

Have a great Tuesday, and we’ll catch you tomorrow (when we’ll be back with Benjamin Warde’s “Lightroom Coffee Break”).

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Only 4-days left to save $100 on a Photoshop World 2017 Conference Pass using the early bird sign-up special. The conference is next month in Orlando, Florida (April 20-22, 1017). Tickets and more details here. 

 

The post Lightroom Mobile’s Awesome New In-Camera HDR appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

Portrait Retouching Tip of the Day

The tip is simple. Don’t do what you see above. Don’t go too far.

When people submit images for blind critiques on “The Grid” and we say “That’s some bad retouching…” it’s not that they don’t know the Photoshop techniques, or don’t understand how to retouch a photo — it’s that they always take it too far. Their eyes are “too white” – the skin is like plastic (see above) with no visible pores – everything is just simply too much.

If you want to have better, more realistic-looking retouches, you don’t need to learn some fancy new technique. You just need to do “less” of the ones you already know. If you’re fairly new to retouching, and you think you’ve got it looking about right, go and back off everything by about 35% and you should be “there.”

Hope you find that helpful. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Only 4-days left to save $100 on a Photoshop World 2017 Conference Pass using the early bird sign-up special. The conference is next month in Orlando, Florida (April 20-22, 1017). Tickets and more details here. 

The post Portrait Retouching Tip of the Day appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Only 5-Days Left to Save $100 on Photoshop World 2017 Tickets

Pack your bags – we’re going to Orlando (but you might as well save $100 by getting your tickets before this Friday, when the early-bird discount expires).

But before you do anything, watch this video (below), and then we’ll talk after (it’s 30-seconds – you’ll dig it).

OK, thanks for stayin’ with me. OK, here’s the deal:

It’s regularly $799 for a full conference pass BUT if you register by this Friday (the 17h), it’s only…

$699…BUT….

If you’re a KelbyOne member, you save another $100, so it’s only…

$599. Legit.

OK, call your friends – get a group together – pack your bags, and I’ll see you in Orlando, April 20-22, 2017. It’s going to be (wait for it…wait for it…) legendary (bet you thought I was going to say epic).

Have a great Monday everybody. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. You can still get special discount room rates at the Hyatt. our official host hotel for the conference (it’s right next to the convention center). 

 

The post Only 5-Days Left to Save $100 on Photoshop World 2017 Tickets appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.

Beginner’s Tip: How to Import to an External Hard Drive

Mornin’ everybody, and greetings from a chilly Philadelphia (where it’s 23° and raining. Brrrrr!). I’m here for the 2nd stop on my nationwide “Lightroom On Tour” full-day seminar. Sorry I missed blogging on Friday — I was in a less cold (but snowy) Boston for the first stop on my Lightroom and had my hands full prepping to launch the new tour.

BTW: Thanks to the 360+ photographers who came out to spend the day with me there — such a fun, gracious, totally “into it” crowd to present to (here’s a shot below from Friday).

One question that came up more than once on Friday was “How do I import directly to an external hard drive, in Lightroom’s Import Window?” so I thought I’d tackle that here this morning.

STEP ONE: In the Import window, up in the right hand corner by default it’s going to choose the location on your computer where you normally store your photos, as seen here where you can see it wants to import the photos to my computer’s Hard Drive. But, did you notice that when you move your cursor over that area (like I did here), it highlights in light gray? It does that to let you know this is a clickable link.

STEP TWO: Click anywhere in that highlighted area and a pop-up menu appear (seen here) and to choose an external hard drive, click on “Other Destination…” as shown. This brings up a regular “Open” window where you can navigate not only to your external drive, but to any particular folder on that drive.

STEP THREE: Choose your external drive (and folder) where you now what your images to be imported into, and you’re all set (as seen here, where the “TO” destination for my images is how my External Hard Drive.

Hope you found that helpful.

THIS FRIDAY IS…
…the deadline to save $100 using the “Early Bird Discount” on the Photoshop World Conference 2017 coming up at the end of next month in Orlando — make sure you sign up now (hey, a-hundred bucks is a a-ahundred bucks, right!). Right here for details and tickets. 

Looking forward to meeting a whole bunch of photographers here in Philly today. Maybe I’ll get a cheesesteak from Steve’s for lunch!! Mmmmmm. Cheesesteak! 🙂

Have a good one!

-Scott

P.S. My next Lightroom Seminars stops are Chicago and the Detroit next month. 

The post Beginner’s Tip: How to Import to an External Hard Drive appeared first on Lightroom Killer Tips.

The Dangers of Synchronize Folder

“Synchronize Folder.” Sounds safe enough, doesn’t it. And it IS safe enough… as long as you read and understand the dialog. But how many of us hit OK on dialogs without first stopping to read them? I’ll admit, I’ve done it too. If you do that with the Synchronize Folder dialog, you can get into all sorts of trouble, so let’s take the time to read it properly…

The main purpose of Library menu > Synchronize Folder (also found in the folders right-click menu) is to update Lightroom’s catalog with changes made to the selected folder by other programs, for example, adding or deleting photos or updating the metadata.

  • Import new photos searches the folder and subfolders for any new photos not currently in this catalog and imports them.
  • Show import dialog before importing displays the photos in the Import dialog, to allow you to view the new photos and adjust the import options prior to import.
  • Remove missing photos from the catalog checks for photos that have been moved, renamed or deleted from the folder and removes the missing photos from the catalog. If in doubt, leave this option unchecked, as you’ll lose all of the work you’ve done to the missing photos.
  • Scan for metadata updates checks the metadata in the catalog against the file, to see whether you’ve edited the metadata in any other programs, such as Adobe Bridge. (For a complete discussion of XMP metadata, see pages 128-129 and pages 343-346 in my Lightroom CC/6 book.)
  • The Show Missing Photos button searches for photos missing from the folder and creates a temporary collection in the Catalog panel. You can then decide whether to track them down and relink them, or whether to remove these photos from the catalog.

But stop! Before you press the Synchronize button, stop and think. If Remove missing photos from the catalog has a number next to it and you synchronize that folder, you may lose the work you’ve done in Lightroom. It doesn’t intelligently relink missing files. Instead, you need to cancel out of the Synchronize Folder dialog and manually relink the missing files.

Synchronize Folder is also the wrong tool to use when moving photos to a new hard drive, or moving to entirely new computer.

So when is it useful? If you’ve dropped photos into a folder using other software (including Windows Explorer/Finder), or you’ve edited a photo in an external editor (e.g. Photoshop or OnOne) and it hasn’t been automatically added to the catalog, then Synchronize Folder saves you navigating to the folder in the Import dialog.

Next time you need to use Synchronize Folder, don’t forget to stop and read the options carefully before pressing OK.

The post The Dangers of Synchronize Folder appeared first on The Lightroom Queen.

It’s New Class Thursday!

The 20 Time-Proven Rules of Composition with Rick Sammon
Don’t just take pictures, make pictures! Join Rick Sammon as he dives deep into his 20 time proven rules of composition. It’s up to you to tell your story with creative composition, and in this class Rick provides you with new ways of seeing when you are holding your camera in hand. Whether you call them rules or recommended guidelines, Rick shares over 250 visual examples to help you understand how to use these tools to make great shots instead of snapshots. In the end you’ll be a better photographer for not only knowing the rules, but knowing when to break them, and have fun while doing it.

In Case You Missed It
Composition – What is it? Learn to compose technically and emotionally with renowned photographer Rick Sammon. Take a trip around the world to explore what works and what doesn’t. From leading lines and rules of thirds, to patterns, contrast and viewpoint, you’ll learn the rules before you break them with amazing tips, tricks and techniques for composing photos that tell stories with feeling!

The post It’s New Class Thursday! appeared first on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider.