Laura Shoe's Lightroom (and Occasionally Photoshop) Blog for Digital Photographers

Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

Video about Adding Borders and Watermarks with LR2/Mogrify

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2009 at 8:25 pm

I had planned to write more about Timothy Armes’ great plug-in LR2/Mogrify, which among other things allows you to add fairly sophisticated borders and watermarks to your images when you export them.  However, today I noticed that my very talented colleague David Marx has posted a video about this on  Do check it out!  You can download the plug-in here.  Read the Quickguide for more instructions and examples.


Seattle Area Lightroom Demonstration September 10

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2009 at 9:43 pm

I will be doing another of my popular two hour Lightroom demonstrations on September 10 at 6:30 pm at Shoreline College.  Click here for more information.  Email me at to RSVP — I’d love to see you there!

Plug-Ins Galore!

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Last week I wrote about Jeffrey Friedl’s plug-in that allows you to export images directly to Facebook.  There are lots of other great third-party plug-ins out there.  But how can one find out about them?

Easy, of course, or I wouldn’t be writing about it!   In the Library module of Lightroom, click on the Export button (bottom left), then Plug In Manager (bottom left), and then Plug-in exchange.  This takes you out to the Adobe web site, where you can browse and download plug-ins.  You can choose to look at most popular, highest rated, featured, or all, and browse by category — Develop presets, Export plug-ins, Web galleries, and Other.   You can also filter by whether they are shareware, donationware, commercial, etc.   Adobe makes it all very easy for us — because these plug-ins increase the power of their product — a good deal all around.   Just remember, it is third party software, and is therefore  not guaranteed by Adobe.

Among other things, you’ll find plug-ins for exporting to places like Flickr, gmail, Smugmug, Photobucket,  for creating borders and watermarks (check out LR2/Mogrify), for managing metadata, creating more sophisticated slideshows and web galleries, and for launching images into programs like Photomatix.  You will also find all kinds of Develop presets for creating different looks for your photos.

Explore and enjoy!

Post Revisited: About Your Images and the Lightroom Catalog

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm

I often look to see how readers get to my blog, and I have noticed that one post  in particular that I wrote about understanding the Lightroom catalog often gets referred to on digital forums.  Thank you to everyone who links to it.  For those who haven’t read it, I thought I would call your attention to it:  click here to read.

Moving Through Your Image in Lightroom While Zoomed In — Page Down

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2009 at 10:07 am

If you plan to print your image, I recommend that you do all of your clean up work zoomed into 1:1.   You should also review all of your local adjustments at this zoom ratio to make sure that your edges aren’t obvious.    Here’s an easy way to move through your image while you are zoomed in so that you don’t miss any of it:

–  Zoom into 1:1  (by clicking on 1:1 in the navigator panel or Ctl/Cmd + twice)

– Press  the Home button on your keyboard to move to the top left corner of your image.

– Hit Page Down on your keyboard to move through the image one frame at a time.   The first time you do this, watch in the Navigator panel how the rectangle (viewing area) moves:  first down, and then to the right from the top down again.  Page Up takes you in the opposite direction.  End takes you to the bottom left corner.

The Perfect Exposure, or When Good Things Don’t Look So Good

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2009 at 11:28 pm

I wrote about the importance of exposing as brightly as possible, short of blowing out important highlights in my post “What Lurks in the Shadows: The Case of the Black Cat“.    I encourage you to read it if you haven’t.

I thought I would show you an example of a perfect exposure that in fact looks terrible in-camera.

Here is a photograph I took on the Oregon Coast:

The Beach -- As Shot

The Beach -- As Shot

And here is the histogram:

A Perfect Exposure

A Perfect Exposure

I nailed the exposure on this one — the histogram is as far to the right as possible without anything being blown out.  But on the back of the camera the shot looks terrible!

Of course I didn’t worry, because I knew that I captured very high quality information in that right side of the histogram, and I can add lots of contrast and darken the image without worrying about noise and other data issues.  Simply spending 30 seconds on the image in Lightroom, bringing the blacks slider to the right, adding a ton of contrast and reducing brightness gave me this:

The Beach After a Few Adjustments

The Beach After a Few Adjustments

Histogram after Processing

Histogram after Processing

The bottom line:  if you try to darken something that is too bright, you will find that the image holds up quite well.  If instead you try to brighten something that you have underexposed, you will find that noise that lurks in the shadows, as I show in my Cat post.

Do try this at home!

Post photos from Lightroom directly onto Facebook

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2009 at 8:30 pm

If you’re like me, you weren’t one of Facebook’s early adopters.  But you dipped your toe into the water, ended up with lots of friends that you enjoy being connected with, and now Facebook  is part of your daily routine and you can’t imagine life without it.  Actually, come to think of it,  my experience with Lightroom was quite similar.

Anyway, if you share photos on Facebook, you can easily upload them into the album of your choice directly from Lightroom, using Jeffrey Friedl’s export plugin.  Unfortunately (and this is a big caveat), due to limitations on the Facebook side, you can’t upload to your business/fan page,  only to your personal page.

You will find information and the download on his blog here.  The download and installation instructions are on the righthand side.  Jeffrey is providing this as donationware.  As he says, “t is provide for free and is fully functional for the first six weeks, after which it becomes limited to processing at most 10 photos at a time until registered. Registration costs 1 cent; any additional donation you’d like to make in encouragement or thanks is up to you.”   I think you will find that it is worth a donation.

UPDATE 9/2010:  This post was written while Lightroom 2 was the latest.  Lightroom 3 is now out, and one can post directly to Facebook from the Publish Services panel in the Library module of Lightroom, without a 3rd party plugin.  However, Jeffrey Friedl’s plugin does still have more features.