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

Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Until Early October

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2009 at 10:10 pm

I’m headed out this weekend for Missoula, Montana, where I’ll be teaching  creative techniques and compositing in Photoshop at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography.  While it is possible that I will post while I am out there, it is unlikely — so plan to check back the first week of October for new material.  In the meantime, as always, check out my blog archives, and if you are in the north,  get out and photograph the fall color!


Lightroom Workshop Coming Up Soon — October 10-11!

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2009 at 12:04 am

I still have a few spots available in my Lightroom Fundamentals Part One workshop in Seattle on October 10-11.  New to Lightroom, ready to dive in and learn it well?  Already been using Lightroom for quite a while but looking to fill in the gaps in your knowledge?  If so, this workshop could be for you:

Lightroom Fundamentals: Making Your Work Flow — PART ONE

Lightroom is Adobe’s image management and enhancement program designed specifically for photographers. With the inclusion in version 2 of the ability to make local image enhancements, Lightroom has become a powerful program which can dramatically increase the efficiency of your workflow. In this two day Part One workshop, learn the fundamentals, concentrating on the Library and Develop modules where you manage, edit and enhance your images. With hands-on practice with my images and yours, discover how to optimize images and work through large shoots efficiently with collections, presets, and synchronized settings. Discuss where Photoshop may still fit in your workflow, and learn how to move between Lightroom and Photoshop. No prior experience with Lightroom is necessary; laptop computer required; limited to 12 students.

Seattle, Washington
Oct 10-11, 9 am – 5 pm, $285

Lightroom Fundamentals: Making Your Work Flow — PART TWO

In this two day Part Two workshop, explore advanced editing, searching and keyword management techniques in the Library module. Learn more about adjustments in the Develop module, and dive into the Slide Show, Web and Print modules. Achieve quality prints through Lightroom, learning how to print efficiently by fully leveraging the power of templates. Color management will be discussed in terms of color spaces, monitor calibration and printing. Finally, learn how to incorporate Photoshop actions and third party plug-ins into your Lightroom workflow. Laptop computer required; limited to 12 students.

Seattle, Washington
November 7-8, 9 am – 5 pm, $285

A $40 discount is available to those who register for Part Two by the end of Part One.

Both will be held at the Hampton Inn near Seattle Center.  Click here for more details. Email me or call to sign up, or with questions:, 206-940-7145.

Lightroom 2.5 and Camera Raw 5.5 Are Now Available

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2009 at 12:12 am

If you are not prompted to update when you open LR and Bridge/Photoshop, in these programs go up to Help>Check for Updates.  Downlaod the .exe (PC) or .dmg (Mac) file to your desktop, then double-click to launch the installation.  When it is done, you can throw away the Adobe folder the install process placed on your desktop.    If you use LR and PS, be sure to update ACR as well — when you take a file from LR to PS, ACR is used to render the file.

It looks like a minor release to me (unless of course you own one of these new cameras and have been waiting to be able to process your raw files!)   According to Tom Hogarty, product manager at Adobe,the updates include the following:

Camera support for the following models:

  • Nikon D300s
  • Nikon D3000
  • Olympus E-P1
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ35**
  • Panasonic DMC-GF1

**Note that in Europe and Japan this model is marketed as the DMC-FZ38. Unfortunately, due to a metadata difference between these cameras, files from the DMC-FZ38 will *not* be supported until the next Camera Raw and Lightroom updates.

Release Notes:

  • Camera Raw 5.5 and Lightroom 2.5 include a correction to the demosaic algorithms for Bayer sensor cameras with unequal green response. Olympus, Panasonic and Sony are among the more popular camera manufacturers affected by this change. But the demosaic correction provides only a subtle visual improvement to the processing of those raw files.
  • Lightroom 2.5 corrects for the following problem in Lightroom 2.4. Lightroom 2.4 on Windows continued to display the import dialog when a memory card was detected regardless of the preference setting “Show import dialog when a memory card is detected.”

Cropping with a Fixed Aspect Ratio

In Uncategorized on September 11, 2009 at 10:28 pm

In Lightroom you can restrict your crops to be a specific aspect ratio, such as 5×7, 8×10, or the same aspect ratio as your original.  To do so, select the crop tool from the toolbar (R), click on the double up/down arrow next to the padlock to reveal the aspect menu, and choose your desired proportions.  If what you want isn’t listed, choose Enter Custom…, and specify.  Selecting “Original” will constrain any crop you do to the same proportions as the original.

Cropping Proportionally

Now you can drag inward the edges or corners of the crop frame to adjust your crop.  To move your crop, click in the center of the crop frame and drag the image to reposition within the frame.

Let’s say you have a horizontal image, and you want 4×5 proportions … but you want a vertical crop (5×4).   The method of dragging in from the edges of the image doesn’t allow you to switch from horizontal to vertical.  You could create a custom setting 5×4.  But there is an easier way:  click on the crop frame tool, click in your image and drag to draw out a vertical frame.  Then fine tune the size by dragging the edges and repositioning as necessary.

To go back to unrestricted cropping, click on the padlock to unlock it.

Note that cropping this way doesn’t determine how big your image will be, just the proportion of width to height.  How big it is will be determined by what size you set in the Export or Print Dialog.

To go back to unrestricted cropping, click on the padlock to unlock it.

Thanks to a student from Thursday night for suggesting this topic!

Check Out the Archives

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2009 at 10:55 pm

These days I try to post regularly, but I gave up long ago on the idea of posting daily.  If you check in on a day when I don’t have a new post for you, take the opportunity to go back through the archives — if you haven’t been following my blog for all of the past 10 months, you may have missed some tips and tutorials that would be useful to you.

Scroll down this page to the archive section.  Once you enter the archives and click on an article title, you can just hit the backward or forward button below the article to continue through the archives.

I hope you find something worthwhile!

What You See Is Not What You Get? Time to Learn to Calibrate Your Monitor

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2009 at 3:02 am

When you print images  yourself or send them out to a printing service, do your prints look like what you see on your monitor?  If not, there may be many reasons for this, but the first to consider is that your monitor is very possibly  off in terms of color, brightness and contrast.   If, for example, your monitor is too bright, then your prints will come out darker than you expect.  If your monitor is too blue, your prints will look too yellow (the opposite of blue).    The solution is to calibrate and profile your monitor on a regular basis, using what is called a colorimeter.  I recommend the Eye One Display 2, though I am sure there are other good ones out there as well.  The Eye One is $200, but it is money well spent if you are a serious amateur or professional and want consistently accurate output.

Rather than explain how to do this process, I will point you to another good set of videos by David Marx.  Watch the first video for non-Apple monitors, and the second for Apples, including their laptops.


PS:  Other reasons for prints you do yourself  being off include (but are not limited to) not using a good quality printer/paper profile, viewing the print under a light with a color cast (like a fluorescent light with a green cast) or under an insufficiently bright light, forgetting to turn color management off in the printer driver, and clogged ink nozzles.

Adjustment Brush Finesse

In Uncategorized on September 3, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Did you know that the adjustment brush allows you to slowly build up the amount of change you apply to an image, and also slowly back off on a change you made? The secret is in the Flow and Density sliders. Density controls how much of the specified adjustment can be applied in total, and Flow controls how many brush strokes it takes on the area to reach the full effect.

Let’s say that your goal is to brighten various parts of your image. You set the Exposure slider to +1.5 stops because you expect that this is the maximum brightening you would need to apply. Setting Density at 100% will allow you to apply the full 1.5 stop effect. If you set Flow at 20%, every brush stroke you make on an area will apply 20% of that 1.5 stops. Brush once on areas where you need just a little brightening; brush over areas twice or more –up to five times — where you need more brightening.

Now let’s say that there is an area that you brightened too much, and now you want to back off on the strength. To do so, reduce the density and paint over the area again — reducing it to 80% and painting again will give you just 80% of the effect. Painting with a density of 0% removes the effect entirely, and is therefore just like using the Eraser brush. (If it is an area that is difficult to precisely paint over again, you may find that it is easier to use the eraser brush first to remove the effect entirely and then start over again with applying the effect with flow reduced.)

There is no substitute for experimenting — everything you do in Lightroom can be undone! Play with the adjustment brush at different flow and density settings to understand what they do, and then hit the delete/backspace key on your keyboard to delete your current adjustment, or hit the Reset button just below the density slider to undo all your adjustment brush changes.

Adjustment Brush Flow and Density

Adjustment Brush Flow and Density