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

Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Some Cool Composites

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I post this link particularly for RMSP students who took my compositing classes this summer.  Enjoy!



More LR3 Beta Information

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2009 at 10:53 am

Here’s a link to a write up by Victoria Bampton on what’s new in the LR3 beta.  Keep in mind that this is a very early beta — some of the new features will disappear, others will be added, and you will encounter bugs (particularly known are render preview issues).   At the bottom of Victoria’s post are links to many other blogs with articles on LR3.

Lightroom 3 Beta Now Available

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2009 at 12:51 am

Lightroom 3 won’t officially be released until 2010, but tonight Adobe Labs announced the release of its first public beta.  If you want to try it out, kick the tires, and join in providing feedback to Adobe on LR3, click here to go to Adobe Labs and download the software.

Is it all we need in LR?  No (for one thing, we absolutely need soft proofing.)  Is it a step in the right direction?  Yes.  There are feature enhancements, but importantly, Adobe has focused on improving performance by rebuilding the LR architecture.  Adobe recognizes that we are building very large catalogs of images, and that we need LR to handle them quickly and efficiently.

Here are some of the feature enhancements Adobe Labs lists:

  • State-of-the-art noise reduction to help you perfect your high ISO shots
  • Watermarking tool that helps you customize and protect your images with ease
  • Portable sharable slideshows with audio—designed to give you more flexibility and impact on how you choose to share your images, you can now save and export your slideshows as videos and include audio
  • Flexible customizable print package creation so your print package layouts are all your own
  • Film grain simulation tool for enhancing your images to look as gritty as you want
  • New import handling designed to make importing streamlined and easy
  • More flexible online publishing options so you can post your images online to certain online photo sharing sites directly from inside Lightroom 3 beta (may require third-party plug-ins)*

There are links on the Labs site to videos introducing the new beta features.

In addition, there are alot of little improvements throughout the program.  For example, when using the adjustment brush, you can double-click on the word “Effects” to reset all settings, and on the word Color to reset the color swatch to none.  Look for these improvements everywhere!

I’ll be curious to hear your experiences with performance… is it better?  Much better?

Once you try LR3, you can provide feedback to Adobe in the LR3 forum.   Remember, this is a beta release, so expect bugs and help Adobe out by reporting these bugs.


Adobe Labs Announces Content-Aware Healing and Fill

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Want to remove telephone lines, whole buildings, or other objects from your photos?  Adobe posted a video on Facebook today from Adobe Labs, demonstrating technology that they are working on for a future release of Photoshop.  CS5 perhaps?

Click here to go to video.  Be sure to watch all the examples — it just keeps getting better!

When Words Fail Us

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2009 at 1:10 am

As you may have guessed, I love Lightroom.  Its design is efficient and elegant, and the library/catalog model really works.   However, in my humble opinion as an instructor who sees students struggle time after time, what doesn’t work is the language around this model.  Specifically, what doesn’t work is the idea that you “Import” images into Lightroom, and “Export” them when you are ready to share them.  As an experienced user, I realize that we are really importing image information into the LR catalog rather than importing images into LR, but this is not how many users interpret the process.

My Honda was made in Japan and imported into the U.S..  When this happened, it physically left Japan and entered the U.S..   Similarly, when we export Chrystlers to China (do we?), they physically leave the U.S.  and enter China.

However, when you import images into Lightroom, you are not moving your images into Lightroom.  (See my post The Library Analogy for how it actually does work.)  This trips up so many users — it is not uncommon for newer users to import their images into LR, and then delete them from their hard drives — and then they wonder why they have question marks all over their folders and images.   Users also often think that because they back up their LR catalog when prompted, and their images are in the catalog, that no further backup of their images is needed.  Of course when their hard drive containing their images fails, they realize otherwise. 

From what I have seen, users who are not very computer saavy really struggle with this, and plenty actually give up.  Does it matter?  It depends on how broad of a market Adobe wants to appeal to with Lightroom.  Certainly the fact that newbie users struggle creates teaching and income opportunities for me, but I would love to see more people be able to get further with LR on their own. 

The solution isn’t a revamp of LR — the solution in my opinion is a revamp of the language, or packaging.  We need another word for Import, that does not imply that the images are moved, but rather that an entry for the image is created in the central catalog.  What would that word be?  I’m not sure.  I think an “Add to Catalog” button would be less misleading  than an “Import” button.    Do you have any better ideas?

What If Your Computer Doesn’t Turn On Tomorrow?

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2009 at 12:46 am

Could you keep working?  If the hard drive was fried, would you lose everything?

This happened to me yesterday morning.  I don’t know what the problem is yet — I dropped the tower  off today at a repair shop.  In the meantime, I’m not in too bad a shape — for the most part I work off an external hard drive (actually a drobo).  It has my images, and both professional and personal documents.  I also have another backup offsite. 

Unfortunately I had been meaning to transfer my latest working documents from my messy desktop to the external drive, but hadn’t gotten around to it.  They may not be lost, but that teaches me to keep that desktop clean, or specifically backed up.

Here’s the one thing that I really goofed on — a few months ago I went through all my CD’s and got rid of old software.  Because I had bought the Office 2007 upgrade, I got rid of Office 2003.   Now I need Office on my laptop, but I can’t install the 2007 upgrade, because I have to have 2003 installed first!  Ouch. 

So learn from my experiences, before it happens to you!  Backup completely and often, and don’t get rid of software that you have recently purchased the upgrades for!

Looking for Ideas from You!

In Uncategorized on October 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I enjoy writing for this blog, but sometimes I temporarily run out of ideas for posts.  I’d love to hear some ideas from you!  Post them as a comment to this post.

Thanks in advance!

Exporting Images to CD/DVD

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2009 at 10:47 am

Hint:  click on the title of this post above to see the post larger!

You can export images directly to CD or DVD using Lightroom.  The feature is a little bit hidden:

  • In the Library module, select your images to export.
  • Click on the Export button
  • At the top, you see the following:
The Default: Export to Disk

The Default: Export to Disk

  • Click on the drop down arrow next to Files on Disk, and change it to Files on CD/DVD.
Export to CD/DVD

Export to CD/DVD

  • If you want to keep a copy of the exported files on your hard drive, select and specify a specific folder or the same folder as the original photo.  Otherwise if you want them to only go to the CD/DVD, choose Temporary Folder.

Lightroom will write the exported files to the permanent or temporary folder, and then launch and run the CD/DVD burning process.  If your images don’t fit on one disk, you will be prompted to put in additional disks.

Unfortunately this process doesn’t work with the 64 bit version of Windows — the 3rd party burning software the Adobe is using doesn’t support it.  In this case, choose Files On Disk, write to a folder, and then launch your CD/DVD burning software and specify this folder to burn.