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

Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Putting One Lightroom or Camera Raw Spot Removal Fix On Top of Another

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2011 at 10:30 am

(If you are reading this from the blog home page, click on the post title to view the post larger.)

Sometimes I find that for cloning or healing I need to put one spot removal fix right on top of another.  If you have used this tool, you know that this isn’t directly possible — putting the cursor over an existing circle just gives you the hand tool to move that circle.   It finally occurred to me how this can be done… maybe I am the last person to figure this out, but I thought I’d share it.  I will demonstrate it using Lightroom, but it works the same way in Camera Raw.

I am working to remove the cars from behind this girl’s head:

I start with one big circle, adding plants from the right side of the image.  However, I don’t like that rectangular black hole with the strip through it at 5 o’clock just up from the bottom yellow flower.

If I put my mouse over that object to apply another circle, all I get is the hand tool to move the existing circle.  So here’s the solution:  I put a circle of the size I want anywhere I can:

Then I move it where I want it — in this case right on top of the big one!  I drag the fix circle (the right one in this case, dragging from inside the circle, not the edge of the circle) over my problem, and the source circle down into the plants to the right of her head:

That’s it  — just put it anywhere that works, and then drag it to where you want it!

Here’s the almost-finished result.  It needs a tiny bit more finessing, but I think if you didn’t know I had done it, you’d never see it (and you would be focused on the girl anyway.)

There is one complication to this technique:  Let’s say you come back later and you want to work on the inner fix.  The problem is, if you click anywhere in the outer circle, you are moving or working on that outer circle.  The only way to work on the inner one is to temporarily move the outer one out of the way.  

Here’s hoping that Lightroom 4 allows a more direct application of one circle on top of another, but in the meantime, this is better than nothing!

To learn much more about the spot removal tool, here is a link to a video I did back in 2008 (my first video, so the volume is pretty low).  Of course there is a newer video on my new Lightroom traning DVD —  Click here to find out more.


Avoiding Lightroom-Generated Headaches and Heart Attacks

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I get emails from around the world  from people in panic-mode over Lightroom-related issues.  Some of these can be easily cured, but sadly, some are fatal.    I do consulting in-person and over the web and phone/Skype, so you can always contact me to help you work through your issues (sorry, yes, that was a blatant plug), but I thought I would recommend some preventative medicine first.  It is a chance for me to pull together some older posts that you might not otherwise come across.

Once you understand how Lightroom works you may think some of these are silly, but they are real misconceptions, and many real tears have been shed.  It is understandable, given that Lightroom works differently from other photo programs people have used.

1.  Your images don’t live in Lightroom, so please don’t think that just because you can “see” them there, that it is ok to go delete the originals from your hard drive.   What you see in Lightroom is Lightroom’s catalog.  It only has information about your images, including some jpeg snapshots of  them.   If the card catalog in the library had a snapshot of  a book’s front cover, does that mean that you could go throw away the physical book that is in the stacks?

In this blog post that I highly recommend you read, I talk more about the catalog concept using the public library analogy.

After reading the post, you now know that your images aren’t in Lightroom, they are in folders on your hard drive, but are you going crazy trying to figure out exactly where on your hard drive the new ones from your memory card imports are?    This is most likely because Lightroom’s Folders panel isn’t going to tell you unless you ask it to — and I think you should.  Here’s a post on this.

2.  Lightroom’s catalog contains all the work you have ever done to every single one of your images.   This means keywords you have assigned, star ratings, color labels, other metadata, all your develop work, collections you have built, virtual copies you have created, etc…    If the catalog becomes corrupt or your hard drive crashes, you have lost all this work.  Given this, it just might be a good idea to back up the catalog regularly (every day you do significant work, in my opinion).

3.  Because your images don’t live in the catalog, backing up the catalog using the prompt that comes up when you close Lightroom (or open, in Lightroom 2)  does not  back up your images.   Lightroom does not back up your image files — you have to do this outside of Lightroom.  Not doing so is a  mistake of the fatal variety.

4.  Backing up your catalog and your images  using Time Machine, Windows 7 Backup, or any other process will back up both your images and catalog, so this is critical to address the above two bullets.  However, it is not sufficient!!    If the catalog became corrupted right before you did that backup, all you have on your backup hard drive is a corrupted catalog.  You also need more catalog backups accumulated over time, so that you can get back to one before your corruption issue occurred.  This is what the Lightroom backup prompt is for.

Here’s my post on backing up everything.

5.  If you have moved your Lightroom catalog to an external hard drive, make sure you close Lightroom before disconnecting the drive.  Disconnecting it while Lightroom is open and writing to the catalog is a sure-fire way to eventually corrupting your catalog.

6.  Use Lightroom to move, rename and delete files and folders, not  Finder on the Mac or Windows Explorer/My Computer on the PC.   Otherwise Lightroom will become  upset with you and put question marks all over everything, and as in a typical relationship, you will then become even more upset back at Lightroom.  Here’s my post on avoiding and fixing this.

There are many other things that can happen that may seem panic-worthy or are frustrating, but I believe I have covered the ones that really are the most serious.

Of course you can learn about these topics in depth, and much, much more on my new Lightroom DVD — over 6 1/2 hours of training on 36 videos for both beginning and intermediate Lightroom users.  Do check it out HERE.


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Using the HSL Panel to Work On Individual Colors

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm

The HSL panel allows you to affect individual colors in your image.  HSL stands for Hue, Saturation, and Luminance.


You can use Hue to shift a color towards another color, for example,  blue to purple or green.  (Yes, you too can have purple skies!)  Saturation is the intensity of color, so you can make your blues, for example, more rich or more faded out.  Finally, Luminance is brightness.  Use it to brighten or darken a particular color.   

The HSL panel is one of my favorites, as I can often use it to make local changes to my images without going to the trouble of painting with the adjustment brush.  For example, if I want to darken and saturate a sky more, as long as the sky is the only blue in the image, I can accomplish it very quickly with HSL. 

I recently released a series of videos, “Lightroom Fundamentals: Workshop on DVD”.  It consists of over 6 1/2 hours of training on 36 videos.   You can watch my video on  using the HSL panel here.   (You can also watch my video on the adjustment brush here.)  For the other 34 videos, you’ll have to buy the DVD!    Click here for more information on the DVD.

Lightroom Fundamentals: Workshop on DVD Now Available!

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm

I am pleased to announce that my new Lightroom 3 video series is now available.   If you are seeking to learn Lightroom for the first time, fill in gaps in your knowledge, or simply use the program more efficiently, this video series is meant for you.  It:

  • Contains over 6 and 1/2 hours of training on 36 videos
  • Is for both beginning and intermediate Lightroom users
  • Covers everything I cover in my two day in-person Lightroom Fundamentals workshop, and more!
  • Is currently available for $49.95/Download and $56.95/DVD

Understand how Lightroom works conceptually, and then learn to master the Library and Develop modules for importing, organizing and enhancing your images.  

International orders accepted.

 Click here to find out more

Click here to buy now

Most common question: Is this series applicable to Lightroom 2 as well? Yes — while the series was recorded using Lightroom 3, for the most part Lightroom 3 adds additional features, but otherwise looks and acts the same as Lightroom 2. The Import dialog does have a different layout — but the same basic functionality, so even the Import video is worth watching.

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