Category Archives Lightroom

transform1

Hi Gang. Not sure you if caught this, but last week Adobe released a Lightroom update with two pretty significant and mightily cool features; along with new camera support; tethering support for some new cameras; new lens profiles, and a host of bug fixes.

The two awesome features are:

(1) New “Guided Upright” lens corrections
This lets you tell Lightroom where the lens problems are, and it does the rest. It’s really well done (get more details, and a video demo from Adobe’s own Julieanne Kost).

(2) The ability to merge HDRs and create Panos from just the Smart Previews
Previously, you had to have the original images to do this, and without it those menu commands were grayed out). This is cooler than you’d think, and I wrote about this today over on my Lightroom blog: LightroomKillerTips.com

If you’re an Adobe CC subscriber, you can download this update by going to Lightroom’s Help menu and choosing ‘Updates’

Hope you find that helpful.

Best,

-Scott

https://youtu.be/nSmPbgP0GK0

It’s actually two little things to do; the first one is a no-brainer, the second one (the main one) you’d kinda have to know the secret handshake to make it work, but chances are it’s going to fix whatever is messing with your copy of Photoshop or Lightroom, and get you back up and running right.

It’s short, sweet, and to the point. Hope you find it helpful.

Hope I get to meet you at my seminar here today in Seattle, or on Friday in Portland. 

Have an great Tuesday everybody. :)

Best,

-Scott

…you’re not really sure what the advantages are, if any, over using Photoshop and The Bridge, which you’ve been already using for years, so you’re comfortable with it, and can’t see why you should change now.

switch

That’s why I did an online class on KelbyOne called: “Why You Might Want to Switch to Lightroom” where I show exactly what the advantages are and why it’s so much better than the old Photoshop & Bridge workflow. Here’s the link.

If you’re not a KelbyOne member, take the free 10-day free trial and watch it immediately. If you’re a KelbyOne member, watch it this weekend — I think you’ll be amazed at what you’ve been missing.

learnin1

Then, when you’re ready to make the switch (which will be right after watching that class), go and watch my class “Learn Lightroom in One Hour” and that will get you up and running fast. Here’s the link to that class.

https://youtu.be/1-v3_mwlJRo

Lastly, if you’re already using Lightroom and loving it, I want to invite you to come and join me (and a bunch of the world’s leading Lightroom trainers) for a three-day Lightroom learning love-fest out in Las Vegas this summer at the Photoshop World 2016 Conference. We have an awesome Lightroom training track, and in three days you’ll more than you have in three years (plus, you’ll have a blast). Here’s a link with details.

Hope you all have a Lightroom-learning weekend. I’m off to Seattle and Portland for my seminars there next week. Hope I’ll get to meet you there in person. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’re not following our YouTube channel, you oughta. We’re sharing a lot of fun stuff, tutorials, and tips over there every week. :)

instawork1

Hi gang: When I seriously started using Instagram last year, I decided that I wanted to use it to share just my travel photography (I basically shoot three photo categories: travel, people and sports), and to get the kind of content I want to have one there (rather than just random shots from my iPhone’s built-in camera) that meant sharing images I’ve taken with my DSLR, and while that seems like a simple thing to do, it’s a bit clunkier than you’d think, which is probably why I get so many questions on what my workflow actually is, so that’s what I’m sharing here today.

Now, I will tell you this – my workflow is constantly evolving, and the one I’m using now I learned from my buddy Terry White (from Adobe), and it works like a charm as long as you’re a Lightroom user, so I’ll share my current workflow first, then I’ll share a workflow that is clunkier, but you can use without using Lightroom. Here we go:

ins1

STEP ONE: The travel images I want to post to Instagram are already on my desktop computer, in my Lightroom CC catalog, so I created a collection with the final images I want to post to Instagram, and I sync that catalog to Lightroom mobile on my iPhone.

ins2

 

STEP TWO: In Lighroom Mobile on my iPhone, I go to that sync’d collection; click on the image I want to share to Instagram (it’s already tweaked, sharpened and ready to go if it’s in that collection), then (1) I tap the Share icon at the top right corner of Lightroom Mobile, but I don’t choose “Share” from the pop-up menu that appears — (2) choose “Open In” (because you’ll need to open this selected image in the Instagram App).

NOTE: you can actually make this just a three-tap process by tapping and holding on the thumbnail of the image you want to post while you’re in the collection view and that menu you see above pops right now. You can watch a short video of how this works over on our YouTube page today (the video is only 24-seconds I believe). Here’s the link. 

ins3

STEP THREE: When you do this, a list of apps open that you can open your selected image in; choose “Copy to Instagram” as shown above.

ins4

STEP FOUR: Now your image from Lightroom Mobile appears in Instagram and you’re ready go to.

NON-LIGHTROOM WORKFLOW
This is the clunky workflow I was using before – you don’t need Lightroom Mobile for it, but it takes a few steps. Here goes:

(1) Find the JPEG image on your computer that you want to share to Instagram.

(2) Save that image into either Dropbox (if you’re a subscriber) or if you’re a Mac user using iCloud, save your image to iCloud Drive (this is what I used to do).

(3) Now go to the iCloud Drive app on your iPhone – click on the image you want to use; click “Download to View” then tap the Share button and choose Save Image. This saves your image to your iPhone’s Camera Roll.

(4) Lastly, launch the Instagram app; click the “new” post button and the first image that appears is the one you just saved and now you can share it to Instagram.

Whew that was a lot of steps (and you can see why, if you have Lightroom Mobile, it’s a whole lot easier).

Hope you found that helpful on some level, and we’ll see ya tomorrow!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Hey, I’m coming to Seattle and Portland next week with my seminar. Hope I’ll see you there. 

teth1

Mornin’ everybody. I get a steady stream of questions about tethering into Lightroom (that’s where you connect your camera directly to your computer and when you shoot, your images appear really large on screen, instead of seeing them on the tiny 3″ monitor on the back of your camera). So this morning, I thought I’d quickly go through seven things you’ll probably want to know. Here goes:

  1. Not every camera can tether to Lightroom
    Here’s a list from Adobe of the cameras it supports for tethering. It’s pretty much Canon and Nikon cameras, with a few Leica camera models (the tethering in Lightroom requires camera manufacturers to provide Adobe with support for tethering to their cameras, so it’s not something Adobe can just decide to do on their own without their support).
  2. You can “super shrink” or hide the Tether bar (the heads up display)
    If you hold the Option key (PC: Alt key) and click on the little “x” in the top right corner of the bar, it will shrink the bar down to just a shutter button (yes, you can fire your camera’s shutter with that button). If you want to hide the bar altogether (but keep the tethering still active), press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T).
  3. That Table that holds my laptop is from Tethertools.com
    I always get asked where I got that table. There’s a company called Tethertools that does nothing but create accessories for people who tether, like the table. They also make an optional little slot under the table for holding an external hard drive; and (my favorite) a nicely designed pop-out drink holder (it’s handier than you’d think).
  4. How to recover from a stall
    At some point, without warning, your tethering will just stop. It’s not your fault, but you will have to know how to recover from a “stall.” First, make sure you camera is awake. If it goes to sleep to protect the battery life of the camera, it puts tethering to sleep, too. If waking it doesn’t work — turn the camera on/off. If that doesn’t work, turn off Lightroom’s tethering (choose Stop Tethered Capture from the File menu), and then turn it back on in the same place. Lastly, unplug and replug the USB cable from your camera and your laptop. One of those will usually do the trick and get you back up and running. BTW: my wife is a pilot and takes great umbrage with my use of the phrase “recovering from a stall” for tethering. Just sayin’.
  5. Canon cameras write a copy to the memory card in the camera. Nikon’s don’t.
    It’s just the way they’re set up by the manufacturer — it’s not Adobe showing a preference. On my 5D Mark III it writes to the compact flash card in the camera and I dig that because it gives me an automatic backup as I shoot, which is nice. NOTE: if you have trouble tethering to Nikon — try popping the card out of the camera.
  6. You might already have the cable you need to tether
    Nearly all cameras ship with the exact cable you need to tether — it’s simply a USB cable with a mini USB on one end (that connects to the mini-USB port on your camera) and a regular USB on the other to plug into your computer. So, go look in the box your camera came in (it’s in your closet) to see if you kept it (you probably did). If you didn’t, you can buy a USB cable online — just ask for one with a mini USB on one end, and a regular USB on the other. The one I use (the long orange cable seen above), is from tethertools. It’s orange so you can see it easier in a dark studio.
  7. Once tethered, you can do live client proofing to an iPad
    You can hand your client an iPad and have them see images from your shoot live on the iPad as you’re shooting (btw: clients super love this!). Not only that — they can see the shoot live on the Web, even if they’re not there (or, if they are there, they can share the shoot with a colleague or friend off site. I have a short video that explains the entire process below.

https://youtu.be/3qofLKdZ0uY

Hope you find that helpful, and hope it inspires you to give tethering a try. Once you do, you can’t imagine not tethering (yes, it’s that good!).

Best,

-Scott

Figure 5

Happy Friday everybody! Today I’m going to break down the  simple one-light bridal portrait you see above (camera settings, lighting and post production). Keeping it simple like this is ideal because it lowers the bride’s stress and yours, too. Plus, by just using one simple light you can focus on emotion and expression rather than fussing with a bunch of lights (it’s another one of those “less is more” things).

In this beautiful small church, there was a short hallway leading to an exit door, and some storage closets, but the doors were a vivid red color, and I thought that would contrast beautifully with our bride (who had a white dress and a pinkish bouquet). I thought we’d try posing the bride in that short hallway, but getting a light in there with the bride, without being seen in the shot, would be kind of challenging.

Lighting Gear
I used just one small flash head running an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra kit, which consists of a very lightweight battery pack (I believe it’s about 2-3/4 lbs.) with a strap on it so you can just sling it over your shoulder, and a very small, very lightweight flash head (literally just 10 ounces ). This is one of my “go-to” rigs for location lighting because:

(1) It’s very lightweight and portable — it all fits in a small carrying case that’s smaller than an airline carry-on,

(2) You get studio-quality light and a much brighter, more powerful light than you would with a hot-shoe flash,

(3) It has a built-in wireless trigger and lets me control the power of the strobe from right on my camera (the other matchbox-sized trigger sits on my cameo’s hot shoe mount),

(4) You can use two strobe heads with just this one pack if you decided you did indeed need a second light. And..

(5) …it’s designed so I can use any of my studio softboxes with it, and in this case it was a small 24×24” Elinchrom Rotalux square softbox.

Figure 1

Above: The Hallway with the red door. 

Here’s an over-the-shoulder view of the short hallway with red doors I was talking about. It’s actually much darker in the church that it shows here – this behind-the-scenes production shot was taken in Aperture Priority mode at a high ISO, so these behind-the-scenes shots look properly exposed, but in reality it was quite a bit darker, especially in the hallway, which was lit with just a few harsh overhead floods).

Figure 2

Above: Finding a place to hide the softbox was a challenge in this tight hallway, so we opened a closet door and had our 2nd assistant tuck-himself inside the doorway a bit to keep the soft box from extending into the frame.

If you look at this behind-the-scenes image, you can see me sitting in the pews, quite a-ways back from our bride — that way I could capture either tight or full length shots. The position of the light was pretty standard: at around a 45° angle from the bride, up higher than the bride and aiming down at the bride.

Figure 3-2

Above: Here’s the shot that resulted from me shooting full length from out in the pews. I’m not super-digging it, and it took a lot of post-production to tame the red light spilling everywhere and tinting everything, so the search continues for a better shot. 

GRIP TIP: We normally use a monopod for shoots like this (it’s easier to “run and gun”), rather than a lightstand with legs, but since we started our shoot using a lightstand in the back of the church, we just kind of picked it up and kept shooting. Normally, we’d prefer to have the strobe mounted on a monopod for faster and easier mobility between pews, and in tight situations. The only downside? You have to keep holding a monopod — it doesn’t “set down” very easily (there are no legs and feet) without crunching the soft box, so you wind up leaning it against things, which means you run the risk of it falling over. It’s a tradeoff (like everything, right?).

The Lighting Problem with the Red Door
I wasn’t happy with how the overall color looked because of how the light was reflecting off the red door. So, I thought we’d try one where the bride would be backlit, with just a little of the light spilling over onto her.

Figure 4

Above: Back lighting our bride 

I left the bride in the exact same spot, but I had our 2nd assistant take the strobe and softbox move to the other end of the hallway to position the light behind her and off to the side (so it’s pretty much the same lighting set-up — 45°-ish angle, up high aiming down, etc. it’s just positioned behind the bride this time, as seen above).

I did crank up the power of the light for this backlit shot, because I wanted to make sure it was powerful enough not just to put a rim of light around her shoulders, arms, etc., but that it also spilled over enough so you could see her face. I also made sure to have the bride turn her head and body toward the direction of the light. Had she been looking the other way, we wouldn’t have had enough light spilling on her face or bridal gown.

Camera Settings:
I shot in manual mode, so I could make sure the shutter speed didn’t get past the normal sync speed (this pack lets you do hyper sync, but I shouldn’t need to do that in a dark hallway), so my shutter speed was 1/60 of a second (I normally use 1/125 of a second, so I have to imagine at some point I accidentally hit the dial on the back of my camera). My ISO was set to 100 ISO (the cleanest ISO on my camera), and my f-stop was f/5 in case there was any background visible behind my subject, it will be a little bit soft. Using such a wide-open f/stop meant keeping the power of the flash at less than 1/4 power most of the time.

Post Production:
Light picks up the color of whatever it hits, so when white light hits a red door it reflects red light. Once I saw the color image of her backlit, it looked very red from the reflected light, so I knew right then it was a candidate for being converted into a black and white image.

Figure 6

Above: Converting to Black & White in Silver Efex Pro 2

I used Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in to convert the image to black and white (I used use one of their built-in presets — my three favorite preset choices are (in no particular order): (1) Full Spectrum (2) Fine Art Process and (3) High Structure Smooth, so I usually wind up choosing one of these three.

Figure 7

Above: Adding the Duotone look in Lightroom CC

Once I converted the image to black and white in Silver Efex Pro 2, I added a Duotone look in Lightroom using the Split Toning panel, but then only moving the Shadow controls; putting the Hue at 25 and the Saturation slider amount at 21. Don’t touch the Highlight settings up top or the balance slider — this is all done just using the Shadows Hue and Saturation sliders, so leave the other stuff untouched. It works wonders (and prints beautifully, by the way).

Figure 5

Above: Here’s the final image with the Duotone look applied in Lightroom (same as the opening shot).

Hope you found that helpful, and I hope your Tuesday is already off to great start! . :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m up in Boston with my seminar on Wednesday, March 30th — just a few weeks from now. Hope I see you there.  

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