Don’t drop your camera in water. Ever.
As you may know, I recently took a month-long trip to New Zealand, specifically to photograph all over both islands. As some of you also know, on just the fifth day I had a horrendous accident while shooting Matai Falls.
I’m OK, my camera is not. Let me give a little background… Read more…
In Lightroom there are a number of ways you can change the magnification [zoom ratio] of images on the screen.
The most basic controls are in the Library module, where you have Grid [thumbnails] and Loupe [full screen] views. Use G for Grid and E for Loupe. Easy, right? You can also double-click a thumbnail to open that photo in Loupe, or double click a Loupe preview to return to Grid.
Here’s more: when you’re in Loupe view, you have a number of ways to magnify the image even more. My favorite is the same shortcut as in Photoshop: Cmd= (Ctrl=) to zoom in, and Cmd– (Ctrl–) to zoom out.
Then there’s the space bar. Tapping the space bar will toggle your view between the two most recently used zoom ratios.
Last but not least, the Navigator panel (Library and Develop modules) contains a preview of the image in which you can "navigate", plus a list of zoom ratios at the top. Click the far right ratio for a dropdown menu where you can specify a zoom ratio.
I hope this gives you some new ways to zoom in and out of your images. Depending on where you are in Lightroom and what task you’re working to accomplish, a different zoom method may be more useful.
Feel free to post questions and comments!
OK, so maybe it’s a bit trite at this point. But I’m watching Jerry MacGuire and I think there are still some good bits of wisdom there.
In a phone conversation with my buddy Monte Trumbull , we were talking about how to reveal one’s own "voice" in a photograph. How to make a personal statement; how to produce photographs that speak for you.
I believe that making truly expressive photographs requires conscious thought combined with a personal, innate reaction to the subject. In other words, finding a way to respond to what’s happening, and distill the essence of that reaction within a rectangle. This is not easy but is essential to produce an expressive photograph – no matter what the subject.
Try this: when looking through the viewfinder, identify your instinctual, emotional connection with the subject. Be clear about what you like and what you don’t like, and be clear about why. The more you can identify with your photographs, the better they will become.
From Jerry MacGuire: "If this [points to heart] is empty, this [points to head] doesn’t matter".
Respond to your subject with your heart and let the rest flow.
Use the number keys to apply ratings
In my workflow, I edit folders of photos to determine the best ones. I start with one star, then filter so I am only seeing those with one star, then two stars, and so on. This way, within a relatively short period of time, I can narrow down the photos to just my favorite ones.
With one or more photos selected, it’s easy to apply and change ratings using the number keys on your keyboard. Simply press 1 for one star, 2 for two stars, etc. Pressing 0 (zero) removes the rating from the photo(s).
Use the arrow keys to move between images in the grid or filmstrip. With your right hand on the arrow keys, and your left hand on the numbers across the top of the keyboard, you can really fly through your rating process.
More about this is in my new book .
Recently, someone asked me for advice on optimizing their web site for search engines.
Being a former web developer and consultant, I have quite a bit of experience with search engine optimization (SEO). Over the years I’ve optimized many of my clients’ sites and my own web sites with very good results, and I’m happy to help other photographers and artists with this however I can.
I will be giving a one-hour presentation about Lightroom workflow to the Lone Tree Photography Club on Monday May 18 at 7pm. Guests are welcome. I will have copies of my Lightroom book available for purchase.
Hope to see you there!
A recent question from a client:
"I’m a landscape photographer (not professional) interested in making large prints of my personal collection. They would be mainly for framing in homes. What would be the best medium to print large framed photographs? Can photos only be printed to paper, or do they look good on another medium with giclee. I would love to order some large prints of my photos."
"I do a lot of fine art printing for landscape photographers. Most prefer "photo papers" for their work; that is, papers with either a satin or gloss finish. These papers show the widest range of tones and colors and hold detail very well. These prints are typically matted and framed under glass, but can also be laminated to rigid board (ie "plaque mounting") for a different look, usually without glass. My favorite photo papers are Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk (satin) and Harman FB AL (gloss).
I’ve also made a lot of fine art nature prints on canvas. On canvas, the colors don’t pop quite as much, and the blacks aren’t quite as deep as with photo papers. However, for certain images canvas really looks great. Read more…
After a month-long trip to New Zealand, shooting sunrise to sunset and beyond, Monte Trumbull and I came up with a short list of a few things we’d like to see in the next full version release of Lightroom (in no particular order).
- Point curves
- Point curves!
- Point curves!!
- Info overlays in Survey view
- Info overlays: add white balance temperature and tint values
- During an Import, undo should not affect any operations related to the Import.
- Individual histograms in Survey and Compare
- Mini-histograms on Library thumbnails
- More control over vignetting – Photoshop blend modes?
- Thumbnail size should be source-specific
- Renaming folders – hangs on Windows, especially when the folder is the current source
- When doing Select All > Save Metadata to Files, very often throws an error (1 photo failed) etc. and LR hangs during this time
- After successful Import completes, instead of ending up in Previous Import source, end up in the Folder.
- Stacks made in folders should carry over to Collections
- Allow photos to be a member of multiple stacks
- User settings (nameplate, panel widths, preferences and settings etc.) should not be specific to a catalog; they should be global to the computer user account
- Add a Keyword List to the Import screen
- Add Import Presets (not just reverting whatever setting were in last import)
- Better batch Importing
- Be able to apply different filenames, folders, keywords all at once
- Import Sets/Import Collections etc. to separate sets of images captured on a single card
A recent question from a reader of my Lightroom book :
"I am enjoying your book. I have read a few on LR 2 and I am learning plenty from your book and enjoy your style and photos. I do have a question with the photo that was used on the cover and included just before chapter 6. The shot indicates it was 13 seconds but I see a man in the lower left hand corner and I am try to understanding how he was still for that time. Could you please help me understand that. Thank you."
"The photograph on my book cover, of Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy was made at dusk. The sun had already set.
I always prefer to use as low ISO as possible to minimize noise. The exposure settings I chose resulted in an shutter speed of 13 seconds.
I had been at this spot for nearly an hour, watching the light change and people coming and going. As the sun went down, fishermen started coming into port, getting off their boats at the spot you see in the photo.
To make this picture, I set up the camera exposure, focus, etc. (and checked some captures on the histogram) and waited until a fisherman was coming into the scene.
Over the 13 seconds, probably 8 or nine seconds were with him approaching the dock, moving quickly and getting out of the boat. Due to the low light and long exposure, these events did not register on the camera sensor. When he got out of the boat, he stood still for a few seconds, smoking a cigarette. This is when he was recorded in the image.
On very long exposures, elements quickly coming in and out of the scene will not be recorded in the exposure, because their presence is outweighed by the forms that are constant in the longest part of the exposure.
You can reproduce this effect in low light, say, at dawn or dusk, in a public location. Get you camera set to produce a proper exposure of 10 or 15 seconds, in an area where you expect people to wander through. Do a bunch of exposures, and on later evaluation, you will see that some people show up, others don’t, and some seem in a state of suspended animation, though the world is moving around them. This is because they stood relatively still throughout the exposure, while other people came and went at varying speeds.
I find this kind of photography very compelling; it’s great fun to see the results. I was happy to see how this shot came out – the boat is blurred, but the man is not. ANd of course the building stood perfectly still
This is a good exmaple of the kind of imagery I seek to consistently produce — using one single exposure. Let the camera do the work.
I hope this gives you the explanation you wished for; please feel free to write back if you have any other questions."
Last week my buddy Monte Trumbull and I returned from our month-long photo journey through New Zealand. We had a great time, covered 5,500 miles, and I came home with around 4,400 new images. While on the road I did as much editing as I could so most of the selects have already been identified. Now onto processing…
I am considering doing a book of the trip, probably on Blurb. Monte and I will also release a comprehensive Trip Report as soon as possible. Stay tuned!
Cheers mates – we’re in Waipu Cove tonight, flying back to the States tomorrow (through Auckland). Hard to believe we’ve been here for a month.
Our flight leaves at 7:15 pm local time, and we will get home at around 7 pm Denver time. Considering the approx 17 hours flight time, we’re really losing about a day, and I hear the jetlag is a killer. We’ll see…
This photo is the from the last sunset shoot of the trip (as with all the others, just a quick grab with very minor processing); we will do sunrise tomorrow down the road before we leave.
See you all soon!