Quick musing. Sometimes sports can give us great references that are aplicable to other parts of our lives. Sports writers can be some of the best journalists. The great sports writers transcend X and O’s and make us see our lives in different ways.
We have a great moment like this going on in the NBA finals. The flashy, innovative, daring, charismatic LeBron James versus the old-school, gentlemanly, disciplined, classic, Tim Duncan. Both players are two of the most talented players to every play the game.
When we are learning to shoot photos, we shoot everything. We experiment. We fail. We learn. At some point we have to decide “what type of photographer am I going to be?”
This thought was better expressed in this recent article: ‘Everyone Is A Photographer’: Specialize or Perish
So are you a Tim Duncan photographer? Learning the craft, composing beautiful landscapes, rich portraits, and breaking the rules only after you have mastered them.
Or are you a LeBron James photographer? Do you push the envelope, do things that no one has done before, and drive hard to the hoop.
Being like LeBron is not a substitute for hard work, practice, and technique.(LeBron puts in hours at the gym.) It’s just that your end product will look different.
There is no right answer. Both Tim Duncan and LeBron James are two of the best to ever play the game. Are you looking for a slam dunk or a finger roll? Both are beautiful and yet different.
Decide who you want to be as a photographer and be it.
In a nutshell, Smart Previews are confusing and give Lightroom users one more thing to manage.
Smart previews are a new feature in Lightroom 5. The idea behind Smart Previews is to give you greater access to offline images by creating accessible big-enough-but-not-too-big images files that can be edited in and exported from Lightroom.
I love the idea. I hated not having access to my images when I want them. I hate carrying around an external hard drive. But I don’t like how this feature is built.
Here is why. One of the best and worst part of being a modern day photographer is that we take thousands of images. We have to manage these large files and somehow keep track of them all using folders, collection, stars, flags, keywords, colors… In short, we spend a lot of our damn time on DAM – Digital Asset Management. Right now there is no getting around this. It is the blessing and the curse of digital photography.
The reason we don’t have access to all of our images is because we are forced to use external hard drives because we ran out of room on our local drives. We are forced to shuffle files around and plug stuff in like it is 1999. (Plugin Like It’s 1999 – isn’t that a Prince tune? – I digress.)
So by Adobe giving us the option to create Smart Previews, they are giving me one more thing to think about managing when the last thing I want to do is manage something else.
Do I create Smart Previews or not? When do I do this? How much space are they taking up? Should I delete them ever? I have a feeling a lot of users are going to just check the box on import that says Build Smart Previews and never think about it again… and honestly, I don’t blame them.
(I did write an article on when to create Smart Previews if you want to go beyond this.)
Again, I like the idea of Smart Previews… it is just the implementation that gets me. Lightroom is already creating Preview files. (Are these now dumb previews?) They create these automatically when a file is imported and/or viewed. These previews come in a couple of different sizes including 1:1 previews. Why couldn’t these previews just be upgraded to being Smart? Why create a whole new preview class? Why keep both Smart and Regular Previews around? We already have the option of disregarding 1:1 previews after a set time period, just allow more control on this saying “always keep 1:1 previews for this image.” Done.
The other thing that gets me about Smart Previews is that they are DNGs.(more…)
There has been some confusion about Smart Previews in Lightroom. This feature was added in Lightroom 5 and is not the most straight forward concept to understand. Let’s do a quick overview of the feature and then talk about the right times to use them.
Lightroom is a catalog based photo management system. The catalog is where Lightroom keeps track of all of your edits, metadata, and settings. So this is a very important file!
You can store your Lightroom images “offline” on an external hard drive. If you ever wondered how Lightroom could still know what your photos look like when they are not plugged in, the answer is the Lightroom previews.
Lightroom creates these preview files for each of the images you import. These preview images are what you are actually viewing on your screen in Lightroom (and these are what you see when the images are not present – “offline”.)
With the introduction of Lightroom 5, Adobe added Smart Previews. They didn’t replace the regular previews. These regular previews are still there. The Smart Previews are larger lossy DNG formated images. They are 2048 pixels wide (or basically big enough for an iPad screen.)
So in addition to being bigger previews, Lightroom add two major things you could not do before to regular previews. First, you can export Smart Previews. These are not huge files so using Smart Previews is not recommended for high quality print jobs. But if you want to send a proof to a client or post an image to Facebook, the smart previews are perfect.
Second you can edit the Smart Previews. Instead of editing the full image, you are editing a smaller but big enough version of the photo. If you making small tweaks to white balance or contrast, you won’t notice a change. If you are doing more expansive edits, the limits of not having the full photo present will be seen. This allows you to work on your offline images.
This depends on 3 things: Where is your Lightroom catalog, where are you images and how good are you with metadata.(more…)
When I teach Lightroom classes or talk to our Lightroom-using online photo backup customers, we often spend a lot more time talking about the Lightroom Library module than the Develop module. I think this is because while we understand how to make images look better in Lightroom but we feel can feel totally overwhelmed organizing 1000s of images.
With a couple of tips you will save time, find your images more easily, and enjoy your Lightroom experience more.
Here are 3 ways that you can organize your Lightroom catalog:
Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a really important piece of being a photographer today. In order to optimize your workflow, you need to have a system. Each unique way of organizing photos has merits. Find the best approach that works for you and then stick with it! The most important thing about having a system is remaining consistent.
Pick and Reject Flags:
This is one of the easiest ways to organize your photos. (It is also the most popular way we see that photos are categorized in our Lightroom Sync App.)
Lightroom gives you two flags. If it looks like there are 3 flags it because it there is also the non-flag flag… which is to mark something as unflaged. (I know that only kinda makes sense.)
Some photographers find the 6 choices of using Lightroom Stars too many to handle. (0 star is an option.) If you find yourself laboring over whether something is 1 star or 2 stars, flags are for you. This makes it a very binary decision. You like a photo or your don’t. Bam… you are done.
The Reject Flag (Lightroom Keybord shortcut = X) marks the file for deletion. Using the Reject Flag grays out the photo from the grid and filmstrip views. You can then remove and delete the rejected photos later. (Lightroom > Photo Menu > Delete Rejected Photos)(more…)
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a very powerful photo editing tool. But to paraphrase Spider-Man, ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’ Any Lightroom user has probably made these mistakes. Hopefully we catch them before embarrassing ourselves by pushing these over edited photos to clients, friends, and social media accounts.
Here are some epic ways that photographers go over board using the editing tools of Lightroom.
Nicole created this preset called Summertime as a kick off to the season.
Nicole (also known by her various social media handles as Nicolesy) also has some great Lightroom Presets, Photoshop Actions as well as her amazing books available for sales on her blog: nicolesyblog.com
She has very generously offered all Mosaic users and blog readers 20% off using the coupon code “MOSAIC20″ on checkout.
Enjoy the free Lightroom preset!
We are creating something very cool here at Mosaic and I am so very thankful for everyone who is a part of it. Part of this relationship is keeping everyone up to speed about what we have done, will do, and are doing.
As I wrote here, we launched the iOS version of our Lightroom Sync App on 4/20. Since then thousands of Lightroom users have downloaded it. Millions of photos have been uploaded and accessed by users on their iPads and iPhones.
So what does this have to do with apple blossoms? (Stick with me on this.) We are based in New Hampshire, where the apple blossoms are just beginning to bloom. I was out shooting last weekend and thought this was the perfect analogy. The apple trees are currently blooming a beautiful pink flower. But we know this is just the beginning and only a preview of the sweet fruit that is coming our way later this summer and fall.
If you like what we are doing now, just wait. More good stuff is coming soon!
Today we released a new version that fixes some of the most annoying issues seen by our users:
We also now support Mac 10.6+ (previously was 10.7+). We also fixed some annoying password and download issues we had on our website.
Please install the new version of the Mosaic Desktop Software to get these enhancements!
We also launched the Mosaic Help Desk where users can find commonly asked questions and vote on new Mosaic features.
Not a bad 3 weeks!
So although we are cranking out a bunch of new stuff… we know you still want more (So do we! We use the App too!)
So here is what we are working on….
The idea here is to allow you to rate, star, flag, and keyword from the Mosaic app and have it go seamlessly back to Lightroom.
To us, this is fruit that is coming. And although we love the flowers, we are hungry!
Of course we will continue to work on our RAW photo backup solution as well, adding new features and enhancements.
To that end, we are hiring! If you want to be part of the mobile revolution in photo management and backup, please join us.
Thank you for all of your retweets, shares, likes, and App ratings over the past couple weeks. Please refer more of your friends. The more users we have the more features we can build for everyone.
Thanks again. More good stuff is coming your way.
Until today we were only available as a Web App, meaning you needed to log into our website to access your Lightroom photos through Mosaic.
We are the only App that fully integrates with Lightroom.
As Lightroom users we thought exporting and publishing was too old fashion. We wanted instant, automatic and wireless access to everything in our Lightroom catalog. So we launched Mosaic. Since then millions of photos have been uploaded and enjoyed on our Web App.
The native iOS Mosaic Lightroom App gives our users quicker access to their photos. The first thing existing users will notice is that the same features are available on both the web and the native iOS App. (Except no browser bar…so your photos are in beautiful full screen.)
For long time Mosaic users, we now support both the iPhone and iPad.
The mission for Mosaic is pretty simple. We want you to be able to show off your Lightroom photos whenever the moment arrises on any device. Having an App that you can instantly open furthers this mission.
We also have paid services for full RAW Online Photo backup.
So why did we release on the web first before the App store? Well we wanted to support computer internet browsers, Android devices, and other tablets beyond the iPad. So we created the app in HTML5 so we could make your photos available from any device. We took our web app, wrapped a bow on it, submitted it to App store and got approved.
If you enjoy the App, please rate it in the App store for us!
Gerard and Andy
Co-Founders of Mosaic
Adobe Lightroom Journal – Lightroom is an Adobe product and there is no better place to begin searching for advice on the software than directly from the designers. Adobe is kind enough to provide a blog on Lightroom, and there is quite a lot of information available here. If you are looking for the latest release notes, or if you need to know if a certain feature is or is not supported in your release of Lightroom, then Lightroom Journal (and the control-F function) may be for you.
Adobe TV – Host Julieanne Kost is awesomely clear and good in this video series from Adobe on the Develop Module in Lightroom. Newbies and long time Lightroom affectionados will learn lots from these just-long-enough videos.
Lightroom Secrets – Gene McCullagh is another of the Lightroom super users, writers and educators. From Printing to HDR to DAM to third party Lightroom plugins, Gene has some great posts and links to other Lightroom resources.
Lightroom Queen – Victoria Bampton is a truly great Lightroom educator and writer. Her blog has great relavent information and her member forums are some of the best in the Lightroom community.
Laura Shoe’s Lightroom – This is a wonderful selection of tutorials on Lightroom written by Laura Shoe, and is one of the best places for a Lightroom newbie to begin his or her search for Lightroom tips and tricks. Laura covers such topics as importing photos to Lightroom, managing your images, and questions about the interface. These are the types of subjects that often confuse beginners, so Laura’s website is a fabulous resource for people new to using the software.
Lightroom 101 – One of the most recent additions to the Lightroom educational space, Lightroom 101 is chalk full of great articles and tips. the layout on the blog is great and modern. The tips and tutorials sections are fantastic.
Colortrails – If you are looking to take your Photoshop and Lightroom skills to the next level, Dan Moughamian is one of the best out there. His very readable descriptions will take you from Lightroom proficient to pro.(more…)