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Sometimes, you will find yourself wanting to make edits to your photos while you are out on the road but you will not have your entire of Lightroom master catalog with you and could not fit the photos on your laptop.
With Lightroom, there is an easy way to create and small catalog from a subset of your master catalog and then merge it back to the master catalog when you are done editing the images.
To do this, make sure you are in the library module of Lightroom. From here, go to your file menu and choose “Export as Catalog.” Then, save that catalog to an external drive.
From there you can edit your photos on a second computer that has the external hard drive plugged in.
After you are done working on the images and are ready to merge the smaller catalog back into the main catalog, select “Import from Another Catalog” on your master Lightroom catalog. Then select the smaller catalog and it will get merged in. Lightroom even keeps track of duplicates!
Look in the upper left corner, just to the right of the title Navigator in your menu to find four zooming options. The placement of the selection can be steered with the rectangle over the thumbnail.
Adobe Lightroom offers the option of preset zoom levels that you can use when examining your photographs. This is a handy tool to have, as it allows you to quickly move between various levels of magnification and back again with just one click of the mouse.
To use this feature, you will need to be in either your library or develop module. At the top of your left-hand menu, you will see the Navigator menu, and just to the right of that is your quick-zoom menu. You will see four options, which consist of fit, fill, 1:1 and 3:1 with an additional pull-down menu to the right of them. The last option zooms the photo in or out to a specified level (3:1 is the default). Options from 11:1 zoom-in down to 1:16 pull-out are available in the pull-down screen. While you are zoomed in, you can drag the area of the picture that is selected around via a thumbnail in the left-hand menu.
One of the best little hints while using Lightroom is that hitting the space bar zooms out to fit.
It may feel a little strange at first, but once you get the hang of how to use this feature, you’ll love it. This is a really nice feature of Lightroom that you’ll find yourself using all the time.
If you are serious about your photography, taking photos in the raw format gives you the best quality. But there are many types of raw files. Of the multitude of photo formats available, the raw format is not really a format at all, but a collection of hundreds of different file types, although there are “only” a couple dozen major varieties. Not only do different manufacturers and designers have their own versions of raw image files, but these standards can even change within a producer’s own product lines.
Therefore, devices that function well with one piece of software using raw photo files will not work well, or at all, with other applications. There are around 200 different formats which cameras use to store data that are all called raw files. Additionally, some manufacturers, such as Sony, Nikon and Canon encrypt some of the data produced when their raw files are created, in order to discourage other developers for creating systems which use their files.
Also a lot of people say “RAW” format. Raw is not an acronym so it should not be capitalized to RAW.
The individual pixels in a digital camera can only detect how much light falls onto them during a given period of time – they cannot actually detect color. In order to produce a color image, each element is covered with a filter which allows only one color of light to pass through. Since the human eye is more sensitive to green light than it is red or blue wavelengths, half of these tiny filters are green. When the photo is taken, each individual pixel records how much light is reaching it through its filter. This is what is recorded into a raw file, along with accompanying information, part of which is held in an accompanying sidecar file.
Here’s how the filters are arranged over pixel on your camera’s image sensor. This is called a Bayer pattern. Image by Cburnett, used under the Creative Commons License.
Before raw files can be displayed or shared on external devices, they must first be converted to another format for display purposes, for instance, into .TIFF or .JPG files. This involves a process called demosaicing, where the application performing the conversion will make estimates of the amount of different colors that would have reached each pixel. For instance, the software will decide how much red light may have landed on a green pixel between two reds. (more…)
Adobe Lightroom offers a multitude of different effects which you can apply to images, in order to create various outcomes. As you begin to edit your images, however, you may find that you are using many of the same (or similar) combinations of effects over and over. This is especially common when you have shot several images of the same subject. Other times, you may find that you are looking to take a variety of pictures, but add the same effect to each, in order to produce a a series of artistic photographs.
In Photoshop and most other photo-editing applications, you would need to add each effect, and adjust its settings, one by one, picture by picture. Although this can be done, the process is long and tedious, as well as being prone to error. For photographers using Lightroom; however, this task is greatly simplified.
In order to create your own custom presets, begin with a photograph that you have edited, which you believe has a series of effects that you may wish to use again.
If you do not want your previous edits to a photo to become part of the new preset, then export your image, and import it back into your library. By doing this, you will make sure that only future changes are included in the custom preset. In this case, perform your preferred edits, and then continue on to the next step.
With the navigator view open, you will be able to preview your selected changes to the photo without applying them to the photo (technically, the photo’s metadata, since Lightroom is non-destructive).
At this point, you should already be in the develop module. If not, enter develop mode, and check to make sure that your changes are still on present on your currently active image.
Here’s where to find your preset menu in the develop module of Lightroom.
In the Lightroom 5.0 (shown) or in previous versions, the dialog box can be found under the Develop Window, labeled “New Preset.” Alternatively, you can also get there by selecting N, or by pressing the “+” sign to the right of the word “Presets” at the top of the left-hand menu.
Lightroom will display a series of checkboxes, asking which effects should be included in the new custom preset. You will also have an opportunity to name your new preset, as well. Since custom presets are so easy to create, you will likely be saving lots of them, so find a unique name which will help you remember the look it provides. Three years from now, you may have little idea what a preset named “Photo setting 16” looked like, but “Portrait – High Contrast with Vignette” can bring back a good idea in your mind of what effects this preset provides to photographs. Finally, press the “Create” button.
When you go to the develop module while working on another photo, you will be able to select your new custom preset from the “User Preset” window.
Here is where you save your custom presets in Lightroom. Give it a distinctive name!
Most of the time that you do this, you will find that some adjustments and tweaks are needed to make the image come out the best it can look. However, being able to assign a series of edits in just a few seconds can be a huge time saver. If you find that you want to change the preset after editing an image, simply right-click over the name of the preset on the left side of your screen and select “Update with current Settings.” Your custom preset will be modified to include the additional changes you have made.
Editing your photos from a model shoot can be an especially good time to use custom presets to save time. Because your lighting conditions are (usually somewhat) controlled under these situations, the differences between the editing needed for each shot are usually minimal. This makes portrait photography ideal for the use of custom presets in Lightroom.
Once you develop a few of your custom presets containing editing combinations which you like, you may want to start organizing them into folders. This is easily accomplished in Lightroom 5.0, by selecting the “New Preset Folder” option under the Develop window, or by pressing N.
Naturally, one part of creating your own presets, for most people, will be wanting to share presets with friends and colleagues. This is a simple procedure. One you are happy with a preset, right-click over the preset name in the User Preset menu. Then, select “Export,” and save the file to your local disk. Mail that to a friend. When they receive it, all they have to do is to right-click over the title “User Presets,” choose import, and select the file you sent them. It’s really that easy!
Try your own custom presets and let us know which ones you like best in the comments section below.
When you are editing photos, it can be handy to be able to display your images on one monitor while you display what is needed to do your work on another device.
Fortunately, Adobe Lightroom gives you the ability to do that quickly and easily. From within any module of Lightroom, bring your cursor down to the bottom of your screen and left-click on the black background. This will bring up small icons of monitors, labeled #1 and #2. Now select the second screen icon shown. This will pop up a separate window on your screen which can be displayed on its own dedicated monitor, to present your work to clients and friends.
Lightroom was designed from the beginning to offer multi-monitor support, and the flexibility it provides as far as to where individual items are displayed on which monitors is quite versatile.
By following these few simple steps, you will be able to set up your screens so that your viewer can be looking a full-screen image of a chosen photograph on one monitor, while you select the next photograph for them to view on your own screen. This can give a great impression to whomever is viewing your pictures!
Photo editing can turn good pictures into great photographs quickly and easily. Software for maximizing the allure of your art are widely available, and can be downloaded for little to know cost. Professionals and serious hobbyists tend to use higher-end, powerful editing applications like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. But, if you are just beginning in the world of photo editing, you may want to begin with freeware or perform edits online, and see what system works best for your tastes.
If you are not sure where to begin with photo editing, one such free photo editing application is called Irfanview. Make sure to download and install both the program and the “big file” of add-ons.
In whichever application you choose for editing, open your file, and find where the options are listed for editing your image. In Irfanview, they are located in the “Image” window.
You will also want to look for something called “Color Correction,” or an option with a similar name. In Irfanview, the color correction editor can be accessed by using G. Experiment with your various options, which will usually include the ability to make adjustments to the saturation, gamma contrast and brightness, among other qualities. Play around with these until you get the best-looking original photograph you can, and save either the newly-improved photo, or its new settings, depending on what software you are using. Only then should you go into editing. Many of the effects that are popular today really harken back to earlier times – from styles popular in the Renaissance to the mid-1990′s, it seems everything old is new again. Here are some common effects that can lead to uncommon results.
Try Instagram – The big success story of the last few years for photographic effects for the amateur photographer were Instagrams. This system allowed users with mobile devices to take photos, edit them online by adding filters (pre-set effects) and share them with friends and family. The effect, for anyone who has not yet seen it, is like a photo from a SX-70 camera from the 1970′s, combined with the bright technicolor hues of 1960′s TV. Instagram is free on the web at www.Instagram.com.
Don’t be afraid to go back to black and white – The advances in photography since the days of black and white film-driven cameras have been extensive and highly useful. However, once in a while, a picture looks better in black and white than it does in color. This is especially true of snow, mountains, and wide landscapes. Don’t be afraid to channel your inner Ansel Adams, and try editing your color photographs with a stark black and white look.
In this photo of the Alps by Magnus Rosendah, we can see how much more dramatic the image looks in black and white than in color. Public domain image.
A collection in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, much light a photo album, is a way to group various photographs together by date, subject, person being photographed, whatever you can imagine.
As you create collections, there are some you will want to group permanently together (Nassau Vacation 2013) and others you will want to only keep grouped together temporarily, such as for work projects. Creating temporary collections also helps in editing. By being able to easily group some of the photos during editing – say headshots versus full-body shots – you are better able to use your time, without having to constantly change what you are doing.
Within the Lightroom framework, there is a way to quickly create temporary collections. Here is how it is done.
Within the library, select the images you wish to include in your new collection. Once you have each of your selected photos chosen, hit the “B” button. This will add them to a temporary collection. On the left-hand side of your screen under Catalog, you will see the phrase “Quick Collection.” Select this to see just the photos in your new grouping.
These can be saved as permanent collections if you wish.
The latest of the great arguments among photographers is the choice of whether to begin the digital editing process in raw or .DNG format. Of course, we are here at Mosaic try to bring you all the information we can about the subject at hand (which we love photography)
Although much discussion is made of .RAW files, there is no such thing as a single “.RAW” file format. Raw is a bucket term for several different types of formats like .cr2, .nef, r3d., and dozens of others. A file that is a perfectly good “raw file” for products from one manufacturer may be gibberish on other camera’s systems. This is entirely unlike .PNG or .JPG files, which are readable across various platform.
Most professional photographers and serious amateurs shoot in the raw format, giving their files all the information needed for the best possible editing. But, there is an option within Lightroom to convert your raw formated pictures into digital negatives, or .DNG files. In order to decide if that is the right move, let’s learn a little bit about each file format.
When you shoot in raw format, you are recording the unadulterated, complete file with all the original data intact, which makes it such a great choice for editing. Since you did not “throw away” any information when you were taking the photograph, you have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to editing your photographs afterward.
Not all raw files are created the same – cameras from different manufacturers can have incompatible ways of organizing that information, so don’t be surprised if software that worked with the raw files of one camera will not work with a different device. This use of proprietary versions of raw format may be the undoing of the standard over time.
This is why raw converting tools are not created equally… although software packages like Google Picasa can “support raw files” how they interpret the camera sensor data varies greatly and can lead to very different final product images.
This is the same .NEF raw photo converted by Adobe Lightroom 5 and Google Picasa. See the histogram to notice more “pop” in Lightroom and better detail level
The .DNG format solves this problem by taking the raw image and converting it to a digital negative which is recognized by a wide variety of software applications. Just as film negatives were/are compatible with any enlarger, the .DNG format is compatible with many software applications, including Adobe Lightroom.
You can think of it as the .PDF of the digital photo world. The compatibility rate for .DNG files is actually higher than it is for raw format, so a wide number of applications will be able to import photos into your library in .DNG format. This is partly because of the fact that when Adobe developed this standard in 2004, they released the converter and the exploitation rights for free to developers.
Since you will still be shooting in raw format, and only converting to .DNG on import, the files on your memory card will remain unchanged. The .DNG format, while retaining all the original image data, does dispose of some of the metadata that accompanies raw files, but does not affect image quality, such as camera settings and focus points. That means that a .DNG file will be about 15% smaller than an identical raw file. However, the image quality of the photographs themselves are identical. This helps improve the one big drawback of shooting in raw – the larger file size of these formats compared to .JPG or .TIFF.
Part of this data is contained in another file which accompanies raw files, called a .XMP file. This folder contains information about editing performed on the photograph. Occasionally, they can become dislodged from their partner files, leading to trouble. This processing information is stored within .DNG files, eliminating the need for a separate .XMP.
Another advantage of importing as .DNG files is that they contain a checksum safety feature that easily and quickly identifies a corrupted file. This is called embedded file verification.
However, the actual importing times may be not be as sped up as you might think by the reduction in file size – because the original raw files need to be converted to .DNG, there will be some lag added by that process.
Within the library module of Lightroom 5, simply select “Copy as .DNG” to begin. Another option, also within the library module, is to convert images already in your library to digital negatives with “Convert Photos to .DNG.” From there, you can perform editing as needed in the develop module. Then, export when needed to more mainstream formats.
The decision by Adobe to release the development rights to .DNG for free may pay off in adaptability; the format is expected by many to remain a common standard for longer than raw.
In the last year or more, Adobe has been making serious strides in helping to speed up workflows using digital negatives. This has included small, raw preview images called “Fast-load data” for Lightroom’s develop module and “Tilted” DNG’s that are reduced to pieces for faster multi-core processing.
However, a lot of older applications that run raw files are unable to handle the newer .DNG format.
Whether you decide to begin your photo processing in raw or .DNG format, you will be shooting them in raw, so there is no harm in trying an import as .DNG and seeing what happens. No matter which photo editor you are using, tell us below about your experiences using .DNG.
This is the menu for customizing your identity plate in Lightroom (Version 5.0 shown).
With the professional-looking results you can achieve with Lightroom, it is not surprising that the photo editing software from Adobe is a leading choice among small businesses. If you are a small business owner working with Lightroom, and you go to meet with a potential or current client, it will look more professional if the software you are using in your presentation is customized with your studio’s logo or company name. That is possible within Lightroom, and doing it is easier than you think.
Photographers love to have gear customized for the tastes and style, and this is another advantage to this feature. By customizing your software with your name or favorite photo, you are branding it as your own, which is cool just as it stands!
To do this, look at your top menu bar. In versions of Lightroom before five, all the way to the left, you will find the “Lightroom” menu. From here, select “Identity Plate Setup.” In Lightroom 5, you will find it included in the Edit menu. On the box which pops up, you can enter in text or add an image to make it look like you have your own brand of software!
Adobe released a beta of their new photo editing software, Lightroom 5.0, to the general public, on April 15th. But what does Lightroom 5 offer that makes it stand out from earlier versions of the software? (We thought we had it all in Lightroom 4 and even Lightroom 3)
1) The retouching features are greatly improved – The two retouching tools – “clone” and “healing” have been greatly expanded and made more versatile. This will make removing wrinkles in skin and other skin blemishes much easier within the software.
2) A new “Spot Highlighting” tool – The task of identifying little specks of and imperfections in your photographs just got a whole lot easier with the addition to Lightroom 5 of the new “Spot Highlighting” tool. This vividly points out such undesirable areas in the photo, allowing you to remove them with the spot removal tool. Speaking of which…
3) The spot removal brush is no longer just a circle – if you want to delete an object from your photo, you now have the option of using fully-customizable shapes available for the spot removal brush, – you can even have the brush shaped like a person, in order to remove people from your photo with a single stroke.
Let’s say you have a photograph of a city street scene, but there is a garbage can in the frame which you wish to remove. In Lightroom 5, you simply wash out the area of the can with a single stroke of the spot removal tool, which will leave behind a white outline where the can once stood. One you remove your finger from the mouse, Lightroom will select an area of the photo which it believes should be copied into the edited area (likely a piece of wall to the side of the can location). You can accept that substitution, or choose a different area of your photograph to copy. One you do this a few times, the offending object can be removed from your photo nearly seamlessly, with only a few minutes of work. (more…)
Mosaic was founded by prosumer photographers Andy and Gerard in 2010 because they were frustrated with the existing options for managing their
photos. Andy and Gerard are on a mission to make digital asset management easier for photographers, while enabling the anywhere access
that we have come to expect. Mosaic is located in the beautiful state of New Hampshire where Andy and Gerard met over 20 years ago.