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Adding keywords to your photos are extremely useful for organizing and searching for photos. When you only have a few photos finding them by memory is easy. When you have thousands of images, keywords can really help add organization to make finding the perfect photo easy. All of your pictures from a trip to Holland in 2010 might be tagged with Holland 2010, for instance, making them easily findable.
If you want your photographs on the web to be searchable, then you will likely want to add keywords to your photographs.
Adobe Lightroom makes adding keywords to your photos fairly easy.
Keywords can be added to photos during the import process by using Lightroom This saves you from having to do this later.
The process for doing this is simple. When importing, look on the right-hand menu under the category “Apply During Import.” You will see a text box there marked “Keywords.” Enter your desired words and phrases in that box that describe the photographs to be imported.
Since the data you entered in that text box is embedded into each photograph, by importing groups of similar or related pictures, you can save hours of time by adding keywords on import.
Taking a lot of pictures is a great way to make sure that you snap at least a few really good ones. A good photographer will pour through image after image, looking for the one that really shines.
If you are out on vacation, you may find yourself coming home with hundreds of pictures that you will want to narrow down to just a few to show to friends and family. Looking through hundreds of images like this can take a long time, and the process can be repetitive.
Lightroom offers many ways of winnowing out photos, allowing you to select photos by star rating, date taken and much more.
As you are going through your photos, you can hit the letter P to pick an image as one of your favorites. Normally, you would then have to hit your right arrow button to bring you to the next selection, but there is an easier way to make this happen.
To save time during this process, go to your photo menu in the library module. Then, select “Auto Advance.” Then, after you choose a photo as a favorite, Lightroom will bring you to the next picture in your collection.
It may not save a lot of time with each picture, but it all adds up.
Memorial Day means three things – parades, barbecues and family photographs. This is the first major holiday of the year in the United States when people spend much of their day outdoors, visiting with family and friends. This means that your pictures will mostly be taken outside with natural light, and you will have lots of bright colors in your images.
Here are 11 tips to make your Memorial Day photographs great.
1) Get to parades early – If you want your parade pictures to consist of more than the back of people’s heads, you will need to be in the front row of people, and that means getting there early, Bring plenty of water and find a place where the Sun will be at your back, or just “downstream” from the parade route for the best lighting. Make sure you have everything you need before you leave your car, or you will lose your prime vantage point.
The colors of the American flags will be prominent this Memorial Day – make the most of them. Photo by Peter Griffin. Public domain image.
2) Stand at the turns during parades – Look for the places in the parade route where the procession will have to make a turn. Parades usually stop at these junctures, which will allow you plenty of time to line up the perfect shot, framing your picture perfectly.
3) Use short exposure times when photographing kids at barbecues – Children outdoors with other kids their age means play and movement, especially with summer vacation right around the corner. They’re not going to stand still for a minute, and that means that you will want to use very short exposure times to create the best possible photo of kids at play during Memorial Day cookouts. Fortunately, this holiday often allows enough sunlight where this does not usually cause a problem with under-exposure. (more…)
In Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, using just one mouse click or hotkey, you can easily view what your image looks like before and after editing side-by-side, or in split-screen mode.
While in the develop module of Lightroom, look to the bottom-left and find two monitor icons. Left-clicking on number one will bring up a menu allowing for before and after previews during editing. Or, use the hotkey Y to get a left-and-right preview, or Y for top-and-bottom images.
Then, just beneath your left-hand image, You will see an icon that looks like two letter Y’s, encased in boxes (pictured). Press this to cycle between split-screen preview modes. This will allow you to see the effects of your updates in one or two screens, while viewing the changes either horizontally or vertically. Hit the backslash key to return to the original view. Now, perform your edits, seeing how they look compared to the original in real time.
This is a Lightroom tool you are sure to use quite often.
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.
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.