Five Things Every New Lightroom User Should Know

Early morning mist rises from the crystal clear waters of Reflection Lakes as Mt. Rainier towers overhead, Washington. Copyright Bret Edge.

I’ve been using Adobe Lightroom as my RAW converter and photo editor of choice since version 1 launched a few years ago.  Until last year I still relied on Photoshop to complete the bulk of my editing work.  Why?  Because I was stubborn – an old curmudgeon who didn’t want to change.  Looking back, I wish I’d taken the advice of my friend and Lightroom guru Nat Coalson, who for years has been extolling the virtues of completing as much work as possible within Lightroom. Continue Reading

Be Prepared When Shooting in Wilderness

Be Prepared. We all have heard the Boy Scout motto. But are you prepared for emergencies when you travel or go out to shoot? We remember to take extra batteries and lens cleaning material but what about ourselves? Do you carry a first aid kit? Sunscreen? Insect Repellant? Let’s discuss the essentials. Continue Reading

Recover (or Discover) Your Creativity With a Self-Assignment

Pink Sky Above Three Sisters, Utah. Copyright Bret Edge.

Last week I read a great article on friend and photographer Gary Crabbe’s blog about the reality of working a photo assignment.  Gary’s article, and my own experience last year on assignment in Goblin Valley State Park, inspired me to write about a technique you might try next time your creative fire needs a little stoking. Continue Reading

Photo Critique – Portland Head Light by Dan Greenberg.

Portland Head Lighthouse by Dan Greenburg

Week 3’s assignment was to “create dynamic photos with an asymmetrical balance”, using the rule of thirds if that’s what worked best. There were some great examples of this in the Flickr Group, and I’ve chosen Dan Greenberg’s above photo of Portland Head Light to critique as part of this lesson. Let me star by saying that it is really hard to come up with a unique photo from a place as well known (in New England anyway) as Portland Head Light. Probably thousands of photographers have shot this scene – in good weather and bad weather, at sunrise and sunset, with calm water and with towering waves. Continue Reading

Week 4: Composition – Dominance and Simplicity

Last week I covered balance in a composition and how the rule of thirds can help you achieve a more dynamic look by creating an asymmetrical balance. This week’s video looks at dominance and simplicity, two concepts that will help you insure that the main subject of your photo takes center stage (though it should probably be a little off-center…) Whenever you take the time to get your camera out of your pack you are obviously struck by some aspect of the scene enough to want to take a picture. Continue Reading

To Blur or Not To Blur: Shooting Outdoor Adventures

Sometimes images do well in the market if they convey a sense of motion and action. As photographers we are storytellers and our images need to convey that story. If you are into photographing action subjects like skiing, mountain biking, running, water sports, or any moving subject, you can enhance an image and story by emphasizing that movement. There are essentially two ways to show motion: you move the camera with the subject or you move the subject while the camera is still.You might think that freezing a moving subject in place tells a better story and it will in some cases like a skier in the air or any subject better displayed as ‘frozen’ in place. Continue Reading

Developing in Lightroom 4.

If you follow photography at all on-line, you probably have noticed that Adobe released Lightroom 4 today. Surprisingly, they’ve lowered the price dramatically from when Lightroom 3 was originally introduced (from $279.00 to $149.00!) The upgrade price is down to $79.00 from $99.00. (By the way, if you’re a member of the North American Nature Photography Association,, you can get a 15% discount on all Adobe products.) If you are already a Lightroom user, you’ll notice two new modules in version 4 – Map (which lets you view GPS encoded images on a map), and Book (which lets you design books using some pre-loaded templates, and then export them to a pdf or publish them as Blurb book.) I can see myself using the Book module more than the Map module. The new feature I am most excited about at this point is the ability to now preview, trim, and color correct video clips in the Library module. This should be a big help to me as I’m shooting more and more video. However, in this post, I want to describe a few of the differences in the Develop module between versions 3 and 4, because anyone making the upgrade from Version 3 is going to notice these changes immediately. Continue Reading

Photo Critique – Garden of the Gods by Jim Hamilton.

Garden of the Gods by Jim Hamilton

Garden of the Gods by Jim Hamilton

Thanks to everyone who contributed photos for last week’s assignment, Use Your Histogram. From the descriptions some of you added to your photos, it’s obvious you’re getting the hang of adjusting your exposure based on reading the histogram – great job! Continue Reading