Editing DSLR Video in Lightroom 4

Lightroom 4 now lets you trim and edit DSLR video.

Lightroom 4 now lets you trim and edit DSLR video.

If you have yet to push that video button on your DSLR because you’re daunted by the task of editing all those video clips, you might want to give Lightroom 4 a go. Lightroom now lets you trim and make develop edits to video clips. While you can’t actually edit video in the Develop module, there is a way to make tonal and other changes, which I’ll outline below. Continue Reading

The Making of “Clear Water, Hudson River” Panorama

Clear Water, Hudson River

Clear Water, Hudson River

I received a few emails with questions about January’s wallpaper photo “Clear Water, Hudson River”, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to write a “Making Of” article for the benefit of all readers. Continue Reading

Exposing to the Right – Revisited

Most of us at one point or another have heard or read the maxim in digital photography commonly titled “expose to the right”. But do you really do this on a regular basis, and do you know how? More importantly do you know why? I’ll try to answer these questions as simply as I can and also provide some tips to put this practice into use every time you go out and shoot. After all, I don’t know of a single photographer that doesn’t want to come home with the highest quality images possible.

Many of the students I work with seem to be unclear about exposing to the right, and I think part of this can be attributed to 2 main reasons:

  1. Not having a full understanding of the reading and use of the histogram
  2. Depending on the LCD preview on the back of the camera as a way to aesthetically judge proper exposure, color, and contrast. Continue Reading

Soft Proofing Your Images in Lightroom 4.

 

Making fine art prints in Lightroom was always possible, but it just got a lot easier with the introduction of the soft proofing feature in Lightroom 4. Soft proofing simulates how your image will look on the printer/paper combination you are using with your print. Continue Reading

Developing Efficiencies in Lightroom’s Develop Module

Synchronizing develop settings in Lightroom.

I find that one of the big reasons photographers do not want to shoot in RAW mode is that they fear spending too much time on the computer. One of the great things about Adobe Lightroom is that it gives you several ways to be very efficient in managing your digital photo archive. One part of Lightroom that all photographers should master is the develop module.  While most shooters love the ability to easily make tone and color corrections to their images in this module, the ability to create develop presets and to apply changes to many images at once make “developing” in Lightroom one of the biggest time savers that digital photographers have in their arsenals.  And in my opinion, the less time I spend on the computer, the better. Continue Reading

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

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, http://nanpa.org/, 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

Color workflow – Image Editing and output

In the previous segments, we have discussed color spaces and profiling your monitor. Now we will discuss how to set Photoshop and Lightroom for best color space use.

First, Lightroom. Lightroom actually doesn’t use a colorspace profile for an image until it is exported to a different image editor. So the setting of a profile is actually which profile will be assigned to the image when it is sent to an external editor.

To set this up, we go to Lightroom> Preferences Continue Reading

Lacking Clarity.

By applying a negative amount of clarity to this image in Lightroom, I achieved a soft, ethereal look in this photo.

For most of my career, I was an Ansel Adams devotee with my landscape photography, almost always striving for tack sharp images from front to back. I’d step away from this look for a lot of my adventure images, as well as wildlife and flower portraits, where a shallow depth of field was warranted for making my main subject stand out from the background, but even in these images if I did my job, the main subject was tack sharp. During the last two or three years I’ve been experimenting with different looks to my landscapes where large portions of the image were not sharp. I now purposefully blur photos by moving the camera during exposures, using a post-processing technique called the Orton effect, and shooting with a Lens Baby – a little lens that blurs and distorts much of the image. Continue Reading

Add Blacks to Give Low Contrast Images Some “Pop”.

Shot in low-contrast, overcast light, this colorful scene lacks pop, but that can easily be fixed in post-processing.

If you shoot photos in even lighting situations (like on a foggy or overcast day), you will probably end up with a lot of low contrast images. These photos may have good colors and textures, but they’ll seem a little flat or drab. Continue Reading