Tag Archives: lightroom

Santee Storm Clouds

Santee Storm Clouds

Santee Storm Clouds

Santee Storm Clouds

Santee Storm Clouds

This week, the El Nino weather system has really hit Southern California.  While most people were heading for cover, I knew that there would be small openings of really dramatic weather.

Heading home from the office, I knew I had hit the jackpot.  I was armed with my backup camera body due to my recent camera accident, and I was using my Nikon 20mm 1.8 lens on a crop sensor, so it really was about a 30mm equivalent on a full-frame system.

Lightroom’s recent addition of the panoramic export is excellent, and with less than ideal equipment, this was a great opportunity to use it!

The resulting image was a 28 image panorama that Lightroom had no issue stitching together.  As you can see, the last light as the huge, high, clouds towered over Santee Lakes was amazing.  The yellows on the high clouds got deeper and deeper just after sunset, before the light vanished all at once!  Those are the brief moments that build memories.  As always, it is great to own your own backyard, and have a good, quick, place to go when you are at home and the light sets up perfectly.

This view is from the Mast Blvd bridge look North over Santee Lakes 2 and 3.  The clouds to the South of the bridge were dark and gloomy, which could have been a different but interesting image.  I wanted to chase the light though, and the opening to the North was too much to pass up.

It still amazes me how much people miss the connection between so-called bad weather and the resulting images.  Be safe, but get out there and brave the elements!  your portfolio will thank you.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image!

Fishers Peak Sunset

Fishers Peak Sunset

Fishers Peak Sunset

Fishers Peak Sunset

Fishers Peak Sunset from Trinidad, Colorado

Fishers Peak Sunset is another image I made this week from my parent’s home in Trinidad, Colorado.  The light was beautiful, and this was the last bit of light that existed before the evening. Continue reading

Adobe Lightroom CC Is Here

Adobe Lightroom CC (Or Lightroom 6) Is Here

Adobe Lightroom CC Screenshot

Screenshot of Adobe Lightroom CC (Lightroom 6)

As usual, the rumors proved to be true, a new version of Adobe Lightroom is here.  The perpetual (pay as you go) version is called Lightroom 6, while Adobe Creative Cloud users are getting Adobe Lightroom CC.  Both are the same software.

Victoria Bampton’s always excellent Lightroom Queen blog has all of the minute details you need about every feature that Adobe has added.  If you want to see it all, it is an excellent read.

Previously, I detailed the features I hoped would be included in the 6th version of this amazing software.  It is important to realize that this version is an evolutionary upgrade.  There is very little that is obvious.

Below are some of my immediate observations:

  •  The software is much faster.  I am running a 2013 27″ iMac on OSX Yosemite (10.10).  Despite maxing out my RAM at 32GB, some processor-intensive tasks took time.  With the GPU boost, things like image previews feel much quicker.  This version of Lightroom is rock solid.
  • Adobe Lightroom People screenshot in Library Module

    People screenshot in Library Module

    The People addition is potentially a time-saver.  One of my good friends has always given me a tough time because he wants me to send all the images I have taken of him over the years, and I have never wanted to go through my entire Lightroom catalog looking.  I am not diligent at keyboarding, so this is potentially great.

  • The new Adobe Lightroom HDR and Panoramic features have promise.  I rarely need to resort to HDR techniques because my main camera body captures so much dynamic range, but it will be interesting to use.  The HDR function may be useful for other composites like fireworks and lunar eclipse images.  The Panoramic feature will help a lot of people, although my process is to take a single shot that I crop to the traditional 6 x 17 format.
  • The Adobe Lightroom modules still need work.  The Library and Develop modules in Lightroom are almost everything you need.  The Map module is still potentially interesting, and I use Nikon’s GP-1A GPS adapter, but I struggle to come up with a real use for it.  The Book module is another good idea begging to be further implemented.  I still don’t know anybody who has ever used the Slideshow, Print, or Web modules.  I know the Web module has some Responsive Templates, but wouldn’t an artist prefer to use WordPress, SmugMug, or Squarespace instead?
  • It appears that you can up the Lightroom image cache beyond 50GB, which helps with extremely large image sets (events, weddings, composites, etc.).
  • We are still using the Adobe Lightroom 2012 image process.  I still think there is improvement to be made in noise reduction, dynamic range, and color retouching that doesn’t result in overuse of the Vibrance and Saturation sliders.
  • There has been no change to the way filters/plugins are used and applied.  I don’t like that I still have to create a separate TIF file to edit RAW files in Nik Software, MacPhun, Noiseware, etc.  I still wish the “layer and layer mask” functionality in Photoshop would find it’s way to Adobe Lightroom.  I suppose there is always Version 7.
  • There is still no automatic dust detection.  Let’s face it, between our sensors and our glass, dust is a fact of life.  Yes, I can individually select each dust spot, and yes, I do appreciate the contrast view that allows me to see them easier, but I would rather Lightroom just did 99% of that work for me.
  • I still want better batch editing tools in the Develop module.  I can save a little bit of time with the Previous button, but edit one thing and you are essentially starting over.

I need some more time Adobe Lightroom CC, but I will post a follow-up soon with additional feedback.  If you aren’t already a subscribed to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photographer’s bundle, you are definitely missing out.

In the meantime, I would love to know what you think about the software and how it is improving your photography and artistic workflow.

New Features I Would Like To See In Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6

It is about that time, and Adobe Systems will soon be announcing Photoshop Lightroom 6. For those who have been with the program since Lightroom 1, they have seen the program evolve from rudimentary to indispensable. While there are a number of amazing tools such as Nikon CaptureNX, OnOne Photo Suite, Topaz Labs, and MacPhun, Lightroom has the largest recognition and scale in the field of photography. When a new version is announced, everyone must pay attention.

I have witnessed the impressive maturation of Lightroom from it’s initial edition to Version 5. What were once massive updates have become more subtle as Adobe adds more fit and polish to an incredibly full-featured product. That being said, here are my list of updates, dream, and wish-list items I would love to see if Lightroom 6.

  • Automatic dust spot detection. Adobe added a great contrast filter that allows you to detect even hard-to-find dust spots. Now, I must admit, I use my cameras so much that I am often stuck with a dirty sensor in between cleanings.
  • An update to the 2012 Process. The upgrade from the 2010 Process to the 2012 Process was significant (who remembers the Recovery slider?).
  • Better plug-in integration. One of the greatest features of Lightroom is the non-destructive editing. Your edits in Lightroom do not tough the raw file until you export an image. However, if you are using a plugin (such as Nik Software, MacPhun, OnOne, Noiseware, list goes on), you are required to make a separate tif file. I feel this ruins some of the Lightroom aesthetic when you are making a separate file. I would love to see plugins handled more like Adobe Photoshop Layers and Layer Masks in the Lightroom database.
  • Seamless editing with Adobe Photoshop. This issues follows a similar issue to the way Lightroom plugins. When you want to use Photoshop for those final edits out of Lightroom, you must export to a PSD file. It would be great to be able to edit in Photoshop right out of Lightroom, and return with those edits intact, all without creating a separate file.
  • Larger image cache. Adobe currently has a 50gb image cache maximum, and the default is much smaller. For those working with heavy image loads, particularly wedding and event photographers, initial images load slow. Storage is cheap, and being able to increase the image cache would be a huge help.
  • Improved batch editing. This would save wedding and event photographers a lot of time. While you can do some minor batch editing, a full featured batch editing feature based on user preferences and the histogram would be useful. This is much different than the autotone, which uses an Adobe-specified profile. This would be able to set by user.

With the Lightroom 6 announcement coming soon, many of these features may be slated for the next version, or something we may see in the future in Lightroom 7, 8, or beyond. In the meantime, I can’t wait to see the next edition of Lightroom and what it does for all of us in the photography field.