Archives For adobe

Wispy Shilshole Sunset

While shooting the sunset the other night, I tried out the fairly-new HDR capture mode in Lightroom mobile on my iPhone 7. Consider me impressed! The app snaps three photos and merges them together right there, creating a DNG (Adobe’s “digital negative” format) with lots of image information for editing. I’m generally wary of in-camera HDR processing, because with most cameras you end up with just a JPEG that doesn’t give you as much editing capability later.

The initial shot looked great, and I tweaked it slightly, also in Lightroom mobile on my iPhone. In fact, the only time the image went beyond the phone was when I checked it using the large screen of my MacBook Pro; since I saved the capture to a synced collection, the photo was waiting for me in Lightroom. Be sure to click the photo to view it larger at Flickr.

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10 Years of Lightroom

February 19, 2017 — Leave a comment

Lightroom 10 years

Ten years, man! Ten! Years!

Thanks to Victoria “The Lightroom Queen” Brampton’s newsletter, I learned that my photo organizer and editor of choice turned 10 this weekend. Unlike Victoria, I joined the Lightroom party late after starting off with Aperture, but it’s been the heart of my photo library for probably eight of those ten years. In a new blog post, Victoria runs down the history of Lightroom from the beginning, from the early betas to the latest mobile incarnations. It’s a good read if you’ve been using Lightroom for a while.

Speaking of Lightroom, the application features heavily into my own book, Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac. I’m almost done updating the manuscript for a new revision. Look for that soon!

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Xmas unwrapping1

The holidays offer a ton of prime photo-making opportunities, and many of those can be challenging. Shooting groups of people? Capturing Christmas morning? Getting details in low-light situations? Yep, I’ve been there, and I’m sure you have too.

Adobe Create contacted me and a few other photographers recently to ask for some holiday photo tips, which are now published in a new article at Adobe Create: How to Shoot Great Holiday Photos. My contributions include lighting for Christmas morning (a technique I learned from David Hobby’s Strobist blog), shooting outdoors in low light, and getting good (and spontaneous surprise) reactions in group shots.

Happy holiday shooting!

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Birdhouses

Over at TidBITS, I write in more depth about the changes in Lightroom for iOS 2.4, and they’re doozies: Lightroom for iOS 2.4 Changes Mobile Photo Workflow.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, adding native raw file format support to Adobe’s mobile photo editor is a big deal, especially for people who are looking to use just an iPad or iPhone on photo shoots to minimize the gear they carry.

It means you don’t end up with separate edited copies of photos that are synced with Lightroom on the desktop—a raw file editing in Lightroom mobile is synced to your main library with edits intact. And the editing power takes a big leap in quality, pulling detail out of shadows without blocking up sections where JPEGs just don’t hold up.

For example, here’s an underexposed raw photo edited entirely in Lightroom on my iPad:

LRm24 raw before after

There’s a better example in the article that shows extreme pixelation in a JPEG.

I also talk about the new local selection tools, which are great for adjusting selected portions in linear or gradient areas. Here’s another before-and-after, showing the radial tools at work; I was able to bring up the exposure for just the birdhouses without overexposing the background.

Lightroom m24 local original

Lightroom m24 local radial

Overall, this is an exciting release, something I’ve been looking forward to for years. It streamlines the mobile photo workflow and does what I envisioned in 2011 when I wrote the first edition of my iPad for Photographers book.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

Cc plan email

If you subscribe to Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan (which includes Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC, plus Creative Cloud syncing and Lightroom mobile for $10 a month), you probably received an email today containing a familiar name: me!

One of the highlights is a pointer (shown above) to the article that I published in Adobe Inspire in June, “Take Lightroom on Your Next Shoot.” If you missed the article when I pointed to it then, it’s all about how I used Lightroom mobile during a photo workshop in May through the California Redwoods.

I love writing articles like this, which point to practical things you can do with your photos in addition to inspiring you to get out and make more images. It was a fun one to write.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

Skyward, Redwoods

Knowing that I was away on a photo workshop in Northern California, an editor I’ve worked with for years contacted me with an interesting assignment: to write about how I use Adobe Lightroom in the field.

I’ve spent a lot of time (and three editions of my book The iPad for Photographers) thinking about how best to incorporate mobile technology into photography, and the field keeps moving forward. As a Lightroom CC user, I really like Lightroom mobile and how it syncs photos and adjustments from my iPad to my Mac and vice-versa.

The result is a new article, with a generous helping of photos from the Redwoods, posted today at Adobe Inspire: Take Lightroom on Your Next Shoot.

I outline a workflow for shooting, importing, and reviewing photos within Lightroom and the Creative Cloud ecosystem. One thing that surprised me: I found myself shooting more bracketed photos and side-by-side collections knowing that I could process those easily using the new Photo Merge HDR and Panorama tools in Lightroom CC.

One note, for those of you who have followed this field with me: I bypassed mentions of importing photos to the iPad while out shooting, which leads to special considerations for syncing and loading raw files later. (You can read more about that in my book.) What’s in the article is a streamlined, more sane approach to syncing and reviewing photos that won’t scare away novices.

Check out the article, and feel free to leave feedback here. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

Coinciding with the latest announcements from Adobe, two articles of mine were published this morning.

Lightroom mobile 1.1

Mix cutout

For my first article at Lynda.com, I looked at Lightroom mobile 1.1. On the surface it appears to be an incremental update that delivers iPhone compatibility (which Adobe promised was coming when Lightroom mobile came out in April). However, it turns out that having the app on the iPhone can potentially change the way you work with mobile photos.

Right now, to get the shots you capture with the iPhone (and if you’re like me, you take a lot) into your Lightroom library, you need to connect the phone to your computer via a sync cable and import the photos like any other camera. Using the feature of Lightroom mobile 1.1 to automatically add new photos from the Camera Roll to a synced collection means your photos get zapped to your Lightroom library without any intervention.

Read more about it at: How Lightroom Mobile 1.1 May Change Your Mobile Photo Workflow.

Adobe Photoshop Mix

LRmobile stars ipad

Over at Macworld, I wrote a first-look article about Adobe’s new Photoshop Mix app for iPad. It’s an interesting use of the underlying Photoshop technologies that Adobe is putting into many of its apps, enabling you to perform image corrections on photos and also build compositions from different photos.

Take a look at: First Look: Adobe Photoshop Mix.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

A quick, in-the-weeds-of-book-production post:

I’m an oddity among book authors in that most of my books are written directly into layout. Most people write a manuscript in Microsoft Word or Scrivener or some other word processor, then hand it off to design and production folks who lay it out with styles and artwork in an application such as Adobe InDesign.

I cut my teeth in PageMaker on my high school and college newspapers, and have used QuarkXPress and InDesign since then. For me, it’s easier to work within the layout where I can fix errors right away and write to the space I need. If a paragraph runs too long and spills over to the next page, I can edit it to fit; it doesn’t need two trips to a copyeditor and compositor to accomplish what I can do in less than a minute.

Until last year, I’ve worked mostly using extended keyboards that include a 10-key off to the side. In InDesign, I’d set up keyboard shortcuts to apply paragraph styles quickly: For example, to apply the Body style, I’d press Command-Option-Num 0 (the zero on the number key). But when my last extended keyboard died in the middle of a deadline, I switched to an Apple Wireless Keyboard, which has no 10-key.

I thought I’d be stuck using the mouse to change styles, but then I discovered a fast workaround. In InDesign, press Command-Return to bring up the Quick Apply palette and start typing a style name (either paragraph or character styles).

Indesign quick style

Often just one or two characters will get you in range. For my current book, I often need to apply the “Figure Number-P” character style (which switches to a bold font and reduces the text size), which works like this:

  1. Press Command-Return
  2. Type “f”
  3. Press the down-arrow twice to highlight Figure Number-P
  4. Press Return to apply

I find it’s really fast and doesn’t disrupt the flow of writing.

LRmobile 150pxAdobe released Lightroom mobile for iPad last night, and I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve written a brand new ebook for Peachpit Press covering it: Adobe Lightroom mobile: Your Lightroom on the Go.

The book features 53 pages of detailed information on how to use Lightroom mobile, including lots of tips on how to get the most out of Adobe’s new remote tool. And it costs just $8! As near as I can tell, this is the first book about Lightroom mobile on the market. (Update: Victoria Bampton, aka The Lightroom Queen, also released a book. Go buy her book, too!)

The book walks you through creating and syncing collections from the desktop version of Lightroom, as well as creating collections on the iPad itself (and why you’d want to do it). It also goes into detail about the app’s editing features, covers the many gestures used to speed things up, and more.

Here are some page samples. Buy it now (not-so-subtle-hint), and let me know what you think!

LRM ebook pages 03

LRM ebook pages 04

LRM ebook pages 01

LRM ebook pages 02

A quick correction: On page 335 of my book Photoshop Elements 11: Visual QuickStart Guide, the last tip mentions the Flipbook feature, a variation of the slideshow feature in the Organizer. Unfortunately, FLipbook didn’t make it past Photoshop Elements 10. Either the feature was pulled at the last minute (I wrote the book using beta versions of Elements 11 so it would be released when the software came out) or, most likely, I missed that detail and failed to remove the tip when updating the book from the last revision. My apologies. You can read more information on Adobe’s forums. (Thanks to reader Calvin for alerting me!)