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Lightroom Gets The Red Out!

By Gene McCullagh
March 6, 2010

Aside from Halloween shots those glowing red eyes in images don't belong. Of course, the best way to deal with red-eye is to avoid it altogether. So how does it happen? When the light from your flash enters your subject's eyes it bounces back from the retina. The retina is rich with blood vessels and colors the returning light red. If your flash is close to the lens (as are many on camera flashes) that light bounces right back into the lens and the eyes appear red. The farther away from the lens you move your flash the more you decrease the chance of red-eye. So the best way to fix red-eye is to get your flash off of your camera. I think more people are beginning to realize this.

Organizing Your Images

By Gene McCullagh
January 25, 2010

The start of a new year is always a time to think about change and improvement. One common resolution is to get more organized. In this age of digital media it is even more critical that we keep track of our digital assets. Lightroom has many features to help you organize your images. Organization can come in many forms and at many levels. You can organize your images at the drive level (by using a system of folders, subfolders, and file naming conventions) and/or at the metadata level in Lightroom. You must first decide what organizational workflow fits for you. There are many websites and books devoted to this topic. You should do a little research before embarking on this adventure. The best website I can recommend to you to delve deeply into industry standard organization practice is from the American Society of Media Photographers and funded by the Library of Congress. The site is full of suggestions and videos. Get ready to spend some time there!

How Do You Handle Rejection?

By Gene McCullagh
December 13, 2009

How do you handle rejection? Rejected images, that is. When you import new images into Lightroom you are faced with the initial task of deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. If you haven't had a chance to read my previous article on using the flags, Do You PUX?, I recommend you jump over there and read that first.

Lightroom Image Sequencing Options

By Gene McCullagh
October 5, 2009

Any well developed and flexible image processing application will allow users to approach a workflow and adapt it to what works best for them. Lightroom is no exception. Many users are well familiar with renaming image files during import and applying a sequence number to each file.

Review: LRKeys

By Gene McCullagh
October 4, 2009

Lightroom has its first iPhone application! LRKeys from Baum Computer and Graphics helps you learn the many keyboard shortcuts Lightroom provides in order to make your workflow more efficient.

Lightroom and Snow Leopard

By Gene McCullagh
September 1, 2009

Snow Leopard, the latest iteration of Mac OS X, arrived on August 28th. Whenever a new operating system arrives we have to research our applications before upgrading. (Don't forget that Windows 7 is coming at the end of October so our Windows colleagues will be facing this very soon as well.) Luckily, it seems, that Lightroom 2.4 and the Creative Suite 4 applications will run under Snow Leopard. John Nack has posted an FAQ regarding the Creative Suite 4 applications on his blog. Click here for the PDF.

Keywording in Lightroom's Loupe View

By Gene McCullagh
August 31, 2009

Sometimes thumbnails are just too small to let you see all the details in an image. If you don't have a second display and you would like to apply a group of keywords while looking at the Loupe view of an image here's an easy way. Begin by setting up your Keyword Shortcut. You find this under the Metadata menu in the Library module. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Command-Option-Shift-K on a Mac or Ctrl-Alt-Shift-K on a PC. This will present you with a deceptively simple dialog into which you can enter any number of keywords separated by commas.

Lightroom Resources from the Source

By Gene McCullagh
July 18, 2009

There are many resources on the web for learning about Lightroom. Sometimes it's good to go back to the source. Adobe has a few great resources for Lightroom users that you should add to your list of favorites. Here are a few.

Photoshop or Elements

By Gene McCullagh
July 13, 2009

In a previous article (I Have Lightroom. Do I Need Photoshop?) I discussed whether or not a Lightroom user needs the extra power that Photoshop affords. A few readers asked if Photoshop Elements was enough or is Photoshop the way to go. So, let's take a look at what the differences are and whether you need one or the other. Photoshop is the gold standard when discussing pixel based image editing software. It has a broad and deep set of tools that address the needs of a wide variety of users. Whether you are a designer, graphic artist, 3D modeler, filmmaker, photographer, or forensics expert there are tools for you. Of course all this power and functionality comes at a price. The current list price for Photoshop is $699.00. If you need the additional tools of Photoshop Extended then you are looking at $999.00!

I Have Lightroom. Do I Need Photoshop?

By Gene McCullagh
July 12, 2009

Every time I talk about Lightroom I am asked some variation of this question. I usually answer it by saying "I don't know.... Do you?" Of course I quickly follow up with a short explanation of why someone would or would not need Photoshop in addition to Lightroom. Lightroom is for photographers. Photoshop is for graphic artists and designers. OK, put down the torches and pitchforks while I explain!

Stealing Presets

By Gene McCullagh
June 27, 2009

Last week, Matt Kloskowski on his blog Lightroom Killer Tips (which, by the way, is an excellent Lightroom resource. If you haven't been there yet ... What are you waiting for?) posted an article Is it wrong to steal Lightroom presets? discussing the ethics/legality/morality of copying someone else's presets and applying that to your own work. With the exception of Matt's drug company argument (drug companies use patents to protect their drugs. It's only when the patents expire that others can produce generic copies) I have to agree with him. To equate the process with the final product is not something copyright law contemplates. It's ludicrous to think that Michaelangelo could sue because you happened to sculpt using marble because he used marble! You could give me all the marble you want and there's no way you'll get a David or a Pieta out of me! LOL

Lightroom 2.4 Update Available

By Gene McCullagh
June 24, 2009

An update to Lightroom version 2.4 is now available! To update your copy of Lightroom simply start the application and you should receive an dialog asking whether you want to update. To download the update directly from Adobe Mac user can click here, Windows users can click here.

Single Catalog or Multiple Catalogs in Lightroom?

By Gene McCullagh
May 21, 2009

Underneath all of the features and tools, Lightroom is, at its heart, a database program. One of the things that make Lightroom such a powerful and flexible application is its ability to help us find our images. As our collection of images grows it can become more and more difficult to locate that image of the puppy in the basket by the red flowers. But the keywords, metadata, collections, folders, and so on are all hooks Lightroom can use to search and find that puppy! There is nothing in Lightroom to prevent you from creating more than one catalog to store your images. But should you? Let's take a look at the reasons you might decide on one approach versus the other.

Virtual Copies and the Develop Module

By Gene McCullagh
May 9, 2009

There is an interesting, but sometimes confusing, issue when you create a virtual copy while you are working in the Develop module. Here's the scenario: You are working on an image and before you travel down an alternate creative path you decide to make a virtual copy before proceeding. So you use the menu command or the keyboard shortcut and... poof ...a different image is sitting there instead of your virtual copy! You go back to the Library module or look in the filmstrip and notice your virtual copy did get created. You've done this before and it worked. So what's going on?

It's Time for Spring Cleaning!

By Gene McCullagh
March 25, 2009

Spring is in the air and every photographer's thoughts turn to... cleaning out the accumulated gunk in your Lightroom Catalog! Seriously, though, now is a good time to go through your Lightroom Catalog(s) and see if you are carrying any excess baggage.

Moving Your Images From iPhoto to Lightroom

By Gene McCullagh
March 5, 2009

Earlier versions of Apple's iPhoto stored its library information in a regular folder structure. Around version 7 Apple changed that approach and iPhoto began hiding its folder structure inside a package file. While this makes the applications presence on the drive neater and theoretically more portable, it does hide the images in iPhoto's library from Lightroom. If you want to migrate your iPhoto library to Lightroom I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that it is relatively easy to import the files. The bad news? Your edits will not migrate easily. Unlike Lightroom, files that you edit in iPhoto are saved as a separate file. You can import these edited files but you will have both an original and the edit without any connection between them. Essentially, you wind up with two separate images. If you're still game here is how you do it.

Lightroom Catalog Settings

By Gene McCullagh
February 7, 2009

As we've seen, there are many preferences that can be adjusted in Lightroom to make it work the way you like. But that's not all! Each catalog has its own settings to allow you to further customize your Lightroom experience! Let's take a look at Catalog Settings.

Lightroom Preferences - Part 2

By Gene McCullagh
February 7, 2009

In Part 1 we took a look at the options available on the first three tabs of the Preferences dialog. In Part 2 we'll tackle the remaining three tabs. So let's get started!

Lightroom Preferences - Part 1

By Gene McCullagh
February 6, 2009

Setting preferences in Lightroom.

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