Adobe Lightroom Tips for Beginners: The Island of Lost Files

Adobe Lightroom Tips for Beginners: The Island of Lost Files

Seán Duggan is a fine art photographer, author, educator, and an Adobe Certified Photoshop Expert with extensive experience in both the traditional and digital darkroom. His Lightroom Viewfinder series provides photographers with the tools they need to effectively use Lightroom for organization, editing, and printing.  The Island of Lost Files by Seán Duggan In this episode I pay a visit to the Island of Lost Files to address one of the most common questions from new Lightroom users: “Why are some of my files missing in Lightroom, and how do I get them back?” I explain the reasons why Lightroom sometimes loses track of images, as well as show you how to track down those missing files (even if you have no idea where they are). I also make some organizational and workflow recommendations that will help prevent files from getting lost in the future. Update Regarding the Lightroom 5 Public Beta: The Island of Lost Files video featured in this post covers Lightroom 4.x. On April 15 2013, Adobe announced a free public beta of Lightroom 5. The new version offers several very cool new features and improvements. One of these improvements is Smart Previews. A Smart Preview is a lossy DNG file that enables you to apply Develop module adjustments to your images even if the drive where they are stored is not currently connected to your computer. Smart Previews can be created as you import new files, or after-the-fact on a per image basis. All of the techniques for finding lost files that are covered in this video still apply with the Lightroom 5 public beta. The main...
Adobe Lightroom Tips for Beginners: Merging a Travel Catalog with your Main Catalog

Adobe Lightroom Tips for Beginners: Merging a Travel Catalog with your Main Catalog

Seán Duggan is a fine art photographer, author, educator, and an Adobe Certified Photoshop Expert with extensive experience in both the traditional and digital darkroom. His Lightroom Viewfinder series provides photographers with the tools they need to effectively use Lightroom for organization, editing, and printing.  Merging a Travel Catalog with your Main Catalog by Seán Duggan Lightroom is an essential tool for the traveling photographer, allowing you to not only work on your images as your trip unfolds, but also to just enjoy them more while you’re still on the trip. Reviewing images at the end of each day, editing them, working on sequences and image pairings, is also a great way to notice visual themes and trends in your own image making during the trip. You may not always be conscious of these as you are taking the photos, but taking note of these potential creative paths during the image review process can suggest new directions, as well as help you clarify existing ideas for the types of images you want to make. In the Lightroom Viewfinder episode below, I provide an overview of my Lightroom travel catalog setup (including regular backups and keeping the drives safe from loss while on the road). Then I’ll show you how to import the data from the travel catalog into the main Lightroom catalog back home when the trip is over. I also address the all-important practice of moving files within Lightroom so the program always knows where they’re at.   Seán Duggan is the co-author of Photoshop Masking & Composting, Real World Digital Photography, and The Creative Digital Darkroom. He is on the...
The Best Nikon for Night Photography

The Best Nikon for Night Photography

Want to know what the best Nikon camera is for night photography? David Kingham is a landscape photographer who focuses on the night sky. Kingham puts all of the major Nikon bodies to the test in this guest blog post. The Best Nikon for Night Photography by David Kingham Ever since Nikon released their new camera bodies last year I have been debating which body to upgrade to. I am an avid night photographer and have strong interests in how the bodies will perform for this specialized field. Night photography (especially for capturing the Milky Way) requires extremely high ISO’s of at least 3200 and up to 12,800. With the D700 I am generally limited to ISO 3200 and sometimes push the limits of the camera at ISO 6400. I rented some cameras from BorrowLenses.com to compare and, hopefully, find the ultimate Nikon camera for night photography. For night photography, full frame is the way to go. I selected the following bodies for the ultimate showdown: Nikon D700 Nikon D600 Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Nikon D3s Nikon D4 I left out the D3x because it is not in the same league as these bodies. The high ISO performance is not stellar, it would fare worse than the D700. I also left out the D3 since it has the same sensor as the D700. ERGONOMICS and CONTROLS Each body is designed for a different use, so they have many differences and quirks. I will only be covering what is relevant for night photography, so you won’t find anything here about frame rates, bracketing, etc. NIKON D4 & D3s The backlit buttons on...
Finding the Photo in the Cruft

Finding the Photo in the Cruft

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by the power of software to bring out something interesting in images that might otherwise be a wash, but wouldn’t you know it, I’m still capable of being amazed. I’m currently shooting with the Nikon D800 of late as part of an assignment (more to come on that later), and I was up in the hills overlooking the San Francisco Bay Area at night, hoping to get some shots of the brilliantly-lit vista that encompassed San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and parts of the Peninsula area. Of course, I got up there, and everything was completely fogged in. I was miffed. Even the slight glimpse of the city in the background behind the Bay Bridge was mostly obscured by fog. I was ready to pass up on the image, finding not much of value, but then decided to play with it a bit. Since I had megapixels to spare (the D800 has a 36MP sensor), I decided to crop the heck out of it. Okay, That was kind of cool, and it was still a 22MP image. But it was still just a fog-blurred image. I decided to see what Lightroom 4 could do with it. Well, okay, that’s not half-bad. Exposure bump by +0.30, highlights lowered by -16, +48 on Clarity and +51 on Vibrance. Not half-bad at all. I didn’t want to stop there. If Lightroom could bring that much life back into this image, what could I do with one of my favorite software packages, Color Efex Pro 4 from Nik Software. I added a little bit of the Detail Extractor...
Tip of the Week: Edit Video in Adobe… Lightroom?

Tip of the Week: Edit Video in Adobe… Lightroom?

It’s no big secret that video is now something even still photographers need to pay attention to. If you do photography for a living – or want to do photography for a living – then at some point, the specter of video is going to raise its head and you’ll have to deal with it, or risk falling behind your competition. Since photographers are dabbling in video, it’s no surprise that a software application formerly dedicated to still photographers is itself now dabbling in video. The latest version of Adobe Lightroom, released this month, now offers DSLR video shooters the ability to do some video edits and effects without having to leave the program. Among other things, you can do basic cuts and trims, apply color and exposure settings, and sync those settings between clips. The folks over at Adobe – specifically, Adobe’s Senior Digital Imaging Evangelist, Julieanne Kost – have a great video showing you some of the things you can do to your video with Lightroom 4. Take a look – I think you’ll be surprised at how much you can do. As an aside to our Aperture fans – yes, Aperture has had many of these features (and I’ve happily used them for a while) for some time now. It’s just nice to see Lightroom catching...