When you first install Lightroom 6/CC you may find yourself asking “Wait, how is this different from Lightroom 5?”, which is to say it’s an easy upgrade and familiar on all counts. But as you use it you’ll notice lots of meaningful new features everywhere – some small and some big. Here are five things in LR6/CC that I find significant:
The “Merge to Panorama in Photoshop” and “Merge to HDR in Photoshop” features have both been brought natively to Lightroom. And let me tell you, the process of combining frames in LR6 is so fast, easy and friendly that it’ll make you want to do it more often. From the Library module, goto Photo>PhotoMerge to get started. When combining files with Panorama mode, LR6/CC generates a large TIFF, but when combining raw files with HDR, Lightroom generates a composite a composite true raw file instead of a TIFF. These features are super simple, easy to use. They have developed a new architecture for these features that will allow them to do some great things moving forward, but because it’s different, your results may vary slightly from what you would get in Photoshop. For now, Lightroom has finally made these tedious tasks insanely easy and have simplified our workflow in the process. Love it.
You’ve likely used another app that uses facial recognition to automatically identify people’s faces that you’ve taken the time to label once. For those that work with portraits, it has the potential to greatly simply the tedious task of including names in metadata. Look for the new “People” view button to get started. It’s in the toolbar area of the Library module, next to the Grid, Loupe, Comparison and Survey buttons. (more…)
I thought I’d show everyone what my days often look like as a consultant. For 20 years, I’ve traveled around working with people in their studios on issues like color management, workflow, and print quality. A lot of the time this means working on big printers like these.
In addition to common aqueous inkjet printers, I spend a lot of my time working on UV Curable, Solvent, Latex and sublimation printers from companies like Vutek, HP, Epson, Gandhi, Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland, Inca and others. Last week I visited 3 clients in 3 cities including one of my favorite clients, HPI in Houston, where we worked on several of their printers including the Vutek HS100 Pro. To show you how it works, here’s a short video of it making a 30×40 print of my image Solitude on white aluminum dibond:
This monster UV Curable machine has 48 4” print heads that cost $3500 each and unusually accurate dot placement, for a UV printer. Even though it can print at incredibly high speeds, we have it in it’s slowest setting here that produces the highest quality. It uses an 8 color UV Curable inkset that can print on just about anything, including metal and glass. The LED Ultraviolet curing lamps you see positioned on each side of the carriage cures, frys and hardens the ink to the substrate before it has a chance to bleed or move. This type of printer was previously used exclusively for outdoor signage because of it’s extreme print durability and lightfastness. The print quality has recently become so good that people are using them to print artwork shown in galleries and museums. (more…)
20+ years ago I was splitting my time between a job where I was a Leaf45 scanner operator and an apprenticeship with a master printmaker. In the printmaking studio we were making large digital negatives on an imagesetter and using them to make hand-coated platinum/palladium prints in a wet darkroom. Back then everyone was using Photoshop 2 and had CRT monitors. While the color scans coming off the Leaf45 seemed pretty decent after a little color correction in curves, I was frustrated with how different the handmade B&W platinum palladium prints looked in comparison to the same images onscreen. We had developed curves to linearize the imagesetter that made the negatives but still, the prints on Arches Cold Press paper looked soo much different than they did onscreen. The paper had a warm tone that was darker and more yellow that what I saw onscreen. And the platinum palladium blacks were much lighter and warmer than the deep neutral blacks we saw onscreen.
I was so excited about ‘monitor matching’ that I started going around to everyone I knew adjusting their monitors to match whatever printing process they were working with. I learned to adjust the RGB gain, brighness and and contrast settings on their CRT monitors before doing the final tweaking (more…)
July 31st-August 3rd, in Eastern California
with Scott Martin and Lance Keimig
July 31st – Optional Lightroom 5 Class in Lee Vining
August 1st – Tioga Pass or Mono Lake
August 2nd and 3rd – Bodie Ghost Town
Tioga Pass, Mono Lake and Bodie ghost town are not only some of our favorite locations that we’ve been making images in for decades, we’ve also been leading night photography workshops here for the past ten years. We think you’ll find Mono Lake’s signature monolithic rock structures that extend upward from the lake are ideal for night photography. The dramatic granite moonscapes of Tioga Pass (more…)
We’d like to think that todays $1000+ LED LCD displays are great but I’m going to say they’re not. They suck actually. We just don’t know better because we haven’t seen anything better – yet. Today’s displays are like cars from the 1970s – much better transportation than a decade prior but still horribly polluting, underpowered and unsafe in comparison to what’s coming in the next few decades. Today’s desktop computer monitors are fairly low resolution ranging from 72-150ppi. While this works fine for 95% of the people out there communicating via email and browsing the web, its having some negative consequences when it comes to photographic image development. People are over sharpening their images and including too much localized contrast. Most importantly, we’re taking out noise that can be beautiful and make prints look incredible.
The original digital capture [left and above right] is so typicially clean that it can lead to bland, boring prints. With grain added in LR/ACR the image prints beutifully with a luscious, precision fine texture. We’ve come to the incorrect assumption that becuase noise and grain looks terrible onscreen it will be equally terrible in print. That’s a false assumption. (more…)
March 19-21, 2014 in Death Valley, CA
with Scott Martin and Lance Keimig
Lance Keimig and I invite you to join us in Death Valley in March. Unlike our usual Full Moon Night Photography workshops, this one will take place in the waning stage of the lunar cycle which will offer us some dark skies full of stars. I’ve come to love this time of night after the sun has gone down and before the moon comes up. It will be a great chance to rely upon light painting and make some ‘galactic sky’ images. We are also going to some unusual and remote locations in the park that most workshops don’t get to.
There will also be lots of opportunities for light drawing as well as light painting. Adding add to these scenes will be an important process towards getting a satifiying image. This intensive workshop is intended for photographers with a (more…)
February 18th, 2013, 9am – 4pm in Houston Texas
with Scott Martin in conjunction with ASMP
This 1 day workshop takes an intense look at optimizing photography workflows from capture-to-print using Adobe Lightroom. Skipping the basics, we’ll focus on the nitty gritty details necessary for professionals in the field. This workshop will be held at a photography studio downtown with lunch at the infamous Last Concert Cafe.
Topics of discussion:
Lessoning dependency on Photoshop
The DNG format and how to incorporate it into your workflow
Organizing your images and preparing for 100,000+ image libraries
High Volume storage management
Image Development with the new 2012 pipeline
Making your images sing
Printing from Lightroom
UV Curable Printing
Timelapse workflow with Lightroom (more…)
March 29 – April 6, 2013 in Iceland
with Lance Keimig, Tim Vollmer and Scott Martin
Iceland is a popular destination for so many reasons. This trip will be special in that it comes at the end of winter at what is essentially the best time to photograph the Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis in the next decade. We’ll have 8 days and 7 nights to explore and photograph this amazingly beautiful country, and all expenses except airfare, gratuities, and alcohol are included. The trip will be co-led with Lance Keimig and Tim Vollmer (whose photographs illustrate this page). Having three instructors (more…)