I took a workshop this weekend with Jasin Borlan, a hollywood still photographer. It was an amazing experience with a Seattle based stunt crew. If you haven’t checked out Jasin’s website, do because he is a fantastic photographer with an amazing job. He photographs action films while on set as if they were real life. Pretty cool. For a brief moment this weekend, I got to do the same thing. Here are some of my shots….
A Seattle Photography Club member, Anita Elder, took this awesome shot but, as you can see from the left image, the right side of the neck and beak was completely blown out. She sent me the RAW image asking what I might be able to do with it. With a bit of Lightroom and some Photoshop, here are the results. Comments welcomed!
If you have Photoshop CS3 or higher, you can now get the newest Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) for $9.95 a month for the first year. Are the new features worth the upgrade from CS6 for a photographer? IMHO, not really. I’d wait and keep using CS6 until you either buy a new camera that isn’t supported by Camera Raw 7 (you know it is coming!) or they release a must have feature. But, right now, I’d stick with CS6. If you have CS4, or maybe CS5, that’s a different story.
Q: I’ve attached a new external hard drive to my computer and want to move my past images to it, but Lightroom doesn’t recognize the drive.
A: I’ve gotten this question a bunch so I thought I would post the answer here as I’m sure many others have run into the same thing. Here’s the deal… your hard drive files and folders show up in the FOLDERS module in Lightroom. However, these are only folders and drives that Lightroom has been introduced to. You can have 10 drives on your computer but if you haven’t told Lightroom about them, they will not show up in the Library module under FOLDERS. Here are the steps to get Lightroom to recognize a new external (or internal) drive so that you can move images to a new hard drive. REMEMBER… any time you want to move images on your hard drive, you MUST do it from within Lightroom or you will end up with question marks all over your library as Lightroom won’t know where they reside.
- Please any image on the new drive through Explorer or Finder. Doesn’t matter what it is or whether it’s a JPG, TIFF, PSD or RAW file. Any image.
- Import that image into Lightroom through your import module
- Now that you’ve imported an image from that drive, Lightroom will now show this drive under the FOLDERS listing in the Library Module.
- Now you can drag any folder listed in Lightroom to your new drive. My recommendation is to create a master folder called PHOTOGRAPHS and then drag all the folders from your FOLDERS list that you want on that new drive into this new master folder. If you have master folders (such as by year), you can drag the entire folder into the new drive and the subfolders will follow.
I’ve told students and fellow photogs over and over that the best protection for your lens is your lens hood. In fact, I’ve written about using the lens hood and NOT a protective filter. Well, yesterday, during my street photography class, I let someone shame me into not using my lens hood because Jay Maisel says it is the only way to shoot street photography. In this rare instance, I acquiesced and paid the price… dearly. Walking along with my camera at my side and my Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 attached, my camera brushed by a tree. Honestly, it seemed to be barely a tap. Well, upon inspection of my lens, the filter ring portion of the barrel had a 1/2 inch chip taken out. Had I had the lens hood attached, nothing would have happened and all would be well. The initial estimate from Nikon… $350-700! Lesson learned the hard way. So my point here is to always, always have your lens hood on your lens.
By the way, because I have an insurance rider on my homeowners covering my gear, insurance will cover this. Another lesson to be learned. Check with your homeowners insurance company. It’s well worth the price.
One of the most confusing things I hear from teaching Lightroom classes around town is the difference between folders and collections. Folders are where the actual photos that you imported are stored on your hard drive. This is everything you import from your card, other drives, etc. into Lightroom. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. After you do your importing, the most important thing is keeping track of the “keepers”, right? Well, this is where Collections come in. My recommendation is to create a collection for all your keepers. In fact, Lightroom already has a smart collection that automatically tracks all your 5-star rated images. So use the 5-star rating sparingly and only for your absolute best. Then, they will all be right there in one collection.
There were interesting discussions tonight during my Street Photography workshop at Bellevue college surrounding cropping versus getting it right in camera. Though I do crop when I have to, I’d say that I’m in the “no cropping” school of thought. While I’m in this category, that’s not to say that I don’t take advantage of my 36 megapixel D800 and crop like crazy when it benefits the image.
That said, my goal is to get it right in the camera so I have a fully visualized image from the get-go. This attitude has sharpened my vision, honed my technical skills and made me a better photographer by taking my time to compose in camera. It also gives me more exercise because I have to use my feet to move around or get closer! When I look at a scene, even without the camera, I am able to visualize what it is I want to convey in an image and how I would compose it within the frame. This drive to get it right without cropping has, indeed, improved my technique and skills as a photographer. I’m forced to look around the edges of the viewfinder and make sure there are no unwanted objects. It slows me down, which in this case, is a good thing.
Then, there are those, like my student tonight, who sees nothing wrong with cropping. He’s also right. I personally like the 4×6 ratio that comes out of my camera. But, admittedly, there are images that benefit from a 1×1 square crop or a panoramic crop. And, yes, there are times when I just can’t get the shot I want because I don’t have the right lens or can’t get close enough to my subject. OK, I admit it, I’ll crop to get what I want instead of hitting the reject button. That doesn’t replace the feeling of accomplishment when I get it right in the camera! And, I don’t want to be a sloppy shooter because “Hey, I’ve got 36 megapixels. I’ll just shoot away and fix it later.”
So, in the end, my goal is to do less and less cropping as I become a better photographer. Maybe someday I won’t need Lightroom or Photoshop at all. Hey, I can dream, right?