One of the things I love about Lightroom is the fact that it is non-destructive to my original image. This means that I can rediscover images from long ago, hit reset and use my current knowledge, skills and plugins to bring an old, tired or forgotten image back to life. I was doing just that over the the weekend. I came across two images. The one of the train is one that I completely passed over when I initially imported it into Lightroom. I thought it was dull and boring. After playing around with the new PerfectPhoto Suite 7, I used it to give this image some fresh life. I really like the results. The other image is of a sunset that I captured in Hawaii. Now get this… I took this image hand-held in 2009 with a 6 megapixel Nikon D50. I used layers in Photoshop along with Nik Color EFX Pro to give new life to this image. And guess what… someone saw it over the weekend and bought a framed print of it for quite a bit of money. It would never have happened had I not revisited it.
So here’s my tip: every so often, as you master Lightroom and your plugins, go back and look for hidden treasures in your catalog. You are bound to find many.
I assisted Jay Goodrich on his workshop this weekend which ended with a shooting session at the Seattle Arboretum. I saw one of the students getting low to get the right shot. When I saw these two women walking towards us, I got my camera ready to capture what I hoped would be a quizzical look. They didn’t disappoint. So, the street photographer in me came out while I was teaching a landscape workshop. You just never know when the opportunity will arise!
I’ve decided I want to have two Lightroom catalogs. My primary catalog with all my photos going back forever and ever. And one just for the current year. Yes, I know it is February but this is easy to do. In your library module, click on all photographs at the top of the Catalog module. Hit “G” for grid mode and click on Metadata. Sort by date. You now have 2013. CTR-A/CMD-A to select all. Hold your ALT key and the export button will change to Export Catalog. Call the new catalog 2013 Library or some such identifier. Export with the images and previews. You can now open the .lrc file called “2013 Library”. Then, at the end of the year, you do the same thing and then go to your MAIN catalog and import the 2013 catalog. All your data will be preserved.
Why would I do this? Well, here are a few reasons:
Keeps my images manageable by allowing me to just see the work on the current year images
Keeps Lightroom fast because I don’t have 20,000 to 30,ooo images in my active catalog
I can always go into my primary catalog if I want to look at older images
Allows me to start fresh with new Collection Sets and Collections
I am maintaining the same folder hierarchy on my hard drive so the images don’t have to move.
I’m still putting the new catalog in my Lightroom folder so I still only have to backup one folder to get all things photography backed up
At last night’s Macro Roundtable, Craig brought a setup with water drops from above and a U.S. flag behind a bucket of water. Using my Nikon Macro flashes (under and over the lens), I was able to capture the reflection of the flag in a water drop. In Lightroom, I cleaned up some of the reflections from the flash and then increased the saturation of the blues and decreased the saturation of the reds. I also masked all but the drop for sharpening.
We had a lot of fun at the macro roundtable tonight at the Mercer Island Library. Lots of toys abound. Chris Evans had his macro flashes and focus stacking gizmo. Craig Young was the big hit with his water droplet station. Karen Ussery brought some very pretty shells and Jann Ledbetter had a beautiful plate of flower pedals and chocolates (which we got to eat later). The point of all this was to get creative, bring a setup and rotate around to take macro shots. We also got to learn from each other. It’s a bit unnerving when you’re trying to time your shot with a drop of water hitting a pan from 3 feet above when 5 or 6 people are watching and cheering you on with “too early” or “too late”. But we all had fun.