There have been a number of times when I get panicky calls from Lightroom users because all their images are missing and/or have question marks on them meaning that Lightroom can’t find the original photo. My first question is always, “Did you move the pictures or folders while outside of Lightroom”? The answer is usually yes.
Do not move your images around using Explorer or Finder. If you do this, the Lightroom database will have no idea where those images are. Always move your images from within the Lightroom Folders panel inside the Library Module.
Adobe has released Lightroom 5.2 RC. The “RC’ indicates that it is still in beta but usually this means it’s ready for release. You can get a jump on it now by downloading it here.
There are several new features inclding:
- New feather control for the spot removal tool
- Auto find source method now works better when using the spot healing tool.
- The auto find now stays within the cropped area making it easier to find.
- Smart preview size has been updated to 2560 pixels on the long edge
- Right Click on a brush adjustment will bring up a context menu to delete or duplicate the brush settings
- Control/Alt/Drag or Command/Option/Drag on an adjustment brush pin will clone that adjustment
Also, new camera support has been added for several cameras including the Canon EOS 70D and Sony RX100. The Sony E 35mm f/1.8 lens has also been added among a few others. Quite a few issues have been fixed, as well.
If you travel between time zones, this tip is for you. How often do you go out of town on vacation or business to a different time zone and remember to change the time on your camera? Or, if you do, you forget to change it back when you return? Well, Lightroom can handle this. I never change the time on my camera because you can do it in Lightroom. After you import your images, simply highlight all the images from that time zone and choose METADATA – EDIT CAPTURE TIME in the Library module. Click the second choice to shift the capture time by a set number of hours to adjust for whatever time zone you were visiting. The capture time will automatically be updated for all the images.
If you are like me, I sometimes bring images into my computer from outside of Lightroom. This can be an image that you edited in a program other than Lightroom such as Photoshop, HDR EFX Pro or Portrait Professional. If I do, I still save them to the correct folder in my photo hierarchy. For instance, if I create an HDR directly out of an outside program, I’ll then save it to my Lightroom/Photos/2013/06 folder. But if I go into Lightroom, the program doesn’t know these images exist.
If you added files to a folder outside of Lightroom, just go to that folder in your Lightroom “Folders” panel, right click on the folder name and the select “SYNCHRONIZE FOLDER”. Poof! Your images will be imported.
If you’re like me, one of the annoyances of Lightroom is that when using an adjustment tool, the sliders don’t reset from the last time you used this tool. I understand why this would happen if you were using a previous adjustment, but, to me, if you create a new adjustment, the sliders should automatically reset.
Resetting the sliders is pretty easy, though. In the develop module, you can double-click any slider to reset it to its default. You can reset all the sliders of a specific module (tone, adjustment brush, graduated filter, etc.) by holding your Option (Mac) or ALT (PC) key and hit the word “reset”. This appears where the name of the control is. “Tone” becomes “Reset Tone” when you hit this key. You can also double-click the name of the control set to reset that group of sliders.
For those of you who like to do HDR and/or bracket your images, it can be a bit daunting to figure out which is the bracketed set and, once you do, which image was assigned what exposure value 0r bias. Here’s an easy fix.
While in grid mode, right click on a cell and at the bottom, click view options. Set one of your headers as above with Exposure bias and, if you want, exposure time. Note below that now you can see the bracketed set with -1, 0 & +1 exposure bias. This makes it very easy for you to see the range of exposures to ensure that you are using the right files for your HDR or composite images.
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.
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.