804 GEAR GEAR GEAR

Here’s the GEAR SHOW! Chris answers audience questions. Wayne wonders if Luminar could easily replace Adobe Lightroom. Derrin wants to know if he should be worried about 30 dead pixels on his new camera’s sensor. Also, Fred prompts Chris to discuss how Sony A7 Mk III, Canon 5D Mk IV and Nikon D850 stack up against each other. Also, Chris talks about his personal favorite or most noteworthy smaller photo gadgets from 2017.

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Products mentioned in this episode (affiliate links):

Other links:

Photo tours with Chris Marquardt:
» May 2017: Svalbard — Arctic (sold out)
» Oct 2017: Bhutan — The Happiness Kingdom (only 1 spot open)
» Jan 2018: Ladakh — Chadar Trek
» Aug 2018: Ireland — Giant's Causeway
» Sep 2018: Norway — Lofoten Fantastic Fjords
» Oct 2018: Morocco
» all photo tours

The post 804 GEAR GEAR GEAR appeared first on PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FROM THE TOP FLOOR.

797 An Imaginary Color

Find out the truth about the top floor and nothing but the truth. Marcalia has a question about synchronizing LR catalog & settings between two computers and Robert wonders about what Magenta really is.. because unlike any other color, Magenta is not part of the rainbow.

Photo by Ken Treloar via Unsplash

RECEIVE EMAIL FOR NEW EPISODES

Photo tours with Chris Marquardt:
» May 2017: Svalbard — Arctic (sold out)
» Oct 2017: Bhutan — The Happiness Kingdom (only 1 spot open)
» Jan 2018: Ladakh — Chadar Trek
» Aug 2018: Ireland — Giant's Causeway
» Sep 2018: Norway — Lofoten Fantastic Fjords
» Oct 2018: Morocco
» all photo tours

The post 797 An Imaginary Color appeared first on PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FROM THE TOP FLOOR.

How to Speed Up Your Photo Editing with the Right Lightroom Workflow

Processing photos is fun for me. But as much as I like doing it, I like being out in the field making new photos even more. That’s why I’ve developed a Lightroom workflow that helps me get the job done as quickly as possible.

Following these steps, you’ll learn how to make adjustments to a whole batch of images and then apply image specific adjustments to bring out the best in each frame.

Before you begin, choose a batch of photos taken at the same time under similar lighting conditions. I usually go through and pick my favorite photos from a shoot first, and then work on those.

How to Speed Up Your Photo Editing with the Right Lightroom Workflow

Step 1: Make Global Adjustments to the First Photo

In the Develop Module, pick the first photo in your batch and make the following adjustments to make it look its best.

Remember there are no rules with the sliders other than a little goes a long way. Just go with your gut. And if you’re not sure what a slider does, just take it to one extreme and then the other and you’ll be able to see exactly what is going to happen.

Camera Calibration

You’ll find this at the bottom of the develop module on the right-hand panel. I like to set this first because it makes such a dramatic difference to the color and contrast in an image. Simply go through the drop down box and pick the one that looks the best.

White Balance

Next go up to the top of the develop module and start working your way down. The first slider is white balance and there you can choose from the items in the drop down box. Again, simply choose the one that looks best.

Highlights and Shadows

Try darkening the highlights by moving the slider to the left and lightening the shadows by moving the slider to the right. You don’t want to go so far that you’ve removed all contrast from the scene, just enough that you have more detail in the highlight and shadow areas.

Clarity

The clarity slider will add contrast to the edges of things making them appear more crisp. Try nudging it a bit to the right. On the other hand, if you want your image to be softer and dreamier, you can move the clarity slider to the left.

Vibrance

The vibrance slider is more subtle than saturation since it adds color to the parts of your image that are already less saturated.

Sharpening

Most photos need a little sharpening. In the Detail Panel, try moving the sharpening slider a bit to the right.

Vignette

In the Effects Panel, add a slight post-crop vignette to draw the eye into the frame by dragging the slider slightly to the left.

How to Speed Up Your Photo Editing with the Right Lightroom Workflow

Before any adjustments in Lightroom.

How to Speed Up Your Photo Editing with the Right Lightroom Workflow

After the basic adjustments have been applied in Lightroom.

Step 2: Sync Settings

In the Develop Module, select all the photos in your batch (including the one you just edited) from the filmstrip at the bottom of the screen. Then click the Sync button at the bottom of the develop panel.

How to Speed Up Your Photo Editing with the Right Lightroom Workflow

Voila! All the adjustments you made to your first image have now been applied to the whole group.

Step 3: Make Final Adjustments to Single Photos

The following adjustments need to be made to each photo individually since they are rarely the same in a batch.

Crop and Straighten

If necessary, use the crop tool to adjust the crop. Maintain the aspect ratio of your image by holding down the shift key on your keyboard while you crop. You can also use the angle tool located inside the crop tool to make sure any horizon or shore lines are straight by drawing a line from one side to the other.

How to Speed Up Your Photo Editing with the Right Lightroom Workflow

Don’t Miss a Dust Spot

Using the spot removal tool, check the box next to “Visualize Spots” below the image to help you see the dust spots more easily.

How to Speed Up Your Photo Editing with the Right Lightroom Workflow

Radial Filter

Use the radial filter tool to increase the exposure very slightly on your main subject which will help to draw the viewer’s eye to it. Remember to click the “invert mask” checkbox to affect the area inside the circle. Otherwise, the default is to affect the area outside the circle you draw.

How to Speed Up Your Photo Editing with the Right Lightroom Workflow

Radial Filter in Lightroom.

Summary

I find that processing photos is more fun when it doesn’t take forever! Now with time saved doing basic processing, you may choose to take your photo into another photo editor to add special effects. Or you can just call it done and get back out in the field doing what you love: making photographs.


Want more? Try Anne’s Lightroom video course: Launch Into Lightroom to learn everything you need to know to get started in just a couple of hours.

The post How to Speed Up Your Photo Editing with the Right Lightroom Workflow by Anne McKinnell appeared first on Digital Photography School.

789 Photos on the Villa Walls

Francois wonders about how Lightroom presets make sense and Chris has a deeper look at how he uses them. Dave has a few questions about the photos that are up on the Viewfinder Villa walls.. so Chris takes you on a little tour of the house.

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Photo tours with Chris Marquardt:
» May 2017: Svalbard — Arctic (sold out)
» Oct 2017: Bhutan — The Happiness Kingdom (only 1 spot open)
» Jan 2018: Ladakh — Chadar Trek
» Aug 2018: Ireland — Giant's Causeway
» Sep 2018: Norway — Lofoten Fantastic Fjords
» Oct 2018: Morocco
» all photo tours

The post 789 Photos on the Villa Walls appeared first on PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FROM THE TOP FLOOR.

783 Why are Lenses Round?

On this quick-fire question and answer episode, Andy wonders why lenses are round and Chris talks about how lenses are made and how the round shape makes most sense. John has a LR workflow question and Mark is curious about digital medium format. Chris goes into detail on why medium format isn’t clearly defined and on the differences between film medium format and digital medium format.

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Links:

Photo tours with Chris Marquardt:
» May 2017: Svalbard — Arctic (sold out)
» Oct 2017: Bhutan — The Happiness Kingdom (only 1 spot open)
» Jan 2018: Ladakh — Chadar Trek
» Aug 2018: Ireland — Giant's Causeway
» Sep 2018: Norway — Lofoten Fantastic Fjords
» Oct 2018: Morocco
» all photo tours

The post 783 Why are Lenses Round? appeared first on PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FROM THE TOP FLOOR.

768 Lightroom Speed Boost

John Michael wonders how to speed up his Lightroom and Chris goes into the intricacies of setting up and using different preview sizes, smart previews and how the right setup can make Lightroom much faster. Chris also answers the question on why he upgraded to the 7D Mark II – the answer might be surprising. Sean wonders if he should get a regular ND filter or a variable one and Chris explains the differences and why one is probably better than the other.


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Links:

Photo tours with Chris Marquardt:
» Jan 2018: Ladakh: Chadar Trek
» Aug 2018: Ireland: Giant's Causeway
» Sep 2018: Lofoten Fantastic Fjords
» Oct 2018: Morocco
» all photo tours

The post 768 Lightroom Speed Boost appeared first on PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FROM THE TOP FLOOR.

tfttf740 – The Own-Backyard-Problem

740

Chris discusses the own-backyard-syndrome – is the grass on the other side really greener? Jim tries to find a good way to switch from Apple Photos to Adobe Lightroom and we take a closer look at Getty Images who lately seem to have gotten into a little bit of trouble.


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Links:

Photo tours with Chris Marquardt:
» Sep 2016: Donegal
» Feb 2017: Lake Baikal, Siberia
» May 2017: Svalbard/Spitzbergen
» Nov 2017: Bhutan
» all photo tours

The post tfttf740 – The Own-Backyard-Problem appeared first on PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FROM THE TOP FLOOR.

Lightroom Mastery: The Power of the Adjustment Brush

If there is one thing I wish I would have spent more time learning early on in my time with Lightroom, it’s the adjustment brush.

Lightroom is an incredible editing tool, arguably the easiest one to use, and the quickest to learn. The one thing that took me a while to wrap my head around when starting out, was how to use the Adjustment Brush. In this article I’d like to share a quick excerpt from the new Lightroom Mastery course I created for Digital Photography School. I hope you find it helpful.

Why the Adjustment Brush is Great

Lightroom excels at making changes to the entire image (global adjustments) super simple and effective. It really becomes a joy to use Lightroom once you get the hang of it. Need to pull up the shadows in an overly-contrasty image?  No problem; just pull up the shadow slider.  Need to correct for overexposure?  Easy – just drop the exposure slider.

But what do you do when you need to make a change to a very specific area (local adjustments), and you don’t want that to affect the rest of the image? This is exactly when you want to call upon the power of the Adjustment Brush.

Look at the difference an adjustment brush made in the sign, as well as brightening up the lower right corner.

Look at the difference an adjustment brush made in the sign, as well as brightening up the lower right corner of this image.

How the Adjustment Brush Works

Instead of making a global change to the entire canvas, the Adjustment Brush enables you to get very specific and just paint over where you would like to make changes.

This sounds simple, but is incredibly powerful – you now have the ability to affect big change in many different areas of your image, without resorting to bouncing the image over to Photoshop. Hey, I’m all about simplicity, and if I can get all my edits done in one program versus two, I’m all in!

A Perfect Example – Corvettes and Chrome

A good friend had just come to visit me from China, we decided to walk around the neighborhood and managed to catch a parade. It may not look like it, but this was in November in San Diego, one of the benefits of fair weather every day. I caught this image of this beautiful car driving by:

Lightroom adjustment brush, lightroom mastery course, lightroom mastery, dps, corvette, chrome, parade

I darkened the sky a bit and applied some more contrast to the ground and ended up with this:

Lightroom adjustment brush, lightroom mastery course, lightroom mastery, dps, corvette, chrome, parade

That looks good, but the photo really wasn’t capturing how bright the chrome wheels and bumper accents were. In short, I needed to do some local editing on just those pieces. Adjustment brush to the rescue!

Time to Shine – Creating a Chrome Adjustment Brush

Deciding where to start when creating your custom brush

I knew the key to making this photo pop was getting that chrome to come back to life. I first clicked into my Adjustment Brush window (hit K on your keyboard or select the Brush tool from the top of the right hand panel in the Develop Module) and reset all the sliders back to zero. Since the wheels were not facing the sun, they were underexposed and caught in shadow.

Creating the brush itself

Lightroom adjustment brush, lightroom mastery course, lightroom mastery, dps, corvette, chrome, paradeI decided to increase the exposure +1 stop, bump the shadows up to +28 to correct the darkness, and increase the whites to +20 to make the highlights in the chrome pop.

For good measure I increased the clarity to +30 to make sure the edges in that chrome highlights were nice and snappy. Here is what the adjustment window looked like before I started painting (see right)

This was an educated guess as to what I thought would work. If this worked well, I could leave it. If it didn’t, I could always move the sliders after painting, to change it as necessary.

Painting with the Adjustment Brush – best practices

There are a few guidelines I like to follow when painting with the Adjustment Brush. Here a few helpful tips to make this easy:

  • Use a brush size that is a bit smaller than the area you are trying to paint.  It helps if you don’t “color outside the lines”, although that is an easy fix if you do. A quick tip here: if you use a mouse with a scroll wheel you can change the size of your brush by scrolling up and down. It works the same with my Apple magic mouse.
  • Check the box for Auto Mask if you are painting something with fine edges you don’t want to go over. Auto Mask does a good job of keeping your brush inside the lines even if you go outside, which saves time.
  • I like to see the mask I’m painting versus the effects of the mask I’m painting. To have the mask show up in red either click Show selected mask overlay or simply click the O key on the keyboard to toggle the mask on and off.

Let’s get painting!

I quickly painted over the wheels, front bumper, headlights, and any other chrome I could find. It’s a bit difficult to see, since the mask is nearly the same color as the car (you can change the mask color by clicking Shift+O repeated times until you find a better color) but here is what the mask looked like after my initial run:

Lightroom adjustment brush, lightroom mastery course, lightroom mastery, dps, corvette, chrome, parade

Using the eraser tool to clean up mistakes

Wow, I’m apparently terrible at coloring inside the lines! In all reality, going outside the lines on this image didn’t make a noticeable difference, but we might as well do this right.

To clean up areas where you’ve overpainted all you have to do is click Erase in your Adjustment Brush window. This will pull up a brush that will erase the mask area when you paint over it. This is important: make sure to click click the A or B brush after using the eraser so you don’t forget and start painting over areas with the eraser versus the brush by accident!

After a quick clean-up I ended up with this, which is much better:

Lightroom adjustment brush, lightroom mastery course, lightroom mastery, dps, corvette, chrome, parade

Let’s turn off the mask and see how it looks

Remember, to turn off the mask you can simply click the O key on your keyboard. Here you see my image after the adjustment brush has been applied:

Lightroom adjustment brush, lightroom mastery course, lightroom mastery, dps, corvette, chrome, parade

Much better!  The chrome wheels and bumper are much brighter now, and look a lot better.  The only thing I don’t like now, is how dark the drivers-side door is.

It’s a pretty easy fix to create a new brush to bring up the shadows, so I’ll do that.

Starting a new mask in the same image

It’s important to think of masks like layers. The wheels and bumpers are painted with one mask, that has one group of settings.

If I want to make a new adjustment brush with different settings for the door, I need to create a new mask, as opposed to just moving the sliders around. If I move the sliders around without creating a new mask, that will make changes to the current active mask (my wheels and bumpers).

To make a new mask just click New at the top of the mask menu. I only increased the exposure setting to +1 to add a full stop of light to the side, painted over the door and rear of the car, and got this:

Lightroom adjustment brush, lightroom mastery course, lightroom mastery, dps, corvette, chrome, parade

Let’s compare that to the second edit before I used any adjustment brushes:

Lightroom adjustment brush, lightroom mastery course, lightroom mastery, dps, corvette, chrome, parade

Before Adjustment Brushes were applied.

Much better!

This is just one simple example, the sky’s the limit!

There are endless possibilities with the adjustment brush. I could have changed the color of this entire car if I wanted to as well.

You can lighten up dark areas of images and vice versa. You can apply sharpening or clarify to individual areas. You can do a whole host of beauty editing like whitening teeth, giving eyes more color,  and more.

If you found this helpful, you will LOVE the new DPS Lightroom Mastery course!

lightroom-mastery.jpg

There are far too many excellent tips to learning how to master Lightroom to include in a blog post, so Digital Photography tasked me with creating the best and most comprehensive Lightroom video course on the web!

In Lightroom Mastery I break down everything in Lightroom and teach you more in three hours, than most photographers learn in years. I cover every module, tool, tip, and trick from my 10 years using Lightroom.

During the initial launch, dPS is doing a huge 50% discount on the course!  The price will regularly be $99, but during this special launch it’s only $49!

Go grab the course before the sale is over

You can click this link to learn more about what is included in the course, watch a preview video, and purchase the course!

The post Lightroom Mastery: The Power of the Adjustment Brush by Mike Newton appeared first on Digital Photography School.