From the Blog

Photo essay: Where the Amish Go on Vacation

This week, The New Yorker has an absolutely delightful photo essay, “Where the Amish Go on Vacation,” with photos by Dina Litovsky (and text by Alice Gregory) that capture a “place of brief leisure for people who consider work to be sacred”:

“Each winter, for close to a century now, hundreds of Amish and Mennonite families have travelled from their homes in icy quarters of the U.S. and Canada to Pinecraft, a small, sunny neighborhood in Sarasota, Florida. Arriving on chartered buses specializing in the transportation of ‘Plain people’ from areas such as Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Holmes County, Ohio, they rent modest bungalows and stay for weeks, or sometimes months, at a time. It’s vacation. For many, it’s the one time of the year that they spend with people from communities other than their own.”

Litovsky doesn’t gawk at or exploit her subjects; instead, she tells this story with respect and care, capturing her subjects as they are in this world. (My favorite photos are the shots of the volleyball game at night, but the entire piece is wonderful.)

The photographer, originally from the Ukraine, is now a resident of the U.S., and has a great eye for people in their environment. Her work has been in National Geographic, New York Magazine, The New York Times, and more. Her website is well worth perusing, especially if you are interested in telling stories through photography.

Lightroom CC, Classic updates add profile enhancements

Adobe released simultaneous updates this week for Lightroom CC (desktop and mobile) and Lightroom Classic, with a number of new features and enhancements. The biggest feature is an expanded set of profiles for rendering raw files with camera-specific styles and artistic effects.

At their simplest, profiles are the initial transformation of tone and color characteristics to a raw image (before editing), and Adobe historically has applied a default profile (Adobe Standard) to every raw image processed in Lightroom. If people knew about profiles—which was rare—it was most often to apply a camera-specific profile to a photo inside Lightroom. These additional profiles would correspond to the image settings you would find in your camera; my Sony A7RII, for example, has built-in profiles, with names like Deep, Clear, Portrait, Landscape, and I could apply those profiles either in-camera or in Lightroom Classic. Adobe would add those profiles to Lightroom as part of regular Camera Raw updates, and those profiles were tied to the camera used to take the photo.

Profiles have been around for some time, buried at the bottom of the Lightroom Develop panel, in the Camera Calibration pane. Read more »

Using DNG Converter with Lightroom 6 and new cameras

Lightroom 6 has reached the end of its road, so it’s all gravel lane from here on out. The last perpetual revision, Lightroom 6.14, was released on December 19, 2017, and Adobe isn’t going to update or support it going forward. The app still works fine, however, so if you’ve chosen it over Adobe’s subscription offerings (Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC), you shouldn’t see much of a difference for the time being.

Unless you buy a new camera.

If you’re shooting with a camera released after that date, Lightroom 6 won’t recognize those raw files. Camera manufacturers tweak the raw recipe for each camera model, which is why you frequently see updates to Adobe Camera Raw, Photoshop and Lightroom that add new raw formats. Since Adobe ended support for Lightroom 6 at the end of 2017, the software will no longer receive those updates. Read more »

Landscapes in red: the work of Melissa D. Jones

Golden Moment, ©Melissa D. Jones (all rights reserved)

Start with a landscape, and then throw in a shock of color—something bright and contrasty to arrest the eye. It’s an easy way to get attention, but pull the same technique too many times and it can become a gimmick. If you’re a photographer with the skill of Melissa D. Jones, however, you use it to display the world in a unique and different way.

Many of the photos on Jones’s Instagram account, @rouxroamer, feature herself in various bright red (“roux,” in French) articles of clothing—a gown, hat, jacket, heels, umbrella—but they never come across as contrived or cheated. Her appearance in each shot deliberately works with the rest of the scene.

Read more »

Photoshop Elements 2018 on sale through Feb. 20

We’ve long advocated Photoshop Elements as the ideal non-subscription image editing app: it is cross-platform, has a decent Organizer, and almost all of the features found in the full version of Photoshop. Right now, through Feb. 20, Photoshop Elements is on sale for $70 on the Adobe site, which is 30% off the list price. And, if you’re interested in video editing as well, the Photoshop Elements/Premiere Elements bundle is priced at $100 (it is normally $150).

With all the brouhaha over Lightroom CC from the fall, one message was clear: that many hobbyists don’t wish to spend anything on a subscription plan. And, at, $70, this is clearly a good deal on the latest version of Elements.

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