Matt K on advanced brush settings in Lightroom & Camera Raw

Oneonta Falls, ©Matt Kloskowski (via 500px)

If you’re using adjustment brushes inside Lightroom (Classic or CC) or Adobe Camera Raw, check out Matt Kloskowski’s latest video tutorial, Advanced Brush Settings in Lightroom and Photoshop, which talks about how to use the Flow and Density settings to get better targeted adjustments during your editing sessions. Matt’s explanation of why you want to play with those (rarely discussed) settings is spot-on, and he even includes a sample file for you to follow along with his edits.

Matt is one of the best post-processing and photography instructors out there—as well as an excellent photographer, workshop leader and all-around good guy—and he’s worth following, especially if you’re inside the Adobe ecosystem. He regularly posts great short videos on his site and his Facebook page, and his Photoshop System and Lightroom System courses are the best comprehensive video courses in the market.

Take Control of Lightroom CC ebook

Amidst the fury that surrounded Adobe’s fall Lightroom announcements (see The Cost of Software for details), it was easy to miss the fact that there are people who actually want to use Lightroom CC, especially for its promise of a cloud-based, device-independent workflow.

We honestly remain on the fence about the bifurcated Lightroom platform, but we’ve also run into more than a few people who expressed interest in—and asked questions about—Lightroom CC. Most of the questions are about the future of CC, especially since the core app’s feature set at launch was anemic in places. That said, Adobe has posted one major update to Lightroom CC since its release in mid-October, adding curves-based editing and split tone controls, as well as a new Auto image enhancement feature (which also was added to Lightroom Classic in December).

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The “cost” of software (Lightroom redux)

I have been fascinated with the furor that has whipped up many photographers about the release of Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic. As I noted previously, I totally get the idea that people are getting weary of ‘subscribing’ for software, even if that’s really what we have all been doing for years. My friend Jeff Carlson is doing a good job of talking about this issue, and today has an interesting piece called Math is Hard, or, A Quick Look at Lightroom Pricing. In it, Jeff talks about the cost of purchasing and upgrading a product like PhaseOne’s Capture One Pro vs. the costs of using Lightroom (in either incarnation).

Jeff is spot-on in his analysis: if you are someone who is serious about your photography, and you want to remain current with the latest in features and performance, Adobe’s $120 per year for Lightroom (both versions) and Photoshop is a good deal. It is made better by the fact that Lightroom really is the best product for most photographers in the market, but if you don’t like Lightroom/Photoshop, or are upset about Adobe’s policies, there are many alternatives in the market for you to use. Read more »

Thoughts on the Lightroom announcements

It has been a crazy few days, following Adobe’s announcements about the new Lightroom(s) and the Creative Cloud. There is a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt circulating, but that will die down over the next few weeks, as photographers on Adobe’s Photography plan play around with both the updated Lightroom Classic and the new Lightroom CC. (If you want an encyclopedic overview of everything regarding the Lightroom announcements, The Lightroom Queen is the place to go, to be honest.)

If you’re a user, looking at these announcements from the outside—i.e. you’re not a software developer—it can be difficult to understand why Adobe did what they did with Lightroom. Peter Krogh, an expert on digital asset management (DAM), has a fascinating post over on his website, entitled Lightroom and the Innovator’s Dilemma.

“But the architecture of Lightroom as a desktop application simply cannot be stretched enough to create a great mobile application. The desktop flexibility that has powers such a wide array of workflows can’t be shoehorned in to full cloud compatibility. The freedom to set up your drives, files and folders as you wish makes a nightmare for seamless access. And the flexibility to create massive keyword and collection taxonomies does not work with small mobile screens. After years of experimentation, the only good answer was the creation of a new cloud native architecture. As with the creation of the original Lightroom, this was done by taking the existing Camera Raw imaging engine and bolting it on to a new chassis – this time a cloud native architecture.”

Peter’s post is worth reading, especially if you’re confused or upset about Adobe’s direction. You might not like what Adobe did, but they are doing what any company must do if they wish to remain relevant: juggle the current (and future) needs of their users with the changing dynamics of technology, all while still trying to maintain a stable revenue (and profit) stream. Read more »

Jeff Carlson (and others) on the “new” Lightroom

Adobe today announced a whole new ecosystem surrounding Lightroom, which includes a new desktop app, called Lightroom CC, for Mac and Windows; updated iOS and Android versions (also called Lightroom CC); Creative-Cloud-based storage of your photos; and a rebranded (and updated) version of the “old” app, now called Lightroom Classic CC.

We have quite a few thoughts on this change, and will post something soon, but the best overview of the announcement out there is from our friend Jeff Carlson, over on DPReview. He summed it up best like this:

“For people who do not yet use Lightroom, or have been told by friends that they should use it but were intimidated by it, Lightroom CC should be a welcome introduction to the Adobe ecosystem. For photographers who have used Lightroom for years… it’s complicated.”

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Bookmarks: Julieanne Kost’s Blog

There must be a million websites devoted to photography (Google says as much), ranging from gear coverage to portfolios, photo news, opinions, business, learning, and more. Given the nature of this (yet another) photo site, I have to pay attention to more than I probably should, but most of you probably have a few that you check from time to time. If you work within the Photoshop and Lightroom post-production world, I have one that you should add: Julieanne Kost’s blog over at Adobe.com. Julieanne is an evangelist for Adobe, and her 2006 book, Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography & Creative Thinking, is a beautiful, thoughtful meditation on creativity, and one of the books I always have close to me for inspiration. It is unfortunately out of print, but you can still find used copies here and there, and, if you have an iPad (or Mac), you can purchase an ebook version for under $5. (She also recently published Passenger Seat, a tutorial-based book designed to help you develop your own photographic project.)

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Quartz Mountain Lightroom workshop, Oct. 5-8

If you’re thinking that it’s time for you to really learn Lightroom, Ben is teaching a Lightroom Deep Dive workshop in early October at the Oklahoma Arts Institute’s Quartz Mountain facility:

While “Photoshop” has become something of a generic term for image editing, these days, most digital post-production is centered around Lightroom. Offering all of the essential image editing power of Photoshop, Lightroom also provides all of the image management and cataloging features that you need to keep your ever-growing archive organized and searchable. In this intensive workshop we’ll go deep into the bowels of this product and explore how you should configure your system to get the most from Lightroom. Lightroom’s editing toolkit provides all of the essential controls you need to make sophisticated tone and color corrections and we’ll look at how to get the most from these controls. Along the way we’ll cover organization, backup and geotagging as well as how to merge Photoshop into your Lightroom workflow. Finally, we’ll go deep into Adobe’s latest addition to the Photoshop/Lightroom family and dive into Lightroom Mobile, which allows you to easily integrate your iOS and Android phone camera images into your regular workflow. Because you’ll need some imagery to work with, and because we’ll want to get out of the computer lab, we’ll be taking time to shoot in the surrounding towns and landscapes. There’s something in this class for anyone who uses Lightroom, regardless of your current skill level, and in this workshop we’ll have a lot of fun exploring those things.

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