Lightroom 4 Beta – Enhancements

My colleague Julieanne Kost has been doing a daily series on her blog where she's been outlining the small, but important enhancements in Lightroom 4 that could easily be overlooked. These are the kind of enhancements that would probably never make the brochure, but will impact our use of Lightroom 4 everyday. I thought she did such a fantastic job that I copied them and posted them below. :-) However, you shouldn't let that stop you from checking out her blog directly. She has a TON of Lightroom and Photoshop information there. See Julieanne's blog here.

 

Enhancements to the Library Module

• In the Folder panel, you can now move and/or delete multiple folders at one time.

• In the Collection panel, Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) a collection to duplicate it. More specifically, if the collection is loose (it’s not in a Collection Set), Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) until a thicker line appear between two items (indicating that the collection will be duplicated), and release. To duplicate a collection within a Collection Set or to duplicate the collection into a different Collection Set, Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) the collection on top of the Collection Set icon (watch for the highlight) and release.

• Stacking is now available in Collections.

• At the top of the Filmstrip bar, the selected image’s folder or collection is displayed. (This is really handy when in other modules.)

• The Flag attribute is now global.

Terry's Soapbox WARNING! – If anyone has ever attended one of my Lightroom sessions at Photoshop World or other workshops you'll know that I've made it a point to say that "I didn't like the way Flags worked in LR 2 and LR 3." If we go back to LR 1 when you flagged an image with a Pick Flag, that flag would be present no matter where that image went (say you dragged it into a collection for example). In LR 2 (I think it was 2)  the Pick flag behavior got changed so that the Picks would only be present in the location that you assigned them. For example if you Flagged an image in a folder and then dragged that same image to a collection the Pick Flag would NOT be there in the collection. I thought this was a bug at first and complained about it to the LR team repeatedly. Eventually someone explained to me that this "new" behavior was intentional and that Picks should be local. I got the logic of this as it gave the user the ability to have Picks in one place that were different than another place. Although I got it, I never really liked it! I always felt that a Pick is a Pick and that at a minimum it should be a preference "Picks are Local or Global". For this reason I started using Color Labels more because they were Global! It would appear that this decision has been reversed in Lightroom 4 and now Picks are back to being Global again ala LR 1.  Woot! …stepping down from my soapbox now.

• You can filter and/or search images based on their Metadata status. Images will be assigned one of several different statuses including Changed on Disk, Conflict Detected, Has Been Changed, Unknown and/or Up to Date).

• You can also search/filter on Map Locations and GPS Data (GPS Location or No GPS Location).

• That folder structure that you carefully crafted in the Develop module to hold your presets is now maintained both in the Import dialog box as well as the Quick Develop panel.

 

Enhancements to the Develop Module

• Snapshots now auto name with a time/date stamp.

• The White Balance Selector Tool’s sample area is dependent on zoom level. (Zoom in to sample a smaller area.)

• Noise reduction adjustments are always displayed (regardless of the zoom viewed).

• The Navigator panels in both the Library and Develop Module have two new options for zooming 1:8 and 1:16.

• This one isn’t new, but when using the Adjustment Brush, clicking on the disclosure triangle to the right of “Effect” displays an amount slider to increase/decrease all of the adjustments applied to that adjustment at one time.

 

Enhancements in the Output Modules

• Settings in the output modules (Book, Slideshow, Print, and Web) are “sticky”. When you leave a module and come back to it – even if you change the folder of images – the settings will remain as they were the last time you visited the module. This is an excellent addition if you’re working with one set of photographs and then move to another set of photographs and want the same output settings.

• In order to save output settings with a set of photographs, click the Create Saved Book, Slideshow, Print etc. button in the bar at the top of the creation’s preview area.

• Flash Galleries in the Web Module are now color managed.

 

Enhancements to the Export Options

• When exporting files, in the Metadata section, you can choose to Remove Location Information. Note: this option is only available when choosing either “All” or “All Except Camera and Camera Raw Information” as it doesn’t make sense with the other options.

• It is now possible to export images directly to Adobe Revel to be used on your mobile phone or tablet device. Use the “Export To” pull-down menu at the top of the Export dialog.

• Export to DVD is now available on 64-bit Windows machines.

• In the External Editing Preferences, you can now choose to “Stack with Original”. Or not. : )

 

Enhancements to Publish Services

 

• In the Lightroom 4 Beta, only the Facebook and Flickr plug-ins are installed in the Publish Services panel by default. However a button has been added directly underneath them to easily “Find More Services Online”. Although it might seem like added work to have to install a plug in, there is an advantage – if a plug-in is not baked into the application, it can be updated by the developer at any time.

• Publish Services (collections) can now include video.

• After making small changes to images (such as adding a keyword  etc.) in Publish Services (collections), you may not want to republish the images, If you do not want to republish, simply select the images and Control -click (Mac) / Right Mouse -click (Win) and select  “Mark as Up-To-Date”.

 

Additional Preferences

 

• On Mac, in the General preferences, you can now choose your preferred Language.

• Under Presets, several features have options to Restore Presets and Templates to their defaults. This may be very useful in teaching environments.

• In the External Editing preferences, you can now choose to “Stack with original”.

• Under the File Handling Preferences, be sure to keep the “Embed Fast Load Data” checked on for DNG. This can enable DNG files to load up to 8x faster in the Develop module and will only cost you approximately 200K per image!

 

You can download your copy of the Lightroom 4 Public Beta here for FREE

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Overpriced?

Rarely will you hear me complain about the price of anything. I feel that companies and individuals have the right to charge whatever they want and we as consumers have the right to buy it or not. Ultimately if no one buys a product then the company will either fail or adjust accordingly. I saw this product recently and I thought "COOL!" That was until I reached the price point. My eyes opened wide for a bit, but then I remembered my rule. Don't complain. You don't know what it cost to develop the product?You don't know what it cost to manufacturer the product? You don't know what ti cost to distribute the product, etc. 

 

How much would you pay for the world's only Flash Drive for iOS Devices?

A nifty product for sure. On one end it has a standard USB plug like any other flash/thumb drive and on the the other end it has a 30pin dock connector. Plug it into your computer, copy files to it and then plug it into your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch and copy files from it using their App. Sounds great! I could actually see using one of these from time to time especially when getting files from others. However, for me I can't quite justify the price (starting at $99.95 for 8GB). I can get an 8GB flash drive for $8 all day long. I can even get a 32GB flash drive for $27. Wait, that's not a fair comparison. These low priced thumb drives can't plug into your iDevices. Right! OK, I can sign up for a free Dropbox.com account and transfer up to 2GB's of files back and forth all day long for Free between my computer and iDevices. Wait, that's not really fair either. You need an internet connection to make that work and if you're wanting files from someone else then you got to do some setup work on their end to get the files into your Dropbox. True! Well can't you just download an App that lets you transfer files between computer and iDevices wirelessly? Yep, there are tons of them and here's a cool one called Air Sharing. Alas, it's not as simple as a physical flash drive either and these apps either require an internet connection, WiFi connection or Bluetooth connection. Yes, it would appear that this is a unique product offering a unique advantage and perhaps it can command a uniquely high price too. This product will be especially attractive to those who are now carrying their iPad most of the time instead of a laptop. The market will ultimately decide!

You can get an iFlashDrive starting at $99.95 for 8GB here.



How To Create Scrolling Slideshows For Your Digital Tablet Publication with InDesign CS 5.5

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNKmcXI-hRU

 

In this episode of the Adobe Creative Suite Podcast I'll show you how to use the recently updated Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) tools to create scrolling slideshows that can contain pictures, captions and even movies. 


Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?

See more of my Adobe Creative Suite Videos on my Adobe Creative Suite Podcast and get the App here. It features EXCLUSIVE CONTENT that no one else gets to see. This episode has a BONUS CLIP that is available only in the App! My iOS App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I also have an Android version:

Learn Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White - Wizzard Media

 

 



SNEAK PEEK: Adobe Camera RAW 7

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBIf9KljT68



Add A Macro Lens to Your Smartphone Easily

   

My iPhone has become my point & shoot camera for the most part. It's a good camera and while I do own "better" point & shoot cameras, my phone is always with me. Therefore it wins by default. I've also seen several attempts at adding lenses to smartphones and in most cases I'm left scratching my head trying to understand why anyone would want to do this? After all If I'm going to carry big lenses or if the photography is that important to me, then I'm also going to carry a decent camera body to go with those lenses. I recently made one exception to this rule. 

 

The Easy-Macro Lens for Smartphones

We often use point & shoot cameras and smartphone cameras because they are CONVENIENT and self contained. However, if I can carry a Macro lens and it adds no extra weight or fuss then I'm interested. The Easy-Macro is just such an accessory. The easiest way to describe it is that it's a Macro lens on an elastic (rubber) band. When not in use you can carry it on the supplied card in your wallet or purse. I got this lens a couple weeks ago, stuck it in my wallet and forgot about it. Last night while on the plane I noticed it and decided to give it a spin. It installs in two seconds. Just stretch the band around your phone and position the lens over your built-in lens. That's it. You're ready to do a little Macro photography. 

Shot taken up close withOUT the Easy-Macro

 

shot taken up close WITH Easy-Macro

 

 

 

The Bottom Line

The Easy-Macro won't replace any of my Nikon DSLR lens any time soon, but for quick up close detailed shots with a smartphone it's easy, low cost and nice to have.

You can get the Easy-Macro here for $15.



My 1st Adobe Lightroom 4 Photo Book

I’ve been creating Photo Books in other applications for quite some time now. While I’ve always gotten the books printed that I wanted, it was always a chore managing the photos in my App of choice (Lightroom) and then exporting/importing them into another App or Service just to layout a book. ¬†That all goes away for me with the introduction of the Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta. One of the books that I do/update on a regular basis is my “Portfolio” book. People are always impressed when I show them my Portfolio as an actual professionally printed book. Since my photos are all in Lightroom I decided to recreate my Portfolio book in using the New Lightroom 4 Book module. Laying the book out was pretty straight forward and once I got into the swing of switching layouts between single photo pages and 2 up photo pages (the two formats I use the most), I got the book laid out pretty quickly. One of the things I appreciated over other methods and software that I’ve used in the past was the ability to use “typography”. I had access to all my fonts and the same typography controls over size, leading, tracking, kerning, etc. as I would in Photoshop or Illustrator.

After the book was laid out I had the option of sending it right up to Blurb for printing or exporting it as a PDF. I choose to have it professionally printed as with my previous versions. I got the books back pretty quickly. Even though Blurb is based out of California, my books were printed in New York and once shipped arrived at my door two days later.

As far as cost goes they cost about what I was paying for my other books even though I added more pages this time and went with a hard cover vs. a soft cover.

The quality and color is what I expected it to be and very on par with with my other books.

Saving a few bucks – you have the option of turning on or off the Blurb logo page in the back of your book. If you leave it on your printed book will cost less. The difference was about $19 for my books. It wasn’t worth the savings since these books are for me. However, if I were doing a book for a client I’d pay it not to have the Blurb advertising in it.

All in all I’m very happy with the results of my 78 page Portfolio Book and I’m glad that the Lightroom team built this feature in (finally!) Download the Public Beta of Adobe Lightroom 4 here and give it a spin.

Use Blurb Promo Code: LR4BOOK for 20% off your next Lightroom Photo Book now through 12/31/2012!


My iPhone Book 5th Edition is Now Available For Pre-order

The iPhone Book 5th Edition is Now Available for Pre-Order! It has gone to press and should be shipping shortly. It covers the latest enhancements in iOS 5 as well as the new iPhone 4s. Tons of tips and tricks and how to's. You can pre-order your copy here.



Yes, I pre-ordered a Nikon D4!

Usually when something big in tech or photography happens my friends start asking me "did you order one?" This time the big news is the newly announced Nikon D4 DSLR camera. Let me start by saying that I've always had Nikon D3 envy, but just couldn't justify the price. I don't need the high speed because I don't shoot sports. My D700 has served me quite well and I really have no complaints with it. My desire to replace it only stems from the desire of having a full-frame camera that also does video. I have a Nikon D7000 for travel and currently a D5100 in studio for doing video. However, I find that I don't shoot much video with it because what I realized is that the times I want to shoot video is usually while I'm shooting stills. This would mean putting down my D700 and walking over to my D5100 and shooting video. In reality the moment would then be lost that I wanted to capture on video. What I want is one camera that does both. I've been waiting for the D700 replacement (the rumored D800). However, there's one problem with the D800 and that is according to ALL the rumors it will be a 38MP camera! While I'm assuming that Nikon will allow you to "turn down" the megapixel setting to a lesser resolution, it would mean that for me 99.9% of the time I would be shooting at that lower resolution as I have no desire/need to process or house 38MP RAW files. Since the D4 is here (shipping in February) I started looking at it as the answer to my quest. 

 

I don't need a $6,000 body!

Let me be the first to say/admit that I DON'T NEED A $6,000 CAMERA BODY! Nope, not on any level. It won't in any way positively affect my photography enough to offset the cost. The rumored D800 will likely be half the price and more in line with the D700 pricing that I'm used to. With that said, I'm going through with it and have ordered a D4 anyway. Another thing besides all the D4 goodness and video capabilities that intrigues me is the New Nikon WT5 Wireless Transmitter. Not only do I have a desire for a full-frame Nikon 1080p video capable DSLR, but I definitely have a strong desire for getting fast wireless tethered shooting! This video really got my attention and it's probably what pushed me over the edge:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0DnEoqm-wc

 

I'm doing it anyway! – FAQ

Q. Couldn't you just wait and see what the D800 really has to offer and make your decision then?

A. Asking me that question shows you don't really know me. I rarely wait to see what's coming if there is something in front of me that does everything I want.

 

Q. Will the D4 make you better photographer?

A. Nope

 

Q. Is video really that important to you? 

A. Hmmm… yep.

 

Q. Are you going to sell your D700

A. Normally that would be the plan, but I've decided at least for now to keep the D700 as my backup body in studio. I may change my mind down the road. However, since I won't have any need for the D5100 anymore my buddy has already called dibs on it.

 

Q. Don't you get all your gear for free anyway?

A. LOL, you don't really think that do you? Um no! I wish!

 

Q. You're not even a full-time photographer. Isn't this overkill.

A. Yep and your point?

 

Q. I thought photography was just your hobby and you do it for fun.

A. It is and I like to have a LOT of fun.

 

Q. Couldn't you find a better use for that money?

A. Yep. Life is short, might as well get what you want when you can.

 

Q. I don't really see how you can justify a D4 given that you don't make your living as a photographer.

A. I know, right?

 

Q. If you couldn't justify a D3 then how can you justify a D4?

A. Good question. The D3 never offered enough features over the D700 that I would use to justify the difference in price. The D4 does against the not yet announced D800.

 

Q. There's no reasoning with you on this purchase is there?

A. Not really.

 

Q. Where did you pre-order it from?

A. Right here at B&H Photo.



A Look Back At My First “Solo” Portrait Shoot in 2007

I get asked the question "how long have I been doing photography?" all the time. Even though I get this question regularly I have to pause and think about it for a minute because it depends on what the person is referring to. I've always had an interest in taking pictures ever since I was a kid. So do I count my Kodak Instamatic experience complete with flash cubes? Probably not what the person is thinking. I then answer for about 5 to 6 years. Last night I spent some time in Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta and while I don't organize my folders by year, I can certainly see why someone would want to use that method. Instead I organize by the folder for a particular shoot. If I do a shoot with Jane Doe, then that shoot goes into the Jane Doe folder. If I do another shoot with Jane Doe then it goes into the "Jane Doe 2" folder. That has worked well for me as I'm usually looking for a picture of a person, not necessarily a year that I took it. With that said, I was curious to see what photos I took when and since I have one catalog for my "Model" Shoots containing every "edited" picture I've done, I decided to create "Smart" Collections to separate them out by years:

It was really fun taking a trip down memory lane! Some of the photos I looked at and cringed and others I said, "hey that wasn't bad for a beginner." The photo above of Mya was my first "solo" shoot. I say it that way because it wasn't my first shoot ever. I had actually started shooting portraits in 2006, but back then I was merely tagging along on other photographer's shoots. My first shoot ever was along side Scott Kelby. Scott visited me back in 2006 and he had set up a shoot for his upcoming iPod Book at the time (I was technical editor). We rented Andy Greenwell's studio here in Michigan and Andy setup the lights, Scott found the model and I just basically observed and got a shot here and there. The reason that I don't really count that as my first shoot is because I didn't do any of the work. I just pointed my camera and fired after I asked "hey what settings are you using?"

 

Going Solo

I finally got up enough nerve to try my own portrait session in 2007. My sister recommended that i use Mya (friend of the family) and Mya agreed to let me photograph (experiment with) her. I had no studio, no professional lighting and a consumer grade DSLR. The shoot took place in my living room. I had a Nikon D80, 18-200mm Nikon lens and an SB 600 speedlight. I also used a Westcott pop up background. My SB 600 speedlight was mounted on a stand and shooting through a diffuser. Quite honestly I had no idea of what I was really doing from a settings stand point. I just kept adjusting things until I got a half way decent image. That session showed me that I had a LOT to learn!

 

Renting a Studio in 2008

In 2008 I decided that I needed a larger space than my living room. So I did a timeshare with other photographers. I also started buying more gear including lighting. According to Lightroom I shot more portraits in 2008 than any other year. This probably due more to being less selective about the number of images I kept vs. doing more shooting. 

 

2009-2011

Between the years of 2009 and 2011 I would say was the timeframe that I learned most of what I know.

 

Not only did I improve my photography skills and lighting skills, but I also improved my editing skills in post.

I'm always learning from the photographers that I admire. Videos, seminars, books and group shoots are ways that I learn the fastest.

The number one lesson that I can say that I've learned and constantly remind myself of is "Less is more – Only show your best work." This is one that I have to credit Scott Kelby for. He basically beat it into to me and I finally got it. I now limit my galleries to 24 images. If there is a new image that I want to put in,  then it has to be better than one of the ones that's already there and it replaces it.

 

Today

Although I have my own studio now and a few years of shooting under my belt, I'm always learning something new just about every time I pick up my camera. I invite you to go back through your work and feel free to share some links in the comments below. Tell us your experiences over the years and perhaps some of the things you've learned.



Adobe CS3 & CS4 Customers Will Have an Upgrade Path To CS6

There has been a lot of confusion out there in the market about Adobe's plans to move to the cloud "Creative Cloud." The 1st question that I get practically every day is "Will I have to run my Apps in the Cloud or can I just download them and install them as I do today?" The answer is that CS6 will be available as a stand alone installable App just like CS5 and CS5.5 are today. You will NOT have to use Creative Cloud or buy a subscription if you don't want to! Subscription is an alternative method to having a big cash outlay to buy Creative Suite. It's an OPTION (like leasing a car vs. buying one). Even with Subscription you're downloading the Apps and running them on your local machine and not in the cloud. The choice is yours. Now with that out of the way, here is a link to the recent policy changes that spell out upgrade paths for CS3 and CS4 users.

Yes, CS5 and CS5.5 users can upgrade too. It was never an issue for current users to go to CS6.



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