Archive for February, 2009

(Some of) My favorite Lightroom learning sites

Some Lightroom blogs get all the glory—Lightroom Killer Tips, LightroomNews, and Lightroom Journal, for example. And indeed they feature great news, presets, tips, and instructional content. But there are lots of other, perhaps lesser known, sites that regularly post excellent content. Here are some of my favorites.

Rob Sylvan’s Photoshop Lightroom Reference Guide. Rob has some great tutorials, including Reconnecting folders and photos in Lightroom, Don’t let Lightroom take over your hard drive, and Using the secondary display in Lightroom.

Peachpit also posts excerpts from its Lightroom titles, including its books by Martin Evening, Scott Kelby, Chris Orwig, and Jerry Courvoisier. There are dozens of excerpts there to date, for LR 2 and earlier.

Our own Community Help moderator Gene McCullagh posts tips and tutorials at Lightroom Secrets. Here’s his Quick Tips page, and here’s his Tutorials page.

Also, check out Community Help moderator Sean McCormack’s Sean posts both Lightroom how-to videos and articles such as Why Lightroom changes settings of raw photos on import and Why the Lightroom histogram displays RGB values as a percentage.

Jao van de Lagemaat, who is active on many Lightroom forums, shares both technical insights and opinions on Jao’s photo blog. Some of his best Lightroom posts are about noise reduction, camera profiles, and output sharpening. Jao also uses before-and-after visuals very effectively.

Lightroom Queen Victoria Bampton, a super-moderator on Lightroom Forums, writes useful posts, including Lightroom thinks my photos are missing, To DNG or not to DNG, and Why won’t my white balance sync?.

Finally, O’Reilly’s Inside Lightroom features great articles by a host of expert Lightroomers, including Gene McCullagh, Michael Clark, Mark Sirota, Jao van de Lagemaat, and Mikkel Aaland. Recent topics include A refresher on image previews, What does an unprocessed image look like?, and Importing Photoshop files—the Maximize Compatibility issue.

All of these sites are indexed in our Community Help custom search engine, and I link to good posts from these sites on both the Lightroom Help and Support page and on relevant Lightroom online Help pages. But you can bookmark and/or get an RSS feed for all of these sites so the content comes right to your virtual doorstep.

Community Help moderators recognized as ACEs

Congratulations to our digital imaging Community Help moderators who have been accepted into the Adobe Community Experts program. Sean McCormack, Gene McCullagh, Chris Tarantino, and Geoff Walker thoughtfully and energetically answer questions and offer guidance to Lightroom, Photoshop, and Bridge customers on each of those products’ Community Help websites, as well as foster the greater Adobe learning community.

Here’s a little more about the great work that Sean, Gene, Chris, and Geoff do.

Sean McCormack, of Galway, Ireland, is a photographer and a Lightroom prerelease tester, trainer, author, and blogger. His articles have appeared in Professional Imagemaker and at Martin Evening’s Lightroom News, and he is the author of the forthcoming “Photoshop Lightroom 2 Made Easy.”

Sean produces Lightroom video tutorials for his own Lightroom blog and for Lightroom News. He also produces occasional Photoshop videos for his personal, photo-related weblog, Random Panderings.

Finally, Sean is an active moderator at Ian Farlow’s Lightroom Forums.

Gene McCullagh, of Flower Mound, Texas, is an Adobe Certified Expert in Lightroom, Photoshop, and InDesign. He is cofounder and manager of the Dallas Fort Worth Adobe User Group, where he is an instructor, webmaster, and blogger.

Gene is also a webmaster and blogger at Pix Veritas and his own Lightroom Secrets, and he is a regular writer for O’Reilly’s Inside Lightroom.

Like Sean, Gene is a moderator at Lightroom Forums.

Chris Tarantino, also of Flower Mound, Texas, is a fashion and beauty photo-retoucher. Chris has authored or contributed to a number of books, including “Digital Fashion Photography,” “Digital Photo Processing,” and “Photoshop Restoration and Retouching.” He has written articles for many publications; has spoken and presented at industry conferences; and writes and blogs for PMA and Retouch Pro.

Chris is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and has been a prerelease tester for both Photoshop and Lightroom. He is currently producing a DVD on advanced skin retouching in Photoshop, which will be available on his website.

Last but definitely not least is Geoff Walker, of farflung Greytown, New Zealand. Geoff is one of our most active and helpful Community Help moderators. Although he doesn’t write articles or blogs, Geoff spends many hours each week advocating Lightroom to photographers and answering questions on numerous forums, including:

Lightroom Community Help, Photoshop Community Help, and Bridge Community Help;

Lightroom Forums, where he has been a moderator since the forums’ inception; and

Nikon Cafe, where he is the resident Lightroom/Adobe expert.

Geoff, who is a full-time photographer, is also a Lightroom prerelease tester.

Once again, congratulations—and many thanks—to Sean, Gene, Chris, and Geoff.

A smarter Camera Raw workflow

Smart Objects are Photoshop layers that preserve original image or vector data, giving you the flexibility to experiment with different transformations and filtering. Smart Objects are particularly well suited to raw files. If edits in Photoshop would benefit from different raw processing, simply double-click the Smart Object layer to adjust the original data in the Camera Raw dialog box.

NAPP instructor Matt Kloskowski walks you through the process in this helpful video.

For more details about Smart Objects and other flexible, layer-based editing techniques, check out these topics in Photoshop Help:

Layer basics
Layer effects and styles
Adjustment and fill layers
Nondestructive editing (with Smart Objects and Smart Filters)
Layer comps

Update to Lightroom Help is live

We pushed an update to Lightroom web Help yesterday, making more than a dozen corrections and clarifications based mostly on the comments we’ve received on the site.

Highlights include:

• Clearer descriptions of how to select photos to perform tasks in the Library module. Generally, if you want to make changes to multiple photos at once, you have to select them in the Grid view. Even though you can select multiple photos in the Filmstrip, if you do so in Loupe, Compare, or Survey view, changes are usually applied to just the active photo. This can be confusing, so we clarified the selection process in all relevant topics, such as Set rating stars and Add keyword tags to photos.

(Remember, when you’re working with multiple windows, Lightroom applies commands and edits to the photo or photos that are selected in the main application window regardless of what is selected in the second window.)

• A common question is, “How do I move folders in the Library module?” Now you can find the answer in a new topic, Move folders in the Folders panel. This page is part of a bigger new topic, Manage folders, which consolidates everything you need to know about creating, deleting, moving, and renaming folders in Lightroom.

• Everyone wants to drag to rearrange photos, but sometimes it doesn’t work. That’s because you have to be in the lowest folder in the hierarchy or in a regular collection to manually sort photos. This is hard to remember, so we now remind you in the topics Rearrange photos in the Grid view, About collections), and Edit smart collections.

• Our “undo” topic needed a makeover. The edited topics Undo image adjustments and Track image adjustments in the History panel now better distinguish how to reset photos and how to use the History panel.

• Want to know where Lightroom plug-ins live on your system? The Export plug-ins page now tells you.

Keep the comments coming.