Matt K’s Lightroom Crash Course

Matt K Lightroom Crash CourseMatt Kloskowski is one of the best Lightroom (and Photoshop) trainers out there, bar none. He has all the hallmarks of a great trainer, including an innate capacity to learn from his students as well as to teach them, and he understands where many users get lost in the weeds with photo editing software.

Over the years, he and I have had a few conversations about the difficulties that some new users run into when setting Lightroom up, and why they never really use the app to the best of its capabilities. To that end, Matt has released a 60-minute Lightroom Crash Course, designed solely to help people get over those initial hurdles when learning Lightroom Classic CC:

This course is meant to cut through all of the thousands of features that Lightroom has and get you feeling good about getting your photos in to it, and (most importantly), to start editing those photos and having some fun. My personal goal in teaching photo editing is to get you editing and enjoying your photography as fast as possible and that’s exactly what this 60 minute crash course will do.

This course is great if you have thought about jumping into Lightroom Classic, or if you’ve played around with it and are confused about things like where your photos are, or how to edit your photos effectively. Despite the course’s short length, Matt also talks about Lightroom features like brushes and graduated filters and how to export and print your photos. In addition, all of the sample photos used in the course are included for you to follow along.

For $50, the Lightroom Crash Course is darn close to a perfect hour (well, an hour and two minutes). And, if you want a deeper dive into Lightroom Classic, check out Matt’s much more comprehensive Lightroom System course, which is currently priced at $150. I highly recommend both courses, although all of Matt’s training—including his courses on Photoshop and ON1’s Photo Raw—is top-notch.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 adds profiles, LUT support, speed boosts

Photo RAW Browse module

ON1 is now shipping ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5, the mid-year release of its photo editor and image-management app for Windows and macOS. The update adds support for embedded camera profiles in the Develop module; an expanded Transform function; a new LUT (look-up table) filter for the Effects module; a revamped import/export manager for presets, LUTs, and border and texture files; and the addition of nested albums and presets. The update also includes support for recently released cameras and lenses.

Profiles and LUTs

Photo RAW 2018.5 adds support for the built-in profiles that come with most modern digital cameras, letting you get the same basic look that you see on your camera back. In addition,  ON1 has included a number of its own camera profiles for landscape, portrait and other scene types.

Read more »

Adobe updates Lightroom ecosystem

Today, Adobe released updates to its Lightroom family of apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. The majority of the updates center around Lightroom CC, but Lightroom Classic also got a little bit of love as well, and many of the options will also trickle to the browser-based version of Lightroom. Here are the main features in the release:

  • The Lightroom CC mobile apps can now create presets. And, with this addition, presets (and profiles) can now be synchronized across all platforms—desktop, mobile, and web. This includes your own custom presets and any third-party presets you’ve added, anywhere in the Lightroom CC app world. (If you’re using Lightroom Classic, Julianne Kost posted a cool tip on how to synchronize presets and profiles between Classic and Lightroom CC mobile devices.)
  • A Manage Preset option has been added to the entire ecosystem, letting you show or hide presets by installed category.
  • The mobile apps also get the Healing Brush tool and chromatic aberration correction. The iOS version of Lightroom CC also has a Long Exposure Technology Preview (for iPhone 7 and up only).
  • You can now copy and paste edit settings inside the Lightroom CC desktop app. And, as you can with Lightroom Classic, you have the option to choose which settings you wish to copy.
  • Lightroom Classic’s HDR and Panorama merge features now include an option to automatically stack the images used and place the finished image at the top of the stack.
  • The Mac versions of Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC also get support for the High Efficiency Image Format (HEIC), currently used by Apple with their latest iPhone and iPad cameras. This is supported on the Mac for now, but as acceptance grows, it should move to other platforms as well. [For more on HEIC, see this page.]
  • Adobe also added a few new web-portfolio sharing options from within Lightroom CC, letting you control image downloads, and whether metadata and location information is viewable.

Read more »

DxO releases Nik Collection 2018

DxO Labs has released its first version of the Nik Software plug-ins since acquiring the suite last year from Google. Nik Collection 2018, provides compatibility with the current versions of Photoshop CC, Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop Elements, and includes 64-bit support for both macOS and Windows; there are no other new features. According to a company spokesman,

“It was necessary to recover and recompile source code that had not been maintained for a long time in order to make it compatible with the latest versions of Adobe products and the latest Apple OS updates. This is a first step that allows us to start afresh.”

The seven plug-ins included with the Nik Collection—Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro, Analog Efex Pro, Viveza, Dfine, and Sharpener Pro—perform color and black and white effects, selective color editing, noise reduction and sharpening to your images. Originally created by Nik Software, the plug-ins were acquired by Google when the company purchased Nik in 2012, and were left to languish as Google’s photo priorities changed. (Google originally sold them for $150, and ultimately made them free, but as time went on, they became incompatible with newer versions of the CC apps.)

 

Photoshop Elements Techniques back issues

For a number of years (2008 through 2013), I was the editor and publisher of Photoshop Elements Techniques, a magazine for Elements users (also known as PET). Sadly, the publication—and associated website—shut down in 2016, and I’ve been working on a way to make the back issues of the magazine (and videos) available online. I’m happy to announce that all the back issues (and associated example files) are now available as PDFs here on the CDP website, along with a searchable index. While most of the Photoshop Elements tutorials are for older versions of Elements, many of them can easily be repurposed with newer versions.

Links to the various pages are listed below:

The back issues page includes all 85 issues arranged in reverse chronological order, with the issue’s list of articles underneath it. You can easily download that issue and extras from the links underneath the cover. If you want to search for specific articles, the index page can be helpful (and you can save the index as a PDF).

If you wish to download all or most of the issues, please see the Magazine Downloads page, where you can get the issues in larger chunks, saving some wear and tear on our server.

For questions related to PET, see the FAQ page. Please remember that the articles and issues are copyrighted to CDP Press and the respective authors; please don’t post or redistribute these issues without talking to us first.

At this time, we have no plans to do anything more with PET, other than make some of the more popular videos available, but we wanted to make the tutorials available free of charge. If you would like to stay on top of any PET-specific changes, you can sign up for our low-volume, no-stress email list by clicking on this link, and making sure you click on the PET Subscribers check box.

Once we have the videos up, we’ll post an announcement on the primary PET Back Issues page.

Thanks,
Rick

Rolling Your Own Lightroom Creative Profiles

Following up on the recent Lightroom announcements, Adobe’s Josh Haftel has posted a step-by-step video for making your own creative profiles for use with Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic, and Adobe Camera Raw. It is well worth watching, if you’re a bit technically inclined; even if you don’t think you’re going to make your own, it’s a fascinating look at what these profiles do.

And, if you’re a Lightroom user, the Lightroom team’s YouTube channel is an excellent source of videos on Lightroom topics. We’re big fans of Benjamin Warde’s Lightroom Coffee Break videos (playlist), which are short—most are 60 seconds or less—little tips for getting the most out of Lightroom. Warde is great at shedding light into a few of Lightroom’s hidden corners, like the recent one below, which shows how to selectively use Lightroom’s Auto setting in the Develop module.

Using DNG Converter with Lightroom 6 (and Elements) 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 »

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.

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).

Read more »