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.

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.)

 

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.

Lightroom CC, Classic updates add profile enhancements

Adobe Lightroom profiles menuAdobe 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 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 »

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 »

The “cost” of software (Lightroom redux)

I have been fascinated with the furor that has whipped up many photographers about the release of Adobe 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 having an Adobe software subscription (in either Lightroom 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 »