Laura Shoe

Nov 262008

In my last post I showed you how to remove spots using the spot removal tool in Lightroom and Camera Raw. After I made the video, it occurred to me that I didn’t show you my most horrifying example of dust on the camera sensor. I took this image in 2004 shortly after I got my first digital SLR. (Click on the image to see it larger — there is much more dust than you can see in this small version!)


Dust on the Camera Sensor

I didn’t realize back then that it is a very bad idea to change lenses without turning the camera off — the camera has a charge that draws in dust.  So learn from my mistake on this one! I was able to clean up the image, but it took hours.   These days I turn off the camera, and also turn the camera downwards as I replace the lens so that no dust inadvertently falls into it.

Nov 252008

9/2011: Here’s an updated video tutorial on how to use the spot removal tool to retouch photos in Lightroom.  I also show how to use it to reduce the appearance of circles under eyes.

This is from my Lightroom 3 Fundamentals and Beyond video series, available as a download or DVD.  Check it out if you have Lightroom 3.  And click here to check out the Lightroom 4 version!






Nov 222008

I thought I would address this commonly encountered issue as I am learning to do videos. Sorry it is a little repetitive, they will get better. Bottom line if you don’t have time to watch the video: make sure you are in a bottom-level folder, and also that you are not in a smart collection. watch video

If you have any issues watching this video, please shoot me an email — I would appreciate hearing so I can make future videos better.

Nov 212008

Sometimes you want to make an adjustment to your image almost everywhere. You could use the adjustment brush and paint almost everywhere, but that could be slow. Instead, make the adjustment everywhere, with a global change in the Basic panel, and then use the adjustment brush to change back the area you didn’t want to affect. This works in both Camera Raw and Lightroom. Here’s an example. I want to give this portrait image that glow that is popular these days, but I don’t want it to affect the eyes or the mouth.



I will give the image the glow by reducing clarity to -60 in the Basic panel. I also boosted contrast and vibrance.

Clarity at -100 Plus Boost Contrast and Vibrance

Clarity at -60 Plus Boost Contrast and Vibrance

With the adjustment brush set to +60 on clarity (the opposite of the global change I made), I would then paint over the eyes and mouth to reverse the negative clarity change. That is the idea — but to make the change obvious to you in this small image environment, I actually painted with +100 clarity, to accentuate the eyes even more:

Paint +100 Clarity over the Eyes and Mouth

Paint +100 Clarity over the Eyes and Mouth

Note that with this technique, Lightroom (or Camera Raw) isn’t blurring the eyes and mouth and then sharpening what it has blurred — that would not in fact work. It is only applying one change to these areas — the cumulative effect of the negative and positive clarity.

Another example of applying a change everywhere and then painting back with the opposite effect where you didn’t want it is an image that needs to be brighter almost everywhere — brighten it globally, then paint back the areas that you didn’t want brighter with negative brightness. Depending on what type of adjustment you are making, you may find that the amount that you need to paint back is not exactly the opposite of your global change … after you paint with the adjustment brush, adjust the slider until it looks good visually.

Finally, note that this will not work when you want part of your image in color and part in black and white — you can’t desaturate the image (saturation of -100) and then paint color back in with +100 saturation. In this case instead start with the color image, and with the adjustment brush set to -100 saturation, paint the areas that you want to be in black and white.

Nov 192008

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have your thumbnails on one screen, and your full size image on another? Lightroom 1 users thought so and pressed Adobe to provide this functionality. Adobe did so in Lightroom 2. It is very easy to set up: In the Library and Develop modules, on the left side just above the filmstrip, you will see icons for screen 1 and screen 2:

Dual Monitor Buttons

Dual Monitor Buttons

Click on the 2 icon, and a second LR window will open that looks like this:

Secondary Monitor Display

Secondary Monitor Display

Drag this to your second monitor and size the window to fit.

Your keyboard shortcuts (G=Grid, E=Loupe, C=Compare, N=Survey, D=Develop) still control what you see on your primary monitor.

In the secondary display, in the top left are your options for this display: Grid, Loupe, Compare or Survey. If you choose Loupe, you will see three options to the right: Normal, Live and Locked. Normal works as expected — when you click on an image thumbnail in your grid or filmstrip, the image is displayed on the second monitor. With Live, as you hover over a thumbnail, the image is displayed on the second monitor — you can quickly review one image after another by moving the mouse over each thumbnail. With locked, the image displayed will stay on the screen even when you then choose another one for your primary screen. This is useful for comparing images — for example, on your primary screen you may be working on an image in Develop, and you want to make sure that you set its white balance to have a look consistent with another image. To set it up, select the second image, and on the secondary monitor choose Loupe and Locked. Now select the one you want to work on in Develop for the primary screen.

For those of you who calibrate your monitors (hopefully all of you!), be sure it is your primary monitor that is calibrated, and make all judgments on color and tone from this display.

Nov 172008

You’re on vacation, at a workshop or shooting on location commercially, loading your images onto your laptop and working them in Lightroom. Will you be able to successfully and easily transfer all your Lightroom work to your desktop Lightroom catalog? Absolutely!  This method will transfer everything you may have done — keywords, flags, stars, color labels, other metadata, as well as Develop settings, collections and virtual copies.

Let’s say your folder of images on your laptop is named “Vacation”. In the Library module in Lightroom, right-click on the folder name, and choose Export This Folder as a Catalog. Choose a location to store this temporary catalog. I recommend the desktop because it will be easy for you to find. Another option is to save it directly to an external hard drive that you can then use to transfer the catalog to your desktop. Choose a name for the catalog, like Vacation Catalog. Checking Export Negative Files will bundle a copy of the originals with the catalog so that you don’t have to move them over separately to your desktop and then have to have LR find them. I recommend that you do choose this option. Checking Include Available Previews will save and transfer the jpeg previews that have already been built. If you don’t, LR on your desktop computer will simply regenerate them — it just takes time that you have already spent for them to be generated on your laptop. Finally, click Save.

This process generates a folder called Vacation Catalog that has all the components in it. Move the folder to an external hard drive and connect it to your desktop computer. (Another option is to save the folder to a DVD and then insert this in your desktop computer.) In the Library module of Lightroom, in the menu bar go to File>Import from Catalog. In the dialog box, navigate to the Vacation Catalog folder on the external drive or DVD, double click on it to open it, and select the Vacation Catalog.lrcat file (it will be the only file that is not in a subfolder). Click Choose.

In the Import Dialog that then opens, under File Handling choose Copy Files to a New Location and Import, click Choose and navigate to the folder you want to store the images in permanently (like 20080701 New Mexico Vacation within the folder 2008). Click Import.

Done! Assuming everything went well with the import and your images and LR enhancements are there:

1.  Delete the Vacation Catalog folder that you transfered over.

2. Back on your laptop, remove the Vacation folder of images from the LR catalog and the hard drive. In the LR Library module, right click on the folder and choose Show in Explorer (Finder on a Mac). In Explorer or Finder, delete the folder. Back in Lightroom, right click again on the folder and select Remove, to remove it from the catalog.

Happy travels!

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