Dragging Images from Bridge into Lightroom

Sometimes I use Bridge to look at images, and from there I decide which ones to import into Lightroom. It is then easy to simply drag the images over into Lightroom. Size your Bridge and Lightroom windows so that you can see both. In Lightroom, go to Library Grid view (shortcut G). It does not matter what folder or collection of images are showing. In Bridge, select the images you want to import. Click and drag from Bridge over onto the Lightroom grid (thumbnail area). Let go. The Lightroom import dialog will open. Specify import options as usual.

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Simulating Shallow Depth of Field with the Lens Blur Filter

Let’s create the perception of a shallower depth of field in this image, with the police cars sharp, and the background more out of focus. Duplicate the background layer (Ctl/Cmd-J), and add a layer mask to it ( circle-in-a-square symbol at the bottom of the layers palette.) We will blur the duplicate layer, and then mask off the foreground that we want to keep sharp. This particular image has alot of noise, as the close up below shows. It was shot at ISO 800. If we blur the background, the blur will eliminate the noise and look unrealistic against the foreground unless we bring the noise back. Notice also in the full size image that there are blown out highlights […more]

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What is that cool color? Find Out Using Photoshop

I was creating a web gallery in Lightroom today for a friend, and I wanted it to look as consistent with her website as possible in terms of colors and fonts. The issue I faced was how to determine what the website background color was. Here’s how to do it using Photoshop (UPDATE – click here to learn how you can do this in Lightroom): Open up Photoshop, open any image and make sure you have the background layer highlighted in the layers palette. Resize the Photoshop window so that the web page (or any other document) you want the color from is next to it. Grab the Eyedropper tool (shortcut I), click anywhere in the image, and then drag […more]

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Photoshop Scrubby Sliders

Scrubby sliders are one of Photoshop’s great time saving features that you may not discover on your own. In many places in Photoshop, when you click and drag left or right on the name of a numeric setting, it adjusts the setting down or up — with no need to go into drop down boxes or to type in numbers. As an example, you may have worked with layer opacity, a setting in the layers palette that allows you to reduce the strength or opacity of a layer. The slow way to adjust the opacity is to click on the right facing drop down arrow to the right of 100%, and then adjust the slider that appears: Th quick way […more]

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Are you clear on Clarity in Lightroom?

The clarity slider was introduced in Lightroom 1.1, and is also now in Camera Raw. A positive clarity value punches up an image, makes it look a little more three dimensional, by enhancing contrast along edges. The changes are concentrated in the midtones, and do little to highlights and shadows. Here is an example, a portion of an image with Clarity set to 0, and then set to 60.

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