Dec 122012

The Lightroom team has announced the availability of the official versions of Lightroom 4.3 and Camera Raw 7.3.  This free update to Lightroom 4 contains support in the Library and Develop modules for the new HiDPI monitors (i.e. Apple’s Retina Display), bug fixes, support for new cameras, and new lens profiles (including for the iPhone 4s and iPhone 5).

I would encourage you to do this update. Depending on how your Lightroom 4 preferences are set, Lightroom may or may not prompt you to update. If it does not, go to Help>Check for Updates.  After the file downloads, double-click on it to run the installation wizard.

Here’s a list of new cameras supported:

Canon EOS 6D, Canon PowerShot S110, Canon PowerShot G15, Canon PowerShot SX50 HS, Casio Exilim EX-ZR1000, Casio Exilim EX-FC300S, Leica M-E, Nikon 1 V2, Nikon D5200, Nikon D600, Olympus PEN E-PL5, Olympus PEN E-PM2, Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 iHS, Panasonic DMC-GH3, Pentax K-5 II, Pentax K-5 IIs, Pentax Q10, Sony DSC-RX1, Sony NEX-VG30, Sony NEX-VG900.

For a list of bug fixes and new lens profiles, see the Adobe Lightroom Journal.

Dec 122012


I’m pleased to offer the following two workshops for winter quarter at Photo Center Northwest here in Seattle:


Lightroom Fundamentals – January 26-27, 2013

Using the Library and Develop modules, learn how to organize, back up, manage, and enhance your raw and JPEG images. With hands-on practice, learn how to work through photo shoots efficiently with collections, presets, and synchronized settings. Move between Lightroom and Photoshop or Elements and gain insight into the benefits of shooting raw files.

Creating Blurb Books with Lightroom 4 – March 2, 2013

In this hands-on workshop, learn how to use Lightroom 4′s powerful new Book module to create professional photo books that you can order through Blurb, or output as PDF’s or JPEGs to share electronically. Understand Blurb options available to you, then learn how to layout your book, add and format text pages and photo captions, change page backgrounds, design your cover, create custom page layouts, save your book and reuse your book designs, and more. Prior experience required in importing and developing photos in Lightroom.

Click here for more information and registration from PCNW.



Dec 122012

Photoshop CS6Adobe has made it clear this year that going forward, only users of the immediate prior version of Photoshop (and the rest of the Creative Suite) will be eligible for upgrade pricing on future versions. Therefore, when CS7 comes out in 2013, only CS6 owners will be eligible for upgrade pricing  — CS5 and prior owners will have to pay full price. (Pricing is currently $199 for the upgrade, $699 for the full version.)

Therefore, if you wish to preserve your option to purchase CS7 with upgrade pricing, you will have to purchase CS6 first.

CS5 owners: you can purchase CS6 at any point before CS7 comes out — but if you know you are going to want to upgrade to CS7, why wait — upgrade now and enjoy its new features.

CS3 and CS4 owners: you have only until December 31 of this year (2012) to get upgrade pricing on CS6.

Interestingly, if you go to the Adobe Photoshop product page for Photoshop, the only purchase options immediately evident (at least to me) are for the Creative Cloud subscription service — giving you access to the latest version of the product as long as you subscribe, but leaving you with nothing when you end your subscription. Prices are as low as $19.99/month for Photoshop, and $29.99 for the Suite plus Lightroom and other applications.  While this can be a great value proposition for those who always want to be up-to-date, be sure to understand your options. I discuss the Creative Cloud in the posts below. To purchase the traditional product, that you can use as long as your computer supports it, click here to purchase from Adobe.

Related Posts:

Which to Buy – the Stand-Alone Photoshop CS6 or the Creative Cloud Subscription Service?

Photoshop CS6 is Announced (contains links to more articles and videos on what’s new in CS6).



Dec 062012

I would recommend that anyone who is at all frustrated with Lightroom 4 running too slowly  check out this very useful new page from Adobe on steps you can take to improve performance.   Some relate to upgrading your hardware (such as 16 GB of RAM and moving your catalog to a solid state drive), but others relate to the order you make adjustments, clearing History, not making adjustments you don’t need, and more. These suggestions have come from customers, and have been shown to be effective.  (Also do check out Adobe’s page on more traditional ways to optimize Lightroom performance.)

It’s all of interest to me, and I don’t want to repeat the article here, but just as an example, Adobe recommends that to maximize performance, your editing steps be done in the following order (quoting from the article):

  1. Spot healing (performing spot healing first improves the accuracy of the spot healing, and ensures the boundaries of the healed areas match the the spot location.)
  2. Geometry corrections, such as Lens Correction profiles and Manual corrections, including keystone corrections using the Vertical slider.
  3. Global non-detail corrections, such as Exposure, White Balance, etc. These corrections can also be done first if desired.
  4. Local corrections, such as Gradient Filter and Adjustment Brush strokes.
  5. Detail corrections, such as Noise Reduction and Sharpening.

Dec 032012

Restore Lightroom Missing PanelAbout once a week I get an email from a Lightroom user who has lost a panel … most panels can go missing, but in my experience people seem to lose their Catalog panel in the Library module more than any other. To recover your missing panel, right-click (Ctl-click on a Mac) on the name of an existing panel in the same strip, and choose the panel you are missing, from the drop-down that appears.

In this example, my Catalog panel is missing. I right-clicked on Folders to get the menu. I would then select Catalog, and the panel would appear.


Note that there are some panels that are not optional, and therefore you cannot right-click on them to restore your missing one. These are:

  • Navigator and Histogram in Library and Develop
  • Navigator in Map
  • Preview in Book, Slideshow, Print and Web

In this menu that appears that you can also choose:

  • Show or Hide All. (If you’re not sure what you are missing Show All would be a good choice to make sure you have everything.)
  • Solo Mode: when enabled, if you expand one panel, any others open will collapse.
  • Expand All and Collapse All

Thank you to Stephano B. for this blog post idea.

Nov 262012

The Alt (PC) or Option (Mac) key reveals a lot of convenient additional functionality in most or all of Lightroom’s modules. The problem is, there is nothing on the screen to tell you where holding it down may reveal something useful. In this post I will list all of the Alt/Option functionality that I have found in the Develop module. If I miss something that you are aware of, do leave a comment to let us all know! I’ll follow up with one or more posts on its use in other modules.

Alt/Option Key Uses in the Develop Module
  • All Panels: Alt/Option-Click on a panel name (e.g. Basic, Tone Curve, Detail) to open that panel and collapse all others in the column (if you are not already in Solo Mode, which you can get to by right-clicking on a panel name.)
  • Right-hand Develop panels: Within each panel except the point curve,  holding down Alt/Option will reveal a Reset button that you can click on to reset all sliders in that section back to their defaults.

Reset Lightroom Panel Slider Groups


  • Basic Panel – holding down Alt/Option on the slider triangle as you slide:
  • ExposureHighlights, Whites will reveal completely clipped (blown-out) highlights in white, and individual colors clipped in color. Black means not clipped.

Overexposed - white areas: completely blown out; blue areas: blue channel blown out

  • Shadows, Blacks: will reveal clipped shadows in black; white means not clipped.

This functionality can help you see where your clipped highlights and shadows are, and help you to set your sliders so that you don’t clip them. Many images look good with tones that range from almost pure black to pure white — but remember that your goal is to produce something that looks good  aesthetically. Continue reading »

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