Aug 152012

The Lightroom Queen, Victoria BamptonVictoria Bampton, the Lightroom Queen,  author of  Adobe Lightroom 4 – The Missing FAQ,  and one of the most knowledgeable people on Lightroom I know, has introduced a great new Help Desk and Members area.

Anyone can be a member. Members get access to a public section of the knowledgebase, containing the most frequently asked questions and other useful information (fully searchable) and access to a ticket system for submitting questions to Victoria. Premium Members also get access to a premium knowledgebase containing her entire book in a searchable format, they get their submitted questions answered first, and access to more features to come.

So what’s the cost of a premium membership? For all of this searchable information, priority personal support and more to come, right now, you just have to own her Adobe Lightroom 4 – The Missing FAQ book!  The eBook is around $25, and the paperpack is around $50.  This is a great book in and of itself (I’ll speak to this more in a future blog post), so this is quite a deal!!!

Do check it out — read more about this new service on Victoria’s blog.

Also check out my favorite Lightroom forum,, also run by Victoria, and served by a group of generous and expert moderators.

Aug 122012

I’m very happy to announce that I have finished this new video tutorial series, on producing great output with Lightroom 4!  For those of you who have been waiting, I appreciate your patience.  My goal with this series is not only to teach you the how-to of the Book, Slideshow, Print and Web modules, but also to give you a strong foundation in output concepts that are critical to your success in producing high quality consistent output.

Lightroom 4: Producing Great OutputLightroom 4: Producing Great Output

Almost  12 hours of training on 55 videos, for Mac and PC (and iPad compatible!)

Section                                                 # Videos              Duration (h:m)
Introduction                                               2                                    0:13
Output Concepts                                       9                                    2:28
Getting Started                                          2                                    0:22
Book                                                         14                                   2:54
Slideshow                                                  7                                    1:40
Print                                                          13                                   2:34
Web                                                            8                                   1:35


While I recommend that you purchase the whole series, you can choose to purchase just Book or Print (both of which include the Introduction, Output Concepts and Getting Started sections.)

Note that other than the Book module portion and the section on soft-proofing in the Develop module, this series is also applicable to Lightroom 3.

Between Lightroom 4: The Fundamentals & Beyond, and now Lightroom 4: Producing Great Output, you can now get over 22 hours of high quality training on all the modules of Lightroom! And if you purchase both together, you can save 10%!

Click here for more information and to purchase.



Jul 242012

Did you know that you can reset any individual sliders in the Develop module by double-clicking on the slider name (for example, Exposure)?

I knew this tip, but I just recently learned another tip for resetting groups of sliders in the Basic Panel, from David Julian:

When you hold down the Alt/Opt key, the word Tone becomes a  Reset Tone button. Click on this to reset all the tone sliders (In Lightroom 4: Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks.)  Likewise, Presence becomes a Reset Presence button to reset Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation.

lightroom reset tone and presence buttons with alt/opt key

Pressing the Alt/Opt Key

I always wonder if I am the last to discover these tips — thanks, David!

Jul 162012

Win Lightroom 4!NOTE: THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED. Congratulations to Alexis R.!


I just happen to have an extra Lightroom 4 license, so why not give it a way! There are several ways you can enter to win this free copy of the full version of Lightroom 4 (a $149 value)  – do all three for more chances! Contest expires 7/31/12. Contest details at the bottom of this post.

1. Twitter
  •  Follow @Lightroom_Laura on Twitter

follow @lightroom_laura on twitter

  • Next, tweet this: Win a copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4! To enter, follow @Lightroom_Laura, and then RT! #winlightroom

Here’s a button to open up a new tweet with this message:

Tweet every day for more entries!

2. Join My Mailing List

Enter your email address below for newsletter updates and a chance to win:

You may unsubscribe at any time, once you receive a newsletter from me.


3. Facebook
  • Like my page, Laura Shoe Digital Workshops:


  •  Next, Share my contest post on the Facebook page with your photo friends or followers.


Contest Details: the winner of this contest will be chosen at random on 8/1/12, and will receive a legitimate serial number for the full version of Lightroom 4 ($149 value). If you are the winner, you will download the free 30 day trial version of Lightroom 4 from Then, to convert it to a permanent version, you will enter this serial number. If you choose to, you may then register your software with Adobe. This then entitles you to receive free updates to Lightroom 4 as offered by Adobe  (4.1, etc.) This offer does not include the boxed DVD software. Contest expires 7/31/12 at 11:59 PM PDT.

Jul 112012

lightroom-output-sharpening-2In this third article of a three-part series on sharpening in Lightroom, I explain output sharpening.  Here are the other two articles:


Part 1: Overview of the Three Step Sharpening workflow, and Capture Sharpening in Depth

Part 2: Creative Sharpening – Sharpening Eyes and Other Local Elements

To summarize the first two steps in the sharpening workflow, the first step, capture sharpening, is performed on your full size image in the Develop module, and is designed to cut through the haze that a digital capture produces, and make edges in your photos look crisper.

Creative sharpening is then sometimes done to enhance or  bring focus to local elements in your photo.

Output Sharpening — What It’s For

When you then go to resize and output photos, they can lose sharpness. Output sharpening is generally designed to restore what is otherwise lost in output.  For example, when you print to matte / uncoated papers, the ink soaks in, and some sharpness is lost. A smaller amount is lost even when printing to glossy or coated papers, because the translation simply isn’t perfect. In addition, when you output your photos, either to print, or to jpegs to be shared on screen, you are almost always upsizing or downsizing the photo. This interpolation process results in a loss of sharpness as well (the more interpolation, particularly upsizing, the more sharpening is needed to compensate.)

You will find output sharpening settings in the Export dialog, the Print module, and the Web module. You will also find them in the Book module if you have chosen to output to PDF or JPEG. If instead you are outputting to Blurb, the output sharpening is done automatically.

How to Do Output Sharpening

The settings are simple — you choose the output medium and the amount:


These limited number of settings, particularly compared to the Develop module sharpening settings, may give the impression that this is not sophisticated sharpening. In fact it is — Jeff Schewe partnered with Adobe to build it, and it is based on Pixel Genius’ Photo Kit Pro sharpener. In addition to your choices on these settings, the algorithm looks at output resolution and how much upsizing or downsizing is being done.

For output medium, choose Glossy for any coated paper, and Matte for any uncoated paper. Choose Screen when your audience will view your output on a monitor, mobile device or other screen.

There are three choices for Amount for two reasons. The primary reason is that within a particular medium — for example, matte papers —  some papers are better at holding detail and maintaining sharpness than others. For example, Hahnemuhle Photo Rag paper holds the detail better than Epson Enhanced Matte does, and therefore will need less sharpening.

The other reason is that there is no “correct” amount of sharpening — some people prefer more or less than others.

Standard almost always works well for me.  I would encourage you, though, to do your own tests — make prints of a photo at all 3 settings (and for comparison, also with no output sharpening).

Beware of creating “halos” — bright or dark lines — along edges in your photo. (See an example of this and other signs of oversharpening in my Part One article.)  Look at your prints from your expected viewing distance. If you are outputting jpegs rather then prints, if they are for screen, look at them full size. If you’re sending out the jpegs to be printed, before you send them, evaluate the sharpening on-screen (I prefer to zoom in to 1:2 / 50%, rather than 1:1 / 100% to judge output sharpening.)

Should you always do output sharpening?

I would recommend that if you are exporting files to send off to a printing service, that you check with them to see if they automatically apply output sharpening. If so, I would not apply it in Lightroom.

Output sharpening is just one of many critical output concepts I discuss in depth in my new video series, Lightroom 4: Producing Great Output. In almost 12 hours of training in 55 videos, learn how to use the Book, Slideshow, Print and Web modules, plus all the output concepts required to get great output every time — size and resolution, color management, monitor profiling, soft-proofing, printing with profiles, jpeg quality, and much more!



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