Jan 162012

lightroom-4-beta-webinar-screenshotIn this 65 minute video from my January 11 Lightroom 4 Beta webinar, I give you a tour of the new features, and explain the basics of how to use them.

I wish the audio quality were better, but it is what it is — rest assured that my Lightroom DVD products have higher quality audio and video.

For even more details, check out my new Lightroom 4 Fundamentals & Beyond Workshop on Video, available as soon as Lightroom 4 releases.

Table of Contents (also shown on video web page with start times)

1. Introduction

2. Develop Changes

3. Map Module

4. Book Module

5. Saving Output – Book, Print, Slideshow, Web

6. Video Editing and Exporting

7. Integrated Email/Webmail

8. DNG Raw File Enhancements

9. More on Conversion from Develop Process Version 2010 to 2012

Jan 102012

UPDATE: While this was written during the Lightroom 4 beta release, these instructions and video are completely applicable to the official Lightroom 4 release and Lightroom 5!

The Basics panel in the Develop module of the Lightroom 4 Beta may not be the sexiest feature, but the improvements are quite powerful, and the new controls are one of the few new features that you will use many times every day.

Working successfully with them requires that you change how you work with the sliders. The keys to successful work are to (1) understand that Exposure is now midtone brightness rather than the white point, and (2) that the sliders are designed to be worked from top to bottom.

Here is a video I have produced working several photos using the Lightroom 4 Beta. (You may have seen these same photos worked in blog posts and videos related to Lightroom 3).

For perspective, here was my workflow in Lightroom 3:

1. Set exposure for how bright I wanted the brightest tones (white point).

2. Set blacks  for how bright I wanted the darkest tones (black point).

3. Use brightness and contrast to affect the midtones.

4. Use fill light if needed to add light to the shadows

5. Use recovery if needed to recover  blown out highlights.


Here’s my new workflow — working top down:

1. Set exposure for midtone (average) brightness (ignoring whether I am blowing out any highlights)

2. Set contrast for overall punchiness. If this brightens or darkens the image too much, fine tune exposure.

3. Use highlights to recover blown out highlights and set highlight brightness

4. Use shadows to add light into or darken the shadows

5. If needed, use Whites to further adjust the brightest tones (white point)

6. If needed, use Blacks to further adjust the darkest tones (black point)

7. I can then circle back to any slider to fine tune the adjustments.


If you continue to treat exposure as the white point, you will find that the other sliders, namely shadows and highlights, don’t have the power that you would expect them to.

As with Lightroom 3, the secret to producing stunning photos in the Lightroom 4 Beta is to master the Basics panel!


Jan 092012

Adobe announced tonight the release of its beta version of Lightroom 4. Features and testing are not complete — this release is designed to get broader feedback from the user community before the official release.

The Lightroom 4 beta can be downloaded at this link.

To give Adobe feedback on features and performance, post in the Lightroom 4 beta forum.

Below are some thoughts on who may want to use the beta, and an extensive list of new features. I will have more blog posts on some of the features over the coming days.

If you are interested in watching a tour of the changes and a demonstration of how the new features work, check out my FREE upcoming webinars!


Should you download and use the Beta? 

You should first know that (1) you must have Windows 7 or Mac Snow Leopard or Lion (see the end of this post for full specs), and (2) you will not be able to upgrade your current catalog for use in the beta (though you will be able to in the final release.) The beta is intended for kicking the tires, and Adobe does not guarantee that your work will not be lost, so you should make copies of your photos and re-import them.

Do you need or want to use some of the new features right away? Are you tolerant of bugs, crashes and inexplicable behaviors (which you most likely will encounter)?  Do you want to give Adobe feedback in advance of the official release? If so,  go for it!  If not, you are not alone — many users are content to wait for the official release, when features and performance are stable.

What’s New in the Lightroom Beta 4: Continue reading »
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