On our way to mastering Lightroom, we have already learned how to successfully Import images into your Catalog, work with Filename Template Editor and even understand how Lens Corrections work, among other things. Yet someone new to Lightroom will notice that we’ve missed several vital steps in our attempts to explain the software from start to finish, and so it is time to get back to those steps. In this article we will talk about one of the two most used Modules in Lightroom – Library. More specifically, we will overview the functionality of the left-side panel, the rest of the Module will be covered in two upcoming articles shortly afterwards.
Update: this article seems to have spawn a number of different opinions. Which, we must admit, makes us rather happy – discussion, as someone much brighter than me has said, is an exchange of knowledge. More importantly, argument is an exchange of ignorance. While the photograph described at the beginning of this article is not actually all that important for the said discussion, a lot of our readers have expressed their curiosity and wish to see the reason for this article popping up in my head. And no matter how tastefully and subtly done, please do note it contains nudity, and if that is something you’d prefer your children not to see – or something you would prefer not to see yourself – take caution. For the rest, click here and enjoy.
Several weeks ago, I came upon what I think was a magnificent black-and-white photograph. It portrayed a young, rather skinny woman laying graciously on the ground somewhere in a forest clearing, naked. She was lying on her side, half curled up around a large, moss-covered rock. So different from it in most every way possible – warm, alive, sensitive – she was embracing it gently. The photograph was taken from directly above the young woman and, through the use of loose central composition, negative space and beautiful natural light, she, as the main subject, would instantly draw the viewers eye, her skin so pale and bright against what must have been dark green, brown Autumn foliage. While I will not be publishing this photograph here for obvious reasons (Photography Life is 100% child-safe and will always remain so), I must note there was not a hint of erotica about the photograph. Rather, a very subtle, tasteful tribute to the human body. Fine art. Pure, light. Airy somehow. I called it sensual at first, but many misunderstood me, or perhaps I chose the wrong word. Sensuous is a much better fit. I could not help but admire it for what seemed like hours. And then I read a comment left by one of the viewers: “This is not a portrait. It is a piece of fine art nude photography”, – he stated.
A boxed version of Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom 5, which we already reviewed, has just received a limited time discount. You can get a boxed copy for both Mac OS and Windows for just $89! The offer runs out in a couple of hours at 4:00 PM EST (that’s about two and a half hours from now), so you better make up your mind quick whether you want it or not. Suffice to say, at that price, it is quite a bargain.
In order to take advantage of this flash sale, follow this link and order your copy of the software. Shipping is free within USA. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 is the software tool that I used more (much more, at that) than any other for my personal and wedding photography, including full-fledged Photoshop. Here a quick summary of our review:
Adobe has, once again, released a well thought-through product that is certain to make the workflow of a lot of professional photographers very efficient. I’m not going to start raving endlessly about every single feature it has and how it has helped me save time while post-processing. You may have already gotten that point if you have read my Mastering Lightroom series articles and various comparisons. Suffice to say, that with the help of the more powerful Spot Removal tool as well as the newly added Radial Filter and Upright tools, it has become even more capable than before. That is a serious achievement given how good Lightroom 4 was. The very minor, but extremely useful inclusion of the full-screen preview mode (triggered by hitting “F” key on your keyboard) is the icing on the cake. Add that to a superb control of tones and colors as well as very natural-looking noise reduction mechanism of the previous versions and you have one software tool that can replace several dedicated programs for a lot of us. It is a natural companion to anyone shooting RAW professionally or just for the fun of it. And, perhaps even more so than ever, Lightroom emphasizes speed, so that we spend less time post-processing and more time photographing. Not to mention all the new cameras that are now supported by Lightroom.
Olympus and Panasonic are taking care of the m4/3 system Black Friday discounts, and those involve both lenses and mirrorless cameras. The list consists of the most popular cameras and lenses, so there is a good chance that, whatever you were planning to buy, it is now more affordable.
Let’s start off with the cameras from both m4/3 manufacturers and then cover the lenses, too.
Updated with Sigma lens rebates
More rebates are available from other manufacturers in addition to those already covered. First of all, some Nikon DSLR bodies and mirrorless cameras are offered with instant savings. Nikon 1 J1 with a 10-30mm zoom lens costs just $200! Canon also dropped the price of some of its cameras for the holidays. Then there is Sony E mount lens rebates with instant savings that range from $25 to $200, while Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 receives a discount with the price knocked down to $109 (from $141).
Most of these are also offered with free shipping within USA. The majority of Nikon rebates are valid through November 30th. We will keep this list updated with any new rebates that might become available.
If you thought Fujifilm rebates were good, you are going to like what Canon has in store for the holidays. There’s no faffing about with camera+lens bundles, just good old mail-in and instant rebates ranging from $15 for the cheapskate Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens all the way to $300 savings for the likes of professional Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lenses. More than that, a whole lot of Canon’s best lenses are eligible, the sort that will last you for years and years.
Because the list of lenses is so extensive, I broke it down to fixed focal length and zoom lenses so as to help you find what you need easier. Keep in mind that in some cases, the final price is displayed at checkout. Also, some of the rebates are of mail-in type, while others are instant savings. Mail-in rebates are valid through January 4th, 2014. Instant savings are live till November 30th, this year. Now, brace yourselves, there’s a whopping 40+ lenses in total.
Updated with X-E2 and X-M1 information
Fujifilm has joined the Black Friday rebate program with its own mirrorless cameras and lenses. It is a “Buy Together and Save” kind of program, which means you need to purchase either an X-E1, X-E2, X-Pro1 or X-M1 Fuji mirrorless camera along with a lens to receive a rebate on the latter. Savings range from $100 all the way up to $250. The more lenses you choose to purchase, the more you save, as savings for each lens stack up. If you were planning on investing into a Fujifilm X-series mirrorless system, this is a good time to do so. In general, due to the system’s premium (-ish) status, the lenses have been quite expensive, although well worth the price. Right now, with these rebates, they represent tremendous value. Even the newest and extremely sought-after XF 23mm f/1.4 lens is $100 off!
Previously, I only reported two cameras as part of the rebates program – X-E1 and X-Pro1. It would seem that all the cameras are eligible, however, which makes this savings program even better than I initially thought it was. To access Buy Together and Save deals, you need to navigate to one of the two cameras and click on the deal that is right next to the camera’s price:
- Click here to buy Fujifilm X-E2 with additional lenses; the camera is priced at $999. You can also choose the silver version here.
- Click here to buy Fujifilm X-E1 with additional lenses; the camera is priced at $999. You can also choose the silver version here.
- Click here to buy Fujifilm X-Pro1 with additional lenses; X-Pro1 currently sells for $1,199.
- Fujifilm X-M1 will set you back $649 and you can get it in silver, black or stylish brown.
- You can also purchase the entry-level X-A1 camera (black) + 16-50mm kit lens for $499, however it does not seem to be part of the rebate program. Blue X-A1 is available through this link.
Even just a few hours ago, I was once again asked by a reader what lenses do I use most for my wedding photography. The answer is and always has been the same for my wedding, family or general photography needs – a classic fifty. I am sure hardly anyone will find this at all surprising, because fast 50mm fixed focal length lenses have become a legend of sorts. Ask any photographer and he will tell you – that is one of the two most versatile fixed focal length lenses you can buy (the other being a 35mm lens). It is time we back up that claim with actual photographs, and plenty of them. Is there a single reason for it being so versatile? No. Rather, it is a combination of various characteristics and generally pleasing manner of “drawing” the photograph that, even today with all the amazing zoom lenses, makes it such a sought-after lens.
Naturally, the Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G is not the only lens I own and use, but I really do feel this particular focal length deserves a separate article just to show how truly special it is. I adore it. More than that, my warm feelings towards such a lens are not dictated by raw technical characteristics, rather how much it resonates with the way I previsualize my work. And that is why, instead of boring you to death with technicalities, I will gladly let photographs do most of the talking for a change.
There is one camera manufacturer that we’ve not paid much attention to here at Photography Life. For some reason, Samsung, despite its efforts to gain traction for its NX interchangeable lens camera system, failed to make enough impact to be mentioned as a worthy contender next to Sony, Olympus, Fujifilm and other mirrorless cameras. Whatever the reason for lack of popularity is, Samsung has only one option to make an impact – differentiate itself from the rest. And, judging by recent product launches, it would seem their differentiating strategy might be… Android OS.
There is no doubt that the new Nikon Df camera is very similar to the D600/D610 duo, as we’ve already seen from the comparison. From a price stand-point, however, Df is dangerously close to the popular and extremely capable Nikon D800 model (see our very detailed review). Can the Nikon Df back up its price premium when compared to its bigger brother? Analyzing on-paper specifications of both cameras should give a pretty good idea, although you might find the ISO performance comparisons in this article quite useful to make your own conclusions.
Keep in mind, please, that this comparison is based strictly on specifications and image quality. A camera is often more than a sum of its parts, and that stands true for both Nikon Df and D800.