Removing Distractions with 3 Content-Aware Tools in Adobe Photoshop

In an ideal world we would all make our photos exactly the way we want them in camera. But in reality, we can’t always avoid distractions and unwanted objects in our frame. Fortunately, Adobe Photoshop has some powerful tools for helping to remove those unavoidable distractions. Today we’re going to look at 3 content-aware tools: the fill tool, the patch tool, and the spot healing brush tool. Each of these tools performs the same general task of removing objects from…

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How the Lightroom Metadata Panel Can Improve Your Photography

When searching through my photo library for a class I was teaching recently, I found myself turning to Adobe Lightroom’s metadata filter regularly to help me find the examples I needed. But what I discovered was a lot more useful to my own photography than just sample images for a class. It’s easy to mistake the metadata filter for a simple search function, but when you really start to look at the data it provides, it’s an amazing tool that…

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Alien Skin Exposure X3 Review

This is an in-depth review of the Alien Skin Exposure X3 software for culling, managing and post-processing images. A couple of weeks ago, Spencer wrote the first article of our “Lightroom Classic vs. Other Software” series. In his article, he compared Lightroom to Alien Skin’s Exposure X3. I’m following his article up with a more detailed take on Exposure X3. Here I will dive a little bit deeper into the user experience I have had with the program while using it…

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Lightroom Classic vs Alien Skin Exposure X3

In the coming weeks, we are planning to review many Lightroom alternatives at Photography Life and figure out which ones are potential replacements. The first on our list is Alien Skin Exposure X3. This software, originally a film simulation plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop, has grown to a standalone software that mimics Lightroom’s post-processing and organization options in many ways. This article covers the differences and similarities between Adobe Lightroom CC Classic and Alien Skin Exposure X3, including which one…

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Lightroom 6.14 vs CC 7.1 vs 7.2 Performance Comparison

Adobe Lightroom is known to be a disappointingly slow post-processing tool, especially when it comes to basic operations such as importing, preview generation and image culling, as well as more advanced operations that involve using features such as spot healing. Adobe’s development team is aware of these issues and the company says that it is committed in delivering updates that will make Lightroom faster. The latest version of Lightroom Classic CC 7.2 has been delivered a couple of days ago…

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What is GPU Accelerated in Lightroom?

A while ago, Adobe finally added Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) Acceleration to its Lightroom post-processing software. It was exciting news, as many photographers could not wait to take advantage of their fast GPU cards in order to speed up Lightroom, which was getting painfully slower with each new release. Unfortunately, GPU acceleration turned out to be a painful feature for many Lightroom users overtime, because they either saw no benefit at all, or saw very few improvements of it in…

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Switching From Lightroom to Capture One Pro

It seems only a short while ago when I was undecided on the RAW processing software that would replace Lightroom. I shortlisted several potential alternatives – Capture One Pro, RawTherapee, DxO Optics and Darktable among others – but was able to try out only Capture One Pro properly. A demo version 10 of Capture One gave me 30 days to test it, after which I was able to continue evaluation by signing up for a beta copy of version 11.…

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Why Capture One Cannot Replace Adobe Lightroom

Many photographers, including our team at PL, have been frustrated with Adobe’s latest move to discontinue the standalone version of Lightroom, something Adobe said it would not do in the past. As a result, a number of us (including myself) have been looking for alternative post-processing tools that can replace Lightroom completely. For the past few years, I have owned Phase One’s Capture One Pro software, which I found to be very capable when it comes to post-processing images. Some…

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Adobe Makes It Difficult to Get Lightroom 6

A friend of mine texted me with a question on how he can upgrade from his Lightroom 5 copy to Lightroom 6 this weekend. He told me that he was frustrated with his online Adobe experience, since he could not find the standalone version – every search lead him to the Creative Cloud (CC) subscription model, which he did not want to buy. I immediately thought that he was simply overlooking something, so I decided to give it a quick…

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Five Easy Steps to Improve Your Photos via Post-Processing

One of the most frequently asked questions I often get at Photography Life, is related to post-processing images. Specifically, our readers want to find out how they can make their images look good without spending too much time post-processing them. After-all, not everyone has the skills or the patience to learn how to use the many different tools in different software packages like Lightroom and Photoshop. I thought of things that I normally do to my images when I want…

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Lightroom Before and After

When editing a photograph in Lightroom, it is often useful to compare what the image looked like when you started out (the “Before”), to the changes you have made so far (the “After”). This way, you can keep track of your edits and understand how the different sliders and check marks within Lightroom affect your image. Thankfully, Adobe made it easy to switch between the Before and After screens and provided a number of different ways to view both vertical…

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Snapshot vs Virtual Copy in Lightroom

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a snapshot and a virtual copy in Lightroom? They are both options that you can use to preserve image settings, but they work in very different ways. A while back I posted an article and video titled how to create a Lightroom snapshot that briefly explained what a snapshot is. We’ve also posted an article about virtual copies before. In this article, I want to explain the differences between a virtual…

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Infrared Photography: Getting More Color From Your 720nm Filter

I recently decided to upgrade from my current infrared-converted Nikon D7100 to a Nikon D7200, taking advantage of Kolari Vision‘s Anti-Reflective coated glass (article to follow). In the process, I once again considered my filter choices. Although I had some decent results from a 665nm filter from another infrared conversion house, I was not satisfied with the overall results and had Kolari Vision swap the 665nm out and install a 720nm filter. I always thought the 720nm filter provided the…

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How to Create a Panorama in Lightroom

Without a doubt, Lightroom is a powerful software package for editing images. But did you know that it is also one of the most preferred tools to stitch panoramic images? Ever since Adobe released Lightroom 6 and CC, the capability to stitch images into DNG files has been integrated right into the product core. If in the past one would have to either use Adobe Photoshop or third party software such as PTGui to stitch panoramas, with the latest versions…

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The Need for a Universal RAW Format

With so many new cameras being released each year that allow capturing images in RAW format using different compression levels, bit-rates and other proprietary data, it is becoming increasingly difficult for post-processing software to keep up with all the changes and provide full support for RAW formats. Although camera manufacturers have been bundling their own image converters, such tools are often underdeveloped, buggy and lack the necessary features to be able to rely on them for post-processing images. Despite the…

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How to Remove Modules in Lightroom

In this article, I will show you how you can remove unused modules and sub-modules in Lightroom. Although Adobe Photoshop Lightroom comes with a lot of features, many photographers including myself, have particular modules and sub-modules that never get utilized. Instead of having such modules take up the precious space and clutter up the user interface, it might be a good idea to hide them from your view completely.

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How to Optimize Lightroom Speed and Performance

Love it or hate it, Adobe Lightroom has become one of the most popular post-processing and image management tools on the market. With its simple and intuitive interface, it is easy to learn and our team at Photography Life has provided many in-depth articles on using specific Lightroom features over the years. However, one of the biggest frustrations with Lightroom can be its poor performance, which can be especially disappointing when using the software on an older computer. In this…

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How to Simulate the Orton Effect in Lightroom

In my last article on photographing winter landscapes article, I tried to list a few useful tips for capturing the beauty of a winter landscape. Since I promised to elaborate more on my post-processing technique later on, I would like to do that in this article. To get the unique look of some photos, I use a “negative clarity” method that emulates the very well-known Orton effect. For the classical Orton effect, Adobe Photoshop or any other software with layer…

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How to Upgrade Lightroom

With each new release, Lightroom requires specific changes to the database, also known as a “catalog”, that must be carried out in an upgrade process before the newer version of the software can be used. While the process of upgrading the actual software is pretty straightforward, there are some important steps one needs to take to make sure that the Lightroom catalogs are upgraded successfully. If you are scared about upgrading and have not done it in the past, this…

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How to Use the Spot Removal Tool in Lightroom (Video)

Have you ever wondered how to use the spot removal tool in Lightroom? Although we have covered it in depth in our Workflow and Post-Processing course, I thought it would be a good idea to share some detail about the specifics of the spot removal tool in a video. If you are just starting out in Lightroom, this will be a good introduction on how to use the spot removal tool, which keyboard shortcuts to use to access it and…

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