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 and horizontal images in a single window. Let’s take a look at this great feature in detail.
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 copy and a snapshot in Lightroom, the benefits of each one, and when you might want to use one instead of the other.
Adobe Lightroom is a massive, lumbering behemoth of photography software with enough functions and processes to make any photographer go crazy. At the simplest level, though, Lightroom was created to help you do just three things: sort your photos, post-process them, and export them. On Photography Life alone, we already have more than 100 articles about Lightroom — the equivalent of several books — and other websites have countless more. Clearly, it’s an important topic to learn, whether you’re just starting out or you’re an advanced photographer. In this guide, I will go over the process of using Lightroom for beginners, from start to finish, including tips on the topics that tend to confuse people the most.
One of the biggest frustrations with Lightroom’s built-in watermarking tool, is the fact that it often ends up making watermarks appear too soft / blurry, especially when extracting smaller JPEG images. This happens due to Lightroom’s rather poor implementation of watermarking on images. Not only does Lightroom seem to apply sharpening to images before adding a watermark, but also, the resizing algorithm used by the software appears to be pretty bad. No matter what image dimensions one chooses, Adobe has not provided a way to turn off scaling in Watermark Editor, even if one provides transparent PNG / GIF images with the correct dimensions. For this reason, many photographers end up using Photoshop for adding watermarks to images, which certainly does take more time and effort, but certainly delivers much sharper results in comparison. After seeing poor watermarking results, I decided to look into alternative methods to see if there is a way to make watermarks sharper using the same tools. After some experimentation, I came up with two methods that ended up working well and that’s what I am going to share with our readers in this article.
While it seems that adding watermarks to images does little nowadays to deter image theft, watermarks can still be very useful for photographers and business owners for promoting their work and their brands across websites and social media. Unfortunately, for those who are just starting out, adding a simple watermark to images can be a rather painful experience, especially if they are not already familiar with the process using such software tools as Photoshop. Thankfully, Adobe has made it easy to add watermarks to images in Lightroom, allowing one to not only add a watermark to a single image, but also to apply it to all images during the export process, which can save a lot of time and frustration when dealing with batches of images. In this article, I will show how to use the built-in watermark tool that is readily available in Lightroom in order to quickly add watermarks to images.
Although we have already published a detailed review of the JPEGmini Pro software a while ago, a number of readers have reached out to me, asking how to effectively use the software, specifically when extracting images for clients from Lightroom. I have now been using JPEGmini for over a year and both Lola and I have been extracting images from Lightroom in a specific way to get the highest quality JPEG images to our clients, while retaining the smallest file size possible. Previously, we would extract everything at particular resolutions (typically 2048 for smaller JPEGs and full size for print) using 100% JPEG compression for the full sized images for the best possible quality, but extracting hundreds and sometimes even thousands of images turned out to be a headache when it came to storage and file transmission. With JPEGmini, we were able to continue delivering the best images to our clients, with a much smaller footprint. This resulted in both time and cost savings in the long run for us, as we did not have to deal with time-consuming uploads and large USB drives. In this article, I will show how both Lola and I we have been utilizing JPEGmini as part of our Lightroom workflow.
Ever since I started using Lightroom back in 2007, I have been keeping a backup of every single version on my computer, making sure that I had the latest version of that particular release. With the very first version of Lightroom having a few issues and not having 64-bit architecture support, I ended up deleting it, so the first release of Lightroom I actually preserved was Lightroom 2 (the latest build of that release was Lightroom 2.7). The next stable build I preserved was Lightroom 3.6. From there, it was Lightroom 4.4 that I used the most before Adobe released Lightroom 5. With the release of LR 5, Adobe introduced Lightroom CC, which was the first cloud version of Lightroom. From there, Lightroom CC 2014 was rolled out, which was equivalent to version 5.4 of LR standalone. The big release was Lightroom 6 (CC 2015), which is the most current version, the latest release being Lightroom 6.6.1, or Lightroom CC 2015.6.1 if you use the cloud version of the software. So what do you do when you have all these versions of the software? Well, I installed them all on my Windows 10 PC and decided to give them all a try and see how much Adobe has been improving the performance of the software over the years. The results are quite interesting to say the least!
A couple of weeks ago I wrote the article “Four Simple Tips for Better Composition”. In that article, I discussed in-camera techniques for keeping your horizons level and verticals vertical. However, even if you are careful, this is not always possible. This is especially true when trying to take pictures of tall buildings. I received several great comments mentioning that Photoshop’s powerful “Transform” tool can be used to correct the keystoning issues that arise in such a situation. I thought it would be a good idea to follow that last article up with one on post-processing methods for perspective corrections. I will go over a couple of ways to quickly fix horizons in Lightroom and how to easily improve/correct keystoning in Lightroom. I will also go over some more advanced techniques for perspective correction using Photoshop, for when the Lightroom methods don’t quite make the grade. The combination of good in-camera image creation and post-processing perspective corrections should allow you to create images that reflect how are eyes see and our brains perceive the world around us.
Today Adobe released a bunch of updates to its Creative Cloud suite, along with a new Lightroom 6.4 update. Aside from the regular bugfixes and new camera and lens profiles, Adobe introduced a new feature to its panorama stitching option within Lightroom called “Boundary Warp”, which is basically a tool that allows straightening the curves we usually see in panoramas. As we have seen before, while bugfixes and camera / lens profiles are available for all versions, new features are only available for Creative Cloud subscribers, so the Lightroom 6.4 standalone update won’t include the “Boundary Warp” feature. In addition, Adobe promises to double the speed of the panorama merging process, as well as much faster thumbnail updates when settings are copy pasted to multiple images at once. I have been running Lightroom CC 2015.4 for a few hours today and while I cannot yet state if it is more stable than the previous version, the panorama stitching process is indeed much faster in comparison. Let’s take a look at the new “Boundary Warp” update in more detail.
After a huge backlash from its user base when Adobe released a very buggy Lightroom update featuring its new Import tool, the company officially apologized and promised not only to address the bugs, but also to bring back the old Import tool and all the features it previously had. It took a bit of time, but the update is finally out! After testing the new CC 2015.3 release, I am pleased to see much better performance, particularly when using a dual monitor setup (the previous release was extremely buggy in a dual monitor setup). In addition to fixing a slew of bugs, Adobe also provided a rather big list of newly supported cameras and lenses.