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LIGHTROOM THE ADOBE PHOTOSHOP LIGHTROOM HOW-TO MAGAZINE ISSUE 26 ®

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MAGAZINE

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DEVELOPING THE SHOT

Capturing fast-moving racing cars and using the Radial Filter tool for local adjustments in Lightroom. p10 PHOTO BY CREE BOL

LIGHTROOM LABORATORY IN THIS NEW COLUMN BY SERGE RAMELLI, LEARN HOW TO RESCUE SHOTS TAKEN IN BAD WEATHER

UNDER THE LOUPE

Learning how to take control of your catalog is key to your success in managing your photos in Lightroom. p22


THE ADOBE PHOTOSHOP LIGHTROOM HOW-TO MAGAZINE ®

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ISSUE 26 EDITORIAL:

Scott Kelby, Editor-in-Chief Chris Main, Managing Editor Kim Doty, Associate Editor GRAPHICS

Jessica Maldonado, Art Director Margie Rosenstein, Senior Graphic Designer Angela Naymick, Graphic Designer MARKETING

Adam Blinzler Rachel Scott Kleber Stephenson Melissa White WEB

Adam Frick Brandon Nourse Yojance Rabelo Aaron Westgate PUBLISHING:

Scott Kelby, Publisher Kalebra Kelby, Executive V.P. Jean A. Kendra, Business Manager ADVERTISING:

Jeanne Jilleba, Advertising Coordinator 800-201-7323 ext. 152 HOW TO CONTACT KELBYONE:

U.S. Mail: 1 18 Douglas Road East Oldsmar, FL 34677-2922 Voice: 813-433-5000 • Fax: 813-433-5015 Customer Service: info@kelbymediagroup.com Letters to the Editor: lightroom@photoshopuser.com Help Desk: kelbyone.com/my-account/helpdesk COLOPHON:

Lightroom Magazine was produced using Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 and Adobe InDesign CC 2017. Roboto was used for headlines and subheads. Frutiger LT Std for text.

An official publication of KelbyOne This seal indicates that all content provided herein is produced by KelbyOne, LLC and follows the most stringent standards for educational resources. KelbyOne is the premier source for instructional books, DVDs, online classes, and live seminars for creative professionals.

Contributing Writers SEÁN DUGGAN

is the co-author of Photoshop Masking & Compositing, Real World Digital Photography, and The Creative Digital Darkroom. He leads workshops on digital photography, Photoshop, and Lightroom. Learn more at SeanDuggan.com.

MARTIN EVENING

is a photographer with a background in commercial studio photography. He’s also an experienced technical reviewer, who has over the last two decades authored 25 books on Photoshop and Lightroom.

SEAN McCORMACK

is the author of The Indispensable Guide to Lightroom CC. Based in Galway, Ireland, he shoots subjects from musicians, models, and actors to landscapes and architecture. Learn more at http://lightroom-blog.com.

SERGE RAMELLI

is cityscape and landscape photographer who hosts a weekly show where he shares his best photography tricks and postprocessing techniques. He specializes in HDR, black-and-white, longexposure photography of some of the nicest cities in the world.

ROB SYLVAN

is the Lightroom Help Desk Specialist for KelbyOne, on staff at the Digital Photo Workshops, and author of Taming Your Photo Library with Adobe Lightroom and Lightroom 5: Streamlining Your Digital Photography Process. You can learn more at www.lightroomers.com.

All contents ©COPYRIGHT 2016 KelbyOne, LLC. All rights reserved. Any use of the contents of this publication without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Lightroom Magazine is an independent journal, not affiliated in any way with Adobe Systems, Inc. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, and Photoshop are registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks mentioned belong to their respective owners. Some of the views expressed by contributors may not be the representative views of the publisher. ISSN 2470-7031 (online)


Martin Evening

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Developing the Shot

fast-action photography at goodwood revival BY MARTIN EVENING

Serge Ramelli

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Lightroom Laboratory

turn bad weather photos into amazing shots BY SERGE RAMELLI

Rob Sylvan

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Under the Loupe

take control of your lightroom catalog B Y R O B S Y LVA N

Sean McCormack

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Maximum Workflow exposure x2 BY SEAN McCORMACK

Tom Bol

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Photography Secrets lost in the sand dunes BY TOM BOL

Scott Kelby

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Questions Answers BY SCOTT KELBY

Seán Duggan

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Tips BY SEÁN DUGGAN

Tricks


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A Note from Scott lightroom updates

If you’re wondering if anything “big” has happened since our last issue, well, yeah! Plenty! First, there was a new update to Lightroom CC, called the 2015.8 release (yes, it’s not lost on me that it’s now nearly 2017—don’t get me started. With any luck, the Lightroom team will follow the cue of the Photoshop team, which jumped their recent release to a much more fitting 2017). Okay, what’s in the new release? In brief, they added a new Develop module feature that gives you the ability to choose any image as a “Reference Image” (an image whose look you want to match in your current image so you can do some serious side-by-side tweaking). They also worked on speed improvements throughout. According to Adobe, “…you should notice improvements in image editing responsiveness when background tasks (such as Preview Generation) are running, moving files between folders, and running catalog backups.” A speedier Lightroom is always welcome. They also added a few minor, but helpful tweaks, such as more accurate Fit and Fill image previews for users with 4K or 5K monitors. You can now export a collection as a catalog, and smart collections have the ability to filter images that have snapshots associated with them. Outside of that, it’s the usual new camera support (including tethering support for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV); a bunch of new lens profiles; and of course, bug fixes. As I mentioned on LightroomKillerTips.com (I write Lightroom posts there daily), it’s a pretty modest update, but the stuff they added is all decent. Not necessarily any stuff at the top of my Lightroom wish list (or on it at all for that matter), but there are probably some users jumping for joy, and I’m happy for them. Kinda. ;-)

Lightroom for the Web also got a few tweaks and enhancements a few weeks earlier. Adobe added things such as the ability to download full-resolution images and to share individual images (so you no longer have to share an entire collection). But Lightroom Mobile got the biggest overall update, especially for the iPhone version, which has a new editing interface that’s designed to make it more like Lightroom on the desktop. It’s a totally new way to work, and so far most folks seem to dig it. They also majorly tweaked Lightroom Mobile’s built-in camera with the ability to go into “Pro” mode and set the f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO for the iPhone camera. There are lots of other little tweaks as well (such as seeing and editing your basic metadata in the app). It’s a very worthwhile update, and I like the direction they’re headed with the new user interface. On the KelbyOne site we’ve been getting awesome feedback on my new online course called the Simplified Lightroom Image Management System (the SLIM System)—so much so that we did a special live MembersOnly Webcast where I answered users’ questions. Click here if you missed the webcast. Of course, make sure you watch the course first (it’ll make much more sense). I created the course exclusively for you, our KelbyOne members, so if you’ve ever struggled with keeping your library maintained, backed up, and organized, this class is for you. A lot’s happened since last issue, and with what we have planned for our Lightroom-using members in 2017, I expect you’ll be hearing a lot more from me again next issue. All my best,

Scott Kelby KelbyOne President & CEO Editor & Publisher, Lightroom Magazine 006


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Lightroom Magazine

Image: Cree Bol

Lightroom Magazine is an official publication of KelbyOne. As a KelbyOne member, you automatically receive Lightroom Magazine ten times a year. Each issue features in-depth Lightroom and photo­graphy tutorials written by the most talented designers, photographers, and leading authors in the industry.

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#KelbyOneBooks

Extend the Power of What You Do in Lightroom on Your Mobile Device The best-selling Lightroom book author of all time is back to show you, step by step, how to unlock the power of Lightroom Mobile, and extend the power and reach of what you do in Lightroom on your desktop. Scott Kelby gets straight to the point to show you how to get up and running fast, how to make the most out of Lightroom Mobile’s amazing capabilities, and even how to use it to do things that Lightroom for the desktop can’t do. You’ll learn all about organization, editing, and sharing— the entire process. And, you’ll be up and editing like a boss in no time. Scott’s been working with Lightroom Mobile and teaching people how to use it from the very beginning, so he knows first-hand which parts of the process users struggle with and where they get confused, and he knows exactly how to get you past those stumbling blocks and really enjoying the newfound freedom editing on a mobile device can bring. Get your copy today from your favorite bookseller.

fuel for creativity


Developing the Shot

fast-action photography at goodwood revival BY MARTIN EVENING

Goodwood Revival takes place each September at Goodwood Motor Circuit, just outside Chichester in Southern England. With nonstop car and motorcycle races over three days, this is probably one of the largest events of its kind. Established just after the war, Goodwood was a premiere motor racing venue right up until the mid ’60s when it closed down. The current owner, Lord March, relaunched the motor circuit in 1998, when he hosted a Revival event to re-create the former glory years of Goodwood. It’s a great opportunity to see vintage cars, and visitors are all urged to dress up in period clothing.


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to keep the lens aperture fairly open for a shallow depth of field, I selected a low ISO setting, which also meant better image capture quality, of course.

a brief lightroom overview My first objective was to crop the photo more tightly, center the car in the frame, and lighten the exposure. In this instance, the dark bodywork of the car needed about a one-stop exposure increase. This created an image that overall looked quite light. Once I combined the exposure increase with a post-crop vignette, I was able to darken the corners and focus attention on the car. The two Radial Filter adjustments I added helped highlight the spinning wheels. What I love about the localized adjustments in Lightroom is the range of slider controls. Here, I adjusted just the Whites and Clarity sliders to add more sparkle.

the difference is in the details Now that you have a basic idea of what I did in Lightroom, let’s take a closer look at each of the steps I took to process this image.

step one: The before version was shot using a Sony 70–200mm lens on the Sony a7r II camera. As I mentioned earlier, the photograph was shot with the camera meter set to Shutter priority mode with the shutter speed set to 1/250 using an ISO speed of 200.

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The car featured here is a Bugatti Type 11, which was driven by Simon Diffey, as he headed toward the Lavant Corner Grandstands. The French company, Bugatti, manufactured racing and road cars from the early 1900s up until the ’50s when the original company ceased operations. This photograph was taken of the pre-1950 road race, with a wide mixture of vintage racing cars. Now, I can’t claim to be an expert sports photographer, but I knew enough about shooting fast-moving cars to customize the camera settings appropriately. I wanted the cars to be sharp, but at the same time I didn’t want to freeze all the movement, because it’s good to have motion blur in the background and to see the wheels spinning. Here, I set the camera to Shutter speed priority mode, set the shutter speed to 1/250, and panned the camera to follow the action. Looking at the photographs I’d taken at a previous event, I knew that the optimum shutter speed to capture this movement is somewhere between 1/160 and 1/320. When you shoot at shutter speeds that are faster than this, you’re more likely to get sharp pictures, but you lose the sense of movement. At slower speeds, it’s really in the lap of the gods whether anything will be sharp, and you’re definitely into fine-art territory. Here, I wanted the focusing to be firmly targeted on the car. There was no time to frame perfectly, so I just tried to keep the car in the center of the frame and relied on a center-weighted auto-focus setting so that the camera focus mechanism wasn’t distracted by anything in the corners of the frame. I happened to be shooting with a mirrorless camera, and I sometimes noticed a stroboscopic effect in the viewfinder as I followed some of the faster cars. This may have been due to the refresh rate of the electronic viewfinder. Disconcerting as it was, it didn’t prevent me from getting my shots, but if I were shooting fast-action sports more often, I’d find this a problem. As I was shooting at a fairly slow shutter speed and wanted

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step two: I selected the Crop Overlay tool (R) from the toolbar below the

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Histogram in the Develop module (D) and chose the 16x9 crop preset from the Aspect drop-down menu. I then clicked on one of the handles and dragged to position the car centrally and more tightly within the cropped area. Press R to exit the Crop Overlay tool and commit the crop.

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step three: To lighten the image, I went to the Basic panel and adjusted the Exposure slider to +1.10. I particularly wanted to bring out more shadow detail in the car bodywork, so I lightened the Shadows. I also lowered the Highlights to –42. I then Shift-double-clicked both the Whites and Blacks sliders to auto-set the white and black endpoints.


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step five: To maintain the focus on the driver, I went to the Effects panel where I added a darkening vignette using the Highlight Priority Style mode. I darkened using a –27 Amount setting and feathered the edge to keep the vignette edges looking soft. I also moved the Midpoint to bring the edges of the vignette closer to the driver.

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step four: In this step, I added +35 Clarity to add more midtone contrast and boosted the Vibrance to +50. I then went to the Tone Curve panel where I adjusted the Highlights and Lights sliders (as shown here) to add a kick to the highlight contrast.

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step six: Finally, I selected the Radial Filter tool (Shift-M) and added a Radial Filter adjustment to one of the car wheels. Here, I lightened the highlights by setting the Whites slider to +62, and at the same time added +19 Clarity to add more sparkle to the metallic reflections. I also checked on Invert Mask, so the changes take place inside the Radial Filter boundaries. Having done that, I Right-clicked the adjustment to reveal the contextual menu and selected Duplicate. I then dragged the duplicate version and placed it over the other wheel, copying the effect.

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radial filter tool checking the Invert Mask box just below the Radial Filter Feather slider, or use the Apostrophe key (’) shortcut to toggle between these two modes. Working with Radial Filters is a bit like darkroom dodging and burning. They’re great for adding localized adjustments with a soft edge you can control using the Feather slider. Very often it’s useful to apply a Radial Filter effect, adjust the slider settings to achieve a desired effect, and then hold down Command-Option (PC: Ctrl-Alt) and click-and-drag to duplicate the Radial Filter adjustment (or you can use the contextual menu as shown in Step Six). This way you can quickly add lots of Radial Filters with matching settings. ■ CLICK TO RATE

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The Radial Filter can be used to create off-center vignettes. To apply a Radial Filter adjustment, you simply click-anddrag to define the area you wish to adjust. This adds an ellipse shape with four corner handles that you can drag to refine the shape, as well as drag anywhere on the boundary edge to rotate the shape; plus, you can clickand-drag on the central pin to reposition it. Or, you can hold down the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and double-click anywhere in the preview area to add a Radial Filter that fills the entire current cropped image area. By default, a new adjustment will have a zero effect at the center, getting stronger toward the outer edges of the ellipse and beyond. You can switch this around by

ALL IMAGES BY MARTIN EVENING

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Lightroom Laboratory

turn bad weather photos into amazing shots BY SERGE RAMELLI

When you travel all the way from Los Angeles to Paris, followed by a five-hour train ride to Geneva, and then a three-hour drive to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, with the sole purpose of taking photos of the Valley of the 72 Waterfalls, but the weather turns out really bad with lots of clouds and rain, you don’t feel very happy! That’s when you need Lightroom to come to the rescue. I discovered a while ago that bad weather photos could make stunning black-and-white or special-look type images with just a little work in Lightroom.


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step one: The first thing to do after you come back from shooting is to go through all your photos in Lightroom and give a one-star rating to the ones that have the most potential, making sure they have nice composition, decent light, good exposure, etc. To rate an image, click on it in Grid view (G) in the Library module, and press the 1 key on your keyboard to give it a one-star rating. Then, go through the onestar images and decide which one you want to retouch first. Press D to take that image into the Develop module. step two: When I was shooting these images, the sky was really white, which can make a photo very boring. So for this shoot, I used an ND (neutral-density) variable filter and added a polarizer filter on top of it to give the sky a warmer feeling. This works great for white skies. In this case, I picked an underexposed photo in Lightroom to make sure there were some details in the sky.

step three: Once you choose the photo you want to work with, start with a basic workflow. Here’s mine: In the Basic panel, I opened up the Shadows to +100 and brought down the Highlights to –100. I then set Blacks to –45, Whites to +36, and Clarity to –18 to decrease the midtone contrast.

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step four: Next, select the appropriate white balance for your situation. For this photo, I chose Daylight from the WB drop-down menu in the Basic panel, then dragged the Temp slider left to 4840 to make the image bluer, which goes well with the water. I also added a bit of magenta by sliding the Tint to +23 because I’m addicted to magenta!

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step five: To give a stylistic

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look to a photo, go into the Split Toning panel. I selected a warm color for the Highlights by setting the Hue to 30. You won’t see a change in your image until you raise the Saturation. In this example, I set the Saturation to 46. For the Shadows, I selected a blue color by setting the Hue to 227 and the Saturation to 50. (I like this contrast; it’s the “Hollywood look”!) Now you can use the Balance slider to fine-tune the split-toning effect. If you move the Balance slider to the left, it will favor the shadow tones, and if you drag it to the right, it will influence the highlights.

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step six: This is a good base for this photo, so now I’m ready to personalize it. You can play with different tools in Lightroom for your own photos. For this image, I want to re-create the sun behind the clouds, so I’ll use the Radial Filter (Shift-M) for this. After clickingand-dragging where I want the Radial Filter to appear, I checked on Invert Mask, set the Feather to 100, and added some yellow by setting the Temp to 49 and some magenta by setting the Tint to 34. [For more on the Radial Filter, see page 10.—Ed.]

step seven: You can use the Graduated Filter (M) to darken skies in your images. Just start dragging where you want the effect to be at 100%, and stop dragging where you want it to be 0%. Double-click the word “Effect” at the top left of the Graduated Filter panel so all the settings are at 0, and then lower the Exposure to –1.21. (Graduated Filter tips: Drag the outer lines to expand the effect, drag the middle line to rotate it, and drag the dot in the center to reposition it.) Now the sky is darker but it also affects other parts of the photo, such as the mountain on the right, which isn’t nice. While using the Graduated Filter, you’ll see the word “Brush” at the top-right corner of the panel. Click on it to reveal the Brush options below the Graduated Filter panel. Turn on Auto Mask and set both the Flow and Density of your brush to around 80. Press-and-hold the Option (PC: Alt) key, and the brush will now erase the effect of the Graduated Filter wherever you paint.

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step eight: You can add another Graduated Filter by clicking on the word “New” at the top of the panel. This time, I dragged from the bottom of the photo and lowered the Exposure to –1.02.

step nine: At this point, take a step back to see how you like the result. I often go back and change a few of the previous settings as I’m processing my images. For this image, I added some Contrast (+34) in the Basic panel. You can go back to the Split Toning panel if you think it’s too unnatural, and you can lower the Saturation of the blue and magenta. You can also play around with the Radial Filter and make it to your taste.

step 10: If you’re happy with the final retouch, you can make it into a preset to use on other photos taken in bad weather. Just click on the plus (+) icon at the top right of the Preset panel to create a new Develop preset. Presets are always great to give you a base, and it can bring you places you’d never have been without this look! Here’s the final image. ■

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020 ALL IMAGES BY SERGE RAMELLI


Under the Loupe

take control of your lightroom catalog B Y R O B S Y LVA N

We all want to feel in control of our Lightroom catalogs, but some of the tasks just aren’t very intuitive, or seem fraught with peril. Let’s break it down and step through the basics.


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Scott Kelby’s recent class on his Simplified Lightroom Image Management System has a lot of members thinking about how to clean up and take control of their Lightroom catalogs. I know this because of the flood of questions that have come into the Help Desk asking about how to do these types of tasks. Whether you follow Scott’s system or not, all Lightroom users should be in control of their Lightroom catalogs, so I’m dedicating this column to giving you the skills you need to start the new year off on the right foot.

catalog location The most important thing you need to know before you do anything is where your Lightroom catalog is located on your hard drive. This may seem simple, but I’ve worked with several people who weren’t sure, or found that the catalog was not where they expected it to be. To find your catalog, simply launch Lightroom. With Lightroom open, go to Lightroom (PC: Edit)>Catalog Settings, click on the General tab, and note the name of the catalog and the path to where it’s located. Is it where you expected? If so, great! If not, here’s how you can move it to a new location:

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Copy the folder containing the Lightroom catalog (.lrcat) and its associated preview caches (.lrdata) to the location where you want it to be stored.

step four: Once the copy operation is complete, doubleclick the catalog file to open it back into Lightroom. Now, whether you moved your catalog or not, this next step is important. I highly recommend that you manually configure this catalog to be the default catalog. To do this, go to Lightroom (PC: Edit)>Preferences, click on the General tab, and set the When Starting up Use this Catalog drop-down menu to the specific catalog you just opened (don’t use Load Most Recent Catalog).

step one: Click the Show button on the General tab of the Catalog Settings to open the folder containing your catalog in your file browser.

Don’t forget to go back and remove the original folder containing your catalog if you copied it to a new location. Having a good backup in place is a good idea too.

step two: Quit Lightroom. If prompted to back up your catalog, skip for now.

When people start taking a closer look at their catalog, they often wonder if it’s possible to rename a Lightroom catalog, and it’s very easy to do this. First, quit Lightroom, open the Finder (PC: Explorer), and then open the folder containing the catalog. You should see the catalog file with an .lrcat file extension and its preview caches with the .lrdata file

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renaming catalogs

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extensions. Using your File Browser, you can rename the catalog file, but keep the file extension the same (.lrcat). Then, rename the preview caches the same way, but retain the word “Previews” or “Smart Previews” in the name along with the original file extension. So, for example, if your catalog and preview caches were named: Lightroom 5 Catalog-2-2.lrcat Lightroom 5 Catalog-2-2 Previews.lrdata Lightroom 5 Catalog-2-2 Smart Previews.lrdata And you wanted to change it to “Lightroom Catalog,” you’d end up with: Lightroom Catalog.lrcat Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata Lightroom Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata

you have in place. Here’s why: It’s free, it’s built into Lightroom, and it’s automatic. You can just set it and forget it, and it may just save your bacon one day because there are some pieces of data that only exist in the Lightroom catalog (virtual copies, collection membership, flags, and individual history steps), and if your catalog ever gets corrupted, lost, stolen, etc., you’ll be so relieved that you have an exact copy of the catalog sitting in a safe place. I’ve even seen people who accidentally inflicted damage on their own catalogs (oops, I deleted a saved book collection) and were saved by having a recent backup copy of the catalog from which they could recover. Here’s how to set it up:

step one:

Go to the General tab in Lightroom (PC: Edit)> Catalog Settings.

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Click the Back Up Catalog drop-down menu, and choose the frequency for the back up to run. I chose Every Time Lightroom Exits because I like to be reminded each time, even if I sometimes skip it.

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Once that’s done, double-click the catalog file to open it into Lightroom and set that as the default catalog via the General tab in Preferences. The name you choose only matters to you, so don’t feel constrained to keeping the version number of Lightroom in the file name.

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catalog backup Okay, you know where your catalog is located, you may have even renamed it to something more meaningful, and it’s configured as your default catalog to open every time you launch Lightroom. You’re now more in control of your catalog than a lot of other Lightroom users. You may be thinking about that catalog backup function, and how to use it. I urge you to use it no matter what other back­up system

That’s it. The next time you exit Lightroom on the chosen schedule, you’ll be prompted to run the backup process. That prompt is the only place you can configure the location of where you want the backup copy to be saved. Ideally, and to protect against drive failure, you’d choose a separate drive from the one on which your working catalog is located. I work off my laptop, which usually only has one drive attached, so I direct my backup copies to be saved into my Dropbox folder, which are then synced to my other computers and the cloud.


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step one: Open the Finder (PC: Explorer). step two: Copy the entire folder structure with your photos (as-is without changing the structure) to the other drive. step three: Open Lightroom. step four: Once the copy operation is complete, Right-click the One final note: When this process runs, Lightroom creates an exact copy of the catalog as it exists at that moment, and then compresses that catalog into a zip file (as of Lightroom 6/CC). You’ll need to periodically go into the folder containing the backup copies and delete the oldest ones. If you ever had to recover from a backup, you would only use the most recent, right? I usually only keep the most recent two or three on hand.

topmost-level folder in the Folders panel in Lightroom and choose Update Folder Location.

migrating your photo library

step five: In the resulting dialog, navigate to and select that same topmost-level folder in the new drive (the one you just copied over there), and click Choose. Lightroom will update the catalog to point to the folder in the new location (and everything inside that folder). If you have all your folders/photos in a single parent folder, then you’re done, but if there are additional folders at the same level as that top folder, you just need to repeat Steps Four and Five for those folders. Give it a test run to make sure everything is as it should be before removing the originals. Hopefully, that information will put you in a much more confident place with your Lightroom catalog and put you on the path to taking control of your photo library. If you feel that maybe the mess is just too large and you’re looking for a way to start over from scratch, then tune in next issue when I devote my column to just that. In the meantime, send your Lightroom questions to the Help Desk by clicking the My Account button on the KelbyOne web­ site, and then choosing Help Desk. ■ CLICK TO RATE

ALL IMAGES BY ROB SYLVAN

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With your catalog under control, you can now turn your attention to your photos, which is likely to be where the biggest mess can be found. The key to getting control over your photos is to understand the role of the Folders panel in the Library module. To that end, I urge you to read my “Under the Loupe” article in Issue 23 of Lightroom Magazine, which is entirely dedicated to the Folders panel. You’ll learn how to move folders, rename folders, remove folders, and find where your photo folders are actually located on your drive. The one task I didn’t get to cover in that column that every Lightroom user should know is how to migrate your entire photo library from one drive to another drive. This is useful if you want to move your photo library from an internal drive to an external drive, or if you’re running out of space and want to move to a new, larger drive. The process is the same. Now, you could use Lightroom to move the folders, but I don’t recommend doing that when your entire library is at stake. Using a move command is too risky, because if anything goes wrong in the middle of the transfer you could lose data. I prefer a technique that involves copying the folders to the new drive, and then later manually deleting the files from the original location. Here’s how:

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Maximum Workflow

exposure x2 BY SEAN McCORMACK

Exposure from Alien Skin keeps building upon its base of excellent film emulation presets and X2 is no different. Expanding the features from previous versions, it now boasts an ample RAW-processing engine with newer cameras being added at regular intervals. This is on top of having a browser and other new features that include a Spot Heal tool, a Lens Corrections tool, and new file support, including PSD files.


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The program is a staple of superstar photographers like Sue Bryce and Lara Jade, who also provide custom textures for the program. I’m quite partial to the plug-in myself and find it quite a versatile image processor for finishing images.

install and use Exposure X2 has a 30-day trial available. This gives you a chance to play with the program and decide if it’s useful for you. Run the downloaded file and make sure Adobe Lightroom is selected in the Host Selection section of the installation dialog. This installs a preset for X2 in the Photo>Edit In menu. Lightroom should be closed at this point. Reopen Lightroom and, with your chosen image selected, go to the Photo>Edit In menu and choose Exposure X2 from the list to begin.

Before jumping into using Exposure as a plug-in, let’s take a brief look at its additional features when used in standalone format. The major difference between the X2 plug-in and X2 standalone is the Folders panel. This appears above the Presets panel on the left, giving us a browser that allows us to navigate through all of our files to find the photos we’re looking to process. Another difference is that the Capture Time and Copyright information can be edited in standalone mode, but not in plug-in mode. Initially, you have a grid view of the images in a folder. Double-clicking an image opens it in single image view. Double-clicking again will return you to grid view. In single-image view, a single click zooms in or out, and there’s a filmstrip at the bottom. Right-clicking on a filmstrip image (or a thumbnail in the grid view) reveals a menu of available options.

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You can add star ratings, labels, or flags to any image. Simply click on the relevant item on the thumbnail. For labels, each click toggles to the next color available. You can filter down the images that are visible by using any combination of these on the Filter bar at the bottom. You can also search images by metadata. Whatever filter settings are applied can be saved as a preset by clicking the gear icon at the left of the Filter bar. In standalone mode, any editing done is nondestructive and remembered between editing sessions. To speed things along, Exposure uses Lossy DNG files as preview files. It does this in the background as you work, so often the next file you go to has a fully rendered 1:1 preview ready to view. These files are stored in the cache, which is located in a folder of your choosing in X2’s Preferences (Exposure X2 [PC: Edit]>Preferences). These files do take up space on the drive though. Below the Histogram on the right is a tool strip. The Crop tool is here, which doesn’t appear in the plugin version. The final thing worth mentioning is that X2 can import images from your memory cards. Inserting a card automatically brings up the Copy Photos from Card dialog. The image here shows each section expanded in that dialog. Choose your Source, Destination, File Naming, and Metadata to add here. Using the gear icons on the latter two allows you to create presets to use again. While nowhere near as fully featured for image organizing as Adobe Lightroom, X2 is a great addition to the application. Hopefully, we’ll see an Album/Collection feature in future versions.


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plug-in As Lightroom users, you’ll most likely be using X2 as a plugin. A great number of the panels have been covered in a previous article about Exposure in Lightroom Magazine, so let’s concentrate on newer features. Open your photo(s) in X2 using the Photo>Edit In>Exposure X2 preset. Note that you can edit batches of images by Command-clicking (PC: Ctrl-clicking) to select multiple images in the filmstrip below the preview area in Exposure.

presets Presets are the heart of Exposure, so even though these have been covered before, there’s a new batch here called Faded. To see the preset thumbnails better, drag the right edge of the panel toward the center. Click the preset grid options icon at the top right of the panel to toggle to a three-column view to see more thumbnails. Click it again to see a list view, and one more time to get back to a two-column view. You can also use the search bar to narrow down results. Hovering over any preset previews the look in the main window. Click a preset to apply it. Click the star icon on a preset thumbnail to add it to Favorite. I’ve gone for Sharp Warm Highlights here (top right).

histogram Taking a leaf from Lightroom’s book, X2 allows you to change some of the Basic settings directly on the Histogram. Simply click-and-drag to change Shadows, Exposure, and Highlights. Double-click on each section to reset it to 0. If you hold down Option (PC: Alt) as you drag, you get a clipping preview. For Exposure and Highlights, it’s black, with the clipped areas showing as the clipped color, or white if all channels are clipped. For Shadows, it’s white, with the clipped areas showing as the clipped color, or black if all channels are clipped.

The Basic panel allows you to set a base look to the image. For this image I’ve boosted Exposure (1.09) to brighten the image. I’ve brought down Highlights (–41) to prevent blown-out details, and reduced Shadows (–14) to darken the blacks slightly. I’ve also increased Contrast (27). To add punch, I’ve increased Clarity (19) and improved color using Vibrance (17) and Saturation (6).

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detail panel The Detail panel has been added since our last look at Exposure 7. The Sharpening section is very similar to that of Lightroom. Like Lightroom, you need to be at 1:1 to see it properly. Amount controls the strength of the sharpening, and Radius con­trols how far from an edge the sharpening goes. Detail controls the sharpening in higher frequency items like skin pores or leaves in a forest scene. Masking reduces the areas sharpened to larger and larger edges only. The Noise Reduction section is a slightly more basic version of Lightroom’s. Brightness is akin to Luminosity and reduces monochrome noise—that is, noise based on differences in brightness, not color. It has a blurring effect, so Detail helps retain edges when Brightness is used. Color reduces the splotchy pixels you see in noisy images. Smooth blends larger areas of color differentiation together. While this figure appears noisy, it’s actually from the added grain in the preset I’ve used. Remember that before you try to fix your images!

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This lens-emulation tool has been covered before, but the image I used then didn’t effectively show off the aperture

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shape. This image does, so we’ll take a quick look at Bokeh again. Originally, Bokeh was a standalone program from Alien Skin, so you’re now getting it as a freebie inside Exposure. Begin by selecting from the radial, planer, and half planer shapes at the top of the panel in the Focus Region. Radial is a standard lens shape, planer is like a tilt-shift lens, and half planer just blurs one half. Using the Preset drop-down menu, we can quickly get a look. There are three categories (besides Off): Creative Aperture, Motion, and Traditional Lenses. Traditional Lenses emulates the bokeh (out-of-focus effect) of a selection of desirable lenses. Motion creates effects based on moving a lens during capture. Creative Aperture has a range of shapes for highlights in the out-of-focus highlights in the photo. By way of


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demo, I’ve selected Heart, Hollow in the Creative Aperture category to really show the effect here. For the final image, I’ve gone with Sunburst, which is subtler.

overlays panel We took a detailed look at the Over­ lays panel in the previous article, so here I’m only showing you (top left) what I’ve added to this image for effect. I’ve chosen Vintage 4 for Border, Side 3 for Light Effect, and Paper 3 for Texture. For Light Effect, I increased the Zoom to 1.43 and lowered the Opacity to 60.

A much-needed feature that makes this program even better is a healing brush. You’ll find the Spot Heal tool just below the Histogram. Like Lightroom, a single click creates a circular healing spot; clickand-drag to paint an area to clone out. There are two sets of options for the Spot Heal tool: The first is for the current Active Spot, the second for the next spot. This is great for having two completely different looks. Just because I want the current spot to have a low Opacity doesn’t mean I want all future spots to have that same Opacity. When using the tool, set the size to be just larger than the area you want to fix using either the Size slider or the Bracket keys ( [,]) on your keyboard. Click or click-and-drag to select the area. X2 will select a source to heal or clone from. Choose from Heal or Clone in the dropdown menu. Use Feather to control the blending of the edge. Finally, change Opacity to reveal the original area. I’ve removed a small cobweb in this image. The original heal left some color smearing, so I healed the two ends to remove this smearing. Click Close to exit the Spot Heal tool.

brush The final new tool we’ll look at is Brush. Brush is a preset-based local adjustment. By selecting a Preset, the Basic panel changes to reflect the settings in that preset. Modify the settings as required and paint on the photo. You can

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make changes on the fly. Press New to start a new Brush layer, which can have entirely different settings. To go back to a previous layer, click the pin to make it active. You can have three brushes: A, B, and Eraser. Set A and B to use different settings for quick changes. A typical setup is large and soft for A and small and hard for B. You can also hold down Option (PC: Alt) to temporarily change to the Eraser. Here I’ve darkened two parts of the leaf. With Show Mask turned on, you can see where I’ve brushed. A white pin shows the first brush layer. On the bottom left just outside the preview image is a pin that you can click on if you want to make global adjustments. To exit the Brush, click Close.

getting back to lightroom To get back to Lightroom, click the Save button on the bottom right, where all of the settings will be applied to a copy of the original file and Lightroom will update the preview.

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So that’s the new Exposure X2. It makes a great standalone application and has a lot of features not found in Lightroom, while still lacking a little in management features. ■

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Final ALL IMAGES BY SEAN McCORMACK


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Photography Secrets

lost in the sand dunes BY TOM BOL

It’s hard to keep up with all the new technology in the photo industry. Almost every month there’s a new camera, flash, lens, program, or app that rocks the photo world. It’s an exciting time to be a photographer, and image-making is more popular than ever. I start my morning with a cup of black coffee and scan various photo websites looking for new, exciting announcements.


scout the location Or in this case, be overwhelmed by the location! These dunes stretch for miles, and the largest dunes top out at 750'. Imagine walking on the soft sand at the beach, except instead of being flat, you’re going up a very steep hill at 8,000'. I didn’t need to climb the tallest dune for my shot, but I was dazzled at the massive scale of the dunes. I brought my family along for this adventure. My wife is also a photographer, and my teenage son, Skyler, is a nationally ranked high school athlete. Since he trains constantly, Skyler makes a great athletic subject for outdoor images. This was going to be a family affair.

the long-distance hiking shot One powerful graphic element of sand dunes is the narrow ridges that crisscross the dunes. Almost any ridge will make a great landscape photo, and adding a hiker adds scale and perspective to the vastness of the environment. Under the stars in the chilly predawn darkness, we hiked by headlamp until we were surrounded by mountains of sand, and found a curving ridge that Skyler could run along. To light him, we placed a small light stand in the sand with a Lastolite Triflash bracket on top. This bracket holds three speedlights for plenty of power.

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When Nikon introduced the SB-5000 earlier this year, I almost spilled my coffee. The speedlight I was dreaming about had arrived. Most importantly, the SB-5000 used a radio signal instead of an optical signal. This meant I didn’t need lineof-sight to trigger the light, and I could fire my flashes almost 100' away. Combined with faster recycling, more power, and a built-in cooling fan, this flash wasn’t just a bump in features; it was a speedlight overhaul. And Nikon wasn’t the only company to improve their speedlights. Canon and others had introduced radio-controlled speedlights. With these new speedlight capabilities, I needed to put the SB-5000 to the test. I wanted to see how well the new radio signal worked. How far could I trigger the flash? How many flashes could I get before the batteries started to struggle? To get some answers, I loaded up my trailer and headed to Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado.

CREE BOL

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CREE BOL

I took the first image, and the flashes fired right on cue. Shot after shot, the flashes just kept firing. I was getting a little giddy at how well this signal worked. The clouds were turning orange as the sun rose, and the speedlight added punch to the shot. I asked Skyler to run to a distant ridge and set up the SB-5000. How far could he go before the signal failed. Back and back he went until at about 300' the signal finally stopped triggering the flash. This was three times the distance Nikon states the system will work. How often will you shoot a football field away from your subject? Not often, but you have the ability now.

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Using a Nikon D500 and a wide-angle lens, I was able to include the distant ridges and mountains behind Skyler for a dramatic background. But would the flashes fire with the stand behind me (not line-of-sight)? I attached the new Nikon WR-R10 Wireless Remote Controller to the camera’s 10-pin terminal using the WR-A10 Wireless Remote Adapter. One big difference from the optical SU-800 transmitter is that the WR-R10 doesn’t require a separate battery. Instead, it runs off the camera battery. Fewer batteries are a good thing. Also, this transmitter is so small that you barely notice it’s on your camera. To adjust power settings of the flash groups, you use a commander screen on the camera LCD. The radio receiver is built into the SB-5000, so no extra piece of gear is needed.


CREE BOL

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the action shot

Firing more than one speedlight increases your effective lighting range, and reduces recycling times.

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Next up on my shot list was an action shot. I had heard rumors that the SB-5000 could shoot two to three frames in rapid succession. That meant instead of capturing one lit image in an action sequence, I might be able to get two or three. To test this idea, I moved off the ridge below Skyler. He’d be running along the ridge kicking sand, and I wanted to capture as many frames as I could with each pass. I decided to use a 20" FourSquare softbox for travel portraits, I needed a softbox that could mount multiple flashes for this shot. The FourSquare box allows up to four speedlights to be attached, which would be necessary if I was shooting in high-speed sync (at shutter speeds faster than 1/250). In highspeed sync mode, speedlights use a lightning-fast strobic mode to ensure the subject is evenly lit using very fast shutter speeds.

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Another radio control advantage became obvious. When I mounted the SB-5000s onto the FourSquare bracket, I didn’t have to worry which way the sensor was oriented. These flashes were going to fire no matter what their position in the softbox. Previously, using optical controlled speedlights, I had to use special brackets to ensure the sensor was aimed at the transmitter. I took the front diffusion panel off the softbox to increase the power of the speedlights. I didn’t need soft light as much as focused light. The FourSquare does a great job of creating a beam of edgy light that can be aimed where you want it in your image. Skyler jumped off the dune for the first shot, and I fired my D500 at 7 frames per second (FPS). To my surprise not only was the first shot nicely lit, but so was the second image. This really shocked me. It’s hard to imagine these small flashes recycling quickly enough to shoot two consecutive frames at fast frame rates, but they did. I’ve never seen speedlight performance like this before. I shot numerous fast sequences where two or more of the images were nicely lit.


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the cross-lit sand dune runner

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CREE BOL

So far, I was a believer in the new radio-controlled speedlights. Weak and inconsistent signals were a thing of the past. My speedlights had fired every single time without missing a shot. They hadn’t overheated, and my rechargeable Eneloop batteries were still going strong. The action shots of Skyler looked great but I wanted to add a flash behind him to create cross lighting. The background light would help separate him from the sky, and add contrast to the shot. We placed an SB-5000 behind Skyler out of sight from the camera. We zoomed the flash head to 200mm to create a narrow beam of flash—we needed to illuminate Skyler, not the entire sand dune. I set my flashes in the softbox to group A, and my background accent light to Group B. I’d been using TTL flash mode all day and getting great results. If I find TTL mode producing inconsistent output, I’ll switch to Manual mode. But one benefit of TTL mode is the ability to expose correctly for moving subjects. Skyler’s position changed almost every shot as he hiked through the image. But since I was shooting in TTL mode I didn’t have to worry about it. Using Manual mode, I’d have to shoot with Skyler in the exact spot each time for proper exposure.

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where to go next? My SB-5000s were living up to all of my expectations. New images were possible using the radio signal, and the consistent firing was impressive. I shoot a lot of travel photography, and the ability to light a window or room from the inside while shooting from the outside would be terrific. The rapid-sequence flash firing was unexpected, and got me thinking about other action sports image possibilities. The new Nikon and Canon radio-controlled speedlights aren’t cheap. At around $600 for one speedlight, some photographers may look at other options. But these flashes aren’t like speedlights of the past. More power, faster recycling, no overheating, and radio control make these a powerful lighting solution. And you can’t beat the weight. Hiking up that last massive sand dune during our shoot wore me out. But it wasn’t my lighting gear slowing me down. The shifting sand below my feet reminded me of a hamster on a treadmill. But you gotta do what you gotta do to get the shot. CLICK TO RATE

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ALL IMAGES BY TOM BOL EXCEPT WHERE NOTED

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Questions Answers

I heard Adobe added a Reference View image feature in the latest Lightroom CC update. Didn’t we already have that in Compare mode? You could put an image on the left side, and then make changes to the image on the right. Why is this better, and why would I use it?

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You do have a point in that Compare mode will let you compare two images and let you edit one to match the other, but there’s a serious drawback—it doesn’t work in the Develop module. Compare mode switches you to the Library module, so all you can use is Quick

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Develop, which is pretty limiting. You can find Compare under the View menu, or by pressing the letter C on your keyboard. The Reference View feature is designed to work in the Develop module so you have full control over editing and all your tools. Now, for the “Why would I use it” part of your question. I can tell you how I’d use it: If I saw an image online and I wanted to try and match its postprocessing look, I’d download the image, import it into Lightroom, and make that my reference photo and try to match that look with one of my images in the Develop module. To enter Reference View, click the “R |A” icon in the Toolbar below the image preview area, or you can press Shift-R on your keyboard.

Is there an easy way for me to find the actual folder in which a particular image resides? There sure is. Just Right-click on the image, and from the pop-up menu, choose Go to Folder in Library. It will open the Folders panel and display the exact folder where it’s located.


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I’ve been able to tether into my Nikon D750 no problem, but then all of sudden it just stopped working. I can’t get it to recognize my camera for tethering. Any idea what’s up? I have a pretty good idea. I’ll bet you have a memory card in your D750, and for some reason Lightroom doesn’t like it if you have a memory card in a Nikon camera while you tether. I’m guessing that previously you didn’t have a card in there, so try tethering without any memory cards in the camera. My bet is it’ll work now. By the way, this doesn’t hold true for Canons. In fact, Canons actually write a copy of the shot to the memory card, so you can absolutely leave your memory card in the camera if you shoot Canon.

I often apply a color profile to my images in the Camera Calibration panel, but every once in a while when I go to apply a profile the only choice is Embedded. Why is that?

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so I don’t need to see that preview window every time. It’s actually a keyboard shortcut. Select the images you want to combine into a single HDR image, then press Shift-Control-H (PC: Shift-Ctrl-H).

I had heard they added sharpening to Lightroom Mobile, but I can’t find it anywhere in the app. Did they actually add it? Well, yeah, kinda. The reason you’re having a hard time finding it is because they didn’t add regular ol’ sharpening like you have in Lightroom desktop. Instead, they added a Sharpening slider to the two Selective Adjustments: The Radial Filter and the Graduated Filter. So, our workaround is to make the size of the Radial Filter adjustment area really huge so it covers as much of the image as possible, and then apply the sharpening to that selected area. ■

You can only apply color profiles to RAW images. JPEG images already have the profile you chose in-camera embedded into the file; that’s why instead of being able to embed a profile, it says Embedded. I think what’s happening when you only see Embedded as a choice is that the image to which you’re trying to apply a profile is a JPEG or a TIFF, rather than a RAW.

In the Print module, I used to be able to display image information by pressing the letter I, but it doesn’t work anymore. Even if I go up to the View menu and choose Show Info Overlay, nothing happens. What’s up?

How do you process an HDR image without bringing up the HDR Merge Preview window? I just want to use the same settings I always use, and process my images in the background,

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It’s a bug, and it’s one that’s been there for a while. I sent a note about it to the Lightroom team, and hopefully, it’ll get picked up in an update (Adobe usually picks up a few bug fixes in each update, so maybe we’ll get lucky soon).

CLICK TO RATE ALL IMAGES BY SCOTT KELBY

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TipsTricks Smart previews have been around in Lightroom for a few years now, first appearing in Lightroom 5. With the release of Lightroom CC 2015.5 and Lightroom 6.7, a new smart preview feature has been added. In this column, we’ll take a quick look at what smart previews are, and share some tips for using them.

SEÁN DUGGAN

Though this may seem like the most convenient way to generate smart previews, I usually don’t check this. Since I’ll only use smart previews on the best images that I’m likely to work on, I prefer to wait until I’ve reviewed and rated the photos.

what are smart previews? When you import files into Lightroom, it creates a JPEG preview image. If you’re not connected to the drive where the actual images are stored, the controls in the Quick Develop panel in the Library module, or in the Develop module, are grayed out and you can’t edit the files.

creating smart previews after import

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For images that are already in your catalog, you can select them in the Library module and choose Library>Previews>Build Smart Previews. In that same menu there’s also a choice to Discard Smart Previews. This can be useful if you no longer need to have smart previews for a group of images and you want to reduce the file size of the smart previews cache file.

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A smart preview is a lossy Digital Negative File (DNG) that’s saved at a smaller pixel dimension than the original. The smart preview contains the RAW information and you can edit it just as you would an original RAW file even if the hard drive containing the actual image files isn’t connected to your computer (edits such as noise reduction and sharpening, where a view of the detail at 100% is critical, are best done when you can access the original RAW file). The file size of smart previews is also much smaller than original RAW files. For the photographer who travels a lot, this can be very useful.

creating smart previews on import Smart previews can be created upon import by clicking the Build Smart Previews checkbox in the File Handling section in the right-hand panels on the Import dialog.


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creating smart previews on export You can also create smart previews when you export a set of photos as a new catalog (File>Export as Catalog). In the Export as Catalog dialog, click the Build/Include Smart Previews checkbox.

smart preview status on image thumbnails In Grid view, badges on the upper-right corner of the image thumbnails also indicate whether an image is missing or offline, or whether there’s a smart preview for that file.

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smart preview status in the histogram panel When a smart preview is present for an image, you’ll see a status line indicating this under the Histogram for the selected image. When the original image can be accessed by Lightroom, it will read “Original + Smart Preview.” Click on this to prompt a dialog that will allow you to discard the smart preview for the selected file. When the original file is offline, this status will show “Smart Preview.” If there’s no smart preview and the photo is offline or missing, there will be no histogram and the status line will read “Photo is Missing.” In the Develop module, a label will appear over the top of the preview indicating that the file can’t be found. ■

use smart previews for faster develop module performance

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In the 2015.7 / 6.7 release of Lightroom a new feature allows you to use smart previews in the Develop module, even if the original RAW file is present. The reasoning for this is that there can often be a noticeable speed improvement when editing the smart preview vs. the original RAW file. To turn this on, go to the Performance tab of Lightroom (PC: Edit)>Preferences and click the checkbox for Use Smart Previews Instead of Originals for Image Editing. Depending on how your particular system is configured in terms of processor speed, the graphics processor and RAM, as well as the nature of the edits you’re making, will determine your mileage as to how much of a performance improvement you see. CLICK TO RATE ALL IMAGES BY SÉAN DUGGAN

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“By itself, an off-camera flash is a small light source that produces very contrasty, harsh light. When used in tandem with the Rapid Box and Deflector Plate, the flash transforms into a much larger light source that gives off soft, beautiful light.” ZACH GRAY TOP PRO ELITE PHOTOGRAPHER


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Lightroom Magazine Issue 26, 2016  
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