Photo Technical

Adobe Lightroom a great tool if you’re serious about photos – A32

For the Triton party I took between two to three hundred shots.   I just returned from Japan and took over twelve hundred photographs, including nearly two hundred of two ships being launched.  That is a lot of images to deal with.

I’ve thought about if I would take this many in the pre-digital days of film… For the launching assignment the answer is likely, yes.  For The Triton event I would likely lower the number due to budget constraints.  And the fact is, several dozen party pictures are all you really need to publish and show that everyone was having a great time.  Now, with the extra shots, you can make a DVD that can be played showing nearly everyone that attended.

It would be misguided to say that with digital, without the cost of film and film processing, taking photographs is free, and I’m not talking about the fact you still have to buy memory cards.  They, of course, have steadily gone down in price and increased in size.  Can you believe they are now up to 48 gigabytes, and 2 gigabyte cards are easily under fifty dollars?

Anyway, the misguided thinking is related to the fact that you still essentially have to develop/process your digital images.  You can either outsource this to a professional or drug store lab and get basic transfers completed with disks and paper proofs for a price, or you can take complete control right away by doing this yourself.

The more serious you are about photography the more likely you will want to keep control over your images. Just do not be misguided, because you will still have a price to pay in terms of the time you will devote in processing and developing all your images.

For this purpose I will introduce you to Adobe Lightroom.  I am not getting a kickback from them in doing so, although in this economy I sure can use it.  Nevertheless, I can be thankful to them for making such a terrific program that saves my time and makes my life easier.  If you are an avid photographer you’ll be happy to own and learn about it.

Let me first begin by saying the philosopher Socrates can never call me a fool, because I will not pretend or suggest I know it all.  I’m on a constant learning curve in all that I do, and this is certainly true for my use of Lightroom.  With that in mind let’s forge ahead.

It use to be when I first got the program I would pull memory card from my camera (as I did after The-Triton party), put it in a card reader, and attach it to my computer that the program would automatically open.  O.K. it has stopped doing the auto open, but that’s alright and I’m sure there is a checkbox in ‘preferences’ to adjust this auto function setting.

With the program loaded and the memory card reader attached to the computer via a USB connection, I double click on the icon to open the program.  With this article there is a photograph of the Adobe PhotoShop Lightroom layout, and this is what appears on your monitor screen, only it will be in the Library mode.

You will find the main modes, Library, Develop…to Web at the upper right side.  I listed those three as they are the one’s I use most often to date.

The Library mode is where you begin by importing and end your work by exporting.  I have always emphasized again and again to save files in two locations for safety, for instance your internal hard drive and an external drive.

Just the other day an artist associate was telling me about trying to salvage files from a hard drive crash, with no back up.  What a horror story.  Anyway, this program (in Library mode) handles saving in two locations simultaneously when you transfer your files from camera card to computer.

The Develop mode is where you can perform your standard darkroom procedure on the photographs you have taken.  The old dark, chemically based room is certainly now in the past.  Without question there was a magic to it, but my work personal work strived for performing the magic in the camera or with lighting, so my darkroom nostalgia is limited.

I haven’t explored Slideshow and Print at all to date, but Web is wonderful providing many templates that you can further customize to instantaneously create web pages you can post on a new or existing web site.

I will write more on the specific possibilities of these modes in the next installment.  For the moment you may notice, from the photo of Lightroom in this article, that I have customized my program at the top with colors relating to my business, and my business name.  There is no better way to be inspired and find new ways to enhance your photography then by seeing the works of other fine art photographs exhibited.  You are welcome to visit and contact me about Lightroom learning classes, after I now take permission to come ashore.