Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lightroom 3

Lightroom 3 is more software I've purchased and have not yet used. I needed some good tutorials to get me started. The first step is to learn the names of the different sections of the interface.

The absolute best site I've discovered provides a wonderful succinct explanation of LR functions, menus and settings:

Learn Lightroom in a week  detailed ilustrated tutorials

I discovered that it is vital to understand the "catalogue" function of this software if any semblance of control is to be maintained over images. Digital Photography School provides some great hints commencing with a comparison between 'destructive' and 'non destructive' editing which was eminently helpful. To paraphrase and summarise :

1. Non destructive editing means any modifications made to an image are not changing the original image. Photoshop by comparison is an example of a destructive editor as changes made to an image are saved directly over the original image, thus destructively editing the original file. 

2. Lightroom Previews - When you see changes being made inside of Lightroom as you adjust "Develop: settings, what you are seeing is actually just a “preview” which won’t actually be applied to the image until you “Export” the image from Lightroom. To save time, it is recommended that prior to developing  you “Render 1:1 Previews” for all of your images  by going into the Library Module, turning off all filters so all images are visible, then selecting the following from the menu "Library –> Previews –> Render 1:1 Previews" This saves  time during developing since Lightroom will no longer have to pause to render a preview or zoom into an image.

3. The Lightroom Catalogue File - "the .lrcat file" only contains information like a giant database. The actual images ARE NOT being stored in the Lightroom Catalog. Lightroom is simply referencing those images at a particular location on your hard drive. Knowing this is important because when Lightroom asks you if you want to “backup your Lightroom Catalog” you know then that you are only backing up the information and not the actual images themselves.  

4. File Management -  If an ? appears over an image in Lightroom, it means that Lightroom has lost the reference to where those images are located. This happens if you move or rename image locations outside of Lightroom. You need to tell Lightroom where the images have been moved to. 

5. One Catalog or More? We often are asked whether photographers should have only one Lightroom Catalog for all of their images, or have multiple Lightroom Catalogs for every single shoot. There are most certainly benefits to each. Since Lightroom catalogs are independent of each other, images within other catalogs cannot be searched and found from Lightroom, unless that specific catalog is open.

6. Recommended Best Practices - for the event shooter who frequently captures around 1000+ images per event/shoot, create a Lightroom catalog for each event as efficiency is the primary priority since you need to be able to move through catalogs, edit, transfer and archive at a good speed. 

I love the clear method has of explaining. I found his videos amongst the best for shedding light on the basics.

Lightroom 3: Set-up and Importing - Part 1

Lightroom 3: Set-up and Importing - Part 2 

Lightroom 3: Set-up and Importing - Part 3

 Lightroom 3: Enhancing Raw files 

      Lightroom 3: Which file format is better? PSD vs Tiff?? 

  Lightroom 3: Developing Images 

Developing Images #2

  Lightroom 3: Collections Explained 

Lightroom 3: Filters Panel Explained

10 Quick and easy Lightroom Tips

Good Summary for default preferences

Installing Presets

Flickr's Preset links

Lightroom Shortcut Keys ( hot keys)

Post Processing Tony Northup style

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