Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lightroom 2 Adventure

There's been a bunch of new books on the market ... as always happens when a new version is released. I came across Photoshop Lightroom 2 Adventure by Mikkel Aaland and really loved it, so I had to share a bit about it.

First off, I like the premise: learning the tools wrapped in an adventure format - traveling around Tasmania and Iceland. There's a lot of information to digest, and the adventure format helps you to digest it easily. Plus the interesting stories related to the pictures used keeps things lively.

Also, it was cool to see a small feature on each of the contributing photographers. My particular favourites were the self-portrait of Maki Kawakita (pg 180-1) and Peter Eastway's Peninsula Storm (pg. 8-9).

And there's tons of tips and tricks throughout - like pressing L to engage the Lights Out feature. Give it a try - it's great for presentations.

Check it out on O'Reilly by clicking here. It's definitely worth the read.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

PPhotoshop and Lightroom Integration - Part 3

If we've checked the Stack with original box on the way out to Photoshop, the rest of the process should be an easy one. Once you've preformed your clarification in Photoshop and saved the copy file, it should be tucked neatly away with the original in the same folder when you are done.

For the "what should I do in Photoshop?" question ... click here.

In other news ... Adobe Labs has a released candidate for Lightroom 2.1 available for download. Check it out by clicking here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Photoshop and Lightroom Integration - Part 2

I've received a bunch of e-mails about working Lightroom into the workflow. Lightroom is great for managing your photos and/or getting them off of your camera. It's also a great little program for making quick adjustments. But what about using it with Photoshop? It's really easy.

We just looked at setting up Lightroom to make this process as easy as possible. Now, let's look at how it works.

After you've imported the image and made whatever adjustments are necessary in Lightroom, click on Cmd-E/Ctrl-E to open the Edit with Photoshop dialog. You can also find it in the menu by clicking on Photo>Edit In>Edit in Adobe Photoshop CS3 (assuming you have CS3 loaded, of course).

You are then presented with a dialog box and three options.
  1. Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments - (RAW shooters, this is your only option) this applies the adjustments that you just made in Lightroom to the image, then opens it up in Photoshop.
  2. Edit a Copy - just like it sounds, you'll open up a copy of the image in Photoshop ... but the Lightroom adjustments won't be applied.
  3. Edit Original - again, just like the box says ... we're working on the original image here. It should go without saying that this option is not recommended for our work.
For me, I choose the first option most of the time. After all, what's the point of using the cool correcting features of Lightroom, only to abandon them on the way to Photoshop?

Stack with original should be checked so that Lightroom will keep your Photoshop edited version with the original image, making it easier to keep organised.

Next we'll see what happens when we get to Photoshop and back again. Until then, enjoy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Photoshop and Lightroom Integration - Part 1

One of the first things we need to do in working these two programs together is to get our Preference settings synchronised.

In the Lightroom Preferences, click on External Editing. You'll be given a series of choices. For File Format, I generally choose PSD because it results in smaller files sizes. Choosing PSD has its issues, as the dialog describes (we'll go over this later). Regular readers of my blogs will already know my preference for ProPhoto RGB as the Color Space to work in, as well as the benefits of working in 16 bit mode. For Resolution, I've chosen what works best with my particular printer.

Once I've set these, I can move on to Photoshop to make sure that these two are playing nicely together. Upon choosing PSD, Lightroom warns us that we need to make sure that we select Maximize Compatibility in Photoshop or we'll face dire consequences, up to and including death by flogging. To do this, we open the Preferences dialog in Photoshop.

In the File Handling section, we can select to Always Maximize PSD Compatibility. You can set it to Ask, but you'll quickly tire of clicking the OK button each time.

In the next installment, we'll look at what happens when you want to move from Lightroom to Photoshop. Until then ... enjoy.

Integration questions explored

We're at a crazy time right now. CS4's been announced and everyone is rushing to put together their tutorials and re-write their books. Things are little different with us. We've got to wait to get the shipping version of the software, then validate our processes with the new tools.

With that in mind, many will not be upgrading to CS4 in their workflow right away. Sure they may be one of the first to purchase the new gear (myself included), but it'll take a while to integrate it into the day to day action.

So, in the mean time, we'll look at the integration of Lightroom 2 and PSCS3 - using the two together and bouncing between them. This series of posts will serve to answer a ton of questions received over the last month. And ... it'll give us something to work on rather than going stir-crazy waiting for CS4 to ship.

Until then ... enjoy.