Top 10 Ways To Automate Lightroom Part I – Julianne Kost


Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to streamline Lightroom 3 by taking advantage of presets, templates, Collections, Virtual Copies (and more) in order to eliminate much of the repetitive post-capture tasks such as importing, tagging, developing, exporting and sharing photographs.
Visit Julianne’s blog for more shortcuts and tips.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Using X-Rite’s Color Checker Passport – Target Or Profiles


X-Rites’ Color Checker Passport can be used to quickly deliver more accurate color in a variety of ways.

Set White Balance, White Point, and Black Point
The X-Rite Color Checker Passport is the industry standard target that can be used in several ways to render color in your digital images more accurately – setting white balance, creative enhancement, and visual confirmation.

It’s easy to use. Shoot the Color Checker once at the beginning of each shooting session and you can use that exposure as a target for all exposures made under the same light. The exposure of the target doesn’t have to be perfect. Just, roughly fill the frame with the target; it doesn’t even have to be focussed. To use the exposure of the target, use your choice of Raw conversion software to open it along with other exposures you’d like to apply the same measurements to; click on the appropriate color patches (black for black point, white for white point, gray for gray point); and sync all of the files. It’s that simple.


Create A Camera Profile
The X-Rite Color Checker Passport can also be used to make custom profiles for your individual camera. You can create a camera profile with the same exposure of the target that you use to set white balance. While camera profiles are generated with the same target, the resulting exposures are not used to set white balance, instead, they are used to deliver significantly improved color rendition and saturation, providing the best starting point for any color adjustment strategy you choose. Camera profiles are created with the X-Rite software supplied with the Color Checker Passport, stored, and later applied with your choice of Raw conversion software, typically Adobe Camera Raw or Adobe Lightroom.

For optimum results, exposures used to generate camera profiles need to be made under the light (color temperature and spectral distribution) that subsequent exposures are made in. Using two exposures of the target made under different light temperatures, you can create a dual illuminant camera profile that can be used for all exposures made under a wide range of color temperatures. Single illuminant profiles are recommended for exposures made under very warm or very cool light temperatures – below 3600K (golden hours) and above 6800K (twilight).

How do you make a camera profile? First, convert one or more exposures of the Color Checker Passport from the manufacturer’s proprietary Raw format to Adobe’s open standard Raw format – DNG. (Use either the free Adobe DNG Converter, Adobe Bridge, or Adobe Lightroom.) Open X-Rite’s Color Checker Passport software. Click DNG or Dual Illuminant DNG. Drag one or two DNG files into the open window. Once the software has identified the specific color patches it needs to build the profile, click Create Profile. The profile will automatically be stored for you in Camera Profiles and will be available for your use the next time you convert a Raw file in either Adobe Camera Raw or Adobe Lightroom. You’ll find it under the Camera Calibration tab/panel under Camera Profile. Save New Camera Raw Defaults and your new camera profile will be automatically loaded when you open Raw files and previews in Adobe Bridge will be rendered with it.

Using a Color Checker Passport target or a camera profile generated with it doesn’t mean that you are locked into the results they generate, they simply give you the best starting point possible for adjusting your images.

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Capture Sharpening


Optimal image sharpening is best done in three stages— capture (do it during RAW conversion), creative (do it in Photoshop) and output (automate it).
Capture sharpening benefits all images. It compensates for inherent deficiencies in optical and capture systems. All lenses and sensors have specific characteristics and deficiencies. They don't all have the same characteristics or deficiencies.
To speed your workflow, default settings for a best starting point for capture sharpening can be determined for all images created with the same lens/chip combination and saved for subsequent use. To optimally sharpen an image, you'll need to modify these settings to factor in additional considerations—variances in noise (ISO, exposure duration, temperature), noise-reduction settings and the frequencies of detail (low/smooth to high/fine texture) in an image.


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Blurb's Bookify Plug-In For Lightroom


Now you can seamlessly flow the photos you edit in Lightroom 3 straight into your Blurb Bookify™ books with our new Lightroom plug-in.
Here’s how simple it is.
– Flow edited Lightroom images into Bookify™ (online).
– Choose your book’s layout and style from within Lightroom.
– Stream photo captions automatically into your book’s text boxes.
– Automatically capture file data for the images in your book.
Blurb’s BookSmart is also coming soon to Lightroom.
Find out more about Bookify.
Read more with my Bookmaking online resources.

Crop or Retouch ?



As visual communicators, we’re responsible for everything that’s in the frame; we’re also responsible for everything that’s not in the frame. Deciding what’s in the frame and what’s out is a critical decision that can make or break an image. Here are two essential framing strategies.
1.?Use the frame to eliminate distracting information around a subject.
Take extra care with image information that touches the frame, as it will draw extra attention. Do this with significant compositional elements.
2.?Eliminate space around a subject to focus a viewer’s attention.
A lot of space between the subject and the frame can be used to call on psychological associations with space, such as freedom or isolation. Some space between the subject and the frame can give the appearance of the subject resting gracefully within the frame. Touching the subject with the frame strongly focuses the attention of the viewer and may seem claustrophobic. Cropping the subject with the frame can focus the attention of the viewer on specific aspects of the subject and/or give an image a tense quality, evoking evasion and incompleteness—this often seems accidental if less than half the subject is revealed.
There’s more than one way to apply these strategies. While cropping techniques are simple to practice, the reasons for their application and the choices made about how to apply them, as well as the final effects, may be exceptionally complex. You have two choices ..
1. Reposition the frame before exposure.
2. Contract the position of the borders of an image after exposure
If you plan to retouch, you’ll frame and crop differently …
Read more at Digital Photo Pro.
Find more digital photography techniques here.
Learn more in my digital photography worskhops.