The Digital Photo Guy

What is Adobe Lightroom?

by on Jun.16, 2011, under gear, Lightroom, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing

Kids Grow Up So Fast

Hummingbird chicks at Day 8

The hummingbird kids are both growing like weeds. As is usually the case, the second chick to hatch was significantly smaller than the first. I’m not sure if hummingbird chicks are like other birds where the big one throws the small one out as a survival tactic but both of these guys seem to be getting along and they’re now about the same size.

Mom has been spending more and more time away from the nest. In hummer age, these guys must be about pre-teens so they’re probably eating mom out of house and home.

As you can see, like many young, single mothers, mom is not the most fastidious housekeeper around. More photos after their eyes open.

Lightroom – What’s In It for Me?

With the release of Adobe Lightroom V3 (LR3,) I thought I’d offer up a few thoughts on who needs LR and how it compares to PS CSn (PSCS) or Photoshop Elements n (PSE.)

First, my take on LR in a nutshell: Lightroom is for digital photographers who make dozens of photos per session requiring minimal editing SOOC (straight out of camera.) In other words, LR is not for scrapbookers, graphic designers, those whose photos need lots of help, snapshooters who simply record life or anyone whose photos will never see the light of day. In short, LR is for about the 2% of digital camera users interested in the art of photography.

While trying to write a succinct review of LR3 features and benefits, I checked the NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) Lightroom 3 Learning Center. There’s a series of videos that enumerate new features and benefits of LR3. Let’s go through these one-by-one.

First, there’s a lot of Ooh’ing and Ahh’ing about Tethered Capture, which is used primarily in studios where the camera is physically connected to a computer. It connects your laptop to your camera, very cool if you’re in a studio but imagine trying that in your daily photography.

Integrated Watermarking is a big deal… if your photos have intrinsic value, e.g. the first aliens to visit earth. Otherwise, simply resizing your photos to ~50Kb and 700 pixels along the long edge will protect your photos just as well.

Better Noise Reduction is only better if it’s better than other options. If it’s only better than the previous lame versions… ‘nuf said.

Lens Correction is really cool if you regularly use ultra wide angle lenses. Most snapshooters never bother fixing pinchusioning/barrelling.

Improved Vignetting and Grain Effect are interesting but plug-ins of that sort are a dime-a-dozen. Do we really need a $299 program to do that? Besides, we just used Noise Reduction to get rid of grain, why are we putting it back?

Slideshows with embedded music and Custom Printing Templates are included with PSCS and PSE. What’s the big deal?

So, bottom line, who needs LR3? You need LR3 if you’re a pro or advanced amateur who takes lots and lots of photos each session. I don’t mean 50-100 but 300, 500, 1000 or more. LR3’s advantage is the ability to quickly import, add/edit metadata, apply quick global edits and output for clients to view. I would have killed to have LR3 capabilities when I was doing sports photography.

Canon dSLR Shutter Count

Anyone who has ever bought or sold a used Canon dSLR knows it’s nearly impossible to determine the number of clicks on the shutter short of sending it in to Canon. Shutter count is important because Canon camera shutters are rated between 50,000 to 300,000 clicks. You don’t want to buy a Canon 40D with 95,000 clicks on the shutter since it’s rated for 100,000 click life expectancy.

I recently found a neat program called… are you ready for this? 40D Shutter Count! It actually works with any Canon dSLR that has a Digic III CPU except the 7D which has dual Digic III processors. BTW, I have a Canon 40D for sale and it only has 104,000 clicks on it.

dSLR Sensor Cleaning Video

I recently conducted a Sensor Cleaning Webinar. If you missed it, the video will be uploaded this coming Sunday, June 19 as a $5 Pay-Per-View. The link and announcement will be on my Photography Webinars Meetup site as well as this blog.

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