The Digital Photo Guy

Add Title in Lightroom

by on Jan.19, 2012, under Lightroom, Meetup, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing

Sometimes, It’s the Simple Things

I recently had a request to print the title in the margin across the bottom of a fine art print. That’s slam-dunk simple in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements but I’d never done it in Lightroom. I said to myself, “Self, how hard can that be?” As it turn out, a PITA (pain in the @$$.)

After fruitlessly searching the internet, I was ready to give up when my stubborness kicked in. No way was I going to let some stupid software thwart me! I recombed the internet and, even, GASP!, read the manuals. Finally, in desperation, I sent an e-mail to George Jardine, one of the best Lightroom instructors I’ve ever met. As I was beginning to suspect, George confirmed there is no simple, direct method of doing this. However, he gave me some tips that allowed me to cobble together a kludgy, bailing-wire-&-chewing-gum technique.

The top photo is what I wanted and the bottom photo is where I started. The white background shows the size of my paper, in this case a User Defined size of 17″ x 32″. Because the Epson 3880 doesn’t have roll paper capability, I buy rolls (17″ x 82′) of Calumet Brilliant Supreme Lustre and cut off the appropriate size using my Dahl 552 paper cutter. The unfortunate acronym,  BS Lustre not withstanding, this paper is almost an exact replacement for Epson Ultra Premium Luster.

First, I resized the image to leave 2.5″ along the bottom. Lightroom centered the image but I just changed the margins in the Print Module. I backed into the paper size by first deciding I wanted a final print 31.5″ wide. That set my height at 14.185″ which left me 2.815″ along the bottom. After accounting for bleed, I had 2.5″ below the photo.

Next, I opened Identity Plate Setup under the Edit menu and typed the title into the custom text box. After selecting the font and size, I closed the dialog. The size isn’t important because we can resize it by dragging the handles. Back in the LR Print Module, I checked Identity Plate in the Page settings and simply dragged it to the desired position.

Finally, to add my signature and hankyo (chop) in the lower right corner, I used the Watermark feature in LR3. Normally, watermarks are large and obnoxious but I just grabbed a sizing handle and made it small. You can barely see it in the lower right corner.

Caveat: If you want to get wordy in your title, you’re up the creek. For example, if I wanted a 2nd or 3rd line for my name and date, it can’t be done. For that, I recommend Photoshop or my perenniel favorite, Photoshop Elements.

Anza-Borrego Spring Scouting Trip

Over Presidents Day Weekend (Feb 18-20,) I plan to be in Borrego Springs to photograph the Borrego Badlands from Font’s Point, Glorietta Canyon, Mud Caves (if I can find them) and old abandoned buildings. Up to 10 intermediate-to-advanced photographers are invited to join me.

You must know how to operate your camera which can be just about anything (dSLR, MF/LF, 35mm film, etc) and, preferably, own a good tripod. A remote camera release will also be useful. The intent is to share composition, focus and exposure ideas, not fiddle with gear. If you’d like to join me, send an e-mail.

In mid-March, I’ll be out at Borrego Springs a second time to photograph any flowers that may be blooming. The forecast for this year doesn’t look very promising but hope springs eternal.



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