TwitCount Button

Lynda.com

I’ve just got a subscription to Lynda.com for training videos and am having a ball!

I’m going through Chris Orwig’s Lightroom 4 Develop Module tutorial right now. I ‘found’ his tutorials on Lightroom back when I first started using the app when it came out and it was really that that got me into photography more than anything else. I loved the app so much after I’d learned how to use it from Chris’s tutorials. Since then, I’ve upgraded to every version, but never gone back to the tutorials until now with Lightroom 4.

And, while I’ve got the subscription, I’m going through GarageBand and Adobe Audition as well. It’s a shame that there isn’t anything for GarageBand on iOS, but I’m guessing that the skills will be transferable to a large extent. Now I’m just waiting on the arrival of MIDI cables so I can get the MIDI keyboard controller up and running and I’ll start creating songs with Hamish for Tech Tuesdays.

Black and White Lightroom Presets →

One of them is an all-purpose B&W effect that I use most of the time. But there’s a few others for outdoors, beaches (which is a little different than the general outdoors one, and indoor portraits). Remember, they’re portrait presets though, so they all have a similar look to them with just a few differences. But the whole point is to show off the people in the portraits so you won’t see a huge difference in each of these like you would the Lightroom 4 landscape presets from last week.

Matt comes up with the goods again. If you’re a Lightroom user and haven’t seen Lightroom Killer Tips, I seriously recommend that you visit there as soon as you possibly can!

Lightroom Preset

I just installed the 300 preset from Lightroom Killer Tips and am very pleased with the results. I used to have a lot of presets from this site installed, but for some reason I never reinstalled them after upgrading to LR3. I’m now on LR4 and figured it was time to start using them again, because they are so good!

Here are two results from this morning using the 300 preset:

Fixing my assets

It’s time for a big clearout and tidy up. Three things:
* Website
* Music
* Photos

Website

In a bid to cut down on our monthly outgoings, I’m moving FROM Squarespace to WordPress. Yep, totally against the tide. Thankfully I’ve got a licence to some great templates from studiopress

I exported from Squarespace, but the photos did not go with the export, so I’m having to reupload them all to WordPress; a big job.

Music

I had two libraries, one of all my CDs ripped to FLAC and then the mp3s for iTunes. It was messy and unwieldy, but the storage space on the iPod necessitated the mp3s. iCloud solves that problem! For whatever annoying reason, iTunes will not play FLAC, so I had to convert all the FLACs to Apple Lossless. Then all the mp3s were laundered through iTunes Match and now I have one canonical music folder on the Drobo FS. My Squeezebox players can access and play everything, as can my Apple TV and iTunes library. AND I can get whatever I want from the cloud for my iPhone.

Photos

I’ve been a Lightroom user since v1 and was pretty anal about tagging my photos and syncing them to another computer. Since getting my iPhone, my pictures have become a bit of a mess. So I’m doing a similar thing to what I did with my music: consolidating my DSLR images and iPhone images into one folder using Lightroom to do the heavy lifting. And that gets me onto something: how come iTunes can’t do what Lighroom does when a folder has been moved? It’s a real pain in the arse.

Once I’ve got them all consolidated and on the Drobo, I want to set up a sync to an internal drive and to my MacBook Pro. I’m looking at either Live Mesh or Spideroak for that. Spideroak is $100 for 100GB. My photos folder is about 70GB, so it would fit. I dunno though. I used to use FolderSync, one of the previous incarnations of LiveMesh, before I got my first Mac laptop so maybe LiveMesh will suit my needs better. Although I’ve heard rumours that it might be going away.

Lightroom

I got Photoshop Lightroom at the weekend and the lynda.com tutorial by Chris Orwig. I’m just over half-way through the tutorials and they are really good. But it’s Lightroom itself that has blown me away. I’ve been using Picasa2 for a good while (and shall continue to do so as it’s so lightweight, easy to use and great for Voxing photos) but had been thinking of getting some more powerful software for managing my photos.

As I have a Macbook, I had considered Aperrture. But I’m still not totally comfortable on the Mac and besides, I don’t fancy editing on a 13″ screen. So I got Lightroom for the PC and it totally rocks. It’s a reasonably intuitive piece of software so that anyone with with a little experience of something like Picasa or iPhoto could jump right in and make sense of it.

One of the biggest features for me in Lightroom is the keywording. I’ve been keywording my jpegs in Picasa for a while and wouldn’t be without it now. What I liked about that was (a) it was easy to do, and (b) the keywords are actually written to the file’s metadata and so travel with the file (IPTC metadata). So, upon importing images into Lightroom, the keywords are all still there. And likewise the reverse: keywording in Lightroom travels back to Picasa.

We are planning to get an iMac (just waiting on Leopard!) for the living room PC so I’ll probably get Lightroom for that as well, although it might be interesting to compare it with Aperture.

The attached photo is exported from Lightroom and uploaded directly from Picasa2. I just finished the tutorial section on greyscale and colour management. This is a result of that.