Raw facts

..and another reason to shoot RAW: several functions in Adobe Lightroom do not work, or do not work consistently, when you shoot JPG pictures.

These include

  • Generating  the XML files that optionally copy the information separately for each picture in the catalog;
  • Profile corrections in Lens Corrections.

There’s probably more. So if you needed more reasons to shoot RAW, there you go.

On another note: how many flashes do you need for creative flash photos?

One. Like here. A speedlight with a Honlphoto honeycomb grid attached to it.


Or two:


And there you go!

And Now For Some Free Efex.

News for Lightroom and Photoshop users. The Nik Collection of photo editing tools, including Viveza, Silver Efex Pro, and so on, is now available for free. It used to cost $500. I suppose this means it is end-of-life, but you may want to add these tools for occasional use.


Top right, select “download now”. Then install.

Note that this is not actually a plugin. It is simply an external app called from within Lightroom by right-clicking and selecting “Edit in…”, and then selecting the effect you like.

If you have sensibly selected “Store Presets with Catalog” in Lightroom, the presents do not appear and you have to add them yourself, like this: support.google.com/nikcollection/answer/3002259?hl=en

The drawbacks:

  1. You now lose both time and disk space, because when you edit, a new file (usually, a large .TIFF) is created.
  2. You are breaking the “fully reversible edits” paradigm in Lightroom!
  3. You have to learn new software.

In fact, frankly, after a fairly brief inspection I do not yet see a lot that Lightroom cannot do all by itself. No doubt there’s some, but not an awful lot—not that I would use regularly anyway.

But I do like the film types included in SilverFX Pro, for instance, and may just occasionally use these. The fact that this is not an actual plugin is a great thing: if I do not use these apps, they in no way degrade or affect Lightroom. So, I have installed them. You may want to as well, as long as you use them judiciously. Have fun!



Huge Adobe Bug

And this is why I hate “permissions”, “Creative cloud”, and so on: corporations deciding what *I* do.

After the update of Adobe Lightroom 6.4 to 6.5, it will not start:

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.48.18

Huge, huge bug! Adobe.. this is mission critical!

The solution:

First, go to your home folder in finder, and in “VIEW OPTIONS”, enable “Show Library Folder”:

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.57.18

Now go to all three of these folders:

  • [home]/Library/Application support/Adobe
  • [home]/Library/Caches/Adobe/
  • /Library/Application support/Adobe

And for both those folders, right-click on the folder and  INFO.

Then, change the access rights so that EVERYONE has READ/WRITE, not just READ.

But also, click on the lock to open it and then click on the gear to apply to enclosed items:

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 13.01.38

And now it will start.

But security… all rights to everyone? Doesn’t look secure to me! So beware before you upgrade.


RAW has space. Lightroom has attitude.

…and together, those two mean you need to do something sometimes.

Here’s a studio shot from just now:

That’s fine. But it appears in Lightroom like this:

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 13.23.52

…it only begins to look overexposed when I move “Highlights” to +30! While on the back of the camera it looks much more overexposed.

In fact, I have to push “Highlights” to +80 (almost all the way to the right) in order to see what I am seeing on the back of the camera:

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 13.23.18

Why is this? Because of two phenomena that combine, in a sort of perfect storm:

  • A RAW image has a lot more space than a JPG. And what you see on the back of the camera is the built-in JPG preview that every RAW file contains.
  • In addition to this, Lightroom “protects” us. If you blow out a background, for example, Lightroom pulls back the brightness to make that background NOT overexposed, as long is there is any room at all in the RAW file.
  • So combining these: unless you make it really extreme, when you see blinking on your camera, you will get an image without overexposure on your computer. If you are “overexposing” by a stop on the camera, you will not even notice that on the computer.

That is all very well, unless you want to overexpose. Like in the case of a background that you want to have pure white. Lightroom thinks it knows bette rthan you do, and that, in my opinion, is not a good thing.

Fortunately you can fix it by the method I describe above, or by using the earlier 2010 Camera Calibration process (bottom right panel in the DEVELOP module). Just so you know.

This is one of the things we will talk about at my Lightroom/Computer seminar this Saturday.  There is still space: Sign up soon if you are interested: space is strictly limited.

Saturday, 2pm… Lightroom/Computers

If you are interested in getting the most out of Adobe Lightroom, and you live in the GTA, then consider coming to my Lightroom workshop on Saturday. File organization, presets, best practices, and storage and backup strategies will all be shown, and I will help you do your own personal setup. I’ll also show you how to get there, if you are doing it differently today.

Computers and Lightroom for Photographers

Saturday, Mar 19, 2016, 2:00 PM

Michael Willems Studio
48, Wilkes Street Brantford, ON

2 Emerging Photographers Attending

Hey there, photographer friend.Adobe Lightroom has revolutionized photographers’ workflow. You will be much more efficient once you learn it—but you will also become a better photographer. Learning how to improve your photos after you take them inevitably leads to also making better photos in the first place.Lightroom is fantastic. But you do hav…

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