Adobye?

“Corporations are evil”, is what we hear around us often enough. I have often thought that this was at best an exaggeration, but now I am not so sure: Adobe is doing a good job of appearing to be as evil as possible.

I am talking about Adobe Lightroom, the application that I, my students, and most professional photographers use to run their business. Lightroom rocks. Or rather, it used to rock.

There are now three versions:

  1. The almost-impossible-to-find standalone version. This version is now at 6.13 and, even though it is already missing features, will not be updated anymore. So if you run this, do upgrade, but expect nothing new, now or ever.
  2. Lightroom CC. This is a dumbed-down version for web- and portable-based use. It is missing many essential features: it is basically a toy for people who are unable to learn file management and similar sophisticated features. CC means Creative Cloud: meaning you get to pay Adobe US$10 (which will go up, no doubt) each and every month for the rest of your life (yeah, do the math). Worse, it will need regular permission from Adobe to run. Who on earth would allow their business to be held hostage by some US mega-corporation in this way? Your payment does not reach them, or the login server malfunctions, or Adobe goes broke (you can always hope), or your Internet connection is down when it is most needed – and wham, you are not given permission by Adobe to see your own work.
  3. Lightroom Classic CC. This is basically the existing Lightroom, but with upgrades, and alas, also with the same huge “CC” drawbacks.

Both versions 2 and 3 do everything they can to drive you to the web and to mobile devices. From my perspective, this is dumb, dumb, dumb. Mobile devices are limited, and the last thing a pro needs is “limited”. Why would I handcuff myself? I’ll edit on my Mac, thanks.

And web-based: right. I have 8 TB of photos. which would take about 8 months to upload, with my Internet connection pinned at full capacity for all of those eight months. Not gonna happen. Also, with the top version of the app you get 1 TB of capacity, not 8.

My strategy is simple.

  1. Continue to use 6.13 for as long as I can.
  2. Wait desperately for a competitor (and many companies are working on it)
  3. Change from a Pro-Lightroom evangelist into an Anti-Adobe evangelist.

The Adobe support person who just confirmed all this to me said “if I were you I would feel the same way”. Who knows, if enough of us refuse to move to CC, Adobe may yet reverse their decision. But I am not holding my breath.

 

Moving to Lightroom

A question I get frequently is “how do I get my photos into Lightroom when they are currently in iPhoto (or ‘Photos’)?”

Good question. Like many Apple products, iPhoto/Photos has the annoying property that “it does it all”, meaning among other things that it takes your images and hides them, and you are not to ask where.

But we are asking. So here’s what you do:

  1. Click on your desktop, so that you are in Finder, and select the GO pulldown menu, and from that menu select HOME:

2. Now select the Pictures folder. And in there, you see the iPhoto Library and the Photos library:

3. Right-click on the one you want (iPhoto or Photos), and select “Show Package Contents”.

4. In that package, you see “Masters”. And that is where your originals live.

5. Right-click on that “Masters” folder and (assuming you have enough disk space) create a copy.

6. Now drag that copy to your desktop.

7. Start Lightroom, and select the GRID view (press “G”).

8. Now drag that copy of Masters from your desktop into that Grid.

The Import window starts up, and you can now import the masters into Lightroom. This type of “import” does not move them, it just leaves them where they are but adds a record of them into Lightroom. (Later, you can move them from the desktop to where you want them, just by dragging and dropping within Lightroom).

….Aaaand you are done. Wasn’t so bad, was it?

 

Equipment

Equipment matters in flash photography. It’s not everything, but sometimes you just need it. And I mean the stuff around the flash and camera. Like light stands, brackets, and so on.

A scene like this:

Turns into this…:

…if you use a flash on a light stand, like this:

The work behind the shot

Not a lot of gear, but you cannot do without this, my usual minimum kit;

  1. Camera
  2. 2x Pocketwizard
  3. Hotshoe cable (from flashzebra.com or from Pocketwizard)
  4. Light Stand
  5. Bracket for mounting flash and umbrella
  6. Umbrella

That’s all. Small, folds up to nothing, so it’s easy to carry.

But I have a lot more… things I occasionally use. I collected these over the years; you can simply pick up an item every now and the, or you can get it all at once.

On that subject, a recent student in Guelph is selling this-an extensive kit. If you’re near Guelph, you may wish to take advantage.

TRAVEL THOUGHTS — I am just sitting down after an uneventful 11 hour drive back from the Dordogne to the Netherlands. Wake up in Bergerac; go to sleep just outside Gouda. And this trip reminded me of a few things; primarily why, as a “third culture kid”, I like travel so much.

Also this. I loved lunch in a small French village, where it is *assumed* that on a weekday you will have an apéritif before lunch (and wine with lunch). And where the Onion Soup pan is left on the table so you can help yourself. God give that France never becomes like the rest of the world, please.

Also, I was able to drive all day at 130 km/h. In all these countries the maximum speed is 120 or 130 km/h. (Ask me why I get speeding tickets in Ontario, which has the lowest top speeds in the developed world. Absurd, and no surprise no-one sticks to that maximum of 100 m/h, 62 mph, in a province larger than Europe. And they act so holy, like 120 is “so dangerous it is not allowed anywhere in Canada”. Fuck off!).

Also, I see how France *is* changing. Nothing like the highways to see what is happening in a country. France is being dragged (willy-nilly, I presume) into the globalized economy: one “logistics” truck and advert after another. And wow, trucks from Poland, Lithuania, Portugal, you name it. All very international. Join, or be left behind.

And I muse over how I will never go back to the UK. Example: all European cars have a small blue “Europe” part of their license plate, where they show the European flag and their country designator (“F” for France, “B” for Belgium, etc). Only the British cars overwhelmingly do *not* do this. If there is ONE thing I hate in life, it is people who think they are superior due to their stupid nationality, and the Brits are foremost in that list. Have been since the “empire”. Screw that, and end up in isolation, Brexit idiots: I will *never* go back to the country where I spent my formative years – unless they pay me.