Getting Started with Lightroom 2.0

Are you trying to learn how to use your new copy of Lightroom 2.0? Adobe has posted a set of video tutorials to help you do just that. There’s something for everyone here. For an excellent set on how to get started in Lightroom 2.0, look at Matt Kloskowski’s set of 15 video tutorials. If you’ve just upgraded from Lightroom 1.0, check out Julianne Kost’s set of “What’s New in Lightroom 2.0?”. You can find all the videos on the “Getting Started with Lightroom 2.0” page on Adobe.com.

Lightroom 2.0 ships!

Last night at 9 pm PST, Lightroom 2.0 finally shipped. Yippee!!! You can find out more about the new features on Adobe’s Lightroom marketing page. If you want to watch some in-depth videos on the new features and updates, I recommend looking at Julieanne Kost’s videos. They are each a little over 20 minutes long and fairly detailed. So reserve an hour of your day, grab a cup of coffee, and check out these flicks:

Do you prefer reading about the new features instead of watching a video? You can look at a listing of all the new features in the new Lightroom Online Community Help. Here are a few highlights that you should definitely read up on:

Create an HDR image using Photoshop (and Lightroom)

©2008 Ben Willmore

©2008 Ben Willmore

My son recently asked me how to create an HDR image in Photoshop. I hated to admit it but I hadn’t tried it yet. It’s been on my list of techniques to experiment with for a while but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Setting aside the excuses, I went digging and found some really good tutorials on this subject. I liked Colin Smith’s Merging HDR in Photoshop. Mark Galer has a good one too, called HDR – High Dynamic Range. There’s also a video by him (I think) called Merge to HDR in Photoshop CS3 High Dynamic Range. He uses different imagery than in the html version. If you want a different video tutorial, try the one on Adobe TV called Merge it Together. Ben Willmore’s quickie YouTube videos Part 1 and Part 2 are teasers for his HDR Mastery DVD ($69).

A video from Michael Rather advises how to set up and manage your shots in Lightroom for an HDR outcome. The last half of this video tells how to fake the different exposures from a single shot. The problem is that Photoshop doesn’t really work well with this and it requires you to purchase a separate piece of software for HDR processing. Michael also has a 28-minute video on how to create HDR images in Photoshop. (This is only part 1 and he mentions that he’ll have another video on how to shoot for HDR in about one week.)

One of the extras you’ll need to create HDR shots is a tripod. I recently asked Moose Peterson to recommend a good tripod for an amateur photographer like me. I told him that I’m not an equipment geek and I like to travel light. He recommended anything in the 2000-3000 series from this company. Wow! They are pricey, but he says they are worth it. I’ll be taking his upcoming photo safari workshop at Photoshop World in Las Vegas. Should I buy the tripod?

Adobe TV has a photography channel

Have you looked at Adobe TV yet? This is a great resource for video tutorials if you want to learn more about Adobe’s digital imaging products. There is a good combination of programs including content from Lynda.com, Adobe, Software Cinema, X-Train, Peachpit, and more. Some of the people presenting or being highlighted include Julieanne Kost, George Jardine, Russell Brown, Sarah Silver, Bert Monroy, and Ben Wilmore to name a few.

Lightroom 2.0 beta launches

Lightroom 2.0 beta launches
Are you ready for the next generation of Lightroom? Here it comes! How do you get it? Go to AdobeLabs.

Who is eligible for the Lightroom 2.0 beta? All Lightroom 1.0 customers. Lightroom 1.0 customers can download and install Lightroom 2.0 beta for use throughout the beta program. What about customers new to Lightroom? Anyone can download the Lightroom 2.0 beta and try it for 30 days. And here’s something that you rarely get with beta software: video tutorials! Lynda.com will have Lightroom 2.0 beta video tutorials so you can learn how to use the new features.

You can get a list of the new features on the Lightroom team blog.

New Lightroom Help available

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Finally! A project I’ve been working on for several months is live and ready for you to look at. The Learning Resources group at Adobe has been working on several different experiments pertaining to the idea of community help. The Lightroom LiveDocs Help is one of those experiments. It has been converted to a wiki to allow users to not only comment, but to add content as well. The wiki is moderated by experts from both outside, and inside Adobe. You’ll find all the basic Help pages along with the “Learn More” pages. The Learn More pages are aggregated lists of great tutorials, videos, and other resources for Lightroom users and digital photographers. All the list items have been vetted by our experts. I hope you find it useful.

New Lightroom Resources

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I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been out of the country. (See one of the images I took on my trip to Romania and Austria at the top of this post.) While I was gone, Peachpit Press has been very busy on their new Photoshop Lightroom Resource Center. Here you will find some excellent tutorials, videos, and book excerpts from the likes of Martin Evening, Chris Orwig, Matt Kloskowski, and Scott Kelby to name just a few. For more information about keywording, check out Martin’s chapter, “Using Keyword Tags and Keywording Panels in Lightroom.” Chris Orwig has a nice article on a professional sharpening workflow for Lightroom. There is a lot more to look at here and it is being updated regularly so take a peek.

Another good resource worth mentioning is Julieanne Kost’s excellent set of video tutorials on the Project Photoshop Lightroom site. The videos are very well done. Julieanne speaks clearly and in detail—nothing is glossed over. This approach is especially valuable if you are a beginner Lightroom user.

I’m sorry it took so long for me to post this month. I’m working on a really exciting new version of Help for Lightroom that we will be revealing in January. Keep checking this blog for more news about that.

Printing from Lightroom

There was a comment on one of my earlier posts about having trouble getting a good quality print from Lightroom. Below is a list of my recommended tutorials on how to get a good print from Lightroom.

First, get a good overview of the Lightroom Print module:

Print Overview by Dave Cross

Output your photos by Matt Kloskowski

Now that you understand the basics of the Print Module, try these tutorials:

Lightroom’s Print Module and Color Management by Mikkel Aaland

PG Profiles in Lightroom by PixelGenius

For cool contact sheets watch Creative Printing by Matt Kloskowski

Finally, for anything print- or color management-related, look at the great learning resources available at the PixelGenius Tutorial page.

Happy Printing!

Keywording in Lightroom–an insider’s tips

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If you’re processing loads of images in Lightroom, you will probably be using loads of keywords. One of the engineers on the Lightroom team, Eric Scouten, has written a really helpful tutorial about keywords in the Lightroom team blog. As you can see in the image above, some of the keywords that are really important to me have to do with colors. One of the tips I liked the best was that he reminded me of the option of importing your keywords from a text file. If you are using a big list of keywords, it’s much easier to type them up in a text file and then import them into Lightroom.

For more info on using keywords, Scott Kelby has a nice tutorial posted on Adobe Design Center. For more info about keyword synonyms, look at this blog entry by Johann Gudbjargarson.  Finally, did you know that you can access Lightroom Help online? Yep! Why would you want to do this? Because it’s live, it is the most up to date version of Help. Also, it allows for comments and questions from the community. Check out the Help pages about Keywording.

Don’t miss this photography event

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From Sept. 17-23, 2007, photographers all across America will be submitting their photos to the latest project from the “A Day in the Life…” folks. The project is called America at Home, a Closeup of How We Live. Each day you get a different shooting assignment. The idea is to document the home lives and environments of Americans all over the country for the next 7 days. (Actually it’s only 6 now because I missed the first day—sorry.)

Before you upload your images on their easy-to-use website, don’t forget to fine tune them with Lightroom and/or Photoshop. The before and after image shown above was cropped and color-corrected in Lightroom. For some great tutorials on how to adjust your raw images, see Katrin Eismann’s video on Editing Multiple Images with Camera Raw, or George Jardine’s video on Finding your best photos using Compare and Quick Develop in Lightroom.