June 10, 2015

Tethered Shooting in Lightroom CC

These days, more and more people are shooting tethered. Maybe you’re asking yourself, what is tethered shooting and when or why would I want to shoot tethered?

For myself, I shoot tethered for a few different reasons, but mostly because I want to view my images on my monitor instead of the little LCD on the back of my camera. Plus, I set it up so I can also have my images loaded directly into a folder on the computer instead of filling up a memory card.

Image 1
This can be especially nice if your shooting portraits, because you can view your photos on the large monitor instantly and make sure you’ve got the shot perfectly right on the spot. A lot of times, the person your shooting will loosen up a little bit if they see what you’re doing and how the shots look.  This could also come in handy if you were working with an art director because they wouldn’t have to stop your session to view images on the cameras LCD screen.  

Sometimes I’ll shoot tethered when I’m home doing some Macro work. I’m a Canon shooter so most of the time when I’m doing Macro I prefer to use Live View with the Canon software because I can make finer adjustments like focusing, on the spot and see them on my laptop screen.

Some of you are already familiar with shooting tethered, and if you’ve done this in previous versions of Lightroom you’ll notice nothing has really changed, sorry.

For this tutorial I’m using my laptop connected to one of my cameras, in this case it’s a Canon Mk II, with a with a 15 foot USB cable. You might also want to secure your cord when tethering with a device called a Jerkstopper, but if you’re careful you shouldn’t have any problems. 

Image 2
To start a shooting tethered, go up under File scroll down to Tethered Capture and select Start Tethered Capture.    (see image 1)
When the Tethered Capture Settings dialog box opens you can customize this (pink boxes) and specify the name of the session, what template to use for incoming file names, where to store them and what metadata and keywords to use. In mine, I called my Session – New Blog Post, in the naming section I used Custom Name – Sequence and Custom Text called Fender Guitar and started numbering them from # 1.  Below that you’ll see I have a folder on my desktop called Tethered shooting as my Destination and I chose not to add any Metadata but put Samples for new Blog Post in the Keywords box.  Easy right?    ( see Image 2 )

When your  settings are all set, click OK to proceed.

This should put you in LR in the Library module and you’ll see the heads up display (HUD) for your tethered session. You’ll notice your camera model up in the top left corner, mine is a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and a big gray button on the other end.   
 ( Image 3 )

Image 3
Note:  If everything is connected but you get an error message “No Camera Detected”, you might need to adjust a settings on your camera. Check out your camera manual if you run into this problem.

On the HUD, you can set default develop setting to apply to your incoming images. Between the Tethered Settings dialog and this option on the HUD, you’ll get many of the same options that you would when importing them from your memory card. (see Image 3)

Now when you shoot you can use the shutter button on your camera (I prefer a cable release) or you can hit the big gray button on the HUD. Sometimes if my camera is on a tripod I’ll just use the gray button.

Now when you shoot, the images get loaded into the folder you chose and instead of previewing the image on the back of your camera, your laptop monitor becomes your LCD.

When you’re all done with your session, go up to File, Tethered Capture, Stop Tethered Capture. You can also just click the little X on the top right of the HUD if you want. You can see that Lightroom created a folder named after our session name called New Blog Post.  ( Image 4)

Basically that’s all there is to it. Your images are now sored in their own folder in your library and all ready for you to work on. I hope some of find this helpful.  Nice huh?­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Rememer, as always, keep shooting and have some fun!

May 10, 2015

Improved Resizing in the new Photoshop CC

It wasn’t too long ago we used to rely on third-party software programs for really detailed enlargements of our images. Sure, there were ways to do this with just about any version of Photoshop, but sometimes the results were sometimes just so-so or involved too many steps.

For years the standard go-to program was Genuine Fractals from onOne Software, which these days is called Perfect Resize 9.5. That’s still a great program, but with the newest version of Adobe Photoshop CC, our need to strictly use that program has changed.

These days most cameras have plenty of Megapixels, usually somewhere in the 20 Megapixel range, which means you can crop away parts of your images and still have plenty of detail. But sometimes you’ll want to enlarge just a specific area and still keep all the details.  Maybe you’re creating a composite or something and you want to blow it up 200 or 300% or larger?  Another reason might be to enlarge a photo taken with your smart phone or a lower resolution camera.  Whatever the reason, Photoshop CC can help you out. 

This image here was taken with a Canon G15  a 12 MP camera. Times like these are when we usually went to third party software to do this quickly and easily. These days I’m happy with my results right in Photoshop CC.   

Photoshop has had two options for enlarging images in the past, Preserve Details and Bicubic Smoother, but they really didn’t stand up most of the time when you needed to really enlarge your image. These options are still there, but they’ve been totally revamped in Photoshop CC and do an excellent job.  I know a lot of our Photoshop friends these days are really into composites and with the newly improved algorithms inside Photoshop CC, which were designed for optimizing clarity and detail, I think you’ll be surprised. 

The image of Bob the Duck was only shot at ƒ/4.0 and really wasn’t tack sharp to begin with, but it was blown up 500% from the original. What do you think?  You really should try this out for yourself, I think you’ll be impressed.

As always, remember to keep shooting and have some fun.

April 6, 2015

The All New Lightroom Show

These days just about anyone that is into photography, as a hobbist or as a professional, is familiar with the Kelby Media Group. For years they have been a leader in the photographic industry and I’ve written about them several times here on my blog.  Needless to say I’m a huge fan of their work. I’ve been a member of Kelby One and NAPP  for many years and have attended several training seminars and Photoshop World conferences.

In 1988 two brothers (Thomas and John Knoll) created a program called Photoshop to edit digital images and graphics. Needless to say, it was an instant hit.  It wasn’t too long before Photoshop started becoming a household word and people wanted to learn more. That’s when a man named Scott Kelby, started holding training seminars and classes all around the country and NAPP was founded.  NAPP  (the National Association of Photoshop Professionals)  started publishing Photoshop User Magazine and did a weekly webcast called Photoshop User TV.  Believe it or not, that actually started as a Photoshop User Radio, with no video!

Due to the increasing popularity, it was pretty clear that people wanted more and the Photoshop World Conference was started. This was (and still is) one of the biggest and the best events of its kind where people from all around the world could get together for a so called “three day love-fest” to learn from some of the best people and instructors in the industry.  At Photoshop World  you could learn anything from Photography to Lightroom, learn how to use speedlights and studio lighting, learn the in’s and out’s of social media, how to edit digital video, and how to harness the power of Adobes Creative Cloud. It offers something for everyone from the home hobbyist to people making a living in the industry. 

These days, NAPP has morphed into Kelby Media, the one place where creative people can learn how to take their passion, their creativity, and their craft to the next level all using the style of learning that suits them best. If you like reading a book or watching a video, this is the place.  You can even sign up for membership with Kelby Media where you will not only get an annual subscription to Photoshop User Magazine but you also can watch thousands of hours online training classes by some of the best people in the industry any time you’d like. Kelby Media TV also produces some of the best (I consider the best) free weekly webcasts like: Photoshop Tips and Tricks, The Grid, Photoshop User TV, and the all new (long over-due) show, The Lightroom Show

This show, like all the other programs they offer, is filled with all sorts of tips and tricks designed to help you get the most out of the program. It’s a great way for anyone just getting into Lightroom  (or even for some of us who’ve been using it for a while) to help you really learn and better use and understand the program.
Lightroom is now on version 5 and I’ve often wondered why they waited so long to add this one to their line-up?  The first episode started Feb. 13th and a new episode will be released every Friday.  Like all of the Kelby Media webcasts, it’s free and you can watch them anytime, on any device. You can even download episodes and watch them on your own schedule. They’re a great way to take your skills up a few notches. If you’re into Lightroom you owe it to yourself to check it out here (The Lightroom Show)  Be sure to check out their other webcasts too!  If you’re like me, you’re going enjoy them also.

© D. Gould Photography