August 27, 2015

Backing up your Lightroom Presets

Here’s a tip that could be a lifesaver for some of us Lightroom users. If you’ve ever had a hard drive crash on you, you’ll appreciate months tip.  A lot of us that have been using the program for a while know that there are ways to drastically speed up their workflow, one of which is by creating their own custom Presets. Some of us started out using Photoshop before Lightroom was even invented and are used to creating Actions to do repetitive or complex tasks for us. Presets are basically “Actions for Lightroom”.  These Presets can also include anything from your Import presets, Develop presets or even all your Print presets. We’ve all been told that it’s a very good idea to back up your Catalogs fairly often and put the back-up on another computer or in a Dropbox location so you can have access to them in case of an emergency. But it’s also a good idea to make sure you have copies of all your Presets too. 

This month’s tip will show you an easy and reliable way for you to make sure you have copies of all your Presets. It’s as easy as making a copy of a folder that you can load on your system again quickly and easily. This tip could save you from having to create all your presets from scratch or trying to remember where you downloaded them from. It’s quick and easy process, so follow along with me and I’ll show you how to back up yours.

First, find the folder where all your Presets are. To do this, go to Lightrooms Preferences. This is found under the Lightroom menu on a Mac or under the Edit menu of a PC. After you open that, click on the Presets tab on the top of that dialog box. About halfway down you’ll notice two check boxes. The first one is ‘Store presets with this catalog’ and the second is ‘Show Lightroom Presets Folder’. 

A lot of Lightroom users think, the first check box should do the trick. Please read the article below before choosing that option. Even the people at Adobe don’t recommend selecting this option. If they thought it was a good idea they would have made it the default option from the start don’t you think?  By clicking that option, Lightroom will create and store your presets in a totally separate subfolder which could really mess you up, especially if you are using multiple catalogs.  Check out this article in the Lightroom Forums website which explains it in more detail and you’ll see what I mean.   # 3: Implications of using this option 

Instead of choosing that first option, click the Show Lightroom Presets Folder box.
This will bring up a new dialog box with a folder called Lightroom highlighted. Now just make a copy of that folder and save it in a nice safe place, preferably with your Catalog back-ups on another computer.  The beauty is that if your system ever goes bonkers on you you’ll be prepared.  Just click on Show Lightroom Presets Folder again right after you reload Lightroom. Now all you have to do is to delete that folder and replace it with your Lightroom back-up folder (with all your Presets) and you’re back in action.  Remember to do this anytime you create a new preset and you’re all set. Fortunately backing up your Lightroom presets is easy and doing this will give you peace of mind.  Pretty nice huh?

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

August 15, 2015

What F-stop was that shot at?

I'm always surprised how many people don't know how easy it is to see all your shooting info while you are in Lightroom.

Lightroom actually lists a lot of information about your image just by clicking on Metadata panel located in the Library module’s panel area. Most of the time I just use the Default view in the pop-up menu on the left side, because in this mode I can see the file name (or whatever I have the image renamed)  the name of the folder where its located and  it’ll show you all of your shooting info down below in the bottom section. 

You'll notice this includes a whole bunch of things like your shutter speed, ISO,  F-stop,  whether or not your flash fired and even what focal length and what camera and lens you used.  It even shows you the date and time you took the original shot for quick reference. 

Now there are always other places to view this information, but while you are already in the Library module, this is just a quick way to see this info while you're in the Grid View.

Maybe you might need to view some of the other information imbedded in the file? Sometimes it might be someone elses image you're working on and you need to check out all the IPTC data or other EXIF data. This is pretty simle, just click those options instead of the Default option.  Nice huh?

Remember, as always, keep shooting and have some fun!
© D. Gould Photography