Tag Archives: how-to

Get Maximum Dynamic Range from RAW Image Files with Lightroom

Did you know that with a little tweaking, you can extract tremendous dynamic range from single RAW files in Adobe Lightroom without using HDR? The trick is to take advantage of Lightroom’s Camera Calibration panel. There, you set the initial tone curve of your image (contrast & color). By using a low-contrast tone curve, you can recover more highlight and shadow details than by using sliders alone. If you use Nikon DSLRs, you can choose the “Camera Flat” profile to get more dynamic range. If you don’t have a Nikon camera, you can create your own custom profile with a linear tone curve by using the Adobe DNG Profile Editor. My video above will show you how.

Discover more Lightroom processing secrets with my comprehensive PDF guide. 

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How to Photograph Fireworks

Fireworks at Chicago's Navy Pier.
Fireworks at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Nikon D810 with 28-300mm Nikkor lens. 3 s f/8 ISO 100

It’s July, and that means many of us in the USA will be able to watch fireworks demonstrations. If you’ve never photographed fireworks before, you don’t want to have to troubleshoot camera settings in the dark. Most fireworks displays are under 30 minutes in duration, so you’ll want to be prepared! Here are my tips for photographing fireworks displays: Continue reading How to Photograph Fireworks

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Traveling with Lightroom: Moving images between two computers

When I’m on the road scouting locations or leading workshops, I use my MacBook Pro as my field computer. I store my images on a portable USB 3 hard drive and I use Lightroom on my laptop to manage, keyword, and process images.

The challenge with this approach is that Lightroom by its very nature is a single-user application. Unless you store your Lightroom catalog file on a portable drive, it means that you’re going to have to set up two catalogs: one on your main computer and one on your laptop. Keywords and adjustments are not stored in your images unless you use DNG files, so simply copying the images from the laptop to your desktop computer won’t preserve all your Lightroom adjustments. Continue reading Traveling with Lightroom: Moving images between two computers

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Complete Guide to Lightroom Workflow & Image Processing

Moving to Lightroom: Image processing and workflow is mandatory reading for anyone wanting to learn how to manage and process their images in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
Moving to Lightroom: Image processing and workflow is mandatory reading for anyone wanting to learn how to manage and process their images in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

I’m pleased to announce the release of Moving to Lightroom: Image processing and workflow. While this book will be useful for any Lightroom user, I cover all the things I wish I had known before I migrated to Lightroom. This guide represents a view of Lightroom from someone who was starting out with thousands of previously edited images, and had to learn how to re-process them. I’ve taken my lessons learned and written a complete guide to image management and processing with Lightroom.

I’ve spent the last several years learning how to leverage Lightroom’s underlying database for managing my images, and how it beats a traditional browser/editor workflow system. I also learned a completely new set of image adjustment tools and a whole new image adjustment paradigm. I’m happy to say that I use Lightroom to adjust all my raw image files and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I’m happy to share my knowledge of Lightroom’s tools with you in this new guide.

So if you’re new to Lightroom, or getting ready to migrate over from another workflow application, check out Moving to Lightroom. It’s sure to lower your learning curve and get you up and running quickly!

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Set up your camera for great bird photos

A blue grosbeak perches at Dos Venadas Ranch, Texas.
A blue grosbeak perches at Dos Venadas Ranch, Texas.

This photograph of a blue grosbeak illustrates just how far camera technology has come in the eight years since I first traveled to the private birding blinds of South Texas. Back then, I was using a Nikon D2x and 200-400mm f/4 zoom lens. I got plenty of good images, but my keeper rate was fairly low, especially as light faded. I also didn’t seem to get the sharpest shots at times and I couldn’t really figure out why, as some shots were tack-sharp. Was it the camera? The lens? Or was it something else about my technique? Continue reading Set up your camera for great bird photos

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