Thursday, October 29, 2009

Testing out Lightroom 3 Beta...I Like It

Lightroom 3 Beta is available for download. I am thrilled and jumped on the opportunity to try it out. I have never used Lightroom until now so this blog is not about comparing the features of the current version and to the features of newer Beta version but rather my experience as someone new to the Lightroom image editing software. This is a standalone program so one does not need to have Photoshop CS to use it, although it certainly would be nice to run them side by side.

Having tried it out for 2 days rather thoroughly I might say, I found it to be very easy to use, and that says a lot since I was to Lightroom until this point. I was able to quickly import my pictures onto the library, at which point I could "develop" it, i.e. post process the image to my heart's content (adjust for exposure, brightness, vibrance, saturation and the likes, add vignetting and other creative stuffs). Adding watermark was a breeze, Open "Edit the watermark", type in your text, position it where you want, save and you have it as a preset. When you export the file, you can select to export with the presets or filters. You can add Photo title, add keywords, save keywords to be used later on another image. On the Print menu one could make frame border, select border color, and the Web feature comes with numerous templates ranging from simple single image to html and flash, allowing one to prep files for online upload to your server.

This photo (canoes on a lake taken by my sister) was further tweaked in Lightroom 3 Beta. I adjusted the "black" and "vibrance" channels slightly to enhance the effect

All in all, I like it. The Beta version expires in April 2010 essentially giving everyone a great editing software to use for free for 6 months. I would encourage everyone to do so (link below). A word of caution, the file is rather large, 120MB and you will need some RAM to run it smoothly. I am using it on my laptop which has 3GB RAM and 250HD and at times it seemed a little slow particularly on large files. That is the only issue I encountered thus far.
Link to Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta download

Lightroom 3 won't be available until late Spring next year. If you can't wait, must have one now :) you can order the very popular Lightroom 2 for $263.49 from Amazon Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2

or from Bhphotovideo Here for about the same price

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Searching for photo op...yea, it is one of those days

Fall color is almost gone after two long weeks of downpour in the Pacific Northwest, autumn leaves are now scattered about the lawn. The weather has really played havoc this year and I wonder if that foretells what winter will bring. Fresh in mind was the huge flood that shut down the low lying section of I-5 in Washington state which caused me to delay my drive south to San Francisco for the project.

Nevertheless, I tried to stay positive, I am like a fish out of the water whenever I am not out doing photography....I said to myself there is always photo ops no matter what the weather holds. Looking at the photos below, perhaps all is not lost :)

"Autumn Song"

Canoes, ever so elegant. Perched on the water by the pier, you find them gently rocking away, creating perfect ripples with their every breath. Casting a soft shadow at sunset and again when the day breaks....It is a priceless solitude, wouldn't it be nice to take her out for a paddle........


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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

'Web Style Guide" - Looking for Ideas?

If you are a photography enthusiast thinking about building a better website, you might want to read Web Style Guideby Lynch and Horton. I finished reading the book (352 page long) in one afternoon last Saturday, it was that good! I have read a few web design/html books in the past (I am not a geek) and most of them left me more discouraged than ever. This book on the other hand explains what makes a good website and the different page elements and contents one could have to make a nice website, the trade offs, all in plain language, as well as the very important subject of SEO (search engine optimization). As an avid photographer, I found the chapters on Web Page Structure and Design, Graphics and Multimedia and the illustrations extremely useful. In addition, the book contains many great tips and design ideas. Having read this wonderful book, I am definitely better prepared now to start thinking about my new website.

Web Style Guide, 3rd edition: Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites"by Patrick J Lynch and Sarah Horton

Editorial Reviews from Amazon

". . . a non-geeky Web-design primer-a rule-of-thumb guide that calmly introduces you to the issues involved in developing a Web site. . . . what you need to know about Web-site design in plain language, with understandable examples. . . . this . . . book is a gem."-Mary Creswell, Presentations (Mary Creswell Presentations )

"Just as many writers reserve a space on their book shelves for the thin but essential work of William Strunk and E.B. White, a similar space should be hallowed out for The Web Style Guide."-John Mello, HR Today (John Mello HR Today )

"This is one of the best design books that I''ve seen, catering specifically to information-oriented sites. . . . The Web would be an easier world to navigate if all Web designers read this book."-Deborah Lynne Wiley, Online (Deborah Lynne Wiley Online )

"[A]n excellent, practical handbook. . . . [T]he book can be unreservedly recommended."-Tom Wilson, Information Research (Tom Wilson Information Research )

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