Archive for September 2008

A new way to create B&W conversions in Lightroom

September 20, 2008

Recently Adobe released Lightroom 2, an update of the original program with more capabilities. Now, I was reluctant to but Lightroom in the first place  when I already owned Photoshop and Bridge and they seemed to work just dandy. Slowly, with a great deal of complaining, I began to experiement with Lightroom. In fact, I experimented so much that I now use Lightroom 90% of the time, even thought I still have Photoshop CS3. Why do I use Lightroom so much more than Photoshop? Because Lightroom is designed for photographers instead of graphic artists, the way Photoshop is. Put another way, Lighroom is designed for people with ADD. Lightroom’s various modules bring together elements of a digital asset manager, an imaging program, a slide show creator, a digital printing manager and a really slick web gallery producer that can create and upload web galleries in html and flash formats almost as quickly as I can type this sentence.

One of the many cool things about Lightroom is the ability to create grayscale images from camera RAW files with one click of the mouse. Yesterday I learned a new way to use Lightroom 2 to create better black and white conversions. I got the tip from Adobe’s Lightroom web site, Lighroom-News.com.

This video, featuring noted Photoshop expert Martin Evening, explains the process and at least two alternate ways to create B&W conversions. I tried it, it works, I like it a lot. Enjoy.

The More Things Change…..

September 15, 2008

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” I’m thinking of rewriting it to say,  “the more things change, the more only ONE thing stays the same.”  I’ve made photographs for a living for 35 years, and photography has changed more in the last 5 years than in the last 50. Picture styles flare up and die out in the blink of an eye and old markets fade as new ones are born. Those of us who practice this craft are scrambling to keep up. Sometimes I wonder why I got into this business.

The upside is that you get to create neat images and you get to play with cool stuff. Cameras and lenses and lights and computers and so many other toys! Since the digital photography revolution began, almost everything is different; pixels have replaced grain, cameras have gotten smaller and smarter, pictures now live on computers instead of in dusty albums, and film is fast going the way of the dodo bird.

In the midst of all that has changed, for me one thing has stayed the same; I get up in the morning thinking about new pictures to create, even if I now work with a computer instead of in the darkroom.

In this blog, I’m going to talk about photography, its tools and techniques, theory and practice, history and future, for all who love to make pictures.

I welcome your comments and I hope you will share your experiences.