Lightroom Overview: Organization
We started with an introduction of organization using Lightroom (folders, files and catalogues). Barry advocated strongly for the use of one catalogue and one top-level folder for your images. He provided some strong rationale for the one-catalogue strategy, and we also discussed the need to have backups, and storing backups on external drives (and from previous workshops Barry’s comment: "it’s not IF but WHEN a hard drive fails").
We also discussed having a folder for exported files (typically jpgs), and were advised to back up a list of files and folders that are not in the catalogue that included items such as presets, profiles, settings, templates, and plug-ins.
The handouts provided some great links for online references to The Lightroom (LR) Queen and Scott Kelby for many of the topics we discussed.
At the request of the group, we advanced to the topic of soft-proofing, and were instructed on the purpose of soft-proofing (allowing you to see the colour representations of the device you intend to print your output). The concept of gamut (the range or spectrum of colours that a device is capable of) was introduced, and Barry went through a demonstration of how to see colours that may be “out of gamut” for the output printer you are selecting. Typically, a printer has a smaller range of gamut than the camera sensor and monitor, so it’s valuable to see how your image will look and be produced by the printer (at Costco, London Drugs, Technicare or wherever else you may print an image). Barry instructed on how to use profiles for various vendors (printers), and we also examined the use of the HSL panel to correct for out of gamut colours using the targeted adjustment tool.
As a result of the soft-proofing and gamut discussion, we then decided to review colour/profile calibrations using the Xrite Color Checker; and we learned about using the passport colour checker to set up accurate profiles of your camera in the various lighting conditions.
Having had a break, at the midway point of the workshop, and entertaining many questions and discussions along the way, we were nearly out of time.
The two-hour workshop was extended for those who wished to stay and continue further discussion and learning. Other topics that were briefly touched on, or contained in the handout for referral included the following.
Lightroom Workflow: a “first pass” step-by-step workflow process, for large, medium and small shoots. This workflow included tips for short-cut keys, using star and flag ratings, creating collection sets with virtual copies for various crops sizes. Strategies for the initial pass in your workflow were designed around eliminating images from selection that are not worth editing, and narrowing your selection of images to those that are worth further editing in the develop module.
Develop Module: a review of camera calibration, process version, lens corrections, clarity, vibrancy, and synchronization of all the images. Next, set white balance and synchronize all the images shot in that light setting, adjust sharpening and noise reduction, and use tools (crop, spot removal, red eye, graduated filter, radial filter, adjustment brush) to complete develop adjustments for the images.
Some of the participants stayed until almost 3:00 for further discussion and insight into Lightroom. The workshop was a great deal, twice as long (almost four hours long) for the same great price (free)!
Overall, it was a jam-packed workshop of learning, with an agenda that evolved into discussions, questions and sharing of tips and tricks from some of the more experienced Lightroom users in the group. The comprehensive handout was full of useful references, online links, and great learning resources!
Many thanks to Barry for his instruction and a great learning experience, and to Vistek for the classroom space!
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Updated October 17, 2017