News

Adobe Lightroom! You’re killing me!

I’m so frustrated with Adobe who controls the majority of programs for photographers.  My frustration is with Lightroom.  I was a very early adopter of Lightroom when it came out and have used it ever since version 1.  I even used one of its competitor at the time which was Apple’s Aperture and I still stuck with Lightroom even though Aperture was way better in those early days.  But I’m now just mad at Adobe for an outdated piece of software because they have no major competition they don’t have to update, I guess.

OK first off I use creative cloud and I get all the updates to all the software and in the last two years I think Photoshop has updated at least 3 or 4 times with new features and the latest version is Photoshop CC 2017.  In the same time Lightroom has not updated except for small tweaks like adding new RAW camera data and its current version is CC 2015.  So for two years I have been using a program that is frankly to slow and sometimes makes my job take so much longer to get done.

So a little bit of my day for perspective of what I go through.  On any given day I shoot anywhere from 100 to 1000 images.  Let’s take a normal 100 image day which starts out shooting products then importing them into lightroom which are all RAW images so this takes awhile.

So once i have the images in I go through and rename them which is fast but then I have to go in and start the real work.  I start by cropping and rotating some images which can become sluggish at times if I have a lot of images to do.  When I go into the develop module I have to wait for the image to render a preview which takes a couple of seconds.  Right now your saying a few seconds that’s not that big of a deal but when you take a few of seconds and times that by a few hundred images then it starts to be a huge time hog.

On to making adjustments on multiple images I like to use the sync settings because it does speed up the process of syncing my settings across a bunch of images quickly but what I have found is it works the first time great but if you are going through and you decide to make a tweak to a second images that looks better and you do a sync again the images freak out and some images have the first set of synced values and some have the second set of synced values.  This is definitely a huge problem but not much I can do about it.  I’m sure its because I’m working too fast for lightroom to catch up.

This brings me to the last thing and the thing that set me off and made me write this.  I just went in and renamed 9 images just like I always do and the program took 20 minutes to perform the task.  20 minutes to do what I could do manually in a minute.  I use lightroom for 99% of my day and I have been using it since the beta version for version 1.  Today I have decided that I’m going to download some of Lightroom’s competitors and If I like any of them and I can make it work for my workflow, I might not look back and for the first time I Would have to move on from Lightroom.

The competitors to Lightroom I’m going to try out our:

On1 Photo

Capture One Pro

Photo Mechanic

Affinity Photo

Darktable

 

I will write about my findings after I use them so stay tuned.  Unfortunately It will take a long time to transfer out of using lightroom because I have used it for so long and I have a image organization system that is based on lightroom but I can not keep waiting for a company that does not value its users like me that use Lightroom daily and my business depends on it.

Looney Tunes Converse Shoes

Recently I made an assignment to photograph some new products other than guitars so I decided to photograph some new shoes my wife and I got for our son.  The shoes were shot in an eCom style on a white background.  Then they were shot with a more artistic look by doing some selective focus images.

On the tech side of things these images were all shot on my dining room table because currently I do not have a studio space at my house.  The lighting was studio flash with a 3×4 softbox on one light and a 7″ reflector on the second light.  Background was just a sheet of white foam core.  Pretty simple two light setup that all in all took a couple of hours to setup and shoot.  In the end I got some really good images that can be included in my portfolio.

2017 Charvel Guitar Catalog

2017 Charvel guitar catalog is out!  90% of the photography for this catalog I shot with the exception being some of the artist images.  I worked closely with the designer to come up with the cover concept.  After shooting multiple guitars we settled with these two guitars for the cover.  The idea came from high performance car photography of Ferraris that showed off the curves of the bodies.

 The guitar photography in the catalog was also something I had a lot of creative influence on.  The images I’m talking about are the main images of the guitars with reflections.  The idea was to make the guitars look very clean like a clean room.  After the idea was agreed upon I proceeded to make it a reality by shooting all the guitars on plexiglass.

 

New Look to My Site

I think this is might be my 7th or 8th version of my site and its turning out o be one of the bests.  I remember my first site which had just one page with 20 images on it back in the 90’s.  Technology has come a long way since then.  most recently my site was being hosted on Squarespace and to be perfectly honest with you it was a great service and extremely easy to use but with ease comes lack of advanced features and limited ways to display my portfolio so after discussing my website with the web designer I work with at Fender, he told me to just make a wordpress site and find a theme and start tweaking it to make what you need.

His advice was exactly what I decided to do and I set up my wordpress site than I found a theme that did 90% of what I needed which was called kreativa.  Once I had everything installed I started figuring out how everything worked and once I found the right combination of galleries and the right look I started uploading images to the galleries.  Its still a work in process but now I have a lot more options with this new site.

One of the things that I have not implemented but I can not wait to set it up is the proofing galleries that the kreativa theme has.  This is a feature that can costs a small fortune on other sites and was not one that Squarespace had available to use.  So if it works the way the demo worked I should be able to upload gallery pages that allow the viewer to like ar reject the images which will be great for when I need clients to review and select images.  This feature if it works the way it was demoed was well worth the price of the theme.

On another note I have a blog again which I missed when I was on Squarespace.  I’m not saying Squarespace didn’t have a blog feature but the problem was that it was not as advanced as wordpress is so I’m happy to have a space once again that I can add my thoughts too.  Also with wordpress I was able to import my old wordpress blog that stopped a few years ago but all my old posts are included on this website now so thats a win.  The only problem so far that I have encountered is that some of my oldest posts had images from Flickr embeded in them and all of those links are broken.  If I can’t work out a workaround I will have to delete all of those old posts which will be a bummer.

That brings me to one of the biggest reasons for going with wordpress for this site and that is SEO.  Squarespace suked when it came to SEO and it had very little controls to help so I’m looking forward to working on the SEO on this site and seeing my site grow again.  When my site was on Squarespace I chose easy over advanced features and I did notice that I got less web traffic to my site and that is not what I want now for my site.

OK so you don’t get me wrong I did not have a problem with Squarespace and it was a great service and if you just need a portfolio that is easy to use with very little hassle and your not worried about SEO than its great.  For me now its not the right solution and I have decided to go back to the more advanced features of a wordpress site.

Twin Towers Remembrance

All of these images I photographed on the two trips I took to NY in the late 90’s.

iPhoneography – Comic Book Series

Today I drove my girl friend and her son around to a few comic book stores and me not being the connoisseur of comics I had to find something to do.  I whipped out my favorite camera that also serves as my phone and started creating images.  We went to three different places and I added one shot from each of these locations.  Its my mini series of images of local comic book stores.  Enjoy.

Comics #1 – Photographed at Samurai Comics
Camera – iPhone 4
Apps – Camera+, Magic Hour

Comics #2 – Photographed at All About Books & Comics
Camera – iPhone 4
Apps – Camera+, Magic Hour

Comics #3 – Photographed at Bookmans
Camera – iPhone 4
Apps – Camera+, Magic Hour

Review: Magic Hour

Magic Hour is a very clean simple app with a lot under the hood.  Its one of the new bread of apps that has some great preset filters included with the ability to experiment and add your own custom filters that you design.  But it goes one step further by allowing you to share your custom filter with the world as well as you can download filter other users have shared.  I think this feature really makes this app stand out and if you want a simple all in one clean app for your iPhoneography then this might be the one.

 

First of is the splash screen that comes up when you start up.  It has a few options like take photo, photo album, manage filters and at the bottom a filter market.  The first two are pretty self explanatory and the last two about the filter I will go over later in this review.

If you open an image from your photo album the first thing that comes up is a move and scale screen.  This is the only major issue I have with this app because the app is geared towards your images being square.  If you like all your images to be square or you use Instagram a lot then this might not be a issue for you but I would like to see the ability to use uncropped vertical and horizontal images.   If you scale your image to be vertical or horizontal at this point you will get large black bars on the top or sides which are included in your images when you add any filter adjustments so basically this app is for square formated images.

Now that you have scaled your image then you come up to the choose filter screen.  You can choose from the categories Favorites which are your favorite filters, Presets which are the filters included from the developer, My Filters which are your filter creations, and Download which are the filters you downloaded from other users.  Also at the bottom is a button to make your own filter which you can start from scratch and make your own or you can start by selecting one of the filters as a starting point then tweak the filter to you liking.

I choose the filter Strong Lomo then decided to adjust it for my needs.  Once you pick a filter the next screen will have a few options.  The first being Recreate which lets you take the current filter and tweak it to your liking.  The next is the Share button which you can share to just about any service out there even Instagram which is nice if you use Instagram.   The last option is to save it to your photo album.  This app does not automatically save your image if you use the share button so if you want an image saved to your photo album then you should save it then you can share with your favorite social networking site.

If you decide to hit the Recreate button to tweak your filter then you will come up with all of the editing tools like Curves where you can adjust your Red, Green, and Blue curves or all of the curves at once.

Adjust allows you to adjust your saturation, brightness, and contrast.

Vignette alows you to add or change the vignette and has a slider to adjust the vignettes intensity.

Textures allows you to add a texture overlay to your image and the intensity of the texture overlay.

The last one is Frames which allows you to add or change the frames of your image.  All of the frames are good and everyone will be able to find a look or feel they like.  I forgot to add that there is a little button BW at the top of the screen for converting your image to black and white.

Once I was done with making my tweaks to my image and I hit done I was given the option to save my filter which at that point gave me the ability to share my new filter creation with other users or just save it to my filters for my use.  I saved mine and called it Lomo Cool because it was cooler in tone then the original.  After saving it I found a small little feature that I didn’t think of and that was I could start all over ad tweak my newly created filter to build on it or just change a few things.

This now brings me to the original screen of Managing Filters.  You can  manage your favorite filters, delete any unwanted or unused filters.

I found that when you are in the filter manager you can select one of the filters and a before and after example of the filter will be shown.  I like this feature and it even works on all of the images that you have downloaded from other users.  Also you can delete the filter or upload your creation at anytime if you want from here as well.

As for the different social sites you can share with here is the share screen and I don’t think they left any out.

I purchased this app when it was on sale for $.99 and I’m so glad I did.  This app is definitely worth the regular $1.99 price but if you can get it for $.99 then do not hesitate to add this to your iPhoneography arsenal.  Requirements for the iPhone are: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (4th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.  The also have an Android version with the requirements of Android version 2.1 and up.

 

Developer Site

 

C’est la vie

I was organizing some of my images from previous years and I cam across this image and immediately I saw something.  This image was taken in 2006 while in Portland working on a Jeep press event.  It was just a snapshot, actually it was a series of snapshots that I took while we were working out side of the hotel where the event was organized.  I remember seeing this shot unfold and snapping away as the women walked briskly out of the hotel and to her car.  It was a moment in time that I captured, I was at the right place and the right time.  I have to give some credit to Adobe Lightroom for this image.  If it was not for me using Lightroom and going through all of my archived images and cataloging them I probably would have never seen this image again.  Also the original image is not as nice as the final, it lacked color and the mood that I got from changing the colors and doing a little magic in Lightroom.  For me this image is a magical snapshot in time.   I will never know who this women is or why she was in a hurry but then if I knew, this image wouldn’t be as magical.

What’s behind Door D41?

Whats behind door D41?

It’s a very dusty 64′ Volkswagen Beetle.

 

So dusty you can’t make out what color it is.

 

It’s been sitting here a long time with only a few signs of life from the drops of internal fluids on the floor.

 

All the tires had to be filed with air and one of the tires was knocked of its bead so I checked out the spare and to my surprise I find the spare has a nail in it.

 

After a few hours of working on getting the tires aired up they are finally filled and ready to roll.

 

In the light the true color tries to peak out from the dust.

 

What’s behind door D41?  Just dust and grime.

iPhoneography – Never Ending Sales Rack

Camera – iPhone 3GS
Apps – Instagram