The next couple of weeks the topics of my blogposts will alternate between travel and photography.
Recently I have enrolled in a couple of workshops. The first one was a week ago. It was an advanced Lightroom workshop.
Everything I know about photo-editing I taught myself. I did follow a 3-hour Lightroom initiation in 2011 and a Photoshop initiation some years earlier. But that’s it.
Lightroom is very user friendly, but it still takes a long time to edit a photo. A big disadvantage when you come back from a trip with over 2000 photos.
Late last year, the photography forum BelgiumDigital organized a workshop with Piet Van den Eynde as teacher. He is an Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Certified Expert and one of the instructors at Photofacts Academy. To my surprise I learned a lot in a couple of hours. I was very impressed.
Two months ago, he announced an advanced Lightroom workshop and I immediately enrolled.
He started the day by talking about syncing, presets and plug-ins. These are all very useful tools to speed up your work flow.
In the afternoon he explained the Book module. Afterwards he introduced some hardware that helps simplify the work flow, things like Wacom tablets and the Beringer x-touch.
A Wacom tablet is certainly something I will buy in the near future. For one because the pen is much more precise than a mouse, when you are using a brush.
The next day I immediately tried some of the plug-ins and presets. Years ago, I bought the Nik Collection (yes, I paid for it). I tried it a couple of times, but the work flow was too complicated for me. Monday I learned that if you use the plug-ins as a smart filter in PhotoshopCC, the work flow is much more flexible. After saving your settings and returning to Lightroom, you can adjust them at any moment in Photoshop.
So I took a photo into PhotoshopCC and used Color efex pro as a smart filter. A big advantage to presets is that you can see the effect by hovering over the name of the preset with your mouse. I couldn’t find any preset to my liking and changed to Viveza 2. This is the result:
A second copy of the photo I edited all by myself. The result is almost identical to the one edited in Viveza. However, the processing took a lot longer. This is the Lightroom development:
In both photos I adjusted brightness, contrast, saturation and clarity (or structure). In Lightroom however, I also used the highlights, shadows, blacks and whites sliders.
Yesterday I couldn’t resist the temptation and I googled “free landscape presets”. I downloaded some pretty neat ones I will be using in the future.
During this search, I discovered there are two kinds of presets: global presets and local adjustments presets. The latter can be used with the brush, the radial filter and the graduated filter. I downloaded two sets, but I haven’t used them yet. These presets don’t show previews. This probably means that the learning curve will be a lot steeper.
In the following weeks I will definitely take a look at the other plug-ins Piet Van den Eynde mentioned, like LR-Mogrify and LRblog (a plug-in that helps you publish your photos to WordPress).
Do you use plug-ins and presets? Which ones are your favourites?