I love wandering in the alleyways downtown for pictures. Seems there’s always something of interest. Often it’s a wall, or a bit of asphalt or some detritus that catches my eye. Tonight I found myself looking at a wall of windows on the back side of an apartment building downtown. It was just about sunset, the direct sunlight was gone. I stepped up to ISO 200 and f/5.0 and shot a couple shots. A little tweaking in Lightroom for my post processing…
I’ve enjoyed using the beta version of Adobe Lightroom so far. It’s changed my work flow. Before, I used to load shots into Photoshop one at a time and do my editing there. I’d have to have multiple shots open in PS to do any comparison, clicking one forward, then another. Now I load the whole shoot into Lightroom, pick the shots I like, do my processing, then do an export. Each shoot is organized by date and, if need be, by subject. Exports are put into a folder inside the original shoot folder. The exports are copies of the original pictures with the nondestructive edits made inside Lightroom, usually at a lesser quality, about 90 percent on the Lightroom scale. I still edit on occasions in Photoshop, usually adding an Unsharp Mask to the photo. I’m not entirely happy with the sharpening available in Lightroom. Nor am I completely comfortable with the b/w processing, though I still have a bit of learning to do with the program. Often I’ll just do my b/w’s in Photoshop, I’m more comfortable there. I like the options of using specific RGB channels to isolate for my b/w. However, I was messing with Lightroom today and there looks to be some options for b/w that I was not aware of and I’ll have to make a point of tinkering with. So far the program looks good. I’ll need to purchase it when it becomes available.
One thing about Lightroom, using it has made me more disciplined when it comes to organization of my pictures. I have a whole year’s worth or more of shots that need to be cataloged and added to the new library, all of which also need to be organized by dates. Over the time that I’ve had my camera, and been doing PAD, most of my library is only organized by picture number…
Well, this is what I’ve been trying of late. I’m dividing my pictures into folders by year, then month and then by day. It makes for quite a few folders, but at least it’s organized. I started a couple weeks ago with putting each day’s shoot in it’s own folder, then sorting the shots and making “darkroom” decisions inside of Adobe Lightroom. I’ve been labeling folders in this format: year_mm_dd, 2006_04_13. It’s a bit of work, but it’s organized. I still need to work my way backwards into the first of the year, and I’d like to work my way back further than that.
On another note, I’ve been thinking about getting a new scanner to replace my old scsi scanner. I have quite a few of my own old photos from college days and my Pentax K1000, plus the family pictures from the last fifty or so years that I’d like to get scanned for archival reasons. I’d like to get all the negatives and prints properly stored and moved off site from home.
I’m thinking of starting a gallery for old advertising signs, the kind on buildings and on the streets. I find too many signs disappearing around town. I stopped today and took a few pictures of signs while I was out.
I had a good morning this morning.
I got away from home a little early and took a slightly different route driving into town. I stopped at the rail overpass and the frontage road, parked the car, then wandered around both sides of the tracks getting shots for my Picture-A-Day (PAD) and the current work in my Urban Decay gallery. Most of the shots turned out nice. I could probably cut back on the bracketing I’ve been doing of late, I end up with too many extra shots, ballooning a shoot to triple size or more. Out of fifty odd pictures I whittled today’s shots down to a post of ten.
I’ve been using the beta version of Adobe Lightroom and I’ve been pretty happy with the controls for “developing” a picture. That’s their word for the image adjustments/control module in the program. The controls have a little more of an immediate feel to them, you’re able to see the impact of the brightness/contrast/exposure/etc as you’re making the adjustments. They’re all available the whole time you’re tweaking a picture, unlike Photoshop. And everything is non-destructive. The program has some asset management features, too, but I’m still messing with those. I’m still not sure how to go about managing all the shots I’ve taken to date, anyways. I might need this program for the image controls alone.
Today’s PAD post: