Archive

Archive for December, 2013

New Features in Lightroom’s 5.3 Upgrade

December 16, 2013 Leave a comment

Geez, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything to my Photoshop & Lightroom blog! I’m sure my other two sites have suffered too. Sorry.

I’ve been keeping several updates, tips and tricks posted on my Facebook page but have been forgetting to come here too.

It’s been a very crazy year, while trying to keep our Alternative Focus photography and workshop business growing, we’ve started Armchair ePublishing, working with authors to self-publish their books. Everything from editing, page layout and graphic design for nice covers. We also take an authors book and set-up the formatting for print and eBooks too.

Anyway, the reason you’ve all come here… Adobe’s released an upgrade to Lightroom, calling it LR 5.3. It’s a big one, weighing in at around 504Mb, so expect a long download. Maybe do it while you’re fixing and eating dinner.

It contains all of the usual LR additions, such as support for all of the new camera bodies and lens that have come out recently. Santa’s been asked to add a couple of those new toys to my Xmas tree (so I can test LR’s updates of course), but as usual, she’s not listening.

There’s also all of the normal bug (ah, enhancement) fixes too, along with a few other little items I’m sure.

But then there’s a couple of  “Semi-Undocumented Secret Features” in there too! I’m pretty sure these are new to LR 5.3 or maybe just new to me. But now you’ll know them too. Here’s the ones I know about so far…

You all know that if you double-click on any of the sliders in the Develop Module, it will return to it’s default position. You did know that didn’t you? You also knew that if you double-click on the, I guess it’d be called, “group heading word or label” such as Presence in the Basic Panel or the word Luminance or Saturation in the HSL panel, or Noise Reduction in the Details panel, it’ll return all of the sliders in that group back to zero. Great stuff.

If you didn’t know that, go ahead and give it a try. I’ll wait.

OK, now for that “Secret Feature…” So far this only appears to work in the Basic Panel. So here we go…

Now we’re going to add in the “Shift” key when you double click on that slider — Watch as it adjusts that slider to an “Auto value” instead of zeroing it out.

At first glance, it appears that it applies the same auto value magic that those Adobe engineers worked so hard to give us with the main Auto button.  Which works great too.

But lets look a bit closer…  They’ve added a few fun changes how the magic works if you add in the Shift key…

Now, instead of just doing a double-click, a Shift—double-click on the Whites and Blacks sliders automagically moves that slider value according to the current crop and balances it with your existing Develop settings. Great for those times when you’ve cropped out that way over-exposed sky and you don’t want LR trying to adjust for it.

OK, what else? Now, a Shift—double-click on either the Temp or Tint slider will set each to its Auto WB value. How’s that different than the regular Auto WB button? I dunno, maybe it’s just a fun Easter Egg. It does move the slider just slight different from where the Auto WB did, so maybe doing each individually is a bit ‘mo accurate? Give it a try.

I’ve generally been happy with the standard Auto WB, with a manual tweak as needed, as it’s pretty close at least 85-90% of the time. If I remember, especially when I was doing event photography or if I’m setting up an abstract in my studio, I place a grey card in the first few shots as a reference, actually my little Spyder Cube works even better. Then I’ll use that reference frame in LR for WB adjusting. But as I’m primarily a landscape photographer too, that’s not as easy. So, I shoot RAW, and set camera WB to Cloudy (as I do live north of Seattle, where it’s mostly Cloudy anyway) and Auto WB with minor tweaks in LR while processing.

OK, last, and almost not as fun since we just learned the above trick, but this does shave a millisecond or two off  your workflow, so here it is:  Shift—double-clicking on that “WB” label sets both of your Temp & Tint sliders to an Auto White Balance setting — And as an added bonus, it will set the WB drop-down menu to “Auto” just as if you had taken the longer route and clicked on the drop-down to choose Auto yourself… Amazing stuff these Adobe engineers come up with!

OK, that’s it. Simple but fun LR Trivia knowledge to show off your skills at that next party with other photographers.

Glad you came by to learn something new. I’ll try to make the next PS & LR Tips a bit sooner.

Tony D. Locke, MM

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized