Thursday, September 13, 2012

Is the Photographic Print Dead?

When I look around our house I see very little in the way of photographic d├ęcor. Even though I spend a good bit of time and effort photographing beautiful places I rarely ever see it in print. Most often it sets on my hard drive at home with the occasional one making it to my website or blog. My wife and I do not have a shoebox full of images and I know in my gut that we will one day regret that.

There are many images that we have printed but they are still in their cardboard box waiting on a frame.  Twenty years ago we would have had albums to flip through or walls full of family images. What has changed? Has technology stolen the nostalgia of print?  Often times I feel vain to hang my own work on our walls.  The wife says I'm just crazy (that may be true too). 

Each time I hold a print the image seems more real. The larger the print the more value it has in my minds eye. 

This brings me to the questions I have for you.

Is the photographic print dead? If so, why do you think that is the case?

When you hold a print in your hands or see it on a wall does it feel different than viewing it on your computer?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nothing to Speak of but Fun Nonetheless

This past Saturday (9/8/2012) I up and decided to head to the Everglades for some photos. I grabbed the family and some photo gear, got in the truck, and off we went. We arrived at the fist destination just prior to sunset… the perfect time. We doused ourselves with a heavy dose of bug spray and I started setting up the gear. Within a few minutes we all realized that the bugs seemed to be more attracted to the spray than repelled and my family ended up back in the truck with the AC going. I stayed out and battled the little critters for a few shots. Nature was not cooperating.

I decided that since not everything was coming together I would still make the best of the situation. I worked on composition and I worked on exposure technique. This is something you can do regardless of what the world around you is doing (or not doing in this case). Each of these is the first image in a given composition and I used the Zone System to ensure that the tonality of the photograph was exactly where I wanted it to be. I didn’t "chimp" to find the proper exposure. I used the spot meter on the camera which was set to manual mode to target a specific part of the image. Then, setting the exposure to the tonality desired I clicked the shutter.  Nature (or people) will not always be at their best. They will both have their good days and their bad days but that should not stop you from becoming a better photographer. Sure, I have better images out there but given the situation… They aren’t bad at all and on top of that it was fun! 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

How to Import Images in Lightroom 4

Click photo above to view the video.
You can read all this stuff or you can watch the included video.

With the cost of Lightroom 4 being dropped to 149.00 there have been a lot of people giving it a go. One of the most often misunderstood aspects of Lightroom with new users is how Lightroom manages your photos. Well, here is the truth. It doesn’t… However, Lightroom does have tools that allow you to better manage your photo files. Lightroom doesn’t care where your photos are located so you can copy them from your memory card to your hard drive in a specific location before importing into Lightroom or you can leave them on the card and ask Lightroom to do it for you.

If you are in the Library Module on the bottom left side of the screen you will see the “Import” button. Push that. The Lightroom dialogue box will appear.

There are really only three aspects to this box.

1. Where From: The left hand side deals with where the files are currently located.

2. How you want Lightroom to handle the photos: This portion is in the middle of the dialogue box at the top of the screen. This is where many folks get a bit confused about what it is Lightroom is really doing. You have three options to choose from. Copy, Move, and Add. Let’s take a closer look.


• This is the option that I use 99% of the time. This is where you point Lightroom to a specific folder and/or memory card and tell it to copy the files in that location and paste them into a new location. The new location you choose with aspect three listed in the next section. I use this one over the Move choice simply because I like to ensure I have all the images in my backup locations prior to deleting them off the card.


• The Move option does exactly what it says it does. It moves the files from their current location to the location that you have specified. (see the third aspect)


• Add is the one that gives people the most trouble. This is because when you ADD photos all you are doing is bringing in the photos to the Lightroom Catalog. The images remain exactly where they were. This means if you moved your images to a folder on your desktop and you “ADD” them to the Lightroom catalog the files do not get moved or copied. This also means that if you move or delete the desktop folder and you do not tell Lightroom then it doesn’t understand where they all went. If you remove the original location and you open up lightroom you will see the thumbnails that it created when you imported the image. However, you will see writing across the image that says it cannot find the source file. Now, provided you have not deleted the originals there are ways to tell Lightroom where to look.

3. Where to put them: If you have chosen Copy or Move then you have the option of telling Lightroom where you want the files to be copied or moved to.