One of our fabulous Photo Betties, Isabel March, is hosting a workshop on January 26th at her studio in Perkasie, PA. She’ll be covering tons of great topics including business, getting started, client meetings, branding, marketing, social media, creating a signature style and more! Space is limited so act fast! Here’s the 411:
Tomorrow after you roll out of bed and grab a warm beverage, head over to Justin & Mary’s website to check out their next Pancake Session post. There’s a fresh one every Thursday, which promises to be interesting and informative, plus they break everything down into bite-size, easy to understand pieces. Best of all, they’re up there on the interweb for posterity, so you can visit right now and learn about everything from Black and White Post Production Tips, Branding, Off Camera Lighting, Destination Wedding Tips and much, much more.
Thank you fellow Photo Betty Susannah Gill for sharing another helpful tip with us!
What: Road Trip
When: August 22, 2011
Why? Couldn’t get to Vegas for the largest Portrait and Wedding Photography Convention? Well, WPPI decided to make a Road Trip to select cities bringing speakers and vendors right to your hometown.
- Avoided Philadelphia International Airport – just had to take a train.
- One day commitment only, which meant no need for an overnight stay.
- The same impressive speaker lineup – right in your own backyard
Cons: A Fellow Photo Betty, Amanda Young, and I did not win any of the awesome prizes that were drawn. We think there was a serious conspiracy…
I am a big fan of her work. What I appreciated about her opening was the challenge she posed to the audience on never being satisfied. The challenge was to always challenge yourself. This is the competitive edge that will set you apart. She discussed composition techniques and working to search the room, to go beyond the obvious. Her work can be found at www.susanstriplingblog.com
Dawn was able to speak about the power of a personal project. She shared her “Legacy” Album, which won the Grand Album award at WPPI in 2010. As photographers, it is important to always be growing creatively. When you can find something that is truly your own project, from beginning to end, the creation in itself is both rewarding and fulfilling. Learn more about Dawn’s work at www.dawnshields.com
Very fun and engaging speaker. I loved the image examples shown and discussion of how he used lighting. He focused on the usage of speed lights, video lights and available light to enhance your photos while shooting in the field. Beyond just usage, we discussed how to use these tools to make images more dramatic. He had great examples for posing brides and grooms to relax them, giving them a completely natural appearance. To find out more about Damon, visit his site at www.damontucci.com.
In just 90 minutes, we were given great solutions to reduce editing workflow by almost 50%. His discussion identified time wasters, and how to effectively eliminate them while focusing on true post-production efficiently. I loved his teaching style and was glad that he can be found on Vimeo with quick sessions, under Jared Platt. A sample is here http://vimeo.com/24735627 and his site is www.jaredplatt.com.
Lindsay covered the essential concepts of fashion photography and how these can apply to portrait and wedding photography for stunning imagery. She discussed key concepts such as simple location, utilizing unique props, posing, lighting and styling. Quite frankly, I am not sure what my opinion is on the usage of props for shoots, but Lindsey was able to show and demonstrate creative ways to set a scene to make the images vivid and inviting. There were truly some great learnings from this presentation. She will also be speaking at PDN in October on Social Media Marketing, which I think will be something worth attending. You can find out more about Lindsay’s work at www.lindsayadlerphotography.com.
A few weeks ago we reviewed Apple’s new mobile operating system iOS5 and the introduction of iCloud – and how they’re going to make photographer’s digital lives more streamlined. Today, we’re covering the new version of Apple’s desktop operating system, which according to Apple should be available for $29.99 – any day now.
OS X Lion – a whole new animal
Inspired by the tactile functionality of the iPhone and iPad, Apple has integrated the gestures that mobile device users have grown to love. Now you’ll be able to use the same fluid and realistic gesture responses, including rubber-band scrolling, page and image zoom, and full-screen swiping, right on your desktop.
What does this mean for photogs?
- You’re in Photoshop or Lightroom, and want to get a closer look. No need to mouse over to activate the zoom tool or hit a keyboard command, simply pinch to zoom in or out. Get a closer look in your favorite web browser by simply double tapping.
- Within an application, like a word document, or several open tabs in your browser, just swipe, like turning pages of a book, rather than mousing over to scroll the scroll bar.
- If you have multiple apps open, you no longer will need to mouse down to the dock or hit COMMAND+Tab on your keyboard to browse the other open apps. When viewing an application at full screen (another new feature we love!), it’s as easy as swiping with three fingers, which shuffles your full-screen apps like playing cards.
Now instead of resizing your browser windows to fill up as much space as possible to hide that messy desktop, you’ll be able to clear away the clutter and see one App and nothing else – instantly – by just clicking the new full-screen button in the upper-left corner of your app window. BAM!
Mission Control is simple – it helps you get all your ducks in a row and see what you have open, with a highlight window for each App. So instead of just glancing down to see my dock, and trying to recall what I have going on in Lightroom, iChat, Photoshop, Word, Illustrator, Safari (etc.) I’ll just be able to swipe up with three fingers on my trusty trackpad, and get the lay of the land. Kinda like this:
Launchpad is kind of like Mission Control’s orderly cousin – which lets you see a neat grid of all your apps as icons on your desktop (accessible from your dock) rather than having to navigate to your Applications folder and view them in a dialogue box. Clean, simple and right there. Functionality is the same as the iPhone or iPad, so you can:
- Hold down an icon with by clicking on touch pad to activate all the apps, and click the “x” in the corner to quickly delete an app
- Drag an app icon onto another icon to categorize them into folders like “Business”, “Post-Production”, “Games”, etc
- Swipe across your trackpad to move between pages
- Open any app with a tap or click
If you’re an iPhone user, this is not a new concept. But the fact that the App Store will now be integrated into OS X Lion, letting you browse, download and install immediately – rather than buying discs (in person or online… which equals time and/or waiting) is pretty cool.
In addition to quick downloads, you’ll also get easy integrated updates, and fast, simple installation across devices.
It’s not the sexiest update – but it’s certainly pretty darn sensible. Think about the big apps. Like Lightroom. Or perhaps when you get a last minute word doc from a client and don’t see it until 1 am the night before big the event – and you don’t have the most recent version of Microsoft Office! No worries! Just search, click, download, and viola! It’s open. Maybe now the App Store looking a little sexier?
Sometimes I’m groovin’ on an edit or retouch, music blaring, feelin’ inspired, and suddenly remember “Oh yeah – I haven’t saved yet…” after 20 minutes of work. Then I quickly save my .psd and breathe a sigh of relief. Well, with OS X Lion, Apple’s got a fancy new update that will let me edit to my heart’s content, without having to worry.
Auto Save automatically saves your work, while you work, during pauses and every five minutes. This is what I’m most excited about – and can’t wait to see in action.
Why’s it so great?
- It saves versions within the same file, rather than multiple versions of your file (therefore saving room on your hard drive).
- If you’re editing an email or shotlist, for example, and halfway in, realize you erased something important- no problem! The Revert feature returns your document to the state it was in when you last opened it, and Versions shows you the current document next to a cascade of previous versions which have been saved. And if you just want to grab a section from an earlier version, you can copy and paste between versions.
Last but not least for the OS X Lion updates, is a fancier, shinier version of Mail that offers a widescreen, two-column view of your emails, one-click access to folders, quick drag-and-add folder functionality, detailed preview (so you glance at your list of emails and get an idea of content before opening), enhanced search, and best of all Conversations.
This new feature (which gmail users enjoy) automatically groups messages from the same conversation, in chronological order. Why’s it great? It removes redundant text from previous message threads to save time scrolling and searching for old emails and details, in an easy-to-follow, linear format. Not too shabby.
So there you have it – all the updates – some which are a bit more “fluff” but others that will certainly save time and make life easier when you’re on your desktop. Which, let’s face it – is a good portion of the week. If you’re interested in upgrading (for just $29.99 – it’s a great deal) you’ll need to:
1. Make sure your Mac can run Lion
- Click your Apple icon in the top-left of your screen, choose “About this Mac” and find out if it has an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor. if so, you’re good to go.
2. Make sure you have the latest version of Snow Leopard
- Click your Apple icon in the top-left of your screen, choose “Software Update” to install version 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) if you don’t already have it
3. Download OS X Lion from the App Store.
- It’s not ready just yet, but you can sign up for a notification when it is.
If you weren’t able to attend WPPI in Las Vegas this year – fear not! The WPPI Road Trip is almost here – and tickets went on sale yesterday! Registration is $159 for the all-day event, and you can bring a guest for just $89. You’ll also receive FREE 2012 WPPI registration (which is a pretty amazing bonus!), lunch and access to the mini tradeshow.
They’ll be hitting 8 cities across the USA including our home base – Philly! Here’s the full list:
• Long Beach, CA – August 8
• San Jose, CA – August 10
• Columbus, OH – August 15
• Chicago, IL – August 17
• Philadelphia, PA – August 22
• Boston, MA – August 25
• Austin, TX – September 19
• New Orleans, LA – September 22
Right now the full list of events and classes hasn’t been posted, but we do know that it will be “jam-packed with informative and inspiring topics covering the ins and outs of photography, especially tailored for professional wedding and portrait photographers.”
Attendees will have access to a full day of educational classes featuring marketing, lighting, posing, shooting and postproduction. It’ll also be a great place for networking… Sponsors include Adobe, WHCC, Zenfolio, Adorama, Pictage, Black River Imaging, GraphiStudio, Simply Canvas, Animoto and more!
Take a break this summer and get inspired!
Last week Isabel March welcomed fellow Photo Betties to her studio to introduce us to the wonderful world of Lightroom. Some of us were die-hard Photoshop users intrigued by the hype over faster production and ease-of-use, and others had taken baby steps with Lightroom and were ready and eager to learn more.
What a reception! Isabel and her husband Mike greeted everyone as they arrived, and there was a delicious spread and super cute notebooks with pens to jot down notes. She jumped right in and literally flew through an engagement session – from culling to editing and final export – in no time at all.
When I heard Isabel could edit an entire wedding with Lightroom in a matter of hours, not days, I was mystified. After seeing her intuitive and efficient process and Lightroom skills, it made complete sense to me how she accomplishes it. She also shared tons of helpful tips about workflow, her favorite presets and tools, and answered any all all questions we threw at her. Much of what we learned was explained with on-screen examples, but here’s a few fantastic tips that translate without visuals:
• Before you even begin editing, back-up your files multiple times so there’s no danger of losing anything (Isabel has six back-ups, two of which go off site).
• Work on photos stored on an external hard drive – rather than your computer – to process faster and ensure everything is safely stored.
• Give each of your clients their own folder within your system. Keep everything subdivided within that folder, i.e. contracts, sessions, weddings, albums and your Lightroom catalogue. It makes everything related to your client easy to find.
• When culling and editing your images, let go of super fantastic perfection. Select the very best photos and spend your time and effort on those specifically.
• Isabel uses Photo Mechanic for culling – rather than Adobe Bridge or Lightroom – because it renders quickly and provides clear, detailed previews of your images. First she rates the top images then exports them to a folder – to edit only those select shots in Lightroom. There’s no need to import an entire wedding into Lightroom…only the images that will be presented to your client.
• When importing a new project into Lightroom, give each project its own catalog so that your computer can process everything faster. Save each catalog with the respective job so you don’t have to hunt to find it later.
If you’re switching over, or looking to increase your knowledge of Lightroom, here are some helpful places to go:
• Adobe’s Learning Center has articles, video tutorials, links and resources for all things Lightroom.
• Julianne Kost is the guru of LR. She’s amazing!
• Lynda.com is an excellent resource for online training with easy-to-follow tutorials – there are hundreds on Lightroom alone!
• TheLightroomLab.com has a wide range of tutorials from practical to fun to search and be inspired!
• Kelby Training offers online and in-person courses in Lightroom.
A few spots to pick up presets:
• Kubota Image Tools has a bevy of Lightroom goodies including presets, a RAW workflow system, and SpeedKeys!
• Totally Rad has a set of 103 presets (including 9 for the adjustment brush exclusively), plus tips and ideas to make photos uniquely your own.
• Marcus Bell has educational DVDs and presets available, and is also donating 20% of your purchase toward the Brisbane Flood Relief.
• Cuba Gallery has tutorials and a wide range of presets.
• Flourish, PresetsHeaven and Presetopia have a few awesome presets as well.
As photographers, and especially portrait and wedding photographers, we are always looking for ways to cut editing time and make workflow more efficient. Those of you reading this are most likely avid Photoshop and Lightroom users and have your own arsenal of tools and tricks to get you through the rigors of photo editing. If you are like me, up until about a year and a half ago before I started working at a high-volume studio, I was using keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop and Lightroom to help speed up the process. However, I was introduced to the genius of DQ Studios’ Quickeys and my approach to workflow and editing has changed drastically. It’s no longer an arduous task but a rather carefree and enjoyable process. That’s right kids, I said enjoyable.
So, what is it?
Well, first I have to start off by saying that if you are familiar with DQ Studios, they are now operating as Motibodo “espresso for workflow.” They have recently introduced a few new products to replace the older module that I have been using for Photoshop – previously called “DQ Quickeys.” These new products include the MotibodoBOARD for LR and the MotibodoSKINS for LR and PS. So instead of using your regular keyboard with shortcuts set up for the tools and actions you normally use, everything you need is customized in a keyboard made just for LR and PS users. I will admit that I have not yet tried MotibodoBOARD for LR but am extremely excited for this new addition to the product line!
MotibodoBOARD for Adobe Lightroom
This is a very sleek and sexy Apple titanium keyboard that is custom printed with the Motibodo symbols and editing tools. Not to worry my fellow PC users, the software that comes with it allows the keyboard to be compatible with both Mac and PC. As Dave simply states in his online video tutorial, you can imagine that if you were to place your hands in the regular typing position, your fingers would rest on the F and J keys. This is where they have placed all of the basic adjustments that you would use in LR on a regular basis. So there is where you will find your exposure adjustments up and down, fill light, contrast, brightness, etc. Other relatively important keys include the next button, toggle between library and develop modes, crop tool, and the paintbrush tool with eight local adjustment brushes right on the keyboard. As an added bonus the function keys come pre-programmed with twenty presets, ten of which are Dave and Quin’s favorite Totally Rad LR presets. Sweet!
MotibodoSKINS for Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
The MotibodoSKINS for LR and PS is a silicone cover that can be used overtop of your regular keyboard* or if you purchase the Motibodo Board for LR, you would just need the PS skin to go on top of that as well. Like the LR keys, the Motibodo Skin for PS has all of your tools and basic adjustments right at your fingertips. Some highlights include Motibodo retouching tools like Non-Destructive Dodge, Burn and Contrast, Heal and Clone Tools, dedicated workflow keys for Straightening and Cropping, Magic Object Removal and a Quick-Liquify tool. As expected, there are twenty Photoshop actions from the DQ Studios line that includes Skin So Soft, Shine Remover Makeup, Teeth Whitener, Warming/Cooling Filters, Vintage DQ, B&W Grain and much, much more. So you’re wondering what the bonus is this time right? An entire Suite of Album Design tools are included as well. You really are getting an entire workflow army included in these bundles!
So in a nutshell, having used DQ Quikeys and actions I can honestly say that it’s worth the money for the amount of time and effort you will save by using these products. The engineering and ingenuity of these products are well thought out and very intuitive as you can tell by the research and testing that was put into making them. The layout works just as well for both right-handers or left-handers and when use in conjunction with the Wacom Tablet (previously introduced by Jenna in her recent Tech Tuesday post) the results are mind blowing! Not to mention the customer service and support that you will receive from them is outstanding. There has never been a time where I didn’t email a question and get an immediate response. I would highly recommend their products to any professional photographer looking to enhance their workflow efficiency. Be sure to check them out at WPPI and see for yourself!
What else do I need to know?
System Requirements are Adobe Lightroom 3 and Adobe CS5. So if you have an Operating System that runs these programs, then your computer is already equipped to run the Motibodo Software. You must own a copy of these Adobe programs because Motibodo does not come with LR or PS.
*In order to use the MotibodoSKINS you would need either the MotibodoBOARD for LR3, an Apple USB compact Keyboard (no numeric keypad; English) or an Apple Wireless Keyboard (English). The MotibodoBOARD can also be used in place of your regular QWERTY keyboard. Each purchase comes with a Motibodo Personal Usage License and a portion of every sale will be given to a non-profit organization. All sales are final so no refunds or exchanges.
For more information and pricing please visit Motibodo.
- Noelle Andrews
by Isabel March
It’s the Sunday after a wedding during the height of wedding season. You stare at the 11 8GB memory cards you shot the day before. You sigh. You realize the daunting task ahead of you…post processing this complete wedding in less than one week.
Import, organize, rate, cull, batch, develop and export…Lightroom to the rescue!
Learn how to successfully manage your workflow, cut down your post processing time and let go of your fears of learning yet another photo editing program.
RSVP by Friday, March 4, 2011 to Isabel
Free for all fellow Photo Betties.
Space is limited to 15 attendees. Light munchies and beverages will be provided. Bring a notebook and your favorite writing utensil. If you have a laptop with Lightroom installed on it, definitely bring that too! If you are unsure if you want to add Lightroom to your post production arsenal, download it for free at Adobe.
Kubota is featuring a 90-minute E-class on Lightroom 3 on July 21st. For those who get as frustrated with Lightroom as I do from time to time – and/or are upgrading to LR3, this could be a good, inexpensive chance to get refreshed on all the fun and wonderful capabilities Lightroom has to offer – and peep out some of the new features with the upgrade. I’ll admit, we all need reminding every now and again. :)
When:July 21st, 10AM PDT
How Much: $39 (AND includes a free download keeper version of the tutorial and $20 toward the purchase of any Kubota Lightroom Product thru 2010)
Who: Kevin Kubota
Where: Register here.