Monday, July 27, 2009

Exploring Lightroom & Setting Up a Digital Darkroom

For the first time in what seems like months, I had no photography assignments this weekend. Aside from watching my 4 year old nephew compete in a swim meet and snapping some photos, I didn't take any pictures. However, I still had some photography related work to do. I've been going back and forth, trying to decide if I should use Adobe's Lightroom or Apple's Aperture. I've been holding off because I've been using iPhoto and it's been working great. That is until I started shooting RAW. Whenever I would import photos directly from the camera, jpeg files would transfer without any issues. But RAW files would not display thumbnails and wouldn't even open. I couldn't even get them into Canon's RAW editor. I have also used Canon's RAW editor for import, but I can't locate the files on my drive. I later found out that iPhoto will read RAW, but if the files are directly imported from the camera, it seems to corrupt them. If I import the files through a card reader, they show up fine.

I still haven't purchased Lightroom, but I have decided that I will. Currently, I'm using a trial version for 30 days. Even though Lightroom is about $100 more than Aperture, I think it's worth it. First of all, there seems to be a lot more resources for learning. I checked out, they have quite a few free tutorials. The free ones don't go into a lot of depth but they do provide a nice overview to what Lightroom can do. I've also found another site with some great tips, videos and presets that can be downloaded. Check out Matt Kloskowski blog. The second reason, is it's tight integration with Photoshop. Although it does not have a similar layout to Photoshop, I do like the kind of control it provides, especially with RAW files. I've been spending most of my time now getting familiar with the interface and reading up more on the different modules. Now I want to go out on some shoots and bring them back into Lightroom. Once the trial period is up, I'm going to purchase the full version.

I also upgraded my Mac's hard drives. I purchased 2- 1TB drives to add in addition to the other 2 hard drives. I'm going to use 1 of the new drives for photos only, the other will be used as a backup. I've got all 4 drives bays full, so any additional drives are going to be external. I'm using an external 1TB for Time Machine and another 250GB for archiving projects. I do think that I'm going to purchase a larger drive for archives in the near future.

There are some rumors about announcements being made next month from both Nikon & Canon. There are already some leaked photos for a Nikon 300s and some new lenses, including a 70-200mm VRII 2.8. There's a similar rumor about Canon releasing a new 70-200mm IS II. They may also be announcing a new camera, which I'm looking forward to. I just hope they've stopped with the race for more megapixels and instead release a camera with a better Auto Focus system. If you'd like to follow the rumors and be on top of the announcements check out &

I've also just updated my portfolio with some of images from shoot from the last couple of weeks. I was able to use some studio lights, both continuous and strobe. The continuous lights were low enough to use my 50mm 1.8 prime lens. I was able to use a shallow depth of field for these portraits. The strobes were too powerful to use a low aperture. I believe I was at f8 @ 1/160 for those images. Although I do like strobes over continuous lights, especially when used with a softbox. I am really happy how those shoots came out. Check it out and let me know what you think.

If you're looking for a portrait photographer in the Atlanta area, visit my portfolio.

1 comment:

Melissa N. said...

Hey Dave! I might be interested in a family photo (my husband, dog and I) in the fall. I'd like to do a location, like a park or something. I wouldn't mind doing one with the Atlanta midtown skyline in the background. Would you be interested in helping me out?