September 20, 2013

Lightroom 5.2 Update Released

Adobe has announced an update to Lightroom from version 5.0 to 5.2. (There was no 5.1 version.) This update is free to anyone who owns a copy of version 5.0. If you are just purchasing Lightroom, this is the version you will get when you download the software.

There appear to be a number of important bug fixes as well as the usual additional support for new cameras. Adobe has also included a few improvements to existing features, notably the Spot Removal tool. It now has a feather slider to improve blending when using the Clone option as well as better choices for the source selection.

See Laura Shoe's blog entry for an excellent video and written summary of important changes in this release.

What's New in Lightroom 5.2

September 16, 2013

How to Get the Most from a Photography Critique

I recently came across this excellent post on how to benefit the most from a critique of your photos. I found it also to be a great reminder of how to best offer critiques of pictures to others so that my comments are the most helpful. Check it out!

5 Things You Should Know About Receiving Photography Critique by Jenika on the Psychology for Photographers blog.

September 10, 2013

Thomas Knoll & the History of Photoshop

I recently watched this video interview of Thomas Knoll, who with his brother John, literally invented and wrote Photoshop and Camera Raw (which was later included in Lightroom in the form of the Develop module). Michael Reichmann of the Luminous Landscape and Kevin Raber talked with Thomas while all were on a shooting workshop together in Australia. Learn the inside story of how Photoshop came to be and Knoll's thoughts on the recent subscription model for Creative Suite products from Adobe.

September 1, 2013

Magbooks on Photography Help You Learn Techniques

I've been on planes quite a lot in the last six months and I always like to take plenty of reading material with me to wile away the time in the airport and on board. During a recent stop at +Barnes & Noble I discovered a series of specialty photography magazines called Magbooks published in the United Kingdom (UK). Each issue concentrates on one subject, providing an overview, lots of how-to examples using photos with long captions, and suggestions for equipment.

Click to Enlarge

The audiences for these magazines are serious amateurs with digital SLR cameras. The writers are working photographers who can offer their tips from experience. They also make an effort to suggest inexpensive or home-made options for equipment to help readers save money.

24-105mm lens at 80mm, f/4, with fill from built-in flash

I have read The Essential Guide to Portraits and The Essential Guide to Close-up Photography. I learned the most from the Portraits edition, probably because I have the least experience with that subject matter. The Close-up edition was also good, but I found the writers repeating themselves on some suggestions very frequently, to the point that it became annoying. However, that did not detract from the value of the info and special effects examples they detailed.

70-200mm zoom with two-element close-up filter

I recommend you look for these "magazine-style books" at your local bookstore. If you can't find them in your city, you can visit the Magbook web site where you can order either a print or a digital version (iPad, PC/Mac and other formats available) direct from the publisher.