Posts tagged ‘Lightroom’

February 3, 2011

Lightroom, I love you.

She’s got lots of faces and I think they are all fascinating. I love her.

I also have a love for Adobe Lightroom that grows every day. Thanks to a quick and easy tutorial from Allison Torgesen Photography, I was able to create a few storyboard templates in Lightroom.

I love, love, love that I don’t I have to export the images to Photoshop Elements and mess with layers to make a simple storyboard. Each little block is safely watermarked and the look is simple and clean. Yummy.

I saved my jpeg to the same folder from today’s mini living room session and was able to run my regular blog publishing preset to create the perfect sized image for this post. And exporting the same image to Facebook at my husband’s request was only a click away too.



February 1, 2011

Snow Day Excitement

Not even old enough for school yet…but she gets pretty excited for snow days!

Loved the effect of the window light for this picture. The snow covered ground was a fabulous light reflector. We stayed close to a large glass door and shot with a wide-open aperture. I set the exposure compensation up 2/3 stop and love how well-lit she is and how the background is so dark you don’t even have a hint of the mess that is my living room. For once, I didn’t have to play with the exposure in Lightroom (although I did touch up a few boogers and smooth out her dry skin).

By the way, that’s her new favorite word, “mess.” She’s mastered making them and pointing them out with an insistent repetition of “mess” that stops only when I clean it up for her. Then she quickly moves on to making another.

I’m so thankful the extra day to spend with my baby girl!

January 15, 2011

Life is Messy, But Beautfiul

Somehow my daughter never seems to have a clean face. I hate trying to wrangle her into a still position to wipe her face and listen to her angry screams. Even my not-so-clean husband sometimes gets bothered by the ickiness before me. So, most of the time I let her run around with a food-slathered, somewhat crusty, dog-hair covered face. That sounds really gross. But, even really gross can be really beautiful.

I did some minor editing in Adobe Lightroom for this beauty. I changed the white balance to make the picture a touch warmer and softened her skin just a bit. I did not edit out the food on her face–she just wouldn’t be my daughter any longer if I did. If you look close enough, you might even be able to find a stray dog hair.

I’m loving how the pink in her shirt is picked up by the flowers on the silk pillowcase. Thanks mom for the gift from Singapore!

What’s messy but beautiful in your life?

January 8, 2011

Beautiful New Mexico Skies

When I moved to New Mexico, I was amazed by the wide open skies and views that extended more miles than I could fathom. Even after more than six years living here, I still don’t take these views for granted. Especially in the winter, when my work commutes are set to the backdrops of our beautiful sunrises and sunsets, I am awed.

The vibrant, constantly changing colors, however, sometimes appear lackluster when captured on camera.


Here’s a shot from this afternoon. The colors of the sky and landscape look washed out by the strong midday sunlight. The fluffy white clouds blend in too well against the light blue sky.

Luckily, Adobe Lightroom offers a simple tool to restore the vibrancy of the colors. In the Develop module, I selected the HSL panel. HSL stands for hue, saturation, and luminosity. Hue alters the color. Saturation alters the vividness of a color. Luminosity alters the lightness or darkness of a color.

There are sliders in the HSL panel that can be used to change the values. I prefer to use the targeted adjustment tool marked here by the red arrow.

To change the HSL of a color:

1. Select Hue, Saturation, or Luminance in the menu.

2. Click on the targeted adjustment tool.

3. Click and hold the mouse button down on an area in the photograph you would like to adjust.

4. Move your mouse up and down to adjust the level of your selection. You will see the slider(s) of the color you selected move up and down and the changes on your photograph.

5. Release the button, then click done.

For my photograph, first I adjusted the saturation of the blue in my sky. I increased the saturation by 85 to make the blue more vibrant. Then, I decreased the luminosity of the blue by 10 to increase the contrast between the sky and the clouds a little more.

I really love how these adjustments gave the sky more depth. I also increased the saturation of the orange in the landscape to combat the washed-out effect of the strong sunlight. Here’s a side by side comparison of the before and after so you can really see the difference.

One caveat to using the targeted adjustment tool, the color changes made are global. Meaning similar colors anywhere in your picture will also be adjusted. Making adjustments to red, orange, and yellows might affect skin tones in portrait photography, so be sure to watch those areas.

January 7, 2011

The Magic of Lightroom Presets

Have I told you yet how much I love Lightroom and its nondestructive editing capabilities? I spent some time this evening playing with the standard Lightroom presets using my teapot photograph from yesterday. Lightroom presets provide a quick, simple way to change the appearance of a photo. Changes vary from subtle to dramatic depending on the preset.

I love that I can how my photo will look with a preset by hovering over it with my cursor and watching the navigation menu. I was drawn towards more muted presets tonight–no crazy cross-processing for these babies.

As I “tried on” the various presets, I created virtual copies of my favorites to share here.

B&W Creative Look 1

B&W Creative Look 4

Color Creative Old Photo


Help me pick a preset so I can apply it to the two remaining images and print my triptych. My kitchen walls are desperate for some loving.


January 5, 2011

Kitchen Still Life

My husband has been asking me to hang more pictures in our house for ages. We have a large, blank wall in our kitchen. It wasn’t always blank, but my husband thought it would be fun to toss a heavy, rubber dog toy around the kitchen. After a few amazing bounces, he managed to knock down a framed picture hanging on the wall. The picture, one half of a diptych, broke. So I took the lonely, unscathed picture down and we’ve been staring at a blank wall since.

I have finally decided to create my own artwork to replace the damaged pictures. And no more bouncing dog toys or baby toys around the kitchen after I get these babies framed.

Tea Pot

white vase

white tea cup

I love the simplicity of the white ceramic pieces against the deep chocolate table. I initially planned to print these in 8 x 10 format, but looking back at the wide expanse of wall, I think I may go up to 11x 14. I plan to mat these on white matboard and coordinate the frame with the table color.

Chocolate? Did someone say chocolate? I better find some now.

January 2, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

I spent most of yesterday playing around in Photoshop Elements 9 and Lightroom 3. These were probably my 2 favorite gifts after my camera and f1.4 50mm lens. Jerry seemed a bit disappointed that I spent so much time on the laptop, so I decided to spend some of my afternoon behind the lens.

Natalie’s peaceful face during her nap was too tempting. I waited until she had slept long enough, then snuck into her room, pulled up the roman shade and began snapping. She only stirred once and didn’t wake up until long after I left her to continue her peaceful rest.

Here are some of my favorites from this afternoon.

Thanks to Rita from The CoffeeShop Blog for her wonderful storyboard. This was my first attempt at using the clipping masks. I hit a couple of trouble spots in selecting the right pictures for each spot, but I think the end result is wonderful.

I also managed to sneak in a great naptime profile shot of Natalie that I plan to use for a silhouette later this week.

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