There is no shortage of Raw photo processing software that can be used to convert your images from Raw to many other formats (TIFF, PSD, JPG, etc.). Examples include Adobe Lightroom, Alien Skin Exposure X4 and Phase One Capture One Pro 12. Most photo processors also have powerful editing capabilities. And one thing I should note is that even if you don’t take photos using the Raw format that your camera may offer as an option, these programs work very well with other formats (even JPGs from smartphones). At their core, most of these programs are what’s known as “non-destructive editors,” which means that no matter what adjustments you make inside the software, you can easily get back to the original version of your images if you like, instead of having to make multiple copies before you begin editing. Lightroom has been my “go-to” application for years, but I’m always interested in seeing what else is out there.
That brings me to an impressive Raw photo processing application called Luminar 3 with Libraries. For the first time, the folks at Skylum have added a Library-based workflow to their application. I recently saw a live demo of the software, and I was very impressed by the speed at which viewing and editing can be done. I also like how easy they make seeing “before and after” effects with the slide of a bar across the screen. They also have some “AI” features and a sky enhancer that can dramatically improve the look of photos very quickly.
Currently, the DAM (Digital Asset Management) and other tools are not nearly as robust as in Lightroom (for example, there is no keyword support and no ability to create virtual copies). However, the folks at Skylum have been working to implement many more features, and to get an idea about what’s in store for the application in 2019 (which includes keywords and virtual copies), visit this page to see their planned roadmap.
I think that the video below by Trey Ratcliff can help you to get a good feel for how Luminar 3 with Libraries is different from other editors, and what its like working with the new Libraries features inside of the application:
For now, I personally will mostly be using Luminar 3 with Libraries to do edits that I feel can be done better (or much faster) than what I can do in Lightroom or another application. Or, I may process specific projects through the application so that I can quickly rate and edit a large number of images. For files that I would like to then manage in Lightroom, I will export my files from Luminar 3 with Libraries to a folder and then import them into Lightroom. If you keep your files managed with a non-destructive editor like Luminar 3 with Libraries or Lightroom, there’s no need to export your files until you need them for another purpose, like sending them to a photo lab for printing.
PRICING, AVAILABILITY AND A SPECIAL OFFER
Pricing for Luminar 3 with Libraries is currently $59 (normally $69). Also, you can save an additional $10 with promo code: IMAGINGBUFFET (look for the link to “Enter Promotional Code” at checkout). Also, unlike many other software companies’ licenses, one license covers 5 Macs or PCs (check their terms for specific details). Satisfaction is also guaranteed, with a 45 Day money back policy. If you currently own Luminar 2018, you are able to upgrade to Luminar 3 with Libraries for no fee. Also check the website for other possible discount offers if you own other products from Skylum Software.
Also, when you purchase Luminar 3 with Libraries by 12/19/2018 at 5AM PST, you will receive all of the bonuses listed below (if you are thinking of taking a trip to Iceland and like the tours offered by Iceland Photo Tours, that bonus alone is very attractive):
For more information and to claim this very special offer, visit THIS PAGE.
I also have two more “Holiday Specials” to share:
1. The folks over at PhotoshopCAFE have a 15% coupon on everything in their store for at least the next four days (the promo code is 5days2018). To see all of the amazing video training they offer, visit this page. I just purchased their Making Movies in Photoshop Video Training. You can find that title HERE.
2. A few years ago, I created a GoFundMe page for my son Tyler’s intensive Autism treatment in Massachusetts. The results have been fantastic (what we learned we use every day, and Tyler has made great progress). As part of the rewards that were offered, two were consulting packages with me so that I can help others with their workflow, camera setup, custom printer profiles, printing (on their own printer or by using an outside service). I’ve decided to make those two packages available again for a limited time (until 12/31/2018). You will be saving $219 off my standard 6 hr rate ($975 for 6 hrs), and $255 off my standard 10 hr rate ($1,495 for 10 hrs). When I sent the offer to my newsletter subscribers, I was asked if I would create a special offer for consulting sessions under six hours, so I am now also offering a two-hour laser-focused session for just $350 (each additional hour is just $162.50; the same as the hourly rate of my 6-hr special consulting special).
To see if we are a good fit for each other, just reserve a no obligation 15 minute Strategy Session with me HERE, and if we decide that we’d like to work together, you can then choose from either consulting option. I’m also happy to create gift certificates for any of my consulting packages (they are 100% refundable if the person who you give the consulting to decides it’s not right for them after we speak for about 15 minutes).
That’s it for now! I wish you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season, and please don’t forget to back up your precious photos and videos.
All the best,
(Full disclosure: I have an affiliate relationship with Skylum Software (makers of Luminar 3 with Libraries), so I will receive a commission if you use my promo code or links above. However, your pricing before any promotional discounts is the same as if you visit their website directly. I have no affiliate relationship with any of the other companies listed above).
Lightroom Classic CC is a fantastic application for cataloging photos, but because this feature is turned off by default, many people don’t realize that you can display important information about each photo, video or other image file in the Library Module just above each photo. To do that, we need to select the View Options menu item. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial for the process:
1. To access the Library View Options dialog box (shown below), choose View>View Options under the top menu. Then check Show Grid Extras and select Expanded Cells from the dropdown menu to add any four criteria from a large selection of options (Compact cells can hold up to two items).
2. There are a number of other options you can also choose, such as how strong a tint to apply to cells if you’ve chosen a color label for them, but the most important options to edit in my opinion can be found under Expanded Cell Options. There, you can select from many different choices, including the File Name, Extension (JPG, TIFF, RAW files, etc), Rating, and even camera EXIF data, such as Shutter Speed and ISO. You can see some of the options I commonly use in the screenshot. I also like to check Show Rating Footer with Include Color Label and Include Rotation Buttons selected, so that I can quickly see how many stars (or which label) I’ve assigned specific images.
EXTRA SUPER SECRET TIP!
Did you know that you can also right click (Control Click on Mac OS) on any of the criteria above any photo to change what’s displayed? I always look for time-saving tips like this!
I hope that this tip has been very helpful.
Would you like more tips like this delivered directly to your in-box?
If you don’t receive my email updates, I invite you to sign up below (if you are already signed up, the system will let you know). When you sign up, you will instantly receive links and passwords to three Lightroom workflow videos, PLUS a link to a guide to help you select the right file sizes for making fine-art or other prints.
UPCOMING LIGHTROOM WORKSHOP
I’m really looking forward to returning to the NJ Media Center in Berkeley Heights, NJ on Sunday, October 14, 2018 to teach the following full-day workshop on Lightroom editing and printing. I’m offering a 1 hr 45 minute follow-up one-on-one consultation (a $300+ value) for those who register by Friday, 10/5/2018.
Mastering Fine-Art Printing with Lightroom w/ Andrew Darlow
Date: Sun. 10/14/2018
Investment: $167 + $30 Materials fee (Total: $197)
Lightroom Classic CC offers many powerful features, but without a good foundation and understanding of its tools, it’s easy to get frustrated. In this full day lecture and hands-on workshop, I will focus on helping you get the most from your images from start to finish.
Here’s what one participant had to say about a similar workshop: “I’m a full-frame DSLR camera user and I have a considerable amount of experience with Photoshop. However, I didn’t know how to organize my photographs properly, and I was getting frustrated trying to edit my photos inside of Lightroom. The full-day workshop had a lot of information, but it was very well presented, in an easy to follow way. Andrew is extremely professional and he managed a very diverse group, keeping everyone happy and on-course, which is not easy. I picked up a lot of editing tips and shortcuts that would have been much more time consuming for me to research online on my own.” – Branch Watkins
P.S. I also welcome you to join any of our three Meetup Groups if you would like to be invited to attend events like photo walks, workshops, etc. in the future.
As usual, I had a great time at the PhotoPlus Expo in New York City. There was so much to see that my head was spinning! It was also nice to reconnect with many familiar faces. And as usual, I have a long list of companies and products that I’m racing to share with you so that you can see what I saw if you are attending the show on Day 2 or 3 (Fri. 10/21/2016 or Sat. 10/22/2016).
Here is a page on the PhotoPlus Expo site with a full list of exhibitors in case you’d like more info about the ones below or any others at the show.
Also, if you’d like to read my other article about the Expo, which includes info on how to get a free Expo only pass, here it is. So without further ado, here are about 25 companies in 20 booths (listed in alphabetical order) that I’d like to highlight.
Booth 361 – This company (according to their website), is the largest manufacturer of acrylic photo decor and full-color personalized acrylic keepsakes in the world, and they truly know how to face-mount to acrylic. Their prints and photo blocks are stunning, and one of the things that sets them apart is that they offer the option of having the edges of their acrylic prints beveled, which gives them a very nice look. The hanging options they offer are also very elegant and strong. They are also giving out cards at the show with discount codes for their services.
Adobe.com (The Adobe Theater)
Rear of the Expo Hall near the PDN Gallery and Booth 170 – I could have stayed here most of the day learning new tips and tricks from experts who really know their stuff. Below is a photo with the full schedule of presentations.
Canon U.S.A.: Power of Print Pavilion
Booth 973 – Canon is making 17×22 inch prints for any attendee who stops by the Pavilion with an image from your phone, flash drive, or memory card. For best results, I recommend that you prepare a file at about 200-300 ppi at about 16×20 inches. Prints will be output on papers from either Moab by Legion Paper or Innova Art. I would try to get there as early as possible to minimize wait times. They are also featuring an impressive group of speakers there on all three days.
Epson America Inc
Booth 707 – Epson’s booth is always impressive, and this year is no exception. Seeing so many prints on so many papers can really help you decide which one might be right for your work. You can also see their newest P-series line of printers.
Booth 437 – Hahnemühle’s booth is another favorite of mine to visit each year, primarily because you can browse printed samples of so many of their papers. They have a new limited edition black portfolio box for the Super A3/Super B size only (also known as 13×19 inches) with three fine-art paper options. You can find out more about it here. The boxes have a notched area that allows for the paper to be easily removed, which is a nice touch that combines stability and convenience.
Booth 1055 – Hoodman is constantly innovating, and in addition to their loupes for DSLRs and video cameras, they were showing quite a few hoods for use when flying drones. They even make a hood for GoPro units called the H-200 (about $20).
Booth 1148: This is another great company who makes inkjet papers. Here is an overview of two new art papers developed in cooperation with Fabriano, as well as information about their new Editions Line of inkjet papers. Their booth also features some stunning large format prints of Marilyn Monroe photographed by Milton H. Greene.
Booth 948 – LumeCube launched with a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 and their main lighting product is nothing short of amazing. It’s a small cube that produces super-bright daylight-balanced light. You can even control the LumeCubes with an iOS or Android device, which allows for much more control. They also offer a 5-Pack Colored Cap Kit for about $10 that interfaces with the app so that you can easily tell one LumeCube from another. They were also showing new aluminum “cages” for gels and other light modifiers. And for drone owners who want to light up the sky, they recently released mounts without lights as well as custom lighting kits for specific drones that include two LumeCube units.
Booth 948 – Last year at the show I purchased quite a few MagMod accessories, which are designed to work with just about any shoe-mount flash or continuous light. What makes their system unique is how the accessories connect via a magnetic system to the lights. I highly recommend stopping by to see their innovative products, and you can even bring your own flash to test out their products.
Booth 555 – Manfrotto has so many outstanding products, from tripods and “video monopods” that have small retractable feet, to bags that can carry many light stands and other equipment.
Moab by Legion Paper
Booth 848 – Moab has a very large selection of high quality inkjet papers and the prints they show in their booth are truly stunning, including a panoramic print of a glacier and ship by Joshua Holko which he photographed in Antarctica. It must be seen to be believed! For more of his incredible work, visit this page.
Booth 558 –Photo booths are extremely popular, and this company has a number of affordable solutions that impressed me. They simplify everything and their hardware looks great. You can even test it out and walk away with a print and/or a 4 frame animated GIF!
My Case Builder
Booth 1069 – This company does something truly amazing: they custom cut foam inserts similar to the open case that’s in the photo below in the Nanuk booth photo. In fact, the company resells Nanuk cases as well as other cases so you can choose both a case and a custom insert at the same time. They recommend you actually ship your gear to them so that they can properly fit everything, but if you have standard cameras, etc., you can have them create an insert online without having to send any gear in.
Booth 170 – This company makes some super-strong hard cases for a very wide range of devices. Some even have extension handles to make carrying them through airports and other locations much easier. They also have cases that are perfect for light stands.
OWC (Other World Computing)
Booth 462 – If you are not familiar with OWC, you should first take a look at their site, macsales.com. If you need an empty enclosure for any hard drive, a RAID system with drives, a new SSD drive, a dual hard drive “bay” to run bare hard drives/SSD drives in, or if you are looking for a reconditioned Apple laptop, iMac, or other Mac, they are definitely a place to check out.
Booth 661 – Peak Design is a company that I’ve been very impressed by for years. I’ve been using their Capture Clips (Capture and Capture PRO) since their first Kickstarter campaign in May of 2011. Since then, they’ve done a few more hugely successful Kickstarters, and recently, they really hit a home run with over $6 million raised for a number of new camera/gear bags. Here’s a great story about Peter Dering, the company’s founder and CEO. Their booth at the show is very well laid out, with all of the gear at eye level and on tables just in front of the items.
Booth 949 – This company’s booth is truly spectacular! They specialize in custom flash drives as well as boxes and related items that hold prints, USB thumb drives, etc. They also recently introduced slip-in mats that they call “Simply Slip-Ins Archival.” They are also running a “Virtual Trade Show” during the PhotoPlusExpo on their site at PhotoFlashDrive.com.
Photofocus (Featuring Four Exhibitors: Perfectly Clear by Athentech, Platypod Pro, and Plotagraph)
Booth 869 – I give the folks at Photofocus a lot of credit for putting together an awesome booth packed with great hardware, software and friendly people answering questions about photography, Lightroom, etc. I’m honored to have written quite a few articles on Photofocus.com, and I highly recommend the website.
Re: the companies whose products are being featured in their booth, I watched an impressive demo of the Perfectly Clear plug-ins by Levi Sim (see photo below). With just a few presets and slider adjustments, he was able to dramatically improve an environmental portrait.
The Platypod Pro products are so simple, but powerful. They are essentially weighted plates (currently there are three options) that can hold all types of gear, including ballheads, cameras and lights. At the booth there are a number of them set up with different equipment. You can even thread some webbing (a.k.a. strapping) or a tension strap through the Platypod Pros’ belt slots and wrap them around trees, strap them to railings, etc. Levi Sim wrote a great article about how he used the Platypod Pro Max while hiking, and Richard Harrington, also from Photofocus.com, wrote a very good article about the Platypod Pro Max here. This Facebook post from Platypod Pro shows how you can even use cable ties to secure the Platypod Pro (not sure if you can do this with all of them, but you can see how it is done here with a Platypod Pro Base Plate).
Plotagraph is a software that’s truly amazing. Essentially, you can turn a still image into one that has motion. Picture a scene with clouds that can be animated to look as though they are moving. I had a demo with the inventor of the software and CEO of the company, Troy Plota, and I look forward to testing it out for myself soon. Below are Troy Plota’s hands using an iPad Pro to make adjustments to one of my photographs using the software. I learned that fireworks photos take some expertise to animate well!
And for those interested in attending a photo walk Friday evening, 10/21, Photofocus will be meeting in Times Square at 7pm. For details, visit this page. There is no need to sign up to attend, but if you do register (as long as there are still free tickets remaining), you will be eligible for prizes from the three companies listed above who are exhibiting in the Photofocus booth, as well as ThinkTAP Learn.
Booth 519 – Sony’s booth, like usual, is very impressive. They have a number of model photography areas, and the photos on the wall taken with Sony gear also look great. You will also find a café inside the booth serving coffee and other beverages, which was a nice touch!
Booth 124 – I always like visiting the Westcott booth to see their lighting and modifiers, such as their Rapid Box, which is available in a number of sizes. Below is an embedded post from Instagram from their booth:
NEWSLETTER & LIGHTROOM VIDEOS
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