The Photographer’s Tools (Getting more out of Lightroom)

Portrait processed in Lightroom

In Mastering Lightroom: Book Four – The Photos (my latest ebook, published last week) I spend some time exploring the idea that photographers need to learn how to create images that fit their creative vision using the tools they have to hand in Lightroom.

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Mastering Lightroom: Book Four – The Photos

Mastering Lightroom Book Four cover

Special offer: Enter the code august2 at checkout to receive a discount of £2 off any ebook or ebook bundle. The offer expires at midnight, August 31, 2014 GMT.

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My latest ebook is released today.

Mastering Lightroom: Book Four – The Photos is the fourth in a series of five ebooks about Lightroom and is written for everybody everybody who wants to learn how to create beautiful photos in Lightroom. It builds on the lessons learnt in my earlier ebooks and shows you how to use some of Lightroom’s more advanced features to process your images. It contains ten Case Studies, with a detailed explanation of how I processed each one from start to finish. But just as importantly it also explains why, exploring my thought processes from the time I took the photo (yes, composition and light are just as important as post-processing) through to the finished image.

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How to Create the Black & White Matte Look in Lightroom

How to create the black and white matte look in Lightroom

You won’t have to look far to find Lightroom tutorials that state you should have both a pure black and a pure white in your photos (before digital, I was taught the same thing, but applied to black and white prints). The idea that you need at least a little black and white in a photo is not new. The main reason is that they are like anchor points for the eye that make it easier to discern and appreciate all the tones in between.

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Use Lightroom Better with the Amazing Alt/Option Key

Use Lightroom Better with the Amazing Alt/Option Key

Several of Lightroom’s most useful features are hidden, consequently you may be completely unaware of them until someone points them out. One of these is the Alt (PC)/Option (Mac) key. Adobe has given it a lot of functionality, but if you’ve never tried it you’re probably completely unaware of the extra options and shortcuts it adds.

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Alternatives to Photoshop

Alternatives to Photoshop

It’s my belief that Photoshop is becoming less relevant as a photo editing application. It never used to, mainly because there wasn’t a viable alternative (apart from Photoshop Elements). But now things have changed. The price and complexity of Photoshop means there’s a gap in the market for low cost, easy to use photo editing software. Several innovative software companies have worked hard to fill that space, and I’ll look at some of their offerings in this article.

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How to Improve the Speed and Performance of Lightroom

How to increase speed and performance in Lightroom

Lightroom is an amazing program but there will be times when it slows down, most noticeably when rendering previews or if you are running low on space on your primary hard drive. These tips will help you configure Lightroom so it runs as fast as possible on your system.

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Creating Art with Topaz Labs Clean

Topaz Labs Clean review

Topaz Labs Clean is a simple plug-in for removing texture or detail from photos. There’s some irony in this because in black and white photography I am looking for ways to enhance texture and detail. Indeed, it’s the ability of plug-ins like Silver Efex Pro 2 and Black & White Effects 2 to enhance texture in ways that you can’t in Lightroom or Photoshop that make them so appealing and useful. So it’s interesting to see that there is a plug-in that does the opposite. But why would you? There are three main applications:

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Lightgram Presets for Creative Photographers

Lightgram Lightroom Develop Presets review

In my previous two articles I looked at Alien Skin’s Exposure 5 – a plug-in that lets you process your colour photos or convert them to black and white in ways that are not possible in Lightroom. The main benefit of plug-ins like Exposure 5 is that they extend Lightroom’s capabilities, giving you new and easy ways to process photos that help you achieve your creative vision.

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An Introduction to Alien Skin’s Exposure 5 – Part II: Colour

Alien Skin Exposure 5 Lightroom plug-in

Last week I wrote about using the Exposure 5 plug-in from Alien Skin to convert colour photos to black and white. This week, I’m going to show you how you can use Exposure 5 to enhance your colour images. For me, while Exposure 5 is great for monochrome conversions, the colour side is where it really excels.

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An Introduction to Alien Skin’s Exposure 5: Part One – Black & White

Alien Skin Exposure 5 review

Lightroom is a powerful program, but it doesn’t do everything. One way to extend its range is to use Photoshop to handle the tasks that Lightroom can’t. Another is to use plug-ins. The main benefit of plug-ins is that they are easier to use than Photoshop, and are built to handle specific tasks extremely well. Over the next few weeks I will explore some of the best, showing you how to use them to create beautiful photos.

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Learn how to create beautiful photos in Lightroom with Mastering Lightroom: Book Four – The Photos