Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

What’s New in Lightroom (October 2023)

Adobe just added some new features to Lightroom/Lightroom Classic, and a couple of them are truly game-changers!

  • Lens Blur (Beta): You can create depth-maps on your photos to emulate shallow depth of field and bokeh. Despite being an early release, it’s actually quite good for some photos!
  • HDR Editing: Added support for HDR displays which allows you to edit your HDR images in a huge tone space. Spoiler alert: If you aren’t using a HDR display, you won’t benefit from this tool. You will also still need to tone-map your HDR images back to SDR space for printing and sharing.
  • Point Color Editor: This tool gives you precise control for adjusting hue, saturation, and brightness (luminance) of individual colors. But the game-changer is that it’s available in the Masking Panel! Now you can control individual colors on your selection masks like never before.

The Image Doctors #206

New England & Canada cruise, and new features in Lightroom!

This week, we’re back from a little vacation to New England and Canada on a cruise. We stopped in NYC, Newport, Rhode Island, Boston, and then St. John and Halifax in Canada. Hear what we shot with and more.

Adobe recently updated Lightroom with some cool new features, which we’ll discuss. You can also check out Jason’s YouTube video for a live demo!

No filter? No tripod? No problem

Shooting hand-held long exposures with the OM-1

Cascades in New Brunswick, Canada. 1/2s f/5.0 ISO 160, hand-held at 35mm (equivalent to 70mm on 35mm format).

I’m back from a nice trip to New England and Canada, and while fall colors can be hit or miss, I did find some fun landscape subjects. We were driving along the Fundy Trail Parkway in New Brunswick, when we came across a trailhead to a waterfall. After a short walk down some trail stairs, we found ourselves on a viewing platform. Of course, I hadn’t brought my tripod, nor a set of ND filters on this trip.

I did, however, have a polarizer, and I was able to take advantage of the Live ND feature in the OM Systems (Olympus) OM-1 camera. Live ND is a computation feature that simulates a solid ND filter for extended exposure times without using a glass filter, up to 6-stops. This feature, combined with the tremendous image stabilization in the OM-1 allowed me to easily capture sharp shots hand-held at 1/2 second while not needing to stop down to f/22. I simply braced myself on the railing and captured images until I was happy.

The Live ND feature is so useful for casual long exposure shooting that I’ve taken the extra step to assign it to a function button on my camera for easy recall. Photography should be fun, and this situation certainly was.

A is for Aesthetic

Understanding the creative aspect of lens aperture

Shallow depth of field provides subject isolation and sets images captured with dedicated digital cameras apart from those captured with smartphones.

We all learn in Photography 101 that the aperture setting is a physical property of the lens, and you can vary its size to control the amount of light entering your camera. Usually, we think of aperture as it relates to the rules of exposure.

Back when I was shooting film and early digital cameras, it was considered ideal to have a “fast” lens (meaning one with an aperture of f/2.8 or wider). Why? because with limited ISO options (remember film rarely was faster than ISO 800 and early DSLRs got noisy in a hurry above ISO 400), a fast lens meant you could shoot hand-held in dim conditions without a flash.

Today, ISO no longer limits most photographers. Sure, images are still cleaner and have greater dynamic range at a camera’s base ISO, but you can shoot above ISO 6400 these days pretty much with impunity. That means you have much more creative latitude to choose the aesthetic of your shots by varying the lens aperture.

Continue reading A is for Aesthetic

The Image Doctors #193

Getting Sharp Shots

This week, we revisit the age-old challenge of getting sharper shots. Sharp photos require a combination of camera settings, technique, and post-processing, and we’ll offer our suggestions for each one. If your photos aren’t sharp, it might have more to do with your camera settings than your focus system.

Show supporters can read our companion article here!