My question relates to the fact that each folder of pictures has a different set of keywords that shows up in the keywords list. So I have to re-enter keywords. How can I make a list universally available? And how can I make it the only list of keywords? I use Bridge.
Quick answer: Once you’ve entered a word on a keyword list, you shouldn’t have to re-enter that word when you’re working in a different folder of photos.
The Keyword list in Bridge can be exported/saved as a .txt document. You can import keyword lists as well. Then you can “Clear and Import” keyword lists. That brings a new list in and replaces the old list.
Most people, I suspect, have one list. That’s what happens in Lightroom. It’s just one big list. So that place you visited in Scotland stays on the list even though you’ll never use that keyword again.
I have Keyword lists. One for Costa Rican birds, for example. I have another for North American birds. I have a list for Italy. I have a list for Iceland, another for Norway, and another for Thailand. I import these when needed.
My “everyday” Keyword list is the North American birds. It has all my North American birds, butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, and plants. It has the seasons, bahaviors, and other things I might need for everyday processing. That list has locations I’ve birded and visited in the US since I seem to always photograph birds in addition to other things. I just went to Santa Fe so that’s now on my North American birds list.
I’ll go to Ireland in September. Before I leave, I’ll export my North American birds list to a folder on my computer where I keep all my keyword lists. That North American birds list will replace the one in the file, by the way. I’ve added things to it over the months so I want to keep the latest version.
Then I’ll “Clear and Import” with my Ireland keyword list. While working on photos in Ireland, I’ll add new locations. Beforehand, you can add new locations and things to an existing list since it’s just a .txt document. I could take the itinerary for my Ireland trip and add locations to it while it’s still a .txt document on my computer. (formatting is important by the way. See below.)
While in Ireland and until I finish processing those photos, the Ireland keyword list will be on my computer. This can be a pain if I wanted to switch between processing backyard birds and going back to the Ireland photos. That’s why some people like one big list.
October 2022 gave us the annual grande-sized upgrade to our Adobe products. When I logged on to my Adobe Cloud and clicked the Update tab on the left, I saw that my Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw, Bridge, and Lightroom all had updates.
The annual updates are historically big. Adobe sends the little stuff throughout the year and then WHAM! we get hit with the big stuff in October.
Warning! Update when you have time to review the changes. I wouldn’t suggest you push the Update tab when you have a big photo deadline looming. Things you use everyday might get moved, renamed, or combined. Yet, we also get some great new tools.
Here are the big things I really like in the 2022 Update
Bridge has a Workflow tab at the top. You can save workflows that you do on a regular basis. For example, your camera club wants monthly submissions at a specific ppi and size on the longest side of the photo. You can now do that workflow once and save it as a preset. Learn how to build a workflow by clicking the Learn More tab at the bottom of the Workflow screen. Or click this Workflow Builder tutorial from Adobe.
Bridge users who’ve attended my classes might notice that Bridge looks a bit different the first time you open it. Don’t freak out! Click the “Workspace 1” tab at the top. That’s the workspace I helped you build and it’s still there.
Adobe Camera Raw has changes too! Double-click a RAW file in Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw opens automatically. (Readers learned how to do this in my classes and via my YouTube videos.)
Lightroom’s Develop Module and Adobe Camera Raw do the same things so I’ll introduce all the new features together.
Masking has combined the old adjustment brush, radial filter, and graduated filter.
The tools behind this tab are HUGE! You can now click Select Subject and the software creates a mask around the subject. It does a pretty good job, too. Hover your cursor over the subject and you’ll see sliders on the right. Now you can process just for the subject.
Click Select Sky and the sky is selected. Hover your cursor over the sky and sliders appear. Now you can process just the sky.
Play around and you’ll see that you can enlarge, shrink, or fine-tune the mask.
Luminance Range allows you to only select a luminance range. Color Range allows you to select just certain colors. Then you can adjust that color only. Anyone for a bit more yellow in autumn leaves? A bit more turquoise in a cormorant’s eye?
Want to only adjust the shadows to change their tone? Here’s your way to do it.
Lightroom Users! This is a game changer for you. You now have layers.
Layers Resisters! This is a way for you to start using layers without having to really know all the technicals of Photoshop layers.
Adobe offers a great tutorial when you click on the Masking icon the first time. Read the instructions — they are super simple — and learn how to use this great new too.
Photoshop has some great new tools, too.
The toolbar now has Object Selection Tool. Click the icon and then watch the little circular arrows at the top. When the arrows stop turning, you know the software has selected an object. Nudge the software along if nothing happens by clicking on one of the subjects in the photo.
Once an object is selected, click the Adjustments palette on the right. Choose one type of Adjustment and a layer mask appears. (If you don’t see either of these, click Windows and be sure Layer is checked.) Those of you who know layers will find yourself right at home at this stage.
Another new thing is called Harmonization. Sometimes when we work with different photos in layers, we get colors that don’t really go together. This is especially true when we’re working with Textures.
Harmonization to the Rescue!
Click Filters>Neural Filters>Harmonization. A new pop-out panel will appear. (Click the download button to download the filter the first time.)
Wait, wait, wait!!! The process bar at the bottom of the photo shows you the software is working.
Once Harmonization is finished working, you can use the sliders to fine tune the color harmony. Click OK and a new layer is created in your layer stack. Now you can go in the layer masks, use black or white brushes, and clean-up the image.
Landscape Mixer is another interesting Neural Filter. Open a landscape photo in Photoshop. Click Filter>Neural Filters>Landscape Mixer. The Landscape Mixer shows up. (Click the Download button to get the filter the first time.)
Notice you have sliders for Sunset, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. I’ll move the Winter slider almost all the way to the right. Wait, wait, wait and watch the blue bar move slowly along its path.
The end product is Casa Grande in Big Bend National Park in the snow at twilight! The trees are green but that’s a minor problem. Notice that there are other option to choose from. I’ve given an extreme example but I can see how this tool might be useful to some photographers.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief overview. Adobe has given us some nice new tools. The tutorials provided by Adobe are simple and easy to understand. Update your software when you have some time to play. We’ve got a lot of new toys tools.
Comments? Did I miss any new features that you like? Post below.
My photography students and photo friends frequently ask me how to resize a photograph. It’s super easy in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw.
Why would you need to resize a photograph?
A teacher like me asks that you submit homework at a particular size and ppi. (PPI is pixels per inch).
A photo contest needs the images to be a particular size.
Your camera clubs asks that photo be submitted a certain size.
You want to email a photo to someone but the photo out of the camera is too big.
You’re building a Powerpoint or Keynote program and a lot of images to be resized so they project well.
Photos on your website need to be a particular size.
From Lightroom Library, right click on the image or images, and select Export.
In Bridge, select the photo or photos to export (or save), right-click to open in Adobe Camera Raw. Once in Adobe Camera Raw, select the image(s) and select the tiny “save” icon. You’ll see that when you hover your mouse over one photo.
What size photo do you need?
Powerpoint or Keynote images look best when resized to 1280 pixels on the longest side at 96 pixels/inch resolution in jpg
Instagram likes 500 pixels square at 96 pixels/inch in jpg
Printing? Use the sizes recommended by your printer or printing company. You might need a tiff so do some research.
Webpage photos vary but jpgs at 800 pixels on the longest side at 96 pixels/inch show well and don’t take too long to load
Short lesson that I hope answers some of your questions. Comments welcome below.
The Photoshop program is becoming less and less needed. At one time, all the tools were in Photoshop.
Then Adobe made Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and moved Photoshop’s photography tools into sliders. We had everything we needed to process our photos in one place. Adobe gave us Bridge as a “light table” where we could layout all our photos and work with them.
Then Adobe made Elements and put photography tools into sliders.
Then Adobe made Lightroom and put those same photography tools into sliders. Lightroom took the Bridge concept to a new level. Lightroom’s Library is a database so you can layout lots of photos from different folders onto a “light table” and work with them.
Lightroom’s Library is super-powerful and super-complicated. I recommend the Scott Kelby book to learn and understand Library. Life gets complicated when you update computers, work on two external hard drives, merge or split catalogues, etc. Sometimes you have to call in an expert because the Library is a mess.
Thanks to Adobe we have three programs to process our photos.
· Bridge/Adobe Camera Raw,
· Elements, or
The one you choose is up to you. Bridge/Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom do exactly the same thing when it comes to processing. The difference is interface.
Bridge/Adobe Camera Raw lets you file your photos the way you want.
Lightroom files your photos for you and you need to understand what it’s doing. Hence the need for Scott Kelby’s book, lots of online videos, The Lightroom Queen, etc. I tell people on my workshops “I will not help you find your lost photos in Lightroom. I will help you process your photos in Lightroom.” If you use Lightroom, take time to understand the Library feature. In my experience, this happens in only 25% of Lightroom users.
Personally, I find the Bridge/Adobe Camera Raw combination easier to use. I copy my pictures from my card to a folder under My Pictures, open Bridge, go to that folder, start processing. Simple and easy. The 25% who understand Lightroom’s Library say the same thing about Lightroom. (The Lightroom versus Adobe Camera Raw argument is amazing among photographers. More powerful than Mac vs. PC or Canon vs. Nikon.)
But what about Photoshop? Photoshop has Layers and we still occasionally need layers. There are still photographers who use layers to make vignettes even though we have a slider for vignette in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw. There are still photographers who use Layers to open shadows despite the great shadow slider in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom.
Layers in Photoshop are needed for a lot of advanced processing. Merging star trails, for example. Merging lightning strikes for a more dramatic photo, for example. Photos with light painting need layers. We can make a mat for our photos in Layers. Good stuff happens in Layers and we can only get that in Photoshop.
At one time, we could only get panoramas with Layers. Now we have a feature in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw for that.
I’ll offer a Photoshop Layers class in the coming weeks. Layers is a powerful tool but has a steep learning curve. I’m not a master but know how to get what I need – most of the time.
I’m working through a folder of photos I took on a recent photo tour to the Lofoten Islands. We were at Haukland Beach late in the afternoon. The weather was mild, wind was calm, and the sea was spectacular.
At one point, I found a large rock out in the surf that was stable enough to stand on. I extended my tripod legs to the max, stabilized the camera, and then let the incoming waves wash around me while photographing. It was an exciting experience.
Yet, when I looked at the photos on my computer there was no escaping the fact that the horizon was crooked in each shot. I made a novice mistake of framing the photo with a slanted horizon.
The usual correction would be to use the straighten tool in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom. In this instance, though, that would cut-off part of the mountain at the top of the frame.
Crop with Content-Aware to the rescue.
Adobe software allows us to crop with Content-Aware. Content-Aware fills in gaps created when we crop. Amazing tool! Here’s how to do it.
The photography world is awash with presets. Companies like Luminar and Nik offer great presets. I’m a big fan and use presets from both companies.
Yet, I think photographers need to learn how to use presets.
Just because you can use a preset, doesn’t mean you should use a preset. We used to say the same about the saturation slider, by the way. Just because the slider goes all the way to the right, doesn’t mean you should move it all the way to the right.
What’s a preset? Presets are “pre-made” formulas for processing an image. The various sliders in a software are “pre-set” to give a specific look. Presets are a bit like using the Auto mode on your camera. Auto mode is okay but it’s better when you really learn how to use the camera.
I’ve used presets for years to process HDR image. It was simple to scroll through the presets in Photomatix back in the old days to get the HDR look I wanted. Critics were screaming “HDR looks so fake!” because photographers were overdoing the presets in Photomatix.
HDR looked great, though, if the processing was in moderation. A photo editor once asked me to send “more of those dreamy-looking photos” for a project. Those “dreamy photos” were HDR images with moderate processing.
Today we have presets from big companies, small companies, and individuals. A photographer recently told me that he only uses Pentax presets because that’s how Pentax files are designed to be processed. Turns out someone has made presets and is marketing them to Pentax users.
I recently watched a photographer accept gushing praise for an image that I know was processed with a preset. The processing wasn’t that great. To the uneducated eye, though, the photographer appeared to be on location at the exact right magical moment when the light was perfect. Nope! The magic came from a preset.
Photos entered in a recent contest were passed over by the judges because the presets were so exaggerated. These were possible winning images but the processing was too much. The photographer needs to learn where, when, and how to use presets.
I’m not suggesting that presets go away. I’m suggesting photographers learn how to process. We should understand what’s going on with the software and use it when and where it’s needed. Exaggerate all you want but tone it down when it’s appropriate.
Below I’ll show you my photos that are reasonably processed and then exaggerated with presets.
Yes, I use presets to enhance my creativity. I use presets sometimes to show me the potential of an image. Presets can support our creative vision as well as ruin it.
Below are some images that I processed with presets — and was thankful for the power of presets.
Great companies like Luminar and Nik make presets. Photographers should learn where, when, and how to use use them.
It’s interesting to compare images processed in Adobe Camera Raw then enhanced with Nik Color Efex Pro 4 versus Macphun Intensify. I’ve done pretty simple processing on each of the photos you see below. Each was processed in a minute or so — if that much.
Once again, simple processing on each image. Nothing complicated. No dodging, burning, layers, etc. Just some basic processing.
I was impressed with Nik but I’m really impressed with Macphun.
Some say that HDR, or high-dynamic range, is a great way to remove tourists from our photos taken in busy vacation locations. Well, maybe sometimes.
First some explanations. HDR is high-dynamic range photography. Our eye sees 22-stops of light but the camera can capture about 5-stops. HDR images allow us to photograph details in the shadows while still maintaining details in the highlights.
To create a HDR photo, we take 2 or more photos from the same location and vary the exposure. The examples below have been created from seven photos. The exposures range from balanced light meter to -3-stops all the way to +3-stops.
HDR software has an option to deghost or remove people. Deghosting removes people from the final photo if those people didn’t appear in the same spot in all the photos. There’s usually a scale so we can vary the intensity of deghosting. I’ve set the deghosting to maximum on each image.
You see that people are still in my photo of the busy street in San Gimignano, Italy. The only person who stood still through all seven photos was the man in the gray windbreaker on the left. Everyone else moved. The lady in the orange coat walked straight at the camera through all seven photos. The man with the umbrella walked across the scene from right to left.
In conclusion, the crowded street is still crowded with people. The different software, though, handled processing in a variety of ways.
Here are the seven photos used to build these HDR photos.