Softproofing in Lightroom: A Quick Tip

Hi Folks:

In my opinion, digital photo printing is equal parts art and science. It covers much greater depth than can be contained within one blog post, so if that’s what you’re looking for, there are plenty of other resources on the ‘net. If you want an introduction to photography and colour management, you might want to start here: Photography and Colour Management.

Okay, this is going to be a quick (for me) blog post. Assuming that you have some understanding of colour models, you know that while Lab is completely device independent, CMYK is completely device dependent (RGB is somewhere in the middle). As Vincent Versace has been known to say, printers are default devices: they only work with the information you send them. As such, the colour on a print relies on the printer and the inkset it contains, the paper chosen and the .icc profile for that paper. The printer profile is a set of instructions that translate the RGB colour space from your monitor into a CMYK colour space that your printer will recognize. Every printer/ paper combination has its own .icc profile, whether custom made for an individual machine or provided by the paper manufacturer for their stock. Now, while the only way to know 100% what your print will look like is to print it (known as hardproofing), one can get most of the way there by softproofing. This simulates (as much as possible) what the print will look like on your computer screen. Once you have an idea what the print will look like, you can modify the settings to make the print emulate what you want. Keep in mind that monitors are emissive devices (they project light) while paper reflects light.

Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month – February

Hi Folks:

One of the things we love about Victoria is that there are always so many things to do (we have to choose from at least eight events that we know of for this Saturday). In February we like to participate in ‘Be A Tourist in Your Own Hometown‘, and as part of that we invested several hours at the world-famous Butchart Gardens. We even got shuttled there in CVS Tours‘ EV550 electric bus!

February was also bitterly cold (We had snow! In February!!) but being the brave pioneers that we are, we soldiered on. Because of the cold the flowers this year are severely retarded, but we had a wonderful time. There wasn’t as much colour, but still lots to see.

So, Marcia’s image first. In addition to the gardens, Butchart also has an inside floral display, which was packed full with orchids and so many different species of flowers of all shapes and sizes. There was our colour! Amidst the hustle and bustle of all of that beauty she found this quiet point of reflection:

Overflowing With Beauty

Overflowing With Beauty

NB: Mike suggested several other (and equally fascinating) titles, like ‘One Good Urn Deserves Another’, ‘Taking an Urn for the Better’ and ‘Urn, Baby, Urn… Disco Inferno’ but she rejected them all in favour of her own idea (heavy sigh).

Since Marcia’s image was all about stillness, Mike’s was all about movement. Within the gardens there’s a building that houses an old-fashioned carnival merry-go-round. The children (and adults) riding on it had a lot of fun. Unfortunately there’s no way to capture the squeals and giggles in a still image but they’re there nonetheless.

Trans-Dimensional Fun

Trans-Dimensional Fun

Okay. That’s it for today. Now go out and make some photographs!

Hugs,

M&M

Photo of the Month – January

Hi Folks:

January was somewhat of a month of recuperation for us, and as such we didn’t make a lot of images. We did get out some, however! As always, Marcia’s image is first. This is a close-up image of some frost (uncommon for Victoria) on the glass of a bus shelter. Marcia loves her flower photography and although we did have flowers blooming in January, today we’re presenting some ‘frost flowers’ instead.

Frost Flowers

Frost Flowers

This second image is Mike’s and shows the reflection of a Garry oak tree in a tidal pool in Victoria’s inner harbour. In more ways than one, the branching patterns are ‘returning to the sea’.

Returning to the Sea

Returning to the Sea

Both images were made with our phones, and both were pushed around a bit in Lightroom.

Okay, that’s it for today. Now go out and make some photographs!!

Hugs,
M&M

Using Dehaze with Lightroom 6.x

Hi Folks:

One of the features available in Lightroom CC 2015.x that’s not available with Lightroom 6.x is the Dehaze tool. I’m not sure what magical coding is going on behind the curtain, but if it’s possible to duplicate this effect using the other sliders, it’s neither inherently obvious (at least to me) nor easy to do so. If you have a Lr CC subscription, updating to the latest version should give you access to the Dehaze tool. If you’re using a standalone version of Lr 6, all is not lost – thanks to Stu over at Prolost.com – as he’s made a series of presets available for download. You can buy the Dehaze presets as part of a larger preset package here, or you can download only the Dehaze presets for free (or by donation) here.

If you have Lr CC2015.1 or later the Dehaze slider will be under the Effects panel in the Develop module (below Grain). It’s also available as a slider with the mask tools (Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, etc). If you’re using Lr 6.1 or later, using Dehaze will only be possible using the downloaded presets mentioned above. As such, one of the limitations is that the presets are in graduations of 10 – i.e. one can add 50 or 60, but not 53 the way one could set the slider in Lr CC.

Continue Reading →

2017 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

This is the seventh year now that we’ve made our MS Word photo calendar templates available, and as with the past couple of years, we’ve also created a series of templates and calendar images you can use with Lightroom or other graphics software. As we did last year we’ve also added a full-page calendar option, below. 

I created a template in MS Word that allows people who don’t have Photoshop, Lightroom or the equivalent to make their own photo calendars, so we’ll cover that first; the Lightroom stuff is below that. I used MS Word 2007 to make the template, but saved it as both a Word 2007 file and a Word 97-2003 compatible file. Basically it’s a series of tables, one for each month, that look something like this:

Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month – November

Hi Folks:

November was a busy, restless month for us, and so we’ve chosen images that highlight some of the quieter moments we had in order to provide some balance. Marcia’s is first – an image of Thetis Lake Regional Park in Langford – and a place and a space for quiet reflection. Marcia loves her arbutus trees! (After we left the park we stopped at The Nest Café for some lunch and a very good hot chocolate… 😉 )

Thetis Lake Regional Park

Quiet Reflection at Thetis Lake

Mike’s is next, and this image shows an area of John Dean Provincial Park known as ‘John Dean’s Pool’.

John Dean Provincial Park

John Dean’s Pool

Spending time in the woods has always provided much-needed solace for us.

Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!!

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – October

Hi Folks:

It’s raining heavily as this post is being written; many locals complain about our wet time of the year but we look forward to knowing that the aquifer (and us and everything else) will appreciate the water next summer during our dry period. Apparently we had 26 days of rain in October this year… too much of a good thing, perhaps? 🙂

Collectively we made a good number of images over the past month; as usual selecting just two was a challenge but here’s what we have to offer.

Marcia’s image first.

Stepping into Fogtober

Stepping into Fogtober

This image was made in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park, showcasing a copper beech tree and morning fog. In addition to the rain we get, October is also a month where we get a lot of fog…to the point that our 10th month is often referred to as ‘Fogtober’.

Fall Colours

Fall Colours

While Vancouver Island doesn’t have as many large deciduous forests as there are in eastern North America, there are some places around Victoria to view autumn colours. Beacon Hill Park is one, Ross Bay Cemetery is another. But there’s another kind of colour here, and that comes from chalk art playfully rendered into form. In our opinion this piece is worth submitting to the National Gallery in Ottawa, but we’re quite happy to leave it where it is. Our appreciations to the artist!

Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!! (and don’t forget the brollie…)

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – September

Hi Folks:

September was a busy month for Victoria, hosting (among other things) the Classic Boat Festival, the Chalk Art Festival and a visit from the British Royal family. However, in sorting through the 1100+ images we made last month, we were drawn once again to images we made in Beacon Hill Park. It really is a magical place for us. Continue Reading →

Creative Use of the Lightroom Radial Filter

Hi Folks:

It’s been a while since we did a Lightroom tutorial, so it must be time for another one. The Radial Filter is our focus this time; it’s the third and most recent of the three tools in Lightroom (the Adjustment Brush and the Graduated Filter being the other two) that allow you to target specific parts of the image by masking out certain areas and making adjustments to the rest. As such the Radial Filter uses the same layout and the same presets as the other two tools. Let’s get started. Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month – August

Hi Folks:

One of the benefits of living where we do is that we’re frequent visitors to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park. In addition to the many trees from all over the world, shrubs, perennials, ferns, etc. the park staff plant several thousand flowers every year. And we haven’t mentioned the wildlife, from dragonflies to black-tailed deer. It’s a wonderful place to visit, and the changes through the seasons are something to behold.

As usual we have two images for our photo of the month post, one from Marcia and one from Mike. Both were made with our cell phone cameras, and both were pushed around a bit in Lightroom. Continue Reading →