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7 Tips for Making Lightroom Run Faster

Not happy with Lightroom’s sluggish performance on your computer? Here’s a helpful 15-minute video in which photographer and instructor Anthony Morganti shares a number of helpful tips for optimizing your Lightroom’s performance.

The tips are various settings you can adjust and tools you can run inside Lightroom, from Catalog Settings to Preferences and more. Since photographers have different workflows and needs, customizing how Lightroom runs can help make it run faster for your own purposes.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the main performance optimization tips discussed in-depth in the video:

#1. Build 1:1 Previews: Make Lightroom create a 1:1 preview of your photo files, trading extra disk space and slower importing for faster performance while working with your photos.

#2: Discard Previews: Have Lightroom automatically discard your 1:1 previews after a certain number of days to free up disk space.

#3: Preview Size and Quality: Make sure your preview size and quality and set to appropriate settings for your monitor.

#4: Camera Raw Cache Settings: Increase your cache size as large as you can from the default of 1GB.

#5: Use Graphics Professor: Try enabling or disabling the use of your graphics processor to see if that improves performance.

#6: Smart Previews: You can give up disk space and editing quality by using Smart Previews for faster performance.

#7: Optimize Catalog: Use the built-in optimization tool to keep things humming along over time.

Watch the video at the top of the post for a more detailed look at how you can make these adjustments and what they can do for you.

The video is episode #92 in Morganti’s helpful Lightroom Quick Tips video series. You can find his entire collection of videos on his YouTube channel.

(via Anthony Morganti via Fstoppers)

The 10 Most Popular PetaPixel Posts of 2016

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Another year has come to a close. As we wrap up 2016, here’s a look back at the 10 most popular posts published on PetaPixel over the past 365 days.

#10: Brides Magazine: Don’t Feed Your Photographers

Brides magazine angered a lot of wedding photographers by telling brides they shouldn’t feed their photographers.

#9: Phil Collins Reshot All His Original Album Covers for the 2016 Reissues

Musician Phil Collins reshot his old album cover photos in the exact same style.

#8: Nikon Awards Prize to Badly ‘Shopped Photo, Hilarity Ensues

Nikon Singapore drew scoffs and jeers after awarding a photo prize to an obviously Photoshopped photo.

#7: This Photo of a Potato Sold for Over $1,000,000

Photographer Kevin Abosch made headlines after his photo titled “Potato #345 (2010)” purportedly sold for over $1 million.

#6: This Photo Was Shot Over the Course of 26 Hours at an African Watering Hole

Photographer Stephen Wilkes camped out at a watering hole for 26 hours and turned his photos into an amazing composite image that shows night turning into day.

#5: This is Canon’s Crazy DSLR Stockpile at the Rio Olympics

An eye-opening look at Canon’s DSLR gear stockpile at the Rio Olympic Games.

#4: GoPro Strapped to a Hot Wheels Car Captures Every Little Kid’s Dream Drive

A GoPro HERO5 Session strapped to a Hot Wheels car hurtling down a track creates an incredible (and incredibly viral) video.

#3: Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times Covers After the World Series

Comparing the front page cover photos of the Chicago Tribune (which employs staff photojournalists) and the Chicago Sun-Times (which laid off its photographers in 2013) after the World Series finale.

#2: This Animation Was Created Using Old Photos from the Early 1900s

A beautiful short film created by printing photos from the early 1900s to life.

#1: Nat Geo Launched a Free Website for Printing Detailed Topographical Maps

National Geographic published every US Geological Survey (USGS) topographical map from across the United States onto one site for people to view and print out.


You can also find the most popular PetaPixel posts of all time on this page. Thanks so much for reading PetaPixel in 2016! See you next year!

The Excuses Photographers Make

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Photographers make all kinds of excuses, whether out of lack of experience or just because they thought something to be common knowledge (which it often isn’t). Taking ownership of your work and communicating expectations is crucial on the path to success and professionalism.

Here are some of our favorite excuses. Some are tongue in cheek, while some point out serious issues.

“Oh, but now it looks like the Instagram filters!”

“I didn’t know she was the bride.”

“How is it my fault that your eyes reflect light and you therefore look like a demon?”

“I don’t know who you think you are, but from where I stand, portraits need a soft filter.”

“Listen, it’s not sexual harassment if I have a camera in my hand, sweetie.”

(Sexual harassment and people overstepping boundaries are not ok in any field. Be sure to communicate well and to be respectful towards all models and subjects.)

“You say ‘poorly lit’, I say ‘atmospheric’.”

“A photographer is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.”

“The sun wasn’t shining.”

“The sun was shining.”

“It’s called art.”

“Well if you paid me more, I wouldn’t have lost your wedding shoots because I couldn’t afford backups!”

(Negotiation of hourly fees and working for free are a big topic in the community, but it’s something you need to figure out and never get in a situation like this.)

“It must be your screen, they look fine on my computer.”

“I can’t remove my watermark, it’s on the pictures now.”

“Just saying, you never stated it wouldn’t be okay to use those as stock pictures for me to sell.”

Obviously your clients wouldn’t expect that you would sell off their portraits as stock photography for anything.

“Sorry, I must not have had coffee that day.”

Want to read more? We recently created photographerexcuses.com as a small side project in about a day to illustrate a lot of bad practices, common mistakes, and misunderstandings in the world of photography. Most importantly, we wanted to make people smile with some of the excuses photographers make.

Maybe you recognize some of your own struggles when you were a beginner — I sure can relate to a couple. Especially about how to deal with clients, how to deal with different light settings, and how not to jump into every trend.

We got the idea from the fantastic and bitter-sweet funny site programmingexcuses.com, which also displays quotes that probably anyone working in the IT or software industry can relate to.

We hope the excuses make you smile a little or even spark off an interesting thought of how to take better ownership of your production quality, attitude or how to communicate with your clients better!


About the author: Based in Copenhagen, GegenWind is a part-time photography duo consisting of Judith and Jonathan. By day, they’re both developers in advertising agencies, but they’re often found with cameras in their hands outside of the office.

10 Ways to Become a Better Landscape Photographer in the Next Year

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As each new year approaches, people usually start thinking about what they can do better or improve in the new year. As a professional landscape photographer, I thought it would be fun to give some tips to people starting out with landscape photography.

Tip #1: Don’t be scared!

Don’t touch the full automatic mode anymore. If you really want to learn photography in general, it’s important to stop using the full automatic mode on the camera. While it may feel very “comfortable” for a lot of new photographers, the mode doesn’t really help you getting better and it can prevent you from improving certain shots.

Don’t be scared to move away from this mode. Use Aperture priority mode and work from there. It’s not that hard. I’ve seen people “stuck” on Auto mode for years because they’re too scared to try a different mode. Then I teach them to use the Aperture mode for 10 mins and they say: “Oh wow, I didn’t know it was that easy.” There’s really not that much to it!

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Tip #2: Start shooting RAW format

I cannot emphasise this enough. It’s another ‘don’t be scared’ thing. Just put your camera on RAW+JPEG if you’re not really familiar with the RAW format. You will thank yourself when you learn basic photo editing that you can still use the RAW files of your old shots and have a go at them to make them look better.

RAW is extremely important for a landscape photographer because we often shoot sunsets/sunrises where there is a lot of contrast between dark and light. With RAW, you can also change your white balance without quality loss. Finally, the files have a lot more data in it for editing.

Tip #3: Learn (basic) post-processing

Processing is important in landscape photography, even if it’s just slightly tuning the image. Nowadays, if you haven’t done so, install Lightroom! Lightroom is not that hard! Basic post-processing can make your images better in the sense that you can easily balance them out with color and contrast changes. Like I mentioned in point #2, shooting RAW is a must. When you look at landscape sections of popular social media channels, I can assure you that 99% of the shots are processed in some way.

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Tip #4: Stop caring so much about settings

People often ask me “EXIF please!”, even with shots I consider very ordinary. I can understand that EXIF info would be interesting with certain kinds of photography, like astrophotography. But in general, when shooting landscapes settings are not that important if you’re working from a tripod. A lot of different settings could have been used and you should never think: “I should always use these settings when making shots like this.”

Tip #5: Start the year properly with a good sturdy tripod if you don’t have one (yet)

A good tripod is one of the most important tools of a landscape photographer. Start the year properly with a good sturdy tripod. Even with the best camera your shots will be useless if they aren’t sharp.

Tip #6: Spend less time inside and go outside more

This may be obvious but I still want to address it. I see people asking questions on social media all the time. They are usually questions that they could easily discover if they just go out and play with their camera. Don’t be scared to try things out. Of course it’s great to learn stuff online, but you learn the most when you’re just in the field using your camera.

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Tip #7: Stop caring about success of other photographers

Don’t worry about how other photographers are doing — spend that time and energy improving yourself. This is not only for the new photographers out there. Actually, it’s mainly for us proud landscape photographers. We always feel competition around us. A lot of times I see people ‘complaining’ on social media about the success of others or just “hating” on other people’s photos.

Guess what? It doesn’t make you a better photographer.

It just makes you look like a jerk. So stop caring about other photographers and focus on improving yourself. Look with a critical eye to your own photographs or ask some friends/family what they think of certain shots you’ve made.

Tip #8: Stop caring too much about gear

Especially when starting out as a landscape photographer, it’s all about composition, knowing how light behaves, knowing the weather etc. You can basically make good shots with your smartphone nowadays. I often see people with very standard landscape shots wanting to buy a better camera and they think that their shots will suddenly turn out much better. On social media they will probably look very similar. It’s all about knowing your camera and trying to get the best out of it.

(But if you do decide you need an upgrade, it’s often better to look at a new lens instead of a new body.)

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Tip #9: Realize that taking an amazing shot can sometimes mean extreme dedication

Some amazing landscape shots you may see on social media take a great amount of time and dedication to make. A lot of people think that photography is just snapping the camera and the job is done. A dedicated landscape photographer can have a certain place or scene in mind and return there for days, weeks and sometimes years to get that perfect shot. It doesn’t just fall out of the sky (although if you’re lucky, it sometimes does). Also, the same location looks different across all different seasons.

Tip #10: Always try to find something extra in your photo

For me this happens automatically but for most people it doesn’t. When you see something extremely beautiful or extreme, it still doesn’t make it a good photograph. Think of a double rainbow, for example. When you see one you don’t have much time to act. Don’t just shoot the double rainbow. Find something that can make the shot complete.

It doesn’t have to be extremely difficult. Some lines in the grass, some animals, some interesting houses. Anything that you can make an interesting composition with in combination with the rainbow. Always find something extra. Don’t be overwhelmed by anything.

Another example is a lightning storm. When a lightning storm hits my country (The Netherlands), I see all kinds of cool lightning strike photos on social media. But they’re just snapshots of the lightning strikes. When a storm like that hits you, try to find some interesting foreground object like a statue, house silhouette, etc. Basically anything interesting (but be safe).

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About the author: Albert Dros is a photographer based in Amsterdam. You can find more of his work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr.

My Ultimate List of Photography Videos to Learn From

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My name is Chris McCann, and I’m a photographer based in San Francisco. In this post, I’m sharing a list of photography videos I’ve found that have been helpful to me.

I have watched all the videos on my list on multiple occasions and have gone back and referenced them during photo shoots and post processing. I’ve watched 100s of these kinds of videos, and the ones I’ve selected are the ones which have been seriously helpful. So, it took me a long time to get down to this list.

Before we get into the list, here’s a few caveats:

1. These videos aren’t geared for photography 101. For that check out /r/PhotoClass or the new /r/photoclass_2016 on Reddit.
2. This is not a comprehensive list of educational photography videos. It’s just a curated list of ones I think are good.
3. I mostly shoot nature, wildlife, city, etc (basically anything except people), so the videos below are biased in those areas. However, I think it’s very educational to watch other styles of photographers (ex. portrait retouchers) as you can learn a lot from other styles.

Without further ado, here’s my ultimate curated list of videos:

The Basics

The Three Basics of Exposure and Photography: I know I wasn’t supposed to include beginner videos but this one is too good not to include.

Lightroom Basics

Anthony Morganti Lightroom Training Videos: If you are just getting started in post-production, these are great tutorials.

Composition

Understanding Composition: Composition taught by a CGI artist which makes the perspective so interesting. This video is very helpful. The same creator also has a video on understanding color which is equally as awesome.

Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition with Ian Plant: More geared to photographers, watch the above one first.

Lighting

Strobist: It’s not a video but this collection of posts is so good once you start wanting to learn about flash. He also has a great video series on lynda.com (requires subscription) which shows how he thinks about lighting one a few of his assignments

Post Processing

(These have a heavy emphasis on Photoshop)

Photoshop CS6 for the Photographer: Once you move past just using Lightroom, this is a good introductory guide to Photoshop.

How to Make Colors Come to Life in Photoshop: A good end to end video on a single image, Phlearn also has other good videos to learn from.

Cinematic Color Grading (Movie Loke Effect) – Photoshop Tutorial: it’s mind blowing what you can do with just the curves adjustment.

Mastering Dodging and Burning with 4 Techniques: Very interesting example of dodging and burning, with the most interesting being the frequency separation technique he shows at the end.

How to Do Frequency Separation: It’s incredible to see what a pro retoucher can do with primarily just dodging and burning.

Removing Complex Objects from Photos in Photoshop: Although the photographer cheated a bit to get the final result, some good lessons on aligning, cloning, stamping, blending areas, etc.

Fine Art Architecture Processing in Photoshop: Shows off how using multiple layers and effects can change an image. I was always curious on architecture processing as well so this was a good look into this world.

Make Skies POP with Luminosity Masks: Shows off the power of masks and being able to select specific tonal values in an image. He also has a few other good videos on luminosity masks.

How To Do Sky Replacements In Photoshop: Even though I don’t really do composites, this shows off the power of the blend-if blending option. Honestly this is something I am still learning about.

How to Make a Pure White Background in Photoshop: Another great video showing off the use of blend-if.

Camera

How to Clean Your DSLR Sensor and Mirror: You’ll have to do this one day

Inspirational

Scott Kelby Crush the Competition: Scott Kelby’s photos are a little over the top sometime but this is a good video. This is for when you at a beautiful place and you’re frustrated because the weather sucks and all your photos aren’t coming out well, good look at how to handle these situations.

Photography Styles

(Videos on specific styles of photography, highly dependent on your own personal tastes)

Pixels After Dark: Shooting the Night: Shooting at night.

Insights Into the Art and Craft of Landscape Photography

Scott Kelby’s Photoshop for Travel Photographers: Skip the long intro and all the ads.

The Basics of Nature Photography from Michael Melford

How to Photograph Stars and Photoshop an Astrophotography Image: Even though I don’t shoot astro-photography, given this video’s highly technical nature you can learn a lot from it.

You Suck at Photoshop: For fun :)

If anyone else has any great videos to learn from feel free to share in the comments below!


About the author: Chris McCann is a photographer based in San Francisco, California. You can find his work on his website and on 500px. This article was also published on Reddit in /r/photography.