Andrew Macpherson


What files have I worked on?

by on May.10, 2013, under Learning, Retouching, Workflow

Ever find you have to do some work in Lightroom without adding Picks, selections, stars or other obvious Metadata?

Select Develop Preset

Select Develop Preset

I recently found myself tweaking a friend’s images so she could use them immediately rather than wait to get home and work on them at her desktop…  She had literally hundreds of photos on the card, but wanted to see them full screen, then wanted a few adjusted, and the issue was, at the end of the exercise, to identify quickly which had been touched to re-export them.

All your modifications will be under "custom"

All the modifications will be under “custom”

With the folder open in the Lightroom Library Module I went to the Filter bar press ‘\‘ if it’s not showing at the top and select ‘Metadata’ then set my selection to ‘Develop Preset’ at this point you may have a few choices particularly if you have used any presets, but everything I had touched was under custom enabling me to quickly pick them out for re-export.

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Hopley’s workshop: Easy photo fixes

by on Feb.28, 2013, under Learning, Retouching, Workflow

If you’re thinking about making small changes to your photos to just save that moment that can never be repeated, but the photo didn’t quite work, I’m doing a workshop in the village to get you started. Saturday March 22nd at Hopley’s Garden centre, in Much Hadham. This is also a good start on processing your photos to the next stage beyond what just comes out of the camera. Please note: basic computer knowledge is assumed, and I will only cover those extras relating to processing photos.

I’ll also work on any photo you bring to the class, explaining what, and why, to show you what you can do “for real,” rather than just using carefully chosen examples, the main tool will be Adobe Lightroom 4 which is currently available at a very good price from Amazon..

More details and book here

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Calendars, Red Days

by on Sep.04, 2012, under Off the wall, Workflow

Calendar for 9/2012

A lovely Feature of Jeffrey’s Calendar Builder is the ability to pre-print entries on the calendar for public holidays, festivals, historical reminders or whatever.  The bad side is that one ends up typing them into the text file… well maybe not.

As an IT user I make good use of the calendaring systems available to me.  My prerequisite is that the system, whatever it is, should be able to export and import WebDAV ‘.ics’ files, and of course I want to partition my calendars into personal, work, club, and public.  Having made this decision a long time ago it paid off nicely.  I was able to export a Public Dates calendar and run a 30 line perl script to convert it into the correct input format.

If you would like my Calendar Builder GB-public dates file it is available here

Related Posts:

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Tethering (Continued)

by on Apr.26, 2012, under Equipment, Off the wall, On Site

This article is intended to build on Scot Baston’s excellent Tip Squirrel article, not to rehearse ground already covered there. I want to cover a few alternatives, and touch on why they might be useful, and look in detail at a slightly less obvious application of tethering.

The first thing to point out about tethering in general is that it does not necessarily involve a cable, with the new Nikon D4 operating on a WIFI tether through its built-in web server and full control at the one extreme, and at the other the wireless capture possible through the Canon battery Grp or the Eye-Fi memory card. For most purposes however the wired tether remains the only really practicable option, and is usually significantly faster than any WiFi options

A regenerating USB cable is required for mobility

So the first thing one needs is a USB cable, swiftly followed by a USB regenerating extension cable, such as the one shown which I bought from eBay 3 years ago. One needs the regenerating extender because without that the maximum length one can use is 15′ (5m). Next useful and slightly non-standard bit of kit in the low profile USB cable one wants to fit in under one’s ‘L’ bracket it’s described as “USB A male to up angled mini B male” (or vice versa) the up angled mini B takes the cable in at right angles through the gap in my bracket rather than interfering with the portrait mounting ‘L’ plate.  Quick Tip: fold your long cable rather than coiling it up.  That way you avoid introducing a twist to it and will not have to unkink it.  Hook and lop cable ties are very useful for keeping things tidy.

Velcro Cable ties the cheaper alternative

Many people will have seen Frank Doorhof or Scott Kelby demonstrating the wonderful “Tether Tools” kit for holding the laptop and the cable snags to stop the USB plug being wrenched from & damaging one’s camera, and some discussion on preventing the USB cable coming apart. I think that one would be wise leaving the cable to be pulled apart, as that avoids trips and things being pulled over. It is desirable to have cable snags at computer and camera to protect those vulnerable ports, but have a relatively loose couple in the middle, that will pull apart when someone falls over it. This will have the disadvantage that you will have to set up the communications again, but that is a small price for not pulling over your tripod and camera, and dragging the laptop off it’s work surface.

Allow the cable to come apart if someone trips on it

The USB cable isn’t everything of course, one needs some software to drive the connexion. Canon cameras come with an extensive remote control suite, whereas for Nikon it’s an additional package such as the seriously expensive Capture NX2. Lightroom has a built in remote capability which addresses this to a certain extent but the control available is frankly poor, the trigger function is there, but that’s all, there is no access to even the simple exposure controls beyond displaying what is currently set. Where the Lightroon tethering really wins is for use by a Photographer who is using the camera hands-on, and does not need to make semi-remote adjustments. Like all tethering software the system responds to manual triggering and copies the image back to the laptop from the camera whenever the shutter is pressed.

Where more control is needed I’ve found On One’s Software’s DSLR Camera Remote HD for the iPad to be the most useful complete remote triggering package, as it addresses lots of the issues left open by other packages, and at reasonable cost. There is also a slightly cut down version for the iPhone, mostly what is missing is the video.  It integrates very well with Lightroom’s Watch Folder auto-import feature, but will work equally well just importing to a selected folder, again it responds to manual shutter activation, and all photos get copied to the computer.  The rest of this article will be about using DSLR Camera Remote. (continue reading…)

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Lightroom 4 upgrade GOTCHAS

by on Mar.10, 2012, under Workflow

Summary: Keyword dictionary messed up, lost management of Flickr images.

AJ Wood’s issue with the tone curve has been well aired, if you haven’t seen them have a look here.  I’ve had a few more prosaic problems with my upgrade, (continue reading…)

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Rugby from the stands

by on Feb.19, 2012, under Equipment, Learning, Workflow

Penalty Kick

On Saturday I had a welcome unexpected chance to go to a Harlequins home game, and saw it as a chance to try some of the ideas that I’ve been picking up from Scott Kelby’s blog though just from the stands, rather than the privileged sideline access of the professional.

Kick-off was at 17:30 a quarter hour after sunset, so this was strictly a floodlight exercise.  I quickly found that the exposure on the field of play was fairly constant, but there was huge risk of variability if one let the camera “do it’s thing”so went fully manual, f2.8, 1/800th & ISO on H1 (12800).  The other half of this exercise was processing in LightRoom 4 beta, and the noise removal could only be better than the already good results one gets in Lr3. (continue reading…)

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