Adobe release public beta of Camera Raw 8.4

Adobe have just release a public beta version of Camera Raw 8.4.  A host of new features have been added, and Adobe are keen to read your thoughts on same.

Even though Camera Raw 8.4 is compatible with Photoshop CS6 and CC the new features are only available to users of the latter. Bug fixes are available to both sets of users.

Camera Raw 8.4 – Before and After Previews

The following preview preferences, which are accessed from the Preview Menu have been added:

  • The Preview checkbox in earlier versions of ACR has been replaced by three buttons in the bottom-right of the ACR main dialog. From left to right, they are:
  1. Mode: Click this button to cycle through left/right and top/bottom side-by-side and split-view modes. Click-and-hold this button to bring up a popup menu for directly choosing Preview modes and accessing the Preview Preferences. Keyboard shortcut: Press Q to cycle through the Preview modes.
  2. Swap: Click this button to swap Before/After settings. Keyboard shortcut: Press P to swap Before/After settings for the primary selected image only; press Shift-P to swap Before/After settings for all selected images.
  3. Copy: Click this button to copy the After settings to the Before settings. This is useful for establishing a temporary “checkpoint” for your image editing session. Keyboard shortcut: Press Option-P to copy After settings to the Before settings for the primary selected image only. Press Shift-Option-P to copy After settings to the Before settings for all selected images.
  • The After preview image always reflects the current slider and tool settings (White Balance, Exposure, etc.).
  • The standard single-image view always shows the After state.
  • In the side-by-side and split-view modes, the Before settings are always shown on the left or top, and the After settings are always shown on the right or bottom.
  • The Preview Preferences dialog supports customizing the Preview modes used for cycling and some drawing options.
  • When using any tool other than Zoom and Pan (hand) in a side-by-side or split-view, changes are only allowed on the After view. Using the Crop tool will put you back into the standard single-image mode.
  • Zooming and panning on one view will automatically zoom and pan the other.

Pet Eye Correction

  • The Red Eye tool can now correct bright pupils in animals. Select ‘Pet Eye’ from the new drop down menu in the Red Eye tool to locate and fix pet eyes.

Local Correction Changes

  • Added a mechanism to quickly reset all local correction sliders (Temperature, Exposure, etc.) to zero: right-click on a local adjustment pin and choose “Reset Local Correction Settings” from the context menu. Another way is to click on a local adjustment pin, and then choose “Reset Local Correction Settings” from the flyout menu.
  • Added “Fill Image” to context menu for Radial Filter. Right-click on a radial filter adjustment pin and choose “Fill Image” from the context menu to resize the radial filter to cover the image area. (Shortcut: double-click inside the ellipse overlay for a radial filter adjustment to accomplish the same task.)

Other Features

  • Added context menu to Histogram pane. The context menu can be used to enable Lab color readouts, even when the Workflow Options are set to another color space (such as Adobe RGB). The context menu and also be used to toggle the shadow, highlight, and gamut clipping warnings.
  • Added “Check All” and “Check None” buttons to Synchronize, New Preset, Save Settings, and Copy/Paste (Bridge) dialog boxes. These are shortcuts for checking all/none of the check boxes.
  • Added keyboard shortcut: When using the Crop Tool or Straighten Tool, press the X key to flip the crop aspect ratio (landscape to portrait, portrait to landscape).
  • Added explanatory note to Lens Correction “Profile” panel to indicate when built-in (metadata-based) lens profiles are automatically applied to the image.

Disclosure: As an Adobe Community Professional I receive a free subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

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George Jardine Posts New Adobe Camera Raw 8 Video Workshop

 George Jardine has recently published a new series of video tutorials for Adobe Camera Raw.

This set of 25 all-new video tutorials contains over 4.5 hours of the most comprehensive training available on the Camera Raw 8 Photoshop Plug-In. In this series George covers the raw processing controls from top to bottom. Starting from the ground up, he guides you through a complete understanding of each and every control.

In addition to basic adjustments, George also covers important details no other videos touch, such as the intricate relationships between the local and global adjustments, how Smart Objects work, as well as a deep dive on working with RGB files.

The tutorials cost $29.95, which is very good value considering the amount of information George provides. A free sample video can be viewed on line. This is an excellent indication of the quality and depth of detail George shares with his viewers.

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Adobe release Lightroom 5.3 and Camera Raw 8.3

Adobe has just released the GM versions of Lightroom 5.3 and Camera Raw 8.3. If you have been using the release candidates that went live in early November you’ll already be familiar with most of the new features. Lightroom 5.3 is primarily a bug fix version but also includes support for new camera models.

Downloads for Lightroom 5.3  can be obtained from:

To obtain Camera Raw 8.3 you should use the Update feature with Photoshop CC

New Features

The new features in Camera Raw 8.3 include the following:

  • Auto straighten: You can automatically straighten a picture in three ways: (1) double-click on the Straighten Tool button icon in the toolbar, (2) with the Straighten Tool selected, double-click anywhere within the preview image, and (3) with the Crop Tool selected, press the usual command key (on Mac) or control key (on Windows) to temporarily switch to the Straighten Tool, and double-click anywhere within the preview image.
  • Whites and Blacks now support Auto Levels-like functionality via shift-double-click on the sliders.
  • Added separate Auto Temperature and Auto Tint feature. Shift-double-click to invoke “auto temperature” and “auto tint” separately.
  • Added feature to set the background color of the work area and toggle the visibility of the hairline frame around the image. Context-click outside the image in the work area to select an option from a popup menu.
  • Added option-click shortcut in Synchronise, New Preset, Save Settings, and Copy/Paste (Bridge) dialog boxes. Option-click a checkbox to check that box exclusively. Option-click again to toggle previous checkbox state.
  • Added Camera Matching color profiles (Natural, Muted, Portrait, Vivid) for the following Olympus cameras

Note: features in bold are also included in Lightroom 5.3

Bugs fixed in Lightroom 5.3 include:

The following bugs that were part the Lightroom 5  have been corrected. The team appreciates the very detailed feedback the community has provided on Lightroom 5 and we’re excited to correct a number of issues experienced by our customers. These issues have been FIXED:

  • Issues when upgrading catalog from previous versions of Lightroom.
  • Incorrect photos are displayed after switching away from a Publish Collection.
  • Catalog optimisation did not finish, and was not optimising the catalog
  • Feather of clone spots is set to zero after upgrading catalog to Lightroom 5.
  • Auto White Balance settings are not saved to Snapshots.
  • Sony 18-55mm lens is detected as the Hasselblad 18-55mm lens for lens correction.
  • Increased Update Spot Removal history steps when in Before and After view.
  • Slideshows start playing automatically even when the Manual Slideshow option is enabled.
  • Video playback stops when dragging on the scrubber.
  • Errors when publishing photos to Flickr through the Publish Service.
  • Option + drag on Edit Pin behavior is functioning incorrectly.
  • Black border appears around the exported slideshow video.
  • Catalog containing images processed with PV2003 were adding a post-crop vignette when catalog upgraded to Lightroom 5.
  • Pressing the “Reset” button while holding down the Shift key caused Lightroom to exit abruptly.
  • Output Sharpening and Noise Reduction were not applied to exported images that were resized to less than 1/3 of the original image size.
  • The Esc key did not exit the slideshow after right clicking screen with mouse during slideshow playing.
  • Import dialog remained blank for folders that contain PNG files with XMP sidecars.
  • Metadata panel displayed incorrect information after modifying published photo.  Please note that this only occurred when metadata was changed after the photo was published.

New camera models supported include:

  • Canon PowerShot S120
  • Fujifilm XQ1
  • Fujifilm X-E2
  • Nikon 1 AW1
  • Nikon Coolpix P7800
  • Nikon D610
  • Nikon D5300
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • Olympus STYLUS 1
  • Panasonic DMC-GM1
  • Phase One IQ260
  • Phase One IQ280
  • Sony A7 (ILCE-7)
  • Sony A7R (ILCE-7R)
  • Sony DSC-RX10
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California Highlights

photoventures My last post mentioned that I was traveling to California on a photo trip. It had been my intention to post a small selection of images during the trip so that friends and family could keep up with progress. Unfortunately, posting images wasn’t to be, and on my return home a backlog of work prevented me from addressing the absence of images. Thankfully, I’ve managed to clear that backlog and have found time to upload some of the photos I’d hoped to post during the trip. These are now on-line and can be viewed here.

The following is a small selection of the images contained within above gallery along with some background information on their location, etc.

Days 1 and 2

Days 1 and 2 were spent in around the city of San Francisco. Thee we visited the Embarcadero centre. This provide a huge number of architectural photographic opportunities.

Bronze Sphere, Embarcadero Centre, San Francisco

After lunch, we headed off to Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge. Construction of the Bridge was completed in 1937.  The bridge spans the Golden Gate strait, a mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County.

Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point, San Francisco

In the evening we travelled across the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island. From there we could photograph sunset over the city and bay area.

Bay Bridge at Sunset, San Francisco

Days 3 to 6

Day 3 was a travel day as we made our way to Yosemite National Park. We made numerous stops along the way, but the visit to the St Joseph’s Catholic church in Mariposa was the most memorable. The church dates back to 1862 and is located on a little hill overlooking the south end of Bullion Street. Its design and New England steeple makes St Joseph’s one of the most photographed and familiar landmarks in Mariposa.

St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Mariposa

As we walked around the graveyard it was noticeable that many of the graves contained the remains of Irish immigrants.

Graveyard, St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Mariposa

Day 4 was our first full day in Yosemite. It was an early start as we wanted to visit as many locations within the park as possible in the course of the day. The autumn colours and lighting provided lots of opportunities, and even though it was Sunday visitors were not as high as we had expected. Luck was on our side.

Mule Deer, Gates of the Valley

During the day we visited many locations along the valley floor including El Capitan, Half Dome, Sentinel Rock, Cathedral Rocks, Merced River and many more. As sunset approached we made our way to Lower Pines meadow to capture the colours of sunset on the Half Dome.

Sunset On The Half Dome, Lower Pines Meadow

As the sun set and we began to pack our cameras one of the group remarked on the opportunities we had been blessed with. Little did we know that the following day would proof even more rewarding.

Day 5 began badly. We awoke to rain and heavy cloud cover. So different to the previous day. Nevertheless, we’re not in the habit of giving up easily. Our first stop was Tunnel View and it was from here that we realised that weather was worsening rather than improving. In fact, it was snowing. As I looked down into the valley through the mist and cloud I recalled the great black and white images from Ansel Adams. Maybe all wasn’t lost after all.

Gathering Storm, Tunnel View

Even down on the valley floor the snow was getting heavier and…

Snow at Valley Floor

Right through to lunchtime it snowed but there were signs that it was easing. Maybe things would be better after lunch.

Clearing Storm, El Capitan

As the clouds began to clear and temperature increased it became obvious that we were being blessed for a second day, but we would need to work fast to make the best of the quickly changing conditions.

Rising Mist, Sentinel Meadow

As the snow melted we decided another quick drive up to Tunnel View was required, and what a view we got.

Clearing Storm, Half Dome

To say that I’m pleased with the photos I captured in Yosemite would be an understatement.

Day 6 should have been another chance to visit Yosemite, especially the locations we’d not managed to get to on the previous two days. Unfortunately, the previous days snow meant that the Tioga Pass (our quickest route to Lee Vining) was closed. Pass after pass over the Sierra Nevada mountains was closed but after close to a 10 hour drive we finally reached our destination at Lee Vining. Given the late hour we literally dumped our baggage in the motel and headed off to Mono Lake in the hope that we could get a few twilight photos.

Twilight, Mono Lake

Days 7 and 8

Days 7 and 8 were spent photographing Mono Lake at sunrise and sunset with a visit to the ghost town of Bodie in between.

Mono Lake is located near to town of Lee Vining. It’s famous for the spectacular “tufa towers,” calcium-carbonate spires and knobs formed by interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. Photography is best around sunrise and sunset.

Morning Mist, Mono Lake

Evening Light, Mono Lake

Bodie is located down a dusty, bumpy, slow 13 mile long road off of State Highway 395. In 1859 gold was discovered near what is now called Bodie Bluff. A mill was established in 1861 and the town began to grow. Initially there were about 20 miners but this grew to an estimated 10,000 people by 1880! Mining ceased during the 1940’s. What remains today is state protected in the form of a State Park. For the most part, it’s possible to photograph the exterior and interior of building from outside but controlled access is provided to a few.

The Metzger House, Bodie

Lamplight, Wheaton and Hollis Hotel, Bodie

On day 8 we left Mono Lake and began the long journey to the town of Lone Pine. This was to be our base for visits to the Alabama Hills and Bristlecone Pine Forest near Bishop.

Days 9 to 10

An early start on day 9 as we wanted to capture sunrise through the famous natural arches in the Alabama Hills. However, even before the early morning light hit the arches we were rewarded with the beautiful red/pink glow on Mount Whitney and Lone Pine Peak.

Sunrise, Lone Pine Peak and Mount Whitney

Mobius Arch, Alabama Hills, Lone Pine

While Mobious arch is probably the best known and certainly easiest to access of the arches there other less well known arches. Maybe the fact that climbing up to them is the reason for them being less well visited. One such arch is Portal Arch. It’s not very big and some might think not worth the steep climb required to access it.

Portal Arch, Alabama Hills, Lone Pine

As the sun began to drop on late afternoon opportunities for interesting photographs. The light and shadows on rocks and trees attracted a fair amount of our attention.

Sunlit Tree, Alabama Hills, Lone Pine

After sunrise on day 10 we began the drive to Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley. Along the way we stopped at Owen’s Lake to photograph some of the birds to be found there and reflections.

Yellowleg, Owens Lake

Days 11 to 13

Our time in Death Valley followed the usual pattern of rising before dawn to capture sunrise in the Mesquite Sand Dunes then breakfast. After breakfast we’d head off to photograph locations such as the Devil’s Golf Course, Badwater, the Racetrack, Zabriskie Point and many others in between.

Photographer in the Dunes, Mesquite Sand Dunes

The Racetrack

Ubehebe Crater at Sunset, Death Valley National Park

Day 13 began with the usual early visit to the Mesquite Sand Dunes. After breakfast we began our journey to Ridgecrest where we overnighted before travelling on to Morro Bay. At Ridgecrest we visited the Red Rock Canyon State Park and Trona Pinnacles.

Days 14 to 16

On day 14 we left Ridgecrest on our way to Morro Bay where we spent the late evening photographing a sea otter feeding and sunset over the bay.

Sea Otter Feeding, Morro Bay

Sunset, Morro Rock

Next morning (day 15) we were back down to the harbour at Morro Bay for sunrise.

Sunrise, Morro Bay

After breakfast we began our drive along the Pacific Highway. Our overnight would be Monterey.

Elephant Seals, San Simeon

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Off to California

I’ll be departing tomorrow for California on an 18 day photo tour. The tour was arranged by Roger Reynolds at Photoventures. As usual Roger has planned the tour to explore a wide variety of the most iconic locations not just in the state but perhaps the world.

Map (Copyright of Wildernet)

We’ll begin our tour in the city of San Francisco with its iconic waterfront that looks out onto ‘The Bay’ and, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge. From there will move on to Yosemite National Park; a location I’ve had on my ‘must visit’ lists for as long as I’ve been taking photographs. We will also visit Mono Lake, and the ghost town of Bodie, a location that offers a real taste of the old pioneering ways. From there we’ll journey south to the Alabama Hills and the Bristlecone Pine forest.  Death Valley, one of the lowest places on earth is also on our itinerary. Our final few days will take us back west to the Pacific coastline were we’ll photograph locations such as Big SurMorro Bay and Half Moon Bay.

Most of our overnight stops will have an internet connection. So, all being well I should get a few of each day’s favourite photos on line. All photos will be imported into a Lightroom catalog that I’ve set up for the trip. This will allow me to quickly and easily apply metadata such as keywords and geotagging information to images without having to resort to standalone applications, and of course any develop adjustments will also be carried out in Lightroom.

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