Monthly Archives: March 2012

Adobe Lightroom 4 – The Missing FAQ

Victoria Bampton (aka The Lightroom Queen) recently dropped me a note to say that the 4th edition of her Lightroom – The  Missing FAQ book is now available.


What’s New in the Lightroom 4 book?

A lot!

Victoria writes – Initially I thought the Lightroom 4 book would be a fairly quick update, having rewritten the whole book for Lightroom 3.  How wrong I was!  This book has had my undivided attention since October, and was underway for many months before that, and somehow I’m still finishing up the loose ends now!  So what changes do you have to look forward to?

  • Of course, Lightroom 4 has lots of new features, which need to be covered in detail. Huge changes in the Develop module, and the new Map and Book modules are the highlights, but there are many other smaller features too.
  • Existing questions have been updated for changes in behavior.
  • New questions have been added to existing chapters, mostly as a direct result of your emails and suggestions.
  • And there’s another new chapter in the works – Designing your Workflow – which will follow after the initial PDF release, thanks to your survey suggestions at the end of last year.

Victoria is an Adobe Certified Expert for Lightroom and an Adobe Community Professional. So, you could say she knows a lot about Lightroom.  The Missing FAQ contains a wealth of otherwise undocumented information about Lightroom, and even though I know a fair amount myself I find having a copy available comes in handy, especially at those head scratching moments even Lightroom experts can have.

A downloadable pdf version of the The MIssing FAQ is available now from Victoria’s website, and a paperback version should be available some time during April.

Tips to help mitigate Lightroom 4.0 Performance Issues

A question I’m often asked is – why is that the first official release of Adobe Lightroom always seems to perform less well than the public beta? Well, I wish it were that I knew, but alas like many others I can only guess. The following are some tips based on personal experience and others I’ve read on Adobe’s Lightroom User to User forum. I don’t promise that they’ll solve any problems that you may be experiencing, but they should ease the pain a little.

Catalog Upgrade

When you install Lightroom 4 it will upgrade your existing Lightroom 3 catalog. This step is one that didn’t occur when you installed the beta because Adobe deliberately disabled this feature. Normally, the upgrade process shouldn’t cause any performance degradation, but occasionally something goes amiss with the result that Lightroom can feel seem somewhat slower than it did previously (e.g. switching modules, displaying metadata or badges). Usually, running the Optimise Catalog command is enough to fix things, but occasionally some additional effort  is required. For example, exporting the existing catalog as completely new catalog will remove all of the old crud left over from earlier versions of Lightroom whilst still retaining information such as Pick flags, Collections and develop adjustment History. The simplest way to do this is to select All Photographs in the Library Catalog panel, then choose Export as Catalog… from File menu, then configure the Export as Catalog dialog as shown below.  Choosing All Photographs ensures that the exported catalog will contain all of your photographs rather than only those that are selected. You can leave ‘Export negative files‘ option unchecked as the new catalog will automatically use the original negatives. I tend to prefer new previews when creating a new catalog as it a good way of freshening things. So, leaving ‘Include available previews‘ unchecked is also worth considering.

Export as Catalog…

Secondary Display and Video Drivers

Above tip regarding catalogs and previews, while useful, does not address some of the buggy behaviour that seems to have slipped into the GM version of Lightroom. In particular, the Develop module slider lags that many users are reporting when using a secondary display. Some Windows users, particularly those with nVidia graphics cards have reported that updating the video drivers helps, albeit only partially. So, if using a card from nVidia then it’s worth checking to see if the drivers for your card are up to date.

While Adobe hasn’t formally stated that theres a bug at work in Lightroom’s secondary display code I think it’s pretty clear that something is amiss. So, until the issue gets fixed my recommendation is to avoid using the secondary display when working in Develop module.

Other useful optimisation tips

To coincide with the release of Lightroom 4 Adobe updated their Performance Optimisation guide. This guide contains a wealth of tips from both Adobe and users. The guide can be accessed here.

Rocky Mountain Gold 2011 Photo Gallery

photoventures Regular readers of the site will recall that I visited the the US in October last year. During the trip I posted a short blog entry small selection of my photos from each day, along with a few words describing the locations, etc. The purpose of the blog entries was to keep friends and family up to date with where and what I was doing. As it turned out it also proved quite popular with some.  Today, I’ve published a series of my favourite images from the shoot. This new HTML gallery was created in Adobe Lightroom 4. As with previous galleries I chose to use HTML rather than Flash because as we know the most popular tablets and smart phones  (i.e. Apple  iPhone and iPad) don’t support Flash.

Dryad Spring – Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

The shoot was organised by my good friend Roger Reynolds at Photoventures

Photoshop CS6 Beta Now Available On Adobe Labs

Adobe Systems Inc. today announced Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 beta, a preview of what’s to come in the next release of the industry standard in digital imaging application. Photoshop CS6 Beta is available as a free download from Adobe Labs. Customers can download the beta, try out the experience and provide feedback to the product team. Packed with groundbreaking new innovations, features and performance enhancements, Photoshop CS6 beta is available for the Mac OS and Microsoft® Windows® platforms. The final release is expected in the first half of 2012.

 New Features in Photoshop CS6 Beta

Photoshop CS6 beta demonstrates Adobe’s focus on performance enhancements, imaging magic and creativity tools that offer customers a new experience in digital imaging. Key features include new additions to the Content-Aware tools: Content-Aware Patch allows greater control by letting users select and duplicate an area of an image to fill in or “patch” another, and Content-Aware Move lets users select and magically move an object to a new place in the image.

Adobe Photoshop’s new Blur Gallery feature is an intuitive, on-image, selective softening tool for generating shallow depth-of-field and tilt-shift effects.

Photoshop CS6 also sees the introduction of new Crop and Perspective Crop tools. Users of Adobe Lightroom will likely recognise some of the behaviour, but don’t be fooled because the tools in Photoshop are a lot more powerful.

Other headline features and enhancements include: a customisable UI colour scheme, the long awaited and much requested Auto Recovery, Adaptive Wide Angle, much improved Print dialog, plus improved 3D and Painting tools.

Adobe Camera Raw 7  includes the much improved adjustment tools associated with process version 2012, which was first introduced in Adobe Lightroom 4 earlier this month.

The Photoshop CS6 beta is available immediately as a free download in English and Japanese. At installation, users will be required to provide an Adobe ID to complete a one-time login and online product activation. For information on how to install Photoshop CS6 beta, visit Customers can submit feedback via the Photoshop CS6 beta forum. Users can also connect with the Photoshop team via the community-powered site; on Facebook; YouTube; blog; or via Twitter.