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'Fix Presets' Lightroom Plug-In

Screen Shot 2019 01 25 at 3.30.26 PM
Somewhere around Lightroom 7.3 or so, Adobe made significant changes to Develop Presets and how they are stored and organized. First off, the actual preset format itself has been changed from a .lrtemplate file into a .XMP file. This allows the presets to be used not only with Lightroom Classic, but also with Lightroom CC and Photoshop Camera Raw. This is a good thing as you can have one set of preferences that will work with all three applications. The first time you run Lightroom after updating from 7.2 or earlier, all of your existing presets will be converted to the new XMP format. (So far, so good.)

The other change has to do with where the presets are stored and how they are organized. No longer stored in the Develop Presets folder within Lightroom's larger Preset hierarchy, they are now stored in the Settings Folder within the Camera Raw support folder.

And this is where things get tricky. In the older days, you could place a folder full of presets in the Develop Preset folder and Lightroom would import them and retain the folder structure. Since the 7.3 update, this mechanism does not work as it once did and you have to jump through all sorts of hoops to get newly added presets to show up in their proper folders. (Now called Groups) If you don't they can end up loose in the User Presets folder or worse, not show up at all.

Fortunately, there is a free plug-in by John Ellis that can remedy all of these varies preset woes and get you back to the way things used to work. The plugin is called "Fix Presets" and will allow you to recreate the folder structure you have as groups within the Develop Preset panel. Or if you prefer, you can take all of the existing groups you have and recreate them as a folder structure on disk. Either way, you regain much better control over where your presets are stored and how they are organized.

LR to Instagram Publish Service!

Instagram publish service for Lightroom

A brand new publish service is available from LRInstagram.com that will allow you to export from Lightroom directly to Instagram complete with captions, hash-tags, and proper cropping. The plugin is compatible with Adobe Lightroom CC, or LR 3.0 and later

Set up is pretty simple. First download the plugin and install using the Lightroom Plug-In manager. Then set-up the publish service by authenticating with your Instagram account and configuring options for captioning, hash-tagging, and auto-cropping if desired. You can also include output sharpening and a watermark.

lrmetadatapanelCaptions and hashtags can be taken directly from a newly expanded Instagram metadata section within Lightroom's regular metadata pane.

The configurable options for captioning your post using LR metadata include: None, Title, Caption, or #Hashtag as well as combinations of "Title + #Hashtag" or "Caption + #Hashtag" making it very simple to create your post with just the right text. I use Caption + Hashtag for my posts.

Because the plug-in creates a Lightroom publish service, the connection is bi-directional and you can sync comments back into Lightroom from Instagram.

lrpublishactionA post-processing action can also be configured as part of the publish service that will force the cropping of your picture to one of the supported Instagram aspect ratios that ranges between 4:5 and 1.91:1.00. (You may wish to manually crop if you are including a watermark as it may get trimmed in the process.)

The shareware plug-in is licensed via a $10 PayPal payment using the plug-in manager in Lightroom.

Adobe Releases Aperture/iPhoto Import Plugin for Lightroom

aperture2lightroom

After teasing the development of a Lightroom plugin for importing Aperture and iPhoto libraries, Adobe has released the first version to the public. You can read about it on their Lightroom blog.

"The plugin allows Aperture and iPhoto customers to migrate their images and key metadata (such as keywords, events, project structure) into Lightroom catalogs in a seamless way."

Basic instructions are in the blog posting and the import plugin can be downloaded here.

Lightroom Queen Victoria Bampton has much more detailed instructions on her website. I would advise reading her article before attempting a migration. She explains what info will transfer and what won't.

Year-End Photography Checklist

blog-checklistNEWLY UPDATED FOR 2021!

As the calendar gets ready to roll over into 2021, here are a few suggestions to prep your photo workflow for a new year. Some of the details are specific to Lightroom but the concepts can easily be adapted to whatever digital asset management (D.A.M.) system you use.

Here are thirteen photo-workflow ideas for the new year:

  1. Update personal Copyright metadata preset for 2021 - I have a Metadata preset in Lightroom that automatically applies my Copyright metadata to every picture upon import. That preset needs to be updated for a 2021 copyright year. Always my very first photo workflow task for the new year.
  2. Archive and remove finished client projects from 2020   - Now might be a good time to archive and offline any 2020 client projects you won't be working on in 2021. Make sure to archive your Lightroom Catalog, the related RAW files, and any paperwork you may have associated with that project. Once archived, you can remove then from your working catalog if you'd like. This clears the decks for 2021 client work to be stored on your computer. Store archive with previous year client archives.
  3. Perform Basic Catalog Maintenance – End-of-year is a greate time to make sure your catalog is nice and healthy going in to the new year. Start by checking for missing images using Library > Find All Missing Photos. If you can locate the missing photos, reconnect them to the Lightroom catalog. If you can't locate them, consider removing them from your active catalog. Once you've rounded up your stray sheep or removed the unfound ones, you should back up the catalog and allow Lightroom to test the integrity and optimize it.
  4. Update your offsite backup - Retrieve your offsite backup from wherever you have it stored and update it to contain everything newly captured since the last backup. Be sure to return your backup to its offsite location when you are done updating it. If you don't already have an offsite backup, now is a good time to establish one and place it in a secure location. (Your home or office, friend or family member's home or office, safe deposit box, etc.) Hard drives are incredibly cheap and this is an easy way to give yourself piece of mind. If you aren't using a cloud backup service like CrashPlan, BackBlaze, or Carbonite, consider subscribing to one for the new year and begin backing up your images to your cloud-based account. 
  5. Purge rejected images from your library - Admit it... as photographers we give ourselves all sorts of juicy rationalizations for why we keep completely useless images around on our hard drives for years and years and years. You know the ones I'm talking about...the blurry ones, the poorly composed ones, the ones we are NEVER going to EVER do ANYTHING with. Do yourself a favor and go ahead and delete some of the junk. It's okay. Let them go. Year-end is a really good time to go back and evaluate which of your images you sincerely wish to keep for the long term. Deleting the bad ones not only frees up hard drive space and un-clutters your catalog database, but it also makes it easier on your creative mind because you remove all the distracting garbage material from your view.
  6. Apply keywords to 2020 photos - I have a simple but effective way to grab all the untagged shots. I made a Smart Collection that is based on "images without keywords." And when I have a few minutes free, I'll dig into that collection and keyword tag as many shots as time allows. The end of the year is a good time to make sure you've got at least some basic keywords for as much of your content from 2016 as you care to tag. Some people like a lot of keywords, some don't like them at all. (I'm a big fan!) Applying keywords while the information is still fresh in your memory is always a good idea. Remember that if you are using the "no keywords" smart collection, images will fall out as soon as they get key worded. So don't be surprised when each one disappears from view.
  7. Create a "Best of 2020" Collection - I always keep a "Top Rated" collection in my Lightroom catalog and it's usually the one I have set as my Target collection. So wherever I am in Lightroom, I can quickly add an image to my Top Rated collection by clicking the quick-pick dot or hitting the B key on the keyboard. At year end, it's a simple matter to create a "Best of 2016" smart collection where: collection = Top Rated and Date of capture is between January 1 and December 31 of 2016. You may optionally turn this best of 2013 collection into a slideshow for sharing with friends, family, and clients.
  8. Close out bookkeeping for 2020 - Pretty straight forward business habits. Gather your tax papers and close your books (paper or electronic) and get ready for a) tax season, and b) the next year of business operations.
  9. Review and Update Pricelist for 2021 - Evaluate your pricing and make any needed adjustments. Update any printed material and/or your website to reflect new prices. Optional: Send emails to clients.
  10. Set personal, professional, and creative goals for 2021 - Figure out what you really want to accomplish in 2020 and make a set of choices next year that leads you to your goals.
  11. Start new 2021 Task List - Transfer any old items still undone. Remove any items you no longer care about. Add any new tasks for 2020. Include any action items that involve the goals you set in #10.
  12. Start a 365 day photo project or a 52 week project - January 1st is a great day to begin a photo-a-day or photo-a-week exercise. It's great discipline and a fun project to attempt. Make and post at least one NEW photo every single day or at least every week of 2020. (No fair resuing old shots - the idea is to force yourself to make at least one new image each day/week.) 
  13. Analyze your 2020 photographs - Using the wonderful Lightroom Dashboard website, LR users can generate charts and graphs that will show you how many shots you took, when you took them, and most importantly HOW you took them incuding your favorite Cameras, Lenses, Apertures, ISOs, and more. A great way to figure out if you really need/want that f2.8 lens in 2021.

 

I find that getting my house in order at the end of the old year always makes for a good catapult into the new one. What are some of your year-end practices? Do you clean your gear? Throw out old proofs? Thank your clients? 

Adobe Labs Releases Two Lightroom Plugins

Adobe labs has released two "pre-production" plugins for you to try out in Lightroom 4. These are not considered finished products, more of a beta-test. (Thus the release via Adobe "Labs")

Here's how they are described on the download page:

  • Adobe DNG Flat Field plug-in — a tool used to correct an optical phemonenom called shading, also known as “lens cast”. Please refer to Adobe DNG Flat Field plug-in release notes for additional information.

  • Adobe DNG Recover Edge plug-in — a tool used to recover image data typically lost when using the in-camera crop mode. Please refer to Adobe DNG Recover Edge plug-in release notes for additional information.


Downloads and release notes are available via this page.

 

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