Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ten on Ten - What I forgot in Lightroom [9/366]

Star in the Night
Still without the D80 here, although I did finally hear from the Nikon service center today.  This shot was taken with my camera phone.  As Lindsay and I returned from our walk last night, there was just one bright, shining star in the western sky.  I have very little astronomy knowledge so I can't tell you what it is or what the significance is, but against the deep blue of the sky at nightfall, it was brilliant.  The photo was pretty grainy coming out of my phone, so I decided to try a texture on top of it to give it that aged photo look.  I'm not terribly unhappy with the result.  I like how you can still see the reflection of the houses in the pond and the last whispers of the sunset peaking through the trees - and - that star is still shining brightly.

For the first time, I'm linking up with Shimelle.com's 10 on 10.  On the tenth of each month, you make a list of ten things - any ten things - and share it on your blog.  So, since my friend Diana and I took the first night of our two night light room class tonight, I thought I'd share ten things I learned in Lightroom, but forgot...
  1. Right click makes things happen.  Okay, so truthfully, I don't think we saw this in the class the first time we took it (yes - we're retaking the same workshop we took previously), but there is a LOT hidden in light room if you right click on various features.  Being the nerd I am, I would have normally already tried this everywhere, but for some reason, I didn't.  My favorite...right-clicking on the little arrow buttons that hide/show your side panels will allow you to lock those so they can't just disappear on you.
  2. If you have multiple monitors, you can control their function using the little monitor icons.  (That's not rocket science either, but again - for a nerd like me, the number of times I've had an image stuck over on my second monitor and couldn't figure out how to get rid of it...it's mind-boggling.)
  3. Toggle through the various views quickly using keyboard shortcuts:
    1. G - grid
    2. E - loupe (one photo at a time)
    3. C - compare
    4. N - survey.  To remove photos from survey mode, select them and use the forward slash (/) key
  4. I didn't forget this one - I don't think I'd ever seen it before or tried clicking on it.  In the Library module, the Paint Can (if you can’t see it, toggle your tool bar back on using the “t” key or go to view > show toolbar – you may also need to click the little drop down arrow to the right of the toolbar to display it – see the next item for more on that one) can be used to quickly “paint” photos with various attributes such as keywords, labels, flags, ratings, metadata, etc.  The most fun, though, is rotation if that is screwed up. Be sure to click the Done button when you're finished.
  5. That toolbar where the paint can is – has a lot of features.  And they have a mind of their own in turning themselves on and off.  To see what you can turn on and off, click the drop down arrow at the far right end of the toolbar.  Most important one – a slider that lets you make the grid preview images larger.
  6. All that information that is included in the grid view with your picture previews - you can toggle that on and off with the letter j.  
  7. Tab and Shift-Tab will hide and show all the side, top, and bottom panels.
  8. In the, “I’m still not sure I understand this” category, you can apply labels as well as keywords.  I think that Labels get added to the metadata of the photo while keywords don’t but I’m not sure if that is actually true.  Labels can be added with the paint can to quickly color on color labels (this is actually a little fun and would be good for scrapbookers/artists wanting to sort things by colors)
  9. Your different zoom views are identified at the top left of the navigator window (just under the Lightroom logo).  You can toggle through these using the z key.
  10. And, while this has nothing to do with Lightroom, it was a good selection.  If you're taking multiple bracketed shots (for HDR) and want to mark the beginning and ending of a bracketed set, take one non-bracketed photo of your fingers on your left hand making an L.  After you've taken the bracketed set, take a photo of your fingers on your right hand making a reverse L - thus "bracketing" your photos in between your fingers.
Have a favorite lightroom tip I didn't share - leave it in the comments.  I put all of mine above, along with some screen captures to show the various areas, into a quick download file.  You can grab the PDF version here, or if you want to edit it and maybe add your own tips, you can grab the word version here.  I've released it as Creative Commons, Share and Share Alike, Non Commercial.  Feel free, if you edit and make your own, to drop a link in the comments so others can benefit too.  

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