It is hard to believe how quickly my nephews have grown up. We celebrated Max’s bar mitzvah a few weeks ago: here are a few of my favorite images from this special day.
Ah. Maz. Ing. I had such a fun time working with Sarah and Brian and their family and friends AND as well, having the opportunity to catch up with old friends and former clients Trillion, Barrett, Anne, Andrew, Seven and Lauren!
Best wishes and a lifetime of love and happiness to you both!
Alli and Jon’s wedding in three words: TOO MUCH FUN. A few of my favorites:
A lifetime of love and happiness to you both!
Jamie and Chris and their family and friends were such a joy to work with. Here are a few of my favorites from their day together:
A lifetime of love and happiness to you both!
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I occasionally still meet working photographers who do not use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, which is just, well, silly. Don’t get me wrong: Photoshop has its valuable place, which for my particular uses is precision retouching, album design and for creating graphics or the like. But Lightroom is designed to enable you to do almost everything you need to do as a photographer (making adjustments to color and contrast, performing noise reduction, not to mention cataloging your images and more). Lightroom does all of these things very well and there is simply no other product on the market that comes close.
Shockingly, in contrast to its much more expensive older brother, it is also very affordable: $150 new, $80 for an upgrade or of course, included in Adobe’s new subscription based Creative Cloud. In short, Lightroom is designed for the working photographer, it does its job very well and it is indispensable. That’s the short version.
But you probably want details, so let’s take a closer look. What has changed since Lightroom 4? Not a lot*, to be honest, but hang with me for a moment here. While some product iterations are revolutionary (introducing hugely significant advancements) others are evolutionary (introducing minor improvements, but nothing earth shattering). Lightroom 5 feels like the latter to me, but that’s not to say it isn’t worth the purchase price. It is, and here’s why:
Above all else, the Develop module is much snappier now. Lightroom 4 introduced powerful enhancements to this module, but at a cost; the new algorithms were apparently (and understandably) more CPU intensive. It appears that Adobe has worked some magic here and the result is that the whole panel runs noticeably faster. If you spend hours a day here (as I do), this alone justifies the cost of admission.
However, while the zippier Develop module is a big plus, I was disappointed that imports (and preview rendering) and exports appear to be no faster than they were in Lightroom 4. Clearing ACR caches and all previews, I exported the same set of 1,000 Nikon and Canon image files at full-size, 100% JPEG in LR4 and LR5; the difference in time was negligible. Also, it seems that Lightroom still does not make efficient use of modern, multiple core CPUs while executing these processes: MacPerformanceGuide.com provided a great analysis of this issue a few years ago and it appears that nothing has changed, several years/releases later. (Though you can work around it as described in the above article; to do so, divide your export into 2 or 3 equally sized sets and export them concurrently. On my quad core MacBook Pro with a slow, 5400RPM HDD, exporting 1,000 images concurrently in two sets of 500 reduced the total export time by nearly 25%.)
This isn’t a big deal by any means (I generally walk away from the computer or do something else while waiting on imports and exports to process) but it really feels like Adobe could’ve or should’ve addressed this inefficiency by now.
So having talked about speed, what else is new, of note?
I haven’t used the advanced healing brush too much yet, but like Photoshop’s, it seems to mostly work well and occasionally not, say, for cloning half of the family dog out of the picture:
The horizon straightening tool is mostly a great thing, though it sometimes fails spectacularly, e.g.:
The radial gradient tool is … interesting. At first, I thought, why bother; I’ll never use that. Then as time goes on, I’ve found uses for it after all; my preference is to use it subtly to draw focus to the subject of an image:
Smart Previews are an interesting idea, but not relevant to my workflow. I suppose it might be if you work with a small drive (say, on a MacBook Air) or a gazillion large files at once, but I have a 750GB HDD that I keep all of my active shoots on until I am finished with them.
Video slide shows, improved book creation and social media publishing connections (Behance, Flickr) etc? Meh. Some will use these features and enjoy them, but I don’t (maybe I should).
In short, buy it. It’s a worthy (and highly affordable) upgrade and if you are still hand editing each image in Photoshop … buy it, now, and take a few hours to figure it out; I promise you’ll wish you had done it much sooner!
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