Erin Peloquin has written 26 Articles:
Adobe has just released its latest version of PSE – Photoshop Elements 12.
The most important thing to know about this new release: We have tested all MCP’s actions for Elements, and they work perfectly. If you use Elements but don’t currently have any actions, check some out!
Our most popular Elements actions are:
Plus, we have free actions for Photoshop Elements as well.
PSE 12 has some useful new features this go round.
Last year’s Photoshop Elements 11 release was huge. It was a complete redesign of the user interface and included the Actions Panel, which makes installing and running actions very simple. If you didn’t upgrade to 11, now’s the time to switch to PSE12.
If you have Elements 11 already, this isn’t a must-have upgrade. It has very useful features, but nothing you can’t live without for another year.
How do you save edited photos in Lightroom?
This question bothers many first time Lightroom users. Especially when they hear that the answer is that you don’t save your edits when you use Lightroom!
Lightroom is a database that permanently stores each edit you make to a photo the moment you make it.
It doesn’t however, apply these edits to your photo. For instance, say that I convert this photo to black and white inside of Lightroom. It looks edited when I view it in Lightroom, but when I look at in on my hard drive, I see the SOOC version of the image.
This isn’t a problem in most cases. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why Lightroom is the ultimate non-destructive photo editor – you never change that original image. And, you don’t need to take up hard drive space with an edited version of your photo for many things that Lightroom can take care of for you, like:
- Emailing a photo
- Posting it to Facebook
- Printing it to your home printer
However, there are some things that can’t be done from within Lightroom:
- Sending a file to a print lab
- Uploading photos to your blog
- Sharing photos in a forum or specific Facebook page (like MCP’s Facebook Group!)
- Any many other things
The only time you need to combine your edits with the image in a new file is when you need to do something that can’t been done from within Lightroom. Exporting is not a way to save files, or to make sure you never lose your edits. Exporting simply creates a new file that you can use outside of Lightroom.
So how do you export photos? Select the photo or photos that you want to export, right click, and select Export twice. Or, use the shortcut control+shift+e (command+shift+e on a Mac).
You will then see this dialog box, where you control exactly how your photos to export:
- Choose between Hard Drive, Email and DVD. Each option here changes the options below slightly.
- When exporting to your Hard Drive, choose where these new files will live. The settings in this screen shot are the settings that I use to export to my blog. From the Export To field, you can also select Same Folder as Original, which is what I use when exporting to send to a print lab.
- Choose the name of the new file or files. “Custom Name – Sequence” prompts you to specify the file name and then numbers multiple files sequentially.
- Choose your File Format, Color Space, and Quality. These rarely change for me.
- Specify the image size. The settings in the screen shot above produce an image that is no more than 600 pixels on the longest side. I turn this off to create a full size export for sending to a print lab.
- Output Sharpening – this sharpening doesn’t replace Develop Module sharpening. It applies a different type of sharpening customized to your method of image output. Note that you have to specify whether the image will be output onto screen, glossy paper or matte paper.
- Remove metadata for privacy concerns, if desired. This might be especially useful if your camera embeds GPS info in your photos.
- Add a watermark to your image.
Section 9 in the screenshot above displays memorized presets that speed up exports. I have set up my 3 most commonly used export settings here. The first is configured just like you see in the screenshot above, for posting to my blog. The second goes to my desktop – I use this one for quick exports that I will delete from my computer very quickly. And the last for is full size print quality photos to my external hard drive.
To set up your own Lightroom presets, first enter all the settings you want Lightroom to memorize. For my blog photos, for instance, I direct the presets to my Blog parent folder, and use the “Put in Subfolder” option to specify a current month or topic. Choose the size, sharpening and other settings you would like to be memorized, then click on the Add button at number 10 in the screen shot above. Type the name of your preset and hit create. Now you can recall these settings by clicking on the name of your preset.
When exporting from Lightroom, the most important thing to remember is that Exporting is not a substitute for saving, and that you don’t need to export every file. Once that idea “clicks” for you, the rest is easy!
We all know that Lightroom is powerful photo editing software. But did you know that a large part of this power comes from the fact that Lightroom is actually a database – the Lightroom Catalog?
Lightroom is unlike many popular photo editing softwares that we are used to. Using Photoshop, for example, you open an image and edit it. You hit Save to overwrite your original image with the edited version. Or you hit Save As to create a new file for your edited image.
Using Lightroom, however, you never have to hit Save or Save as because each edit you make is immediately entered into its database. This database is called a catalog, and it stores huge lists of information about each image you have imported into it. For any one photo, this is a small example of the data that Lightroom stores about it:
- The name of the photo
- Where the photo lives on your hard drive
- Tags and keywords you’ve applied to the image to help you search for it later
- Edits you’ve made to the image (for example, increase exposure by 1 stop, convert to black and white and decrease clarity by 10)
There is one key item that Lightroom’s database does not store – the photo itself. Even though you can see your photo in Lightroom’s Library, that photo does not live inside Lightroom. It lives in the location on your hard drive that you assigned to it when you moved your images from your camera.
This information that Lightroom stores about your photos is very important and LR saves it permanently, as long as its catalog works. But it is always a good idea to back up the catalog so that you have a duplicate copy to revert to in case the original becomes corrupt or your hard drive crashes.
Lightroom gives us an easy way to back up its catalog regularly and automatically. It also gives us the added bonus of optimizing it for efficient processing at the same time.
To schedule your back ups, find your Catalog Settings. On PCs, this will be in Lightroom’s Edit menu. On Macs, it will be in the Lightroom menu. In catalog settings, you schedule the frequency of your back ups and learn where your catalog lives on your computer.
You can see from this screen shot that I’ve scheduled my back ups to occur each time I quit Lightroom. And I suggest that you schedule yours frequently too. The backup only takes a couple of minutes – it would take you much longer to re-edit all your photos, right?
Once it’s scheduled, you will see a message box like this when it’s time to back up. Make sure that both “Test Integrity” and “Optimize Catalog” are selected. If you’ve been using Lightroom for a while and haven’t optimized, I predict that you will be impressed with how much more quickly LR runs after optimization!
One other important option on this dialog box is the location of your back up. It is very important that you do not store it on the same hard drive as your catalog itself. One of the reasons for backing up your catalog is to protect it in the event of a hard drive crash, right? If your hard drive crashes, the backup won’t do any good if it lives on the same hard drive that just crashed with your catalog. So, note the location of the catalog from Catalog Settings and then make sure the Backup goes to a different hard drive by clicking Choose in this dialog box.
For me, my catalog lives on my external hard drive (the La Cie) and my back up is stored on my internal hard drive.
Now that I’ve backed up using the settings above, what happens if my external hard drive crashes? Both my catalog and my photos live on it. Even though I have backed up my catalog onto my internal hard drive, remember that my photos don’t live in Lightroom and they are NOT being backed up along with your catalog.
It’s important to schedule a separate back up using which ever backup method you have chosen for your photos themselves. This doesn’t happen through Lightroom. I use an online backup provider for my photos. In the event of a hard drive crash, I would restore my images from the online provider, and my catalog would be restored from the backup created by LR.
If you only back up the catalog but not your photos, you might end up with a long list of edits but no photos to apply them to!
Lightroom users, if you don’t back up your catalog, you have homework! Schedule this backup now to maintain and optimize your Lightroom catalog.
Adobe has just released the latest version of Lightroom. Lightroom 5 has several new features that photographers will love. More about the new features below. Here are the links for the instant download: LIGHTROOM 5.
- Display It: Prepare your images for the web – from one image to many – these presets make showcasing your work on social media, websites and to customers a breeze.
- Present It: Ready to print? Why not drop your images into these super-fast collage and storyboard templates – make more money by selling bigger prints.
Everyone likes a free sample! Our free Lightroom presets work in LR5 too!
Easy presets upgrade from Lightroom 4 to 5
Since all our presets work in Lightroom 5, you won’t need to do a thing if you are using Lightroom 4. You presets will automatically appear in Lightroom 5 when you upgrade.
If you have Lightroom 3 or prior, and bought presets for that version, you will need to re-download your presets from our website. To do this, log on to your account at MCP Actions. Look for “My Downloadable Products on the left side of your account area. Re-download the Lightroom 2 and 3 presets. Please note that the download will still be named “for Lightroom 2 and 3,” however, the most recent version of the presets will be in the same file. The upgrade is in that folder even though the name doesn’t reflect it. Make sure to read the installation instructions. If you need assistance, check the FAQs here.
Best New Features in Lightroom 5
Lightroom 5 has several new additions that are going to make efficient editing much easier for photographers – we now have even fewer reasons to take photos into Photoshop.
1. The Spot Removal tool now works more like a brush. In the past, we have only been able to remove isolated spots using this brush. Now, we can click and drag to remove larger and irregularly shaped objects, much like the content aware spot healing in Photoshop.
2. The Radial Filter to apply local adjustments. It’s a cross between the local adjustment and the gradient tool. Adjustments are applied in a circular shape and are strongest at the center, fading out towards the edges to blend in with the rest of the photo. This tool is great for off-center vignettes, sun flare effects, and subtle dodging and burning.
3. The Upright is a new tool that corrects perspective distortion. In the before and after before, Upright made it appear as if I took the image more centered to the window and columns.
4. Smart Previews allow you to work on photos even if you don’t have the photos with you. For instance, if you store your photos on an external hard drive that you don’t like to travel with, Lightroom’s catalog on your laptop stores editable previews of all the photos in its catalog. You can perform many edits on the road. However, you won’t be able to access the high resolution versions of those photos until you reconnect the external hard drive to your laptop. That reconnection is seamless – your edits are automatically synchronized with the high resolution files.
While the upgrade from 4 to 5 isn’t as major as the prior upgrade from 3 to 4, there are still features that photographers will appreciate. Now, it’s your turn. Do you plan on upgrading to Lightroom 5?
What’s an MCP Social Media Template?
Whether you are sharing before and after images on the MCP Facebook Group , our Facebook Page, or you want to showcase images on your blog or Pinterest, these Lightroom presets make it easy. As shown above, we have a number of layouts and styles from which to choose. And they are fun and quick! Just click and drag, then customize or watermark if you want.
These display presets work in Lightroom’s print module (yes, these are for web though). And are optimized and sharpened for use on Pinterest, Facebook, Google +, your blog, and more.
How can I download the free product?
Our Website: just add “1″ to cart and checkout using the FREE product checkout option (unless you decide to buy something else at the same time). You will need to register.
Our Facebook Page: just like us to download – no registration on our site is required for this method.
How to use them…
Make sure to read the included PDF for instructions on installing and using the presets. Additionally, watch this video to learn more.
To learn more advanced customization, watch the videos linked to for Display It. You can apply the same techniques to our Free Social Media Templates – add watermarks, digital paper and custom color boxes.
Can’t get enough?
If you find yourself saying “I want more,” check out our full sets:
Display It for Web - 154 Web-Sized Presets (whether you have one photo or many, we help you prepare images fast)
Present It for Print - 60 Print-Sized Presets (from 5×7 to 20×30, we have you covered)
Here are a few examples from the free set:
Before and after template
We’d love for you to PIN, SHARE and spread the word about these free tools! And don’t forget to join our Facebook group, where MCP customers love to share good before and afters.