AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) On the Canon 1D-X

If you’re familiar with the menu system on the Canon 5d mark III, you may know that on page two of the red section there’s a menu item called “Expo.comp./AEB.”  Using that menu, one can make changes to and enable/disable the way the camera exposure brackets.

Coming from that system, I was very puzzled attempting to enable auto exposure bracketing on Canon’s 1D-X.  Other than features that the 1D-X has over the 5d mk III, most of the menus are the same between the two cameras.  And yet the 1D-X is lacking that menu item entirely.  It turns out Canon implemented shortcuts via the hardware buttons on the 1D-X, and eliminated menu-digging.  It’s a very nice feature, but it’s not exactly self-explanatory.  Here’s how you get it working….
Continue reading AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) On the Canon 1D-X

RAID Won’t Save Your Ass

Wedding photographers.  I’m looking at you.  You have precious, absolutely irreplaceable data.  Do not eff this up.  Here are the rules:

  1. If you don’t have at least three copies, you don’t have any.
  2. A RAID storage system does not count as more than one copy.
  3. Storage devices fail.  They just do.  Plan for the failure of your drives, and accept that it will happen.
  4. At least one copy of your client’s memories should be stored off-site.  No matter how many backups you have, you’re naked and defenseless if they’re all in your home where fire and burglars can get to them.
  5. JPEG or half-resolution files are not backups.  You cannot deliver the quality of product you expect from yourself if you’re forced to rely on these.  A backup is not a backup unless you can deliver a finished product to the client without them ever knowing there was an issue.

Continue reading RAID Won’t Save Your Ass

Dehaze Presets for Lightroom 6.1 and Later

Dehaze was introduced in the latest Lightroom CC 2015.1 dot release.  If you’re a perpetual user (AKA Lightroom 6.1,) you did not get access to the dehaze slider.  But there are still “hacks” to get around it… Continue reading Dehaze Presets for Lightroom 6.1 and Later

Why Don’t Lightroom 6 Perpetual Licensees Get The New Features In Lightroom CC 2015.1?

It’s a valid question, and I’m sure one that will cause plenty of anti Creative Cloud-ers to beat the drum of hostility once again.

In case you missed the news, there were two or three new features in the recent new dot-release for Lightroom.  If you’re on a traditional license, you’d call this Lightroom 6.1.  If you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber, you’d call this Lightroom CC 2015.1.  You can read more about the new features in Lightroom here.

As it turns out, there’s more to it than just a push to migrate everyone to the subscription model. Continue reading Why Don’t Lightroom 6 Perpetual Licensees Get The New Features In Lightroom CC 2015.1?

Lightroom 6.1 / CC 2015.1 Out. CC Brings White & Black Sliders to Local Adjustment Tools

The first major dot release for the Lightroom 6 / CC 2015 products just went live.  It may take a bit for the updates to appear in your system, but they’re rolling out slowly over the course of the day.  There are a few new features which I outline below, and some changes to how you’ll install the update. Continue reading Lightroom 6.1 / CC 2015.1 Out. CC Brings White & Black Sliders to Local Adjustment Tools

Adobe DNG HDR Format, Part 3

I’m  back once again with even more information from Lightroom developer Eric Chan, and best practices for creating HDR RAW files in Lightroom CC 2015 / 6.  Previously we reported that Adobe recommends just two exposures for creating an HDR DNG file, which was and is true, but now Eric expands on that idea, and explains under what conditions you might want to add more than two exposures.  Before we begin, if you haven’t caught up on this topic, check out Part 1 or Part 2 in this series.

Eric starts with some advice on merge speed:

More images in an HDR merge will take proportionally longer.  2 frames is [normal,] 3 frames is even longer, etc.

Whether or not a third (middle) frame will help will depend on a lot of things, including the tonal content of your scene, and the spread of your exposure bracket.  Keep in mind that a third frame increases the likelihood of misalignment between the frames.

If merging two frames, I generally recommend they be within 3 stops of each other.  For example, I’ll capture one shot for the highlights, then open up 3 stops and capture another frame, then blend those two.

I don’t recommend merging two frames that are super-spread apart.  Continuing the above example, I would NOT recommend shooting my second image by opening up 6 stops.  Why not?  Because I am likely to see some range of tones in the merged result that are visibly more noisy than other tones.  These are the pixels that are clipped in the 2nd (bright) shot, and therefore the HDR blending algorithm needs to grab those tones from the 1st (dark) shot, which is noisier for those pixels.

So it’s fine to use the in-camera HDR bracket facilities, including ones that allow you to take 3 shots quickly, like 0/+3/-3.

Some examples:

0/+1/-1:  I would just merge the +1 and -1 shots (they’re within 2 stops of each).
0/+2/-2:  I would merge either the 0/+2 shots or 0/-2 shots (depends on how I metered the scene).  For very high contrast scenes, I’d merge all three.
0/+3/-3:  Similar to the 0/+2/-2 case.

I would consider the +1,5/-1,5 case “3 stops apart”.
The +3/-3 case would be 6 stops apart.

So there you have a more detailed version of “best practices” for shooting Lightroom HDR.

If you’re a Canon 5d mk III user, you likely know that you have an in-camera HDR function.  The camera produces a merged JPEG for you, but it also keeps the RAW files.  You can use this and just ignore the JPEG.  I do not own a 6D or a 7D mk II, but since they’re also newer Canon bodies, I suspect they may have the HDR feature as well.

If you don’t have one of these bodies, or if you want more control over the bracketing, or if you’re on the 1DX, you can also use the AEB tools to create 2, 3, 5, or 7 shots bracketed at any difference from 1/3 to 3 stops each.  Check out the AEB section of your manual, or do a little Googling to learn how to use these features.

If you found this post helpful, please like, share, or follow.  Happy photo-ing!

Adobe DNG Fast Load Data & Smart Previews

So every time you convert to DNG you’ve been checking the option to include Fast Load Data.  Anything you can do to speed up “walking images” (moving from one image to the next in the Develop module) should help, right?

Screen Shot of the Embed Fast Load Data option in the Convert to DNG dialog for Adobe Lightroom.

Continue reading Adobe DNG Fast Load Data & Smart Previews

How To Duplicate Masks & Brushes in Adobe Lightroom CC / 6

Have you ever wanted to copy or duplicate a radial filter, graduated filter, or brush mask in Lightroom?  Now you can.  In Lightroom 6 / CC, simply hold down the ALT & CTRL (ALT & CMD for Mac) keys while clicking and dragging the pin for the mask.  Prefer a quick video?  Your wish is my command.

Images Appear Fine, Then Suddenly Corrupted in Lightroom

Have you ever imported images into Adobe Lightroom and they looked fine for a split second, then after just a moment suddenly they started to corrupt?  Or maybe you looked carefully at your images on the back of the camera where the looked fine, and they even looked fine in File Explorer or Finder, but then when you open them in Photoshop or ACR, suddenly they didn’t look fine anymore.

In a nutshell, have you ever seen images go from this:

Image courtesy of and copyright 2015 Jennifer Graham
Image courtesy of and copyright 2015 Jennifer Graham

to this:
150206_Careyes_031-17

Continue reading Images Appear Fine, Then Suddenly Corrupted in Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom 6.0.1 Patches Available for Separate Download

The recent 6.0.1 / CC 2015.0.1 patch, released on April 30th is now available for manual download.  One of the issues addressed by the patch is a crash on launch.  Users not affected by this crash, or users on Adobe Creative Cloud, had no problem accessing the patch through the in-app or Creative Cloud update systems.

Users on the perpetual Lightroom 6 license, and who were experiencing the crash on startup, could not get access to the patch.  Now you can download it manually.

http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2013/06/keeping-lightroom-up-to-date.html

You’ll need to scroll to the section titled “What if the computer that Lightroom is on is not connected to the internet?”

Technology & Workflow for Busy Photographers

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