Playing around with Lightroom 3 Beta

A first shot at two things: 1) Black and White digital processing and 2) Lightroom 3 Beta, which was just announced by Adobe last week.

For the B&W processing: I'd be interested in any comments about the B&W processing here. Since my girlfriend shot in B&W and made her own gelatin-silver prints, I feel like this doesn't even hold a candle... but you gotta start somewhere, right?

For Lightroom 3 beta: Lightroom Killer Tips has some good info on it.

Here, I mainly tried playing around with the new "grain" effect. It looks good on as a smaller size, but you can see in the large size that it was a little overdone. Overall, I think it could be put to some good used if used subtly. I'd be curious to see how it ends up in a good print.

You'll also see the watermark at the bottom left. That's a new feature as well. The lack of watermarking left me scratching my head in Lightroom 2. Such a basic thing in such an otherwise amazing application. I overdid it here, but this was definitely a quick stab at trying lr3's features!

Lightroom Killer Tips also has some Q&A's about the beta. Can't share/export your library between Lightroom 2 and 3beta, bummer!

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Posted by Matt 10/29/2009 07:55:00 PM Comments (0)

Sand Beach

Sand Beach, originally uploaded by theothermattm.

A little taste of Bar Harbor from a few weeks back - Sand beach from Gorham Mountain Trail that we "hiked" (it was only 500 ft...).

About this photo:Taken with the trusty walkaround 28-135mm Canon USM Lens with a polarizer. Added a bit of a graduated exposure filter in Lightroom to the sky and tweaked contrast a bit. Comments?

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Posted by Matt 10/24/2009 11:36:00 AM Comments (0)

50mm (prime)

canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM front, originally uploaded by louis_ayyh.

I recently found this article on Digital Photography School about discovering the fantastic-ness of the 50mm prime lens.

I had a similar experience as the author when I reviewed my first shots with my 50mm prime:

"These aren't my usual boilerplate shots. There is something different about them. There is more contrast, the composition could make a diamond out of coal, they look almost 3d. Just about every image was holding my attention and my eye was not falling out of the picture like I tend to fall out of bed in the morning (groaning and complain)."

The glass in the lens creates better contrast and color tones for technical reasons I can't remember, but the fixed focal length lens forces you to think more and work more to get the shot you want. Before I got my prime, I had heard that Henri Carier-Bresson used a fixed focal length and that his shots came out more natural and beautiful because of it. If it's good enough for Cartier-Bresson, it had to be worth a try, but I didn't fully understand what all this meant until I shot with the lens for a while. The author of the post says it better than I can:

"The 50mm prime helped me get off my ass and showed me a better way to take a photo. It was not easier, in fact it was much harder. In this day of making our lives easier the camera companies have tied our hands to the chain of mediocrity. The zoom."

My Canon 50mm prime was less than $100 and I find that it's a standby on my camera body. The only reason I take it off is to use a polarizer or if I really need my zoom. Or, if I'm lazy and another lens is already on!

Posted by Matt 10/17/2009 02:46:00 PM Comments (0)