Starting with Lightroom Mobile

By Mark

Last week we started discussing the family of mobile device apps developed by Adobe.  For me, the one I use the most must be LR mobile.  It is not intended to be replacement for the desktop version.  That being said, you can do more and more editing on the app, and with the latest release, Adobe has even introduced their own interface to the device’s camera which shoots and processes native RAW format images.  The app works on iPads, iPhones and Android devices. 

LR Mobile allows you to edit, rate, present images while on the go.  The software doesn’t directly edit your images, aside from the ones taken on your device, instead it works on the “Smart Preview” thumbnail. These are much smaller files, but they are linked back to your main catalog on your computer.  Changes you make in LR mobile, will change those images, once your device is synchronized.  Like all adjustments in LR, any or all of them can be changed back. 

To begin taking advantage of LR mobile, you have to start back on your desktop installation.  Access to your images is based upon setting up and enabling Collections.  Collections, I hope you recall are one of the most powerful features of LR.  No one really wants to see all 5000 photographs of your vacation.  With collections, you can select only the best images of that trip, or set up collections for only your 5 Star portraits, or…, whatever you want to showcase.  Currently, you can’t synchronize Smart Collections, but they are working on that.

It is a simple three step process to begin displaying photos on your devices.  Once LR mobile is installed, just log in to your Adobe account.   Back at your desktop, at the top menu, you will see a “Synchronize with LR Mobile”. 

It will ask you to login again to your Adobe account.  Now, assuming you already have collections set up, you will see an additional check box to the far left of the menu.  Click on them and it will display a bi-directional arrow indicating that LR will synch the images in that collection.    If you want to see how many total images you are sharing, they have added this information to the Topmost Catalog panel.

I mentioned that you can set up your devices to auto upload from the phone/IPad into your LR collection.  Rather than recreating an already created tutorial, here is a link to one from Lightroom Killer Tips.  http://lightroomkillertips.com/how-to-automatically-add-your-camera-phone-photos-to-lightroom/

I have not even started on all the editing tools, but that will have to wait for next week’s blog.   

Starting Some Updates on Adobe Mobile Apps

By Mark

Adobe is aggressively and continually making improvements to their suite of phone and tablet apps.  They have recognized and are responding to several trends in how people use their cameras, in fact in what their cameras are.  For a lot of people, their only camera is what their phones can do, we “real photographers”, with our heavy DSLRs are becoming rarer and rarer.  In truth, cell phone cameras are approaching the quality of many cameras. People also want to have access to their photos or artistic creations wherever they happen to be.  For those individuals, lucky enough to be creative, they want the tools to create, capture and share across multiple platforms and channels.  What is powering all of this, is the part that I actually understand, the power, speed and availability of real-time cloud computing is increasing daily, while the costs are dropping faster than Roger’s camera from a table.

Adobe has been telling everyone that the future will reside in the cloud for quite a while now. In the last two weeks, they have finally announced the end of support for the Creative Suite stand-alone versions.  For the time being, you still can purchase a non-subscription version of Lightroom, but that writing is on the wall as well.  Truthfully, like many I was skeptical at first, but the pace at which they roll out new features and fix bugs along with the increasing level of integration between all the applications and the apps through the Creative Cloud have convinced me.  There are apps now for everything from Adobe Premiere for capturing video clips for production, drawing, sketching and painting applications, and of course mobile versions of Photoshop and Lightroom.

I’m going to spend a few blogs talking about what these apps do and why you should start using them.  I have an entire page of my iPad and iPhone filled with Adobe stuff and I use them all the time.

At the center of the app world is the Adobe Creative Cloud app itself.  It is the Central hub connecting the desktop applications, the mobile apps and your assets that you want to share across all of them. 

You can save color schemes, brushes, patterns and files.  They work from Illustrator to Photoshop and are linked through your Adobe login and password.  You can create separate libraries for multiple projects and can share them with specific people.

Next week we will start in-depth with LR mobile. 

Rolex 24 Racing

By Roger (6 February 2017)

Last weekend, I was invited to Daytona Beach, for the Rolex 24 sports car race. In case you're not familiar with this event, four different classes of cars race for 24 hours, continuously, rain or shine. It's one of the most prestigious sports car races in the United States. I had an all-access pass to take my cameras all around the racetrack.

Rolex 24 logo

I've been to the Daytona Speedway, a couple of times, so I had an idea of the layout of the track. However, I had never had this kind of access in the past, nor did I have any sports car experience. The Rolex course had an extra section of track opened that included many tight corners for the cars to weave their way through. I spent the first few hours roaming the track, looking for the best spots to be during the race. I was looking for locations where I could see the cars on the corners and along the steep banks of the speedway. With a 24-hour race, I knew I'd have the time to move around the track.

Next, I went down to the garages, but the cars had already been moved out to the pits for the crowd to see them. The pits are where the cars are refueled and worked on during the race. Each team had several drivers, and they switched out as the hours went on. Before the race, the pits were swarming with onlookers, drooling over the expensive race cars.

Dream Racing's Lamborghini Huracan GT3, GT Daytona Class

Dream Racing's Lamborghini Huracan GT3, GT Daytona Class

I went back to the Porsche Club of America tent, with my hosts, and began to plan out my shot list. The PCA has a special section to watch the race, and the members bring their Porsches out for display. The tent was less than 100 yards from the track; had several monitors to watch the race; and protected the PCA members from the elements. It was a cozy place to hang out. ;-)  My hosts had come in their two machines, so I made some photos of them and a couple of the other cars in the lot.

Jim and Karla, with Charlotte, a Porsche GT3

Jim and Karla, with Charlotte, a Porsche GT3

Martini Porsche, at the PCA tent

Martini Porsche, at the PCA tent

By the time the race started, at 2:30, I thought I had everything figured out. I made a mental list of the shots I hoped to get. One photo I wanted depended on the weather, but the weather forecast looked good for me.

While the cars were on their warm-up laps, I tested out one of my initial positions for some easy photos before the cars got up to speed. The faster Prototype class cars would hit 200mph on the backstretch. Luckily, I've shot race cars before, so I had my hearing protection in. The decibel level from racing engines is not only harmful to your hearing, it is downright painful. You should always pack some kind of protection.

If you're new to these events – and I was – pick up a program, so you have descriptions of each car and race team. You want to know the car manufacturer, the drivers, and, in this case, the class of the race cars. The Rolex 24 program had a description of the course, so I could look for more photo locations.

Cadillac DPi-V.R., Prototype class. This team won the race.

Cadillac DPi-V.R., Prototype class. This team won the race.

Oreca FLM09, Prototype Challenge class

Oreca FLM09, Prototype Challenge class

 On the first laps, I found out I had underestimated the shutter speed required to freeze the cars, especially on the main track. I also noticed that zooming in too far took away the context of the photo. I backed off a little and got a better shot.

This is not what you want to see in your viewfinder!

This is not what you want to see in your viewfinder!

On the banking, with some context. All four classes of racers, in one shot.

On the banking, with some context. All four classes of racers, in one shot.

I'm thinking that I should take out that light pole, dividing the photo into two pieces, but that will have to wait for a day when I have more time.

As the day progressed, my weather wish came true. It started to drizzle. This was not a good thing for the drivers – especially those in the open cockpits of the Prototype Challenge cars. But I wanted to get some photos with water mist on the track.

Unfortunately, it was already late in the evening, and we were all pretty much worn out. We retired to my hosts' boat for some sleep, but I was back at the track before the sun rose. The rain was just ending; there was enough light; I got my shots.

Porsche 911 RSR, GT LeMans class

Porsche 911 RSR, GT LeMans class

Prototype R5D4944

It was a long 24 hours for me, but what an opportunity! I carried both cameras, with my long lenses. With that much time, I figured out all the proper settings to make the photos I wanted and which camera was best for each type of photo. (I shot almost 4,000 photos.) I picked up some tips from the other photographers. (Always bring a stool for shots over the fencing.) I made lots of new contacts for future events. After watching that many hours at the track, I could tell which car was coming by the sound of its roaring engine. The Corvettes and Mercedes had the best sounding engines. Here's hoping I get to hear them, again.

Corvette C7-R, GT LeMans class

Corvette C7-R, GT LeMans class

Mercedes AMG GT3, GT Daytona class

Mercedes AMG GT3, GT Daytona class