Category Archives: Digital Darkroom

Adobe Lightroom Information, Adobe Photoshop Information, Digital Darkroom Information

How to use your histogram as a digital light meter

A few years ago I had the pleasure to record a title for Dean Collins Software Cinema on Photoshop CS4.  While  much of that information is getting a bit long in the tooth, Softare Cinema has been kind enough to post some of the more relavant training videos on You Tube.  Below is some fine instruction (if I do say so myself) on understanding what a histogram is, and how to use it as a digital light meter.

How to Photograph Star Trails with a Digital SLR (+ Video!)

A time exposure at Mauna Loa Observatory, lasting a little over an hour, produced star trails as Earth rotated. (Jonathan Kingston/Aurora Select for the New York Times)


What are Star Trails?

Simply stated, star trails are the streaks in a photograph left by stars during a time exposure as the Earth rotates.  Objects in the foreground of the photograph remain sharp as they are not moving relative to the camera, while the stars, depending on which cardinal direction the camera is facing, will form concentric circles or streaks in the sky.

Why does Photographing Star Trails require a different technique with a Digital SLR? Continue reading How to Photograph Star Trails with a Digital SLR (+ Video!)

How to batch delete photos from your iPhone


I recently ran into a rather big problem in the iOS world.  I completely filled up my phones 32 gigs of memory with photos, and realized to late that it is not terribly efficient to delete them manually on the phone.  I have had my iphone for a couple years and have always chosen the “keep photos” option after downloading the images into iPhoto – which I use solely to manage my iPhone images – preferring Lightroom to manage the library for my ‘big boy’ cameras.

Delete photos from your iphone
iPhoto gives you the option to delete photos after every download, however if you press the “Keep Photos” button as I often did, it will not give you the option to delete those specific images ever again.


When my iphone indicated that its’ memory was full, I figured that I could simply plug the iphone into my computer, browse to the iphones photo library in iPhoto or Finder, and delete the photos as a batch.  As it turns out, the iPhone’s iOS is set up in such a way that you cannot browse the iphone’s photo library like you would a digital camera’s memory card using the Finder.  Because the Finder cannot see the iPhone’s photo library, apps like Adobe Bridge and Lightroom also cannot see the iPhones photo library making it impossible to leverage these apps to batch delete the images on my phone.  Not wanting to take the time out of my life to manually delete the images in the iphone’s photo library, I set out looking for another solution to the problem.

THE SOLUTION Continue reading How to batch delete photos from your iPhone

Adobe CS5 Soon

This is the first time in a number of years I have not participated in the pre-release beta testing for Photoshop, and I must say it is strange to be out of the loop and unconstrained by an NDA.  One thing I know for certain is that Adobe works on 18-24 month product cycles, and CS4 is just about to hit the 18 month mark.  In my humble opinion its lunacy to have such a short product cycle as the consumer barely has time to adopt and learn the updated program before it is depreciated by the next product cycle, but, that being said – everybody gear up for the next life change from Adobe!

Adobe’s Slam Dunk – The DNG Profile Editor

DNG Profile Editor

While waiting for the digital delivery of Lightroom 2 earlier this week I was poking around Adobe’s site and stumbled across an application that excites me more than LR 2 – and let me tell you I am really excited about LR 2.  It is a little application called the DNG Profile Editor and it addresses one of the biggest complaints that everybody has with digital RAW files – the unprocessed RAW files lack of richness.  With the introduction of the DNG Profile Editor, our lives are about to change for the better.

For the savvy reader out there you have probably been using the Adobe Camera Raw calibrator found on the Chromoholics website here to tweak your baseline colors to a truer tonality. Thanks to this website the camera calibration tab did more than languish in obscurity in Lightroom 1 and CS3 and became a very powerful and useful tool in my toolbox. With Adobe’s introduction of the DNG Profile editor, the camera calibration tab has been taken to a new level, and the calibration process takes about 30 minutes less than using the Chromoholics method.

Continue reading Adobe’s Slam Dunk – The DNG Profile Editor

Much needed keywording help for photographers

As a professional photographer, one of the parts of my job that I dread the most is keywording.  Send me on a 50 mile hike with 90 pounds of gear, just don’t make me keyword!   Sadly, if I choose to forgo this loath activity, the odds of my images ever being found in an online database are slim to none.  This equals no sales and one very unhappy photographer.  

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, keywording is something that you use on a daily basis without knowing it.  Every time you search Google or another major search engine, you are searching key terms or keywords that describe what you are looking for.   To find specific images on the internet, or within a stock photo library like Aurora Photos, the problem is compounded.  The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is quite true, however, as a photographer I have to boil down those thousand possible descriptive terms to about twenty five key words that capture the essence of the image.  Once boiled down, I then type these words into the metadata of the file, embed the metadata into the image and get the images online.

Before yesterday, my keywording process would often involve me staring at the computer screen for a few hours with my mind a complete blank.  I would then rally into procrastination mode and read the news, answer all my emails, and daydream about being anywhere but in front of the computer screen keywording. Finally, when I realized I had just wasted a few hours of my life,  I would begin the arduous process of convincing my girlfriend to do my keywording for me.  On a good day, I (she) could get about 30 done. 

fotoKeyword HarvesterThis week, a lifeline appeared on the keywording front when Cradoc Software, makers of the much loved FotoBiz, released a product called fotoKeyword Harvester.  I purchased it yesterday, learned the program in about 15 minutes, and in less than an hour had 12 images keyworded and ready for upload.  Now, for me, that is some sort of all time speed record — not even my girlfriend could get it done that fast.  The brilliant idea behind the software is you begin, as the name implies, by harvesting keywords from similar images already online.  You then cull the unnecessary keywords out of this list, fine tune the existing keywords from a brilliantly implemented list of controlled vocabulary built into the program, and export the keywords to your clipboard.  Once the keywords are in your clipboard they can be pasted into whatever program you are embedding the keywords with.  Thank you Cradoc — my girlfriend thanks you too!




For the first time since owning Lightroom, I have experienced a Lightroom catalog becoming corrupted. Fortunately under File>Catalog settings>Metadata, I have been writing my metadata to my .xmp side car files. Unfortunately, I did not realize when a .lrcat file becomes corrupted, the metadata does not include virtual copies of the images, or references to what catalog sets they are in. I hope Adobe changes this in the next release of Lightroom. Continue reading THE PROBLEM – LIGHTROOM CATALOG CORRUPTION