Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lightroom 2.0 Test Image

Tonight I had my first chance at playing with Adobe Lightrom 2.0. My main goal was to find out what was new in 2.0 and just "play around". I'm wasn't looking for the perfect image to start with, nor the perfect outcome to end with.

Rich Legg had just posted an image where he had asked a few friends to volunteer some editing efforts just to show different editing styles/visions on a single image. Click here to view his article and the other versions of the image. I decided to use that image to show a "before and after" using Lightroom 2.0.

Here is the before image using ACR defaults (click to view larger):

And here is the image after editing using Lightroom 2.0:

The Lightroom version of the image includes Local Adjustments for the sky and the rock, as well as original Lightroom 1.0 adjustments on specific colors within the image (you can, for example, pick yellow or orange and darken only that color without adjusting anything else).

So with only a small amount of effort, I have produced a "brilliant image", deepening the blues and yellows in the sky, while lightening the model and darkening the rock. All of which are non-destructive edits - my raw file is completely intact and all of my edits can be reversed. Other changes include straightening the horizon and vignetting the image.

Adobe Lightroom can be purchased (or a 30-day trial version downloaded) from here.

A surprising long and detailed list of new features for Lightroom 2.0 can be found on the Lightroom Journal.

Camera Raw 4.5 was released as well.

And new ACR Profiles can be downloaded as well.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lightroom 2.0 Released!

Wow, I didn't expect Adobe Lightroom 2.0 to be released for another month or two. I'm so happy it's here. I shoot in raw and use Lightroom to process pretty much every picture I take.

If you haven't tried it yet, be sure to check out the 30-day free trial here: Adobe Lightrom 2.0

Top new features

* Local adjustment brush
* Enhanced organizational tools
* Volume management
* Extensible architecture
* Multiple monitor support
* Flexible print package functionality
* Streamlined Photoshop CS3 integration
* Enhanced output sharpening
* 64-bit support for Windows® and Mac OS

Upgrade is $99.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fun with the Grandkids

My oldest daughter, Brandy, has two children. She has lived in Atlanta ever since before she was married. I used to claim that I wasn't really a "grandpa" until the kids could call me grandpa. And I used to "hedge my bets" a bit knowing that, because they live in Atlanta, they won't really know me as their grandpa any time soon. :-)

Well... they came home to Utah for Dan and Angie's wedding and have decided to stay here for a little while. In the mean time, I get to play with and get to know my grandkids. And I certainly couldn't do that without involving a little photography along the way.

So here are some photographic highlights from these last two weeks. First up are pictures from the Hogle Zoo:

Then we had a little fun at the swimming pool!

And, of course, I can't resist a few quick shots in studio:

Here in Utah, the celebration on the 24th of July is almost as big (perhaps bigger?) as the 4th of July celebration. This year a few of us got together as a family for food and fun and fireworks. Here are a few images from the 24th:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My new Drobo 2.0 is here! (4 Terabytes of storage!!!)

Drobo 2.0 from Data Robotics, Inc

It came today!

There are many things that I think Average Joe does not understand about the photographic industry and why it costs so much to do pictures (after all, digital is free, right?!?). But the one pervasive, never ending concern, of every photographer out there is Storage!

Digital photography has an incredible appetite for storage. I shot two weddings this week. All together, there were 4,894 images captured, requiring 71Gb of storage. If you ever thought of a 250Gb drive as large, you can quickly see that at this rate, only 2.5 more weeks of weddings will be required to fill up a 250Gb drive.

And that's without processing the images or backing them up!!!

I mention processing the images, because all images are captured as raw files and later converted to displayable / printable jpegs. While the act of converting them won't double the storage requirements, it will probably increase the current 71Gb to perhaps 90Gb or so. And if any editing is done to the images, another 10-20Gb of storage will probably be needed, so we're talking at least 100Gb to 110Gb for the two weddings.

And still no backup! What happens if a hard drive goes out?

I use four different kinds of storage. The memory cards that the pictures were initially recorded on. A main storage drive. A backup drive. And an off site (internet accessable) location.

I don't format the memory cards until the images are in at least two of those locations because you never know when something will go out. And if it's somebody's wedding we're talking about, there are no "do-overs". And your customer won't take "sorry" for an answer.

Why do I worry? Because I lost 3 hard drives last year and one already this year. Have I had an unlucky two years? Sure. But with so many drives up and running, it just happens. You better count on it!

So everything gets backed up, right? But what if you're working on a job and the hard drive you are working on goes out? What happens to all of the changes you've made? What happens to the "hours of labor" you have put into processing the images since the last backup? You can't be constantly backing everything up, can you?!?

This is where my new Drobo 2.0 comes in!

Drobo will be my new Main Storage drive. With 4Tb of high speed storage. Caveat, not all 4Tb are usable by me because some of it is used for redundancy. Still, I'll be able to put many, many "jobs" onto a single system and still consider it to be fairly safe.

The system has 4 drives in it. All of my hard work is spread across all four drives. If one drive goes out, I simply replace it and Drobo automatically rebuilds the data on the new drive. In other words, Drobo is "automatically redundant". It automatically protects every minute of every change I make. Will I still back up my images to other drives and to off site storage? Yes! But I can do so as the job is finished rather than having to continually worry about backups.

But you've heard of RAID systems, right? Is this any different? YES! Absolutely! Some reasons to consider adding a Drobo to your storage:

1) Drobo is immediately expandable. If you have a RAID 5 system with four 250Gb drives and want to grow the system by replacing those drives with 500Gb drives, you may opt to: a) change one drive at a time, over a period of time, or b) change them all at once. Either way, you STILL have to back up the entire system, "break the RAID configuration", then reformat the drives and restore all of your data. How long will that take? You don't want to know.

Drobo, on the other hand, immediately begins growing your storage from the moment you put a new/larger drive into the system. You don't have to wait until all four drives are replaced. You don't have to back up the system or break the raid, and you don't have to restore the images when you're done. It's all automatic. It's fast and it's painless. That's the way storage ought to be!

You can read more about Drobo on their website.

Or watch several video demonstrations.

I've lived with a never ending supply of external drives (I swear, they breed like rabbits). I've lived with a RAID 5 NAS system. I'm extremely excited about my new Drobo 2.0 connected to my system via Firewire.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dan and Angie's Wedding (update)

Just a quick note to say that the pictures are back online.

As luck would have it, within seconds of my last posting, Amazon's S3 service went down. Amazon provides the storage for Smugmug and Smugmug hosts my images, and that's why none of the pictures were visible.

So if you visited my blog sometime between 10am and 6:30pm MST, please do come back. The pictures are there. I promise. (unless the Amazon gods take them away again)

Dan and Angie's Wedding

They did it. Dan and Angie got married last weekend (July 12th). It was a fun / relaxed / outdoor setting in Brent and Rebecca's back yard. The weather and temperature that day couldn't have been more perfect. And Angie was stunning as a bride and Dan was his usual flamboyant self. They make such a great couple! And Marilyn and I are such proud parents. Congratulations to both of them! :-)

Now, since I didn't get to share bridal images ahead of the ceremony (not wanting Dan to see her dress before the big day), I'll start off with a couple of her bridals:

(this was my favorite shot because it shows how beautiful both Angie and her dress really are)

(classic, simply classic)

(Angie's favorite, I love how carefree she looks)

(this is the Angie we know and love - wild and free!)

(such a beautiful bride!)

(Angie's just getting into her groove - you should see the whole series!)

(again, such a BEAUTIFUL bride!)

(even when you can't see the whole thing, I just love her smile)

And now some images from the wedding:

(oh yes, this is only just the beginning of the fun)

(Dan is surrounded by a harem of the cutest girls on the planet)

(not to be out done, Angie is turning up the heat)

(ever notice how anyone that Angie stands next to looks good?)

(ring shot)

(signing their lives away)

(Monique was "The Hot One" - just ask Brett)

(Devon says "She's not heavy, she's my sister!")

(Cassie is surrounded by the Davids)

(I just love this picture of Marilyn, proud "Mother of the Bride")

(Brandy and Cassie - I swear they were never this friendly as teenagers!)

(while the focus is on the ring, it's that smile that makes the image)

(if she feeds him right, he might someday have something to actually hold onto)

(dance to the music in your heart, even when there's no actual music playing)

(love is a many splendored thing)

(only Dan could make this work!)

(getting ready to throw the bouquet)

(who will get it?)

(the girl in green realizes she'll have to wait a few years to get married)

(Allison Hilder looks to be the next bride)

(And so the bouquet passes ... from one bride ... to the next)

(Dan thinks he knows where to find the Garter)

(Angie's not sure he's looking in the right place!)

(wait ... where'd the garter go?!?)

(after Allison caught the bouquet, it's all up to Jonathan now!)


(I don't even know what to say)

(here's to the next Bride and Groom)

(the best part about Dan ... is the way he makes Angie laugh!)

(see how she laughs? she is so happy it's contagious!)

(ducks think humans are so strange)

(the rings)

(the cake)

(Best of duck to both of you!)

These were just a small sampling of the pictures that were taken (and I wasn't even supposed to be carrying a camera that day). You can see these and much more on my website here: http://www.dterryphotography.com/DanAndAngie

Also, a video slide show is available: http://www.photodex.com/sharing/viewshow.html?fl=3000631&alb=0

Or for something a little more jazzy... check out this video slide show on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yySntVp9-U

Again, congratulations Angie. You were a beautiful bride and I hope you and Dan have a lovely long life together.