The next job is to merge all the bracketed sets of images in Lightroom.
Remember these three photos that I posted on Friday?
Well here is the fourth image - the HDR Merged image.
This is the new file, which is the HDR merged image.
How I do this? Well its quite straightforward.
First - how do I take the images?
Firstly, I take three photos using the auto-bracketing function in my Canon 6D.
- The first images is the correct exposure - 1/40th second, F22, ISO 400
- The second image is two stops under exposed - 1/160th second, F22, ISO 400
- The third image is two stops over exposed - 1/10th second, F22, ISO 400
As this is all about processing images in Lightroom I will this here for now - the point is that I want to capture more of the lights and darks than are in the original image capture.
How do I do an HDR Merge in Lightroom?
According to Scott Kelby, and he should know, the way Lightroom has been desigend you only need to merge the under and over exposed images. There is no point in using the correctly exposed image. Try it and see.
The new images are exactly the same.
So I select these two images, and use the Lightroom keyboard shortcut Control H (H for HDR - nice one Adobe).
And this dialogue box appears.
There are a couple of options here.
Auto Align - I leave this checked. It does exactly what it says it does. Even though I take most of my photos on a tripod I still leave it checked.
Auto Settings - If you check this box Lightroom will give you a preview of the processing it thinks the image needs.
You can see the difference with Auto Settings checked.
With the first image I try both ways, and go with what works for. More about doing this to more than one image in a minute.
Deghost Amount - I leave on high. Any areas where there is movement from one image to another will have a red mask over it. This is things like trees that have moved in the wind - we all want them sharp after all.
I always leave the Show Deghost Overlay selected - as there is no red on this image there is no deghosting, so I should turn this to None.
But I don't - this doesnt do any harm to an image (as far as I am aware), it just takes longer as Lightroom has more work to do.
The last check box is Create Stack - this is a new feature in Lightroom that I have not used - I stack the bracketed sets of images when sorting them out after import, and add each new image to the stack. As I am only using two of the three bracketed images if I select this option it puts the new merged photo in a new stack, leaving the original image on its own, so I do this manually - it doesn't take long.
And then I had a thought - this new feature could work for me.
I said before that you only need to use two of the three images - if I use all three images I get exactly the same results, and if I use Create Stack this will put all four images in a stack. And this is one less thing to do.
And yes I have just tried this and it worked nicely. And Lightroom even collapsed the stack after - that is two things less for me to do.
Sorry for the digression - back to the creation of the first HDR Merged file
The message "Photo Merge added to tasks" appears, and Lightroom creates the new image in the background. I wait for this message so I know that this is happening.
Once I am happy with the first image, this is what I do to the rest of the images.
How to HDR Merge lots of images quickly in Lightroom
This is the good stuff. There is a not so well known keybaord shortcut
Shift, Control H
I select the next two images, use this keyboard shortcut and guess what - Lightroom starts the HDR Merge process in the background using the last settings. There is no dialogue box. It just gets on with it.
And once you have done that - as I said above - I wait for the message "Photo Merge added to tasks" - select the next two images, hit the shortcut again and Lightroom starts working on the next HDR Merge.
And then I just keep on going.
I can do more than 30 merges at a time.
I tend to select as many bracketed sets as I can and then go for a cuppa or a beer and leave Lightroom to it.
When I get back I add the new image to the original stack - this is quite quick - select the four images, click on the newly created new file, which has the extension -HDR.dng, then use the shortcut Control G and the four images are in the stack with the new image at the top! I do this for all the images, it doesn not take long, and that is HDR Merge done!
That is what I wrote before I realised that if I use the three images, and the new Create Stack feature, I don't need to do these two last things - Lightroom does them for me!
I hope that this helps, and that you now know how to use HDR Merge in Lightroom - please ask any questions in the comments box or email - check out my home page for details.
Rick McEvoy Photography - How to use Lightroom
This is the screen that welcomed me after installing Lightroom Classic 7.4.
Now I could go on about this, but am going to refer you to websites where people have already done this!
Here we go.
Adobe - well they did the update so there is no better place to start!
Matt Kloskowski - one of my favourite Photoshop and Lightroom instructors.
That should do it to be honest!
Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photographer, Photography Blogger
This is a real pain to be honest, and I do not know why this happens.
The other metadata does
And all the image capture metadata?
So why not the keywords?
Check out this image, which is featured in my latest article on Improve Photography.
This is the Lightroom Classic image showing the Title, Capton, Copyright and filename.
But when I go to the keyword tab, just above the info tab in the bottom right hand corner, this is what I get in Lightroom Mobile.
Here is a screenshot of the same image in Lightroom Classic 7.3 taken from my PC.
So what is going on? Time to ask Adobe.
Rick McEvoy Photography
There are new changes to Lightroom. I have gone for it and downloaded them.
What are the changes?
You can read all about them on the Adobe website.
To summarise, these are the headlines from that Adobe update
- New Adobe Raw and creative profiles
- Larger Tone Curve
- Dehaze moved to the Basic panel
- Improved face detection
- Faster grid importing from connected devices on Windows computers
- Support for new cameras and lenses
Rick McEvoy Photography
Lightroom is slow. Adobe have contacted me via Twitter having seen one of my whinging posts.
To be fair to above, they have suggested some things that I can do.
I decided to take this a bit further, and spend some quality time sorting out stuff on my PC.
Turned out there were a few things that needed doing.
First thing was sort out my off site backup - there was a problem with my external hard drive which I store off site. So I removed all the WD software, and wiped the drive clean.
Which got me thinking - there must be programs on my PC that I do not use.
So I went though to programs on my PC and removed a load of stuff that I never use.
Another thing that needed sorting was Lightroom import backups. I got rid of all of them as well.
And another thing - every time I load a set of images to my website I keep a set on my hard drive. Why? No idea.
The originals are in Lightroom so I really did not need any of these files.
I need to say at this point that, and this is going to sound obvious, you need to concentrate when doing mass deletions like this. So on with my headphones, on with Amazon Music and let the Scorpions Radio Station occupy me.
I have learnt a painful lesson in only doing one thing at once.
But not this time. Now I am on a roll.
I have a folder called Picasa uploads on my desktop.
QuickTime 7 - I dont even know what that is but have deleted it.
OK - now I know that I should have checked the hard drive space on my PC before I started, but this exercise sort of grew (in a good way). But when I emptied my recycle bin I had freed up 37GB would you believe!!
Next thing is to reinstall the WD backup software, and back up my external hard drive with Lightroom and image onto the other external hard drive before I do the drastic next thing.
I think a reboot might be appropriate before embarking on the next stage thinking about. I have done quite a lot of stuff in the last hour or so.
And at this point i also need to point something out - if this all goes pear shaped this blog post is a record of what I did, which i hope wont be invaluable but you just never know.
Booting up the PC seemed a bit quicker too.
I would like to give a quick shout out to my local PC repair shop, the laptop fixers, who sent out this timely article on speeding up your PC, which I was planning on doing today anyway,
This is the article
I have reinstalled the WD backup software but this is not working. I will have to do this a different way.
My Pictures folder (which is on a 4TB external hard drive) is 1.39TB which surprised me - I thought this was a lot bigger. I am copying this to the recently cleared external hard drive using Windows Explorer - old school I know but reliable.
But what else is on this hard drive? I dread to think.
I will do the same with the Lightroom Catalogue also on this external hard drive. But no - when I looked the Lightroom Catalogue is within this large folder being copied over so that should be that.
And next will be whatever Lightroom Catalogues are on my PC hard drive. I think that this might be an issue that I need to deal with.
Once I have all these things in another location, clearly labelled, I will delete the Lightroom Catalogues from my PC hard drive, as Lightroom should be using the Lightroom Catalogue on my external drive only.
And then reality kicked in - this process is going to take circa 10 hours. I am going to cancel this and set this mass move of data for later on.
Thankfully I realised that all I needed to do was pause this, so I can let it carry on as and when it needs to.
And the files on my PC totalled 127GB. I am thinking of just deleting them as they should not be there - that is why I am copying them somewhere else first. That might give my back another 127GB of hard drive space too., which should make a difference to everything. Interestingly copying these files resulted in an error message as Lightroom was open, which suggests that these files are being used by Lightroom.
30 minutes to copy the files from my PC hard drive to my external hard drive - not too bad. OK that went up to 2 1/2 hours!
And as for deleting them - That will be a brave move!
But I sense a necessary one.
I do not know why this additional catalogue is on my hard drive to be honest.
A thought that has come to me - I need a separate hard drive for videos, as I wnat these on my PC to. THey are going to fill up my iPhone/ iPad and I want to be able to organise them in Lightroom - I will leave that job for another time.
88GB to go on the first data transfer, time to pause everything and have a little dive into Lightroom - I need some new images for my home page which is due for a refresh.
And also 6 images for a new Dorset business listing that I have just signed up to.
Rick McEvoy Photography
No. It has lurched painfully though editing one image. And is sat there now with the dreaded (Not responding).
Time to shut it down and try again.
Adobe - about that performance update in version Lightroom 7.2????
Rick McEvoy Photography
I probably should say this. When Photoshop works properly it is awesome. It is just so unpredictable at the moment. I have just edited two images like a dream, but the third image it just sat there.
And then it is fine again?
Rick McEvoy Photography
I am trying to complete a set of images from an architectural photography shoot.
This morning has not been a good experience.
- Works fine then just stop responding.
- Liveable with - at times.
- Then it just hangs,
- And I did not get the job done.
Generally - at times ok, at times not ok - why is this happening with a brand new version?
I am a fan of Lightroom and Photoshop. And Adobe come to that. I have no anti-Adobe agenda here.
But after the major update it is still not good enough.
It is useable but still slow - that is my summary today having tried to complete an architectural photography edit, which has taken so long to process I am simply losing money.
I am spending too much time waiting for “Reading camera RAW Format” and “Lightroom Not Responding” on my screen - so much so I am writing this while I wait.
The longer I use Photoshop the slower it appears to get, taking forever to load images from Lightroom and even longer to save them back.
This is meant to be slick.
And lets not forget, I am editing photographs taken on my Canon 6D, hardly the biggest megapixel count DSLR on the planet now is it?
Photoshop appears to be the main problem. I am only going into Photoshop as I hate the spot removal tool in Lightroom so much. And need to do a bit more than spot removal to be fair.
So how long does it take to open a photo from Lightroom in Photoshop?
Well I thought I would try a scientific experiment but guess what - I right clicked on an image in Lightroom and nothing happened at all!!
So I tried again, and guess how long it took?
And after that there is a further wait before you can actually work on a photo.
Photoshop is asking me to save images in Lightroom that I have ready saved there. Not good today. And the biggest worry is what can I do about this?
Nothing. What alternative is there?
That is the problem.
So I just keep on paying the money and suffering.
I am going to contact Adobe about this thinking about it - it is just not good enough.
OK - done that - will let you know if they get back to me. And hope that tomorrow is a better day.....
Yes. I have written this. Well why not? Who better to write an article like this than me?
Oh well, I'm sure the next article, due to be posted in a fortnight, won't have anything so grand keeping it in the shadows.
Seriously though, check out Improve Photography. it is for all levels of photographers, and the podcast is up to episode 248. I have listened to evey available episode and look forward to it every week - this has been the case a long time before I became a writer for the website.
But back to me.
This is the first in a series of articles where I explain what I have learnt over the years working as an architectural photographer. In future articles I will write about
- Image capture
- Image processing
- Business aspects of architectural photography
- Business development
I know. Some of this sounds rather dull. But if you want to make a living as an architectural photographer these are important things.
Boring but important.
I use that quite a lot.
I thought it best to start my writing career writing about what I know best of all things, and this is what I did.
I hope that you find the article interesting, and please get in touch if you have eny questions, or obviously if you want me to photograph your building.
Rick McEvoy - Architectural Photographer
For new readers and new subscribers to my blog I am an architectural photographer based in Dorset working mainly in Dorset and Hampshire photographing buildings.
Adobe Max was yesterday. News about a major upgrade to Lightroom has been long anticipated within the photography community.
No I didn't go. Maybe next year.
Did they deliver?
And from the Creative Cloud app there is a new option called Lightroom Classic.
Now what is this all about?
Don't know, but fortunately I know someone who does. Check out this post from Jim Harmer of Improve Photography titled
Now lets have a read of that. And see what has happened to Photoshop.
Rick McEvoy Photography - Lightroom User
Well I am trying a bulk HDR Merge in Lightroom as we speak, and I have got 10 HDR Merges running at the moment before it started to creak.
I have stopped at 10 to see how quickly Lightroom catches up with itself, giving me a few minutes to write this post. I never got to 10 before so that suggests an improvement in performance.
Which leads me into something that would be a great addition to Lightroom. I have 30 bracketed sets of images in one folder. At the moment I have to select the images I want to merge manually, ask Lightroom to do this the (using shift, Ctrl H), then move on to the next image and do the same. I have to do the same thing 30 times.
If only there was a way of selecting all the images in the folder and asking Lightroom to just merge all the bracketed sets - now that would be something. I could ask Lightroom to do this in the background and leave it to it and get on with something else.
How about it Adobe? So many of us have all our images in Lightroom, and would benefit from this additional automation?
Back to the HDR Merges. I think I have asked too much at once. Lightroom has not produced one HDR dng file yet - it is working on 11 sets of images at once though!
I will try one at once and see how that progresses.
I have had a few issues with Lightroom Mobile.
And it looks like they are sorted.
Lightroom Mobile on the iPhone had a major upgrade recently, but the iPad version did not.
Now it has.
Check out all the features in Lightroom Mobile for iOS 2.8 here. Below is an extract from that very web page.
"This release of Lightroom for mobile iOS rolls out the following new features and improvements for iPhone and iPad.
- New Brush Selection tool to selectively apply Exposure, Brightness, Clarity, and other adjustments to a specific part of a photo. Apple Pencil support for pressure-sensitive application of enhancements. 3D Touch support for pressure-sensitive application of enhancements on devices that support 3D Touch.
- New Show Highlight Clipping feature in the in-app camera that shows you the over-exposed areas prior to capture.
- Direct controls to adjust noise reduction and sharpening in your photos.
- Improved virtual level within the in-app camera with haptic feedback.
- Support for new cameras and lenses.
- General stability improvements.
- New Brush Selection tool to selectively apply Exposure, Brightness, Clarity, and other adjustments to a specific part of a photo. Apple Pencil support for pressure-sensitive application of enhancements.
- Improved user interface designed specifically for iPad.
- Direct control to adjust Noise Reduction and Sharpening.
- Support for new cameras and lenses.
- General stability improvements."
This is what Adobe says about the latest update, taken directly from the Adobe website
(no point me writing/ paraphrasing something when they have done such a good job as ever!).
"The 2015 releases of Lightroom roll out several new features and enhancements that enrich your digital imaging experience. Read on for a quick introduction to these features and links to resources offering more information. "
And these are the
"Fixed customer issues"
Issues fixed in this release of Lightroom
- Reduced the occurence of Lightroom panels intermittently appearing black on macOS. See this tech note for more details.
- Lightroom displaying captured time as GMT instead of local lime for videos shot and imported from Apple iPhone 6
- Can't access Auto Import Settings from the File menu
- Lightroom Colour presets missing after update
- Lightroom Slideshow Audio Balance Slider doesn't completely mute
- Incorrect filename on Export issue
- Erratic cursor movements when working on the point tone curve
- Lightroom Tone Curve points do not move correctly with Wacom stylus
- Tone Curve freezes after several drags
- Lightroom crash when disconnecting device in the Import dialog.
- Thumbnails not displaying for Live photo videos
- Lightroom displaying incorrect dialog message when deleting image from an unsynced collection
Just thought you would like to know. I always apply updates as soon as Adobe roll them out.
I will have a look at the Photoshop updates and write about them shortly.
Thursday 20th April 2017
Lightroom Mobile has just been updated.
Check out the lowdown on the Lightroom Killer Tips website here
Looking forward to trying out the new features on my IPhone which I will write about shortly
Rick McEvoy Photography - adventures in Lightroom
Thursday 8th December 2016
Dodging and burning is an old school darkroom technique that I use on virtually every image I process.
Dodging and burning in Lightroom is easy when you know how.
If you use Lightroom but are not aware of the dodge and burn tools check out these resources.
Kelby One - my favourite place for training in Lightroom and Photoshop. And lots more
At the Adobe website
And also this French photographer who's work I love and who produces great tutorials, Serge Ramelli
These are three great places to start learning. And of course you can always ask me at www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk/contact
Rick McEvoy - Original Photography in Dorset
Wednesday 7th December 2016
This is a tip to take advantage of the recent performance improvement Adobe have introduced in Lightroom CC.
The problem is that Lightroom appears to be getting slower and slower.
Not sure why but sometimes it can be painful, which is not great if you are working in Lightroom CC on a daily basis. And relying on it to access your entire catalogue of digital images.
So what have the folks at Adobe done to make Lightroom CC work quicker?
They have added the ability to edit Smart Previews, which speeds things up quite a lot. Not the full resolution image.
Now I use Smart Previews all the time. Every time I import images into Lightroom I ask Lightroom to build Smart Previews and 1:1 Previews. Now I have to warn you that this slows down the import process a lot, but I know this, and set Lightroom off importing how I want and go away and do something else.
Like have a beer, or a glass of wine.
See so many benefits to this!
So how do you do this?
Go to the preferences tab, then select the Performance tab, then check the box called “Use Smart Previews instead of Originals for image editing”. There is a caveat to doing this, which Adobe inform us of immediately below this check box option, which says “This will allow increased performance, but may display decreased quality while editing. Final output will remain full size/ quality”.
Hmmm not too sure if this is visible or not – I have certainly not noticed this. Maybe it is a bit of a disclaimer covering a mathematical change. Time will tell I guess.
That is all you need to do.
I recommend that you try Lightroom before doing this, restart Lightroom then try the same thing again. See if you can spot the difference.
I hope that my Adobe Lightroom Tip of the week helps you work more efficiently and saves you time.
Rick McEvoy Photography Adobe Lightroom CC Tip of the Week
Friday 7th October 2016