Colour Correction and enhancmentt made simple

The Workflow Book

Landscape photography and philosophy

The book on Exposure

Guide to great Photography Book

Great photography and how to do it


Saturday, 6 March 2010 

2009 Portfolio Updated

It's been a real busy start to the the year and things seem to be showing no sign of slowing down any-time soon. It's only taken till the beginning of March to get round to completing last years gallery.

The delay was mainly because I have been experiencing the joys of getting Lightroom to generate my galleries for me. When I get a moment I will produce some blogs explaining what I have learnt for anyone else brave enough to delve into the Lightroom SDK.

The 2009 Gallery includes images from across England and I hope you find something there you enjoy looking at.

Lost In The Mist
Lost In The Mist

Labels: ,

Wednesday, 28 October 2009 

Lightroom Archive format - TIFF or PSD ?

Having established that it would be a good idea to save the result of any editing I do in Lightroom in to an archival format, an email flooded in asking why I chose tiff format rather than psd.

Well my gut feel is that tiff is a well understood format supported by lots of vendors, whereas psd seems to be a bit more tied into Photoshop. But my guts and their feelings are not of interest to most right thinking people. So I can do no better than quote this post by Jeff Schewe:

.PSD is now a bastardized file format that is NOT a good idea to use. Even the Photoshop engineers will tell you that PSD is no longer the Photoshop "native" file format. It has no advantages and many disadvantages over TIFF.

TIFF is publicly documented, PSD is not. That makes TIFF a preferred file format for the long term conservation of digital files.

TIFF uses ZIP compression for max compression, PSD uses RLE which if you save without the Max compatibility will be a bit smaller, but at the risk of not being able to be used by apps, like Lightroom.

TIFF can save EVERYTHING a PSD can save including layers, paths, channels, transparency, annotations and can go up to 4 GIGS in file size. TIFF can save all the color spaces PSD can. The ONLY thing I can think of that PSD can save that currently TIFF can't save is if you Save out of Camera Raw a cropped PSD, you can uncrop the PSD in Photoshop CS, CS2 or 3. That's one tiny obscure thing that PSD can do that TIFF currently doesn't. How many people even knew that let alone use it?

PSD used to be the preferred file format back before Adobe bastardized it for the Creative Suite. The moment that happened, PSD ceased to be a Photoshop "native" file format. PSB is the new Photoshop "native" file format for images beyond 30,000 pixels. And , at the moment, only Photoshop can open a PSB.

Getting back to the fist point, Adobe can do anything including stopping support for PSD because it's a proprietary file format. TIFF is public, even if it's owned by Adobe (by virtue of the Aldus purchase). Even if Adobe went belly up tomorrow, TIFF would continue.

And, let me be blunt, anybody who thinks PSD is "better" than TIFF is ignorant of the facts. If Adobe would let them, the Photoshop engineers would tell you to quit using PSD. Lightroom for the first beta did NOT support PSD and Hamburg fought tooth and nail to prevent having to accept PSD. He blinked, but you still can't import a PSD without Max compat enabled-which basically makes it a TIFF with a PSD extension.

Look, I'll make it REAL simple...

TIFF = Good
PSD = Bad


If only Jeff wouldn't sit on the fence so much, we would know what he really felt about the matter!

Labels: , , ,

Friday, 23 October 2009 

Lightroom - Do I need to save my edited shots?

So, as regular readers will be aware, I am slowly moving my workflow to Lightroom. It's a fun project and has given me the opportunity to reassess the way I currently work & compare it with other photographers.

My goal, is to follow "best practice" for digital image management whilst minimising the amount of work I actually have to do in front of the computer. So I am spending a lot of time reading blogs, books & forum posts as to how others manage their workflow and working out which will be right for me.

One of the considerations a digital photographer has to take into account is how many copies of each image to store. If you are not careful it can easily become a nightmare. First you have your original raw file. Then you might have one or two tiff files associated with it as your finally developed image. Finally you end up with s numerous jpgs sized for various output mediums (web, print, magazine submissions, etc). If your not careful it could all end up looking like the tide line on a Cornish Beach:

Cornish Crap
(Click to view large)

A while back I decided that I would only keep the original raw file & the finished tiff file for each of my images. Using QImage I could print the tiff file in any size I choose, so there was no need to store versions at different print sizing. Jpgs are really just an output format, so I don't keep them as they can be recreated at any time from the tiffs.

So for a long time I have had only one version of my images (the tiff) , I kept the raw files so I can go back to the raws if I need to, and all is right with the world. But then along came Lightroom2 and it's targeted adjustments...

One of the big things that you hear about Lightroom2 is that it features "Non-destructive editing" . Unlike photoshop, your original image is safe no matter what you do to it as all that is stored is your original image and a history of the changes you made to it. In order to undo something you just go back as far a you like in that history. For people who shoot jpgs this is a major advance - your originals are safe with Lightroom. For Raw shooters it's really not such a big deal, no raw converter changes your raw files, they simply generate a tiff or a jpg.

But Lightroom's target adjustments change the rules. You can (in a lot of circumstances) just use the Lightroom tools to make the adjustments and never need to go into Photoshop. From Lightroom I can print, show it in a slide-show and even generate any jpgs I might need to send out. So now I only need Lightroom and my raw files - it's time to say goodbye to storing tiff files. This has to be a good thing...doesn't it?

Well as i see it Lightroom is storing a set of instructions on what to do with your image very much like a recipe book tells you what to do with raw ingredients. As we know with recipes, two cooks can follow the same recipe and produce 2 different results, or if the recipe is in English and the chef only speaks French you are going to have lots of problems. Does the same hold true for the recipes we have in Lightroom? Well yes I believe it does.

If our recipe for the perfect picture includes the instruction "increase vibrancy by 30", none of us outside of Adobe really know what calculations Lightroom performs on our files. In a few years time when you are running Lightroom 5.3 on Windows 11 (or OS-X Domestic Moggy or even Google Spangled Metal 3), you have no real guarantee that "increase vibrancy by 30" will produce the same look as it did back in 2009. I am sure Adobe would do their best to keep things consistent but it's not easy to guarantee that as developers try to fix bugs in the code and extend it to add more functionality.

Even more importantly, what happens if Adobe drop support for Lightroom due to it rapidly losing market share to some other new technology coming along? What if it becomes to costly to continue to support the raw format of your files? Now we are in a much, much worse position than we ever were, as now we have an archive of raw files in a proprietary format plus a set of instructions in an equally proprietary format that it may be difficult (if not impossible) to get any other software to understand.

That's why, to me, storing raw + lightroom adjustments is just not an archival format as it cannot be opened by other applications and may produce different result over time. Tiff files I created 5 years ago in Photoshop 7 still open and print just as they always did and I can use a wide variety of software to access them. It's an open and widely used standard, so I think I will be sticking with Tiff files as my format for the moment.

Am I right? why not add a comment below & let me know what you think.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, 29 September 2009 

Using Relative Paths in Lightroom part 3

If I only understood what it is the Lightroom team have against relative paths, I would be a happy man. They seem to have gone well out of their way to make life really difficult. We have huge amounts of flexibility when naming files. File names can have any number of different bits of exif and xmp data embedded in them, but ask for the subfolder to support a simple ../ comand and it all goes horribly wrong.

Having done battle to get editing to support relative paths. The final place where I need LR to support relative paths is on export. This would seem a simple thing as there on the screen is an option to output to a subdirectory. Naively I figured if I entered the subdirectory as ../WebReady lightroom would happily plonk it in a sibling folder next to my raw files. But it was not to be, the entry goes red and I get told I can't use those characters. Why the blinky flip not? The Adobe relative path police strike again!

But a bit of thinking and a read of Inside Lightroom gave me an idea. So this is how you get round the problem.

First create your export with all the settings you need in it. Select Put in a subfolder and enter the subfolder name without any pathing characters (./ etc)

Now save that as an export preset - in my case I called it Screen Previews 1024x768, You will find that this has created a file in the presets folder with the same name as your export and a .lrtemplate extension

All you need to do now is open the file in a text editor and edit the line marked export_destinationPathSuffix. Simply add the required pathing there and save the file.

Next time you run your export it will happily go to the directory you want. Simples!

Related Posts

Using relative paths in Lightroom part 1
Using relative paths in Lightroom part 2

Labels: , ,

Friday, 18 September 2009 

Using Relative Paths in Lightroom part 2

In part one of these ramblings I noticed that although you could force Lightroom, kicking and screaming, to use relative paths. It's good friend Photoshop was having none of it.

Not to be discouraged I put on my hacking trousers and through together a solution. If there is anyone out there who cares, here is how you fix the problem:

Download This install file and run it in the normal way (press next at all the prompts) - if you don't have the .Net framework 2.0 installed you will need to download & install that too.

Now nip into Lightroom preferences and create a new External Editor.

You need to hit the browse button and chose the program you have just installed (yes I know DaDoRunRun.exe is a rubbish name bt it was the best I could come up with at the time.

Now when you chose to use this External Editor this dialog box will appear:

Just click Edit and a new dialog pops up.

Click on the browse button (...) and point the program to the right path for Photoshop on your machine. Now click OK and all being well Photoshop will open with the correct file.

This is a bit intrusive so next time you call the editor click on the "don't show me this dialog" button and the box will never appear again.

That's it problem solved! Well except that Lightroom won't stack files in different directories. Now that is a weird limitation, I thought the whole point of Lightroom was that directories weren't that important any more - looks like I'm wrong on that one.

I bet no one ever uses this information but, I still feel I should make it available - as a public service. Of course I am happy for someone to post a comment telling me why relative folders are such an evil concept that they should be banished...

Related Posts
Using relative paths in Lightroom part 1

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, 15 September 2009 

Using Relative paths in Lightroom

A while back I mentioned that I found Lightroom to be a bit "claustrophobic". I hadn't been using the system long when I came across an example of this: I noticed, that when I selected Edit in Photoshop that Lightroom first creates a psd file in the same directory as the raw file then opens this file in Photoshop. This is all well and good but personally I would like to use Tiff format and not have the files in the same directory (I know I'm a control freak).

So I wandered off to the preferences section and there I seem to be able to change the file format (which is great), but not the folder the file is created in (which isn't). So I take a look in the Export options, there I can enter a subfolder but it won't let me enter a relative path it has to be a sub folder….arrgh!

For those that don't know what I am on about a relative path is something like this ../tiffs the two dots mean "up one level" and the slash means go to a sub folder. So in this case we are asking to go to a tiffs folder that has the same parent as our current folder.

Another annoyance is why have different setups for editors and exports? As far as i can see editors are really only a specific type of export, so why configure them in 2 different places?

Most sane people would by now have just let the generated files go into a subfolder and have done with it, but I have been doing things this way for 3 or 4 years now & I don't see why I should change just because someone at Adobe can't be bothered to support relative paths.

So I decided to see if there was a way round the problem and eventually I think I have it sorted.

First go into preferences and click on the external editing tab. Down in the additional external editor section you need to setup the program you want to use and the file format. From the dropdown menu at the top you can then select save current settings as a new preset and name your settings.

Now we need to add a new filename template. Click on the dropdown for filename and create a new preset. This is where you can add a relative path.

Now when I call up an external editor it works just how I want it to…..

…well except Photoshop CS2 - someone at Adobe really hates relative paths. Photoshop doesn’t seem to open the paths with relative addressing in them. Most other applications seem to understand that

really means

But Photoshop doesn’t! In part two I'll be detailing my little fix that gets round this problem.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, 10 September 2009 

Inside Lightroom 2 - A Book Review

I've just finished reading Inside Lightroom 2: The serious photographer's guide to Lightroom efficiency: The Serious Photographer's Guide to Lightroom Efficiency by Richard Eamey

Its an interesting book that attempts to go further than the simple "how-to" books.

Chapter 1 starts with details of what Lightroom is, and a basic an overview of its functionality and features. It doesn't add too much to your life, but it sets the context for the rest of the book.

Next he goes onto "the ideal system" for Lightroom 2 well, it covers most of what you need to know but it is a relatively shallow description of what you should be looking at. A serious photographer would be better off looking at the The DAM Book as it covers this in much more depth.

Then we get a description of the differences between version 1 of Lightroom and version 2. Although this well written and added to my knowledge on the subject it had the feel of being a bit of padding.

Chapter 4 takes you through how to manage your photos and there is quite a bit of useful information here. This is followed by an example workflow, which is a great way to see how the product is actually used. Though it would be great to see a few more workflows detailed here for different types of photographers: journalists & wedding photographers leap to mind.

After that it is on presets. Clearly this is an area that Richard knows a lot about and explains in great detail. It really shows how presets work, and it even shows you how to edit them in a text editor, which is rather wizzy. This allows you to duplicate some of the tone curve functionality from Adobe Camera Raw. All clever stuff and well worth reading once you really understand Lightroom.

The final chapter details online resources for Lightroom, which is surprisingly useful due to the use of tinyurls and a grouped rss feed that makes it easy to get to grips with what is out there.

At the end of the book, I was left with a feeling that it is excellent in parts and somewhat disappointing in others. Personally I would like to see the workflow and presets sections used as part of a different book "Extending Lightroom 2". This would cover those two subjects as well as, the use of the various plug-ins available, real world issues like how to integrate web galleries into your existing site and a guide to writing your own plug-ins. Now that would be well worth buying.

Clear layout
Detailed knowledge of Presets
An easy quick read

Too much padding
More examples needed

Labels: ,

Monday, 7 September 2009 

Export iView/Expressions Media Category Sets to Lightroom Hierachical Keywords

As part of my adventures of moving to a Lightroom world, I've started to look at Keywording. Now the Lightroom Hierachical keywords, seem like a really good thing and although I can easily build up a big set of keywords thanks to The Controlled Vocabulary what I really want is to pull in the hierachy of Catalog Sets I spent ages creating in iView.

iView Catalog Set hierarchy for places
(click to view large)

As far as I can see the only real way to get this list would be to recreate this in Lightroom manually. As I didn't fancy all that typing I came up with This Script (which is heavily based on John Beardsworths script I used previously)

To use it all you need to do is change one or two lines in the file:

Change this to the name of the catalog set you wish to export:

Const ivKeywordSetName = "Places"

If you should wish to change the name or location of the file of hierachical keywords you create then this is the line to change.

const filePath = "C:\iViewCategories.txt"

Once you have edited the file, save it in your iview scripts folder. The Open iview with the catalog containing the sets you wish to export. Run the script from the script folder and after a few seconds you should get a "Done" message.

Open lightroom and select the Library module. Select Metadata>Import Keywords and brows to the file you have created C:\iViewCategories.txt and your Keywords should apear as if by magic:

Keyword Hierachy in Lightroom
(Click to view large)

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, 28 August 2009 

Moving to Lightroom - Sorting the wheat from the chaff

Part of a series of posts detailing my slow move into the brave new world of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

I have my photos split between a working area, which holds the current month and a bit photos and an archive of everything else.
The archive is managed with iview, but the working area is managed by a whole mish-mash of tools including Downloader Pro, BreezeBrowser, Capture One, Photoshop, Qimage and a few custom tweaks and scripts.
The working area is where I will be concentrating on using Lightroom.

Once a month I move the previous months photos from working to archive, before I do that I do the following:
1. Delete all the pictures I don't want to keep 2. Add star ratings 3. Ensure all metadata is written to the files correctly

Item 1 was my first candidate for Lightroomification. At the moment it is a relativly simple process of opening each directory in Breezebrowser, running a slideshow (ctrl A, ctrl S), tagging each reject (up arrow), then selecting all rejects (f6) and pressing delete.

So is this any easier in Lightroom? In the Library module I an select the entire months images in one go...which is better. I can then run in "Lights out mode" (L,L) using the arrow keys to move through the images and flag the rejects (x to reject, U if you accidentally rejected something), then use the delete rejects option and you are done.

The big advantage of doing this in Lightroom is you get to see the post-processed images, rather than the jpeg preview you get on Breezebrowser, this can make a lot of difference. There is consequently a delay sometimes in building the previews but it doesn't seem particularly onerous & you don't have to wait for it to complete. I'm not sure what else Adobe do to the previews but they do look really good in LR for some reason.

The only option I really miss from my old way of doing things is a quick B&W view. In breezebrowser I can simply press ctrl+w and the image is displayed in black & white, pressing it again switches to colour. There doesn't seem to be an equivalent to this in Lightroom*.

So far it looks like a win for Lightroom.

*Oh hang on a sec - looks like pressing V does that...marvellous!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, 25 August 2009 

Lightroom and Iview Web Galleries

Regular readers will know that I use iview to generate my web galleries incorporating a Paypal shopping cart as I detailed here.

Phil Thomas contacted me to point out that although he had put the title of each picture into the metadata in Lightroom the titles were not appearing in the paypal shopping basket when he generated the galleries from iview.

It turns out that the field that Lightroom uses for "Document Title" in Photoshop maps to "Product" in iview... so the solution is fairly easy. If you look through the media.html file you will see the line:

<input name="item_name" value="(iView:Headline) (iView:Item1Description)" type="hidden" >

repeated for each of the different items you are selling (item1Description will become item2Description on the next entry).

(iView:Headline) inserts the iview headline field into the code, so all we need to do is replace that with (iView:Product) and we are sorted. If you would rather use the filename simply replace (iview:headline) with (iview:filename) on each of these entries. Or you could even just put (iView:Headline) (iView:Product) (iView:filename) and get all three values in the text. If you want to use other fields take a look at the documentation here.

The alternative is to copy the product field to the headline field in iview, so here is a little iview script to automate that process for you.

Thanks for pointing this out Phil - saved me finding the problem myself.

Related Posts
Creating an ECommerce Site with iView and Paypal
Using The Controlled Vocabulary with iView Media Pro
Alternative template for iView Media Pro and the PayPal Shopping cart

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, 21 August 2009 

Is Lightroom the Rightroom to be in?

For sometime now I have been advising people who asked me, to use Adobe Lightroom to manage their workflow. This is because Lightrom offers a structured environment for you to manage your photos in and there are plenty of examples workflows available for you to follow.

But the thing is, I don't use Lightroom why not ? Well I have a workflow that is very organised already and uses a whole wedge of different software and tools to get the results I want. So Lightroom's all-in-one model doesn't particularly hold a great set of advantages for me. I tried Lightroom 1 and wasn't hugely impressed as it seemed to lock you into its ow view of the world and so didn't fit too easily into my workflow.

I have been meaning to take a look at Lightroom 2 for a long time, but it has been difficult to find the time until now. I recently was hit by the swine flu virus and consequently spent a lot of time laying exhausted around the house. Having bored myself senseless with daytime TV, I decided that it might be worth taking a look at Lightroom.

I spent the small amount of time I had between sleeping and coughing, watching the Adobe video guides to Lightroom and I have to say that it does look rather good. It still feels a bit "claustrophobic" to me and i have a feeling I will soon be learning LUA (The scripting language of Lightroom) to get round what i see as the limitations. But it does seem to be worth a play with now.

I have ordered a couple of books so I'll be reading them over the next few weeks and working out the best way to integrate it into my workflow. I'll let you know what I discover.

Labels: ,

Friday, 25 July 2008 

Adobe Rumours

Being the sort of chap who has his ear to the ground and his shoulder to the wheel, I am picking up a few rumours about Adobe:

Word on the street is that the full version of Lightroom 2 should be released next week. This should be a very exciting release, now that Adobe know how the system is actually used and that there is a huge market for it this should be a release well worth paying for. I might even move over to lightroom myself....if I can ever get a decent result out of ACR :)

I am also told that photoshop users should invest in a decent graphics card. Photoshop CS4 seems to be tuned for good cards and is blisteringly fast off a decent one.

Further rumours abound about other surprise announcements that the imaging giant has up its sleeve. It is certainly an interesting time for Adobe as they use their base in imagig and web tools to go head to head against Microsoft in the battle of AIR versus Silverlight.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, 12 March 2008 

Lightroom Tips and Tricks

Just came across this free ebook of Lightroom tips & tricks - might be of use to all you Lightroom users.


Wednesday, 21 November 2007 

Not convinced of the need for Raw?

I often see on forums, people saying that they have shot both raw and jpg and can't see a difference. An additional comment, since Lightroom has entered the fray, is "Lightroom handles jpgs and why bother with raw?".

Over at The Luminous Landscape, Michael Richeman has produced a great example of the difference between the two formats when you actually do the same processing on them.

Here is a photo from my recent trip to the Lake District and yes it was captured in Raw:

Morning Mist
(Click to view large)

Labels: , ,

Friday, 14 September 2007 

Lightroom 1.2 & ACR 4.2 Released

Adobe have released a new version of Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw.

Mainly it seems to be just a bug fix update but there is now raw support for the following cameras:
Canon EOS 40D
Fuji FinePix IS-1
Leaf Aptus 17
Leaf Aptus 54s
Leaf Aptus 75s
Olympus EVOLT E-510
Panasonic DMC-FZ18
Pentax K100D Super
Phase One P 20 +
Phase One P 21 +
Phase One P 25 +
Phase One P 30 +
Phase One P 45 +
Sony Alpha 700

Labels: ,

Wednesday, 25 July 2007 

Lightroom and Curves

Over at The Luminous Landscape is an interesting discussion about the curves that are used by Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom.

Having gone to the trouble of learning how curves work in photoshop and Capture 1 I have always foud the system used in Lightroom and Camera Raw rather confusing. I look forward to working out how its all supposed to be used.

(Click to view large)

Related Posts
Creating Web Galleries in Lightroom
Controlled Vocabulary and Lightroom

Labels: ,

Monday, 2 July 2007 and Paypal keeps going from strength to strength. Joe has now added a whole raft of features to the free templates there including paypal support.

I won't be doing any more with Lightroom web galleries as I generate all my own galleries using iView Media Pro and the Lightroom Stuff came about as the result of being dared to do it by John Beardsworth. So those of you who have come here looking for stuff on Lightroom and Paypal are welcome to checkout the related links below or surf on over to and use theirs.

Related Posts

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, 28 June 2007 

Controlled Vocabulary for Adobe Lightroom 1.1 released!

No sooner had I blogged that the new version of Lightroom works with the Controlled Vocabulary Catalogue then David Riecks of has produced a new version for Lightroom and documented it too!

CVKC for Lightroom

CVKC for Lightroom help

Related Posts
Controlled Vocabulary and Adobe Lightroom 1.1
How to use Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 1)
How to use Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 2)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, 27 June 2007 

Controlled Vocabulary and Adobe Lightroom 1.1

Well Adobe Lightroom 1.1 as just been released and in amongst a whole host of improvements the Lightroom team have improved the performance of the database and keywords.

I have just tested using The Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalogue in Lightroom and the performance has really improved beyond all recognition. So it now seems to be a workable option for those of us who really want to control their keywording.

About the same time as I was testing, Mr Controlled Vocabulary himself David Riecks (that's "i" before "e", but the "e" is silent) was testing 1.1 and the CVKC and here are his observations:

Well, I have to give Kudos to the Lightroom engineers. I imported the PhotoMechanic version of the CVKC in less than 9 seconds (I used a stopwatch). This was on a new MacBook Pro, so it's a different machine than before. I did have to change the file from the ".utf8" extension to a text file. Just to be safe I opened the file in TextWrangler and resaved as with Mac line breaks, and unicode UTF-8
no BOM encoding first.

I imported a 4 gig card with about 2.29 gigs of images (from my recent trip to Italy) and it took about 5:46 minutes to import.
The new Lightroom is able to distinguish between regular keywords, (solid white triangle to left if there are subcategories), excluded category headers (triangle to left is a series of dots, ie not solid), and synonyms.

It took virtually no time at all to actually assign the keywords, even within the 11,000 terms in the current CVKC. However, I'm either confusing LightRoom with another application, or they have changed how you locate the keywords within the tags. The only way I could find within the left side Keywords tag panel was to reveal the lower levels by clicking on the arrow to the left of the term.

I thought there used to be a search function at the top, but if so it's now gone.

There is a new tool (or at least I think it's new) called the "spraycan" which can be used to apply keywords. When you choose this tool, there is a pull down that allows you to select keywords (or labels, flags, ratings, rotations, or other forms of metadata... none of which I tested at this time). If you choose Keywords, then you CAN type in a word here and it seems to find it within the hierarchy.

I found this much easier than having to remember which region Rome is located within (it's Lazio BTW), or where another keyword is located within the hierarchy.

I'll make the converted file part of a new Lightroom download and get that up on the download page in the next day, after I write up instructions for how to install and apply keywords.

I've not had time to test any of the other improvements, and/or possible addition of DAM features, so that will have to wait for a more thorough review. However, the Adobe Lightroom engineers do seem to have listened and made some remarkable improvements in a very short time.

So it really looks like it will works...hurrah!

Related Posts

How to use Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 1)
How to use Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 2)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, 22 June 2007 

Lightroom Paypal Galleries

Darryn Mckay of has taken the Lightroom Paypal Web Gallery template I produced and made it into some really good looking and effective Wedding galleries.

It's great to see people taking my experiment and producing something really useful.

I'd love to see any more galleries people have made with the template, why not add a comment linking to your site that uses lightroom and paypal below.

Related Posts

Labels: , ,

Saturday, 26 May 2007 

Looking for a Lightroom Gallery

I must say that over the last month or so has become a really useful resource for those looking for something different to the standard lightroom web galleries.

New flash and HTML galleries have appeared at quite a rate and it is probably the only place in the visible universe where you can find any documentation on how to make your own galleries.

A very well done to all concerned.

Labels: ,

Thursday, 19 April 2007 gets started

Over at Joe has got galleries with paging working...hurrah!

Why not take a look at the site, it looks like it will develop into a very useful resource.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, 17 April 2007 

ECommerce sites with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and the PayPal Shopping cart..continued

Those of you who are interested in Lightroom web templates (and there does seem to be an awful lot of you) will be pleased to know that I have extended the template to add two new features:

  • Sequential numbering for each item.
  • Next & Previous buttons for each image allowing users to easily page through.
Install instructions are the same as for the previous version except you will need to download this new version of the file from here:

I will be leaving each of the different versions available so that you can see how each of the elements was added to the template. hopefully this will help people develp their own versions.

I am currently working on getting paging working.

Things I have yet to work out is how to get keywords & descriptions in to the source xml.

After that I will look at how to get settings in to the lightroom panels...still a long way to go.

Related Posts

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, 14 April 2007 

Creating an ECommerce site using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and the PayPal Shopping cart

In my previous post I covered what I have learned so far about Adobe Lightroom Web Gallery Templates.

Using what I have learnt so far I have created a template for web-gallerys that uses the paypal shopping cart. It's far from perfect..but I intend to re-visit the issues when I get a chance, and others might be able to progress things faster than me.

To use the template:

1. Download the file.

2. Unzip it to the Web Galleries folder (by default you don't have one so you will need to create it):
  • On Mac, &lt;your home directory>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Web Galleries/.
  • On Windows, put the gallery in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Adobe\Lightroom\Web Galleries.

On a PC the Application Data directory is hidden so you will need to enable "show hidden folders" before you can browse to it.

3. Edit the transformer.xslt file:

near the top you will find a section that looks like this:

<!-- paypal Settings -->
<xsl:variable name="PayPalAccount"></xsl:variable>
<xsl:variable name="ReturnScreen"></xsl:variable>
<xsl:variable name="CancelScreen"></xsl:variable>
<xsl:variable name="CurrencyCode">GBP</xsl:variable>
<xsl:variable name="CurrencySymbol">&pound;</xsl:variable>

<!-- Individual Sale Items -->
<xsl:variable name="Item1Description">10&quot;x20" Print</xsl:variable>
<xsl:variable name="Item1CodeNo">100</xsl:variable>
<xsl:variable name="Item1Price">150</xsl:variable>

<xsl:variable name="Item2Description">11&quot;x22" Print</xsl:variable>
<xsl:variable name="Item2CodeNo">101</xsl:variable>
<xsl:variable name="Item2Price">155</xsl:variable>

<xsl:variable name="Item3Description">10&quot;x20" Print framed</xsl:variable>
<xsl:variable name="Item3CodeNo">102</xsl:variable>
<xsl:variable name="Item3Price">150</xsl:variable>

<xsl:variable name="Item4Description">11&quot;x22" Print framed</xsl:variable>
<xsl:variable name="Item4CodeNo">103</xsl:variable>
<xsl:variable name="Item4Price">155</xsl:variable>

You need to change the values between <> and <> on each line to reflect your settings.

The Settings:

Setting Current Value Description
PayPalAccount Your paypal account ID
ReturnScreen URL to return to after a succesful purchase
CancelScreen URL to return to after the user has pressed cancel
CurrencySymbol &pound; Currency symbol in HTML (£ = &amp;pound;, $ = $ € = €)
CurrencyCode GBP Currency code (GBP = pounds, USD = dollars, etc )
Item1Description 10&quot;x20" Print Description of first item type you sell
Item1CodeNo 100 A code number for this item if you have one
Item1Price 150 Price for item 1
Item2Description 11&quot;x22" Print Description of second item type you sell
Item2CodeNo 101 A code number for this item if you have one
Item2Price 155 Price for item 2
Item3Description 10&quot;x20" Print framed Description of third item type you sell
Item3CodeNo 102 A code number for this item if you have one
Item3Price 150 Price for item 3
Item4Description 11&quot;x22" Print framed Description of fourth item type you sell
Item4CodeNo 103 A code number for this item if you have one
Item4Price 155 Price for item 4

Having made all the changes, save the file.

4. Now use the new template

In Lightroom generate the web site using the new Paypal Template.


As I said it's not perfect yet but hopefully it will give those of you who wish to dabble, something to dabble with.

Update 16 April 2007

Improved version with forward and back buttons added.

Related Posts

Labels: , , ,

Friday, 13 April 2007 

Creating Web Gallery Templates for Lightroom

I have started looking at the process for creating your own custom HTML web galleries in Lightroom and I thought I would pass on what I have learnt so far.

1. There ain't much documentation out there.

For a flagship product like Lightroom Adobe seem to have been particularly tardy in providing the documentation as to how to create your own web galleries. The entire total of what I have found is this:
2. Getting Started

Check you have a Web Galleries folder (by default you don't) so you will need to create it:

  • On Mac, <your home directory>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Web Galleries/.
  • On Windows, put the gallery in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Adobe\Lightroom\Web Galleries.
On a PC the Application Data directory is hidden so you will need to enable "show hidden folders" before you can browse to it.

Download the demo template from here:

Unzip the file into the web galleries folder you just created.

If you now open Lightroom and go to the Web module, you should see this available as a new option:

Now close Lightroom as it caches the web templates so you won’t see them unless you close and reopen them.

3. Create your own web Gallery

Copy the example folder in Web Galleries and give it a new name.

Now open the galleryMaker.xml file and edit the values in the <galleryInfo> section to describe your template (unless you change these values Lightroom won’t detect your new template):

Original version
<amg ver="0.5" />
<thumbnail path="preview.jpg" />
<galleryName>Demo Template</galleryName>
<gallerVersion ver="1.0" />
<livePreview enabled="yes" />
<creator company="Adobe Systems, Inc." designer="Adobe Lightroom Engineering" />
<category>Web photo gallery</category>

My Version

<amg ver="0.5" />
<thumbnail path="preview.jpg" />
<galleryName>PayPal Template</galleryName>
<gallerVersion ver="1.0" />
<livePreview enabled="yes" />
<creator company="" />
<category>Web photo gallery</category>

Start Lightroom and you should now see your new template in the available list.

Once again close Lightroom.Edit the GalleryMaker.xml file to Generate the output sizes you need.

For my templates I wanted both thumbnails & large images so I changed the <sizes> section from this:

<size height="130" name="thumb" width="130" />

To this:

<size height="130" name="thumb" width="130" />
<size height="500" name="full" width="500" />

Though you might want loads of options - like this:

<size name="thumb" width="160" height="120" />
<size name="small" width="640" height="480" />
<size name="medium" width="880" height="660" />
<size name="large" width="1024" height="768" />
<size name="video" width="400" height="300" fps="30">

Open Lightroom and Export the web gallery to a new directory. If you open this directory you should see contents similar to this:

In the main directory are the index.html and individual html documents for each image. The thumbnail images have been created in the images/thumb directory and the larger images are in images/full.

4.Edit the transformer.xslt file

The transformer.xslt file is an XSLT template that you use to transform the XML in source.xml into XHTML files. If you didn't understand that last sentence you are in for quite a rough ride and it might be worth looking through some tutorials on XSLT now.

Some things I have learnt about the transformer.xslt file are:
  • It does not support the <xsl:include> tag so you have to put everything in the same file.
  • If you have any errors in your transformer.xslt file then Lightroom will just not generate the file…no error messages, no logs nothing.
  • A good XSLT tool like Stylus Studio makes developing the pages considerably easier.

Some things I have still to work out are:
  • How to implement multiple index pages
  • How to get resource files (css/buttons/graphics) copied to the new directory
  • Why Adobe picked quite such a complicated way of doing things.

Next blog I will be posting my first go at integrating Paypal and Lightroom Web-Galleries. This will include example download files for you to use.

I hope this posting has been of use, please feel free to add a comment if this has helped you or if you have discovered anymore information.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, 22 February 2007 

How to use Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (Part 2)

Click any image to view larger

Strangely (for me) this is the fourth consecutive blog on the same subject, normal service will soon be resumed and I will go off at a tangent soon This keywording thing has a lot going on, and the joys of Lightroom are still a bit of an enigma but its an interesting adventure.

Having loaded The Controlled Vocabulary Catalogue in to Lightroom, you may find that things seem to slow down quite a lot. Well I say a lot, but really we are talking response times that are measured by the time-scales usually reserved for geologists. Hopefully the clever people at Adobe can fix the problems in the next version or service pack.

Until The Lightroom team can fix the problem it may be more usable to delete blocks of keywords that you don't use to reduce the load on the system.

To use the keyword hierarchy you can enter keywords in the "keyword Tags" panel:

As you type in keywords, separated by commas the system prompts you with keywords that are available in the list. Once you have entered a few base keywords then pressing enter will cause a bit of a wait if you have a large keyword list. Actually unless you are running Lightroom on a Cray super-computer now would be a good time to put the kettle on.

Eventually all of the parent categories in the vocabulary will appear in the implied keywords box, this is the real power of using a Controlled Vocabulary, simple keywords generate a lot of information.

Finding by Keywords

To search the Keywords you have entered, you can use the the Keywords tag tree on the left. To search for a particular tag, open the find panel on the left or select Library>Find (ctrl+F) on the menu. Select Keywords from the dropdown and enter the tag you are searching for.

As you type your library is instantly filtered:

If Adobe can deal with the performance issues then I think using CV with Lightroom will be a seriously useful combination.

Related Posts
Controlled Vocabulary for Adobe Lightroom 1.1 released!

Controlled Vocabulary and Adobe Lightroom 1.1
How to use Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 1)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, 21 February 2007 

How to use Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 1)

Click any image to view larger

Now that I am tryling Lightroom and I thought I would try out if it is possible using a controlled vocabulary when keywording images. David Riecks at has produced a controlled vocabulary keyword catalogue, which is a great basis for a structured keywording of files.

It turns out its not to difficult to get the Control Vocabulary file into Lightroom, all it requires a simple bit of Excel work to convert it. This is what you do:

1. Order the Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalogue.
2. Have Excel installed on your PC
3.Open Excel
4. Select File>Open. Change the file type to text and select the CV text file:

5.The text import wizard appears. Select Delimited:

6.Click Next and make sure only "tab" is checked:

7. Click Next and Finish.
8. The CV file is now loaded in Excel.
9. Select File>Save As and give the file a new name - make sure the file type is set to Text - Tab Delimited.
10. A warning message may appear:

click Yes.
11.Start Lightroom.
12.In the Library module, select Metadata>import Keywords and select the file you have just created.
13.Lightroom will grind to a hault for a few minutes but eventually the CV keywords will appear in the Keyword Panel

Within Lightroom selecting a keyword will cause keywords higher up the hierarchy to be allocated as implied keywords.

Be warned that keywording does seem to slow down a lot when using this number of keywords - lets hope Adobe manage to sort out the performance issues.

Update 22 Feb 2007
People have asked why import a file in a tab separated format only to immediately output it in the same format...which is a fair question. The reason is that CV file currently available seems to have an end of line character that Lightroom does not recognise and this process removes it.

David Riecks tells me that the next version of the Controlled Vocabulary Catalogue should not have the problem with the end of line characters in which case you should be able to start from step 11.

I have had a lot of people tell me that this is causing them performance issues in Lightroom, I have yet to do a thorough investigation but it seems that every time you access a keyword Lightroom is calculating on the fly how many images in your catalogue are using it.

Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 2)

Update 26 March 2007
It seems my experience with the number of keywords severely impacting performance
is not unusual - Anne Gall has created a thread in the Adobe forum covering the problems in quite some detail.l

Related Posts
Controlled Vocabulary for Adobe Lightroom 1.1 released!

Controlled Vocabulary and Adobe Lightroom 1.1
How to use Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 2)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, 20 February 2007 

Lightroom and Keywording

Its not uncommon for people to believe only pro photographers who sell to image libraries really need the keywording and organisation facilities of products like Lightroom and Iview Media Pro.

Well since reading "The DAM Book" by Peter Krogh I have come to realise that keywording is not just for pros. It can give real benefits to anyone who has a lot of images to manage.

As part of my current workflow I have Downloader Pro set up so that every time I download from a card it prompts me for keywords. I usually enter the location and the event only, all the shots downloaded from that card are then tagged with that information (also known as metadata).

When I move the shots to my archive system I just add extra tags for any people in a particular shot. I also rate mark shots for later use in my web galleries with a star rating. The keywording of A single months worth of shots takes about 10 minutes using iview media pro.

This makes image retrieval significantly easier, as generally I am looking for a person or a place. The advantage over a structured file system is that you can have multiple keywords whereas the file can only be in one place.

Files are actually stored by date and type in a Year/Month/Day/Type directory structure where type is either raw,tiff or webready.

My initial thoughts about Adobe Lightroom is that it may actually remove the need to store different versions of the same file due to its sophisticated print options & stacks, more playing may confirm this. The Keywording facilities of Lightroom seem reasonably comprehensive so far..which is nice.

The image download system on Lightroom is highly configurable and (almost) meets my needs and could possibly make Downloader Pro redundant.

I am not completely happy with the workflow Lightroom seems to want me to work with though. It seems to be based around a single library and I prefer my current setup of a "working" and an "archive" library. Though it is early days yet so maybe I will find a way to implement this structure within Lightroom.

Labels: ,

Monday, 19 February 2007 

Adobe Lightroom is Live

Adobe Lightroom has just been released (I refuse to add "Photoshop" in the title as its just plain confusing). Version 1.0 is now available as a 30 day trial download.

Lightroom promises a great simplification of the digital photographers workflow. I intend to download the trial and give it a try out. I wasn't too happy with the beta releases but I intend to look at the entire thing afresh and take the time to work through some tutorials too.

I will let you know how I get on and what I learn. Why not try it out yourself and let me know how you get on, I would love to hear from you.

Labels: , ,