The lens review database continues to be a great resource for photographers to research and share information about specific lens models from Canon, Nikon, Sigma, and others. If you don’t find a lens you are interested in, please take a moment to complete the lens request form by clicking the new “Add a lens to the database” link at the bottom of any lens database page. Your contribution will benefit yourself and other photographers looking for more information about that lens. Your fellow photographers thank you!
Picasa was the first online editing software that I heard people rave about, but I was left out of the fun; I couldn’t use it from my Mac. I still can’t, because I haven’t upgraded to 10.4, so I’ll never know what all the fuss was about. However, now I can play with Picnik.com, so I’m a happy camper.
If you want to delight your friends and family, send them a picture by snail mail. While I am a great fan of online photosharing websites, especially flickr.com, I have discovered that people are thrilled to receive a nicely presented print. Yes, you can always stuff a snapshot into an envelope, but a frame makes it a gift. Frames also allow recipients to display pictures on a table or shelf.
“A portrait is a likeness.” Digital Portrait Photography and Lighting by Catherine Jamieson and Sean McCormick (published by Wiley) starts with this simple definition and premise and goes on to declare that “the photographic portrait may well be one of the more important social tools we have.” It’s no secret that I love making portraits—it’s probably my favorite type of photograph. So I was excited to finally find some time to read this book.
So I’ve been using the Adobe Lightroom beta for a couple of weeks now and I really like it. It’s shaping up to be a very nice application and it’s clear that the designers have put a lot of thought into managing a workflow that involves a lot of photographs.
I was using Raw Shooter Premium (RSP) to process my RAW files but I’ve made the switch completely to Lightroom even though it is still in beta. For one, RSP isn’t being updated anymore. It was acquired by Adobe and they’ve promised RSP users a free upgrade to Lightroom 1.0 when it becomes available. Second, even now it provides a lot more fine-grained control over image adjustment than RSP does. The Develop panel looks like a 747 cockpit. But importantly, every one of those controls does something meaningful and there are no less than two basic adjustment panels you can use instead. Plus you can save as many presets as you like.
It’s certainly slower than RSP. You’ll need a semi-modern machine to run it properly. But if your computer has the horsepower, Lightroom is a lot of fun to use.
One of my favorite things about it though is that it consolidates my workflow for RAW and JPG files. Lightroom provides the same UI for management and development regardless of the file type. I shoot a lot of RAW images but I shoot a lot more JPG. Now I don’t have to have two separate workflows for dealing with those files.
I recommend trying it out if you haven’t already.