Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Features of Lightroom Creative Cloud

Yesterday's big news all across the interwebs, was Adobe's latest release of Lightroom CC. Up until about a year ago, I would purchase LR whenever it went on sale (usually in the late fall)... and I would enjoy it until the newest features of the latest release compelled me to upgrade. I joined the CreativeCloud subscription service so that I could skip the waiting for the latest release. Now whenever there is a new feature being added, it automatically upgrades. The monthly cost was initially met with resistance, but now I just chalk it up as one more cost of doing business.

So what was the big deal with yesterday's release? Lightroom now can see faces!

Yeah, I know Facebook and Google have been identifying us for quite a while now. The difference with LR doing it is that now it takes that facial recognition and makes it into a searchable keyword-like function. In the first image, with Kyoshi Robin and Aurora, I can search my entire database of hundreds of thousands of images... just for Kyoshi Robin... and it will go and find them (assuming of course, that I turned on facial recognition and let LR go find them all). It is not perfect but it certainly is a huge step in the right direction!

all of the images of Aurora in this collection... even the blurry images of her face!

One of the best aspects of this new facial recognition is that (much like in FB) you can add folks manually. Granted, you could always keyword people's names into your keywords in LR, but now you can actually select their faces specifically... and then when sorted by names you can see them ALL at a glance.

Today there is a class on CreativeLive where all these new features are discussed in incredible detail!  Apparently CreativeLive will keep this as a free class indefinitely. This will be hugely helpful for folks who choose to upgrade to LR-CC.

After I do some more work with panoramas this week, I will post my thoughts about the Panorama Stitching and HDR possibilities in LR-CC. I am super excited to see how these new features with this latest release affect my workflow and the image possibilities.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Textures and colors of Spring

Spring is finally here. Our crocuses bloomed fast and furiously this year. They turned over the show to the daffodils a few days ago. The iris reticulata came and went in a heartbeat. The scilla are blooming left and right.

It's a heck of a time to be photographing flowers!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Wrapping Up

Over the next few weeks, Nancy and I will make another visit to Roosevelt Island to hang the images for the bedroom and a digital picture frame. You would think that at this point in the project we would be old hands at this. Nope. The next stage is going to require some interesting logistical solutions. Very excited to see how we pull the bedroom together!

Here are a few images of the finished prints, hung in place in the apartment. 

This is the entryway/hall into the bedroom. As you exit the master bathroom, this is what you see. These are metal prints, made on aluminum. I wasn't sure I would like the frame-less approach, but after seeing the first three metal prints last month, I am sold! I love the depth of color that this process can provide.

This is the wall which I was shooting the laser level at in the last blog post. Imagine: each print requires two nails to hook onto the floating block on the back of the print. So in order to hang this arrangement, we had to find the exact spot for all 8 nails before being able to drive the first one. Makes hanging frames from a single nail seem seriously easy. I think companies who use this sort of hanging device should include a nailing template. A sheet of paper exactly the size of the print, with the mounting holes marked out... that way you can lay it out without having to split fractions of an inch at 1am while the apartment was finally dark enough to see the laser markings on the wall.

This is the guest bathroom. The image was made from the southern part of Roosevelt Island. I had just purchased a series of Neutral Density filters (ND) and was trying to capture motion blur from the sky and the water while the sun set behind me, over the Manhattan skyline. By the time I had started figuring out exposure times and settings, the light was very nearly gone from the sky. I think at the time this was taken, my exposure was close to two minutes. Luckily the Fuji XT1 has the ability to be triggered by my iPhone, so I could have it set up securely on a tripod, open the shutter and control the exposure manually. It is hard to imagine that to my eyes, it was totally dark at this time. There was zero color in the sky. But leaving the camera open for that long let in the most marvelous hues! Definitely something I want to spent more time exploring this Spring.