The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book 1.1 update:
The new look Develop module menus
If you thought that the Library module had a lot of new additions, just wait till you see what the Develop module has in store. The recent Adobe Camera Raw 4.1 update offered a few clues as to what you might expect to see in Lightroom 1.1, things like the new sharpening and clarity adjustments. To borrow Russell Brown’s catchphrase ‘but wait, there’s more…!’, there is indeed more. We’ve got Match Exposure, hierarchical presets, camera-specific defaults, new tool overlays, plus new improvements to the Remove Spots and Remove Red Eye tools (which I shall be covering in the second part to this story about the Develop module).
The Develop menu now looks rather slimmed down, which is because most of the menu items have now been moved over to the new Settings menu for the Develop module. But the first new item we have here is New Preset Folder…
This menu item takes you to the new Folder dialog where you can create a new Preset folder to be used for storing Develop module preset settings.
If you take a look at the Presets panel in the Develop module after installing the 1.1 update, notice how presets are initially segregated into Lightroom Presets and User Presets. This folder separation offers the advantage of making it easier for you to manage lots of Develop presets and group them in ways that are more meaningful or easier to manage. In this example, I created a new folder called ‘Black & White Presets’ to store all my black and white conversion settings. You can use preset folders to store groups of presets any way you like, although you can’t create subfolders of presets yet.
But what you can do is to use the contextual menu command to access the contextual menu shown above to Export… or Import… develop settings. The contextual menu shown here can normally be accessed by right-mouse clicking on a folder inside the panel (although Macintosh users who are not using a two-button mouse will need to hold down the Control key and click with the mouse to see this menu). When you select either of these menu items, you will be taken directly to the Finder/Explorer browser window that points directly to the Lightroom Develop Presets folder.
This menu addition is great because it now makes it much easier for you to share develop presets settings with other Lightroom users. For starters you may wish to go to Richard Earney’s Inside-lightroom.com website where you can access lots of different develop presets for Lightroom. No need to fuss about looking for the Develop Presets folder on the system. Just use the Import… command in this menu to locate and add these to the Presets panel in the Develop module.
Applying default develop settings
Any feature that saves you time, is always welcome. Very often you will find that as you import pictures from a particular camera shot at a certain ISO speed, you end up wanting to apply the same develop settings. For example, if you shoot with more than one digital camera you may want to create a custom camera calibration setting for each camera body. In addition you may want to adjust the noise reduction settings in the Detail panel to correct for the level of noise that is likely to occur at a specific ISO setting.
Step 1. One way you might use this feature would be to create a new folder called ‘Camera Presets’ and adjust the Develop settings for different ISO settings shot with that camera. Save these settings as new presets, checking just the items shown here (note that the New Develop Preset dialog now contains a Folder menu where you can select which folder to save a new preset to).
Step 2. Go to the Lightroom Presets preferences and make sure that the Make defaults specific to camera serial number and Make defaults specific to camera ISO setting are both checked. It is important that you do this first before proceeding to the next step.
Step 3. Now go to the Develop module and select a photo in the Filmstrip and match the Develop setting to the camera model, body serial number and ISO setting and apply the same matching Develop setting (as was saved in the previous step). Now go to the Develop menu and choose Set Default Settings… This will open the dialog shown here and all you need to do now is click the Update to Current Settings button. Do this and Lightroom will now automatically associate the setting you just chose prior to setting this option as the default setting for all newly imported photos that match the same criteria of matching the camera model, serial number and ISO setting. But remember that you have just set the default setting here. If you select a different type of setting to apply on import via the Import Photo dialog, then this will override the default settings applied here.
The Edit in Adobe Photoshop and Edit in Other Application menu items will open the dialog shown below, where the Edit items are listed in a different order. More importantly we now have Copy File Options, which is enabled when either the Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments or the Edit a Copy option is selected. If you then click on the disclosure triangle to reveal the ‘Copy File’ options, you can adjust the File format, Color Space, Bit Depth and Compression options. If you refer to the Lightroom 1.1 Preferences feature story (which will be published a little later) you can read how it is possible to configure the default copy file settings in the External Editing preferences. The Copy File options here simply allow you to override these default settings at the time a copy is being made.
Show folder location
Beneath the Show in Finder command we have Show in Folder in Library. This can be useful if you are working on an image in the Develop module that is part of a Collection and therefore likely to be referencing more than a single folder in the Library module Folders panel. You can therefore use this command to instantly locate which folder a photo belongs to. Select this menu item and you will be taken back to the Library module where the parent folder will be highlighted.
Create Virtual Copy shortcut
The Create Virtual Copy feature was a late addition to Lightroom 1.0 and has proven to be very popular, so much so that Create Virtual Copy now has its own keyboard shortcut: Command+’ (Mac), Control+’ (PC). I use this shortcut all the time now.
See the Lightroom Library Menus feature story for the low down on: ‘Save Metadata to File’, ‘Read Metadata from File’ and ‘Update DNG Preview & Metadata’ commands.
Removing and deleting photos
To repeat what I wrote in the Library menus feature story: the photo deletion process did cause a certain amount of confusion in Lightroom 1.0 because some people were unclear about the distinction between deleting a photo to remove it from the Lightroom catalog and deleting a photo to not only remove it from the catalog but also remove it from the disk as well by sending it to the trash.
Now if you hit the delete key you will be faced with a slightly changed dialog that offers (as before) the option to simply remove the current photo(s) from the catalog, or the option to delete completely from the disk. Note here that selecting Delete from Disk… will remove the photos from the catalog and then send them to the system trash/recycle bin. So although the warning message says that this process cannot be undone, it is not in fact a complete deletion. The photos you delete can still be accessed via the trash/recycle bin. It will only be when you choose to empty the trash/recycle bin that the images will truly be deleted forever.
If you are aware of this difference and wish to avoid having to go through the above dialog each time you hit delete to remove photos from the catalog, you can instead now use the Photo ➯ Remove Photos from Catalog command, or the Option + Delete (Mac), Alt + Delete (PC) shortcut. This allows you to remove photos from the catalog without showing the Delete photos dialog. Or use the Command+Option+Shift + Delete (Mac), Control+Alt+Shift + Delete (PC) shortcut to remove photos from the catalog and send them directly to the trash. Again, bypassing the Delete dialog.
The Settings menu is new to the Develop module. But it is basically now a new menu location in which to contain many of the menu items that were previously located in the Develop module Develop menu.
Match Total Exposures
You can use this command to match the exposures across a series of images that have been selected via the Filmstrip. Match Total Exposures will calculate a match value by analyzing and combining the shutter speed, lens aperture, ISO speed the photos were captured at, plus any camera-set exposure compensation. It then factors in all these camera-set values, combine them with the desired exposure value (as set in the most selected image) and calculate new Lightroom exposure values for all the other selected images. I find that it can often be used to help average out the exposure brightness in a series of photos where the light values were going up and down during a shoot, while chief Lightroom architect Mark Hamburg also likes to describe this as a ‘de-bracketing command’.
So in effect, if you highlight an individual image in the series and select ‘Match Total Exposures’, the other images in that selection will auto balance to match the exposure of the target image.
Step 1. In this example, the most selected photo in this filmstrip selection is too light in exposure, whereas the exposure in the photo to the left in the filmstrip is fine.
Step 2. I selected the image to the left to make this the most selected image and then chose Match Total Exposures from the Develop module Settings menu. In this screen shot I have reselected the original photo again and you can see how the exposure setting is now much improved. You will also notice how the exposure values for the other pictures in the filmstrip selection are also more even now.
Swap Before and After settings
Lightroom users should already be familiar with the Before/After view modes that are available as previewing options via the Develop module toolbar.
With this view mode you have the option of previewing a selected image to see the before and after versions appear side by side.
Step 1. In this example I selected the Before/After Left/Right split option and you can see the original before version of the photo in the left half of the frame and the modified after version appear in the right half.
Step 2. In Lightroom 1.1 you now have the facility to Swap Before and After Settings. If you use this menu command from the Settings menu, or use the keyboard shortcut: Command+Option+Shift+up arrow (Mac), Control+Alt+Shift+ up arrow (PC), you can switch the before and after settings. This is useful if you reach a point in the develop editing where you like the initial improvements you made and you then want to make further tweaks but wish to compare these with the current view. In a situation like this, you simply select the ‘Swap Before and After’ Settings command and then carry on editing the photo.
You can load a Snapshot or a History state into the Before view by right mouse-clicking (you can also Control-click on Macs) on the History state or Snapshot in the panel list. This will pop a contextual menu allowing you to load the history state or Snapshot to the Before view.
There are several ways that you can control the zoom settings in the Library and Develop modules. For example, if you go to the Navigator panel you can use the fly-out menu to set a custom zoom magnification for the close-up loupe view.
If you make the Zoom slider option active in the toolbar you can use the slider shown below to adjust the zoom level at any time magnifying the photo using the same step values as shown in the Navigator panel.
The new Zoom In Some and Zoom Out Some commands will allow you to zoom in or out using the same incremental steps as offered by the toolbar zoom slider. You can use Command+Shift+= (Mac), Control+Shift+= (PC) to zoom in and Command+Shift+minus (Mac), Control+Shift+minus (PC) to zoom out. These shortcuts will also work when operating in the Library module.
Tool Overlay menu
The Tool Overlay menu could do with a little explanation here as to how it works. These menu options only apply to when you are working with the crop tool, Remove Red Eye tool or Remove Spots tool. And the tool overlays refer to the crop guides that appear inside a cropped area, the Remove Red Eye circles and the Remove Spots circles.
The Auto Show mode allows will only make the above mentioned tool overlays visible when the cursor is rolled over inside the content area. In other words, the crop guides, Remove Red Eye circles or Remove Spots circles will disappear from view when you roll the mouse cursor outside the image area such as up to the top panel menu.
In this screen shot you can see how the Remove Spots tool circles are visible. Shown here is the area that is being healed (the circle with the thicker border) and the area that is being sampled from (the circle with the thinner border). We now see these circles highlighted more clearly in order to emphasize which is currently the most active circle and the arrow reinforces the relationship between the two, indicating which is the source and which is the destination. For more about the new look spotting tools, refer to the forthcoming feature on the Develop module interface. Just below the active, highlighted circles you can see a circle indicating an area that has also been healed (the faint gray circle) where only the healed area is shown, because this circle is not currently active.
If you select the Always Show menu option, the tool overlays behavior matches that found in Lightroom 1.0 in which they always remain visible. If you want to hide the tool overlays, select Never Show from the menu. When this menu option is selected the overlays remain hidden, even when you roll the mouse cursor over the image. But as soon as you start working with a tool, the tool overlay behavior automatically reverts to the Auto Show mode; and if you look at the Tool Overlay menu, you will see this option is highlighted.
Another way to work with this new tool overlay show/hide feature is to use the associated keyboard shortcut: Command+Shift–H (Mac), Control+Shift–H (PC) to toggle between showing and hiding the tool overlays. In practice, I find it simpler also to just use the H key to toggle between showing and hiding the tool overlays.
Crop Guide Overlays
The crop guide options have been extended in this 1.1 update so that you can choose from six different types of overlay in the Crop Guide Overlay menu.
I have listed all the different crop guide overlays below, starting with the Grid overlay. And you will notice that regardless of whichever crop guide you choose, the grid will always appear when you try to rotate the crop by dragging with the cursor outside the crop bounding box.
(Photograph © Jeff Schewe)
Crop guide orientation
It is worth pointing out that the O keyboard shortcut can be used to cycle through the crop guide overlays; use Shift+O to cycle through the crop guide orientation. In the example below I have shown the Golden Spiral with a changed overlay orientation.
Cancelling a crop
You can now use the Escape key to revert to a previously applied crop setting made during a crop session. Let’s say that the picture shown in the previous screen shots had been cropped slightly on the left. If you were to alter the crop by adjusting the crop ratio or crop angle and then hit the Escape key, you will always be taken back to the original crop setting. If, on the other hand, you adjusted the crop, exited the crop mode for this photo, started editing photos in another folder and returned later to this picture, the new crop setting will become the one that Lightroom reverted back to when you hit Escape. The crop cancel command is worked out on a per-session basis.
In case you haven’t noticed in the previous screen shots, the Develop module toolbar has a new crop lock icon. This icon is now colored. But the distinction between when the crop aspect ratio is locked and when it is unlocked is a lot more subtle than in the previous version of Lightroom. Notice also that the Aspect Ratio menu that is next to it is now more clearly labeled.
In part 2 we shall be looking at the remaining features in the Develop module such as Clarity and the new spot removal tools.
If you have found this extract useful and would like to read more then you will be pleased to know that Martin Evening, author of The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book, has also written a free Lightroom 1.1 PDF supplement update for readers of his book. The PDF is a compilation of all the Lightroom 1.1 update Lightroom-news stories, is 177 pages long and will soon be available for download via the Peachpit website (registration required). This is not a book revision, but a supplement to the original book in which Martin Evening desribes in detail all of the new features found in Lightroom 1.1. Martin writes: “I wanted to provide a free update for Lightroom 1.1 that would satisfy readers who had already bought the book as well as all those who hadn’t bought it yet but wanted to make sure they were up to speed on all the new program features”.
How to download the PDF supplement
The PDF update supplement will soon be available free for everyone to download. All you will have to do is visit the peachpit website at: www.peachpit.com/register. There you will need to create a new account by providing your email address, full name and a password to access the site. Once you have confirmed your account details proceed to the register page and enter the 10-digit ISBN number of the book. Please note that this PDF is not limited to those who are buying the book. Everyone will be welcome to register and download the PDF. Just copy and paste the following ISBN number: 0321385438 as shown below.
You will then be ready to download the PDF supplement after it is published. Watch out for further announcements on Lightroom-news for when the PDF is ready to download.
Martin Evening has worked on the development of Adobe Photoshop as an alpha tester from the program’s earliest beginnings. The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book describes all of Lightroom’s features in detail, with photographers in mind. Photographers who routinely work with raw (and even jpg & tiff) images will find Lightroom–and The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book–an indispensable tool in their digital darkroom.
Lightroom-news has a free PDF download of Chapter 1. (click here to download-4.6MB PDF).