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Using Lightroom on the road


From:

The Practicing Photographer

with Ben Long

Video: Using Lightroom on the road

At home I use Lightroom for my still image post production. I really like its Editing tools. I like its Organizational tools. I like its performance, and I really appreciate its Photoshop integration. On the road, I also use Photoshop Lightroom. There's an easy way that I can manage and move my Lightroom catalog around as I travel. And this week on The Practicing Photographer, I'm going to show you how I do that. Now, if I set up my Lightroom catalog in the right way, using the right types of drives, I have found that I can easily take my entire system that I'm used to having on my desktop and seamlessly move it to my laptop.
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  1. 20m 3s
    1. Pulling stills from a timelapse NEW
      6m 8s
    2. 1m 35s
      1. Introducing The Practicing Photographer
        1m 35s
    3. 12h 10m
      1. Choosing a camera
        5m 27s
      2. Looking at light as a subject
        2m 22s
      3. Using a small reflector to add fill light
        5m 45s
      4. Editing photo metadata with PhotosInfo Pro for iPad
        6m 30s
      5. Let your lens reshape you
        7m 26s
      6. Compositing street photography images with Photoshop
        7m 44s
      7. Expand your filter options with step-up and step-down rings
        3m 56s
      8. Shooting without a memory card
        3m 6s
      9. Give yourself a year-long assignment
        5m 28s
      10. Working with reflections
        1m 26s
      11. Exploring mirrorless cameras
        7m 25s
      12. Batch processing photos with the Adobe Image Processor
        7m 30s
      13. Limiting yourself to a fixed-focal-length lens
        2m 13s
      14. Creating tiny worlds: Shooting technique
        4m 15s
      15. Creating tiny worlds: Post-processing techniques
        11m 41s
      16. Shooting macro shots on an iPhone
        3m 18s
      17. Using a tripod
        3m 33s
      18. Wildlife and staying present
        5m 58s
      19. Batch exposure adjustments on raw files
        6m 52s
      20. Why Shoot Polaroid
        11m 12s
      21. Seizing an opportunity
        4m 4s
      22. Four photographers do a light-as-subject exercise
        12m 24s
      23. Shooting macro bug photos with a reversed lens
        4m 54s
      24. Varnishing a photo for a painterly effect
        13m 36s
      25. Shooting wildlife
        7m 24s
      26. Discussion on how to shoot architecture
        12m 27s
      27. Using a lens hood
        4m 48s
      28. Working with themes
        2m 48s
      29. Setting up an HDR time lapse
        7m 55s
      30. Processing an HDR time lapse
        7m 55s
      31. Two perspectives on travel photography
        12m 28s
      32. Scanning Photos
        5m 37s
      33. Photo assignment: shooting an egg
        3m 13s
      34. Reviewing the egg shot images
        6m 47s
      35. Shooting in your own backyard
        4m 38s
      36. Jpeg iPad import process
        3m 17s
      37. Shooting a product shot in open shade
        9m 34s
      38. Reviewing the product shot images
        4m 5s
      39. Warming up
        3m 26s
      40. Taking a panning action shot
        10m 17s
      41. Scanning polaroid negatives and processing in Photoshop
        8m 17s
      42. Shooting a silhouette
        3m 9s
      43. Going with an ultra-light gear configuration
        5m 29s
      44. Working with masks and calculations in Photoshop
        12m 38s
      45. Working with flash for macro photography
        4m 56s
      46. Colorizing a black and white photo in Photoshop
        5m 10s
      47. Using duct tape and zip ties in the field
        4m 14s
      48. When the on camera flash is casting a shadow
        3m 4s
      49. Using Lightroom on the road
        6m 28s
      50. Listening to your camera to get good exposure
        2m 20s
      51. Shooting a successful self portrait with a phone
        7m 18s
      52. Switching to Lightroom from another application
        9m 48s
      53. Photographing animals in wildlife refuges
        6m 41s
      54. Shooting level
        2m 42s
      55. Photoshop and Automator
        8m 54s
      56. Shooting when the light is flat
        3m 23s
      57. Discussing the business of stock photography
        9m 48s
      58. Shooting tethered to a monitor
        3m 21s
      59. Making a 360 degree panorama on the iPhone
        4m 45s
      60. Understanding the three flash setup
        3m 34s
      61. Shooting a three flash portrait
        4m 6s
      62. Understanding the differences with third party lenses
        4m 43s
      63. Understanding why files look different on depending on device
        5m 25s
      64. Working with a geotagging app on the iPhone
        4m 43s
      65. Using high speed flash sync to dim ambient light
        7m 29s
      66. Using your iPad as a second monitor
        5m 46s
      67. Understanding exposure with a leaf shutter camera
        3m 28s
      68. Photography practice through mimicry
        8m 8s
      69. Canon wireless flash with built in radio control
        5m 59s
      70. Posing and shooting pairs of people
        5m 35s
      71. Shooting with a shape in mind
        3m 15s
      72. Shooting tethered to a laptop
        4m 40s
      73. Softboxes vs. umbrellas
        2m 55s
      74. Getting your project out into the world
        6m 25s
      75. Exploring how to think about shooting a new environment
        3m 56s
      76. Discussing the book "The Passionate Photographer" with Steve Simon
        6m 4s
      77. Highlighting iOS 8 updates on the iPhone5S
        10m 46s
      78. Exploring manual controls with iOS 8 and ProCamera
        5m 30s
      79. Understanding how to compose with an empty sky
        4m 54s
      80. Using an iPhone to make a print in the darkroom
        7m 16s
      81. How to use glycerin as a photography tool
        2m 16s
      82. Understanding micro focus adjustment and Lens Align
        11m 19s
      83. Working with hair in post
        3m 28s
      84. Taking a quick portrait and directing a subject
        5m 50s
      85. Getting inspired through the work of others
        11m 22s
      86. Taking a flattering portrait with flash
        4m 21s
      87. Creating an unaligned HDR image
        3m 3s
      88. Exploring how to use Bokeh
        5m 38s
      89. Shooting stills from a drone
        6m 57s
      90. Using a monitor to get a first person view of the aerial camera
        8m 0s
      91. Understanding lens profile correction
        5m 33s
      92. Working with models
        2m 40s
      93. Understanding the labels on SD cards
        10m 32s
      94. Setting up a macro time lapse of a flower
        6m 18s
      95. Taking a portrait that's tightly cropped or slightly obscured
        3m 24s
      96. Tips for shooting panoramas
        7m 16s
      97. Carrying a point-and-shoot camera
        4m 44s
      98. Adjusting the color of shadows in an image
        5m 35s
      99. Evaluating camera-strap options
        4m 42s
      100. The 100th Practicing Photographer
        3m 31s
      101. Using light-pollution maps for planning night shoots
        3m 26s
      102. Shooting a series of star shots for a stack
        8m 32s
      103. Stitching together stacks of stars
        8m 59s
      104. Understanding how to clean sensor dust
        10m 27s
      105. Dry sensor cleaning
        6m 23s
      106. Cleaning the sensor with moisture
        7m 32s
      107. Composing in the center
        2m 48s
      108. Working with an electronic shutter control
        2m 50s
      109. Understanding how to use the Wi-Fi feature in some cameras
        2m 56s
      110. Exploring the software equivalent to graduated ND (neutral density) filters
        7m 8s
      111. Don't be predictable in your framing
        10m 21s
      112. Shooting with ND filter and flash to balance subject and background exposure
        2m 42s
      113. Understanding when to go low contrast
        3m 15s
      114. Reasons for shooting images alone
        4m 5s
      115. Working with colored lens filters and converting to black and white
        14m 4s
      116. Waiting for a subject when the light is good
        5m 2s
      117. Understanding options for tripod heads
        7m 23s
      118. Shooting a slow-shutter zoom-and-spin shot for light effect
        4m 47s
      119. Shooting and processing a long exposure at night
        10m 0s
      120. Getting creative with image curation
        4m 12s
      121. Why equivalent lenses don't always meter the same
        5m 42s

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Watch the Online Video Course The Practicing Photographer
12h 32m Appropriate for all May 16, 2013 Updated Aug 27, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In The Practicing Photographer, photographer and teacher Ben Long shares a weekly serving of photographic instruction and inspiration. Each installment focuses on a photographic shooting scenario, a piece of gear, or a software technique. Each installment concludes with a call to action designed to inspire you to pick up your camera (or your mouse or smartphone) to try the technique for yourself.

Subject:
Photography
Author:
Ben Long

Using Lightroom on the road

At home I use Lightroom for my still image post production. I really like its Editing tools. I like its Organizational tools. I like its performance, and I really appreciate its Photoshop integration. On the road, I also use Photoshop Lightroom. There's an easy way that I can manage and move my Lightroom catalog around as I travel. And this week on The Practicing Photographer, I'm going to show you how I do that. Now, if I set up my Lightroom catalog in the right way, using the right types of drives, I have found that I can easily take my entire system that I'm used to having on my desktop and seamlessly move it to my laptop.

What I'm looking for when I'm on the road typically is not heavy post-production. I tend to focus more on shooting, and I don't worry too much about image-editing until I get back. Nevertheless, there are times when I want to work an image up to a finished result, either to see if I got what I needed before I leave a location or simply because I can't wait and I'm curious, or because I need to deliver images while I'm out on the road. Even if I'm not doing heavy image-editing though, I want the ability to go ahead and start rating my images, defining my select, adding metadata. And I do all of that in Lightroom.

So, it's silly to do it somewhere else and have to move it back into Lightroom when I get home. So, for all of those reasons, this is the scheme that I use. Lightroom keeps it's catalog in a file on your hard drive somewhere. By default when you start a Lightroom catalog, it puts it in the same directory where, or the same drive where Lightroom is. In catalog settings I can tell Lightroom where I want it to store it's catalog. I don't have to take that default location. Now where I choose is this drive right here. This is just a portable, bus-powered, two terrabyte, two-and-a-half inch, USB 3 drive.

Nice speedy little drive, doesn't cost that much. Has a lot of storage. My Lightroom catalogue is stored on here. So at home, I plug it into my Mac Pro and my Lightroom preferences there are set to point to this volume, and to this specific directory. When I get ready to hit the road, I just unplug it, I plug it into this laptop. Its Lightroom preferences are set to point to the same place. So, my catalog travel's intact wherever I go. It doesn't even know that it's been moved around. So in this way, I get all of my keywords and everything else, all my metadata, all of my images, all of my edits. They just travel very easily simply by moving this drive around.

Now, I don't keep images on this drive. I like to have the catalog separate from the images because when you're using Lightroom, it has to do a lot of reading and writing on that catalog. If that's one the same drive that it's trying to read and write images from, that's a whole lot of seeking for the head to do, your overall drive performance will go down. So I keep images on a separate drive, and that keeps things a little bit speedier. I have toyed with the idea of switching this over to an SSD, a solid state drive because they're so speedy. Right now, the price per gigabyte still doesn't work in my favor.

I would need a pretty large drive and that's awfully expensive, so I'm sticking with an actual hard drive. It's USB 3 drive, because that's the fasted port I have on both this and my desktop. This has a thunderbolt port, which is very speedy. My Mac Pro does not, so I feel like this is a good solution for now. When something faster or cheaper comes along, I can simply copy the catalog to that new volume, whatever it is, get the same name, and Lightroom won't know that anything has changed. Things will simply be going faster. So for images at home, I have a drive that is dedicated to holding images.

It has a particular name, and there is a folder on it called Images. That's the root level of my image hierarchy within Lightroom. This drive is also a little portable USB 3 drive, I had given it the same name as that drive at home where I keep my images. And it's also got a folder on it called images, that is the root level drive. So, that gives me a lot of portability of images. My main image archive is to big to fit on a portable drive. I can't take it with me. I can only take a subset of it. So, when I go on the road I try and pick the images that I know I might need full access to and I copy those folders over to this drive.

If I make Metadata changes, edits, anything else, that all gets stored in the Lightroom catalog. If I generate new TIFF files, because I've been round tripping to Photoshop or what not, that'll get stored on here. When I go back home, I just use Sync Software to sync up this folder, or, or these folders, with the ones I left behind. All the new stuff gets copied over, and now my master set at home is up to date. But with this setup, I get more then just these few images that I brought with me. Because when you import, I keep doing that these drives aren't going to last very long. I gotta go solid state.

When you import images into Lightroom, it builds these little thumb nail files. These are what it uses when you're in the library module to give you a little preview. But it also builds full res JPG preview of every single image, even if it's Raw files or any other format. So, all of those full res previews are stored in the Lightroom catalog. So when I'm traveling, I'm actually travelling with nice, big full pixel count copies of every image in my library. They won't be Raws, I can't go in and alter the white balance of them. But I've at least got nice big JPGs.

So, if I'm on the road, and I decide, wow, I really need this image and it's not one of the ones that I thought to bring, I still have a nice, big JPG preview. For me, that works out well just because of the nature of my work. Sometimes a publisher calls and says, boy, we really need a picture of that frog that you took, and oh okay, I've got a nice big JPG of that. I can send that to them, and that's usually enough to get by. So with this setup, I've got the ability to seamlessly move all of that catalog data around, simply by a drive back and forth. And I've got the ability to take a select set of full-res Raw files, or whatever other formats I want on this drive.

And whatever I don't choose to bring, I still have full-res JPGs of. So I found this to be a really nice way to take my entire image editing life on the road with me. And one thing that's nice about having it all with me is, there's a lot of just grunt work I can do when I'm on the road that I never get around to doing at home. Right now, if you look here, you see a lot of these folders have question marks on them. These are folders that the original images aren't around for. Nevertheless, I do still have copies of each of those images. Again, those full JPG previews.

I can go ahead and edit metadata on those. So I can go through and keyword images, I can rate images. While I'm sitting on a plane or something, I can do all that grunt work that I never get around to at home. So if you tend to travel, If you move back and forth between multiple machines. Even if you don't travel. Even if it's just that you've got a work machine and a home machine. This is, I have found a good scheme for having a single Lightroom library that travels well and that gives you a tremendous amount of work capability.

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