Archive for the ‘Digital Darkroom’ Category

Last Chance for a Discount on My Lightroom eBook

Friday, November 13th, 2015


A quick reminder that the price for my Landscapes in Lightroom ebook and video package will go up on Sunday (at midnight Pacific time) from $14.95 to $27.00. This is your last chance to get the new edition at the old price! The new version has been updated for Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC, and includes eight step-by-step examples, plus ten video tutorials. Click the Add to Cart button below, or visit this page for more information.

Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide
PDF ebook plus video tutorials
103 double-page spreads
14.95 until Sunday, November 15th, after which the price goes up to 27.00

Add to Cart View Cart

Some testimonials…

“Just wanted you to know that I have used LR since the beta the year before it was released. I have used every version since then. In addition, I have taken multiple classes, read many books, and purchased the on-line tutorials of several pretty high-powered professionals. Over the years I have done some pretty darn good processing. But I have never really understood what the heck I was doing with the various adjustments until reading your recent eBook. All of a sudden everything is completely clear, and I am now making adjustments because I know what they will do rather than just noodling around.

“This should be required reading for all Lightroom users, and I am certainly recommending it to my friends. It is light years ahead of anything else I am familiar with. Thanks for writing it…you have changed the way I process!”

— Scott Oberle

“I just wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you that I purchased your ebook and it is excellent. I’m an experienced LR user however I have learned a number of new things in your ebook. Your teaching style is excellent and your photography is outstanding.  I would highly recommend this ebook to anyone looking to improve their image processing in Lightroom.”

— Betty Wiley

“I’m absolutely loving everything about your book! It’s fantastic on all fronts.
And your videos are a gigantic bonus; extremely helpful. I love the clarity of your instructional style.”

— Chris Dierdorff

“I want to thank you for your “Landscapes in Lightroom 5″ ebook. I will mirror Scott Oberle’s comments about having watched lots of videos & instructions, including Adobe’s, on LR5. Previously, before your e-book, I felt like I was still stumbling around the Develop Module without understanding “what” I was trying to accomplish, but more importantly, the “why and how” I was doing something to the image. Your e-book made it very clear. I’ve gone from dreading post-processing to actually enjoying it, because now I evaluate an image, and THEN decide HOW I want to change it.”

— Bill Beckler

“I just got the book and about half way through it. I can’t believe how much I have learned so far. You have destroyed eveything I thought I knew about using LR4. Can’t wait to apply some of this new knowledge on some of my own work. Great job! Easy to read and understand.”
— Bruce Johnson

I would just like to say how good it is to follow your thinking when working on your images. It has made me realize that less is more in so many cases. I’m pretty well versed as regards to LR functions but it is always healthy to see how you tackle problems and come up with such stunning landscapes. To those who are wondering, this ebook is worth every centime. :)
— Malcolm McLeod

I already have my copy! Your writing style makes it easy and educational read. I have already learned several new things and am only on page 19! I am looking forward to working on the examples you provide. I think this is an excellent learning tool.
— Richard Valenti

Just now purchased the e-book, and I have to say it looks like a bargain – even before the discount. You could probably charge twice as much and still sell as many! I look forward to spending some quality time with it and your sample files (not to forget the videos). Did I mention already it’s a bargain?
— Robert Gissing

Processing Autumn Landscapes

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
Autumn sunrise over the Sneffels Range from the Dallas Divide, CO, USA

Autumn sunrise over the Sneffels Range from the Dallas Divide, CO, USA

As I wrote in my last post, it can be challenging to process high-contrast scenes with important, colorful subjects in the shade – like aspens. You need to lighten the shadows even more than normal to bring out the color, and it’s hard to do that in natural-looking way, while keeping contrast and depth.

This photograph is a good example. It’s from the Dallas Divide, one of Colorado’s iconic fall locations. Fresh snow on the peaks added interest, but also created more contrast. The morning sun lit the peaks and clouds, but I knew it would be awhile before that light reached the aspens in the foreground, and by that time the color in the sky would be gone. I bracketed three exposures, each one stop apart, in case I needed to blend them together later. But I didn’t need to blend; the final image was processed in Lightroom with just one frame.


Autumn Landscapes

Sunday, November 1st, 2015
Sunbeams, San Juan Mountains, CO, USA

Sunbeams, San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Driving over Lizard Head Pass we came around a bend and spotted these sunbeams coming through the clouds. Claudia found a place to pull over, and I scrambled to set up my camera as quickly as possible. Wind was blowing rain right toward the camera, so it was a challenge to keep water drops off the lens. I stayed for at least 20 minutes capturing images of the sunbeams as they moved and changed, but this was the very first frame. A challenging photo to process!

With their straight, white trunks and colorful leaves, aspens are great subjects for intimate landscapes. But in both Colorado and the eastern Sierra this fall we had lots of interesting weather, with great clouds, which created many opportunities to capture images of aspens as part of a larger landscape, with mountains in the background. I’ve posted a couple of these photographs already (here and here), but I’ve included a few more in this post.

These images were sometimes challenging to process. Often the aspens were in the shade, with sunlit, sometimes snow-covered peaks above, creating a lot of contrast. Yet all of these images were processed in Lightroom, with just one Raw file – no exposure blending or HDR. I used Lightroom’s wonderful Highlights and Shadows tools, plus some dodging and burning with the Adjustment Brush.


Lightroom eBook Updated!

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015


Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide

PDF ebook with video tutorials
103 double-page spreads
14.95 for a limited time, after which it goes up to 27.00

Add to Cart View Cart

Here it is! The latest update to my ebook, Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide, is now available. This new edition is revised and updated for Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC, and includes two new examples and videos demonstrating how to use the most significant new features – the HDR Merge and the Panorama Merge.

Of course this new version still has all the features that made the first edition so popular. First, you can download the original Raw files used as examples in the ebook, and then follow along with each step yourself – just as if you were attending one of my workshops.

Second, when you purchase the ebook you get exclusive access to ten videos demonstrating different aspects of Lightroom’s Develop Module, like using the Adjustment Brush, Spot Removal Tool, and Point Curve, advanced retouching in Lightroom, the new HDR Merge, and much more. It’s great to read about a tool or technique; it’s even better to watch a demonstration, and then try it yourself on the same image.

And third, there’s the PDF ebook itself. This includes eight examples, where I take you step-by-step through processing each image in Lightroom. You’ll get to see my workflow in action, with a variety of images – high contrast, low contrast, color, black and white, HDR merge, and panorama. You’ll learn many specific techniques and tips, but perhaps more importantly, you’ll gain insight into the decision-making process that so many photographers struggle with. How much contrast is enough? How far can you push the saturation without making the image look garish or fake? What’s the right white balance?


Lightroom’s New Dehaze Control

Friday, June 26th, 2015
Rainbow over Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Yosemite NP, CA, USA

Rainbow over Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View – after applying the Dehaze control

Last week Adobe added an update to Lightroom CC, designated the 2015.1 release. It includes a couple of new features. The main one is a Dehaze slider, designed to reduce the appearance of atmospheric haze. It’s found in the Effects Panel of the Develop Module.

I’m usually skeptical of things like this. Is it really different than adding Contrast or Clarity? Well, yes, actually. Adobe says, “The Dehaze technology is based on a physical model of how light is transmitted, and it tries to estimate light that is lost due to absorption and scattering through the atmosphere.” I’m not sure how they do that exactly, but it seems to work more effectively than just adding Contrast or Clarity.


Outdoor Photographer Excerpts My Landscapes in Lightroom 5 eBook

Monday, October 27th, 2014

El Capitan and the Merced River after an autumn snowstorm, Yosemite NP, CA, USA

El Capitan and the Merced River after an autumn snowstorm, Yosemite. In the excerpt from Outdoor Photographer magazine I take readers step-by-step through processing this high-contrast image in Lightroom.

It’s not often that Outdoor Photographer magazine excerpts an ebook, so I was pleased when they asked to run an excerpt from my Landscapes in Lightroom 5 ebook in their December issue. Although printed copies of the magazine won’t be available until mid-November, you can already find the online version here.

The excerpt is from the fourth example in the book, showing step-by-step how I processed this high-contrast image of El Capitan in Lightroom. Due to space constraints they couldn’t run all the screen shots and illustrations from the book, but I think they did a great job of including the most essential ones.

If you don’t have the ebook yet, the Outdoor Photographer excerpt gives a good taste of what you’ll find, although of course the ebook has much more: five more step-by-step examples, in-depth discussions of the tools and workflow in Lightroom’s Develop Module, eight accompanying video tutorials (including one about using the Graduated Filter tool that goes with the excerpted chapter), and links to download the original Raw files for hands-on learning as you follow along with the examples.

To purchase the ebook, just use the Add to Cart button below, or click here to find out more.

And to everyone who has already purchased the ebook, thank you so much! I really appreciate your support, and all the kind words many of you have sent to me about the book.

— Michael Frye

Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide

PDF ebook with video tutorials
87 double-page spreads

Add to Cart View Cart

Top Posts of 2013: The Adobe Creative Cloud

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Sunbeams, Mariposa County, CA, USA

Sunbeams, Mariposa County, CA, USA

Throughout 2013, nothing generated more comments and passionate discussion than my posts about Adobe’s Creative Cloud. As most of you know, Adobe announced in May that it would no longer offer Photoshop and its other Creative Suite applications with a perpetual license. They became available by subscription only, and, at the time, with a rather steep monthly fee of $20 per month for an individual application.

In June I wrote My Thoughts on the Adobe Creative Cloud, which covered my initial reaction to this announcement. Since then some things have changed. Notably, Adobe lowered the monthly subscription rate to $9.99 per month for Photoshop and Lightroom together. At first they offered this rate only to people who already owned a license to Photoshop CS3 or later. Then they offered the package to everyone. I finally decided to subscribe, despite some misgivings; I wrote about my reasons here.

This Lightroom-and-Photoshop package is still available for $9.99 per month (with a one-year subscription) until December 31st. After that? Well who knows. I have a feeling Adobe could be offering similar deals in the future, but no guarantees!

2014 should be an interesting year. Will Adobe make Lightroom available by subscription only? Let’s hope not! Will other software companies move to a subscription-only model? Or will someone seize the opportunity created by all the ill-will toward Adobe and offer a true competitor to Photoshop – with a perpetual license? Stay tuned.

— Michael Frye

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Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to YosemiteYosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.

Top Posts of 2013: Lightroom 5

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Aspen hillside, Tioyable NF, CA, USA

Aspen hillside, Tioyable NF, CA, USA (processed with Lightroom 5)

In April Adobe released the beta version of Lightroom 5, and the full shipping version came out in June. While the jump from Lightroom 4 to 5 wasn’t as big as some previous upgrades, there were some significant improvements, notably the Advanced Healing Brush and the Visualize Spots options for the Spot Removal Tool.

I shared my thoughts about all the changes in the post Lightroom 5 Beta from April. Since then I’ve used the Advanced Healing Brush a lot, and have actually found it to be even more helpful than I initially thought. It does take some practice to get the most out of this tool, but now I do almost all of my retouching in Lightroom, and rarely use Photoshop. This allows me to keep a completely non-destructive workflow, and means that I’ll never have to do the retouching for any of these images again (as I might if I used Photoshop for retouching and ever had to go back and make a change to the Raw file). Very nice.


Adobe Offers its Photoshop and Lightroom Package to Everyone

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Clouds formation over the mountains along the NC/SC border, autumn, USA

A creative cloud over the North Carolina/South Carolina border

Adobe is now offering its Photoshop Photography Program to everyone, not just those who own a license to a previous version of Photoshop. This program includes Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC for $9.99 per month. This new offer is only available until December 2nd. (If you own a license to Photoshop CS3 or later you still have until December 31st.)

For people who would like to try Photoshop, but don’t own a previous Photoshop license, this seems like a good deal. In the past you would have paid nearly $700 to buy a full version of Photoshop for the first time. Now you can get Photoshop, plus Lightroom, for $120 per year.

For those who already own a license to Photoshop CS5 or CS6 things are less clear cut. The pricing for this Lightroom-and-Photoshop package is attractive, but you’re still renting rather than owning, and if you stop your subscription you lose access to the software. Many people are choosing to stick with their older versions of Photoshop, since they own a perpetual license and will never lose access to it. I discussed some of the pros and cons of this deal in a previous post. (Be sure to read the comments, as there are lots of interesting thoughts there.)


Adobe’s New Lightroom and Photoshop Package

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Sunset clouds, Tenaya Lake, Yosemite NP, CA, USA

Sunset clouds, Tenaya Lake, Yosemite NP, CA, USA

Back in June I wrote about Adobe’s new subscription-only model for licensing Photoshop, called the Creative Cloud. Let’s just say that I wasn’t happy about it. But recently, as I’m sure many of you know, Adobe announced a new Photoshop Photography Program. For $9.99 per month you can get both Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) and Lightroom, and it’s not an introductory price that will go up after a year. That doesn’t mean that it will never go up, but Adobe says that they don’t have any plans to increase the price at this time. (The offer is only available to people who currently own Photoshop CS3 or later, and it expires on December 31st.)

I have to say that this is a more attractive offer. $9.99 per month comes out to less than I’ve been paying for upgrades to both Lightroom and Photoshop. Of course I already own a license to Lightroom 5, so in the short term I’d really be paying just for Photoshop CC. But at least the price wouldn’t automatically go up after a year, and when Lightroom 6 comes out I’d get it for no extra charge.

Unfortunately this program won’t help you if you don’t already own Photoshop CS3 or later. It’s possible that Adobe might offer a version of this package (probably a more expensive version), to people who don’t already own Photoshop, but there’s no word of that yet. You can still buy Photoshop CS6 from places like Amazon and B&H, and that would then qualify you to get this Photoshop/Lightroom bundle, but that’s an expensive way to go, since CS6 is going for more than $600.