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Monday, August 19, 2013

Whidbey Island - Mulkilteo Ferry

I have been avoiding photography lately. Well... Correction. I have been avoiding the post camera process. I love taking pictures, but man... getting all those pictures off my camera?

Part of the problem has been my laptop. For the past year and a half I have had a Chromebook. I believe the Chromebooks have advanced, based on talking to a few people who own newer models.

My Chromebook is slooooooowwwwww... With a capital SLOW.

So processing pictures on it for the blog was a nightmare. I found that I had to upload to Google+ just to view my pictures, because viewing them on my SD card or from a folder would result in my Chromebook losing memory and crashing. This would occur frequently.

So guess what I have now? A new lappy!!! Tuesday, I bought a 13" MacBook Air. And I am in love!

This weekend I plugged in my SD card and discovered I have over 700 pictures to process! Wowza!

My fiance loves me and bought me Adobe Lightroom 5. Because he is a student, he was able to get it half off. I had mentioned to him that I had heard good things about it for photography and blogging, so he made sure to buy it for me before I brought home the new laptop.

So I have a ton of photos to click through, process, upload, etc. I thought I would share just a few from our ferry trip to Whidbey Island. This was on our way to Fort Casey, which I have 1 MILLION {Doctor Evil face} photos of!

Whidbey Island - Mulkilteo Ferry

Just to give you an idea of the power of Lightroom, here is a picture that didn't turn out so good SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera):

View from Mulkilteo Ferry Terminal - SOOC: The image came out too blue! Not sure what my white balance was set to, but very disappointing to see this.
And here is the edited version in Lightroom:

View from Mulkilteo Ferry Terminal - Adjusted white balance, black clipping, white clipping and highlights. Cropped to set the light house in the upper left rule of thirds vertex. The cropping gives it a nice panorama feel. I recall the water and sky were very blue, so this pictures doesn't accurately represent what I recall. BUT it looks so much better! And in Seattle, this is what it would more typically look like.  
So cool! I am learning a TON about histograms, both in camera and during post processing. What is fabulous is that you can edit a picture, then apply those edits to as many pictures as you want. Saves so much time!!!

Life perserve for S/V Kittitas
Lightroom also has a feature for auto-watermarking in bulk, so my pictures will now have a consistent watermark for all! w00t!

This one was blue SOOC too. You could really tell with the white background that something wasn't right. Lightroom has a tool to pick out the neutral color and it sets a custom white balance.
I also like that I can export all my pictures so that the larger dimension is 750, making it a bit smaller for the blog.

Fiance and Stepson on the bow of Kittitas

I have a ton more to explore in Lightroom. I know I haven't even scratched the surface.

Stepson on bow of Kittitas - I am working on my composure. SOOC I placed his head along the left 1/3 rule. The top of his head is at one vertex and his chin at the bottom. His face was heavily backlit, so in Lightroom I adjusted the shadows to brighten up his face without changing the rest of the image.
So far I think it was definitely worth the purchase and I am very excited to learn how to use this program. If you know a student, I suggest offering to go halvsies with them. When you purchase online, you get two downloads.

I love the name too. Lightroom... synonymous with what you do in a darkroom for film photography.

What is your post processing workflow? Do you use Lightroom? Got any tips or articles for me?

I have started a Pinterest board for Lightroom tutorials/tips/presets. Check it out:


Linking to: Photog Show and TellFreedom Fridays | Friday Photo Journal


  1. Yeah..great shots and I have been using Lightroom as well and love it. have fun with those 700 pictures (might i suggest an external hard drive).
    As for the "rule of thirds" toss it aside.. true photography is what your eye captures, not a rulebook :-) Liberate your thinking while shooting (these were things suggested to me and I love the freedom)

    1. You are right. Rules are meant to be broken. And I totally need to invest in an external! So far I have been uploading everything to Google+, but now that I have Lightroom, I really want to be able to store my photos and keep all the Lightroom data. I'm really having fun with Lightroom so far, and I don't think I have even scratched the surface of what it can do. Thanks for the tips!

  2. That's probably what I need. I wonder if there is a free program that will do that stuff? I've been having a real problem with the lights. Even with a light box the pictures seem not right with light. Thanks for the info. Linda

    1. I am really enjoying Lightroom. There are so many wonderful features. My understanding is that it is a stripped down photoshop that is targeted specifically for photographers, where as photoshop is used by many other professionals, like graphic artists. This allows it to be much less expensive and more focused on what a photographer would be interested in doing.

      I would actually suggest trying pixlr express ( first. It has many, many options for color, contrast, vibrance corrections plus artistic effects. Here is a video tutorial by Lauren @ The Thinking Closet, How to Edit Photos with Pixlr Express.

  3. Holy crap! I can't believe the difference on those pictures, Nice! I might need to make an investment...currently I use GIMP, which is a pretty good program, plus it is free, but it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of other programs. But clearly, I am missing out!

    1. I am really liking Lightroom. It is a stripped down version of Photoshop, so it doesn't have a ton of features for graphic design, but has some great features for post processing photos. I am still learning, but I think I am getting better at it. I really like how Along the Way and On the Beach turned out. I'll have to share a post of some before and afters. Some of them are really drastic!

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