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One of the few annoyances I have found with Flickr is the method by which it sorts your photos. Typically, in most photo editing programs all the images are sorted by the date/time they are taken. However, with Flickr, the pictures are organized in your photostream by the date/time they are uploaded. Big difference. Finally, it was becoming quite bothersome to the overall organization of my photostream that I wanted to find a solution. Luckily, I came across a website called SortMyPhotostream which does just that — sorts my photostream. The developer, Michael Tyson, put together multiple PHP scripts, so the whole process goes by rather quickly. If you’re worried about losing your photos (which is highly unlikely to happen), Michael provided an option to download a backup file which can be restored later. The easiest way to start this sorting process is to first login to your Flickr account and then visit SortMyPhotostream. Once you’re there, click on the “Proceed” button” and read the instructions. Anytime you want to upload a photo that’s from an earlier date/time, just re-visit SortMyPhotostream and follow the directions. Note: the oldest upload date can’t be before the day you joined Flickr — so if you were wondering why, now you know.

One of my biggest concerns when I first got Lightroom was how I was going to order prints online as I was able to do with iPhoto. Surprisingly, this task can be done fairly easy thanks to Lightroom’s exporting features. Here’s how:

  1. Open up iPhoto and to Preferences > Advanced.
  2. Make sure “Copy items to the iPhoto Library” is unchecked, this prevents unnecessary space from being taken up on your hard-drive by duplicate pictures.
  3. Now, go to Lightroom and select the images you would like to order prints with.
  4. After selecting those pictures, go to File > Export…
  5. In the Export window that appears make the following changes (leave the other settings as they are):
    1. Under Export Location: select Specific Folder (Choose Desktop) in the Export To drop-down menu and check off “Put in Subfolder” (titled iPhoto Order).
    2. Under File Settings: make sure to select JPEG in the Format drop-down menu, drag the Quality slider to the max (100), and select sRGB under the Color Space drop-down menu.
    3. Under Image Sizing: uncheck “Resize to Fit” and type in 240 (recommended default by Lightroom) for the Resolution.
    4. Under Post-Processing: choose “Open in Another Application” under the After Export menu; choose iPhoto.
  6. To save you time in the future, save these settings as a Preset by clicking the “Add” button in the bottom left corner.
  7. Then click the Export button.
  8. Once the pictures have been successfully imported in iPhoto, select them and choose the “Order Prints” button in the bottom right corner on iPhoto.

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A little over two years ago, I bought my first digital SLR camera. When I first started taking pictures with it, I kept the settings in automatic mode. I had the feeling that if it was on automatic, then it would handle just about any situation on its own without any intervention. Well, that was when I found out I was completely wrong. After going to local classes at a camera store, I started to understand the different settings and when to use them. I still continue reading many articles online and tutorial books at my local bookstore.  Because I know what it was once like to start off with a DSLR for the first time, I thought I’d share some helpful places where you can find tips on how to use your camera to its full potential.

Digital Photography Field Guide

By far, this has been one the most helpful little books that refreshes just about anything when you need it. The Digital Photography Field Guide book gets you started off with the basics of the camera controls and slowly leads into the more complex things like lighting and exposure. I still bring this book in my camera bag because I know that there will always be a time when I need it.

This Week in Photography

TWIP is a podcast created by Alex Lindsay of PixelCorps. When I first started listening to this podcast, one of the main things that I really liked was that the guys were straight up about their reviews. They would tell you what works and what doesn’t. That’s the kind of the material you need at the beginning because the further along you come, the more options there are as far as photography equipment and software goes. In each episode, they go over a poll that was posted the previous week, post a contest link, reviews of the week, and websites or podcasts to visit.

Photoshop User TV

When it comes to learning about anything Photoshop, these guys know it best: Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and Dave Cross. In each video episode, each guy usually shows a tip that they have learned recently in Photoshop. Ranging from anything like making people look skinnier or how to create a holiday card. Thankfully, because they show some really creative tips, I always find something useful that I can use within my own photos. Another nice part of the show is the quick breaks that they have with tips on using your SLR camera or other equipment.

Digital Photography School

Probably one of the most useful resources for me by far, Digital Photography School, created by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, has tons of everyday tutorials. Each week, I like to check out the newest content on their website and see if there’s anything that I could use as an outdoor photographer. Fortunately, I always come across something that I can use like “Family Portaits Do’s and Don’ts” or “10 Ways to Take Stunning Portaits“. The best part is that if you are unsure about what to do, you can always ask the thousands of users on the forums who are willing to help you.

Abduzeedo

Fabio Sasso, is one of the most inspirational graphic designers I’ve ever seen. Everyday, he posts something called “Daily Inspiration”, which is basically a collection of graphic design pieces or photographs that he has found creative. As a photographer, it helps to see how other people work and what other styles of art are out there. I’ve learned to look at taking pictures very differently after browsing through some of Fabio’s Daily Inspiration posts. His blog also covers many other topics such as web design and Photshop, so I would highly recommend you take a look at it.

Outdoor Photographer

The first time I saw this magazine was in a bookstore when I was just browsing around the Photography magazine stand. The title of the magazine was what initially grabbed my attention, “Outdoor Photographer”. The main reason it grabbed my eye was the fact that I was an outdoor photographer myself, so it would only make sense for me to be focused on that name. Since that day, I’ve been a subscriber to Outdoor Photographer. I love how they show detailed pictures in their articles to make it feel like you’re actually there. The topics in the magazine cover anything from creating powerful landscape shots to thinking like Ansel Adams. If you’re just starting off with photography, I would recommend keeping the magazines because they are very informative for only a couple of dollars an issue.

Flickr

One of the best ways to share pictures with friends outside of email is Flickr. Many users like it because it gives others a chance to see your work and comment on it as well. On the other hand, I use it to find out how certain images were taken. One of the coolest features about digital photography is that everything can be stored electronically, including the properties used when taking the picture such as: ISO, shutter speed, white-balance, and aperture. When you want to learn the most about your SLR and when to use certain settings this is when it becomes helpful. When you are browsing through someone Flickr photos, there is usually a link that is called “More Properties” located under Additional Information. Having access to what settings were used in other people’s pictures is very valuable information. I also find Flickr helpful for finding places to go. When I’m about to go on trip somewhere, it helps to know what places look nice, especially for photography. And what a better way to find out than Flickr. Users post pictures of the places to visit and best locations for taking pictures. Just like I talking about earlier with Abduzeedo’s Daily Inspiration articles, Flickr has many creative photos which give you a new perspective on how to see things the next time you’re out on a photo shoot.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so I’ve had plenty of time to work on some projects of my own. One has been trying to completely edit and re-organize my photo library. I have been using a mixture of iPhoto, Bridge, and Photoshop for most of photo editing needs until now. I’ve transitioned into one mainstream way of editing my photos via Adobe Lightroom. It makes things so much easier for me to quickly catalog and edit all of my pictures in one screen.

Change Lightroom’s View Mode For Easier Editing

When I edit photos, I prefer to have no distractions at all. That includes Gmail notifications in my menubar, extra panels in Lightroom, and the Mac dock. This way I can get maximum screen real estate.

  1. Go to Window > Screen Mode > Full Screen and Hide Panels.
  2. If want to show a panel that is hidden in one of the screen modes, just click on one of the arrows for that panel.

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Stacking Images of Similar Form and Design

After making the move from iPhoto to Lightroom, I wanted to figure out an easier way to catalog similar pictures. Instead of making a folder for similar images, I can create a virtual stack of them. This way when I’m looking through 5,000 pictures, it takes up less space in the library window.

  1. Select images in the library that are of the same thing or very similar in form.
  2. Right-click and choose Stacking > Group into Stack.
  3. Since I’ve probably used this about fifty times now, it makes it easier to add a keyboard shortcut for this command. Read my article on making keyboard shortcuts if you want to know how.
  4. If you get a pop-up that says “Could not create stack”, right-click on the images you want to stack and choose “Show in Finder”. Now move them to the same folder.
  5. Then synchronize Lightroom so the changes appear. Go to Library > Synchronize Folder… and it will sync the library with the selected images.

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Keyboard Shortcuts To Be More Efficient In Lightroom

As you know, I love using keyboard shortcuts when possible. Not only does it improve your proficiency with the application, but it also makes editing images a breeze. I’m only giving just a few because these ones are the ones I use the most.

  1. When you are in in any screen and want to quickly get back to your library, hit the ‘G’ key.
  2. To move to the Develop panel, hit the ‘D’ key.
  3. To quickly adjust the screen mode, hit the ‘F’ key and shuffle through the different modes.
  4. To rate pictures for faster searching later on, just hit the number (1-5) on your keyboard.
  5. To add a color label to your photos, just hit the number (6-9) to on your keyboard.
  6. To quickly compare two selected images, tap the ‘C’ key.
  7. To rotate an image 90° clockwise, hit ⌘ (Command) and “]” and to rotate an image 90° counter-clockwise hit ⌘ (Command) and “[“.

Use SlideShowPro To Make Your Own Professionally Designed Web Galleries

Ever since I got back from recent vacation, I’ve been looking for an online service to share my pictures on. Most of the ones I looked at had either limited storage (Picasa) or a generally basic interface. SmugMug was nice, but not quite at my level of customization. Then I thought I’ll just host my own gallery with my website because it’s easier, faster, and cheaper thanks to SlideShowPro.

  1. To install SlideShowPro, buy it from here.
  2. Once you have downloaded the zip for it, find the “slideshowpro.lrwebengine” file inside the Web Galleries folder.
  3. Now drag the “slideshowpro.lrwebengine” file and the Web Templates folder into “Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Web Galleries”.
  4. The next time you open up Lightroom go to the Web panel and choose SlideShowPro from the “Engine” menu (top right).
  5. Adjust the settings until your happy with the gallery, then hit the “Export…” button to export the gallery.
  6. Use an FTP program (Coda or CyberDuck) and upload the folders onto your server.
  7. To view a sample photo gallery, check out the examples page on SlideShowPro’s site.

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When it comes to photo editing, iPhoto’s capabilities are not up to par with Bridge or Aperture. Thanks to Apple making Aperture it’s quite easy to import your existing iPhoto library. After this tutorial, you will have easy access to all of your pictures from iPhoto within Adobe Bridge. Notethis will NOT work with iPhoto ’09 or later.

  1. Open up Finder and select “Go to Folder…” under the Go menu.
  2. Type in “/Users/yourusername/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Originals.”
  3. Next, Type in “/Users/yourusername/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Modified.”
  4. Select both folders and drag them into the Bridge sidebar.
  5. That’s all!

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