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My 'mates rates' copy arrived with me today :kiss

Had about an hour with it tonight but it appears pretty intuitive even to me ... :o

I have also bought Martin Evening's complete guide so fully kitted to learn the ins and outs.

For those interested you can download a 30 days free trial as Bruce indicated in a previous thread.

Some tutorials and info here:


http://www.photoshopsupport.com/lightro ... _Tutorials


A couple of examples of my early learning with it, I am still playing with parameters and settings so the sky is overdone :roll: - ignore the subject it was an old RAW file used for illustration and was not a 'keeper' as the masts interfered with the Church.



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Quite a difference there Perry - though the processed image is certainly very blue!

For now I am tending to shoot RAW+JPEG so I have a few files to play around with but essentially for my limited needs RAW is, at present, somewhat over the top because I just do "for the record photography" and I quite happy with JPEG's for that. However, now that I have started to wander around actually looking for photos (something new for me) I will definitely be looking to use RAW and make a better job of them. But first I need to learn how!

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I over did one of the parameters Simon and for the point of illustration could not be bothered to redo it :oops:

I hear what your saying Simon most camera's set on Raw take a JPEG also so if you merely want a record use that but if you take a really good shot that could be stunning with some slight 'titivation' Raw will give you that flexibility. If you think of that shot you took in with the Sun Beams across the field this could be improved by having the flexibility of altering the Raw file.

Jonzo - I agree; I have CS3 on my system but as outlined before I can't use more than 5% of its capability. Lightroom looks to do all I will ever need and more.

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Sorry Perry - I realised your picture was just an example, I wasn't meaning to be rude about it! :oops:

But it does underline a point I've made before - that of monitors. Different monitors can make pictures look somewhat different. When I was going through my pics after our holiday earlier this year I came across this exact problem. In contrasty conditions I took the same shot several times adjusting the exposure slightly for each one. When going through the resulting shots I selected the lightest of the three as the others were slightly too dull. However, on going through my Flickr album at work on a rather superior monitor I found the one I had selected was over exposed and somewhat washed out (hardly surprising as it was two stops up from the meter). I retrieved the darker versions from the memory card (I only clear cards when I need them again) and found that on my work monitor they were nice bright images. So, given that every monitor is slightly different, how do you know what's right and what's not? Then when you consider that I am also colour blind you'll see what I'm up against in the terms of the "right" look for an image!

As for the sunbeams image - everyone seems to think I got that wrong! I actually wanted a silhouetted image, so stopped down to lose the foreground detail. I'm sorry if everyone thinks it was crap. :cry

Following the first round of complaints about it I looked at the RAW files. Unfortunately the image I took at the correct exposure was badly framed so I've discarded it. So all I have to work with was the RAW version of the stopped down image which is very dark as I intended but I have managed to make some alterations to the tonal curve which some people might find more pleasing than the version I posted on here. I'll post the edited version in a little while.

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I'm sorry if everyone thinks it was crap. :cry


Not 'crap' at all Simon , thats the great thing about photography we all have different idea's of the final result. The key thing is that if your result has turned out how you anticipated from your settings then well done, many of mine don't. :cry If it were my shot I would be potentially looking to make some adjustments, but that is personal choice and the reason amongst a group of images we all often pick different ones. I always 'attempt' to get the perfect result :roll: from the initial shot and adjust as little as possible but I am just not that good to have to never slightly tweak any image.

Monitors ............. agreed another can of worms unless correctly calibrated and using the same colour space as your camera. Cue another Bruce/Paul Masterclass I think :naughty:

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I've posted up a slightly amended version of the pic in its original thread.

Monitors, well I'm about to have a complete re-jig of our home office. At present I have a workstation performing the role of server but I have a new Dell PowerEdge server waiting to go in so the workstation will be rebuilt as a graphics dedicated workstation - in fact a new graphics card and two nice new Samsung 20" monitors arrived this morning and will be installed over the next few days once we've got the new desks set up etc. I use exactly the same monitors at work (hence my choice) so I can see the problem lessening.

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I have a dedicated Image editing PC being built under good old 'mates rates' which I am going to use solely for Digital Imaging for both stills and HD Video. I will link this to my general PC via a KVM switcher to ensure the editing PC is used only for imaging. Just researching a new screen at present.

Its my 'winter project' :)

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" I have a dedicated Image editing PC being built under good old 'mates rates' which I am going to use solely for Digital Imaging for both stills and HD Video"

Perry, That is what I will be building shortly for the same reasons.

I need to keep things like viruses etc away for my work.

Speed is the main thing and all my PC's seem to run slower after being on the net. :(

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Hi Paul,

Glad the advice I received appears sound and in good company. :clap

I was advised to keep it clear of the internet save for allowing registration of software, and have no other software other than that for imaging.

Seems sound advice given the hours that go into the Photography, Processing and storage.

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Will be interested to know which op system you will be choosing.

I have mainly used XP but a new laptop coming shortly will be pre-installed with Vista so will see how that holds up.

So what do you think?

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I've just bought two of these for my graphics PC.


Doesn't mean it's the best monitor on the market but as I have two attached to my work computer I know what to expect from it - and it's razor sharp. But better still it's not too bright. I had a Dell monitor before which was a bit dull so I got a different Dell monitor and it was blinding - brilliant white, hurt my eyes and washed out the picture. I used it for all of a day stuck it in the server room where it remains gathering dust. Next came the two Samsungs and they're brilliant. I've also bought a twin DVI output graphics card to get the best of out of them. DVI really is such an improvement over VGA, particularly if you use the monitor at its native resolution (as LCD monitors prefer).

I have no intention of keeping my graphics machine off the internet - a good hardware firewall and decent AV (who said Norton? wash your mouth out with soap!), plus a little bit of common sense and you should be fine.

As for the OS, I've installed Vista on my work machine as a dual boot option. I used it for 20 mins and ran out of patience. A few weeks later I tried it again with the same result. I find it highly annoying, very resource heavy (with no discernible benefits) and when I was chatting to an IT consultant recently was informed his company will not even provide support for it, especially as it is only a stop gap measure from M$ - its replacement already being developed. His bosses regard it as another Windows ME and more trouble than its worth.

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Each of us have our own view on Security but I fully understand Paul's sentiments when you are talking about valuable and irreplaceable images, for extra security I back to an external hard drive both Raw and finished images.

The PC I am having built is via a supplier to a friend who runs his own recording studio and has the same issues with valuable digital information (albeit his are music files). These files require fairly powerful machines to interface with his high end kit. If you think boating is expensive it pales in comparison to this game :o

I wanted the Imaging PC to be capable of editing Digital Images and HD Video, and will be using Lightroom 2, Photoshop CS3, Sony Studio Maker Platinum Pro. All general word processing and general software will remain on my basic machine.

Specification for those whom it means something to (i.e. they undestand ;) ) is:

Antec NSK 6580 and Antec 430W Quiet PSU

Intel DP35DP Pro Tools Motherboard

Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz 1333 FSB 4MB

Sycthe Katana 2 Heatpipe Quiet CPU Cooler

1GB DDR2 800 RAM x3

Nvdia EN9400 HTD Silent 512MB

320GB Serial ATA 7200RPM 16MB Cache

500GB Serial ATA 7200RPM 16MB Cache

Netgear 802.11g Wireless PCI Adapter

Set Drive 1 as Windows 2 + 3 as Raid 0

Blu-Ray Re-Writer

Windows XP Pro

I don't really understand a word of it but any one that does is welcome to comment.

Edit to correct RAM

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I can answer your question Simon, after taking councils advice ;)

The set up was explained in layman's terms to me so that I could understand so the technical names meant nothing.

The system is set to Raid 0 for maximum speed and no redundancy. I can see where you are coming from with the security aspect but I won't be using the storage on the PC for archiving finished projects. The PC will be used for 'processing' Raw files be that images or HD Movie with final finished items archived on Blu Ray disks. As these hold 50GB they are a sensible medium for storage. Therefore from a security perspective the Raw images will remain (as they do at present) on the camera Flash card until archived and the HD Movie Raw files will be archived on the original tape (i.e not re used). Therefore all I could lose would be the 'work in progress' on editing and which I would have the RAW data for to restart.

Hope that answers the thinking.

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Simon will have to deal with the RAID bit Perry (edit - I see you've now posted on that again), but my query relates to the amount of RAM - for the uses you're planning I'd expect 3 or 4 GB. I don't know about digital video, but with Photoshop CS3 the difference in performance between 1GB and 4GB will be huge, and I'd suggest it's not worth saving the money.

Coming back on some of the other points over the last week or so:

1. Glad you've got Lightroom and are getting on well with it. You know you overcooked the first one, but as you'll be aware if you used the graduated filter or adjustment tool, all you have to do is reactivate it and you can change the saturation (or any of the other settings). I'll put up another post later with links to some Lightroom presets etc.

2. Colour space - the standard practice is to use Adobe RGB or the new and better ProPhoto RGB for editing and normal print output, and sRGB for web/onscreen output. Some people disagree and use sRGB all the time, and leave the camera set to sRGB, but very few pros use sRGB for anything other than outputting for web use. I'd suggest making sure your camera is set to Adobe RGB unless you ONLY use the images for web purposes, and setting up Lightroom and Photoshop for ProPhoto RGB. if you do your RAW conversions in Lightroom, when you need to export to Photoshop (which you will find increasingly rare now that you have got Lightroom) it will then continue with the same managed colour space workflow. Use Lightroom to output direct from the RAW images (don't bother to produce intermediate TIFFs or PSDs - you won't need them with Lightroom) with Lightroom adjustments, and set up a Lightroom preset for exporting for web use that uses the sRGB colour space at 72 dpi. If you export in RGB for use on the web the images will look dull and flat. Export for print use using RGB at 300 dpi. You can set up as many output presets as you need - for example, mine for output to this forum is set to sRGB, 72 dpi JPEG, 1000 pixels on the longest side, with my watermark. The other colour space you will have heard of is CMYK - leave well alone. You only need that if you're outputting files for commercial printing. Finally, if you send files to third parties for print output you may need to download the profile for the machine that is doing the printing and "soft proof" the output image in Photoshop - probably won't affect the majority of people, but if you keep getting prints back that are too dark, light, flat or whatever, the first thing to do is to profile your monitor (see below), and the second is to check the printer's website for downloadable profiles - and then learn how to soft proof!

3. Monitors - this is a complete nightmare unless you know how to deal with it. The worst thing to do is to adjust the monitor's contrast and brightness to suit what you're looking at, because you have moving goalposts. The only way to solve the problem properly is to hardware profile your monitor. You calibrate it using a hardware device which you place on the screen (after setting your brightness and contrast to fixed levels as recommended by the device manufacturer). The software that comes with the device then produces lots of colours etc on the screen which the device reads, and then outputs a profile for colour, contrast and brightness which your computer uses in the future. This is absolutely essential if you're doing any serious photographic work involving third party printing, stock libraries etc., and saves a lot of hair-tearing if you're not! Because monitors change in contrast and brightness through time, you need to repeat the profiling exercise regularly, and like most photographers I do mine once a month (the software pops up a reminder). It may sound like hard work, but I know that if I send a CD of images to one of my stock libraries, because they are also using a fully calibrated and profiled workflow (with the same colour space - see above :) ) they are seeing exactly the same as I am on their screen. (The other thing that is needed for serious printing is to produce a profile for each paper you use, and then manage that through Photoshop - that may be a bridge too far, especially for those who have already given up on this post (but you did ask :oops: )

4. Separate computer for photography - I wouldn't do it, mainly because a lot of my imaging work needs connectivity - for example software updates, FTP file uploads to third parties, web gallery proof output, profile downloads, e-mailing JPEGs etc. Like a lot of photographers I use a Mac rather than a PC (I saw a recent survey which came up with a 50-50 Mac to PC split amongst pro and semi-pro photographers, which is vastly different to the split among the population as a whole), and they are not prone to viruses or to slowing down because of web use. But each to his own, and I can see the reassurance in having a "walled garden", as long as you can manage the times when you need to contact the outside world!

Phew! Sorry for the length of this, and I hope it hasn't confused anyone. It is not as complicated as it sounds. All of these issues are fundamentally about developing a robust and consistent workflow. The extent to which you need to do this depends on how serious you are and/or whether you are banging your head against the furniture in frustration because of inconsistent colours etc ... In any case, get out there and enjoy making photos! cheersbar

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Wow some post Bruce thanks :bow

The images off Lightroom were my first 30 mins of using it, I was so impressed at what it could do I could not resist posting the rough processed image :oops: I am gradually getting to grips so thanks for the advice.

In the PC specification it should read 1GB DDR2 800 RAM x 3 I happened to miss the 3 off the post :cry: so it has 3MB Ram.

Currently shoot in Adobe RGB but thanks for the explanation ref printing and formatting for different end uses. The information on calibrating Monitor's was very interesting - what programme are you using?

My 'Walled Garden' :P will have connection to the outside world via the wireless connection which I will use for product registrations, upgrades and sending files. I take Simon's point on security but I just don't want to clog the processing speed with other non essential programmes which will stay on my 'normal' PC with other proprietary programs and software. The KVM Switcher will allow me to use a single monitor to switch between PC's - well that is the theory

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Ah, 3GB is more like it!

I use a Gretag Macbeth EyeOne Display for calibration. There are plenty of good value devices on the market now, starting at about £55 for the Colorvision Spyder 2 Express (at Warehouse Express) - I don't know what it's like, but there will be reviews out there for anyone who's looking ...


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Blimey, this thread is almost as scary as David's one on winterising boats!

It has to be said that a lot of this is somewhat OTT for my current level of skill and inclination but in the last few months I have already started doing things I would not previously have considered so it is handy to have this as a point of reference for future development. Given time in the coming weeks I'll look through some of the advice given in discussions over the past through weeks and try to do a better job ref workflow and technique stickies at the top of this forum. I'll also split up those detailing with basic level technique and shooting JPEG, such as my original post, and one for the more advanced stuff like this. It was mentioned to me last weekend at the awards that some of the discussions taking place in the photography forum were going so far over the heads of Jo Public that it did worry me we might be putting some people off. We don't want to discourage the highly technical threads and Bruce's advice and input has been absolutely first class, but nor do we want to discourage other board members from contributing because they're overwhelmed or intimidated by the advanced stuff.

My new monitors were unpacked yesterday and the office laid out in its new position but I am still waiting on the new wireless keyboard / mouse sets and there are so many cables I am going to need to bundle things up or the place will be a disaster. I've also got to fit some new SATA drives (750GB one arrived yesterday, more to follow), RAM upgrades and build that Dell PowerEdge which actually came with SUSE-linux (M$ SBS waiting to go on). Hopefully the whole shabang should be doing business by the end of the weekend.

Understand about RAID 0 Perry, just as long as you are also aware of the potential pitfalls of a simple striped array - i.e. that the loss of any one disk in the array will lose the lot. You could add an additional disk to do parity checking but that seems like overkill under the circumstance. And if you've got a Bluray recorder backing up your work should not be a problem either as a single disc will take several hours worth of uncompressed AVI (non-HD).

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Good idea to split up the threads Simon. I'll be more disciplined as to where I post the geeky stuff! :oops:

Perry, just to be clear, the screen calibrators are hardware devices which come with software - not just software.


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