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Archive for the ‘Just Ramblin’ Category

New way of working with Develop Presets in Lightroom 2

Posted by profiphotos on November 8, 2008

Sample Preset called BW-Color (mask is integrated into preset)

Sample Preset called BW-Color (the mask is integrated into the preset)

UPDATE: Nov. 23, 2008 – These presets are now also available on the Adobe Lightroom Exchange.

Hello again, I’m back in the Lounge to take a little breather.  I’ve been busy of late working with my favourite program – Lightroom.  I was pleased when Lightroom 2.1 came out and solved a number of problems that had been bothering some customers.  As I mentioned in my last video, my first impressions of Lightroom 2.1 was good and I am so glad I no longer have to wait while all the folders load when Lightroom first starts.  I’ve been working daily with Lightroom 2.1 and so far it has only crashed on me once – and I can’t seem to repeat the error!

Anyhow, I’m here to ask for your help.  I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how one could simulate masking in Lightroom.  I am sure that eventually Adobe will bring out version 3 and we’ll at least be able to import masks from Photoshop (which would open a range of new possibilities in Lightroom).  In the mean time, I’ve come up with an idea how to simulate masking.  Have a look at the photo on the left, click on it if you like to get a larger view.  It’s the result of a new preset that I’ve come up with. 

I might add, this all came about during the development of a concept I had based on the “Golden Rule of Thirds” principle in photography. This is one of the fundamental compositional techniques in art and photography.  Curiously enough, the masking sample shown here was not a planned thing – it just ended up as a result while developing my concept.

After I developed the core presets to give my concept form, I started making some sample Lightroom presets to show off the concept.  They are finished. Now, I’m looking for feedback from people who are willing to take the core concept and give it a try in Lightroom 2.  I’m making a full set of presets available on my WEB site for anyone to download and try out.  I would like those who do try it to give me their feedback so I can better refine the next version.   To wet your appetite, here’s a few sample presets I built using the core presets (a more complete list can be found in the article on the main site).

Original Photo Focus Beauty Builder

Ring of Color (BL – Bottom Left)

In this sample, I wanted to show how the flexibilty of the preset builder. Here you see the blending of colors in different areas of the photo combined with B&W and sharpness effects. Another wild example of this technique can be seen in the Alien effect further down.

Original Photo Focus Beauty Builder

Soft Focus (TR – Top Right)

An example using the Soft Focus preset. You’ll also notice I took advantage of the fact that I already had a couple of adjustment filters in place and darkened up a couple of trouble spots. The net result gives the photo much more appeal.

Original Photo Focus Beauty Builder

Alien Hangover

I had a lot of fun coming up with this preset. I took the base preset (Focus – Center) and played with the sliders. I tweaked and fine-tuned and flipped gradients to come up with this preset. I’ve tested it on lots of photos and in 75% of those tested, came up with some pretty wild results.

To show the preset in action, have a look at the next photo.  It shows how I’ve built a mask around the eye of the bird in the photo.  Now I know I could have done this with the adjustment brush, but the results take a lot longer and the resultant mask is not easily transferable from one photo to the next.

Soft Focus Preset

Soft Focus Preset

So having said all that, I’m hoping I’ve peaked someone’s interest enough to give it a go.  Here’s the link, the complete concept is described in detail on the WEB site.  If you download the presets collection from the main site, please return to the main site once you’ve played with the presets and leave your comments there.

Read about and download the Focus Beauty Builder presets collection.

Thanks a bunch and as Adobe suggests in Lightroom Rule #5 : Enjoy!

Cheers, Markus

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Posted in Graduated Filter, Just Ramblin, Lightroom 2 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A New Look: profiPhotos gets a Face Lift

Posted by profiphotos on September 4, 2008

A much needed update to the user experience at profiPhotos.com is now live.

A much needed update to the user experience at profiPhotos.com is now live.

Hello again, it’s great to be back here in the Lounge after spending a number of very busy days preparing for the re-launch of our Main Site.  Anyone who has visited our site knows that we’ve quickly outgrown the old site. (it was launched little more than 4 months ago)

We’ve had growing pains of course.  We had a major problem with our bilingual plug-in that was stopping some folks from even visiting the site.  We worked with the plug-in developer to resolve that issue – and now it’s fixed.   Other users, who were using Internet Explorer 6, had display problems and were having difficulty navigating the site – that’s also been fixed.  The site NOW works with Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8, Firefox 2 & 3, Opera, Safari (including the new Chrome browser from Google) and others.

We'll be bringing one gallery after another online here in this reserved spot.

We

I had no idea our Site was going to become as popular as it has – mostly in response to our releasing our first set of how-to videos!   You can be sure we’re busy planning a follow up series of videos on tips & tricks in Lightroom 2.  And that’s where we had some issues.  The site was simply TOO NARROW to support the wide screen videos and our dynamic photo galleries.  So, we’ve released a FULL SCREEN version of the site that provides us with much needed room for growth.

And grow we will.  First off, we’re bring all the videos back into the main site, we’re consolidating all of our photo galleries on one page.  Here you’ll see a description of the gallery, thumbnail and the option to view a flash gallery or normal slide show.  We’re also setting up a page where you can download our most popular photos as wallpaper in sizes to accomodate the most popular screen resolutions.

So have a look around, and if inclined, drop us a note or send us your ideas. There’s a new comments feature available from the About page.  At any rate, look for exciting new developments in the next few weeks!

Visit us here:  profiPhotos News

Bye for now.

Posted in Blog Ideas, Just Ramblin, Uncategorized, We're Growing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Google Lively: Does anything there work?

Posted by profiphotos on July 13, 2008

There used to be photos on the wall - now everything is black

There used to be photos on the wall - now everything is black

I’ve invested many hours of work in setting up my Photo Gallery over at Lively.  The day before yesterday, I wanted to continue working on the room – had a few more photos to hang on the walls.  After logging in, much to my surprise all of the photos were gone!  I surfed around to other member’s rooms and everywhere I went there were no pictures on the walls.  According to an unofficial post from a Google person, there were some issues with the photo gadgets built into the photo frames and they removed them  from Lively – for upgrades.  Now I can understand this is a Beta Site but c’mon something so basic as Photos could have been better prepared before going public.

It seems that the only user gadgets that still are working are the streaming of video from You Tube.  Which brings up another point.  Supposedly you are able to add music and ambient effects to the rooms you create at Lively but as of this writing no one seems to be able to get this feature working.  On the Help Forum (located via the “?” on the room viewer) people have suggested hiding You Tube videos under the floor or behind walls just so that you can present your users with a musical experience when visiting your room.  C’mon using a video to play music just because it’s not possible to play background music in your room?

Sound was also supposed to work.  I don't know anyone who has gotten it to work yet.

Sound was also supposed to work. I don't know anyone who has gotten it to work yet.

I will say, the idea for this sort of thing is ripe (and I’m glad to say different than Second Life) and Google has done a wonderful thing in that you can integrate your room in your own Blog or WEB Site.  Hats off to Google for that one.  I guess we will all have to be patient until Google gets all the quirks out.  I, for one, will have to patiently wait until Google puts the photo frames back up before I can finish setting up my Gallery @ Lively.

Posted in Just Ramblin | Leave a Comment »

Having a problem with Music in Google Lively room

Posted by profiphotos on July 11, 2008

Hi all,
Today I’m just going to be rambling a bit but one thing does concern me. Yesterday, I tried uploading some music for the Lively room I’m hosting at Google Lively but as of today it still is not working. I read the message about it taking some time to convert my uploaded files to the correct format … but after almost 24 hours it should be working. Anyone who has done this feel free to chime in. Anyhow, I am determined to get this working so I guess it’s off to Google to read through the help docs.

The room is coming along nicely although it is a lot of work to fill 5 rooms with photos (although I have enough really nice photos to fill 20) ;-). Ok, I know Rome wasn’t built in a day and apparently this room won’t be either. I am still having loads of fun doing it though and will officially invite everyone to check the room out when it’s finished.

Posted in Just Ramblin | Leave a Comment »