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Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC

Lightroom CC layout

Following Adobe’s announcement of two new versions of Lightroom, there has been some confusion about the exact purpose of each one. Many photographers on Adobe’s subscription plan are looking forward to using the new version of Lightroom and gaining the most recent feature set. But, which one is the new version? The two new options are called “Lightroom Classic” and “Lightroom CC,” and they’re quite different from one another. In fact, I suspect that many photographers won’t even use Lightroom CC at all, and they’ll stick entirely to Lightroom Classic. Below, I’ll outline the differences between the two.

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Photography Life

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Find beautiful light to create dramatic still life and macro images

It’s something we hear all the time but can’t be emphasized enough – light is everything.

Good lighting not only illuminates the subject in the image but also draws our eye to where we want the viewer to focus.

Learning how to use this light and controlling or manipulating it is crucial for an image to stand out as unique. Of course, composition and other technical details are important, too, but light is key.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some patience and observation.

1. Be observant. Be patient.

Once we learn to slow down a little and start observing, we begin to appreciate the beauty surrounding us.

As a mother, I love photographing my children the most. However, I’ve learned that having a subject matter just for myself to feed my soul and inspire me is also important.

Taking a break from my usual subjects, I often wonder in my own backyard in the hope of finding things to photograph. When I’m out walking in my yard or out for a stroll, I’m always observing light and how it falls on the objects surrounding me – the ground and trees – as well as how it casts shadows and create light patterns.

Being an observant photographer is the first step in learning to manipulate and control light to create drama.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

2. Have a vision in mind.

These images were created in my backyard. There’s nothing extraordinary in my backyard except that when I can, I like to sit outside and observe the morning and evening light.

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Once you begin studying and really observing light, you will begin to form a vision of how you want even a simple subject like a flower to appear in your final product.

  • Do you want the image to be bold and moody? Consider underexposing to allow the light to stand out in contrast.
  • Do you want the image to be backlit? Backlight adds a soft and gentle element to any image.
  • Or maybe you want to use side light and find a unique angle? This adds additional elements to create intrigue.

Having a vision in mind as to how you want your final image to look is important.

3. Add contrast and mood with light and shadows.

For most of my macro and still life images, I like to underexpose them a tad to bring out contrast. This adds depth and mood to the image.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

I also experiment with creative lenses such as a Lensbaby. Creative lenses often add extra flare in a photo for uniqueness if needed.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

4. Explore various lighting scenarios.

Outdoor backlight:

I use the Sigma 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens for most of my outdoor still life and macro images. With this lens, I can go to f/2.8 which is a good aperture to capture everyday life and macro if you want bokeh in the background.

While I don’t always shoot wide open with that lens, it is definitely helpful to have that capability. While a lower f-stop will bring in some haze in the image, you can also achieve this with a smaller f-stop depending on how you angle your camera towards the subject.

You can also deliberately increase the f-stop to capture some magical flares while still focusing on the subject with your macro lens. If needed, I’ll tilt my camera towards the light to let a slight amount of light in the frame.

By doing this while the sun rays are peeking through a tiny slim fence partition in your yard (this is just one example) creates that perfect flare while backlighting your image.

Related: The photographer’s ultimate guide to backlighting

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.
Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.
Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

Outdoor rim light:

For macro photography, I like to achieve a subtle rim lighting effect without losing the details in the image. Rim light is when your subject is beautifully highlighted by a strip of light. With this type of lighting, it’s important to retain the details of your subject.

Related: When and how to use these 8 types of photography lighting

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

Indoor side light:

When indoors, use natural window light to illuminate the subject. Using side light from a window is my favorite type of lighting when indoors.

With light and shadows in the frame, it creates a perception of depth and adds to the mood. Keep in mind that the closer your subject is to the window, the more contrast there will be between the light and shadows.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

Beautiful light is all around us. However, to see this and create dramatic images requires some learning.

Unlike photographing kids who are ever moving, the good thing about shooting still life images is that you have the time to observe, plan and execute the image utilizing morning/evening light!

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Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC Announced — Subscription Only

Lightroom CC release

Four years is a long time in the digital realm. In the past four years, new products, services, and software have uprooted many parts of the old world and put something new in its place. It also is enough time — as many people suspected, but wasn’t confirmed until today — for a company to break a promise. I’m talking about Adobe, with their new release of two separate versions of Lightroom: a split “Lightroom CC” and “Lightroom Classic CC.” Both of them are subscription only, which runs counter to Adobe’s own words during the release of Lightroom 5: “Future versions of Lightroom will be made available via traditional perpetual licenses indefinitely” (source). Although it helps to define indefinitely just to be sure — dictionary.com says “without fixed or specified limit; unlimited” — it should be clear that Adobe’s sentiment has shifted dramatically since then, as they’ve seen their profits soar with the Creative Cloud. Below, I’ll dive into some new features in these Lightroom releases. I’ll also provide some suggestions if, like me, you are against the idea of monthly payments in order to access a catalog-based editing software (which makes you keep paying if you want the ability to re-edit your old photos).

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Photography Life

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Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 DX VR AF-P Review

Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

In this in-depth field review, we are going to have a look at the new Nikon wide-angle DX lens Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 AF-P ED VR, which was launched in June 2017. This lens was announced among two other professional wide-angle lenses (FX Nikkor Fisheye 8-15mm and FX Prime Nikkor 28mm f/1.4). While those bigger brothers raised a lot of expectation for full-frame shooters, the plastic entry level 10-20mm DX lens hardly caused any excitement. In this review I will show that this lens deserves the attention of both amateur and semi-professional photographers.

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Photography Life

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Aperture choice: My favorite photos and why I chose the f-stop I did

Seven years ago, when I first began my journey into photography, my husband gifted me with the cheap but fantastic Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens.

It rocked my world! I loved it.

I opened up that aperture wide and was suddenly able to capture those beautiful compressed backgrounds and bokeh I’d been craving. It was exciting!

But as I studied more about the exposure triangle – how the variables of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO associate to determine the exposure of a photograph – I realized that I wasn’t using my lens to its entire capacity nor was my photography growing and improving to its full potential.

Wrapping my head around the exposure triangle was tricky for me at first. But with lots of practice, changing my camera settings became second nature. I want to share not only the settings on a few of my photographs, but the brief story behind them and WHY I chose the aperture I did.

Helpful hint: When starting to work with aperture, begin by shooting in aperture priority mode. Set your aperture and keep your eye on the shutter speed. If it’s too fast then bring the ISO down. If the shutter speed is too slow then bring the ISO up.

Example 1: f/2

This is one of my all time personal favorite photographs. I was quickly brushing through my hair after a shower when I spied my naked baby in the mirror playing with the roll of toilet paper – classic babyhood!

I hastily shut off the lights, opened the blinds on a window, and sprinted for my camera halfway across the house. On my way back to the bathroom, I quickly adjusted my camera settings.

I’d shot in that bathroom before and knew it was relatively dark. That morning, there happened to be wildfire smoke covering much of the sun, making the light coming through the window weaker than usual.

My goal was to achieve a shutter speed of 1/250 or more in order to freeze his moving arms and hands. Because of the relative darkness, I raised my ISO to 3200 and set my aperture to f/2 to let in more light. The combination of those two variables made my shutter speed 1/320.

I sat down on the floor and got about four shots in before the baby lost interest and the moment was over. Fortunately, I got this keeper of a photograph!

black and white picture of baby playing with a roll of toilet paper by Jessie Nelson
Canon EOS 6D | 50mm | f/2 | ISO 3200 | 1/320s

Example 2: f/2.5

Who doesn’t love creamy golden backlight?

My go-to aperture setting is usually f/2.2-2.8. For me, it’s the perfect balance between a compressed background and nailing focus on my moving boys because the plane of focus is just a little bit wider than if I shot completely wide open at f/1.4.

On this particular summer evening, I was in the backyard with the baby enjoying the last of the sunshine. He began scooting his way through the grass and that’s when I pulled out my camera.

With an aperture of f/2.5 and an ISO of 400, my shutter speed was very quick at 1/2000. In retrospect, I could have dropped my ISO down a couple clicks to allow for a slower shutter speed. This would allow more time for light to hit the sensor which can add to that dreamy feel in a photograph! But I like how this backlit photo turned out anyhow.

Related: 5 easy backlighting tips

backlit picture of baby boy crawling through the grass by Jessie Nelson
Canon EOS 6D | 50mm | f/2.5 | ISO 400 | 1/2000s

Example 3: f/4

When I’m outside, I like to use a slightly smaller aperture as I’m often trying to shoot multiple people, or in this case, movement.

On this particular afternoon, my five-year-old son was having a blast swinging so high that his toes touched the leaves in the treetops. I wanted to capture that moment. I plopped myself down on the grass, composed my shot, and waited for my son to swing into the frame.

Because he was moving so fast, I focused on the branch that he was consistently hitting. Since it was hard to predict exactly where he’d swing, I knew I needed a bigger plane of focus. Thus, I chose an aperture of f/4.

Because I stopped my aperture down a few clicks, there was suddenly less light entering my camera lens. I checked my shutter speed and noticed that it was slow for an action shot. Therefore, I increased my ISO to 400. That increased my camera’s sensitivity to light and in turn raised my shutter speed to a nice 1/500.

photo of boy swinging into the trees by Jessie Nelson
Canon EOS 6D | 50mm | f/4 | ISO 400 | 1/500s

Example 4: f/8

I took my boys on a nature hike one evening where we were rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Snake River and a distant thunderstorm.

They were content to sit on a rock to look for moose while I stepped back to capture the scene. The background was just as big, if not bigger, a subject than my boys in the foreground.

I knew that If I shot wide open at f/1.4, my background might become a compressed smear of colors. However, I wanted to capture the scene as I saw it so I stopped down my aperture to f/8. The smaller aperture makes my boys sharp but also allows the viewer to see some details in the background, too.

Because my lens opening at f/8 was now much smaller and let in less light than my previous aperture, I had to increase the ISO to 1250 to ensure a nice quick shutter speed of 1/400.

pic of two brothers on a mountain looking at the view by Jessie Nelson
Canon EOS 6D | 50mm | f/8 | ISO 1250 | 1/400s

Example 5: f/13

It’s become an evening ritual at our house this Fall to toss the football around in the backyard. On this particular evening, the sun was setting and that beautiful golden hour light was calling my camera.

I could have shot this backlit scene with a wide aperture, but I wanted to do something different. Instead, I closed my aperture to f/13 in hopes of creating a starburst effect.

Shooting towards a light source with a narrow opening will cause the light to hit the edges of the len’s diaphragm and cause the light to diffract, or make a starburst. My aperture was small and the sun was fading fast so I had to make some adjustments. In order to get a quick shutter speed of 1/800 to freeze the ball, I cranked my ISO to 3200.

Related: How to create starbursts in your photos

photo of dad and boys throwing a football in a field by Jessie Nelson
Canon EOS 6D | 35mm | f/13 | ISO 3200 | 1/800s

Helpful hint: When shooting in backlit situations, you need to overexpose in order to keep your subject from becoming a blackened silhouette. The photo above was overexposed in camera by two full stops!

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