1. Resizing Your Images by Peter Sanderson
Since I wrote my last notes on image resizing it appears that Microsoft have changed the availability of image converters on their website, and those featured in my previous notes do not appear to be currently available. I have revised these notes to cover some of the currently available options.
Note. Image dimensions for resizing will vary, as sizes required for emailing will differ from those for digital projection.
Windows 7 – Vista (directed from the Microsoft website)
http://www.avs4you.com/AVS-Image-Converter.aspx I haven’t tried this, but it is advertised as the Windows 7/Vista equivalent of the resizer for Windows XP (I think it may carry a subscription charge)
While preparing this document, I have tried several free offerings, but have found them to be a bit cumbersome and I am reluctant to recommend them.
The programme I found to work best is FastStone Image Viewer, which is the one we are currently using on the camera club computer (a PC) to display our digital images. It is also an excellent viewer to have on a laptop if you want to download and view/edit your pictures while travelling as it uses very little resources on your computer. (it will also open RAW files)
This is a free download (they do ask for a small optional donation) and it has a very effective and simple image resizer function built in.
Be aware that you may be invited to click on some other items when installing, avoid this and only install FastStone Image Viewer.
FastStone Image Viewer (Windows XP/Vista/7/8, and hopefully Windows10)
Open FastStone and click on the thumbnail picture you want to resize.
Click on the ‘Resize/Resample’ button on the top menu bar (red square below)
In the Resize/Resample dropdown Window, change pixel values to size required.
Click ‘File’ on top left of tool bar.
Click ‘Save As’ in dropdown menu and rename to save as a new image to preserve the dimensions of the original file.
Photoshop (PC or Mac)
This is the method I currently use.
In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click on ‘Image’
In the dropdown menu click on ‘Image Size’
In the ‘Image Size’ window change the pixel values to the required figures.
These will vary according to the size of your image, and you will need to experiment a little to achieve the file size you require.
Click ‘OK’ to save the file and rename it to preserve the dimensions of the original file.
Lightroom (PC or Mac)
Select the picture you want to resize.
In the top toolbar click on ‘File’.
Select ‘Export’ from the dropdown menu.
In the Export window under ‘Image Sizing’ change the pixel values to the size you require.
Rename and save the File.
Mac Users – iPhoto
Open ‘iPhoto’ or ‘Photos’ in later versions.
In the image library, click on the thumbnail you want to resize.
Click ‘File’ on the top menu bar.
Click ‘Export’ then ‘Export 1 Photo’ in the dropdown menu.
Change pixel values to the figures you require (see below)
Click ‘Export’, then click ‘Export’ again in the next dropdown screen.
The resized image will be saved to the desktop.
The website below contains videos which may be helpful.
2. Lightroom Introduction (for Lightroom 5 and CC, but probably OK for LR4). Lee Neylon
Importing into Lightroom is easy;
- Plug your camera into your computer and turn both on.
- Open Lightroom and choose Library.
- Hit the Import button on the bottom left of your Lightroom workpage. A heading “Source” will appear top left. Select your camera code (eg Nikon D90). All your images will then appear as thumbnails. You can tick or untick the little boxes top left of each image to select the ones you want or just leave them all selected. If you have previously loaded some of the images from your camera Lightroom should not load them again (unless you ask it to).
- Hit Import (which is now in the bottom right corner. Don’t ask me why it moved)
- Wait (this can take a while if you have a lot of images. Watch the progress bar in the top left hand corner. Or go and make a cuppa..
When finished loading go to Develop.
Now start manipulating the image. The basic tweaks usually go like this;
- In general work your way down the controls on the right side. You will probably only use a few of them at first so don’t let the rest confuse you at this stage.
- I usually start with Exposure (up or down), increase the Contrast a little, take the Highlights down, and Shadows up, Whites up a whisker, Blacks down (this increases contrast and enhances the colours).
- By now things should be looking much better. Boost Clarity, but I stay below 30, Vibrance up a tad, and I usually leave Saturation alone, but may give a tweak either way.
- Now jump right down to Noise reduction and peer at the little window. I rarely push Luminance (noise reduction) past 30, and usually stay at about 20-25. Just enough to clear any graininess on the little window view.
- Then hit Sharpening and take it up to around 60 or so + or -. One quite prominent pro has a recipe for taking 100 minus the Luminance figure = the setting for Sharpening. But I find this a bit extreme.
- Then I might crop the image. Back up just below the histogram, left side rectangle. You can also rotate the image by clicking near a corner to straighten a horizon or building etc. Don’t forget to say Done. If you don’t like the result, just hit the crop button again and try again. Totally reversible.
- Finally I might do a bit of post crop vignetting (back down near the bottom of the control panel again).
- You might like to dry the Dehaze slider down near the bottom of the menu. This can cut a lot of background haze in landscape shots, but can also do wonders to many other kinds of shots. You may find it necessary to then go back and tweak the Exposure and/or Saturation sliders, though.
- To save time if you have a load of similar shots and have finished processing one that you think looks good, you can copy all your settings. Hit Copy on the lower left (Shortcut is to hit Command and C keys on a Mac), then OK the menu that comes up of the many particular features you want copied (usually all, except maybe any cropping), and then Paste (also lower left) them (Shortcut is Command-V) for all other shots. You can then individually tweak any shots if they aren’t quite right.
- Another way to do this is to get one image looking good, then select it and all the other similar images after it on the string of thumbnails along the bottom of your workpage. (hold the shift key down, click on the first image, then on the last. Everything in between will be selected as well). Then hit Sync (lower left) to synchronise all those images with the same settings.
- To undo anything go to Edit- Undo (Shortcut is Command-Z). Or look at the History in the left column (under all the Presets, so scroll down), and select a stage prior to the change you made that went wrong.
- To zoom on a shot just click on the image, and reverse this by clicking again. (The zoom facility in LIghtroom is crude. Photoshop is much better controlled).
How do I get rid of the rejects?
Even the pros take pictures that just don’t work sometimes, so accept that us mere mortals will be doing plenty of that. If you take a lot of shots, be prepared to be ready to toss out any that look beyond redemption, or are just plain boring, but also be ready to keep some that are dodgy, but may be redeemable once you get your skill level up a bit.
But how do you throw things out rather than just allowing your whole system to become choked with rubbish?
Easy. But you need to be careful to do it right, because if you don’t really throw them into the Trash, rejects from Lightroom can remain stored on your hard drive, and you won’t even know they’re there.
Believe me. I found this out the hard way. By accidently finding and then having to Re-reject about 10,000 images that I thought I’d thrown away, but hadn’t.
- So, select any images you want to toss out.
- Or you can select whole groups to speed things up;
For a continuous sequence of images select the first in a sequence the hold the Shift key down and select the last. All images in between will be selected.
If the sequence has some in it that you don’t want binned select the first that is to be tossed, hold the Command key down, and select any other individual images. Only those clicked will now be selected
- Now just hit the Delete key. When a small menu box appears DO NOT just select Remove (as I did). Select Delete from Disk. ThIs will send the image(s) to the Trash (remember you have to empty it now and then). If you just select Remove they are only removed from the Lightroom catalogue, but are still taking up space on the hard drive (and RAW files take up a lot of space).
Where to from here?
You must export your images from Lightroom if you want to use them somewhere else (eg load onto an ipad, email them etc).
- Select your image. Go to File – Export – I usually choose to export to Hard Drive – scroll down through the menu box that appears and select the file type (use jpeg) and select the image quality you want. It’s generally a good idea to save images at highest possible resolution/quality, but if you intend to email the image set the file size limit to something feasible (eg 300-400kb – maybe more if you want better quality, less if it isn’t crucial) – Export – Select Folder (Desktop is usually best) or create a new folder if you prefer – Open.
You can then file your image somewhere else or attach it to an email or do whatever your little heart desires.
NB Don’t make a habit of exporting images other than as jpegs unless you have a good reason. TIFFs are huge files, DNGs are also huge. Jpegs are the standard format for printing, emailing, web sites etc, and are relatively condensed. They don’t give you as much flexibility as other formats for processing, but they do travel well.
Good Luck. Lee Neylon
3. Mood of the Weather; Hank Durlik
Mood of the Weather is a great topic and leads to many a different perspective. I guess what comes naturally to us all is that we are automatically drawn to the sky for inspiration. Whether it be a moody sunset or a electrical storm. Yes both can reflect a myriad of moods…
However we have all captured those scenes over time and no doubt have entered them in “landscapes, Sunsets etc.” I recently came across an exhibition by “Phil Hollett” An excellent local photographer who has captured local landscapes and I guess you could say “Mood of the weather” in most of his shots.
In comparison I also came across an exhibition by “Frances Andrijich” and acclaimed diverse photographer who also has captured “Moods of the Weather” from a totally different angle. Both photographers capture the mood exceptionally well and both manage to tell a story by using different techniques. Google their web sites and you will soon see that this subject lends itself to many interpretations. Good luck…. and look out side the box.. Hank Durlik.