Didn’t finish writing about Friday’s workshop with Tyler Stableford last night so working on it now on the crosstown bus over to Javits. The guy has some amazing images and is a Canon Explorer of Light. He showed us a bunch of images he shot with the Canon 5dMark II (a fab camera, I can attest), and then he walked us through his processing workflow in Lightroom, explaining most of the tools in the advanced section.
He didn’t get into the whole how to import and organize your images discussion because that’s really another topic altogether. We mostly just stayed in the Develop module, which was fine with me, because that’s where I seem to spend the majority of my days anyway. Learned some cool tips like how to use the gradient tool, something I remembered seeing in a workshop that APA|NY organized last year with Julianne Kost and have been trying to figure out ever since. That was incredibly helpful since I often shoot natural light portraits in lighting which differs from the background and then I lose the background because I’ve metered for the face. This tool can help you bring back in the sky, for one thing. It can also help you create a really nice effect across someone’s face if taken in from the side. You could actually make it appear as if you had a whole strobe off to one side of your model. In case you’re wondering how to use it, it actually couldn’t be simpler. You click on the little square box that says “Graduated Filter” when you mouse over it then put your mouse just outside the frame of the image and drag it either up, down or across. Watch the effect on your image and adjust it with the Exposure and Density sliders on the right.
Another interesting tidbit I didn’t know is how common it is to use vignetting to focus the lighting on your subject and bring the viewers’ eye where you want it in a subtle way. I’m gonna try that more from now on! Apparently, it’s one of the major changes that’s coming up in Lightroom 3, which, btw, is available as a BETA for download, according to Tyler.
There were a bunch more of these sorts of tips, but I’ll detail them later…off to another Lighroom Seminar with Julianne Kost herself. And yes, her name is on the credits of Lightroom – she’s an Adobe Queen!