Problem with iPhone 14 Captures


Today’s Question: I just upgraded my iPhone to the new iPhone 14 Pro, mainly to take advantage of the RAW image options. When I set the image size to 12 MP, I have no problem acquiring images, transferring them to Lightroom on my laptop, and then working with the images. When I switch settings to acquire a 48 MP image, the image looks fine on the phone, and it looks normal in the tiny image preview on my laptop after I airdrop the image. However, when I then open the image in either Lightroom Classic or Photoshop, the image is MUCH darker than how it appeared on my camera – at least 2 stops darker, maybe more. This is happening with every 48 MP image, but never with a 12 MP image. Help! What is happening?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can solve this issue by changing the Profile (in the Basic section of adjustments) to “Apple ProRaw”. I suspect the issue will be fixed in a future update from Adobe.

More Detail: Adobe has indicated that the iPhone 14 is not yet officially supported as a camera for Lightroom Classic or Photoshop. At the moment, iPhone 14 captures created with the raw 48-megapixel setting appear very dark in Lightroom Classic (and Photoshop). Images captured with the 12-megapixel setting appear normally.

Changing the profile to “Apple ProRaw” corrects the issue, providing correct interpretations of the iPhone 14 captures. In particular, updating the profile will correct the dark appearance of the 48-megapixel captures without changing the brightness of the 12-megapixel captures. The Profile popup is found near the top of the Basic section on the right panel in the Develop module.

Note, by the way, that you can use the automatic synchronization feature in Lightroom Classic to update all photos, whether it is for the profile as in this case or for other types of adjustments. Start by selecting the photos you want to apply the adjustment too, and then in the Develop module turn on the “Auto Sync” switch found on the left side of the Sync button at the bottom of the right panel. With that option enabled all changes made will synchronize to all selected photos.

Recovery from Synchronized Backup


Today’s Question: You’ve written about using a synchronization approach to backing up your photos, but what exactly is involved in recovering from such a backup when a hard drive fails?

Tim’s Quick Answer: With a backup created via synchronization, such as with the GoodSync ( software I use and recommend, recovery can literally be as simple as using a backup drive in place of the failed original.

More Detail: Today’s question is topical for me, as I just had another hard drive fail last week. While the hard drive that failed was my primary drive for my most important data other than my photos, the hard drive failure didn’t cause me any concern at all. The only real consequence was that I needed to buy a new hard drive so I would still have two backups in addition to the primary drive.

Because I use GoodSync ( to back up my external hard drives, each backup represents an exact match of the original data, with all files and folders in the exact same structure as on the primary drive. Therefore, when a hard drive fails, all I need to do is connect a backup drive and start using it as the primary.

If the failed drive is being used to store photos that are managed by Lightroom Classic, there is one additional step required so that the hard drive will match what Lightroom Classic is expecting. For Macintosh users that simply means changing the volume label for the hard drive to match that of the original, which can be done by simply right-clicking on the drive and choosing Rename. For Windows users you’ll need to assign the same drive letter to the new drive as had been assigned to the original drive, which can be done with Disk Management utility.

While the recovery from a backup created with software such as GoodSync is remarkably easy, it is important that you make sure to replace the failed hard drive with a new backup. I always maintain at least two backup copies of each hard drive and rotate between the backups. When a drive fails, I still have a backup, but then I buy another hard drive so I will again have two backups along with the original.

Show Focus Point in Lightroom Classic


Today’s Question: I can choose to display the point of focus of an image when I am playing back the image in the camera. Is it possible to show that when viewing the image in Lightroom?

Tim’s Quick Answer: There is a plug-in for Lightroom Classic that enables you to view which focus point was used. However, this plug-in currently only supports a variety of cameras from Canon and Nikon, with some support for Sony cameras being added.

More Detail: The focus point that was active when you captured a photo is generally stored in metadata by the camera. However, you generally aren’t able to see that information later unless you’re using software provided by the camera manufacturer. Fortunately, for some cameras a plug-in for Lightroom Classic enables you to see the active focus point for your photos.

The “Show Focus Points” plug-in for Lightroom Classic is an add-on that enables you to view the focus point for supported cameras. Note that the focus points won’t be shown directly within the previews you view in Lightroom Classic, but rather will be displayed in a window when you activate the feature for a selected photo.

The plug-in currently supports a number of Canon and Nikon cameras, with support being added for some Sony cameras (currently just the Sony A77II). Hopefully the plug-in will be updated to support a wider range of cameras in the near future.

This plug-in is free to use, though you can also support the developer with a donation using a link on the downloads page. You can learn more about the “Show Focus Points” plug-in here:

Backup Strategy During Travel


Today’s Question: If I am going to be away from home for a period of time (possibly a month or more), and I use Time Machine as one of my backups on an external HD (not SSD), what is your suggestion if I don’t want to take that 10TB drive with me? I have read that those drives don’t like to be left idle.

Tim’s Quick Answer: I recommend ensuring you have a good backup left at home for any hard drives you won’t bring with you. For hard drives you will bring with you I recommend having a backup drive for each in addition to a backup left at home.

More Detail: There is nothing wrong with leaving a hard drive idle for a month or more. For traditional (non-solid state) drives there is a risk of leaving the hard drive disconnected for a very long time (such as a year or more) with no activity. But for shorter durations it is not a problem for the drive to be idle. For a Time Machine backup drive you’ll get alerts about the fact that a backup hasn’t been conducted in a while, but that isn’t a problem as long as you’re maintaining at least one ongoing backup for data security.

For an internal hard drive on a Macintosh computer the Time Machine backup is a great option. If you’ll be leaving a primary Time Machine backup drive at home you can simply travel with a smaller drive used only for backing up the internal hard drive on your laptop.

If you’ll be traveling with any external hard drives, I recommend traveling with a backup drive for each of those. I personally use GoodSync ( to maintain a backup for these drives, where the backup is an exact copy of the primary drive.

For drives left at home I simply recommend making sure you have a good backup (or two) for those drives, along with leaving behind at least one backup drive for each drive you’ll be traveling with.

Another good supplement to a backup workflow is to maintain an online backup so you’ll have an additional offsite backup to recover from should there be a significant issue that causes you to lose multiple hard drives, including primary and backup drives. I use Backblaze ( for this purpose.

The key is to make sure that you are backing up the data you’re traveling with, and that you have additional backup copies of that data left behind. In addition, you want to ensure that all drives left behind also have a good backup in place, ideally with an online backup as a supplement to local backup copies.

Sharing Photos to Mobile Device


Today’s Question: I want to share JPEG images to the Adobe Creative Cloud that I’ve exported from Lightroom Classic. I think I need to import them into Lightroom Classic, create a collection of them, and then synchronize them to the cloud (as an album). Make sense? Also, can I rearrange the order of the photos on the cloud into a custom order?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Maybe. You may prefer to synchronize the original photos rather than import JPEG copies created from the originals. In either case, once you’ve synchronized photos to the Cloud you can create a custom sort order in the Lightroom mobile app.

More Detail: You can make selected photos in your Lightroom Classic catalog available from virtually anywhere by synchronizing them to the cloud (via Adobe Creative Cloud). The basic process involves adding photos to a collection and then enabling synchronization for that collection. The images will then be available from the Lightroom mobile app or through a web browser pointed to

If you exported JPEG copies of original photos and then applied various adjustments to those JPEG images, you may indeed want to import the JPEG copies into your catalog and add those versions of the images to a collection for synchronization. However, in general you may prefer to instead add the original images to the collection, assuming those represent the versions of the photos you want to share.

When you synchronize photos to the Creative Cloud from Lightroom Classic you won’t be copying the original images (such as raw captures) to the cloud. Rather, Lightroom Classic will create reduced resolution Adobe DNG copies of the images for this purpose.

Whichever images you prefer to synchronize can be added to a collection with synchronization enabled, and then representations of those photos will be available from virtually anywhere.

In the Lightroom mobile app on a smartphone or tablet you can also sort the photos in a variety of ways, including a custom sort order. When browsing your photos in the Review mode on the mobile app tap the ellipsis button (three dots) at the top-right of the interface. Choose the “Sort by” option (which will reflect the current sort order) to bring up a list of sorting options. One of those will be “Sort by Custom”, and after choosing this option you can tap the “Edit” link to the right so you can drag images around to change the order of photos, then click “Done” at the top-right to finalize that custom sort order. You can then switch between the other sort options and the Custom sort option, and the Lightroom mobile app will remember the custom sort order for the collection of photos.

Mysterious Interface Change


Today’s Question: Somehow I find myself in Lightroom Classic without access to my left or right panels, bottom panel thumbnails, and top panel options. What I now get is an option at the top left of Grid/Loupe/Compare/Survey and nothing else. Can you help me?

Tim’s Quick Answer: This is an indication that you’ve enabled a second Lightroom Classic window intended for a second monitor display. You will need to turn off the secondary display to enable you to see the primary window for Lightroom Classic.

More Detail: Lightroom Classic includes a very helpful feature to open a second window, which is aimed at using that window on a second monitor display. This allows you to leverage two different views of your photos, such as to have a grid view display on a secondary display while applying adjustments in the Develop module to individual images on the primary display.

Of course, if you accidentally enable this feature especially on a computer with only a single display it can be very confusing, causing you to only see the limited interface of the second window without being able to see the primary window.

You can hide the secondary window from the menu by choosing Window > Secondary Display > Show. Note that rather than hiding the secondary window you can also switch it to a floating window by choosing Window > Secondary Display > Full Screen. Both of these menu options are toggles, meaning you select the command to turn the feature on and select it again to turn it off.

The display of the secondary window can also be controlled with a pair of buttons found at the top-left of the bottom panel in the primary Lightroom Classic window. The two buttons each show an icon representing a window, with “1” for the primary display and “2” for the secondary display. You can click the “2” button to show or hide the secondary window. Just keep in mind that if the secondary window completely obstructs the primary window, you’ll need to hide (or float and move) that secondary window to get back to the full set of controls in the primary window.

Pixology Magazine September 2022


The September 2022 issue of Pixology magazine is now available, featuring the following articles:

  • Instant Object Selection – Learn how to use a powerful image-analysis feature of the Object Selection tool in Photoshop to automatically select various objects in a photo.
  • Framing with a Vignette – Get insights into the use of a vignette effect to help frame up, add drama, or otherwise enhance the creative look of a photo.
  • Video in Lightroom Classic – Discover how you can work with videos alongside your still photos in the Lightroom Classic catalog.
  • Assembling an HDR – Learn how to create great high dynamic range (HDR) images using either Camera Raw in Photoshop or Lightroom Classic.
  • Photo Story: Supporting Actor – Get the story behind a photo that reminded me that even a tiny element in the frame can provide support for the key subject of a photo.

Pixology magazine is included in the GreyLearning Ultimate Bundle, and is also available as a standalone subscription here:

Catalog Backup Not Important?


Today’s Question: I was surprised to read that you don’t recommend keeping backup copies of the Lightroom Classic catalog that are older than six months. I understand recovering from such an old backup means you will have lost all work done in the last six months. But isn’t that better than losing everything?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Part of the reason I don’t feel the need to retain very old backup copies of my Lightroom Classic catalog is that the vast majority of the metadata that I care about most is preserved with my original photos, for which I maintain multiple up-to-date backups.

More Detail: I highly recommend enabling the option to write metadata updates directly to your photos, so updates made in Lightroom Classic are stored both with your photos as well as in your catalog. Among other things, this provides a good recovery option should you ever lose your Lightroom Classic catalog for any reason.

If you have enabled the option to save metadata to the source photos, recovering from a catastrophic loss of your catalog is quite simple. You just create a new catalog and import all your existing photos to that catalog. If your photos are stored in one location (such as on an external hard drive that contains all your photos) you can perform a single import from that drive and be back up and running.

It is important to keep in mind that if you create a new catalog and import your existing photos that have had the metadata saved to them, you will not retain all information that had been contained in your original catalog. There are some features specific to Lightroom Classic that can only be saved within the catalog, not to the metadata for your photos. This includes collections, virtual copies, pick and reject flags, and the history list in the Develop module.

However, with this approach you would retain all standard metadata (and the folder structure) for all your photos. You would therefore still have all your keywords, star ratings, key labels, and other standard metadata updates. This approach also preserves the adjustment settings from the Develop module, even though those can be thought of as specific to Lightroom Classic.

To enable having metadata updates written to the source image files in addition to the catalog, go to the Catalog Settings dialog by choosing Edit > Catalog Settings on Windows or Lightroom Classic > Catalog Settings on Macintosh from the menu. On the Metadata tab of the Catalog Settings dialog turn on the “Automatically write changes into XMP” checkbox. Lightroom Classic will then write standard metadata out to all existing photos, and will apply future updates to the photos as well.

Catalog Backup Clutter


Today’s Question: My Backups folder for Lightroom Classic shows a lot of ZIP files that I’m not too sure what to do with. It comes to 8 GBs! Can I just delete these? Every time I quit Lightroom a ZIP file is created, and the folder gets bigger and bigger! I’m not even sure what a ZIP file is. What is the best thing to do?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Those ZIP files represent backup copies of your Lightroom Classic catalogs (not your photos). As long as Lightroom Classic is behaving normally, you can delete most of those backups, retaining a few recent copies, and perhaps a small number of other copies going back as much as six months.

More Detail: A ZIP file is a compressed archive, meaning a file that contains one or more files that has had lossless compression applied so the file will be smaller than the sum of the total size represented by the included files. Lightroom Classic creates a ZIP file to contain the files when backing up your catalog.

While there’s nothing wrong with backing up your Lightroom Classic catalog every time you exit (or once a day), it isn’t necessary to retain every single backup you create for an extended period of time.

I recommend retaining all the backups you’ve created in the past week, and then perhaps a couple of additional backups from the past month. Beyond that I recommend keeping perhaps one backup per month going back about six months.

The purpose of retaining backup copies of your Lightroom Classic catalog is to be able to recover from a backup if your catalog becomes corrupt or otherwise lost. Retaining some older backup copies gives you flexibility in case recent backups also represent a corrupted catalog. At some point, however, recovering from a very old backup may be less helpful than just starting fresh with a new catalog, considering how much work may have done since the date of the catalog backup.

The folders containing your backup catalogs have names representing the date and time of the backup, with the date in a numeric “Year-Month-Day” format and the time as a four-digit number based on a 24-hour clock.

I recommend periodically going through the folder where your Lightroom Classic catalog backups are being saved and deleting older backups so you are only retaining a reasonable number of catalogs and avoiding the clutter and use of hard drive space caused by a large number of catalog backups.

Focus Stacking Explanation


Today’s Question: I would appreciate an explanation of focus stacking and if it is easily usable by the average photography enthusiast.

Tim’s Quick Answer: Focus stacking is a method for capturing a series of images with overlapping depth of field, and then blending those photos together into a final image that includes expanded depth of field. It is not too complicated, and it can be very helpful when achieving adequate depth of field can be difficult or impossible, such as with closeup and macro photography.

More Detail: Achieving full depth of field for a photo becomes particularly challenging when you are focusing very close to a subject. With macro photography, for example, it is very common to only be able to achieve a depth of field that is a fraction of an inch because by the nature of macro photography you are focusing very close to the subject.

To overcome situations where you’re not able to achieve adequate depth of field, you can use focus stacking. Some cameras include an automatic focus stacking feature, which can be tremendously helpful. There are also accessory devices that can automate the process for you. However, you can also manually capture focus stacked images.

The basic process involves capturing a series of photos with overlapping depth of field. You’ll want to configure the camera settings to maximize depth of field to the extent possible, to help minimize the total number of images you need for the focus stacking. I generally start at the front of the scene and work my way back, so I start by capturing a photo with the focus set at the very front of the range I want to include in the depth of field for the final image.

You can then adjust the focus in small increments to move the depth of field range backward. You want to make sure that you’re overlapping enough that all areas of the subject will be included within the depth of field range with no out of focus areas.

As a simple example, let’s assume you are photographing a ruler that is aligned with the lens, and that your camera settings only enable you to achieve one inch of depth of field. I would start with the sharpest area of focus set at the very front of the ruler. I would then adjust the focus so that the center of sharpest focus is at around the half-inch mark or so, in order to ensure that the area of full depth of field overlaps from frame to frame. Continue adjusting the focus for each photo until you have captured a range of images that include the full subject in focus. In other words, the last photo would have the far end of the ruler at the middle of the sharpest area of focus.

You can then assemble these focus stacked images into a final result that includes maximum depth of field. While you can assemble a focus stacked image in Photoshop, my experience has been that considerably better results can be achieved with other software. My preferred tool for assembling focus stacked images is Helicon Focus, which you can learn more about here: