Adjusting Saturation for Individual Colors

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Today’s Question: In Lightroom Classic it’s possible to adjust the level of saturation of specific color channels individually. Is there a way to accomplish the same thing in Camera Raw and/or Photoshop?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can use the same sliders found under “HSL” in Lightroom Classic in the “Color Mixer” section in Camera Raw, including within Photoshop using the Camera Raw filter. You can apply similar adjustments with a little more control using a Hue/Saturation adjustment in Photoshop.

More Detail: The Develop module in Lightroom Classic uses the exact same adjustments as Camera Raw in Photoshop, with some minor differences in the interface and the names of the adjustments. This makes Lightroom Classic and Camera Raw (as well as the “cloud” version of Lightroom) interchangeable in terms of applying adjustments. Note, by the way, that the Camera Raw adjustments can be applied to an image within Photoshop by selecting Filter > Camera Raw Filter from the menu. The ability to use Camera Raw as a filter in Photoshop makes it possible for Lightroom Classic users to make use of familiar adjustments after having sent an image from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop.

The HSL (Hue, Saturation, and Luminance) adjustments in Lightroom Classic are found under the “Color Mixer” heading in Camera Raw. The sliders are still arranged in groups for Hue, Saturation, and Luminance, with individual sliders for the various color channels, such as Reds, Oranges, and Yellows.

In addition, in Photoshop you can use a Hue/Saturation adjustment to apply similar changes to color ranges, but with greater control. If you add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, for example, you can select a primary color from the channel popup (which has a default value of “Master” representing the full image). You can then adjust the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness sliders to alter the selected color range. Even better, you can use the controls between the gradients below the sliders to alter the definition of the color range you are working on. For example, after selecting the Blues channel you can expand the range of colors being affected to include cyan in addition to blue.

Updating Email Address in Metadata

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Today’s Question: I have long been following your advice with Lightroom Classic to apply a metadata preset upon import to add copyright and contact information to my photos. However, I have now changed my email address. I have updated my metadata preset for assigning to new photos, but how can I update the email address in metadata for all the existing photos in my catalog that have the old address?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can update the metadata for all (or some of) the existing photos in your Lightroom Classic catalog with a variety of automated techniques, depending on the specific circumstances for the existing photos. A preset, for example, can make easy work of this task.

More Detail: As a general rule I would say that the best approach here is to create a new metadata preset that only includes the email address update (and any other metadata fields you want to update for all existing photos), and then apply that preset to all photos in your catalog.

While there are a wide variety of metadata values you can use to search for specific photos, the email address field is not one of the searchable fields in Lightroom Classic. Therefore, if you change your email address and want to update the metadata for your photos to reflect that change in Lightroom Classic, you’ll likely need to simply apply the update to all photos.

Of course, if you’re using a metadata preset to add your email address to all photos upon import, one of the first tasks is to update that preset. You can get started with that task by selecting Metadata > Edit Metadata Presets from the menu while in the Library module. Choose the applicable preset from the Preset popup and change the applicable metadata fields such as the email address in this case. Then choose “Update Preset” from the Preset popup to update your existing preset with the new changes.

For existing photos in the catalog, however, changing the preset will not change any of the metadata for the photos. If your updated metadata preset for import only includes updates you want to apply to all existing photos in your catalog, you could simply apply that preset to all photos. However, the preset may include metadata values you don’t want to update for existing photos, so I recommend creating a new metadata preset for this purpose.

You can create a new metadata preset in the Edit Metadata Presets dialog, which you can bring up by choosing Metadata > Edit Metadata Presets from the menu. Click the “Check None” button at the bottom-left of the dialog. Then turn on the checkbox for only the fields you want to update, such as the “Creator E-Mail” field in this example. Update the value for those fields as needed, and then choose “Save Current Settings as New Preset” from the Preset popup. Enter a name for the new preset, and click the Create button. Then click the Done button to close the Edit Metadata Presets dialog.

You can then apply this new preset to all existing photos. Choose “All Photographs” from the Catalog section of the left panel in the Library module. Switch to the grid view display (press “G” on the keyboard) and make sure the Library Filter Bar is set to “None” so that no filters are applied. Then select all photos by choosing Edit > Select All from the menu.

To apply the new preset to update the desired fields (such as email address in this example), use the Saved Preset popup in the Quick Develop section of the right panel in the Library module. Simply select the preset you created for this purpose and the metadata will be updated for all selected photos.

Importing Scanned Photos

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Today’s Question: Is it easy to import the digital images that you get back from scanmyphotos.com into Lightroom Classic?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, the digital images you get back from a slide scanning service can easily be imported into Lightroom Classic, as they are saved in standard image formats.

More Detail: The specific details of the files you get back will depend on the slide scanning service you use. For example, ScanMyPhotos.com saves all scanned images as JPEG images. Other services, such as DigMyPics (https://www.digmypics.com), offer an option to save the scans as TIFF images, which is a better option if you want optimal quality especially for later printing the images.

Regardless, the image files are saved into standard image formats that are supported by Lightroom Classic. In most cases the files are either available for download through the company’s website, or shipped to you on a portable storage device. In either case you can save the files into the desired folder location and import into your Lightroom Classic catalog.

My typical approach in this type of situation is to save the images into the intended folder location, then import using the “Add” option at the top-center of the Import dialog in Lightroom Classic. If you copy the photos into a folder that is already being managed within Lightroom Classic, you could also right-click on that folder in Lightroom Classic and choose “Synchronize Folder” from the popup. The new photos in that folder will be identified so they can be imported into the catalog with ease.

Ultimately, importing digital files received from a scanning service is basically the same as importing any other photos, except that in many cases you may be adding the photos from their current storage location rather than copying them during import as you typically would when importing from a media card taken out of the camera.

Transferring Catalog to New Computer

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Today’s Question: I recall your online talks warning about “never move photos outside if Lightroom” but here is a new twist. I bought a new computer and need to transfer my Lightroom Classic catalog to that computer. How do I transfer my photos on external hard drives so Lightroom Classic can find them on the new computer?

Tim’s Quick Answer: This migration can actually be handled with relative ease. You just need to copy the entire catalog folder to the new computer, and make sure the new computer is identifying the external hard drives with the same identifier as had been used on the previous computer.

More Detail: Because the Lightroom Classic catalog references your photos based on their specific storage location, it is actually quite easy to migrate to a new computer when the photos are stored on external hard drives. The key is to make sure the hard drives have the same drive letter (Windows) or volume label (Macintosh) on the new computer, so they will appear the same to Lightroom Classic on the new computer based on the configuration from the old computer.

You’ll need to copy the catalog files to the new computer, which involves quitting Lightroom Classic and copying the entire folder containing your catalog and supporting files to the new computer. You can copy that folder to any location you’d like on the new computer, though the default for Lightroom Classic is to store the catalog in the Pictures folder. Make sure you then open that catalog rather than a new empty catalog that may have been created when you installed Lightroom Classic on the new computer.

With the catalog available on the new computer, you can connect the external hard drives and ensure they are configured properly based on what Lightroom Classic is expecting. For Macintosh users this simply means making sure not to change the volume label, which is the name of the hard drive. For Windows users you’ll need to make sure the drive letters assigned on the new computer match the assignments on the old computer. This can be changed in the Disk Management utility, and you’ll find an article outlining the process here:

https://www.technewstoday.com/change-drive-letter-windows-10-11/

When you open the catalog you copied to the new computer and have the hard drives configured as they had been on the old computer, you’ll be right back to your expected workflow in Lightroom Classic, with everything just as it had been on your old computer.

Lightroom “Cloud” to Classic

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Today’s Question: My son-in-law has been using the Cloud version of Lightroom. He’s just come back from a safari with many images and he’s wondering whether he should consider going over to Lightroom Classic. Would this be a good time for him to make the switch, or should he continue as he is? I know that he is interested in printing and may not have done a lot of that before. Is that a factor?

Tim’s Quick Answer: In my view most photographers would benefit from using Lightroom Classic rather than the cloud-based version of Lightroom. That is especially true for photographers who want to print their images, since the cloud version of Lightroom does not support printing.

More Detail: The primary difference between the cloud-based Lightroom and Lightroom Classic is where photos are stored. With Lightroom Classic you manage the storage of your photos locally, while with the cloud-based version the photos are stored primarily in the cloud (Adobe’s servers) and are downloaded to your computer or device as they are needed.

In addition, the cloud-based Lightroom doesn’t include all of the sharing features of Lightroom Classic, including printing. All things considered, I think Lightroom Classic is the better choice for most photographers. The only reason a photographer may prefer using the cloud-based version of Lightroom is if they want to have all their photos synchronized to the cloud. However, in my view this is not a significant benefit for photographers, especially considering that you can synchronize selected collections of photos to the cloud with Lightroom Classic.

It will take some work to transition from cloud-based storage to local folders, since the cloud-based version of Lightroom doesn’t allow you to create folders. However, I do feel that work is worth doing in order to gain the benefits of Lightroom Classic.

Image Not Centered in Photoshop

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Today’s Question: When I send an image from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop, the canvas is not centered. When I use the Move tool, I can move the image, but the canvas does not move.

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can adjust a few settings in Photoshop to ensure that the image is displayed within the interface, without extending beyond the main Photoshop image area unless you have zoomed in on the image enough that only part of the image is visible.

More Detail: The first thing to check is the “Overscroll” setting in Preferences. From the menu choose Edit on Windows or Photoshop on Macintosh, then select Preferences > Tools. Turn off the “Overscroll” checkbox, which will prevent the image canvas from being moved beyond the main Photoshop window, such as when using the Hand tool.

Next, be sure that the image is in a tab rather than a floating window. You can do this by choosing Window > Arrange > Consolidate All to Tabs. This will cause all images to be in tabs rather than a floating window that could be dragged beyond the main window area.

Floating panels can also obscure the image, so if you have any floating panels, you can either close them or dock them. You can, for example, drag a set of floating panels to the right edge of the Photoshop window. When you see a blue highlight indicating the docking position you can release the mouse button and the panels will be docked rather than floating.

If you want to see the entire image, keep in mind that you can fit it to the available area with the “Fit on Screen” command. You can choose View > Fit on Screen from the menu or hold the Ctrl key on Windows or Command key on Macintosh while pressing 0 (zero) on the keyboard.

Lightroom Virtual Summit 2022

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I am delighted to announce that I will be presenting three classes as part of the Lightroom Virtual Summit, which is a free online event that will be held October 3rd through the 7th.

I’ll be presenting on “Streamlined Image Review”, “Automating Optimization”, and “Find Any Photo”, all focused on Lightroom Classic. My classes are just three out of a total of 45 classes from a variety of instructors. Best of all, you can attend all of the online classes for free from virtually anywhere with an internet connection.

In addition to the free registration there is also a VIP Pass option, which provides you with lifetime access to recordings of all presentations, and a variety of special VIP bonus content and benefits.

You can register for free and learn about the special VIP Pass, by following this link:

https://timgrey.krtra.com/t/U9PuWgJeiMlF

Access to Folders in Security Settings

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Today’s Question: I’ve recently started getting an error indicating that Lightroom Classic does not have access to some “standard folders”. The Learn More link explains what to do, but is there any reason not to enable this security setting for Lightroom Classic?

Tim’s Quick Answer: The issue in question only applies to Macintosh users, and I do recommend enabling Lightroom Classic to access to the folders to avoid potential confusion or problems in your workflow.

More Detail: The message in question relates to security settings in the Macintosh operating system, related to permission for applications to access the “standard” folders in the operating system, which includes folders such as Desktop, Documents, and Downloads, among others.

It appears to me that this issue has arisen anew with the update to MacOS Monterey (12.5.1), although the overall security settings have been in place since the release of MacOS Mojave. Thus, users who have upgraded their operating system recently, including myself, may be seeing the alert message about folder permissions.

I do recommend providing Lightroom Classic with access to the standard folders, especially if you will be storing photos within any of those folders. The setting can be updated in the Security & Privacy section of System Preferences.

To get started click on the Apple logo at the far left of the menu bar and choose System Preferences. Go to Security & Privacy and navigate to the Privacy tab. Click the lock icon at the bottom-left corner of the System Preferences dialog and enter your system password to enable changes. Then turn on the checkboxes under Adobe Lightroom Classic on the list to the right of the “Files and Folders” selection. I recommend turning on all the checkboxes for Lightroom Classic, though you could obviously leave some off if you have a reason to prevent Lightroom Classic from accessing specific storage locations.

With this option enabled you should no longer see the message about this permission issue unless it arises again with a future update to the operating system or to Lightroom Classic.

DPI versus PPI Resolution

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Today’s Question: In your answer about film scanners, you made reference to “pixels per inch” resolution. The scanner manufacturers list the resolution in “dots per inch”. Are these two terms interchangeable?

Tim’s Quick Answer: In my view the term “pixels per inch” (ppi) is more correct in the context of digitizing film images because the scanner is creating pixels based on the original, and the ppi resolution indicates the density of information being gathered from the original.

More Detail: In some respects I think it would be fair to say that the terms “pixels per inch” (ppi) and “dots per inch” (dpi) are interchangeable. Of course, some purists on the subject would say I am absolutely wrong about that!

In general, ppi resolution is used to refer to a digital image in the context of output size. This resolution is really only applicable when printing a photo, because when an image is shared digitally all that really matters is how many pixels there are. For example, if a monitor has a horizontal resolution of 1,920 pixels, you would need an image to be 1,920 pixels wide to fit the full width of the display. It doesn’t matter what the ppi resolution is set to for the image, because each pixel in the image would simply be represented by one pixel on the monitor display.

When printing the ppi resolution becomes important, because it impacts the quality of the print. In actual fact it is still the number of pixels that is important, but the ppi resolution provides an indication of whether you have enough pixels. For example, a typical photo inkjet printer requires at least 360 ppi resolution for optimal quality, which means an image that is to be printed ten inches wide would need to have at least 3,600 pixels in width.

The “dots” in the dpi resolution refers to dots on the paper when printing. That effectively translates to pixels in the context of the print, but the term “dots” is generally used instead. This is despite the fact that with many printing processes a single “dot” in the image is not produced by a single ink droplet. For example, many photo inkjet printers that render image data at 360 ppi typically place up to 1,440 or 2,880 (or more) ink droplets per inch.

So, in a very general sense dpi resolution relates to physical mediums, which is why I suspect the term came into common use for scanners. The ppi resolution is generally used when referring to a digital image. However, in my view the terms can be very reasonably considered interchangeable in most cases.

Camera or Scanner for Digitizing Slides

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Today’s Question: What about [a camera versus scanner for] slides?

Tim’s Quick Answer: In general, you’ll get better resolution with a dedicated film scanner for slides (or negatives). However, considering there aren’t too many film scanners currently in production, you may find it easier to photograph the slides on a lightbox or send the slides out to a service provider.

More Detail: Film scanners can provide an excellent option for digitizing slides or negatives. There are currently scanners available that are capable of scanning at 7,200 to 10,000 pixels per inch (ppi). By comparison, a 47-megapixel digital camera produces an image of about 5,500 pixels per inch. In other words, in many cases you’ll find that a film scanner will exceed the resolution of a digital camera for digitizing slides or negatives.

Of course, there aren’t that many film scanners currently in production. A couple of options that are available include the 7,200 ppi Plustek OpticFilm 8100 film scanner (https://bhpho.to/3AemZi1) and the 10,000 ppi Pacific Image Prime Film XAs (https://bhpho.to/3pEARx2). Note that I don’t generally recommend flatbed scanners for scanning film, as the quality is typically not as good as a dedicated film scanner.

Another option is to photograph the slides on a lightbox. This is similar in concept to using a copy stand to photograph old prints, as I’ve discussed in previous answers. The difference is that the film needs to be illuminated. There are various accessories that can be used for this purpose, but you can also use a lightbox to illuminate the slides while positioning the camera above the lightbox with a tripod. My preferred lightbox is the Kaiser Slimlite Plano (https://bhpho.to/3ci8FNt).

You could also let someone else do the scanning for you. One service I’ve found that provides great results is ScanMyPhotos (https://www.scanmyphotos.com). While these services can be a little expensive if you’re scanning a large number of images, it is very convenient to simply ship slides or negatives to them and receive digital images (and your originals) in return.