Adobe Lightroom is a database. Some even call it a “Relationship database”. I have never found any contacts of the opposite sex in there, so I will keep the term as “Relational Database” Smile . Lightroom does not keep your images inside that database. The database itself is called a Catalogue, to make things more palatable for the general public. Nobody in his right mind would want to buy a “Photographic Relational Database”, however, most people would buy “Lightroom and Catalogue”. Simple question of marketing. That Adobe felt the need to create different versions of the same product with virtually the same name was not very wise, but like they say: “It is what it is”. Nothing I can do about that.

So, Lightroom is a database.

For a long time, I thought that my single monitor had the correct colour settings. It was brand new, after all, a brand new monitor should be set correctly, right? Wrong. They are set “approximately” right. Switching between the different colour profiles on the monitor menus gave different results, 9300K, 6500K, sRGB, “PhotoRealistic”, all different displays. Since many of my pictures go on the web, the use of sRGB was recommended. For me, that didn’t look right, and when I compared the display of my monitor to another computer in the house (over the internet) the result was less than appealing.

But what the heck, my new monitor should be good, right?

So now I have my usable images still in the “Previous import” collection, a good place to not mix them (yet) with my other pictures. Keeps things simple, you know. By now it’s time for two different operations, one mandatory for my organisation and the other if I didn’t forget to switch on my GPS unit.The first one is the most tedious and boring operation: keywording.

In my capacity as admin on a Facebook Lightroom Help group, I often come across the question of “How to do this or that…”. Most of the time it is about people that don't know where to start when they come home with a lot of images. The images end up in folders on their computers that they have no idea of, presets get applied that they have no idea of and so on. The list is endless. So is the list of solutions for each problem.

So the question is: where to start? Here’s my take on this, but your mileage may vary.

A while ago I saw a question on Facebook from a renowned photographer. It went like this:  “Would you still be taking pictures if there was nobody to share them with?”

It looks like nowadays you can’t go online without seeing an ad for Lightroom Presets.11,000+ here, 7,000+ there, some for free, some not so. By now I have some 70,000 pictures in my Lightroom Library and none have received a preset development treatment.  Does that make me a reactionary curmudgeon? Probably.

But here’s my take on it.

Some people travel a lot and have a fairly big Lightroom Catalogue as a result. Finding those pictures can be a chore if they have not been keyworded properly. You may even have no keywords at all. So how to find those pictures that you took “some” years ago in New York? If you have geotagged your pictures, there is a very easy way to find those pictures.

Photoshop was perfect for what I needed. Since 2005 I had a digital camera and all my pictures went on my C: drive in several folders. Right from the start I had decided to organise my pictures by date, or at least by year. Then came the moment where the first 9999 pictures were taken and the camera restarted its file numbering. Another folder for that year and everything went fine from there on. That occurred a few times, then I got a “real” DSLR, a Nikon D40X. File numbering restarted at 0001, luckily with a different prefix for the name (DSC_).

Photo files started to accumulate in different folders, with duplicates named slightly differently for processed pictures. Then came more folders as sometimes I was shooting panoramas or (difficult with with a D40X) some HDR-type shots.

Windows had been my OS since 1991, so I was used to the folder system and organisation. The first thing I did when I started shooting was to get out of the “My Documents”, “My Pictures” and the “My …” type of folders. Windows was storing stuff in there that I definitely didn’t want mixed with my own. Back then it was Windows XP, escaping from the “My anything” grasp was fairly easy. Later that became more of a problem, so I resolved in putting all my stuff on a second internal hard disk.

In 2007 Lightroom made its appearance and I was immediately sold on its ways of organising my pictures. The catalogue became bigger and more organised by the day it seemed. Also, the number of photos grew exponentially, filling up my internal drive.

Using Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom, you will have noticed the “Camera Calibration” panel at the bottom of the develop screen. I never paid much attention to it when I started using Lightroom. Mind you, I was shooting jpg at the time and the panel didn’t give me anything useful. Only “embedded”. When I started using RAW, the panel had some choices, but they looked the same as on my camera. Selecting one or another didn’t seem to make much difference apart from the colour saturation here and there.

For about 2 and a half years I have blogged on this site with a (then) modern software package. All went well, nothing wrong, but recently (about a week ago) I have upgraded this to the latest version of their program. As a result of this, the site now uses a responsive design, meaning you can see this site on your “device” meaning iPhone, iPad, Android or any other type of tablet and enjoy it with an appropriate layout. The top menu might change its appearance as well as some other elements. All depending on the device you are using to see the site.

This has taken some time to get it right and as a result, the emails going out to subscribers of the blog have gotten mixed up. It seems that you now get emails about “new” posts a few weeks old! Since this is Google’s Feedburner doing the job, I expect this to resolve itself in the next few days or weeks. There is nothing wrong with the site and it is not trying to spam you, it is just a bit mixed up in the dates, it seems.

In the mean time, enjoy the posts, even the older ones!

This post contains pictures of a more personal nature. If you’re not used to that, don’t read this.

On January 18, 2013 I felt a bit strange. Now you’ll tell me that that’s no surprise, but this time it was. For a while already I had been warned by my doctor that my blood pressure was a bit too high. High Blood pressure comes with risks. One of the risks is stroke.

A very good friend of mine in Holland had been in coma after a stroke since a week before Christmas and had just woken up. Not in the best of shapes either. No walking, no talking and worst of all, apparently no memories either. He had had a severe stroke due to, among other things, high blood pressure.

Henk
1 month 2 days

It's the National Geographic Fieldguide to Birds of North America

Art
1 month 2 days

Thank you. I saw these birds at my feeder today and wondered what they were. Could you tell me the title of the bird book you ...

Sursohog
1 month 17 days

---Great Blog again Henk - well done..

Henk
2 months 30 days

Thanks :) !

sursohog
3 months

---Very nice Blog Henk - some nice shots there...-:)

Henk
3 months 4 days

Presets can speed up your workflow a lot, provided you have plenty of the same type of pictures. People doing weddings will a ...

Henk
3 months 4 days

Hi, I hadn't noticed that the typing colour was that dark... changed it to pure white, that should do it ... Henk

'Dan..
3 months 4 days

I certainly agree the use of presets will discourage people learning their own methods but they can offer a shortcut to fulfi ...

Henk
3 months 25 days

Well, I was told so by a "pro" that later recanted... :-) I removed the name, so at least it is now correct.

josie brendle
3 months 26 days

nice blog but sorry the horses are not Clydesdales. Those are a little bigger. :)