Category Archives: Lightroom

is this a new photograph?

Is this a new photograph? It seems like an easy question and in many cases, it’s an easy answer. The heart of the answer is when the image is completed. There is a specific time and place when the image was captured by a camera. At that point, the photograph exists. For my photography, it is still an unfinished work. There are adjustments that need to be made to the image that includes basic adjustments as color correction, image optimization by identifying the lens used to take the photograph, cropping if needed, removing any sensor spots from the image, and other adjustments to achieve the finished image that meets my vision for the image. My initial basic processing is done in Adobe Lightroom. Further processing may be done in a processing tool like Perfect Effects from Perfect Photo Suite by OnOne Software.

flixy cats, new york city

flixy cats, new york city

The above photograph was made on January 19, 2013. It sat in my library of images until it was completed on October 13, 2014, posted to Google+ and added to my photography site on October 15, 2014. The time gap from making the photograph to completing the photograph doesn’t matter. It is a new photograph when it is completed. Before that, it is an image that is unfinished.

Good article on tuning Adobe Photoshop CS6 for peak performance

Adobe Lightroom is my primary processing application for my photography. My workflow often includes moving to Photoshop for additional adjustments when needed to complete processing to achieve the desired presentation. Jeff Tranberry has a blog on Adobe and wrote a very helpful article on how to tune Photoshop CS 6 for peak performance.


The article covers various settings for Adobe Photoshop CS6 that will help you get improved performance when using the application. Photoshop CS6 is a powerful application. Knowing how to get the best performance can help you be more efficient with your processing workflow and avoid having to spend spending more time than needed on processing your images.

Many thanks to Jeff Tranberry for sharing this information on his Adobe blog.



Adobe Lightroom, Are Your Images At Risk?

If you are using or thinking of using Adobe Lightroom to manage your library of images, you should read this post. It is not my decision to make for you but I think you should at least be aware of this incident.

Using any software from any company presents a certain degree of risk. Read the fine print sometime on the license agreements and you will see language to that effect. That is one of the primary reasons why you always want to have good backups and a solid disaster recovery plan in place. If you don’t, the risk is yours.

Before I get into the circumstances that led me to write this post, let me make some things clear. Adobe is a fine company and I am happy to have their software products. Photoshop is arguably the industry standard for graphic artists and digital photographers to use at their primary tool for their work. Currently my personal software choice for working with my digital photographs is Photoshop CS4 Extended. It is an excellent program and is a powerful, amazing set of software tools.

Early yesterday morning, I was contacted by a photographer friend who was experiencing a serious problem with Adobe Lightroom 2.5. This is a successful professional photographer with a very large library of digital images. She purchased Lightroom and spent the summer creating catalogs in Lightroom to help her organize and manage this large library. To her shock and dismay, she discovered that some of her Lightroom catalogs were becoming corrupt and many of the image files in some of those catalogs were being ruined. She contacted Adobe support but the problem was threatening her entire library, her life’s work, her livelihood, her art. So as she was waiting to hear from Adobe she asked me to come over to see if I could help.

My personal background is a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Management Information Systems and 15 years of IT experience that covers everything from being a programmer/systems analyst to being an IT Director for the last nine years for a company that relies heavily on technology to operate their business. Troubleshooting problems on computers is very familiar territory. My experience has mostly been with servers and workstations running Microsoft Windows. She has a Mac with OS X but basic troubleshooting still applies.

The first thing I did was make sure she had clean, complete backups of her image files. She had been smart and had a good backup system in place. If you are reading this and you are thinking that you really need to do something about getting your files backed up, do it right away if your files are important. There are various strategies to insuring good backups for disaster recovery but this post is not about that topic.

Once I verified that her image files were clean, secure, and backed up, I began to troubleshoot the problem. The OS was current with all updates, the Adobe products were current with all updates. The hard drives were healthy and functioning properly. The problem was isolated to images that were in her Lightroom catalogs, some of which were corrupted.

After about three hours on the phone with Adobe tech support for Lightroom, we determined that Lightroom was functioning properly in that we could create new clean Lightroom catalogs. So, what’s all the fuss you ask. Adobe tech support was not able to give me any assurances that this problem would not reoccur at some point. They apologized for the problem and asked that if this happened in the future to contact them as quickly as possible.

In case you missed the last part, Adobe tech support acknowledged that this could happen again in the future and asked us to contact them as soon as possible the next time it happened. They apologized for the problem. So for the photographer, a summer’s worth of work cataloging her images was no longer safe or reliable. Whatever product she chose to use, the work would have to be redone. Adobe tech support hoped that it didn’t happen again and they were sorry.

You may use Lightroom and never have a problem. I hope that you never experience anything like I described in this post with any software. But as a digital photographer and as an IT professional, I think you should be aware of this potential problem with Lightroom, make sure you understand the risk and have good, safe backups of your important image files.

Considering the hours invested in creating her libraries and the prospect of having to redo all of that work, I can tell you that neither I nor the photographer that I was helping will trust Lightroom to handle that function for our images. The risk is simply too large.

Let me be clear that I am not accusing Adobe of any malicious intent or negligence. I am disappointed in the acknowledgement by Adobe tech support that this problem is a known issue and that at this point if it happens again they will be sorry for the trouble. If that is good enough for you, please continue to use Lightroom to catalog your images. Consider this a cautionary message of experience.