So I've been a bit quiet on here the last week or so! What a frustrating week on the photography side of things!
If you are relatively new to photography and Lightroom then you are going to want to read on. If I can help just one person from this blog entry not have the frustrations I have experienced the last week I'll be a happy person.
Firstly I've spent countless hours trying to organise my photos and move my Lightroom Catalogue to an external hard drive to try to help speed up my ever increasingly slow Macbook. What a nightmare!
I viewed a You Tube clip which showed me how to move my Lightroom Catalogue and then my pictures to a new external hard drive, which I did. My Macbook prompted me to format my new hard drive straight away for time machine backup! Boy am I glad I ignored this message I would have wiped all the installation software off the new hard drive.
Once I FINALLY worked out how to install the new hard drive I moved my iPhoto library (which took 12 hours to transfer and complete)
I then moved my LR Cat and finally all my new photo albums to the new external hard drive. I then spent several hours relocating my missing LR photo files inside LR as they all had '?' icons next to them! This occurs when you move/rename a photo outside of LR. Basically LR looses the file path/location of your photo/s and you have to re find the photos/file path and tell LR the new file location for each photo! With over 500 photos this wasn't much fun and rather time consuming.
BIG TIP: LR is the programme! You're photos are not actually saved in LR only displayed in you're LR catalogue! They are stored on your chosen Computer/EHD. You do not need your LR Cat and Photos stored in the same place! You must only rename/move photos inside of LR otherwise LR will loose the file path. I also recommend you only have ONE LR Catalogue to avoid confusing matters further!
Getting back to things I was then recommended to import new photos to my LR catalogue using smart preview's so when I didn't have my external hard drive connected I could still edit the photos using the smart previews.
Oh no I couldn't!
I later discovered this was because I'd moved the LR Cat to the external hard drive and unless the EHD was connected to my computer my Lightroom Catalogue was empty and LR wouldn't open at all unless a new blank catalogue was opened! This wasn't what i wanted and not great so I then had to move my LR Catalogue back to my computer's hard drive leaving just the photos on the EHD. Ending up with those "?" icons again!!! Argh!
Later in the week I decided I wanted to make a 3X3 photo template to export out of LR for print image enlargement to go onto a large 100cm x 46cm canvas. Boy this wasn't simple either!
I did manage to make a template relatively quickly using the print/page set up custom settings for the file size I wanted to create. Once I found the product that suited me on Photobox and converted the sizes from those listed to mm (as this is what my LR page settings are in and could I hell find out how to change mm to cm/inches, so I had to convert sizes using a iPhone APP converter) I exported my newly created 3x3 template and added it to several image printing companies including... Funky Pigeon - Which said "Poor Quality Image", Photobox said " Poor Quality Image"! Argh!?!?!?!
Bring on the googling and You Tube clips! How do I create a Hi Res photo I asked? I shoot RAW use good lenses and have a entry level DSLR worth £300 therefore surely I should get good quality images???
I finally found that i needed to set the setting's in LR print module for either web/print requirements and after lots of googling that 300 DPI @ 100 JPEG quality was the recommended settings for a hi res print and 72DPI @ 60 JPEG quality was the recommended settings for standard web requirements.
I also learnt that I needed to change the settings for a print/web photo to be sharpened I learnt low/standard sharpening on Matt settings are favoured for both.
I then needed to focus on the page setup height and width of the picture template I wanted to create and export in order to ensure my picture/template was exported using the correct measurements.
The next set of issues I encounted were with regards to focusing on my recent portrait shoot. One person in the frame "Fine" add two or three or more and I ended up with the other people looking out of focus.
I also had issues trying to work out why lots of my photos taken with a 1.8g 35mm AF-S Prime Nikon Lens showed the 2nd/3rd person in the photo out of focus? I've later discovered I was at the lowest 1.8g f-stop and this should have been set to 5.8 or higher f-stop to get around the depth of field issues and try to ensure all people are in focus not just the person i focused in the eye of! I'm yet to re try with these different settings but hopefully I will get much better results next time. Fingers crossed.
I have found a great group on FB called " Young Aspiring Photographers" people are really helpful and I've learnt a lot already from just reading and posting on the page it seems theres always someone able and willing to help.
Just remember don't get disheartened when things don't work or take longer then you think there's always someone out there willing to help! Photography is a passion not just an art hence theres lots of passionate people out there always eager to help!
Keep shooting & Lots of photography love.