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Don’t expect any NY Times award winning review here. The Times fired me after my Spinal Tap review of ‘Shark Sandwich.” At any rate, I digress into it.

I had the full intention of adding Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 2 book to my book collection but it was mailed to me as a reward for hosting the NAPP photowalk. That being said I still may go pick up another copy and I’ll explain why in the end.

The Lightroom 2 book is full of updates from the Lightroom 1 book, and no surprise here that’s because of all the improvements Adobe made to the program. Keep in mind I’ve been a Lightroom user since the original Beta, thus I know my way around the program. So as a test I had my lovely fiance read the first chapter of the book and tested her by having her import some photo’s and organize. I’m ashamed to say it, but she’s a better importer and organizer than I am. Like the impatient chimp that I am, I’m more concerned about “oo-ing” and “ah-ing” the photography than I am about organizing them (we all have our vices). For a person who never touched Lightroom to read the first chapter and then was able to import hundreds photo’s and organize them with ratings, keywords and rejections should speak volumes about how well this book explains lightroom.  I have since gone back and reviewed importing to improve my workflow.

The section of the book talking about the develop module was very in-depth and to the point, much like other Kelby books. I would compare this book to his Digital Photographers  books, instead of lecturing you why you should change the exposure in the camera so you don’t have to in Lightroom because that’s the “proper way a photographer does it,” Kelby simply tells you to start your digital development with Exposure and work your way down because that’s what makes sense. The new lightroom two book, besides talking about development workflow, also gives a great deal of information about the new gradient filter and adjustment brush. I will admit I didn’t think much of the gradient filter at first, mainly because I just didn’t like the way it was affecting my photo’s, then after reading up on it in the Lightroom 2 book I looked at the tool with new eyes and now over use it (it’s kind of like when a kid gets a toy on christmas, it’s in his hands for about 72 hours then he moves on to other toys).

I’m not a huge fan of slideshows so I will admit I didn’t read this section as close as I should have, but I have the book for life so I can look back. Yes I know, awful reviewer. It’s not that I have anything personal against the Lightroom slideshow module, I just import my photo’s into Motion 3 to give them the burns effect and export out to quicktime, I’ve been doing it for years and it’s just part of the workflow.

Printing – my old nemesis. I will be honest because of Mpix I send out 94% of my photo’s to print. But for the few times I will  do a print at home, this Lightroom 2 book was a very in-depth refresher on the steps to print a decent print at home. I will likely test the fiance on this chapter next, I mean since she loved importing so much, she’s BOUND to love printing…..

Like I had mentioned, I’ve been using Lightroom for awhile, that being said the develop module, web module and export function are my best friends. Seeing as I knew many of the tricks to the sections I didn’t take much away. What I did take away though is how I will teach these sections to a class. I was hired to teach a father/photo hobbyist about lightroom and I had a little trouble explaining a few things (more or less why he doesn’t need to go into photoshop). After reviewing these three sections in the Lightroom 2 book I have a better sense on how to talk about issues people would have with these modules.

Conclusion: If you want to learn about Lightroom, or need to  enhance your Lightroom workflow, buy the book. It’s that simple. If you’re a NAPP member I believe you get a discount, so NAPP folks have no reason not to buy it. I’m contemplating “pimping my Kelby” much like others pimped their McNally books. If I do that I’ll have to pick up another copy as a backup, so you’ll get my royalty after all Scott.  As much as I love the job the bookmakers did, it is easier to turn this into a spiral bound reference book with tabs so I can flip to a section with ease. Perhaps one snowy weekend in Buffalo I will do that. Kidding aside, the Kelby Lightroom 2 book is a fantastic resource for students, first time Lightroom users, and professionals looking to enhance their workflow. When I teach Lightroom this fall and spring, this will be the required reading.

Until next time,

-Nb

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Post photowalk

Oofa, it’s been a busy week. Between rushing back from Syracuse last Saturday for the Elmwood Arts festival, to the Buffalo Photowalk Saturday night, and school starting up Monday I haven’t had any time to work on photo’s. Finally got around to it this morning when my puppy Griffin had me up at 4:00 because he insisted on having to use the bathroom; the nerve of some people right?

At any rate, the Buffalo Photowalk was a HUGE success, and I’d like to thank the 23 photographers that came out and enjoyed the beautiful weather and city atmosphere. We couldn’t have asked for a better day, a gentle 78 degrees, deep blue sky and only two near deaths. All in all not to bad.

I’m not exaggerating about the near deaths either. One of our photographers was in the middle of the street in the middle of a green light and after he got his shot he continued walking across the way and almost made out with a SUV. But to his credit as he dove out of the way he snapped a frame; only a photographer right? Our Photowalk winner, Stacey was nearly sideswiped by a train as she snapped her winning time elapsed subway shot. Luckily Stacey walked away unscathed and still got the shot. b/c that’s truely whats important right?

We had alot of good shots come out from the Buffalo Photowalk, I encourage you to visit the Buffalo Photowalk flickr page and view some of the fantastic work our locals did. I shouldn’t say locals, some of them traveled from the north or south towns, and a couple even drove two hours in from Jamestown.

As for me, I was quite preoccupied trying to make sure no one was arrested or hit by traffic to fully concentrate on my shots. But I think I snapped a few decent ones.

This gentlemans story was interesting and sad at the same time. He kindly asked us why so many people were visiting Buffalo. I explained to him what we were up to and he found it really interesting. He then went on to tell me about how he’s been on the street for 13 months because the factory he worked at near Buffalo shipped their jobs overseas and couldn’t find anything else. He lost his small single family home and was trying to eventually make it up to Toronto to hopefully find work. It’s a sad, yet not uncommon 21st century American story. After a few moments of general chit chat he asked me for a little change so he could take the train to the upper west side, I obliged and he said feel free to take a snapshot of him as long as “my ugly mug doesn’t break the lens,” as he put it.

This is somewhat inspiring to me as it has started a sideproject I’ve been wanting to do for some time since I moved to Buffalo. The homeless population here is quite astounding. Granted, I come from a smaller Upstate NY city that had about four homeless people in the town. But when I arrived in Buffalo I was quite interested in the larger number of homeless people, and their story. It’s a touchy topic because many people feel that these humans, and they are humans like you and I, deserve to be homeless as if it’s a choice.  While I find statements like that ignorant, you do wonder what their story is and if that spare change you had is going to buy them a sandwich or a 40oz. I did see him get on the train though, so at least he was honest about it.

ccc

One o the challenges, and I know I’m not the only one, is how to photograph the same photo differently.  I used the Buffalo Photowalk to try to work on this task. I have in my collection about a 100 shots of this landmark, Buffalo City hall and the McKinnely monument. The sun was hitting it just right so the buildings were naturally darker, there was some detail, not much. I’m a big fan of silouhetted images, I like the mystic and power behind them. I increased my shutter speed to 1/800sec @ f3.5 with my 18-55 lens with a wide angle adapter attached. It’s a powerful image because it’s a landmark that all Buffalo folk are familiar with, however its a different take on a familiar subject.

That’s all I’ll share here. My shots from the Buffalo Photowalk can be found at my website. The dog is barking so I need to take him out. The least he could do is just ask me to walk him, amiright?

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