Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lightroom 3 and Windows Live Writer

Thanks to Jayaram and Jagan, I have now added Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.0 as a part of my digital workflow. I went back and picked up one of my older photographs taken during a trip to the Nehru Zoo (see earlier post) in Hyderabad and processed it in Lightroom to see what I can make of it. This is the first time I’m using Lightroom although I did download the Beta long back. All the photos that I have posted to my blog previously were processed in Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software for EOS users, it was free and Canon did a great job of adding essential features over a period of time.


The picture was originally imported from the camera using Canon EOS Utility (from now on I will probably switch to using LR3 directly), processed in Lightroom and then the border/frame/copyright added using FastStone Image Viewer. Although LR3 added copyright embedding feature, it does not allow me to create frames like these for embedding copyrights. LR/Mogrify 2 is an option, but I will stick to LR3 + FastStone for now.

It has been less than 12 hours since I installed Lightroom, so I have not had a chance to really explore all the capabilities – I’m sure that’s going to take me many months if at all I even manage to do it. The overall experience has been great so far with most of the usage being very intuitive and fitting in well with the existing Canon software based workflow that I had. But I do really wish Adobe supported HDR in some form in Lightroom itself rather than including that only in the (much) more expensive Photoshop. I’m sure HDR is going to become really mainstream, especially with many cameras building that capability in the camera itself and optimizing at the sensor level.

This is also a test post for me to work out the settings in Windows Live Writer (I’m using the latest Beta) to get the look that I want for my posts. The picture upload option in Blogger is a pain and one has to upload 5 photos at a time and they all go to the top of the page while editing after which I have to cut and paste and rearrange them. Windows Live Writer on the other hand allows one to type and insert pictures with absolute freedom. And it’s free! You can download it from here along with some other great Microsoft tools including a fully featured anti-virus and anti-malware solution (full disclosure – I work for Microsoft).

The only issue that I have found with Live Writer so far is that in the Preview mode it does not show the latest posts, I am not sure if it is by design or due to some compatibility issues with Blogger. This does not seem to impact the publishing of the blog post or the preview of the post I am creating (except for the post date being shown incorrectly), so I am fine with it.

Now the only thing remaining is to get a 23” LCD with a full HD resolution! Dell 2309W looks like a good option with a higher than HD resolution, height adjustment, 2 MP webcam, main negative being that it uses TN instead of an IPS LCD panel and the price. Availability and price seems to be an issue for any LCD above 21.5” in India.

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