Tag Archives: Lightroom

Learn: Organize and Edit Your Photographs

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC     SOLD OUT!
This is an excellent program for importing your photos from your camera or memory cards to your computer and then organizing the, narrowing down to your best shots and then doing adjustments / edits to improve the images.   My Lightroom Classic CC Workshop is four 3-hour sessions, a total of 12 hours of very hands-on learning.

Adobe Photoshop CC Only one space left!!   
When you want the ultimate control in editing, to do anything possible with an image, to retouch, perfect, enhance, and even create new images that are composites from multiple images, Photoshop is the tool to use.  My Photoshop Class is six 3-hour sessions, a total of 18 hours of very hands-on learning!




Adobe Quietly Pushing Us to THEIR Cloud

Did Adobe just quietly increase their prices?  YES! Well, sort of.

It’s sort of like cheeseburgers…
(I’ll explain in the article)

First, I have to say Adobe makes great products.  Second, I have to acknowledge that more and more industry focus is on the transition of having all our data be pushed out to the various ubiquitous “cloud” storage services.

The convenience of cloud storage theoretically means we don’t have to worry about hard drive storage problems, backups, etc. and our data is accessible anywhere, from multiple devices. It all sounds so idealistic and attractive!

Adobe started their transition to this “cloud” model with the introduction of their Creative Cloud (CC) a few years ago.  Initially they said they were transitioning their software to be purchased via their Creative Cloud and you’d pay a monthly fee, but some software, such as Lightroom, would still be available for purchase using the traditional pricing model where you buy the software and buy upgrades when you want to upgrade.  But, ever so gradually, they made it harder to find that option on their website, and eventually then we found that was no longer an option.   Maybe they hoped we wouldn’t notice. 🙂

Lightroom’s name officially changed to Lightroom CC, simply to affiliate  it more closely with their Creative Cloud brand.  The program still worked with photos on your hard drive(s) as before, but it did begin to include a way you could share select images on Lightroom Mobile.  Other than that, there were no big changes to Lightroom.  It was mostly a name change.

Virtually everything was now to be purchased via their Creative Cloud options.    To help push people in that direction, they made the industry-leading photo editing program, Photoshop, only available via their Creative Cloud plan, which they made attractively priced to include Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC bundled together for only $9.99/month.  This was really a great option at a good price.

Then, last year, they introduced a brand new photo editor product built from the ground up as a totally “cloud based” product where you do NOT store your photos on your own computer or hard drives.  The name of this new product introduced a lot of confusion because they chose to name it Lightroom CC, and they changed the name of their previous Lightroom CC to be Lightroom Classic CC.

With the new Lightroom CC, your photos reside on their cloud servers, and you must pay for the privilege of storing the images on their cloud, and as you shoot more photos and take up more space on their cloud, you have to pay more… for the rest of your life.  Oh, and whenever you die, you’d better have someone designated to download all of your photos from their cloud or all of the photos you ever took will be removed. (No one will want all your photos, but honestly over time, our photographs can become some of our most cherished possessions.)

It’s obvious this strategy of moving to cloud solutions would be  attractive for any corporation because of the immense increase in revenue stream using their cloud storage.   It all makes sense why this transition is happening.  Follow the money.

There are some attractive features in the new Lightroom CC with the convenience of cloud storage and AI technology to identify object in photos, but it does not yet have as rich a set of editing features as is offered in Lightroom Classic CC.  And then the fact that it requires your images to be stored on their cloud, that means you have to use their storage, which you of course pay for… and the more storage you use, the more you pay.  With the amount of photographs I have, if I were to put them on their Creative Cloud, my monthly fee would be way too high.  But I don’t really need them on their cloud.  I don’t mind storing my images locally on my own hard drives (and backups), in which case I need Lightroom Classic.

And then there is the issue that the use of a cloud-based solution presumes you have access to high speed Internet, which I don’t always have because when I am staying at a lodge in the mountains, I may have very slow (or even no) Internet access.  So while I am in those places, I lose all benefits of a cloud based solution.  And then when on a cellular connection, of course I encounter bandwidth throttling which is annoying when I am forced to use a cloud-only solution.

For my particular needs, Lightroom Classic CC is still my preferred choice.  It was smart that Adobe chose to keep Lightroom Classic CC as an option. Lightroom Classic CC is really perfect for me.   In fact, if they eliminated Lightroom Classic CC and tried to force me over to Lightroom, I would probably abandon Adobe to go to some competing product.  I know plenty of other photographers who agree. But wait, they very cleverly made it where if you want Photoshop you basically have to get Lightroom also because they come bundled together.   So you are getting it whether you want it, or not.

So, why am I writing all this right now?  Well their has been a growing uneasiness that Adobe might just do the unthinkable and try to push us all to their cloud-only solution of Lightroom CC and maybe discontinue support of Lightroom Classic CC.  Actually it is not unthinkable, I believe it is probable.  There is too much money to be made with a cloud-only solution.

Just last night, we noticed their next sneaky step to push us to their cloud solution. I didn’t see any big announcements about this, but their product offerings have changed!

Not too long ago, these were their product offerings for Lightroom and Photoshop:

If you wanted Photoshop, you could go with their $9.99/mo “Photography Plan” and that included Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC and you were not forced to purchase more cloud storage if you had no interest in using their cloud.

Very recently, their product offering changed:

Note any big differences?

NOW, if you want to go with their “Photography plan” it is now $19.99/mo instead of $9.99/mo because they now forced the Photography Plan to include 1 TB of cloud storage whether you need it or not.  So, if you don’t need the 1TB of storage, you still have to pay twice as much if you want Photoshop and Lightroom Classic CC.  What a clever way to double the price while being able to say they didn’t increase the price at all.

It’s sort of like in “best practices” in the food industry where they can raise prices on hamburgers by simply switching to only offering cheeseburgers and if you don’t want the cheese, you still have to order a cheeseburger and pay for the cheese but then say “leave off the cheese”.  So you pay more, whether you want it or now.

And note what this does… it means now their lowest price offering is their Lightroom CC plan, because that is the plan they are trying to push us towards now.  Want to still use Lightroom Classic? Now you have to pay twice as much.

They quietly slipped in these changes, which is the Adobe way.

I don’t want a cheeseburger.  If they make that be the only thing on the menu, I might just go to a different restaurant.

For some of you, if you want a cheeseburger, enjoy it, because it appears that’s what’s on the menu now.  🙂


Learn Lightroom and Photoshop!

This is your chance to learn Adobe Lightroom Classic CC or Photoshop CC in these very hands-on classes, designed for small group learning.

  • Adobe Lightroom Classic CC Workshop
    Tues/Thurs 10am-1pm May 8, 10, 15, 17 2018
    Learn Adobe Lightroom! This is an excellent tool for helping photographers organize and create outstanding photographs!
    Register by April 15th and SAVE $20!

  • Adobe Photoshop CC for Photographers Workshop
    April 23-May 9, 2018 Learn this essential powerful tool for editing photographs.  Split into Basics and Advanced options! Total class time is a full 18 hours of very hands-on learning!
    Register by April 10th and SAVE UP TO $50!

If you don’t know either program, we recommend you start with learning Adobe Lightroom first.   Click on the links above for more information!

Student Comments:

  • I just finished a Lightroom class with Kevin. It was fabulous! Kevin presented Lightroom in an organized, easy to understand, and enjoyable way. He is a an absolute professional with his presentations. All attendees in this class were beginners with the program. Kevin’s curriculum is organized in a logical manner that takes the students through all the basics and beyond. He is hands on and took questions through out, including coming around when needed to help the students by providing individual assistance. He would direct the students to the correct tabs and get them on track again. I am thrilled with my new skills in Lightroom! I plan to take many more classes with Kevin.”
  • “Kevin does a fantastic job of leading you through Lightroom! The hands-on class is the only way to learn! I’m looking forward to putting all this new knowledge to work!”
  • “This was an excellent class and I’d highly recommend it to others. Kevin’s class was well organized, well paced, and left me with the ability to use the program effectively.”
  • “As I expected, having taken other classes with Kevin, the “Adobe Lightroom” class was extremely informative and well organized. I learned so much, and am excited to apply the knowledge I learned to begin editing my photos. The learning atmosphere that Kevin establishes is one of extreme comfort. His presentation is done logically and without intimidation. He takes the time to answer any and all questions, and does so in a very patient manner. I also really appreciate his great sense of humor. He always makes me laugh!” – Edward Pagliai
  • “I really enjoyed the Photoshop class with Kevin. He was so patient with all of our questions and goof ups. He really wanted us to understand how much Photoshop can take our photography that much further and that it is a lot of fun to take creative leaps with it. I left his class with a much clearer understanding of how to use the tools and layers which were very confusing at first. Also, I know that if I hit a snag practicing with my new skills he would be happy to answer my questions.” – A. Moates



Use a Variety of Photo Editing Tools!

If you take the time to move beyond camera skills, you’ll discover the amazing and fun world of digital imaging. I encourage you to explore the use of different software tools for adjusting and editing your photographs. Once you become adept at using the various tools available, you will discover the only real limit is your imagination!

Consider the different photo editing tools and plugins as being sort of like tools on a workbench. You wouldn’t want to just own a hammer.  You need a variety of tools all serving a different purpose.

In this example below, I used a mix of Lightroom and Photoshop magic, but then blended in the use of Alien Skin Software‘s “Snap Art” using their Impasto effect, which gives the image a paint brushed on canvas appearance.  The background is imaginary, created with a mix of edits in Photoshop.

Want to learn photo editing skills? I offer private instruction on virtually all topics of photography and digital image editing.

Happy Photo Editing!

Kevin Gourley


Alien Skin Software: Exposure X2

First, I have to make a clear confession.  I am a proficient Adobe Lightroom user, and don’t have much experience with Exposure X2 from Alien Skin Software.  BUT I just took Exposure X2 out for a “test drive” and thought it was worthy of pointing out this nifty program to you all.   Yes, Exposure X2 can be used as a plugin from Lightroom, but it also can be used as a standalone program.

If you have experience with Adobe Lightroom, the first thing that you’ll notice is the incredible similarity of much of the user interface. With some portions of the program, you’ll almost feel like you are using Lightroom!  In spite of it feeling sort of like Lightroom, it’s definitely not Lightroom. Exposure X2 has an impressive set of photo adjustment tools built in.

You’ll quickly notice that there are not different “modules” for managing and organizing that are separate from the developing and editing of the images.  Unlike in Lightroom, it is all kept together in one interface.  That has some advantages.  Also, as soon as you start using Exposure X2, you might notice that you immediately have access to ALL of the images on your computer.  There is no need to first “import” them. They are just there ready to be edited when you open a folder.

When you do any editing, remember that Exposure X2 still does “non-destructive editing”, meaning that it doesn’t really change the image until you export it.  (Believe me, thats a good thing.) And it works handily with RAW and other image formats. As you look over the editing capabilities, you will see a range of additional tools not found in Lightroom, such as overlays of really cool borders, light effects such as flames and flare, infrared simulation, simulated bokeh adjustments, and a variety of textures.

All of these additional built-in editing tools make Exposure X2 still useful as a plugin in Lightroom even if you don’t use it as a full Lightroom replacement.  But keep in mind it is indeed a fully capable standalone program.  Just note that if you were to make a complete transition from Lightroom to only use Exposure X2, Exposure X2 will not automatically know about the edits that reside within the Lightroom catalog.  So even though the interfaces look similar, it does not mean it’s an instant switch to quit using Lightroom and switch fully over to Exposure X2.

As I mentioned, Exposure X2 is capable of browsing any drive or folder to view and edit images without having to use any sort of ‘import’ operation.  Its response is pretty snappy when you browse to a folder it hasn’t viewed before. Exposure X2 appears to be a well designed program, not just in its user interface, but “under the hood” with fast efficient processing of images, which you really need when you work with thousands of images.

OH and one last point. You can also use Exposure X2 as a plugin from Photoshop!  That is really cool because if you are proficient in Photoshop, you can use layers to mask in Exposure X2 effects in portions of an image or mix and blend the effects, further enhancing the value of using Exposure X2 as a handy tool in your bag of tricks along with other plugins and tools.

Check out Alien Skin Software and see if their software or plugins might be a fit for your photography workflow!



P.S.  My students get a generous 10% OFF Alien Skin Software!  Thank you Alien Skin!

Happy Photo Editing!

Kevin Gourley