Lightroom 3.3 and Camera Raw 6.3 available

Last night Adobe released the updates for Lightroom 3.3 and Camera Raw 6.3. If you have earlier versions already installed, you can update them using the internal update mechanism, or you can download them here.

These releases add new lens profiles, raw support for new camera models and a number of perfromance improvements and bug fixes. The updates are recommended for all photographers using the software.

Adobe has also released a new Lens Profile Downloader that allows you to install profiles for a wide range of SLR lenses. Lens profiles correct distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration specifically for the lens used to make the capture. For more on lens profiles and to get the downloader visit Adobe Labs.

For a full list of all the improvements offered in this upgrade click here.

Lightroom Auto Spot Removal

A recent question from a client:

“I am finding a huge dust issue from my wedding shoot. I am seeing a huge amount of little specs. I Thought my camera was clean, but maybe not. I am healing the spots away, but do you have any suggestions? I also tried to copy and paste some settings but didn’t see a difference in the images. So, I am doing them each one by one.”

My response:

“If you remove spots on one image you can then Sync Settings to apply that spot removal to the other pictures.

When you’re done cleaning up the first one, make sure it’s the only one selected either in the filmstrip or in Library Grid view.

Then select the others and click the Sync Settings button on the bottom right panel.

When the screen comes up to choose what settings you’re syncing, uncheck everything except Spot Removal.

There’s one catch making this work correctly: when you’re doing the first one, don’t move any of the spots. Let Lightroom choose the sample points automatically.

You will likely still need to go through the synced files to make sure the spot removal is good. If there is anything to be fixed you can do it to the individual photos.

This technique can save huge amounts of time once you get the hang of it.”

Lightroom Webinar this Wednesday

I’m presenting a 30-minute Lightroom webinar this Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, 6 pm Pacific. We’ll look at using the Detail panel settings for sharpening and noise reduction. Cost is only $15. Hope you’ll join us! Details and registration are at

Lightroom Export Plug-Ins

A question from a colleague: I have a question with Lightroom plug-ins. I’ve downloaded and installed several (MobileMe, PhotoShelter, Facebook, etc.) and they show up OK in the Plug-In Manager, but fail to show up in the Export dialog?

My Answer: look in the Export To: menu at the top of the Export window. You must choose the web service as the destination first. Then the options for the plug-in become available.

Learn Lightroom in Hawaii

I’m teaching a two-day Lightroom class in Hilo, Hawaii Oct 9-10. Early registration discount ends this Friday, Sep 10. Register now and save $25! Details and registration are at

Nik Software Announces New HDR Efex Pro Software

New High Dynamic Range software offers photographers a wider range of possibilities and controls

San Diego, CA – August 25th, 2010 – San Diego, CA – August 25, 2010 – Nik Software today announced HDR Efex Pro, a completely new HDR imaging toolkit designed to help photographers quickly and easily achieve the full spectrum of HDR enhancements from the realistic to artistic.

High dynamic range photography is a process in which multiple exposures are captured, aligned and merged to generate a single image that enables a much wider range of colors, highlights, and shadows. HDR techniques are typically used to enhance landscape, architectural, nighttime, and artistic photography. New HDR Efex Pro overcomes limitations in other software tools with a revolutionary all-in-one approach that enables both realistic and artistic effects to be applied within a single tool.

“HDR is one area of innovation in the evolution of photography and an area that we have been dedicated to from a research perspective for quite some time.” said Michael J. Slater, President and CEO of Nik Software. “Our focus with HDR Efex Pro has been to bring innovative and best-in-class technologies to HDR, including our unrivaled tone mapping, our proprietary U Point® technology and powerful ghost reduction, all of which have been developed specifically in response to our customers’ requests.”

Ideal for professional and amateur photographers, HDR Efex Pro provides an amazingly simple yet powerful workflow. Photographers will enjoy single-click HDR imaging with categorized style presets, precise selective fine-tuning using Nik Software’s proprietary U Point® technology, advanced alignment and ghost reduction, full access to shadow and highlight details, and new best-in-class tone mapping algorithms. Color, contrast, and vignette controls enable photographers to further enhance their images to create amazing results. Users experienced with HDR will find that HDR Efex Pro offers a complete solution that takes the genre to new levels and offers new possibilities.

With HDR Efex Pro, photographers can also create the popular and dramatic HDR look from a single image. This feature enables photographers to reprocess images in which either an exposure series was not previously shot or for subject matter that does not lend itself to multiple exposures.

A streamlined workflow and tight integration with Adobe® Photoshop®, Photoshop Lightroom®, and Apple® Aperture™, enables the creation of spectacular HDR images quickly and easily within the software tools photographers already use. HDR Efex Pro has been designed with the power and control to empower those experienced with HDR photography as well as those just entering the realm of HDR.

Key Features

  • U Point powered selective tools for fast precise enhancements of contrast, shadow, structure and saturation adjustments
  • Proprietary tone mapping technology enabling a wide range of HDR styles and capabilities
  • Powerful adjustment controls that yield multiple HDR styles from photo realistic to creative
  • Standard and custom presets organized into categories for single-click HDR imaging
  • Multiple or single exposure HDR
  • Advanced technology for automatic image alignment and reduction of subject motion artifacts known as “ghosts”
  • Integrated video-based help system including education on HDR photography techniques

Pricing and Availability

HDR Efex Pro will be available in the fourth quarter of 2010 for electronic and boxed delivery directly from Nik Software (, through specialty camera retailers, and through online and national resellers.

The suggested retail price of HDR Efex Pro is $159.95. The software will be available as a free update to those that have purchased the Nik Software Complete Collection after July 25, 2010. HDR Efex Pro installs as a 32-bit or 64-bit plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS3 through CS5, Lightroom 2.3 (or later) or Apple Aperture 2.1 (or later) and will be available for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

About Nik Software, Inc.

Nik Software, Inc. is a privately held company that develops software solutions and provides award-winning educational programs for the digital imaging and photography markets. Established in 1995, Nik Software has become the recognized leader in digital photographic filter development and produces award-winning technology and software products for digital photography and imaging professionals including U Point® technology (, HDR Efex Pro™, Dfine®, Viveza®, Color Efex Pro™, Silver Efex Pro™, and Sharpener Pro™ software. For more information visit

Lightroom Catalog Upgrades

Whenever you’re working within Lightroom, you’re working in a catalog. A Lightroom catalog contains all the information about the image files you’ve imported, as well as any adjustments you’ve made or metadata you’ve added to them. The catalog is a file residing on your hard disk; see figure below.

Lightroom Catalog Files

A catalog file is specific to the version of Lightroom that created it. For example, a Lightroom 2 catalog is different than a Lightroom 3 catalog. When you upgrade Lightroom between major versions (such as from v2 to v3) — and sometimes between “point versions” (such as from 3.0 to 3.2) — you also need to upgrade the catalog.

When you launch the new version of the program, Lightroom looks for the default (or most recent) catalog used, and if it finds an older version, you will be prompted to upgrade the catalog. You must allow this upgrade to be successfully performed before you can access your old data with the new program!

Lightroom Catalog Upgrade Dialog

During a catalog upgrade, the Lightroom installer copies your old catalog to a new file and then performs the upgrade to the copied catalog. As a result, you end up with two catalogs – one from the old version and one for the new version.

After you’ve performed a catalog upgrade and confirmed the integrity of all the data it contains, it’s imperative that you remove the old catalog(s) from your system. This will prevent accidentally opening the old catalog when you didn’t mean to.

If you have multiple catalogs from the old version of Lightroom, all of them will need to be upgraded to support the newer version, and then all the old catalogs should be deleted. (If this makes you nervous, back them up first.)

Also, at this point you should completely uninstall the old version of Lightroom.

If you ever launch Lightroom and are unexpectedly prompted to upgrade the catalog (and you haven’t just done a program upgrade)… STOP! If you’ve already upgraded this catalog, don’t do it again – you will just end up with more copies of the same catalog. One of the worst things you can do in Lightroom is work in multiple catalogs without knowing it!

You can always confirm the catalog that’s open by using the Catalog Settings command. On Mac, it’s located under the Lightroom menu at the top left of the screen. On Windows, it’s under the Edit menu.

Lightroom Catalog Settings

Getting Started with Lightroom

I’m teaching a Getting Started with Lightroom class at Boulder Digital Arts next Thursday, August 12.

This is an intro-level class for photographers new to Lightroom.

Details and registration are here.

My Lightroom 3 eBook

My new book Lightroom 3: Streamlining your Digital Photography Process is now available as an eBook through the following retailers:

I bought my copy from the second one – Diesel – and it worked out very well. The only potential problem I see is that the screen shots are somewhat low resolution, but I think all in all the publisher did a pretty good job with the eBook version.

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