Adobe Lightroom Three – Whats New Videos

With the release of Adobe Lightroom three slowly inching closer (it is coming, right… Adobe?) Adobe has some useful ‘Whats New’ videos to help existing Lightroom users get quickly up to speed with new functionality, workflow enhancements etc..

To date I have resisted the temptation to download the Lightroom 3 Beta V1 or V2. The idea of working with BETA software is not very appealing to me, nor are the potential implications for merging BETA and full release version catalogues. However, I really like the new enhancements that have been added by Adobe into Lightroom 3 and am eagerly awaiting the full release. Unfortunately, there is still no mention of soft proofing being added into a 3.0 release; which means still having to round trip through Photoshop to soft proof the image and choose an appropriate rendering intent for the printer. I do hope Adobe adds in this key feature as Lightroom cannot truly be the ultimate tool for photographers from ‘input to output’ without soft proofing capability. Soft proofing is far more important to me as a photographer than the ability to directly upload my photographs from Lightroom to websites such as Flickr.

Wildlife Portraits Project – Snow Leopard

The third photograph in my 2010 Wildlife Portraits Project is a of a Snow Leopard in profile. Probably my favourite of the big cats for its cute factor alone; I have had several attempts over the years to get a good photograph of a Snow Leopard. Unfortunately, they have not eventuated  for various reasons; usually because the Leopard was in hiding or at least partially obscured. The Melbourne Zoo enclosure for the Snow Leopard is not what I would call photographer friendly (or even Leopard friendly for that matter) with its thick bars and dense undergrowth it presents a challenge requiring a degree of patience (and luck). This photograph was one of the last I took for the day as the light was fading. I like it very much for the clean overall profile and the keen glare in the Leopard’s eye.

Snow Leopard in Profile

Photographing the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in Iceland

As time ticks past and the volcanic eruption in Iceland continues I am becoming ever so slightly more confident that I just might get my chance to photograph this spectacular natural event when I arrive in late July this year – all fingers are still crossed. Irish photographer Peter Cox has recently returned from the eruption site and has written a short essay on how best to photograph the eruption – available on the Luminous Landscape. Thanks Peter! Your essay is very timely and appreciated.

There is also an interesting short essay on a Reuters photographers experience photographing the eruption – specifically on freezing the lightning that is created from the ash particles rubbing together.

Wildlife Portraits Project – Persian Leopard

I have been doing a bit of wildlife photography lately as a sort of personal side project – some of it stalking real wild animals and some of it in zoos and wildlife parks with more exotic animals. Its a sort of precursor to a possible African photographic trip next year and I thought it might be a good idea to see just what sort of wildlife photographs I can make before embarking on such a trip. I plan to post a new Wildlife Portraits Project photograph once a week or so before I leave for Iceland in July. At which time I should have compiled a small wildlife portrait portfolio to reflect on.

Zoo and Nature Park photography has some fairly unique challenges that set it well apart from photographing animals in the wild; but ultimately, one needs lots of patience and a little bit of luck for both types of animal photography. I have written briefly on this subject before in a previous post – Wild Times with the Lions.

This second photograph in my Wildlife Portraits Project is of a one-eyed Persian Leopard. I just happened by sheer coincidence to be walking past the exhibit as the keeper was preparing the Leopard’s dinner. I used the Canon 300mm F2.L IS lens wide open at F2.8 to throw the bars completely out of focus and make them effectively invisible. It was just starting to rain and light levels were quite low so even at ISO400 I could only get a shutter speed of 1/200th of a second (handheld with the help of the inbuilt image stabilisation); but its still tack sharp where it counts.

'One Eye' Persian Leopard