Category: Design, Graphics, and Technology


Ladies and Gentlemen I present you…

Adobe Lightroom

For those of you who don’t know Adobe Photoshop is one of the top image editing and digital painting programs.  There’s basically nothing it can’t do…or at least I haven’t found it yet.  I have grown so accustomed to it that I use it for even the most minute touch-ups on my personal photos.  The kicker…I probably know only about 60% of it’s full capabilities.  All these wonderful abilities come at a price though.  With a pricetag of around $1,300 it’s not a purchase the average person is going to throw money at.  For most people photo editing is all they’ll ever need…cropping, resizing, small touch-ups, color adjustment, and getting rid of red-eye is all they’ll ever need.  Well, for $300 instead of $1,300 you can get a brand new copy of Adobe Lightroom and have a professional quality image editing program at your disposal.

Fortunately there’s even a beta test version available for free download in preparation for them to release Lightroom 3.  However, it’s only available for a limited time until the full version is released.  My advice…go download it now and fool around with it until the full version is released.  By then you’ll know whether something like this is right for you.  You can find the Lightroom beta at…

Adobe Lightroom 3 Public Beta

I only really fooled around with the program for a couple of hours but came away impressed.  There’s a lot I haven’t messed with, but as far as basic image correction it’s a winner.  It can really improve your photos to a professional level quickly and is very intuitive to use.  Simply import a group a pictures and begin editing them with easy to use sliders and toggles.  When you’re finished you can just export them to another folder and you have a finished project.  Take a look below at some before and after images of some very quick adjustments I made to a couple of my photos.  I really only played with the white and black points and the vividness and clarity.  Not a ton considering what this program looks like it can do.  I really love the color that it brings out and the vividness the whole picture gets.

Click for a larger image.

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Every year on a weekend in mid May the Chino Airport and Planes of Fame Museum put on a terrific and very unique air show.  Although featuring several modern military planes it’s focus are noteworthy, unique, and in some cases one of a kind planes from history that you will actually get to see in the air.  There’s not many places where you will get to see 10 P-51 Mustangs racing by overhead or watch a Japanese Zero get chased by a F4U Corsair.  Anyone who appreciates aviation and has an affinity for history will sure have a good time.

Having so many old planes also lends itself to some interesting photography.  Thanks to Terri I had a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a 100-300mm telephoto lens (among others) that was able to get me much closer than my own little Powershot would ever let me.  I also don’t claim to be an Adobe Photoshop expert but love to experiment with it and get to use it quite a bit at work.  Do I use it a lot?  Yes.  Do I know everything about it?  Hardly.  Below I included the before and after photos.  Click image for a larger format.

Parked P-51 Mustangs

Digitally erased the modern runway signs and the powerlines.  Increased the contrast and reset the black level.  Changed to a duotone mode to add a sepia feel for an “old time” feel.

P-51 Mustang Flight Line

Digitally erased the modern runway signs and powerlines.  Zoomed and cropped the photo.  Increased the contrast, reset the black level, and played with the color balance in the sky and background.

B-17 Flying Fortress in Flight

Zoomed and cropped the photo.  Increased the contrast and reset the black level.

F4U Corsair Before Takeoff

Digitally erased the modern runway signs and powerlines.  Increased the contrast and reset the black level.  Changed to a duotone mode to add a sepia feel and added a vertical grain filter for an “old time” feel.

P-38 Lightnings in Formation

Zoomed and cropped the photo.  Digitally moved the second P-38 into frame and closer to the first.  Increased the contrast and reset the black level.

N-9M Flying Wing in Flight

Only one in the world.  Believe it or not this plane is from 1942 and is the precursor to the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Zoomed and cropped the photo.  Increased the contrast, reset the black level, and color balanced the sky to make it a brighter and more vivid blue.

P-51 Mustangs in Formation

Zoomed and cropped the photo.  Increased the contrast and reset the black level.  Changed to a grayscale mode to add a B&W feel for an “old time” feel.

Of course I took plenty of other pictures…these were just the few I chose to work with…for now.