Brian Lovelace | Los Angeles & Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer | Editing Tricks
Brian Lovelace is a Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer. Born & raised in the Santa Barbara area, Brian has always known
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Editing Tricks

Over the past few months I’ve griped many times about Adobe Lightroom Classic CC being slow, almost to the point of it being unusable. After trial and error, I’ve figured out a workflow that is fast, efficient and makes my projects get finished in a timely manner without me wanting to throw my computer out of a window.

The first thing you need to do is analyze your computer. What are the specs you are starting with and what are things that you can do to improve performance? Are you using an external Hard Drive? Is your internal drive an SSD or a Hard Disk? How much RAM does your computer have access to? Do you have a quality graphics processor?

Here were my specs before optimizing my workflow.

Core i7 7700k (4-core 4GHz clock)
32GB of DDR4 @3200MHz
Nvidia GTX1070 OC Graphics Card
512GB 3.5″ SSD connected by SATA
24TB External Storage connected by USB 3.0

Looking at this, you might think that this should be just fine for editing photos in Lightroom. From an overall perspective, it should be, but it comes down to workflow, and optimizing components in your system for your workflow. What I found in my rig was that data transfer was the bottleneck in my system. I found myself editing off of my external Hard Disks instead of from internal components. This was huge for causing sluggishness, especially since Lightroom is constantly Reading and Writing Data simultaneously, which traditional Hard Disks cannot do very effectively. The fix for this issue was to move my catalogs and photos in the catalog onto internal storage that was SSD based. After trying this out, I saw an improvement but wondered if I could take it a step further.

This leads to understanding what components that you can upgrade to improve performance. After looking at my motherboard, I found that my board supports NVMe SSD drives. If you think of your data transfer inside of your computer as a city, NVMe drives are the expressways while anything connected with SATA or USB are like city streets. NVMe SSDs allow for data to get rushed via PCI-e through the processor almost instantaneously. After perusing Amazon and reading reviews, I settled on a 500GB Samsung Evo 960 NVMe SSD which has read speeds of 3500MB/sec and write speeds of 2500MB/sec vs 480-600MB/sec on USB 3.0 and SATA. That’s up to 6X the speed! This means that Lightroom can easily read and write to the drive without any bottlenecks in sight. If you can’t add an NVMe drive, just make sure you’re editing off of any internal drive since SATA is still much faster than USB 3.0. After doing this, it was all about optimizing my workflow.

These are the steps that I take after each shoot to ensure that my Lightroom workflow is optimized for speed.

1. Make sure your Lightroom preferences are set to use your graphics card and that editing with Smart Previews is turned on.

2. Make sure there’s space for your photo session on your computer’s internal hard drive or SSD. If there isn’t room, clear up room by backing up or cleaning up files you don’t need anymore.

3. Create a new Catalog for (each) new shoot.

4. Import your photos onto your internal drive. Optionally, convert to DNG. At the top right of the import window, select Previews “Embedded and Sidecar”, under that check the box that says “Build Smart Previews.” Start the import process… This can take a while due to heavy processing, especially if you’re converting to DNG.

5. Once it’s done importing (and converting to DNG, if applicable), back up your imported photos to your external hard drive(s) for safe keeping.

6. Start editing and enjoy the speed!

7. When you’re done editing, copy your catalog folder onto your external drive(s) for safe keeping.

8. Delete the catalog and photos off of your internal drive once you’re certain you’re sufficiently backed up to other locations.

If you need to go back to older catalogs and shoots, make sure you just copy the folder with both the photos and the catalog back to your internal drive and start editing again. Make sure you archive your catalog again once you’re done and you’ll be set!

I really hope this helps you speed up your workflow. If I helped you out or have any questions, feel free to reach out and tell me of your successes on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc!

 

Here is an example of an engaging digital advertisement that I created using a combination of Photoshop & Permiere Pro. Since the most engaging aspect of the image is the sparkling, our marketing agency decided to exaggerate it with a light, and take multiple photos and make a gif out of it. From there I cut it out, and applied it out and put it on a color background to make it pop. For this engagement, the customer has been running a campaign called “Freak the Fest Out” to promote clothing to wear to festivals like Coachella and others. The content was delivered over multiple platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat. The average engagement increased and generated greater than usual commentary.

So a while ago I posted a tutorial on how I use MIDI2LR on my PC to help speed up my workflow. While anyone could technically follow the video and install MIDI2LR, it wasn’t exactly a simple process for MAC users since I was only demonstrating on a PC. Now I have created a tutorial that shows exactly how Mac users can set up the Behringer X-Touch Mini Midi Controller exactly as I have. Check out the video below.

 

 

If you haven’t seen my video on how I use MIDI2LR to control Lightroom using two Behringer X-Touch Mini Midi controllers, you can check that video out here:

 

 

Learn to set up one or more Behringer X-Touch Mini controllers to interface with Lightroom in a similar fashion to the Pfixer Mini setup. Check out the YouTube video below for more information.

 

Thanks for checking out my video! I forgot to mention it in the video, but I have also included a PSD of the controller overlay that I created so you can tweak it to your own needs! I just printed it on sticker paper and cut out the design with an exacto knife and a straight edge.

Link to all software/profiles: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByDNbbCIn25ScEpDZnBxX1A3dUU

Behringer X-Touch Mini: http://amzn.to/2id7jmH

If you have any questions about setting up your controller, feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me on any of my social media outlets!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brianlovelacephotography/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/blovelace
Email: [email protected]

If you have any suggestions or comments for the MIDI2LR app, I strongly suggest that you join the Google Group for the program here: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/midi2lr

Hey there everybody, I know in the last post I did that I talked a lot about how I edit my studio fashion images. Unfortunately this was all talk and not see. If you are more of a visual learner, I took the time to put together a long and in-depth video tutorial on how I edit these images. Please feel free to check out the video below and let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment on YouTube, shooting me an email, or giving me a comment on my other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Thanks for taking the time to view my content!

Here is the before and after of the shot.

Here’s a closeup to see how we’ve enhanced our model’s face.