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The Camera

Lesson 4 from: From Capture Through Edit Using Lightroom

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

4. The Camera

In this lesson, we discuss the important settings in your camera for capturing the best images and for making your workflow safer and easier.
Next Lesson: Perfect Exposure

Lesson Info

The Camera

Well, the first thing that we need to talk about before we ever talk about editing our photos is taking our photos. So making a good photo capture starts with some settings inside the camera. Now, this is the cannon. Us are five. I love it. It's a meaningless camera, but I don't want to specifically cover the settings on this camera. I want to talk in general about settings on all cameras. So if you don't have in our five, if you have a Nikon or a Sony or ah, Fuji or it doesn't matter what kind of camera you have, what matters is that you pull out that manual and find out how to institute some of the rules that I'm going to give you about getting a better capture your camera. And so let's talk about those right now. First, we're going to shoot in raw. If you're shooting a J peg, you are going to have far less latitude, so you're gonna you're highlights. You're gonna be too bright. Your shadow's gonna be too dark. You're gonna have really contrast images. They're not gonna be quality im...

ages. JPEG is the worst way to photograph, um at the camera, so do not use a J peg. Go to the settings in your camera and find the quality settings inside of your camera and turn that too raw. If you want to use a small raw because you're afraid of space, fine. A small raw is better than a big JPEG, but I prefer just buying a big enough card, and I have plenty of cards. So just shooting raw and I suggest shooting in the full biggest raw that you can have on your camera. In this case, it's a 45 megapixel raw image. But most cameras air somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 to 30 megapixels, and the raw images not so big that you can't deal with it. Just get yourself enough cards and shoot in wrong. Enough said. You will have a much better photograph if you shoot and wrong. And the beauty is that light room loves raw images. It could do so much more with the raw image, so that's where we're going to start. Make sure that you shoot raw. The second thing that I want to cover and this is not an absolute necessity, but it's certainly something that's really useful to me, and that is a dual cards in the camera. So in this case, I have two cards in the camera, and both of these cards are actually getting the same image on both of them. So in the camera, you're going to have a setting that allows you. If you have two cards, it allows you to record the same file. Tow both cards that way immediately. When you're done taking the picture, you have two copies of the picture. That way, if you're traveling, say you're traveling around Spain or you're traveling around Europe or maybe Europe in Alaska, photographing bears or whatever you happen to be photographing. Soon as you're done that night, you pull those two cards out and you separate them or one of them goes in a safe place, maybe in the hotel safe. Maybe it's in a back. Maybe it's under the bed, I don't know, but put it somewhere else. Separate the two files immediately. That way you have two copies. One that's on your person in the camera case on the other one is somewhere else now. When I was young and I photographed on film, I couldn't do this. And so when I was in Italy, all of my bags got stolen in the film, got stolen with it. No backups, no ability to grab the other copy of the film. And so I lost Huns of beautiful photos. That was a very sad day for me. Don't let that happen to you just because you are shooting on one card in your camera. If you have the ability, get a camera that has two cards, two cards, slots. Put two cards in it and shoot the same image to both cards at the same time. Then you'll be completely backed up. If that's not a possibility, because you have a camera with just one card. Do yourself a favor, and as soon as you're done with your photos for that evening, take the camera card out, even if it's not full and back it up. This is called a NAR box, and in our box actually has a card reader in it, so you can simply take your card out of your camera as soon as you're done shooting and you can put it into the NAR box a soon as you put it in the nahr box, it's gonna ask you if you want to back it up, you say yes, and it backs it up, and it double checks to make sure that the backup is correct. Soon, as you're done with it, you pop the card back out, and then it has a handy dandy WiFi feature in it that you can look from your phone at what's in the Nahr box just to check and make sure that everything made it into your backup solution. So this is a really easy way to back something up really quickly on the road. Then put your card back into your camera and continue shooting the next day. When you're done, pull the camera card out, put it back in, back it up. It'll only back up the next day's work. The point is, is that you need to be backed up because the last thing that you want to do is shoot a bunch of images that you love and then have corruption on the card or lose the card or someone steals the camera and you've lost the images. And quite frankly, you could do the same thing with your camera and a phone or a NY pad. If you're shooting as you're traveling and when you get home to the hotel, you can simply take that card. Put it in a card reader and plug that card reader into your phone or into an IPad and light room will do the backing up for you on a cloud. So now you don't even have to worry about things getting stolen because it's up in the cloud on your phone. It's on your camera card here, and it's in the cloud. The point is to back things up. You don't wanna lose your images and light room is the perfect tool for backing something up. There's a couple things that I think that you should be aware of on your camera that will help you be a better photographer at the camera level that will help you take better photos. First off, you're gonna have much more control if you're in manual mode. If you're not comfortable in manual mode, I totally understand that. But that's a goal to work towards so use manual when you can, because you'll have much more control over your camera and start learning how to use your hissed a gram and your highlight warnings, which you're gonna talk about Just a second, Um, but use manual whenever you can so that you have absolute control over the exposures that you're getting. And if you're not comfortable with that yet work towards it. Make it a goal. Learn how to use that manual, um, settings on your camera. Learn how to use the shutter speeds and apertures correctly, but we're going to talk mostly about the exposure that you're gonna make now in regards to manual. Some people are a little afraid of manual because conditions change and they want to be able to take a photo in the shadows and then in the highlights. And then they want to take a picture inside and then outside, and they don't wanna have to fiddle around and change their settings. And one of the things that's really useful about most modern cameras. And I think that almost every camera has something like this. I know Cannon does. I know Panasonic does. I know Sony does pretty sure Nikon does well, and that's custom settings. You will find the custom settings, usually on the dial, on the top of your camera. Eso your custom settings on the R five is digitally, but I can simply turn on the camera and push the mode button and Aiken toggle between custom one accustomed to and custom three. Having custom settings allows you to apply whatever settings you want to those custom settings, which is awesome, because now, while you're walking around and you haven't found anything interesting yet, you can kind of just look around you and see if I face the mountain. The exposure is going to generally be this, and so you get the exposure right, spend a little time on it, and then register that as a custom setting, then turn towards the sun and be like, OK, if I'm if I'm shooting towards the sun, I have to do completely different things for the exposure. So you change the settings on your camera to give you a better general feel of what it looks like shooting in the sun or towards the sun, and then you register. Those is a custom setting as well, and as you register these custom settings, then all you have to do is remember what setting is which. So generally speaking, the one that I'm gonna use the most or first is gonna be custom one than the one that I would use second or less likely to use would be accustomed to. And then the other one. The random thing would number three custom three. I happen to shoot a lot of weddings because I'm a wedding photographer. And so when I'm shooting a wedding, I have the inside of the church. If I'm looking up at the stage where the lights are and stuff, that's custom setting one, and then I could take pictures. And then as soon as I turned around into the darkened pues, that's custom setting to. And then I have a third custom settings so that when I walk out and the doors open as the bride and groom are walking out of the chapel and the doors open, the lighting changes and I make sure that I register the outside as a custom setting three so that all I have to do is just changed a custom three and I'm ready to go and it doesn't. But I'm still shooting in a manual mode, and so I get the perfect exposure based on what should be rather than just randomly hoping that my auto exposures will get it right, and because I have them on custom settings, I could get to them really fast. So get to know custom settings. If you don't know what that's like, just simply look it up in your camera's manual. Look for custom settings and learn how to apply them, set them up and then how to choose them. Now I know that the Panasonic camera, the S one, which is a fairly new camera, has, I think, 10 or 12 custom settings, and that's really cool. Cannon just has three custom settings. Eso look and see how maney custom settings you can set up and learn how to do it and make sure that you know how to do it really easily, so that you could do it whenever you want. Thio. So custom settings are a great way to make sure that you're getting really good exposures, but not having to fiddle with your exposure all the time. Just make sure that you're paying attention to which custom setting you're in. Now. When you're dealing with a mirror Elice camera, you get to actually see the exposure that's happening, and that's really cool. However, it's very important to recognize that the screen and that the Elektronik viewfinder can be brightened and darkened. And so when you're looking at your camera and your screen, and even if you're shooting on a regular DSLR when you hit, play on the image and look at it. Don't trust the screen itself. The screen itself could be too bright. It could be too dark, and it can give you a false sense of security when you have taken the photo. What you need to be looking at is the actual hissed a gram. So when you look at your photo, whether it's in a mirror list, so you're looking at it before you take the photo or after the fact. Because you're using a DSLR, make sure that you are paying attention to two things and these air settings that you need to set up. The first one is that you wanna have a version of your info. So when you're looking at an image and you hit play and you're looking at it, if you click the info button, you can cycle between different types of information and what you want to make sure that you have is you wanna make sure that you have a history Graham and the highlight exposure warnings, So make sure that you are looking at your history Graham and your highlight exposure warnings. Now my preference is a hist, a gram that has the are the G and the B levels on it red, green and blue levels. So instead of just a tone ality hissed a gram that's just kind of white and black. Look for the one that is RGB, and that's always in your setting somewhere that just says hissed a gram. Which one do you wanna look at? RGB or regular? Just tones. And so rgb gives you much more information about which colors are gonna blow out. Which colors or too dark eso. It's just more information. So set up your RGB hissed a grams. And also make sure that you toggle on your highlight warnings because your highlight warnings are going to blink at you if something is over exposed. So whenever you have a sky that's too bright or a cloud that doesn't have any information in it that is going to start blinking at you, it's gonna blink at you and tell you there's something wrong here. So make sure you turn on your highlight warnings as well. And finally, just Justus An added bonus. Some cameras have the ability for you to record audio. Or in this case, my favorite feature is, ah, little button right up here in the top left hand corner. And it's just a rating button. So as I'm looking through my photos here on my camera, say, I'm traveling and I'm taking pictures. And then while I'm having lunch, I'm kind of cycling through my photos when I see a photo that I really like. I just hit that rate button and it gives it a one star rating by giving it that one star rating. What I've done is I've applied a meta tag in the photo itself, So when that photo is sent, toe light room, light room will see that star, and so I can simply search inside of light room for the one star rating. And now I'll have all of the images that I thought were interesting while I was shooting them at the camera level makes it easier for me to find photos that I was looking for rather than having to search through them. So pay attention to that. If your camera has the ability to add a star rating to your images, use it because light room will then use it after the fact, and it'll just help you be more efficient. So those are some of the settings that you want to get to know on your specific camera. So if you if some of those were foreign to you before you go on to the next lesson, grab your camera and your manual and try and figure out where those settings are and get familiar with him and set him up and then we'll see you on the next lesson.

Class Materials

1. Lightroom Presets and Profiles

JP Color Pro

2. RAW Images To Follow Along With


3. Lightroom Creative Cloud Schematic

Lightroom Creative Cloud

Ratings and Reviews

Teresa Piccioni

Great great great class: Jarett explains the Lightroom workflow clearly and thoroughly. I am not a native English person and my English is quite poor but Jarett explains in a very simply and clearly way everything and I understand all chapters perfectly. Thanks guys, great job. I highly recommend this lesson to everybody,


I have watched each and everyone of Jared's classes on Creative Live and they are first class. I've waited a long time for a new one and now we have it and it's another gem. This is a wonderful overview of Lightroom and will repay watching sections (or all of it) several times to absorb the wealth of information presented. For anyone new to Lightroom, this is just what the doctor ordered.

Bess Palmer

Great class. So informative with just the right amount of practical examples combined with clear theory. He speaks clearly, confidentially and calmly so it was easy to follow him. I watched the whole 8 hours straight through

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