I've Been Everywhere Dennis Daubney – Photography, Graphic Design, and Organic Living

8Oct/090

Great Donationware Plugin for Lightroom 2 – LR2/Mogrify

If you use Adobe Lightroom 2 to process your images, there are a number of plugins available to assist your workflow. Timothy Armes of Photographer's Toolbox is the official distributor of a number of helpful Lightroom plugins. Mogrify LR2 is a very useful donationware plugin. This plugin primarily is for processing the image as it is being exported. You can add watermarks, borders, text annotation, resize the image, or sharpen, amongst other things.

Photographer's Toolbox provides easy to follow installation instructions. Mogrify utilizes ImageMagick(an open source image modification software) to help process the images during export. Windows users will need to install this manually before installing Mogrify. Mac users have the luxury of having ImageMagick already built into their plugin version.

I use this plugin because I wanted to add a customized watermark to images that I put online. Lightroom can add a copyright watermark, but the ability to customize this function is lacking. With Mogrify, you can add a completely customizable watermark, even a graphical image such as a logo. You can scale your watermark to the size of your image and position it how ever and how often you like.

From my painting with light evening

From my painting with light evening - Outside Border + Watermark

Like I mentioned Mogrify is a donationware plugin so it basically is a trial version until you give a donation and receive a serial number via email. Otherwise, there is a limit to ten images per export. Adding the serial # will take off this restriction. I'd recommend giving this plugin a go  then donate so you can unlock their full potential.

Along with Mogrify, there are additional plugins such as Enfuse, which is a multi-exposure blending tool for creating HDR images. There are also tools for exporting images directly from Lightroom to a blog or gmail, as well as create web galleries.

Timothy Armes also maintains a blog, which is great for finding news on some of the latest tweaks to his plugins, as well as some great posts on photography in general.

1Oct/090

Long Exposure Photography – Painting With Light

Alone Under the Moonlight

Alone Under the Moonlight

Last night, I spent some time doing some long exposure photography that I have been waiting to do for a while. The moon was right and the sky was clear. My horses and the landscape were the subjects of this experiment.

Goodnight Oak

Goodnight Oak

I also took some photos inside the old barn where the horses stay. This is probably the last couple months the horses shall live in this 30-40+ year old stable, so I wanted to document all it's weathered character, before they move to a new stable.

Spirit

Spirit

I used a technique called "painting with light", in order to create particular highlights where I wished. This technique is simple. You'll need your camera, tripod, cable release or set your camera on timer mode, plus a flashlight(or car headlights, or other means of lighting the scene - be creative). Figure out a base exposure that will keep your shadows dark. Most of my exposures averaged 30 seconds @ f18-22. I probably would have done longer exposures at a lower ISO, if I had a cable release.

During the exposure turn on your light source and shine it quickly on the areas you wish to highlight. This may take some trial and error to get it looking right. The more even you paint the light on, the smoother the image will appear. If you paint wildly, it will look like a raver swinging glow sticks at a nightclub.

Dappled Light

Dappled Light