Aug 31, 2006

The Making of the Lightroom DVD

Michael Reichmann of The Luminous Landscape has released his second Lightroom Video Tutorial DVD featuring Michael and myself (Jeff Schewe) with discussions about Lightroom and tutorials on how to use Lightroom Beta 3. The DVD is available for $14.99 directly from the web site and is available to regular Video Journal subscribers for $5.00 off.

The DVD was shot in June at Michael’s “little cottage in the country” (well, that’s how he described it to me when he invited me). Chris Sanderson, the regular videographer for the Video Journal, taped Michael and I (and served double duty being head chef for dinners). The following is a photo story outlining the shoot. Note: it only has a bit of content regarding Lightroom but has more than a bit of humor mixed in with the photos.

The trip to the country started just after the Toronto Epson Print Academy in early June, 2006. I had ridden my motorcyle to Toronto so I just hopped on the bike for the short trip to Michael’s house in the city.

Micael’s city house is a cute little duplex in a quiet section of downtown Toronto (with the added advantage of having a Starbucks just up the road).

When I knocked on the front door, it was Michael’s dogs who greeted me..

After a quick stop at a wine store (and a Starbucks) we were off to the country.

The “country cottage” is about two hours north of Toronto by car. Michael, Chris and I talked about the DVD shoot on the way.

From the road to the cottage, you really can’t see much of anything except for trees.

The day was brilliant with puffy white clouds and a north woodsie smell in the air.

Ok, the “country cottage” turned out to be a bit more than just a cottage. More like a country estate to me.

From the main deck you can see the western exposure across the lake.

I noticed a single hammock hanging in what Michael calls the “pizza hut”. He explained what it meant, but I don’t remember.

All around the grounds are reminders of Michael’s dogs; it’s the theme of the place.

Sitting around on the deck, we discussed the DVD shoot while sipping on some Canadian brew.

Chris is particularly easy to amuse.

And can be rather amusing himself. It makes for a good traveling partnership as I found out when we all traveled down to Antarctica last December.

Of course, as photographers, Michael and I had to shoot each other, shooting each other (left). The required “chimping” (right).

The shot I got of Michael (he hasn’t shown me the shot he did of me).

The afternoon was getting on but the light was just getting “interesting”.

I wandered into the livingroom to check out what Michael was up to. He was checking the forums on his web site. At the time he only had dialup but just recently got broadband after a two year struggle.

Chris was in the kitchen preparing food (left) while I was making the wine selection.

Michael was out getting the “barbie” prepared to layout the steaks.

With nothing else to do, I wandered around looking at the “cottage”…

…and finding something to shoot.

Michael declared the steaks done and started carving.

A nice meal, which I heartily enjoyed, which was good because that’s what I was working for; wine and meals (I didn’t get paid to appear on the DVD).

The light was wonderful as was the meal.

The wine wasn’t bad either. Seems Canada can get really, really good Australian wine for even less that what we can get it for in the US.

A self-timer, self-portrait.

Post sunset glow.

Left, Chris checks out some video equipment online. Right, Chris grabs my camera to shoot me.

The next morning we set up in the “pizza hut” to shoot the intro. Chris likes to shoot multi-camera to allow for more editorial flexibility.

Michael and I “engaging” (eyes to camera) during the intro.

Made ya look! I’m not at all sure what Michael and Chris were looking at. I think Chris was listening carefully to the sound track of the just recorded intro and I guess Michael just had to look up as well.

Back in the house, Michael and I set up our laptops in preparation for the actual video tutorials.

Chris has set up a single camera in front with his typical “waiting for Michael look” on his face. After spending a lot of time with Chris and Michael on the road, I gotta tell you it’s like hanging out with an old married couple constantly harping at each other. But like any good, long lasting relationship there is a real affection (as well as periods of irritation).

Micheal rehearses one of his sessions. We were using Snapz Pro to capture screen shot movies to edit into the final video. I earned my nickname “one take Schewe” again while Michael usually took two.

Here I snapped a quick shot while I was saving my captured movie.

Chris had set up two over the shoulder cameras to catch screen action to intercut with the face shots and the screen shots. At the time of this writing, I haven’t actually seen the final edit which runs 2.5 hours.

At the end of the taping, Michael brought up a special Windows version of Lightroom that George had given us in the off chance we thought we could use it. Michael was running a MacBook Pro with Parallels running Windws XP.

We ran through the functions of the then very early Win Beta 3 and decided that we would not actually try to shoot anything with it. Even the final Win Beta 3 was rough and this early build was even rougher.

When we got done shooting, we decided to do a little run down to the boat house (the actual “cottage on the lake”) to jump in the water.

Chris actually shot us going down to the lake and Michael and I jumping in.

To the best of my knowledge, the swimming actually made it into the end of the DVD. Yes, it was cold…but very refreshing.

Post taping relaxation with Michael and Chris and some more Canadian brew.

“Have another?” Why, yes, Chris, thanks!

After the dip and drink, Michael decided to take out the boat for a cruise of the lake.

Michael’s little “cottage in the country” from the waterfront.

The lake system is extensive and compared to the lakes around Chicago, virtually empty at this early part of the boating season.

The main lake, Lake Muskoka, winds around and includes many islands and miles of shoreline. It flows into Lake Huron but boats must be drawn out of the water and moved to get back and forth.

On the left, a stately old lake boat from one of the B&B’s and on the right, Mr. Chris sitting in the stern seat.

One of the smallest islands actually has a small cabin on it. I’m not sure what the anchor was for, I presume the island doesn’t actually drift.

I don’t know where Chris got the pinwheel but he seemed to really enjoy himself, until he caught some bugs in the teeth.

Returning to the boathouse.

Michael keeps the boat in the boathouse which also includes a two bedroom apartment on the top floor. Useful for when visitors come (with children).

Back to check into the forums…

At the end of the day, the light was a glorious golden glow.

Sunset #2.

After a tough day of taping (we had started about 10:00AM and ended taping about 4:30pm) we sat around the livingroom drinking vino before turning in.

The next morning Michael and Chris had to shoot a print discussion for the Video Journal. Chris set up his unique dual camera on a single tripod rig. That way he can shoot a wide and a tight shot at the same time.

Michael sitting on the deck discussing prints from images he made shooting in California with Bill Atkinson and Charles Cramer. Michael has written about the trip in his article Measuring Megabytes The Great Luminous Landscape 2006 State-of-The-Art Shootout.

Chris does an over-the-shoulder take of Michael holding the prints and shuffling them to cut into the two-shot they’ve already taped.

After packing up we hopped into the car for the trip back to Toronto.

Back in Toronto. I had parked my bike in Michael’s garage and after packing, left for the trip to Thomas Knoll’s house in Ann Arbor where I stayed the night before riding back to Chicago the following day.

As a footnote, all the images above were processed through Lightroom Beta 3 for Mac with final processing through Photoshop CS2′s Save For Web automate plug-in in a Photoshop Batch process. 

About the DVD:
A new 2 1/2 hour DVD-Video
Ships 1st week of Sept.’06

The DVD includes 2 hours of video tutorial & a half hour interview recorded at Adobe in San Jose, CA with Mark Hamburg, Lightroom’s principal architect and George Jardine, Adobe’s Pro Photography evangelist. Learn about the origins of Lightroom (aka Shadowland) and its position in the Photoshop universe.

The Tutorial is divided into 22 Chapters in which Michael & Jeff Schewe take an in-depth look at Adobe’s next-generation image processing and management software: Adobe Lightroom Beta

Find out more about this intriguing new product.

1. About this disk: What’s on it? How do I find it?
2. Introduction: What is Lightroom? Why not Photoshop? It’s about workflow!
3. Import from CF Card: Copy or refer to files? Backup, where to put files. Naming, Directory segment. Shoot name. MetaData, IPTC Information. Keywords. Shoots vs. Collections
4. Keywords: Keyword detail & ‘granularity’. Hierarchical Keywords
5. HD Import: Copy or refer to files? Where to put files? Segmenting by folder.
6. Watch Folder: Auto-import, Naming, Develop Settings, Ignore camera naming
7. Module Overview: Basic Lightroom architecture: Library, Develop, Slideshow, Print, Web. The Filmstrip, Panels. Library views. Lights out mode
8. Navigation & HotKeys: Tab Key, F key views, Menus, Help, 5 Rules, Keyboard shortcuts, advantages of modularity
9. Develop Overview: Camera Raw pipeline, adjustments, presets, crop
10. Slideshow Overview: Selection in Library, Templates, Preview, Settings
11. Print Overview: Templates or Layouts, ‘Pages’, Save Setup into a Template, Bypass Print dialog
12. Web Overview: Selection in Library, Settings, Identity plate, Save files, Preview in browser, Flash animation support
13. File Export: Destination, renaming, format, Color space, size & resolution, Batch raw conversion, working with Photoshop
14. Library Drilldown: Quick Develop, batch adjustment on import, Keywords, metadata, compare & ranking
15. Develop Drilldown: Basic. White Balance & Exposure, Before & After comparison, Tone Curves in Lightroom vs. Camera Raw, History
16. Grayscale Mixer: Auto, change tonal (colour blend) relationships, presets, tone curve adjustments
17. Split Toning: for B&W, for color shadows & highlights
18. HSL Colour Tuning: selective colour Adjustments by Hue, Saturation & Luminance
19. Crop & Straighten: straighten commands, aspect ratio constraint
20. Print: Contact Sheets – layout adjustment, use of previews for printing, PDFs
21. Layout & Profiles: layout: cells & grids, margins, templates, colour management & profiles, profile list management, render intent, sharpening
22. Conclusion: What’s next?, new Betas, shipping product? development? Speed?

Viewers may also search for specific topics using a further detailed index by module.

8 Responses to “The Making of the Lightroom DVD”

  1. Tony Bonanno Says:

    Geesh, that was one of the most entertaining photo logs I’ve seen in awhile Jeff. Nice “cottage” to be hanging out at too :-) . Seriously, its neat to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of you guys in action. Thanks for putting it together and posting it ..

  2. pierre.courtejoie Says:

    With all due respect, Jeff, Tuborg is not a Canadian Brew ;)

  3. rdonson Says:

    Jeff, if the video is as good as your insights in the LR beta forums or your excellent story telling here then I’ll be getting a copy. :-)

  4. chrissand Says:

    Tsk, tsk . . .

    It’s Grolsch – from Holland

    check out the cute popping bottles at – re-sealable don’tcha know – although quite why anyone would is beyond me

  5. chrissand Says:

  6. pierre.courtejoie Says:

    Sorry, I was speaking about the can…

  7. uncoy Says:

    Very nice photostory. I am most impressed with Chris handling all that shooting on his own, especially with cranky old Michael Reichmann.Certainly I would have to side with the videographer here. Astounding amount of Sony equipment on the video side, considering M. Reichmann’s Canon bias.I am much more inclined to order a luminous landscape DVD having seen this photostory. Nice to see how and where Michael Reichmann is living in T.O. I thought he lived in an industrial loft from which he shoots that same damn photo of the Royal York Hotel every week.

  8. MDJAK Says:

    I am a long time subscriber to the Video Journal and truly enjoy its content. I always look forward to receiving my next issue.

    Can you please identify the make and model of Michael’s car? It looks like my VW Touareg, but I’m not sure.


    PS: Great photoshoot.

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