Lightroom 5

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Lightroom

Last week Adobe released a beta of Lightroom 5 and over the weekend I downloaded it to work with some of the new features.  Of particular interest to me are the advanced healing brush paint feature and the radial filter.  Both of these tools take existing LR features and make them a bit easier to use and more effective.


The Western Pacific heritage unit leads Union Pacific’s M-PTFI (Portland Lake Yard to Fife) train off the Columbia River drawbridge at Vancouver, Wa.

In this image I used the advanced healing brush to remove a few power lines which intersected the locomotive in an odd way.  The brush worked just like the former healing feature but instead allowed me to select an irregular shape.  Like with the healing brush LR picked a spot elsewhere in the image to replace my selection and “poof” the poorly placed power lines disappeared.  The brush was fairly easy to use though I found I really wanted the ability to add to an existing selection since I was less than perfect doing my initial painting.

Next I used the radial filter to lay over the locomotive and work the brightness of the cloudy sky down.  I let the radial filter hold the original exposure setting I chose and then I adjusted the surrounding area by reducing the brightness of the highlights and the overall exposure.  The result is the sky and locomotive are more balanced toward the reality of the moment.  The radial filter works great though I see a few artifacts surrounding items outside the selection.  I’m sure that will be tuned up prior to the final release.

I used the lens correction “Upright” feature to have LR rotate and align my image.  From what I can see it did a decent job with the Auto setting.  This looks as if it will really make the alignment of an image a quick job.

These new features are not necessarily earth shattering however adding them to Lightroom again reduces the amount of time spend on my images to make them look great.  Sure, it is still up to me as the photographer to get the best capture I can but these tools allow me a bit more flexibility to tune my capture quickly.   I think an already great product is about to get just a bit better.  Thanks Adobe!


Your Heritage Is Showing

Sunday morning a UP crew brought a couple of locomotives to Vancouver for the O-VWWO empty dirty dirt train.  One unit in the consist was UP 6231, a former Southern Pacific unit, still in “patched” form.  The  crew dumped the power off on the tail track and promptly headed for Muchas Gracias for a mid-morning Mexican food treat.  The railfans of course swarmed like flies on … ahhhh … well … an SP painted locomotive.  Not to be outdone I captured a few images myself.

Built in May 1995 this locomotive is definitely used.  The nearly 17 year old paint is showing signs of all this unit has been through.  The scar on the side indicates it has had the standard GE fuel leak and subsequent fire.  The rust and faded paint show just how long something which sits outside its entire life will remain painted.  Of course the appearance of a locomotive is not what moves the train.

Most interestingly its heritage is showing.  Scarlet and gray paint colors and speed lettering (albeit not an original SP item) shout “SOUTHERN PACIFIC”.  The patch does little to hide the locomotive’s SP heritage.