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Lightroom Tips & Tricks: Drool-Worthy Features in the Lightroom 2 Beta

Article Description

Chris Orwig is excited about some of the new features that will come with Lightroom version 2. This preview from the beta should get your heart pumping.

The release of Lightroom version 1 swept through the photographic community like a gust of spring air. It was seen as a viable and refreshing solution that counteracted many of the problems photographers faced in their day-to-day tasks. Well, it just got better. The Lightroom 2 beta is here, and it’s faster, stronger, and more functional. Enjoy these tips that will get you up to speed with a few of the new features.

Crop and Frame

The Lens Corrections panel was introduced in Lightroom (and Adobe Camera Raw) to help photographers deal with specific problems when shooting with wide-angle lenses. While this feature definitely helped photographers, many people used this feature for pretty creative purposes, such as darkening the corners to keep the focus in the middle of the frame. The only problem was that that trick didn’t work when the images were cropped.

This problem is solved in the Lightroom 2 beta with the Post-Crop sliders in the Vignettes panel (see Figure 1). Here’s how it works:

  1. Press the R key to select the Crop Overlay tool.
  2. Drag the control handles to set your crop; then double-click inside the crop area to apply the crop.
  3. Press Command-6 (PC: Ctrl-6) to open the Vignettes panel.
  4. Drag the Post-Crop Amount slider to a negative number to darken the corners; use a positive number to brighten the corners.
  5. Finally, move the Midpoint slider to a negative number to bring the effect toward the middle of the cropped area, or move to a positive number to push the effect out toward the edge of the cropped area.
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