ACD Systems Blog

Focusing on Fall Foliage

2012-11-19 23:57:23 GMT

In many parts of the world, autumn is a time of (fleeting) natural beauty. It can hard to capture the transient vibrancy of the colored leaves before they shrivel, fall off and give way to winter and a wholly different kind of seasonal allure. But what are the best techniques for translating the bright hues that you see into a photograph?

Second only to finding that perfect location with lots of color contrasts, lighting is a very important place to start when composing that perfect fall shot. It is generally agreed that when shooting at this time of year, there are two kinds of lighting that make the most of the atmosphere. The first is to shoot on an overcast day because it allows for soft, even lighting. Lighting may be cool and bluish, and therefore require some white balance adjusting, but the shadows are still softer on overcast days and the sun isn’t washing out the colors.

The second is during the half hour before sunset, when everything is painted in a golden light, because it creates warm, saturated colors. In this setting, your main goal is to preserve the color of the light, which can be done by making sure you position your white balance at a daytime setting. Alternately, you may want to slightly turn up the color temperature.

An additional technique involves ever-so-slightly underexposing your shots to give them a subtly deeper saturation. This, along with white balance and other touches, can be always be managed in post processing using ACDSee Pro 6 or ACDSee 15’s handy, comprehensive lighting and color tools.

Another way to handle saturation is by utilizing a polarizer. For the most effective use, aim the polarizer at 90 degrees to the sunlight. This will cut glare.

Lastly, don’t forget to include compositional elements in your fall photos. Many photographers become too consumed with the leaves and forget to consider balance, focus, shapes, depth, and the various other elements that go into a well-composed photo.

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Do You Want to Go Faster? Using Keyboard Shortcuts to Accelerate your ACDSee Pro 5 Workflow

2012-02-01 23:02:00 GMT

Pro 5’s browser-based operation already makes it the fastest photography management software out there, but do you want to go faster? Here are some ACDSee Pro 5 keyboard shortcuts that can speed up your workflow even more when you’re working in View and Manage modes.

  1. Ctrl-K will take you to the IPTC Keywords field in the property pane - letting you type in your keywords (the field uses auto-complete to save you time). Upon hitting Enter, the keywords are embedded into the file and focus is returned back to the file list, allowing you to select another group of images and repeat the process without needing to lift your hands from the keyboard. This works for selections of multiple images as well - saving you tons of time compared to earlier versions of Pro (this only works in in Pro 4 and up).

  2. If you would rather use the ACDSee Keywords instead of IPTC, you can follow the same workflow using the Alt-K keyboard shortcut. Using the ACDSee Keywords has the advantage of saving you the effort of embedding multiple keywords into a file over and over again since setting information into the database is very quick. This is especially helpful if you’re working on a large number of files. These keywords can then be transferred into IPTC if you’d like to use a metadata preset (see Point 4 below).

  3. If you need to insert unique captions/info to each of your images, you can use the Pg-Down (and **Pg-Up) shortcut in Manage mode and View mode. Select the first image in your file list, open the property pane and enter info into any field you wish. Instead of hitting Enter, just press Pg-Down. This will automatically embed the metadata in the file and change your file selection to the next image while at the same time keeping focus on the same field in the property pane, having it ready for your input once again. Simply put, you just type in your caption, hit Pg-Down, and then type in the caption for the next image.

  4. To save you even more time setting metadata into your images use Metadata Presets to fill in common data you use on each of your images. More information about creating metadata presets can be found in Pro 5’s “Help” file or in the downloadable User Guide found on the Pro 5 Support Page. Then, once you have your set of commonly used presets put together, take the one you use most frequently and set it to the Ctrl+M shortcut using the ‘arrow’ button in the top right corner of the metadata preset dialog. If you use the shortcut in Point 2 (above), then you’ll probably want to create a metadata preset that pulls the ACDSee Keywords and moves them into the IPTC Keywords field. Do this by choosing the 'Insert Metadata…’ command found by hitting the arrow button next to the IPTC Keyword field. Choose the Keyword field from ACDSee Metadata section in the tree, and then save the changes to the preset.

  5. You can use the Tab key (and Shift-Tab) to move from field to field in the Properties Pane, entering data as you see fit, before applying the metadata to the image.

A little time spent learning and mastering these keywording and tagging shortcuts will let you reap huge benefits in terms of reducing the time you spend processing images.

Note: Just in case you were looking for a reason to upgrade to the latest version of ACDSee Pro, these shortcuts don’t work for versions earlier than Pro 4. Learn more about the new features in ACDSee Pro 5.