All posts by Peter Krogh

Victoria Bampton’s Lightroom 5 book now shipping

lr5-book1In nearly every Lightroom presentation I make, I strongly urge attendees to purchase Victoria Bampton’s Lightroom Missing FAQ ebook. It is a smart comprehensive guide to just about every tool in Lightroom. Even though I know the program extremely well, I find the book to be invaluable when I have a question about the definitive behavior of some tool I don’t use all the time.

The newest version of the book has just been released. So, if you’re a Lightroom 5 user, it’s time to get the new copy.

Not only am I a fan of Victoria’s clear writing and comprehensive grasp of the application, I’m also a fan of her self-publishing venture. She has published the book herself from the first version, offering an ebook along with an optional paper version. I know from my own experience that this is often the only way to make book writing a profitable undertaking. Of course there are great ancillary ways to profit from book writing, but the traditional publishing royalty arrangement is getting more out-of-reach.

So, yes, she is yet another example of successful disintermediation in the photo ecosystem.

16 Years of Seven Cousins

If you’ve ever been to my house, you know what the image below represents. This morning, I shot the 16th installment of the Seven Cousins picture. Every year, sometime between spring and fall, my kids and my siblings kids all gather in Cascade, MD and make another image in this series. For the last two years, there has been exactly one day in the year when each of the cousins and I have been available to make the photo.

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This year was the first time I actually appeared in the photo (thank you Josie for making that suggestion).  It’s been one of my favorite projects to work on – a way to mark time, a visible record of our family, a collaboration between these great kids and me.

My longtime quest to preserve photographs is directly linked to the value I see in documents like this. These photos are incredibly meaningful to me, and I hope that the kids will come to value them as much as I do.

Thanks guys, for making it happen once again this year.

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New Lightroom 5 eBook available soon

I’ve been hard at work this spring on a new eBook covering some advanced Lightroom 5 workflows. The book is called Multi-Catalog Workflow with Lightroom 5. This multimedia book outlines how to create multi-catalog and multi-computer workflows with Lightroom 5. It provides a thorough exploration of the tools and methods that are useful in a multi-catalog workflow. It also shows you how to combine these techniques into purpose-driven workflows that solve real-world problems.

This ebook is a true multimedia hybrid, employing the techniques pioneered by my friend D J Clark. Video is used where it’s most appropriate – to demonstrate workflow sequences in action.  It is accompanied by text that provides context for the workflow, as well as a list of steps that you can refer to as you put the workflow into practice.

I’m publishing this eBook directly, The book will be available in PDF form so it can be played on a computer, and it will also come in ePub form for use on a tablet.

Release is expected in June 2013.

Okay so it took a little longer. It’s available now.

Ink, Paper and Diesel Fuel

Once upon a time, print media empires were built on a platform of ink, paper and diesel fuel. The most important prerequisite for a publisher was the ability to afford the cost of distribution.  On top of that platform, an editorial voice or service was built, along with an ecosystem of advertisers, and an audience of readers. Record companies added the cost of vinyl to the mix, and broadcasters added access to a government-licensed monopoly of the public airwaves.

Because the publishers controlled the means of production, they were the gatekeepers of media and, to some extent, of modern culture. They became the intermediaries between the creators and the public at large. Publishers built success by curating a voice or a point of view, leveraging their distribution abilities to make a coherent body of work. Few creators could afford to front the cost of distribution, even if they could manage to do the production themselves.

The high cost of distribution helped to create a controlled ecosystem for publishing. The value proposition for any media could be calculated using some factor of the cost of distribution. For many years, photographers charged on the basis of image size and print run – fees were tied directly to the cost of ink, paper and diesel fuel.  This set a valuation that people could understand and created a relatively stable market.

Disintermediation describes the what happens when the intermediary players are no longer needed. Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Hulu, Google and a few more have taken the middleman out of media and retail businesses. Disintermediation is clearly happening, and it’s measurable. You can compare audience size, money paid, number of paid performers, profit sharing of the technical partners and more. If you have some good information to work from, it’s possible to form a good picture of the actual progress in getting rid of the middleman.

ZenithOptimedia recently came out with a list of the 30 largest media companies, and Google is at the top of the list with media revenue of $37.9 Billion. And the vast majority of Google’s revenue in this space is tied to a model of Disintermediation, where the gatekeeper simply opens the door, and lets anyone walk through.  Of course, there are still a number of companies that remain on the list that do function in a more traditional manner, but they all are working to adapt to the new environment.

The gatekeepers have lost their oligarchy, and, yes, the barbarians are at the gate. Electronic distribution has taken the hard value factor out of the compensation equation for creators, leaving a zero in place in some instances. In other instances, the multiplier remains, but it is so much smaller than the cost of physical distribution, that it amounts to nearly zero.

Crowd-sourcing is not the only model, thankfully. There is still room for a voice or a point of view that is curated. Yes, you can listen to a computer-generated playlist on Pandora, but I still prefer the surprise and delight of listening to great DJs like Mark Wheat at the Current (a real over-the airwaves station, in addition to an internet station.) I don’t think we’re anywhere near the end of curation. Rather, we are in a new world of curation where it’s possible become an editorial voice, despite your inability to pay the cost of ink, paper and diesel fuel.

Leora Kornfeld is doing some really interesting reporting on this subject.  She’s a Reasearch Associate at Harvard, studying disintermediation. Her blog De-mass’d reports on the phenomenon, providing good research into the specifics of the media reach, money earned, and implications of the demassing of mass media.  If you want to really get a handle on Disintermediation, and how it is actually taking place, put her blog on your reading list.

DNG Verification in Lightroom 5

I’ve been looking forward to the day this can be announced since 2007. In Lightroom 5, there is now a one-click solution to verify an entire collection of DNG files. It’s a really simple idea, with pretty huge ramifications from a data management standpoint. Interestingly, it’s nearly absent from any Adobe marketing materials for LR 5.

Read all about it after the jump.

DNG Verification

Near the bottom of Lightroom 5’s Library menu, is an item that lets you validate an entire collection of DNG files with a single click. It’s right below the “Find Missing” command. These two tools, when used together, offer excellent verification workflow.

Continue reading DNG Verification in Lightroom 5