As many photographers users know, FB butchers image files. By uploading a .PNG smaller than 1MB to a business page (not a personal page, unfortunately) you can keep your image uncompressed. Since Lightroom doesn’t have a .PNG export yet, here is a workaround that I use with pretty good success. Once you set it up initially, you will be able to quickly and easily export as .png files.
Summary: Create an action in photoshop to save a copy of the image as a .png file. Save that action as a droplet. Create a Lightroom export preset that creates a jpeg of your image, then runs the droplet after export to make a .PNG version. Saving the .png file in a dropbox folder on your hard drive will make instantly accessible from your phone, tablet, or any computer to share on instagram or anywhere else.
Note: All your .PNG files will be in the SAME folder initially.
Another Note: I use a PC and have no idea how to do this on a Mac. Hopefully it’s pretty much the same
Last note (for Windows users only): If you don’t already use droplets you might come across permission issues. Just Google it There is also a limit to how many images you can export with a droplet at once, so if you get a communication error, that was too many.
The action you create will put a copy of your image in a specific folder. I have a subfolder in my dropbox folder so that all my images will be available from my phone.
Open a copy of an image file. Start recording a new action. Select File/Save As and pick .png as the file type. Pick the folder where you want to save the image. Don’t change the file name. Select your compression options (I do smallest/slow compression.) Close the image. Stop Recording.
In Lightroom, click on any image, right click, click Export/Export to open the export dialog box. Scroll to the bottom and click on Post Processing/After Export and click on “Go to export actions folder now.” Copy the path to this folder, make a shortcut, or remember where this is.
In PS, Select your new PNG action. Go to File/Automate/Create Droplet. Click “Choose” and navigate to the Export Presets folder from Step 3. Make sure your action is selected under “Play.” If not, select your action. Click OK.
Open the export dialog box.
Pick a folder to save your jpegs that you will export from LR. I like to rename the images with the folder name and the image name because my folder always is the client name. I also have a separate preset for square images that adds an “S” to the filename. As a result, all the .png files will have a unique name and will be in alphabetical order. This is NOT the folder where your .PNG files will go. That is determined by your photoshop action.
I resize to max size of 780 px on the long side for square images and 900 px for rectangular images. This usually ensures that the final .png image will be less than 1 MB. I also add my watermark in this step.
Click on “Post Processing” and select your droplet from the dropdown. It should be there if you saved it into the right folder.
Click “Add” and save these settings as a new preset and name it whatever you want. I call mine “PNG Watermark” and “PNG Watermark Square” . I have a preset folder named with a number so that it shows at the top of the list for quick access because I have LOTS of presets. If you don’t have a lot of presets this won’t be necessary for you.
Now you are ready to save .png files in three clicks!
If you are saving to your dropbox folder, it should be there all ready for you to Instagram!
The Larry Peters Eyelighter creates beautiful clamshell lighting with a unique curved catchlight in the eye. It also carries a hefty price tag. I took a shot at making my own, since I shoot mostly on location and wasn’t eager to invest in more studio gear that I may or may not use. Plus making stuff is just fun.
I made this for $0 out of items I had on hand. If I made a second one I would probably do a few things different, since I really didn’t plan this out. It was really more of a “Hey, I think I’ll make an eyelighter today.”
Here is a photo created with my DIY reflector. Overall I am pretty happy with the results considering I don’t shoot a lot in the studio:
List of materials:
-2 pieces of 1/2″ insulation board from Lowes. I used 2′x4′ pieces so it would be small enough to take on location, but a 5′ or 6′ length might work better.
-Liquid nails (or another way to glue two pieces of insulation board together)
-Mylar (or any other reflective surface like a car sunshade, a thermal blanket, or a even a white surface for a more subtle effect. I think you can even find insulation that is reflective and kill two birds with one stone) I bought mine online here
-Duct tape (black or white)
-Clamps (I love my cheapie Cowboy Studio clamps. They smell funny but I have three teenagers and a cat so it’s no big deal)
-Fabric or string to hold the reflector while the glue is drying.
This list does not include a way to mount the reflector. I now use my superclamp and a swivel bracket. Before that I just made one of my kids hold it. (They weren’t happy but ask me how much THAT bothered me).
This guy has a good way for mounting and a different way a creating a DIY eyelighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22xwGhk3Kho
The “Real” Eyelighter is definitely more durable and professional looking, but considering everything I own is covered in duct tape anyway, I really don’t have any issues with clients seeing my DIY gear.
1) Glue the two pieces of insulation together using liquid nails or other adhesive. Having two pieces is what holds the curvature (a bunch of boring math and physics that you don’t really want to hear).
2) Bend the boards to have a curve with a radius of about 2 ft.
3) Clamp together for roughly 24 hours using a string or fabric around the insulation to hold the shape.
4) Once the adhesive is set, remove the clamps and cut the edges of the the foam with a razor for a smooth edge.
5) Cut the mylar or other reflective material slightly larger than the reflector surface size. I wrinkled up the mylar so that it wouldn’t be so mirror-like.
6) Spray adhesive on the insulation and lay the mylar evenly, starting from the center. If I made another I would put a small piece of sheet metal about 3″x4″ at the top center of the front and back to reinforce the foam from the compression of the superclamp.
7) Trim the mylar and finish the edges with duct tape. Cut slits in the tape so that it will lay flat.
8) Enjoy your new curved reflector!