One Little Item Has Been Saving My Camera Sensors for Over a Decade

Essentials is a series featuring products we’re currently lusting over in quick, bite-sized posts.

Around the time that I started The Phoblographer, I reviewed an essential piece of kit. It’s called the Arctic Butterfly. And without it, I’d be lost as a photojournalist. This little tool is no larger than a high-end pen. It even feels right at home nestled in the pages of a journal. But most importantly, it cleans your camera sensor. If you do the job correctly, you’ll get great results. And if you exercise a bit of common sense, the Arctic Butterfly will be an essential tool in your camera bag. I’ve had mine for over a decade.

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Useful Photography Tip #169: Creating the Out of Focus Effect in Lightroom

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click here.

In situations where you want to get a bokeh like effect to a significantly weaker degree than what an actual lens will give you, you can rely on the adjustment brush in Lightroom. To do this, all you need to do is create a custom brush setting with the sharpness and clarity all the way down. Then you brush it onto the areas that you want out of focus.

To make it even stronger, click on done and then add another layer.

Big warning though: this doesn’t work with every photo, but it can work a lot of the time.

More image samples are after the jump.

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Making Eyes Pop More in a Portrait Using Lightroom

Original Edit

Original Edit

When shooting portraits, we invest loads of money into lighting and lenses in order to get the image as close to perfect as we can. We also tend to put a lot of emphasis on the eyes. But there are ways to make the eyes pop even more if you didn’t get them right the first time. The key to doing it all has to do with subtle corrections, using the spot editing tool in Adobe Lightroom and being moderate. And in the end, it all has to do with contrast.

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First Impressions: Adobe Lightroom 5 Beta

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adobe Lightroom 5 beta Radial Filter demo (5 of 9)

Today, Adobe is announcing the Lightroom 5 Beta–which is obviously hinting at a newer version of the highly loved program. The new version incorporates a bunch of changes but the biggest ones are the addition of a spot heal/clone brush (no longer just a tool), radial gradients, smart previews that will sync with an external hard drive when hooked up later, a new tool called upright which dramatically fixes perspectives, and much more.

We’ve been testing the program for a couple of days now, and here are our first impressions.

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