I’ve been using the Beta version of Lightroom 2 and loving it.  The real deal – Lightroom 2 – has been released; however, I sent my request for academic discount eligibility to Adobe 2 weeks ago and still haven’t gotten approval.  It’s making me a little nervous, but this Beta version should be good until the end of the month.

Although it’s good to have a solid working knowledge of the programs you use, presets are a really fun and simple way to apply effects – from the subtle to the complex – no more than a mouse click away.  Matt Kloskowski offers a weekly feature called “Monday Presets” on the Lightroom Killer Tips blog.  I searched his archives and downloaded every preset that I found remotely appealing, so I’ve got a nice selection of them now.

The July/August issue of Photoshop User magazine has a really cool feature in the Lighroom section on photographer Sean Shimmel, and the finished, edited photo below reminds me of the feel of some of his children’s portraits.  Go there to see some really cool children’s photography.

I contacted Sean and he gave me the link to his Flickr stream.  You really must check out his beautiful work.  My 13yos has already informed me that he wants a shot of himself done like “Black Forest” on the bottom right. 

In my opinion, Wordless Wednesday participants are the most gracious and community-oriented of any meme I’ve seen.  Please leave a note when you drop by Sean’s sites!

I love this close up of my son (that’s a stick/sword he’s wielding in front of his face), but the color seems a little too yellow.

First I applied Matt’s Auto White Balance preset:

Better, but I was looking for something more.  Something really creative.  So I applied Matt’s Surreal Edgy Effect 1 – Light preset:

Perfect!  I love the way his eyes pop, the highlights in his hair, and the way the dirt and water are amplified (he was standing knee-deep in a creek when this was taken).  I would love to tell you I’d slaved over a hot mouse and keyboard all afternoon on this, but actually it took me longer to apply the watermark than to edit the photo.

Check out my other WW on my primary blog!

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