Tips to Speed Up Editing in Lightroom Classic 11.0

Adobe finally put some of the tools in PhotoShop into Lightroom Classic. One is Artificial Intelligence that will find your subject and mask it.

As you can see above, I did that with this group photo. I did this because the background is a little hot, and I want to tone it down.

So here is what I started with, as you can see below.

After using the Select Subject mask, I inverted the selection.

Then I just darkened the background and ended up with this final image.

[NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 2000, 1/100, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 35)]

How long it takes for Lightroom Classic to find the subject has a great deal to do with your computer’s power. It does take a few seconds for it to do its magic.


Using the metadata embedded in your images from your camera can also speed up your editing.

I often will select a lens or camera to edit just those images. The idea is to get all the similar photos in your selection and sync your editing over all those images that have a similarity.

This week I was shooting an event where I shot about half of the photos with available light and the rest with flash. I noticed the color needed a tweak on all the flash shots. I shot them using slow sync, and some available light gave a color cast that I wanted to correct.

I used the pull-down menu to select “Flash State” and picked all those that the flash “Did fire.” Then I selected all the images and did a color correction.

To speed up your editing, group images with similar edits together.

Practice, Practice, Practice

[DJI Air 2s, Mode = Normal, ISO 100, 1/4000, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 22)]

The pandemic cut the number of jobs most photographers and videographers were doing. It did give us time to practice, but it was hard some days to do anything.

I have been trying to remind myself to push and take out the cameras and shoot for myself.

[DJI Air 2s, Mode = Normal, ISO 110, 1/250, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 22)] Amphitheater at a friend’s home in Fayetteville, GA.

Flying my drone has helped a great deal this past couple of years. It is still new to me, and the perspectives are not something I see daily walking around.

Delta Plane landing at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 400, 1/4000, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 300)]

Sometimes I am on the ground looking up, as I did the other day in the Georgia International Convention Center parking lot in College Park, Georgia. I enjoy seeing things from a different perspective.

Springer Opera House [DJI Air 2s, Mode = Normal, ISO 150, 1/350, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 22)]

While visiting my daughter in Columbus, Georgia, the past couple of times, I took my drone out and flew it. Since she works at the Springer Opera House, a historic theater at 103 Tenth Street in Downtown Columbus, Georgia, I flew it over the facility.

Springer Opera House [DJI Air 2s, Mode = Normal, ISO 150, 1/240, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 22)]

Luck was on my side that day. The people at Springer saw the photos and realized a couple of days later that when they leaked into the ceiling, they could use my photos to find the leak.

[DJI Air 2s, Mode = Normal, ISO 120, 1/640, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 22)]

I took out the drone earlier last month to show the work they were putting in 4 piers to help stabilize our shifting foundation. Now all this work is underground, and unless you saw them put it in, you would never know.

Engineered Solutions repairing our foundation with 4 piers [NIKON Z 6, VR Zoom 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 5000, 1/400, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 90)]

Of course, I took some close-up shots as well.

New roof install from Findley Roofing [DJI Air 2s, Mode = Normal, ISO 100, 1/500, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 22)]

In July, we had our roof replaced due to hail damage. I took out the drone to get some photos to see what they were doing.

Look for those opportunities to Practice!

All these examples are just me showing that you can practice all the time. The things happening in the exact skills I am using for my projects will later be what I am called on to do for my clients.

Kona, Hawaii [DJI Air 2s, Mode = Normal, ISO 450, 1/13, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 22)]

While in Hawaii, I took my drone. Every year since 2006, I have been going to Kona but have never seen the campus where I taught from the air. I could see how close we were to downtown Kona.

University of the Nations ~ YWAM [DJI Air 2s, Mode = Normal, ISO 120, 1/1250, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 22)]

By just deciding to practice and have fun, I could see the difference between daytime shooting and nighttime. I now have some examples of the exact location day and night to help customers understand the advantages of each time for their projects.

Chelle Leary [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Manual, ISO 100, 1/4, ƒ/4, (35mm = 52)]

My daughter likes to experiment as much as I do, so we played around with colored gels for her college graduation shots. I hadn’t used these in more than 15 years, and pulling them out and trying something new was fun for us.

Practice is about experimenting and stretching yourself.

Artistically speaking, practice allows you to work out problems in a technique that mean the difference between a basic doodle and a resolved piece of art. Drawing the same or similar subjects repeatedly helps you learn the subject’s shape, form, and texture.

The more you practice, the better you will get. Being an artist is about experiencing new things and about individual creation. If you keep trying new mediums and new techniques, you’ll learn to incorporate more of them into finished projects and round out your skill set.

Importance of Getting Together

[NIKON D5, 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 4500, 1/250, ƒ/3.2, (35mm = 200)]

This month I have been covering Chick-fil-A’s first in-person events since the beginning of the pandemic. They are not treating this like we are all out of the woods.

[NIKON D5, 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 5600, 1/250, ƒ/3.2, (35mm = 200)]

One of the events I cover is where different departments have their first in-person meetings under an open tent. Before you are let on the property, you must go through the guard gate that asks about your health and if you have been around anyone with COVID for the past 14 days.

Atlantic Regional Planning Meeting with Jessica Burgess [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 3200, 1/250, ƒ/4, (35mm = 28)]

At another event, they are meeting indoors, and the only time the face masks are off is when someone is presenting or eating.

Earlier in the year, I took this photo inside the restaurant to help train Chick-fil-A operators and team members about protocols when they open their dining rooms again.

Chick-fil-A is being proactive as much as possible. Daily they are adjusting to all the demands of running a restaurant in this pandemic which has created supply chain issues and safety issues for them to provide service to their customers.

CFA Regional Planning Meeting AtlanticAtlantic Regional Planning Meeting with Jessica Burgess, Mark Moraitakis [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Manual, ISO 900, 1/80, ƒ/4, (35mm = 95)]

What are you doing right now with your business in terms of communications?

Are you getting together and trying to reconnect your team safely?

Jonathan Evans speaks to the Northeast Regional Planning Meeting [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 1800, 1/200, ƒ/4.2, (35mm = 45)]

Jonathan Evans is the team chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys and the Mavericks, and an accomplished speaker, teacher, and author. He currently serves on the pastoral staff at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship with his father, Dr. Tony Evans. His sister, Priscilla Shirer, is a speaker, author, and actor; his brother, Anthony, is a singer and worship leader.

He was a keynote speaker who talked about how he was admitted to the hospital for heart issues. He had filled his “To Do List” with everyone but him. Even during a crisis, you still must take care of yourself.

Tim Tassopoulos, president of Chick-fil-A speaks to the North East Regional Planning Meeting Tim Tassopoulos [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 1100, 1/100, ƒ/5, (35mm = 32)]

“Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts twenty minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces.”

~ Winston Churchill

Churchill’s afternoon nap was a non-negotiable part of his relaxed approach to his daily routine. Churchill would start his day at 8 am by eating breakfast, answering letters, and dictating to his secretaries, all of which was conducted while still in bed. This work bout was followed by a bath, a long lunch, and plenty of sipping on watered-down whisky. After lunch, it was time to paint or play cards with his wife, Clementine. Then it was nap time. Churchill would take off his clothes and climb into bed for up to two hours of solid napping. At 6:30, he would rise, take another bath, and enjoy a long dinner. He finally got down to business at 11 pm and would work for several hours before going to bed and repeating the cycle over again.

Tim Tassopoulos was fascinated that Churchill took time every day for a nap during World War II. Tassopoulos encouraged everyone to take care of themselves because if they were not healthy, they could not take care of their teams.

Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A plays his flugelhorn at the Regional Planning Meeting Atlantic that he hosted at his home. [NIKON D5, 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 3200, 1/250, ƒ/3.2, (35mm = 200)]

Dan Cathy is also a licensed FAA pilot who is drawing on that experience, was also talking to the operators of the restaurants about taking care of themselves. He spoke of his training as a pilot that when you lose cabin pressure, the pilot is to first put on their mask before deploying the shows for everyone else. Low pressure would cause little more discomfort in the ears and eyes, but the associated drop in oxygen levels makes people pass out if they do not put their oxygen masks on within about 15 seconds.

Relationships are Important

Strong relationships are essential to your happiness and healthy life. People with good friendships handle stress much better; a good friend can help you in difficult times. People with a supportive partner recover better from heart attacks and other illnesses.

People can energize us, elevate our mood, encourage activity, boost the immune system, and increase longevity. Our physical and mental health are intertwined–when one goes down, it affects the other. The more stressed we are, the more our immune system is depressed, and the more likely we will get illnesses and diseases.

[NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 400, 1/50, ƒ/4, (35mm = 24)]

“I believe strongly that, particularly in the vaccinated people, if you’re vaccinated, and your family members are vaccinated, those who are eligible — that is, very young children are not yet eligible — that you can enjoy the holidays,” said Fauci. However, unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated people should be more cautious and take measures like wearing a mask, gathering outside, and getting tested before any celebrations.

Keep Your Audience Informed

Doug Parkin, volunteer pediatrician from Arizona is seeing patients during his two month service at the Baptist Medical Center in Nalerigu, Ghana. [NIKON D2X, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 800, 1/40, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 42)]

Have you ever had to wait on diagnosis and they took forever at the hospital or doctors office?

Don’t do that to your team or customers.

Had the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control waited until they could put out a message that wouldn’t change, millions more could have died from COVID-19.

Your organization needs to be communicating during these times often and in all the messaging streams where your audience is for your organization.

Surgeon Danny Crawley reviews x-rays before he makes his early morning rounds visiting patients at the Baptist Medical Centre in Nalerigu, Ghana. [NIKON D2X, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 800, 1/125, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 34)]

Be Timely

The speed of your communication in today’s ever-connected digital society means if you are not telling your story, everyone else will. Getting your message out right away shows your organization is aware of the situation. You are ready to take this on.

Most important is that the audience is most likely interested in your message.

Surgeon Danny Crawley is in the theatre giving an epidural before a hernia operation, and Sandow Abarich, the theatre assistant, helps him at the Baptist Medical Centre in Nalerigu, Ghana. [NIKON D2X, 18.0-50.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 400, 1/200, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 45)]

Acknowledge Uncertainty

I think while this might not be what you lead with in your messaging, it must be the fire for why you don’t procrastinate during a crisis.

Tell only what you know. Doing so in an empathetic voice is a great way to acknowledge the frustration everyone is feeling.

When you go for surgery, they have you sign many papers acknowledging they may find something else.

Don’t Over-Reassure

It is better to overestimate the problem and then say that the situation is better than first thought.

Surgeons doing a bone graft of lower part of leg for a little boy to hopefully help him keep his leg at the Hôpital Baptiste Biblique located in Tsiko, Togo, West Africa. [NIKON Z 6, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 4500, 1/200, ƒ/4, (35mm = 17)]

What are you communicating?

This COVID-19 has put many people in a waiting room to hear from YOU.

A mass of people wait for medical treatment at the Baptist Medical Centre in Nalerigu, Ghana. [NIKON D2X, 18.0-50.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 400, 1/25, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 27)]

This is one of the most critical times in organizations’ history for the past 100 years for the need for communication.

Ross Cathy, the grandson of Truett Cathy, opened his restaurant Midland FSR in Columbus, Georgia, on September 29, 2011. All the operators came that day to celebrate with him and Truett & Jeannette Cathy. [NIKON D3S, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 200, 1/160, ƒ/7.1, (35mm = 28)]

People need to know what your organization is doing and plans to do in the coming months. Be like the CDC and get your message out there. Let people know this is what you know right now; if changes happen, you will also communicate that to them.

So, what do people need to know? Assume they need to know what you will not be doing as well as what you will be doing.

Acknowledge fear, pain, suffering, and uncertainty if they are genuine emotions for the situation. Always be as human as possible. You are building a relationship with your audience. Make sure that the relationship is built on honesty and integrity.

Benefits of Getting Together

Union University Photography Students during a photo weekend at Morris Abernathy’s home outside of Nashville, Tennessee July 19, 2003.

Aside from learning new things and finding a way to meet up, you can also build new professional relationships, gain friendships with like-minded people and even get to know people on a more personal level. 

Kristin Sayres has Ken Irby review her work during the Southwestern Photojournalism Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. [NIKON D2X, 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 800, 1/80, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 69)]

Early in my career, I would go to conferences and workshops as a way to get feedback on my work. I wanted to improve and early on there was a lot of room for improvement.

Joanna Pinneo and Don Rutledge at Ridgecrest during the very first meeting of the SBC photographers. In the background is Paul Obregon and his wife and daughter, as well as Carol Veneman.

In 1987, Jim Veneman and I both were trying to get better. We had begun a friendship because we both worked for similar organizations. We wanted to get the staff from MissionsUSA & The Commission Magazines together and others.

That first group included as well as some of our spouses:

  • Don Rutledge
  • Joanna Pinneo
  • Mark Sandlin
  • Paul Obregon
  • Warren Johnson
  • Jim Veneman
  • Stanley Leary

This group would get together, share what everyone was doing, and then invite others to join the group, like Thomas Kennedy & William Allard.

Attending a workshop is like gifting yourself a new possibility to learn something new from peers with better experience and knowledge to share a new bee into the world of professionals. 

Building new relationships and meeting new connections are essential to personal growth. A workshop gives you as a professional the best opportunity to meet other people who share your interests. It is always a pleasure to meet someone with the same enthusiasm you do. Attending a workshop is a great way to meet other people in your area with shared interests. Of course, a friendship will not be guaranteed to flourish, but it never hurts to try. You will at least be able to find a friend and somebody who knows your “talk shop,” as it were, i.e., to discuss matters concerning your work, etc.

This Year

I organized this year a ZOOM meeting on Fridays to replicate the best I could this concept of getting together and getting to know other colleagues.

This is one of the many different meetings we had this year. The speaker was Dave LaBelle.

For those who love Photojournalism, I recommend attending this year’s event online. The 2021 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar will take place virtually November 9-13, 2021, marking 49 consecutive years of the most extended continuously operating photojournalism conference in America.

In Person Events

I am planning to host some fun get-togethers shortly. I am looking to host a lighting workshop for a few hours one day. If you are interested, let me know so I can put you on the notification list. These will be in the Metro Atlanta Area.

Looking for employees: Rethink who is your customer

Are you in crisis mode when it comes to finding employees?  

I have a tip, communicate to your potential employees like you have been doing with your customers.

Campus Scenic photos

 “Don’t start a business. Find a problem, solve a problem; the business comes second.” 

– Robert Herjavec, Shark Tank

No matter the business, you are solving a problem for someone. It would help if you were sure the client understands everything that needs to take place for your solution to be a success.    

Today you are competing not just with customers but for employees.  

You will use the same process for marketing your business to customers, but now for finding those employees.  

No longer are the days that you can say I have a job opening, and people are lining up for you to pick someone. 

Kona, Hawaii [DJI Air 2s, Mode = Normal, ISO 810, 1/6, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 22)]

Just like you created a product that solves a problem, you need to address the issues now that workers have with the workplace. 

Now you might just be solving every one of those problems. You have significant benefits, your employees like you as a boss, and your business makes a difference in the community, but no one is applying.

The little boy listens to his family before participating in the Dummy Roping competition at the 2020 Pana’Ewa Stampede Rodeo in Hilo, Hawaii.

Most places have the same problem with marketing their business and finding employees. 

Show & Tell 

People have a short attention span. We know that infomercials work. The purpose of infomercials is to prompt the viewer to call a toll-free number or visit a website to purchase. An advantage of infomercials for companies is increased time to showcase a product, demonstrate how it works, and present a clear call to action. 

Applying the “Problem – Agitate – Solve” principle is a valuable tool for a significant effect on your business. Digging into the consumers’ common problems allows you to empathize, connect with them, provide solutions to their problems, and make them feel better. Of course, they won’t care about buying your product if it is not helpful to them. 

Having infomercials for your products/services is an excellent way of showing how it works. Describing how it is effective is always helpful, but people are visual. Viewers love seeing things in action. It would give bonus points to compare how you’re better than the other competitors in a respectful manner.

I think the great photo of employees and short text telling their story works excellent on social media. 

Also, short videos work as well. Tips for recruiting

  • Target your audience; where do they congregate?
  • Use testimonies of current employees.
  • Communicate how people can grow with your company.
  • Talk about how your company impacts the community ~ people are looking for a sense of purpose

 Call me, and let’s put together a campaign to recruit employees.