Taking It One Step Farther – Using the Matte Frame Effect from Lightroom

Yesterday, I shared how to create a Photoshop action to create a Matte Frame Effect for your photographs. I am using this method for both my photo blog and, with slightly larger images, on Google+. The process is quick and simple once set up. However, I wanted to see if I could execute the process right from Lightroom instead of having to switch software programs manually. It worked!

I will explain this process, taking it one step farther, so if you have Photoshop and Lightoom, you will be able to replicate this for yourself. The goal is to make it easier to make photographs ready to share with others.

Here are the steps to using the effect from Lightroom. I am assuming you already created the action I shared in yesterday’s blog post. You should add another step to that action to have it automatically save the newly created framed photo. Do this by clicking on the last step of the action and then recording: File, Save As, Format=JPG, Save, and then click OK for the JPG option. (I allow the “copy” to remain the suggested file name) Now stop recording the Action. Then test the action in Photoshop to make sure it works properly.

Taking It One Step Farther…

Step 1 : Create a droplet in Photoshop by clicking on File, Automate, and Create Droplet. Choose the Desktop as the location to save the droplet, this way it will be easy to access for the next step. Choose the Action you created yesterday from the drop-down box. Then click the OK button. This creates a Droplet that now appears on your Desktop.

Step 2: Open Lightroom. From the Grid screen, click on Export in the bottom left portion of the screen. I previously created a User Preset, which sizes the image and sets other preferred options for exporting to my blog. You need to create such a preset for yourself.

Step 3: From your Desktop, right click on the newly created Droplet and choose Copy. Now go to Lightoom and from the Grid Display click on Export. Click on your newly created preset to use for this procedure, and go to the bottom and click the After Export: Option Box and choose Go to Export Actions Folder Now. Click on the Folder “Export Action” and right click and Paste. This puts the droplet into the Actions Folder in Lightroom so you can later delete the Droplet from your Desktop. Close this folder box once pasting is completed and go to the After Export option and click on the Option Box. You should now see the Droplet listed here. If not, close Lightroom and try again.

Using the Procedure:

Start Lightroom and go to the Grid Display and click on a photograph. Now click on Export. Then click on the User Preset you created and valla the process is executed and you just created a Matte Frame of that photograph! I created two different Actions and Presets–one for horizontal photos and one for vertical photos. I also created two different ones for when I want to post in Google+ since I use slightly larger images when posting there. I love this process because it makes posting photos quick and easy.

Again, this all sounds much more complicated than it really is in actuality. Follow the steps and get it to work for you. It is a great way to automatically set up images for sharing on a blog, Google+, or wherever.

If you have any questions about the process feel free to ask here in the comments. And let me know if you use this or a similar process when sharing your own photographs.

Update on My Drobo

My new Drobo has been in active use for over a week now and I am very happy with it. I first heard about the Drobo on TWIP–This Week in Photography, a weekly photo podcast. These guys were raving over the Drobo and I was slowly but surely running out of backup room on my external hard drives. So I saved my money and just purchased my own Drobo.

I spent the past week moving my photographs from the external drives to the Drobo. This would have been an easier chore if I had maintained a consistent folder-naming scheme all along. But alas the end is now clearly in sight and I expect to have the transfers down in a few short hours.

I only have two 1TB hard drives installed in my Drobo and it is already 67% full! I will have to install a third drive into my Drobo in the near future. One nice feature on the DataRobotics website is what they call the Drobulator, which is a virtual calculator which allows you to see how much storage space you will gain with different hard drives. I used this to determine my next cost-effective and best storage space-addition drive will be another 1TB drive.

The Drobo was very easy to set up and install. I just installed the two hard drives into the unit, attached the power cord and the USB cable, and then installed the software. Now the Drobo Dashboard gives me a constant status of space available and other important information from the Drobo. I just watch the lights on the unit, which will turn yellow when it is time to add additional storage. I also receive email messages from Drobo whenever the unit has a message for me. Pretty neat!

I have not always been faithful at backing up my photos so I find the Drobo to be extremely helpful and even vital in my workflow. To maintain proper backups I strongly recommend the Drobo. It works well and is easy to use.

Baseball Photo Products

I enjoy working as the official photographer for the Lehigh Valley Baseball Academy. It keeps me involved in a game I love, allows me the challenge to capture the amazing plays that happen on the field, and introduces me to a lot of incredible players, parents, and coaches.

Besides the benefits I enjoy from this, I also like to share my work with others. Capturing a player putting a tag on a potential base stealer in the midst of his slide is but one example of the thrill of photographing baseball games. I photographed 19 baseball games this year–14 for LVBA and 5 for the high school team at Pleasant Valley. Each and every game is different and trying to reflect the flow and outcome of the game with my Nikon camera is an exciting challenge!

Sharing the photographs is the second part of my job. I do provide the LVBA with 7 framed action shots for them to hang on the wall of their facility. We are also in the design stage of creating unique calendars for each team. But here are a few more ways players and parents can enjoy my photographs.

Sticky Pix
These are similar to Fat Heads, if you know what they are. These photographs stick to the wall and can be moved over and over again without leaving a sticky residue on the wall. They can also be ordered as cut-outs and are available in three different sizes–11″ x 14″, 16″x 20″, or 20″ x 30″.

3-Photo Sports Collage
The collage features three different photos of the same player. The one in the middle of the collage is bigger and the other two are arranged in an attractive way around it.

For goodness sakes, what in the world is a Teamsake? I’m glad you asked! A Teamsake is an 8″ x 10″ collage of 9 photos. The idea is to include a variety of photos from your team as a memory keeper of the season.

Many parents are proud of their baseball players and mom’s especially like to wear a 3″ button featuring their favorite baseball star. The photo in the button can either be a portrait or an action shot.

I don’t know about you, but our refrigerator is filled with all kinds of magnets. My favorite section is the rows of photo magnets depicting our kids in the various sports they have played. Each one brings back some special memories of that season and you can see your little man growing up right before your eyes!

Do you drink coffee, tea, or hot cocoa in the morning? Well why not drink out of a mug that shows your favorite athlete on the side? While you’re at it, take it work to show all your co-workers. Action shots showing dust and dirt flying are guaranteed to stay on the outside of your mug and not ruin the taste of your favorite hot drink.

Large Prints
Prints have become a bit more rare with the advent of computers and digital frames. Still, there is nothing quite like a large print hanging on the wall. The details of a photograph are much easier to see and enjoy in the larger sizes.

This is just a sampling of the ways to enjoy your favorite photographs. For more information on these and more please see my website or go directly to this page or this page.

It’s Raining, so What are You Doing?

Here in the Poconos we’ve had rain for the last two days. I was scheduled to photograph two baseball games today, but they were canceled. Bummer.

So, on this rainy day I wasn’t behind the viewfinder, but I still did some photo-related activities. I framed several 12″ x 18″ photographs and I went shopping for a presentation/portfolio case.

Perhaps if it rains some more I will be able to backup some photos and work on some keywording.

We all need a few rainy days, don’t we?