Our First Meeting!

Our first meeting was a great success, even if I do say so myself!

We spent the first part doing some tabletop photography using continuous lights and studio strobes, the second part swapping backgrounds using Paint.net (see below) and the final part discussing the programme and what everyone wanted from the group.

We decided to change next week’s session a little in that we’ll start with a practical session taking some photos in the studio, and then show how these could then be used in a blog post using WordPress and Adobe Portfolio.

A while ago, the York People Photography meetup group (the forerunner to this group)  held a software evening where various programs were demonstrated or discussed. I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing my notes from that evening below, in the hope that they are of use to someone!

See you next time!



Lightroom is Adobe’s photo processor and image organiser. It has sophisticated photo processing tools but lacks the layers and pixel-level manipulation that Photoshop provides.

  • The standalone Lightroom 6 is still available but won’t be developed further.
  • The desktop version of Lightroom is now known as Lightroom Classic (it used to be called Lightroom CC).
  • The cloud version of Lightroom is new and is called Lightroom CC.

There are 3 plans tailored to photographers. See  www.adobe.com/uk/creativecloud/photography.html for full details and a free trial.

  • Lightroom CC plan – Includes Lightroom CC and 1TB of cloud storage for £9.98/mo. incl. VAT.
  • Photography plan – Includes Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, Lightroom CC and 20GB of cloud storage for £9.98/mo incl. VAT.
  • Photography plan with 1TB cloud storage – Includes Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, Lightroom CC and 1TB of cloud storage for £19.97/mo. incl. VAT.

Lightroom CC is available as a desktop app (Windows and I presume Mac as well), a browser app ( https://lightroom.adobe.com) and on mobile devices.

The plans includes an account on Behance ( https://www.behance.net/about) which is their networking/showcasing platform for creative talent.

The plans also include an account on Portfolio (at  https://www.myportfolio.com) which enables you to build your own website. You can upload photos directly or populate it from the Lightroom cloud and Behance. I understand it’s a bit like Squarespace, but free with the plans. I had a quick play with it here  https://steveevans.myportfolio.com.

Nik Collection
The Nik Collection of plugins for Lightroom and Photoshop ( https://www.google.com/nikcollection/) has been acquired by DxO ( https://nikcollection.dxo.com) and remains free for now, so grab it while you can. DxO says a paid-for version will be developed in 2018.

Capture One
Capture One is the photo processor and Lightroom alternative from Phase One, the makers of the high-end medium format cameras. Like Phase One’s cameras, the quality is excellent but it’s not cheap, with prices starting from EUR 20 per Month (+ VAT) for subscription or EUR 279 (+ VAT) for a perpetual licence. More details and a free trial at  https://www.phaseone.com/…/…/Capture-One-Pro/Highlights.aspx

Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo from Serif of Nottingham (haha, see what I did there?) is a relatively new Photoshop equivalent and looks very promising. Cost is £48.99 and details and a free trial at  https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo/

Paint.net is a free drawing and photo editing tool. It lacks the sophistication of Photoshop and Affinity Photo, but additional plugins enhance its functionality substantially. It’s great for a quick crop or resizing an image, but it is a capable editor. It’s available at https://www.dotpdn.com/files/paint.net.4.0.21.install.zip

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free, open source, image editor available for many operating systems. Like Photoshop, it provides photo manipulation, artwork creation and graphic design elements. See  https://www.gimp.org/ for details and free download.