Kenny McKeithan Photography: Blog en-us (C) Kenny McKeithan (Kenny McKeithan Photography) Sun, 07 Feb 2021 14:10:00 GMT Sun, 07 Feb 2021 14:10:00 GMT Kenny McKeithan Photography: Blog 90 120 New Year Lightroom Cleanup for 2016     Lr HeaderLr Header


 With the start of the New Year you may want to take a few minutes and do some cleanup in Lightroom to get started on the right foot. Here are three things you can do.

  • Update your copyright information
  • Clean out empty folders
  • Delete old backups

Here’s how to go about each one;

Update your copyright Information

     Once you have a Metadata Preset created and are applying it automatically to all of your imported images it’s easy to just forget about it and let it run. If however, you use the date as part of that preset i.e. ©Kenny McKeithan 2015, it will need to be updated annually. From the Lightroom Library Module click on the Metadata menu at the top and then Edit Metadata Presets. From the Preset dropdown list at the top select your current preset by name. Scroll down to the Copyright field containing the date and change it. Go back to the dropdown list at the top and click the preset name then select Update Preset. Click Done at the bottom and that’s it. You Preset is updated for another year.

     If you are just finding out about this great little tool and you have no Metadata Preset now is a great time to set one up. It’s easy. Click on the Metadata Menu as before then Edit Metadata Presets. Fill out the applicable information that applies to you. We need only worry about IPTC Copyright and IPTC Creator information. Fill out as much information as you are comfortable with. For instance I don’t put my street address and I use my cell phone number only. To get the copyright symbol on a PC hold the ALT key and type 0169 on the number pad (note that this only works on a keyboard with a separate number pad. The number keys across the top won’t work.) and on a MAC hold the OPT key and type G. For Rights Usage Terms I’ll use the statement “No use without prior written consent. All rights reserved.” Go back to the top and click on the dropdown list then Save Current Settings as New Preset and give that Preset a name. I use something simple like “My Copyright” or “© Kenny McKeithan” it doesn’t have to be elaborate. Now, and this is the important part, Lightroom will only apply that preset to your imports if you tell it to do so. Next time you are importing  images in the Import Window on the right under Apply During Import find the Metadata dropdown list and select your new preset. Import your images as you normally would.  From this point on Lightroom will automatically apply this information to your images.

Clean out empty folders



    As we go about using Lightroom in our daily workflow it is sometimes necessary to move images from on folder to another. There’s nothing at all wrong with this as long as you are doing that moving from within the Lightroom environment (not in Windows Explorer or MAC Finder). On occasion you may find that you have moved all of the images from their original folder to a new location leaving the empty folder in its original location. Lightroom will not remove this folder on its own so it’s up to you to remove it. In the Library Module look on the left under Folders. Any empty folders will show up as grayed out and will show an image count of 0. It’s perfectly OK to remove these folders from the list. Just Right-click the folder name then click on Remove. That’s it, all gone.

Delete old backups

     Hopefully you are religiously backing up your Lightroom Catalog data every time Lightroom prompts you to do so, once a week by default but there are other options. When you backup Lightroom it creates a new and complete backup file but it doesn’t remove the old file. After a while they can start to accumulate and take up a significant portion of your storage space. This is especially troubling on a system with a single hard drive such as a laptop. Deleting these old backup files can free up a lot of otherwise wasted space.

     Deleting these files isn’t difficult at all but finding and identifying them can be a little tricky. By default Lightroom places it’s catalog files in a folder titled Lightroom in the Pictures folder (Pictures or My Pictures whatever your system calls it) and the Backups are in that Lightroom folder. So, navigate to Pictures>Lightroom>Backups and the old backup files should be listed there. If you have moved your catalog from the default location or you created a new catalog in an other than default location then you will have to navigate to that location to see the back-ups. If you are in doubt as to where your back-ups are located take a look at the small dialog box that opens up when Lightroom asks if you’d like to back-up. The location of the back-up files is listed there.

     The date and time the backup was performed is written into the filename for each backup. On my system a file name of 2015-12-27 1806 means that a backup was performed on December 27, 2015 at 6:05 in the evening (1806 being military or 24hr time for 6:06). Be absolutely certain you understand how your system is naming the backup files before you delete anything.

     It is only necessary to keep the most recent backup file however I will usually keep the last two just to be safe. Select the ones you don’t need and right click and delete or drag them directly to the Recycle Bin/Trashcan. If you backup weekly (some folks backup even more often) then it doesn’t hurt to do this every couple of months or so.

     There you go. Three simple Lightroom clean-ups that will get you New Year off to a good start.



(Kenny McKeithan Photography) clean lightroom photograph photography post processing resources software up Wed, 06 Jan 2016 00:18:00 GMT


     I don’t fish. Never have really. Oh, my dad tried. We went “fishing” many times when I was a kid but I never really took to it. I’d fidget. I’d run up and down the beach. I’d dig in the sand. Pretty much everything but fish. If we went out in the boat to fish I couldn’t do that either. I would rock the boat enough to make the hardiest old salt queasy.  I’d have to play in the water, or with the paddles, or the seat cushion, or the...  You get the idea. Later when I was older I got my own boat. I had all the gear, rods, reels, nets. Still didn’t fish. I was much more interested in skiing or cruising or anything but sitting still waiting on a bite. What’s all this got to do with photography you ask?

     I don’t have  a decent shot of a Belted Kingfisher. A least not until last week. If you photograph birds you know how elusive these little rascals are. Like me they never sit still for long. I made an early morning trip out to Donnelley WMA and parked out where I usually do, behind the Lodge and just before the first rice dike. I saw her as soon as I parked sitting on a branch about 12 feet off the water much as you see her in the image above. Of course, as you may have guessed, capturing this image took a little more effort. I got out of the van which, to my surprise, didn’t scare her off immediately. Maybe I have a chance! I moved around the other side to get my equipment out and set up using the vehicle as a blind. I  peered through the windows periodically to make sure she was still there. Once I was ready I moved to the front of the van for a clear shot. She never moved. Looking through the viewfinder I aimed the camera in her direction and found her, out of focus and not quite where I wanted her, but in the viewfinder none the less. I carefully but deliberately repositioned the camera for composition and squeezed the back button for focus and…

     She was gone. GRRROWL. Well not exactly what I said. Maybe she saw a fish or something startled her but by the time I looked up from the camera she was halfway across the pond and heading away. I waited a few moments to see what she would do until I lost her in the background brush. Feeling a little frustrated I picked up camera and tripod and started off down the road to see what else I could “scare away!” Walking ten to fifteen feet on the other side of the van I shot a look back at the branch and she was back! I decide right then that before I left Donnelley that day I would have her!

     I moved back to the van and slid open the door on the water side all the while watching her movements. She flew off and came back a few times while I set up the tripod right outside the open door. I climbed into the seat and… No bird. This time I waited. Five minutes, fifteen minutes. Thirty minutes and she was back. This time it was easy. The camera was ready. I had pre-focused on the branch she had been using. My composition very close to what I wanted based on where she had been sitting previously. I took a half step out of the van, one foot in and one foot out, grabbed the camera and fired. Got her! And I continued to shoot as she sat quite still for several minutes. This time when she flew off I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. I knew I had exactly what I wanted in the camera.

     You see the point of all this is that one essential component of our photography must be patience. We are not often blessed with a great subject that materializes right in front of our camera. Most times we have to go look for it. Sometimes we must wait for it. Sometimes we must wait a long while for it. In my younger days I would have long moved on to something else when the kingfisher first flew away. These days I know better than to be in such a hurry to move on to the next subject. Exercising a little patience will help you capture the image you’re after.

(Kenny McKeithan Photography) Belted Kingfisher bird photography nature photography patience photograph photography Mon, 27 Jan 2014 21:40:42 GMT
Using all available resources  

   Are you using all of the resources available to you when designing a photograph? Are you certain? All the things  you need to design and capture an image are not necessarily contained in your camera bag. Take the image above for example. I had an image like this in my head for months. I had seen similar images by other photographers and I wanted to capture one like that for myself. But from where? I knew that cypress trees grow in standing water in swampy areas but all I had seen were grouped together by the dozens or hundreds. No single tree standing out by itself to give me the clean, simple composition that I wanted. Then one day I was poking around in Google Earth.

     If you’re not familiar, Google Earth is a satellite image based map program that “Lets you fly to any location on earth” to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, and more. Want to visit Walt Disney World? It’s there. Lake Tahoe? It’s there. New York, London, Milan? It’s all there. Even the northeast shore of Lake Moultrie! So, while I poked around aimlessly, I began to wonder if I could see a level of detail that would let me pick out a single tree. Turns out you can and rather easily I might add! So I simply zoomed into Bonneau Beach, a place I was somewhat familiar with, and began scanning along the lakeshore. I needed to find a tree or trees that looked promising, that looked like they were somewhat easily accessible, and that also let me look in the correct direction to get some decent sky color at sunrise or sunset. You can see the location where I captured the image above in the screen capture below. The lone tree is one of those in the area indicated by the arrow and it’s easily accessible from the adjacent Amos Lee Gourdine boat landing just north of the arrow.

     Once I arrived at the location the photography was rather simple. After a short walk through the woods to the water’s edge to survey the scene and pick out “The Tree,” my 100-400mm zoom at 100mm let me reach out just enough to isolate that tree from the others. A very slow shutter speed of 13 sec. at f32 helps to soften the surface of the water. It was then just a matter of waiting on the color from the setting sun.

     So, next time you have an image in mind but are unsure of the best location, give Google Earth a try. If nothing else it's a lot of fun and it’ll save you a ton of drive time!


Earth_ScreenshotGoogle Earth ScreenshotThis screenshot from Google Earth shows the location where the above photograph was taken.

(Kenny McKeithan Photography) google earth image photograph photography resources Fri, 10 Jan 2014 21:43:28 GMT