A few words on my blogging process – and how I’ve automated as much as possible for quick and easy posting!
Click. Click. Click. Another breakfast captured digitally, in the highest resolution my camera allows.
I also could not blog and maintain happiness without my wonderful, wonderful HP Desktop. It has a widescreen monitor, Windows 7 and is super fast. I also have an HP Laptop – the dm4, which I also love with all my heart.
I import my photos into Adobe Lightroom through a slot on my computer.
I bought LR this winter for $180 from Buy.com. It was a wonderful purchase – saves me SO.much.time. Lightroom is made specifically for photo editing, so it makes the process very easy and automated. I think Ultimately Photoshop (the big daddy) is probably the BEST editing software, but I have never used it because I can’t afford it! [I edited with Adobe Elements for a long time and while I love the Pioneer Woman’s Actions, Lightroom saves me much more time than doing each photo by hand]
The Lightroom Presets are awesome. You can apply any kind of editing (warmer, brighten, sharpen) and SAVE the preset so the next time you need to do one – or MANY – things to a photo, you can do them in one click. These are the ones I have created and use daily, depending on the photo set I’m working with:
So then I start to apply the presets to the photos.
Real life is vibrant and alive. The camera can’t capture that 100%. I think of the editing process as adding back the vibrancy and beauty that the camera took away. I never change the composition of the photo, I just help it go from dull to vibrant.
Another amazing feature of Lightroom is the SYNC button. You can apply a setting to one photo, push SYNC and it applies the setting to ALL of the photos you choose. So.much.time.saved.
And of course you can always edit anything by hand, which I do do a lot, especially in unusual lighting or white balance conditions:
I’ve used Picasa to make some of the big collages I’ve posted in the past. But I’ve been using Lightroom recently to create smaller collages via templates.
On the PRINT tab, you can use templates to put photos together and then print as a JPG:
This new JPG goes to my IMPORT folder and then automatically appears in my photo box below so I can keep on working!
Here are templates that I have created and use frequently:
Once I am done editing (which now only takes me maybe 10-15 minutes instead of 30-45) I export the photos to a folder called BLOG UPLOAD. I probably only use about 50% of the photos I take, so BLOG UPLOAD only contains edited, resized photos that I plan to blog. The originals are all saved in a Lightroom folder that I rarely, if ever, reference. I delete the high-res photos every now and then.
As the photos are exported, they also get resized to 600 px (my blog width) and compressed to 50% quality. I’ve tried hard to balance quality and size to reduce the load on my page and this seems to be working well for the time being.
Again, everything is automated!!
I quickly snap them to each side of my widescreen monitor and can see my post and all my photos at the same time:
WLG normally opens right to my BLOG UPLOAD folder:
In Windows Live, you can simply copy and past photos into the page and write your text in between.
Two fun features are the fact that you can change all kinds of fonts right there and format just like a Microsoft Word doc.
Once my post is done, I push publish and it magically sends everything to KERF!
I use Dreamhost as my hosting company (I have dedicated servers) and have been more than happy with them. They have great chat support and the pricing is competitive. They’re always quick to fix my issues, which is what matters most! I love being able to speak/chat with a real person in an instant. Highly recommend them!