Lightroom: Slow Develop Module? Increase RAW Cache

While I can’t say this Adobe Lightroom cache optimization tip did all that much to increase speed for me, I recognize the benefits could be workflow dependent. By default (at least for me), Adobe Lightroom’s RAW cache is configured for 1GB. But, if you have the hard drive space available, why not increase this cache setting? And for an even greater speed boost, if you have a solid state drive (SSD), make sure that is where your cache is located.

Here’s what Adobe has to say.

Every time you view or edit raw images in the Develop module, Lightroom generates up-to-date, high-quality previews. It uses the original image data as its foundation, and then updates the preview for any processing or adjustments that have been applied. The process is a little faster if the original image data is in the Camera Raw cache. Lightroom checks the cache for the original image data and can skip early stage processing if the image data is cached. (Adobe Lightroom – Optimize performance)

To change the cache value (and location), go to Preferences (Edit menu on Windows / Lightroom menu on Mac), then click on the File Handling tab. Near the bottom there is a section called Camera Raw Cache Settings.

adobe-lightroom-camera-raw-cache-settings

Bump up the Maximum Size to whatever value your free drive space can reasonably handle. And change the Location for the cache to an SSD (if you have one available with enough free space). On my MacBook Air, I bumped the cache up to 10GB, but if free space allows, you might want to consider 20GB, 50GB, or more, especially if you have a lot of photos (tens or hundreds of thousands) in your catalog.

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2015 Donation to CHOP by DKS Photo

In keeping with my commitment to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), I just submitted the 2015 donation from David K. Sutton Photography. As always, 10% of the proceeds of all photography sales go to CHOP. This year I specified “Research” as the area I would like donations applied. Thanks for your continued support of this website and my photography, and a special thanks to those who made this donation possible by purchasing DKS Photo products in 2015!

If you are feeling the spirit of the season, please Donate to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

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Outer Banks: Kickin’ It Old School With 35mm Film, Pentax K1000

Many months ago I decided I wanted a photographic challenge, and so I picked up an old Pentax K1000 manual SLR camera off eBay. The plan was to start shooting with some Kodak TRI-X 400 black and white 35mm film. However, the film and the camera sat around for months unused. Then came a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a Thanksgiving vacation, and along came the big Nikon D7100, small Sony RX-100 II, and yes, the Pentax K1000. I was determined to finally use the film camera. I haven’t shot with film since the early 1990s, and even then I shot with automatic cameras. The Pentax K1000 is fully manual. However, there is one handy feature in the K1000, and that’s a built-in light meter in the form of a simple needle that appears on the right side of the viewfinder. Put the needle in the middle using a combination of aperture and shutter speed, and your photo “should” be properly exposed, notwithstanding the look you are going for in a particular scene.

Since film costs money, and since good developing isn’t exactly what I would call cheap (I recommend The Darkroom), I was determined to change my mindset when shooting with film. I can’t just snap away hoping to get a good shot. I really needed to put some thought into each shot. And with that, I actually only shot two rolls of film the entire week.

Here’s one of my favorites.

Whalehead Club decorated for Christmas. Corolla, North Carolina - Outer Banks

Whalehead Club decorated for Christmas. Corolla, North Carolina – Outer Banks

And here’s another angle of this impressive structure.

Whalehead Club decorated for Christmas. Corolla, North Carolina - Outer Banks

Whalehead Club decorated for Christmas. Corolla, North Carolina – Outer Banks

Whalehead is a historic home located in Corolla, North Carolina and was built by Edward C. Knight back in the 1920s. It was his “duck hunting” home away from home. Now completely restored, it is open to the public for tours and other events, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Sometimes when you shoot with film, you get happy accidents that create neat effects, something you’d never get with a pristine digital photo unless you decided to add it in “post.” Take for example the photo below of Bodie Island Lighthouse, with film flaws and a curious but beautifully placed light leak.

Bodie (pronounced "body") Island Lighthouse - Outer Banks, North Carolina

Bodie (pronounced “body”) Island Lighthouse – Outer Banks, North Carolina

I’m always looking for lines and shadows, and as I was walking the boardwalk in Manteo, North Carolina, I spotted this neat intersection of lines and shadows created by the boardwalk and a bench not quite enjoying the shade of a tree

A bench on the boardwalk in Manteo, North Carolina

A bench on the boardwalk in Manteo, North Carolina

And finally, I look for juxtapositions, sometimes blatantly obvious, like the Full Moon Cafe basking in the bright sun.

Full Moon Cafe & Brewery - Manteo, North Carolina

Full Moon Cafe & Brewery – Manteo, North Carolina

Overall, I’m quite satisfied with many of the 70 black and white film photographs I captured during my week in the Outer Banks.

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Philadelphia Street Photography – Happy Hour

Philadelphia Street Photography - 0986

I guess you can call this “happy hour” in Center City Philadelphia. I love some of the expressions here. The guy with the hat and the glass is the star of the show, but I also like the guy with the beard to the left and the woman just beyond the guy with the hat. The look on her face is interesting. She clearly finds something amusing with this street scene, and considering I moved through this scene multiple times before taking this photo, I can fully understand her expression. It was a curious and lively crowd to say the least. But I can’t forget to mention the young man in the foreground, and I like that the depth of field in this shot puts him slightly out of focus, detaching him from the scene. The guy with the hat is the star, but the young man with his back to the camera is the mystery.

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Photography Composition: Use Leading Lines To Anchor Subject

Valley Creek - Valley Forge

In the photo above, you have a classic example of the photographic compositional element known as “leading lines.” The banks of the creek as well as the trees on each side form lines that lead your eye to the edge of the visible creek. In this photo the viewer’s eyes are led from the bottom/middle of the photo to near the top.

Leading lines can perform the simple function in the photo above, in essence becoming the subject of the photo, or part of the subject itself. But leading lines can serve to anchor your main subject in the frame, like in the photo below:

Philadelphia Street Photography - 0943

In the above photo, and starting from the bottom left of the frame, the viewer’s eye is led by the long shadow to the main subject. But there is also a secondary leading line that is the lighter colored pavement. And last, the starburst (sun rays) can also be considered leading lines that serve to anchor the subject from the top of the frame. This is definitely not a conventional (whatever that means) leading lines photograph, but it still illustrates the use of lines and flow in the composition, leading the viewer’s eyes to the main subject. But as I said, leading lines don’t always need to anchor a subject, the line or lines can be the subject, as is the case here:

Valley Forge - 0335

The trail is both the leading lines element and the main subject of the above photo.

And here is another example of leading lines that anchor the main subject, although in this photo, the leading lines are likely to lead the viewer’s eyes away from the subject (depending on where your eyes first hit the photo), but in this case it makes for an effective and interesting composition:

Knox Quarters Stables - 0348

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