My horoscope yesterday:

“A positive attitude is essential today, because if you let negative thoughts enter your mind it could stop you taking advantage of opportunities that are designed by the universe to make you materially and emotionally richer. It’s all good, so be happy.”

I find astrology moderately entertaining and curiously accurate, and cynically I always check yesterday’s installment to see if it was an accurate reading, and this one was very relevant to something that I struggle with on an ongoing basis.

I do wrestle with depression and have a (bad) habit of lending too much weight to the empty portion of the glass, so this is sage advice. And it also fits the above picture which I took quite well.

Now, to put that into practice……..









Photograph Settings for Posting to Instagram


I’m quickly discovering that Instagram has a file size and resolution limit and if I’m over that limit then it compromises the quality of the photo as it appears on IG.

Up until now I’d been exporting my photographs from Lightroom at the highest settings possible to ensure that they looked crisp and clean, which they do on my laptop, but once I upload it to Instagram it loses its integrity and it ends up looking messy and blurry. Which is not ideal.

So, a quick search around the internet revealed that Instagram has a resolution limit of 1080ppi by 1080ppi and file size of 1.6MB, and that I need to export the photograph from Lightroom in a specific way in order to optimise it for use in Instagram.

I played around with the settings based upon what I found, and for me these settings were optimal when using the Export function in Lightroom:

  1. The Image Format should be set to JPEG
  2. The Colour Space should be set to sRGB.
  3. The Quality setting should be set to 50%. You can set this to 100% if you limit the file size to 1.6MB as noted below.
  4. Set both Width and Height to 1080 pixels per inch.
  5. Limit the file size to 1.6MB in the file settings window.
  6. Cropping the photo was incidental to the process as long as you used one of the 4 native aspect ratios (1:1, 1.91:1, 4:5, 4:3/3:4).

As always, you should check the photo before and after export to ensure that it looks clear and crisp, even when zooming into the photograph. As an extra step, I even view the photo on a handheld device after uploading it to Instagram to doublecheck that it looks okay. Once I’m satisfied that it looks acceptable then I’ll go ahead and add the hashtags and narrative to the photo.

I also discovered an alternative way to do this in the Microsoft Windows Photo app. These are pretty easy steps:

  1. Export the photo from Lightroom using the highest settings for maximum clarity, ensuring that it adheres to one of the 4 native aspect ratios (1:1, 1.91:1, 4:5, 4:3/3:4).
  2. Open the photograph using the pre-installed Microsoft Windows Photo app.
  3. In the top right-hand corner is a drop down menu. Click on that.
  4. Close to the top of the drop down menu you’ll see an option labelled “Resize”. Click on that.
  5. You’ll then be provided with an option to resize the image from the current file size (which it gives you) to either Small, Medium or Large. I typically select Large, which reduces the file size considerably while maintaining the integrity/quality of the photo.

Again, check the photo before and after resizing to ensure that it looks clear and crisp, even when zooming into the photograph.

On that note, one process was not better than the other. The end result of having a clear photograph on Instagram was the same for both processes.

So, there you have it. Lesson learned. Another step in the process of learning photography!




Photography Practice Awakens


close up of human hand

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m not a Star Wars fan, so not sure why I chose that title.

My first photography session with a model actually produced some good results, for a beginner. I was a little loathe to post these anywhere because they are very amateur-ish, both from me and the model. I’m only using standard angles for the photo, and the model is providing some pretty basic poses. This is not a problem in and of itself, because I’m looking for two things at this stage: a clear photo and a straight horizontal line (the subject is in the right spot in the photo). I ran these two photos through Lightroom using my B&W preset, which I tweaked a bit, and the cropped them so that they were IG friendly and voilà, they came out okay. I’ll chalk it up as win.

I’ve posted these to IG and may take them down, but let’s see what kind of attention I get…..

Kitty (5)

Kitty (4)

For completeness sake, here are the shot details:

Nikon D3400 – f/4 – 1/250 sec – ISO-800 – Max Ap 4




The Return of Photography Practice

board game business challenge chess

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was warned that this would happen – the first 10,000 photos will be crap, or actually a better way to look at it is this: it’s a learning experience and each photo I take brings me closer to competence and being able to take some really awesome shots. So, I should focus on enjoying the journey and not get too caught up in the missteps along the way. In other words, 1,000 photos down and 9,000 photos to go.

My photo session yesterday was disastrous, not even Lightroom could save the pictures I took. There was one that I was able to salvage in LR and I thought it looked passable, but when I tried to upload it to Instagram, it fell apart. It lost its integrity and was no longer a clear photo. I’ll post it below just for completeness sake, but I think I’d rather just put the whole session behind me.

I’d like to think that last week’s good session was more than just luck, and maybe I just had an off week. Lessons learned: LR will solve all manner of sin, but if the photo isn’t clear then there is no saving it, and I need to re-review the lesson on ISO as I think that’s what really tripped me up.

Anyway, upwards and onwards……..

Updated LR Church of The Redeemer Pic (1 of 1)



Lightroom Practice

Updated LR ROM Pic (2 of 1)

Lightroom practice. Properly ran it through LR this time using my own B&W preset which I created for use with portraits. Did some minor spot clarity adjustments on the windows and ROM sign to make them clearer. Proper cropping this time. I think it looks a little straighter.

I did a bunch of LR tutorials and guess what? I have a bad memory. Or at the very least I need to keep this information on hand so I can refer to it when I need it, which is not unexpected at this stage of the game.

Nikon D3400 – F-stop: f/5.6 – Exposure time: 1/30 sec – ISO: 6400 – Focal length: 29mm – Max aperture: 4.1