A quick look at the Sleeklens Through The Woods workflow for Lightroom

Recently, I have been contacted by the PR Relations Manager from Sleeklens, asking me if I would test and review their Through The Woods workflow. The agreement was that I would review the workflow honestly, without bias.
As was already the case earlier (see my review of printing at zor.com), this decided me to accept the request.
Here are my first impressions about the Through The Woods presets and brushes.
To illustrate this post, I used a few images from one of my trips to Northern Aragon (Spain) and the French Pyrenees.
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Importing the Picasa database to Lightroom

This post had been waiting in my drafts folder for a long time! Here it is published at last!

After the recent announcement by Google that they would stop active development of Picasa Desktop, a lot of people are looking for an alternative to replace it without losing all their albums, keywords,…

Good news for those who have been using Picasa Desktop to manage their pictures collection and want to switch to Lightroom: my plugin Lightroom to Picasa Importer is now available.
You might have seen my previous post about my procedure to convert Picasa Desktop albums into Lightroom collections. Although this was working, I found that it was a really cumbersome procedure and I wanted to find an easier way to do it. So, after a lot of information gathering and research on the structure of the Picasa database, I had enough information to try and build a Lightroom plugin to do the work automatically. I decided to take the plunge and quickly learned how to code in Lua to be able to write a plugin for Lightroom.

The result: a Lightroom plugin that allows you to:

  • convert your Picasa (Desktop) albums into Lightroom collections;
  • import your Picasa tags (keywords) and captions into Lightroom
  • import the faces recognized by Picasa, the images corresponding to each of them in their own Lightroom collection;
  • collect all images that have been converted to black & white in Picasa and gather them in a Lightroom collection (the plugin can unfortunately not convert the image to B&W with the current Lightroom API);
  • collect all images that have been cropped in Picasa and gather them in a Lightroom collection (the plugin can unfortunately not apply the crop with the current Lightroom API);
  • convert your Picasa stars into a Lightroom collection;

For more details, a short user guide, and the download link, please visit the plugin page.

From Picasa to Lightroom with the Picasa to Lightroom Importer plugin

After the recent announcement by Google that they would stop active development of Picasa Desktop, a lot of people are looking for an alternative to replace it without losing all their albums, keywords,…

If you have been using Picasa Desktop to manage your pictures collection and want to switch to Lightroom, my plugin Lightroom to Picasa Importer is now available.

This plugin imports the following from Picasa:

  • Albums (as collections under their original name)
  • Stars (in a collection named _Picasa Stars)
  • Faces (each recognized face gets its own album within a collection set named _Picasa Faces). Unknown faces are collected in an Unknown album.
  • Captions (searchable, can be found in the Metadata pane, in the Picasa Importer set)
  • Keywords (searchable, can be found in the Metadata pane, in the Picasa Importer set)
  • Cropped images (listed in a collection named _Picasa Cropped). It is unfortunately not possible to apply the crop with the current Lightroom API but at least all your cropped images will be collected in one collection. Much easier than to check which one has to be cropped in Picasa and Lightroom.
  • Images converted to black and white (listed in a collection named _Picasa B&W). It is unfortunately not possible to apply the conversion with the current Lightroom API. By selecting the images from this collection, you can then convert the whole collection to black and white in one click.

This plugin is free. But developing it took a lot of time and efforts. If you find it useful, please consider a donation (minimum 1 dollar or 1 euro, otherwise I will end up paying Paypal for your donation!).





Thanks!

Short Usage Instructions

After installing and activating the plugin, you can check its options and select the data that you want to import (all of them are selected by default).

To import the Picasa data, first select in Lightroom the picture(s) for which you want the data to be imported. Then go to the File>Plug-In Extras>Import Picasa data for selected photos.
For the plugin to work, the folders containing the photos need to be online, so that it can read the Picasa data from these folders (i.e. it will not work if your photos are stored on a disconnected drive).
You can either import data for all photos (select your whole catalog) or only for subsets of photos (select the ones you need).

Once the Picasa data has been imported, a new collection set named Picasa Albums appears in the Collections pane.
Captions and keywords are visible (and searchable) in the Metadata pane, in the Picasa Importer set. If you use only jpg images, this is not needed as Picasa saved these data already in the jpg file and the captions and keywords will already be recognized by Lightroom. However, raw files were left untouched and importing the captions and keywords can then be useful.

The plugin has been tested on Windows and Mac, and works with Lightroom 5 and 6 or CC. Previous versions might also work but I have not tested them.
The plugin should automatically find the Picasa database folder. If, for one reason or another, the plugin cannot find it, you can manually adjust the folder location in the plugin options.

How to convert Picasa albums into Lightroom collections

Picasa icon arrow icon Lightroom icon

For sorting and classifying my pictures, I have been using Picasa for quite some time now. While I still believe that this is the fastest images manager that I have ever seen, it has some limitations and I have been thinking about using Adobe Lightroom instead. My only issue before switching to Lightroom was that I first had to make sure that I could import the numerous albums that I had created to sort my pictures in Picasa. With 40K+ pictures and several thousands sorted in albums, I could not afford to lose this information when switching to Lightroom. A related issue was that I had many star-rated pictures in Picasa that I also wanted to transfer. Neither Picasa nor Lightroom support this kind of transfer and I could not find any solution that suited me on the Internet. So I looked at the problem myself. Dissecting the required process into simple steps made it easier to find a solution. The rest of this post will describe how I did it.
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