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How to speed up Lightroom 4 and 5

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JJones_default
11 Aug 2012

Ever since the new year I’ve switched over to doing most of my editing in Adobe Lightroom 4 (and now 5). I loved Lightroom 3, and Lightroom 4 was even more amazing. The new 2012 processing engine is incredible, from the ridiculous highlight recovery latitude, to the noise reduction that still keeps the details. But, like a lot of people, everything slowed… way… down. It took several seconds after clicking a slider for the updated image to show up. So I tried a bunch of things to help speed it up, after all, I spend a good chunk of time editing after weddings and such so any little increase would yield huge benefits for my free time! Hopefully these little tips will help everyone else speed up Lightroom 4 or 5.

how to speed up lighroom 4 tutorial
First a little background. I’m (unlike almost every other photographer) a PC user. I built my own custom photo editing PC a few years ago, so that will be the basis for this tutorial. Sure it’s not state of the art anymore, but it should be able to power though the raw files from my Nikon D4! Don’t worry, some of these tweaks will work on a Mac too, but I can’t put all the specific details here, because I don’t have one. Also, perform these tweaks at your own risk. I haven’t had any issues but I can’t guarantee you won’t.

Here’s a quick summary of the things I’ve tried and their rough results:

  • Putting the Lighroom Cache File on a SSD: 5-10% Improvement
  • Turning off automatic write to XMP Option in Catalog Settings: No noticeable improvement, although others say it has really helped
  • Changing BIOS Memory Option from Turbo to Extreme: 20-30% Improvement
  • Renaming Lightroom Preferences File: 20-50% Improvement, others have said more
  • Overclocking Computer: Can help with performance, but I’ve never tried mine in a non-overclocked setting to judge the difference
  • Create a New Catalog: 5-10% Performance
  • Allocating More Memory to the Cache File: No noticeable improvement
I would say overall I’ve probably gotten Lightroom 4 to be roughly 50% faster, most notably in the brushes and slider responsiveness. Still not as fast as I would like it, but definitely a noticeable improvement. Note: I still haven’t figured out a way to make the program launch faster, elimate the delay in flipping from one photo to the next in the Develop Module, or eliminate the delay the very first time you adjust a slider on an image. If anyone has figured this out, please send me a message!
Anyways on to the good stuff! In order of goodness:
Renaming the Lightroom Preferences File: 20-50% Improvement
 
For Windows 7/Vista:
 
1. Hit Start and type in “%appdata%”
2. Open the Adobe Folder
3. Open the Lightroom Folder
4. Open the Preferences Folder
5. Rename the “Lightroom 4 Preferences.agprefs” file to something else (like “old_lightroom 4 preferences.agprefs”)
6. Restart Lightroom

Most likely this will have killed a few of your preferences, but you can always go back in and change them. If you go back into your Preferences folder you will notice that Lighroom has created a new Preferences File. I’m not sure why this improves the performance so much, but hey, I’m not gonna complain! Note: This may need to be done every few months to keep the performance improvement, but I haven’t tested things that far yet. If this doesn’t help feel free to go back and rename your old file and delete the next one Lightroom created.
If your on a Mac, I’m sure the same tweaks will work, but I’m not sure if this file is located in a different directory than on Windows. I’ll update this if someone can confirm this with me.
Changing the BIOS Memory Option from Turbo to Extreme: 20-30% Improvement
 
Note this is an option only for Gigabyte motherboards. There may be a similar setting available from other motherboard manufactures, but your on your own for that.
1. Boot into your BIOS (on my computer you restart and press delete frequently before the computer boots to windows)
2. Go to MB Intelligent Tweaker
3. Go to Advanced Memory Settings

4. Under Performance Enhance change the option to “Extreme”

I’m not exactly sure what this is changing inside the computer (all my clock settings remained the same) but whatever it did, performance was noticeably improved. I haven’t noticed any stability issues in the past week of having this setting changed either.

If your on a Mac, I doubt the fine people at Apple have something like this for you to change, but let me know if there is so I can add it to this!

Creating a New Lighroom Catalog: 5-10% Improvement

1. Open up Lightroom
2. Go to File -> New Catalog

Over time Lighroom Catalog’s get clogged up with all the information about your files. Creating a new one from time to time, especially if you are a heavy user, can improve responsiveness.

Putting your Lightroom Cache on a Solid State Drive (SSD): 5-10% Improvement

Note, in order for this to work you must have a solid state drive in your computer. If you don’t have one or don’t have a clue what that is just skip to the next tip.

1. Open up Lighroom
2. Go to Edit –> Preferences
3. Click on the File Handling Tab

4. Under the Camera Raw Cache Settings, change the location to be on your solid state (most likely C: Drive)

Allocating More Memory to the Cache File:


1. Open up Lighroom
2. Go to Edit –> Preferences
3. Click on the File Handling Tab
4. Under the Camera Raw Cache Settings increase the cache file size (see above screenshot). I have mine at 20GB.

Some people have reported this helps, I personally haven’t noticed a difference.

Overclocking Computer:

I’m not going to go into a lot of details here, because there are a lot of great resources else ware on the internet. This can damage your computer if you don’t know what your doing but it can improve performance of your entire computer across the board.

Turning off automatic write to XMP Option in Catalog Settings: 

All the Adobe teachers say to do this to improve performance, but I just haven’t seen a big difference. I have gotten the warning that Lightroom isn’t finished writing the .xmp files when I go to exit after a lot of editing, and I imagine this will fix that issue if that bothers you. Note: you will need to manually save your .xmp files if you want the changes to be visable out of lightroom.

1. Open up Lightroom
2. Go to Edit –> Catalog Settings
3. Under the Metadata Tab, Uncheck “Automatically write changes to XMP”

Alright well I hope that at least one of those tips has helped you speed up Lightroom 4! If anyone has more tips, or wants to add in Mac specific instructions, feel to add them in the comments below.

Presbyterian College Clinton Engagement Session | Tabatha + Thomas

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JJones_default
07 Aug 2012

When Thomas gave me a call a few months ago, I was expecting it to be something about his wedding I photographed last year. Well, that was partially the case, but the main reason he was calling was because he wanted to setup a secret gift for Tabatha’s birthday…

You see, Thomas always wanted to have their engagement session in downtown Greenville, and Tabatha kinda did too, but she really wanted it at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, where they met. Well, we did their engagement session last year downtown, which went great, but… as the married men reading this probably know already, women almost always get their way! But this time, instead of Tabatha having to beg Thomas for it, he went out of his way to surprise her with the post-wedding engagement session she always wanted. And excited she was!


Presbyterian College Clinton SC Engagement Session, Wedding Photographer

Presbyterian College Clinton SC Engagement Session, Wedding Photographer

Presbyterian College Clinton SC Engagement Session, Wedding Photographer

Presbyterian College Clinton SC Engagement Session, Wedding Photographer

Presbyterian College Clinton SC Engagement Session, Wedding Photographer

Presbyterian College Clinton SC Engagement Session, Wedding Photographer

Presbyterian College Clinton SC Engagement Session, Wedding Photographer

Presbyterian College Clinton SC Engagement Session, Wedding Photographer

Presbyterian College Clinton SC Engagement Session, Wedding Photographer

Presbyterian College Clinton SC Engagement Session, Wedding Photographer



Thanks again for having me guys! And thanks for letting me test out my new D4 on you guys!

Riu Palace Bavaro Wedding | Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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Riu Palace Bavaro Wedding
18 Jul 2012

And there we were, toes in the sand, waiting for Kristen to walk down the flower petal covered beach to be married to the man she had always envisioned. Or was he? Flash back several years ago, when Kristen created a list for her ideal guy. He had to play the guitar, be manly yet also sing (good luck with that one!), value structure, love God, and have a Spanish influence. Tall order right? Well there is no other explanation other than that she was blessed by God because Travis is all of those things. Well almost… lets just get this straight, I wouldn’t consider Travis to be Hispanic in any way, shape, or form. But as Debra pointed out during her maid-of-honor speech that night, he does have a Spanish last name. And that makes him pretty much perfect for Kristen in my book.

And what a place to have a wedding! Set against the white sand beach that runs along the Riu Palace Bavaro resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, you couldn’t ask for a better place to hold a destination wedding. Just a few months earlier I spent my honeymoon at the Riu Palace Punta Cana, just a short walk down the beach. And while it was very nice, this was definitely the resort to stay at! Beautiful, luxurious, modern, and clean. Well worth the 1350 mile flight in my book. But above all that, was the the icing on the cake: Getting to spend time with my new family and friends while having the chance to capture such an awesome wedding.

Even outside of the wedding it was a pretty eventful week at the Riu Palace Bavaro resort there in the heart of Punta Cana’s beautiful beach. Between drinking way too much fresh mango juice, capturing Kristen’s bridal portraits, getting to the semi-final round of the cerveza drinking contest, and making quite the spectacle of my horrible dancing skills on stage, I was primed and ready for Kristen’s wedding.

The day was here. Kristen looked absolutely stunning, glowing from head to toe with excitement. And I know for a fact that as she walked down that sandy beach toward her ideal man, Travis couldn’t help but smile knowing inside that he was also marrying his ideal woman.


Riu Palace Bavaro Wedding Photographer, Punta Cana

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Riu Palace Bavaro Wedding Photographer, Punta Cana

Thanks so much for having us capturing your wedding! We are so excited to have you as new family members and we wish you all the best on your new journey together!

A special thanks to all the florists, firedancers, bartenders, servers, and chef’s at the Riu Palace Bavaro for making this wedding so awesome!

Now with D4 Power!

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JJones_default
17 Jul 2012

Have you ever gotten so excited for a package to arrive that you literally waited outside for the brown truck to come down the street? That was me last Tuesday, when my shiny new Nikon D4 was scheduled to arrive. Ok, ok… I also was waiting because I didn’t want them to just leave my new $6,000 camera sitting on my front porch (seriously, Nikon you really need to ship things with signature confirmation!!). Either way though, I met the UPS driver outside and brought it inside to safety.

Nikon D4, J Jones Photography

Ever since I started doing photography (hello 2004) I’ve always been a firm believer that you shouldn’t buy new gear until you fully exploit your old stuff, in other words don’t upgrade until your old gear is holding you back. Well, its taken me 8 years to get to this point. Sure, I had a Nikon D3 poster on my wall pretty much since that camera came out, so yea, I’ve always wanted one. But would I have known how to really take advantage of that back then? Heck no! I didn’t even really know how to fully use my relatively new Nikon D300 back then!

Nikon D4, J Jones Photography

Ever since my Nikon D300 went off to camera heaven earlier this year, I’ve had the Nikon D4 in the back of my mind. I only had two problems at the time. 1) I had a wedding to pay for. Meaning I didn’t have a spare $6,000 just laying around. 2) Nikon D4’s were virtually impossible to get a hold of at that time: like backordered so far the waiting lists were close to 6 months long. So I bought my trusty Nikon D700, which looked and felt pretty much the same as my Nikon D300, but had quite a bit more horsepower behind it in the sensor division. While its served me very well this year, I feel its time to finally take the leap and get the very best camera Nikon makes. The Nikon D4.

Nikon D4, J Jones Photography

So how is it? Pretty freakin awesome so far! I’ll be following this post up with a full review, written from a wedding photographer’s perspective. Before then, I’ve gotta learn how to use this beast of a camera, and make some images that can really show off all the great stuff Nikon’s packed into this thing. Cannot wait!

Update: I’ve just finished the full wedding photographer’s review of my Nikon D4. Feel free to search for it on the blog. Enjoy!

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