03 March 2011

Speeding up your Lightroom 3 production with Paddy and a BFC2000 controller

The fast way to do Lightroom 3 controls 

If you are a full-time photographer and don't have a software such as Lightroom 3, this is the ideal way to manage and adjust photos quickly for basic adjustments. This should be a standard for all Pro photographers with Photoshop to do highly detailed work. And with the Paddy software and BCF controller you can greatly speed up your production time on adjusting large numbers of photos.

Black BCF2000 Controller from Behringer
About a year ago I came across an article for Patty, a software to allow you to use a midi controller, to control the difference sliders in Lightroom. So in researching and reading up at the Paddy for Lightroom site, I found they geared it to a specific midi controller. Using a BCF2000 controller with the Paddy software it will allow you to control the sliders in Lightroom. The software can be used  for other external keyboard controllers, but from my experience the BCF2000 is an ideal choice. After having used this set up it has greatly increased my speed in making adjustments as you just slide the bars up or down to adjust your main adjustments, such as: exposure, recovery, fill light, blacks, brightness, contrast, clarity, vibrance, and saturation. Actually, any of the settings that you use regularly  can be programmed the sliders. You can also have different levels so that the sliders will do different tasks, depending on what program level you're on. You also have a number of buttons and dials on the BCF2000 controller which allow you to add controls to those items. On the knobs at the top of the controller I have various things set such as noise reduction controls, and sharpening controls. And if you don't like the results you can press on the knob and reset to the original setting. I have set the buttons above my sliders to be a reset button to reset the slider back to its original setting. This way if I make a mistake, and I don't like the results,  with a quick press the button I can go back to where it was if I made a mistake. When I first started Paddy the software was a challenge  to figure out, but they were making daily updates, so now setting up the software is relatively easy. The benefit is you can program each slider knob and every button to your desired needs to work in Lightroom 3. This is not designed for Photoshop as the software designer uses Lightroom. It would be rather cool if it could be used for the camera raw settings in Photoshop, but he has not moved in that realm.
White BCF2000 Controller from Behringer

This set up really speeds up production as I don't have to go on each slider in Lightroom with my mouse and individually slide the virtual digital slider. You can always keep your hands on your midi controller, and once you get used to where all your sliders and knobs are you can do most of your commands without even looking at your controller. So when you need to increase your exposure or maybe adjust tint all you have to do is grab that slider or knob and adjust it quickly. The cool thing is with the BCF 2000 controller is now if you were to slide something in the virtual controller in Lightroom, the sliders on the controller are motorized and moved to replicate your adjustments on-screen. This is a powerful program and tool if you're doing a great deal of images within Lightroom, where you're working on the images individually. It has greatly sped up my photography production time. I can easily slide my way into the adjustments I need. I highly recommend this set up to anyone who does a lot of image adjustments within the Lightroom software. The BCF 2000 controller can be found online at places like B&H photo video for about $179.00. Not very expensive considering how much time you could save.

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