Lightroom - is it just me?


Link Posted 18/02/2016 - 22:28
Was thinking about this as I waited at the bus stop this morning.

Focus on the software, the packaging can be stored away and forgotten about.

Things I'd say to myself if I could go back to when I just started lightroom...

Don't worry too much about the presents.
I remember googling 'free presets' when I just started out and obtaining a heap of them.
In practise an awful lot of the adjustments in presets are tailored to the image they were created on. So most often using a preset is not going to look very good when you use it, as you're not starting with the same image, both in terms of white balance and exposure etc

So, by all means use some presets as starting points, but don't expect them to just magically work at all times.

There's a pretty natural flow to the work as you go down the right hand side.
I tend to start by applying the auto exposure and colour button and see if I like what it does to my image. This typically blows my image to being over exposed, so very often I don't end up using it.

That first top section on the right hand side covers the core adjustments, of cropping and levelling an image, adjusting the white balance, exposure, contract, vibrance etc. Vibrance if you haven't come across it before increases the saturation of non saturated areas, and it's supposed to leave skin tones around. I'd suggest using that first over the plain saturation slider, and see what you think.

Every edit is non destructive, so play lots. You can create a 'virtual copy' of a photo and try different approaches on it to see which one you like best.

After that the key points for me are the lens correction bit, where I can remove purple fringing.

Sharpening (don't over do it)

Post crop vignette.
(Post crop means it will start with whatever image you have cropped too, and then vignette in from there, to ensure an even vignette, even if you've cropped previously.)

There are levels curves, split toning etc. but they're all a bit more involved to get working.

The clone brush works really well with a smooth feather. Try the heal option first, as the clone is more traditional but the heal automatically adjusts the brightness etc.

One thing that I really liked though was the ability to drop the saturation of a specific colour range. I've found my Pentax to over saturate some colours at times and the ability to selectively drop a colour range down is useful.

Anyhow, the software is quite progressive, in that you can do more with it as you feel comfortable, find a need etc. I found myself looking at other photos more and asking how they achieved that look etc, and then playing to see if I could replicate it etc.


Link Posted 19/02/2016 - 09:31
I would be lost without LR now both for developing and file magement (ncluding PSD and JPG files).

One part that seems to be neglected is the the linking/cataloging of your PSD, JPG edits. If you edit your original by right clicking this opens your file in your prefered editor (see preferences for setup), when you save it, it is added to your catalog and is available from the library window, your original file is there too with your LR adjustments.

One new feature in the rented version that is not available in the purchased version is an Effect called Dehaze, IMO it's worth the retal cost on its own
LBA is good for you, a Lens a day helps you work, rest and play.


Link Posted 24/02/2016 - 18:50
My apologies for not yet thanking richandfleur and McBrian for your extensive and helpful responses, I will have a go with your suggestions next time. In the book I bought the chapter on editing doesn't start until page 150 by which time my eyes have glazed over and brain fogged! It will be a good doorstop.


Link Posted 24/02/2016 - 23:50
RobL wrote:
the chapter on editing doesn't start until page 150

Lightroom does a heck of a lot more than editing, and now includes the generation of slideshows and photobooks etc.

The cool thing though is you just pick the bits you need at the time. You don't have to know it all before you can get started on developing your images.

It's all non destructive also, so have a play and then undo your changes.
When you export your finished image, the original file remains changed.


Link Posted 24/02/2016 - 23:55
I must say, I'm very much warming to RAWTherapee since I don't constantly need a new version to open the latest RAW files from new cameras. If RT can do it without updates, what's up with LR??
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