For some time now I’ve been using and teaching a process of working on photographs in Lightroom. It consists of basically four steps: manual adjustments, tonality adjustments, hue adjustments and finally saturation adjustments. Quite some time ago I had the brilliant idea of converting the image to black and white before doing the tonality adjustments. The technique I used was the B & W tab in Lightroom’s HSL group. Once the tonality adjustments were done, the image would be converted back to color and the process continue.
It didn’t work out because when I converted the image back to color, the colors were so oversaturated and unnatural that the image looked horrible. It was just easier to do the tonality adjustments on the color image. So I quickly gave up on that technique. But the other day I was reading an article in Popular Photography magazine that rekindled this idea. It took a different approach. It turned the image to black and white by setting the Saturation adjustment to -100. Now the author did this in the middle of the process but I thought that if I applied this to my process and did that at the start it just might work. So I was eager to give it a try. Let’s try it with this image of the Watchman in Zion National Park.
This is the original raw file. I haven’t done anything to it yet. It doesn’t need any mechanical adjustments. These consist of removing spots, straightening the image, maybe some noise reduction and the final crop. But since none of these are required we can move on to the tonality adjustments.
Continue reading “Making a Photograph – A New Approach to Tonality Adjustments” »
Tags: black, black and white, color, contrast, exposure, graduated filter, highlight, HSL, hue, Lightroom, luminosity, saturation, shadow, spot removal tool, tonality, vignette, white
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Over the years there has been a lot of interest in the concept of ‘Expose to the right.’ This is something that is commonly done in digital photography where you intentionally overexpose an image. The idea is that in digital images there is more information to work with in the brighter tonalities than there is in the darker. And this will give you more to work with in the darkroom (Lightroom and Photoshop) which will result in a better image.
I’ve written several posts on this topic and if the concept is new to you please read these. I’m not going to go into the theory here; that is spelled out in these posts.
Lightroom Tutorial – Expose to the Right
Expose to the right – Revisited
Now, I understand the theory. I’m a computer guy; I had better understand it. But I’ve always wondered if the promise of a better image actually worked out in real life. So I did a test during our recent photography workshop to Big Sur.
Continue reading “Mastering Exposure – Expose to the Right” »
Tags: Big Sur, black point, Blacks, clarity, clipping, Darkroom, digital, expose to the right, exposure, exposure compensation, highlight, histogram, image, Lightroom, old coast road, over expose, overexpose, photo, photograph, photography, PhotoShop, redwood, shadow, tonality, workflow, workshop
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Lightroom is a great tool. It’s quick and easy to use – once you get the hang of it. But sometimes mastering the workflow, the steps you go through to take a raw file to a ‘final’ image, can be a bit daunting.
Let me say up front that Lightroom is an important part of my workflow but it’s not the only part. Every photograph I work on starts in Lightroom but is completed in Photoshop. Nevertheless, Lightroom gets a photograph to about 80% of the final product. I know many people who use Lightroom exclusively and Photoshop only in rare circumstances if at all.
So back to the workflow. Can it really be made easy? Yes it can. There are four major steps (not counting import – see Lightroom Tutorial – Importing Photographs):
- Mechanical adjustments like dust spot removal and cropping
- Tonality adjustments
- Hue adjustments
- Saturation adjustments
Let’s skip the first step and start with the second. The example will be in Lightroom 4.
Continue reading “Lightroom Tutorial – Workflow Made Easy” »
Tags: adjustment, adjustments, Adobe, amount, Basic, black point, Blacks, blue, brighter, clarity, clipping, color, contrast, cool, corners, creative process, crop, cropping, Death Valley, dust spot, dynamic range, edges, elements, emotion, enhancement, exposure, Global, grain, green, greens, highlight, highlights, histogram, hue, image, images, impact, Lightroom, Local, luminosity, magenta, photo, photography, PhotoShop, Post processing, post-crop vignette, radius, RAW, saturation, shadow, shadows, tan, temperature, Tint, tonal, tonality, unsharp mask, Vibrance, vignette, warm, white point, Whites, workflow, workshop, yellow, yellows, Zabriskie Point
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