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lightroom2: advice\questions

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#1 Turbo



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Posted 07 September 2009 - 07:17 PM

hey guys im completely new to the whole idea of photo editing. i got the trial version on light room goin on and have been playin with it for the last couple days. ive read martin evenings book on lightroom2 however i am finding it very difficult to follow. i have watched various videos online and found them easy to follow but not very thurow. i currently just go throw the list of buttons and nobes and move each of them until the photo looks better

i need help with the whole developing process and have acouple question i was hoping the community here at wet pixels could help me anwser.

1) What is the difference between hues, saturation, and illumincence? (hsl\color\greytone tab)

2)in what order do you make the changes? (i am just starting at the top (whitebalance) and working down the the details tab)

3)whats the best way to sharpen the image?

4) what tools do you like best?

5) are there any books or articles about lightroom2 that portaine directly to underwater?

thanks guys any tips or hints or information and as to where i can find the information would be helpful.

#2 Steve Williams

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 10:22 PM

It's hard for anyone to top Martin's explanations. I'll try to give you a couple of pointers that work for me. Your approach of moving buttons until it looks better isn't as silly as it sounds. It a great way to learn once you have the basics down. My answers assume you're shooting RAW.

1. The Hue control allows you to make subtle hue color shifts in each of the eight color-band ranges. Underwater shots can sometimes take advantage of this to modify the cyan color. I use this on sunbursts occasionly. The Saturation control affects the intensity of the color and Luminance controls how light or dark pixels of a given color range are relative to their original values.
A typical use of luminance might be to darken the sky in an over under for example. I rarely use the controls individually. I typically use the TAT to select an area of color and drag it up or down to shift the color.

2. The order that most Lightroom gurus recommend is as you describe. Start at the top and work your way down. I like to get the WB close and the exposure "correct" then tweak the Recovery , Fill light, and Blacks to fill out the Histogram and get the image to represent what I'm looking for in the image. I rarely if ever touch the contrast slider, I prefer to use the tone curve for that. I almost always add some Clarity (+25 to +50) for underwater shots. Then I adjust the sharpening and the camera color profile. The good news is that the sequence you use doesn't really matter because the LR algorithm takes all of your adjustments into account and applies them in the "right" order. You really can't screw up too badly because your original RAW file is still there untouched. It's common to make a couple of passes through the controls until you get what you like.

3. Sharpening is an art all to itself. I'd recommend you do a search here and the photo sites for more info. The simple answer is that LR assumes you'll sharpen the image twice. Input sharpening (the slider) and output sharpening which LR controls for you based on the size and usage of the exported file. Every underwater image from my Canon requires some input sharpening of the RAW file. It's easy to over sharpen UW images that have a lot of detail in them like surface waves or macro textures. Those over sharpened images look "crunchy" to me. They just don't look right, especially when printed. Try adding about +50, radius of .8 and detail of 25 just to get you started.

4. In LR I love the Graduated filter and adjustment brush. The grad filter has really helped my over unders and portrait oriented WA scenics.

5. I haven't seen any underwater specific LR books. Your on the right track though using the videos. I like Matt Kloskowski from Photoshop User TV Once you get the hang of it it will come very naturally and the best part is you control how your images look.

Hope that helps a little, one other note, the tendency for us newbies is to over control. We tend to use too much of a good thing. (It's a lot like rum :) ) It easy to get over saturated. Try getting an image you like then backing off just a little.

Have fun with it!

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#3 Gudge


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Posted 07 September 2009 - 10:42 PM

Lightroom sharpening was a black art to me until I read this tutorial:

Lightroom Sharpening

It was written for V1 but is equally applicable to V2

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#4 Nextwo



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Posted 08 September 2009 - 12:50 PM

This video is good. I'll learn a lot from this video.

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#5 Turbo



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Posted 10 September 2009 - 01:24 PM

when i press the alt button how should my pictures look, for the most part the radiuos allways seems to look straight white same thing with the detail pannel how ever if i increase it to around 70% it starts to get better. if someone could post a screenshot it would be most hepfull.