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How much editing with Lightroom is acceptable?


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#1 johnjvv

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 09:52 PM

Hello,

I am fairly new to using RAW and Lightroom and have seen that you can make fairly drastic improvements to images. I would appreciate anyone's comments on wether the changes I have made to this image is deemed acceptable or is it going overboard?

I personally feel the edited image looks much nicer however I dont want my images to come across as fake.

Thanks,
John

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#2 sdingeldein

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 03:26 AM

My view is that whatever pleases you is fine, as long as you are not misrepresenting your work, say cutting and pasting critters together to "show" a unique underwater event for some contest or publication.

Your eye constantly edits what it sees and there is no reason that you can't adjust in Lightroom to your heart's content until a picture looks like you remember it or how you want it to look.

Your edited image doesn't look fake to me.
Born to dive, forced to work

#3 nachogil

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 03:40 AM

In my point of view with Lightroom I do basically the same things that I did in the past when I developed in the laboratory (B/W and color) modify the exposition, contrast, tone, remove some dots or scratches, ok in the extreme use of Lightroom you can add a gradient filter...

I think that the Ligtroom's concept is very close to the traditional photography work, other discussion is the use of Photoshop a solution more focused in the retouch, or the use of some Lithroom especific plugins.

I think that your picture example is perfectly acceptable.

Edited by nachogil, 10 September 2011 - 03:41 AM.


#4 tdpriest

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 05:37 AM

The image looks fine to me.

I'm a bit of an editing fiend, and I find anything that could have been done in a darkroom, except, perhaps, cut & paste, acceptable if the image looks right. I believe that there are two ends: to reflect what you saw on the dive, or to make an obviously artificial image.

Shetland_2011_19_1399_Bressay_Froaich_Bhan_mod.jpg


"Real", although processed to give a monochrome image when colour wasn't a memorable part of the dive.


Plymouth_2011_017_Barn_Pool_radial_blur.jpg


Made "in camera", minimal digital darkroom processing, but clearly an image with an element of abstraction, or unreality, created by a radial blur filter.

Tim

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#5 johnjvv

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 05:45 AM

ok in the extreme use of Lightroom you can add a gradient filter...



I did a BW course in high school and we were taught to do something similar when burning prints by means of putting a piece of cardboard over a certain area of a contact sheet to block the enlarger's beam. We would first correctly expose an area then cover it with cardboard and then overexpose the uncovered area to make it blacker. Of course you move the cardboard around to avoid a distinct line...I suppose the term is graduating!

I must say playing around with lightroom is quite cool especially to remove those white spots from a black background, and something I never learnt developing film...

Thanks for your all your comments...

#6 nachogil

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 03:55 PM

I did a BW course in high school and we were taught to do something similar when burning prints by means of putting a piece of cardboard over a certain area of a contact sheet to block the enlarger's beam. We would first correctly expose an area then cover it with cardboard and then overexpose the uncovered area to make it blacker. Of course you move the cardboard around to avoid a distinct line...I suppose the term is graduating!

I must say playing around with lightroom is quite cool especially to remove those white spots from a black background, and something I never learnt developing film...

Thanks for your all your comments...


johnjvv,

In B/W I usually used multi-contrast paper, with it I I could change the exposition and the contrast by zones in the same copy with two possible objetives: represent the original aspect of the scene or have a personal point of view of it. If you are interesting in this techniques I suggest to you read about Ansel Adams is much better than read about sensors and megapixels :)

About remove spots or some dust in the pictures I had some classes in my photography degree about it using very tiny brushes and special tints, it was very common.

Nacho

Edited by nachogil, 10 September 2011 - 03:56 PM.


#7 tdpriest

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 03:20 AM

... read about Ansel Adams...


Spot on!

Tim

:)

#8 esetterf

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 05:43 AM

Looks good to me. It brings out your subject.

#9 Alastair

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 11:18 AM

looks good.....

i only ever use the curves and some saturation and maybe contrast. I am yet to experiment with the more extreme ( if that is correct ) controls. but it is interesting to hear the old techniques in fim days being likened to the modern digital era. any more tricks that were done in the film days and are now available on digital?

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#10 AndyBarker

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 12:38 PM

Hi All,
I remember being told a few years ago that more than 5 minutes means that the image was not good enough in the first place
I know this may sound harsh. So I always try to take the best image I can, in any case I am not that good in lightroom, but still
learning.

Andy :)

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#11 scorpio_fish

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 12:42 PM

Hi All,
I remember being told a few years ago that more than 5 minutes means that the image was not good enough in the first place
I know this may sound harsh. So I always try to take the best image I can, in any case I am not that good in lightroom, but still
learning.

Andy :)


So, with the 5 minute rule: 1) the better you are at PS, the more you get to manipulate the photo and 2) a faster computer may get you a couple of more adjustment before times up.

Just wondering.

Oh, for this type of image I would make a duplicate layer. Create a mask. Mask off the fish. Duplicate the layer. Then invert the mask. Adjust the fish to my liking with curves and sharpen it. Then I'd adjust the layer with the inverted mask. I may make it darker and less in focus or less saturated in order to emphasize the fish. It may need its own white balance adjustment. I might be able to do it in 5 minutes.

As to the original poster's question. Do whatever you want to the image. No, it doesn't look too processed.

Edited by scorpio_fish, 12 September 2011 - 12:57 PM.

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#12 johnjvv

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 07:47 PM

Andy,


I am also new to lightroom but too be completely, honest making changes like the ones above takes a couple minutes. My favourite is black clipping which basically makes all of the black areas blacker and then playing around with the contrast. I tried the Graduated Filter on another pick after the Ansel Adams comments above to see how that works...this would take it over five minutes for sure, but an interesting tool which I will try to master anyway. If I am able to "create" anything worthwhile I will post it here!!


Scorpiofish, your method seems quite advanced and I will read up about it!!


Alastair, I look at a RAW file as a "negative" and the printed JPEG as my photo. I recall when having photos developed by shops more recently that they did many colour adjustments on their machine and ask my opinion before printing them so I feel a bit less bad about making my pictures better in LR as it is the development stage in LR, btw the steps in LR is pretty much the same steps as in BW development.

Cheers for everyones comments, much appreciated!!!
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