I am fairly new to LR2 and CS4.
I shoot mostly landscapes and find lightroom to be a great editing tool for creating the image I pre-visualized when clicking the shutter. I import using DxO Pro to correct for lens distortion and do not add any sharpening prior to importing to Lightroom. All other adjustments are made with Lightroom or on occasion I might need PhotoShop CS4.
The problem I am having is that my skies pick up noise artifacts when I add clarity or sharpening. If I put it in PhotoShop and create a mask and add blur to the sky I end up with artifacts along the edges of the scene and sky. It makes it hard to sell the images that way.
Are you sure they are noise artefacts and not compression artefacts (use of jpeg in some stage) or bit steps (use of only 8-bits tif as an intermediate or a low dynamic range camera)? If they are noise, you might simply need a small amount of noise reduction. You should not be blurring skies. Noise reduction algorithms work far better than that. Indeed some examples might help.
Note that the sharpening has a mask slider. What you should be doing with a shot that contains sky, is to zoom to 1:1 at an edge between subject and sky and start dragging the masking slider while holding the option key. You will see the on-the-fly generated mask for the sharpening operation. Drag it until the sky is mostly black and the subject mostly white. This will make the sharpening operation not affect the sky. Then optimize the other sharpening settings. They al have equivalent effect previews while you hold option.
Lastly, why are you doing lens corrections for landscape images? I never need to do anything like that, except maybe some CA corrections. You might be much better off just keeping the image in Lightroom as the sharpening and noise reduction work much better when starting off the RAW. Then for some images that have barrel distortion that is objectionable, use the lens correction filter in Photoshop (or PTLens) after the fact. I believe DxO refuses to correct images that have been in other programs, so alternatively, if you really need the lens corrections DxO does, you could do all sharpening and noise reduction in DxO and export to 16-bit tiffs and edit those further in Lightroom.
Thanks for the answer Jao vdL. I am working in RAW. I attached a sample.
The first panel shows the noise. the second panel shows it with a 10-0-0-0 noise correction which still didn't quite do what I needed. The third panel shows it with 1.2 gaussian blur added to the noise reduction. Granted this was done in CS4 and not LR. I have since gone back into LR and played with the noise reduction an and that works also. I will play more tonight to get a handle on the whole process. I don't want to go to CS4 unless I have to.
My end product was to use CS4, magic wand the sky and correct for noise. The invert the selection on the magic wand to select the rest of the photo. From there I ran the sharpening tool on the rest of the photo. It looks great.
Wow, that looks pretty bad! What kind of camera and ISO is that taken with? I see pattern noise in there (vertical stripes in the clouds mostly), which you usually don't see until very high ISOs. You shouldn't see anything like that at the camera's base ISO. You should be able to get much better results than this working with the RAW in Lightroom. If you don't mind, give us a RAW file to work with (use yousendit or a similar service) to see what numbers would work for you.
I import using DxO Pro to correct for lens distortion and do not add any sharpening prior to importing to Lightroom. All other adjustments are made with Lightroom or on occasion I might need PhotoShop CS4.
You realize that in order to process the lens correction, DxO is actually processing the raw un-demosiaced image data? So, even if you save out the image as a DNG, it's a linear DNG not totally raw. As a result you are at the mercy of DxO's demosiacing processing which, in my experience is courser that ACR/LR.
Taking what you wrote, I went back to the original cr2 file and started over. Everything look fine now. I am not sure where I picked up the noise but I didn't use DxO this time and it looks fine.
Thanks again for the help.
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