Skip navigation
Currently Being Moderated

Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )

Jan 21, 2012 12:51 PM

Tags: #color #rgb #recovery #shadows #clarity #adjustment #highlight #exposure #curves #lights #contrast #highlights #basics #brightness #saturation #tone #whites #curve #blacks #fill-light #darks

Lr4b rocks! (usually...)

 

I have now processed several hundred photos using Lr4b.

 

The good news:

--------------------

- Lr4b's default processing recovers detail in both highlights and shadows. This is a godsend for many photos that would otherwise suffer from closed shadows and overblown highlights - I take a lot of such photos.

- Lr4b's clarity has some improved aspects that are marvelous sometimes (details in another thread).

- Sometimes the colors seem more true.

- The basic controls give more control over the shape of the left and right ends of the histogram.

- The new locals are fab...

- The RGB curves are fab...

 

The bad news:

------------------

- It can be painstaking to undo the default processing in cases when it's better to have blown highlights than have the flatter look that Lr4b can give at the top end.

Likewise for cases when blacker shadows are desired. (requires lots of slider fiddling and/or point curve manipulation, and/or locals, and yes, I understand how all the new sliders work...).

- Sometimes there is desaturation that is hard to recover, especially in the highlights.

- Sometimes there are hue shifts. I've noticed magenta-y-er shadows in some photos, and pinkier highlights in some photos - not all photos...

- There is sometimes an overbrightening of upper midtones which leads to a (sometimes undesirable, sometimes not) HDR-like effect (aside from clarity issues).

- The new basic controls seem to give less control over the shape of the mid-tones - I find myself using the tone curves more in Lr4b than in Lr3, to compensate for default processing, mid-tone "anomalies", and color issues. (and yes, I understand how exposure is supposed to control mid-tone level, and highlights/whites to set upper tones and such, still...).

- Sometimes I really don't like the effect of the new clarity - in both highlights and shadows, even midtones.

 

Summary:

========

I now have developed a love/hate relationship with the new develop tools. Less work required for some photos, and stunning results, hard to achieve with PV2010. But, some photos just don't look natural, and properly saturated, and rich, unless a lot of painstaking work goes in. And please - I don't want to have to process using both versions to see which one I like best, and if I like PV2010 best, then try to get along without the new locals...

 

Recommendations:

|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

 

I think some of us (me for one) really want to control Lightroom's processing more.

 

Although Adobe is very good at reducing the number of sliders to a bear minimum, it sometimes means the pickier lot of us have to spend more time with the tone curves and local adjustments to compensate for what might be considered "over simplified" controls.

 

Perhaps Adobe could ask a little more "How can I best expose control over the various effects to advanced users", instead of just keeping it as simple as possible. Maybe even have an "advanced mode" that could be enabled after getting the hang of the basics...

 

My .02

-R

 
Replies 1 2 Previous Next
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2012 3:35 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    I can't say I have processed hundreds of photographs, but I've given the new process a try with several difficult-to-process shots. And most of these were much easier to do with PV2012 than with the old process. And the result was mostly considerably better (note that I never use curves).

    But sometimes I still missed the "Fill Light" slider as I was not able to reproduce the same effect with Exposure, Shadows and Black Point. I liked its broadness.

    The same goes for the Recovery in case I would use 50 or more in the old process. Then it seems that the reach into the histogram of the new Highlight tool is just not enough.

    Mostly I can easily take down the highlights and up the shadows, but the tools don't reach into the midtones the way I could use recovery and fill light. And then Exposure is just one slider for the rest.

     

    OK, I was trying to do some crazy LR 4 magic sometimes...

     

    And I can fully agree with Rob's take on the new Clarity.

     

    General impression (apart from speed and memory bumps): Impressed!

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2012 3:43 PM   in reply to slarti3

    "But sometimes I still missed the "Fill Light" slider as I was not able to reproduce the same effect with Exposure, Shadows and Black Point."

     

    Try this - put the midtones where you want them with exposure, and forget the shadows and highlights going nuts.  Then fix them up with shadows and highlights.  This is different entirely than using fill light because it tended to operate by moving the shadows up to the midtones, whereas shadows doesn't do that.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2012 5:48 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Lee Jay wrote:

     

    "But sometimes I still missed the "Fill Light" slider as I was not able to reproduce the same effect with Exposure, Shadows and Black Point."

     

    Try this - put the midtones where you want them with exposure, and forget the shadows and highlights going nuts.  Then fix them up with shadows and highlights.  This is different entirely than using fill light because it tended to operate by moving the shadows up to the midtones, whereas shadows doesn't do that.

    Don't get me wrong. This is exactly how I use PV2012. But sometimes the highlight and shadow fix afterward doesn't go enough into the midtones.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2012 4:02 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    I'm also finding a love/hate thing going on... I pretty much echo Rob's thoughts (Although not too much on clarity, don't really use much)

     

    I absolutely love the new control over highlights but am finding a lack of richness to the shadows and lower end.

    I don't really want to add more contrast as, in my opinion, it starts to look pretty awful and compresses both ends in a way I don't care for.

    Adding black just clips and doesn't add the same richness I was accustomed to in the previous version of LR.

     

    So I end up tweaking the tone curve per image, which is not really something I want to be doing.

    Previously, I would set everything once via a preset per job and then pretty much just have to use the basic panel to fine tune from there.

     

    This all being said, I am much happier with the final image. Its just taking a little longer in most cases to get there.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2012 6:51 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    I'd like to know what any of this mean.  "Richness" doesn't mean much.  Saturation?  Contrast?  What are you doing to the tone curve to get where you want to be?

     

    Something to try when you are in this situation, whatever it is.  Try a little more or less exposure, and a little less or more shadows.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2012 8:07 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    I've been fiddling with this for the last hour, comparing with PV2010, and nothing I do can get PV2010 shadows to look anything but equal or worse than PV2012 shadows, with all other settings set to match.  And these are images that need a lot of fill light.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2012 10:09 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    I've really noticed the drop in speed and the fans a spinning on my laptop when I'm working on a few images.

     

    I've probably put 800 images thru LR4 now. I just use it to "tidy" up my equine images as at the moment. I  still use LR3,5 for 99% of my work.

     

    It is a left brain / right brain thing to use the exposure and shadow rather than fill light and the fact the tone curve choses to be linear rather than my usual default in LR3 of medium.

    There is a new learning curve, and yes a little more control, but the effort is becoming worth it.

     

     

    I'm not with Rob on the Clarity - I'm loving it, but it is less subtle and needs to be carefully used

     

     

    Use of clarity and LR4 settings

     

    CHESALON ridden by Karis Teetan (pink), COVENANT ridden by Karl Niesius (white)_MG_9899hamishNIVENPhotography.jpg

    Settings

    settings.jpg

     

    I've also noticed that there is a huge amount less noise introduced when using the shadow. I'd almost never go above +12 in LR3, but shadows can be pushed as high as 20 before noticable noise appears.

    As I write this, I'm wondering,

        Why not tie in a noise slider that "matches" the response for each of the

    • exposure
    • contrast
    • highlights
    • shadows
    • whites
    • blacks

    So that based on any additional lift / drop of tone, you can adjust the noise.

    You could go a step further and put clarity / saturation / vibrance sliders here as well, and maybe with a +/- 10 range rather than +/- 100 range, so that you've got more control. Its plenty more sliders, but a thought and knocking back the noise on any lifting shadows  and blacks could be especially useful.

     

    A good improvement for the processing of images, gets my thumbs up.

     

    hamish NIVEN Phtography

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 6:03 AM   in reply to hamish niven

    hamish niven wrote:

     

    It is a left brain / right brain thing to use the exposure and shadow rather than fill light and the fact the tone curve choses to be linear rather than my usual default in LR3 of medium.

     

    Linear is now the same as medium contrast was.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 6:28 AM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Thanks Lee Jay

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 11:56 AM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    I noticed the shape of your tone curve looks much like what I have been doing to "undo" the PV2012 default shadow handling, in cases where it's not optimal for my taste for the photo (a.k.a. shadow "richness").

     

    I'd call that curve smashed blacks with higher-contrast darks.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 12:24 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Yes mine are crushed, probably a little too much. But this is a current style that I'm liking, and it is something a little different in the South African Horse Racing world. It will probably change in a month or two, become more subtle and more kind.

    its a preference, if I move the black point on the curve from  -70 to -20, all I'm getting is greyer shadows, and at the moment, I'm striving for very hard images to capture these horses, lifting the muscle, the sweat and the sinews.

    2 months ago,  I was playing with -20 on the vibrance to throw the background even more out of focus, but the images were in danger of getting fluffy and etheral, and I was losing too much detail over the skin of the horses. Mind you it was more often wet and cloudy, so the shine was there less. Now with bright hot sun and mid / late summer, there is much more harsh light to play with.

    These are hard and athletic images, but yes, for print, they are too black and much too much detail would be lost.

     

     

    This is not how I'd process my interior / exterior photography, I've yet to spin commercial images through LR4. I'm enjoying the artistic side of LR and seeing what I can do to make a style quickly and efficiently.

     

    Lee Jay,  would you give an example of an image and a LR4 curve. It would be good to see your workings.

    I'd genuinly like to see what and how you make up your images, and an example the processing you apply to an image or two.

     

    May make for an interesting if separate thread.

     

    Hope you will send an example.

     

     

    Cheers

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 1:32 PM   in reply to hamish niven

    This is just an interior shot of a portion of a (very impressive) hotel I recently visited.

     

    Defaults:

    T2i_9051 defaults.jpg

     

    PV 2010:

     

    T2i_9051 2010.jpg

     

    PV 2012:

     

    T2i_9051 2012.jpg

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 1:55 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Download them and overlay them.  They are quite different.

     

    PV 2010 Exposure 0, Recovery 30, Fill light 100

    PV 2012 Exposure 1.75, Highlights - 85, Shadows +85

     

    All other settings set to approximately match (including Clarity2012 = 1/2 Clarity2010).

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 2:19 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Your PV2012 option above does look better but there is a lot of shadow/darks to be lifting here. You are working with the benefit of the newer processing

     

    Mine (and possibly Rob's) situations are the reverse of yours, I have portraits with very dark grey or black shirts and jackets rendering as light grey and it becomes time consuming and frustrating to get them back down.

    I tend to like my low end to be fairly dark (probably what you would call "smashed" ) but there is always detail and the blacks are definitely not clipped.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 2:21 PM   in reply to Jason Meintjes

    Jason Meintjes wrote:

     

    Your PV2012 option above does look better but there is a lot of shadow/darks to be lifting here. You are working with the benefit of the newer processing

     

    Mine (and possibly Rob's) situations are the reverse of yours, I have portraits with very dark grey or black shirts and jackets rendering as light grey and it becomes time consuming and frustrating to get them back down.

    I tend to like my low end to be fairly dark (probably what you would call "smashed" ) but there is always detail and the blacks are definitely not clipped.

     

    So, the thing to do there is not to raise shadows and instead pull the blacks slider to the left.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 2:25 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    No. This just adds clipping.

    The solution is to use the point curve.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 3:10 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Clarity in PV2012 is about twice as powerful, so I cut it in half for the comparison.

     

    The "HDR-ish" look is directly proportional to how much -highlights and +shadows I put in, so I could dial it back if I wanted to, but this was an attempt to make it look like it looked in person as much as possible.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 3:11 PM   in reply to Jason Meintjes

    Jason Meintjes wrote:

     

    No. This just adds clipping.

    The solution is to use the point curve.

     

    I'd like to mess with a raw image that needs more dark contrast before I comment.  I've got plenty!

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 3:19 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Okay, give this a try and let me know what you think.

     

    If you want more contrast in the shadows (as your tone curve would seem to imply), without using the point curve, increase the blacks slider and decrease the shadows slider.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 5:27 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob, why don't you post a problematic raw file with the 2010 settings so we can download it and all talk about the same thing?

     

    Rory

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 6:37 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Hey Rob

     

    You must be way pickier than I am .

     

    I looked at your shot and had the same thing happen, where the background became much lighter when changing to v2012.  I made the following v2012 adjustments, which took 15 sec, and it looks very similar to v 2010 to me.

     

    Exposure + 0.39

    Contrast + 31 (no change)

    Highlights -3 (no change)

    Shadows -43

    Whites 0 (no change)

    Blacks (-50)

    Clarity 0 (no change)

    Vibrance 0 (no change)

    Saturation +11

     

    I do see where I did not capture the orange background quite the same, so that might be part of the issue for you.

     

    Cheers

    Rory

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 7:01 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Holy smokes, I tried fiddling around with that file. After three minutes, Lightroom alone was at 8.5GB memory and my SSD was totally busy...

    That's one of bad news btw about LR: there is a gigantic memory leak somewhere that seems to be very system (esp. video card) specific.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 8:09 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Yes, there was a significant saturation reduction in v2012 to be countered.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 8:23 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Lee Jay

     

    Thanks for these. Interesting you have managed to keep away noise with your fill light at +100 (PV2010), and highlght +85 (PV 2012).

    I seldom take fill light above +15 - looks awful at 100% zoom. I've yet to establish a rule of thumb for shadows, but guess +85 will be too high for my liking.

     

    Appreciate you sharing them, and the feedback

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 8:49 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob

    I shoot 80% of my work as multiple exposure -2, 0, +2 or even -4, -2, 0, +2, +4 and then combine them using Enblend / Fusion techniques rather than the photomatix HDR route. This prevents getting that HDR look that you and JL referred to above.

     

    You can also simulate that effect (puke) by pushing up the fill light or shadows, or even playing around with the tone curve drastically.

    You can ruin or rather HDR flickr-fy  JL's shot but pushing the blacks up to + 30 or more and shadows up to +80 or more (PV 2012).

    T2i_9051+edit_+hamish.jpg

     

    Jay Lee

    I've played with your photo and uploaded below.

    The 2012 settings are :

    • temp +7
    • tint - 3
    • exposure +95
    • contrast +5
    • Highlights -24
    • shadows +36
    • whites -19
    • blacks +30
    • clarity+8
    • vibrance +23
    • saturation + 8
    • then the tone curve has a
      • -2 highlights
      • 0 lights
      • 0 darks
      • +27 blacks

     

     

    Its always very hard to work with jpegs and especially when images are small, I've no idea what the noise is like in the lifted shadows. That said, as a 1200px image, none of the alternatives look too bad.

     

    This hotel would be a perfect candidate for a multiple exposure image - just need to keep the people out the shots.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 8:56 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    If there was a way to turn the default shadow recovery off, I think that may not have been the case.

     

    No...and there won't be. If you want PV 2012, learn how to use PV 2012 and quit trying to compare and contrast PV 2010 and PV 2012. It ain't gonna happen–they are different sets of controls.

     

    Look, I did that in the beginning (back when the engineers didn't even have the ability to update from PV 2010 to 2012–you had to start from scratch).

     

    The bottom line is, if you NEVER saw a PV 2010 rendering, would you have the same reaction to PV 2012? No...

     

    This is somewhat akin to the various DNG profiles made available...is Camera Neutral better than Adobe Standard? No (generally) it's different and you'll drive yourself nuts trying to quantize the differences...

     

    It's useful to compare PV 2010 to PV 2012 for the purposes of learning how to get the best from PV 2012. If you want to match the two EXACTLY, you will not be satisfied cause you can't. The two sets of controls are different and no amount of tweaking will give you exactly the same results...you would be better off to quit trying.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 9:38 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob, JL and Jeff

     

    Good job LR4 is only a beta, we got time to perfect the new controls before its out there.

     

    At the end of the day, Adobe are making us tools to (hopefully) make better photos. Yes, its getting more complicated, more technical and more processor intensive.

    We can have smashing blacks, we can lift and create detail from shadows and fills to obscenely high values, making the pseudo HDR as loved by certain groups in Flickr

    We can argue the merits of playing with the exposure, contrast, the tone curve, the highlight / shadow / black / white and as they all interact together, and that is after importing with a set of dng profiles. - how many iterations and combinations does that give? There are more than 4 ways to adjust the bottom 10% of the blacks in a photo - eeish that is just crazy

     

     

    My background before photography was TV / commercials / documentaries in the UK.

    I was taught by a wonderful human being how to light, how to see and how to make a scene for telling a story. We shot on film often on super 16mm, and as time progressed, we moved to Sony Digital broadcast cameras.

    We would keep the negative / original recorded data as clean as possible. Expose correctly, light nicely and compose as we had to use the whole frame, no chance of cropping a shot to a square cos it looked nicer occasionally a polarizing filter or a promist to soften the black halos that were far to obvious in the digital video cameras of the mid 90's. Things moved on and the cameras got better and you could smash blacks, lift the shadows and it would make you a cup of tea if you pressed its buttons right.

     

     

    Now, I can really bugger the image up in the camera, bugger it up more with profiles and then right royally bugger it up even more with all the above, and talk about it until the sun dies and God goes home.

    For me that does not work, I have to put food on my table with my camera. I have seen LR make my life easier and I am looking forward to the day I dont have to use PS.

    I'm not dispariging those who talk about it, you, the boffins the brains and those who have spent 10000's of hours making software for users like me to right royally bugger it up, I thank you. That is your way of putting the food on your tables, mine is using your tools the way I like.

     

    I get the results my clients like and I like by using what I am offered, by talking with you lot on the forums and looking at peoples work, though there are far too few examples of work with spec sheets to see what that person done with LR to make the photo like it is. That would be a great threat, but the critiquing...

     

    We are off the original thread, and I am probably at fault asking for showing my photos and then asking JL for his choices, but wev'e hit some fascinating arguments and played with each others work.

     

    I have not compared my photos from PV2010 and PV2012, as I'm not using LR4 on my commercial images not yet, I do really like the proessing in LR4 and I hope LR4 final will be a tool to reckon with.

     
    |
    Mark as:
1 2 Previous Next

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points