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Fill light vs New controls - me no like.

Mar 3, 2012 1:02 PM

I have only just started to play with BEta 4 and I must say that i'm finding it more complicated. I'm sure it's aimed at being more controllable, but I liked the fill comand. It did what it said on the tin - i.e. fill in where needed... a bit like using fill-in flash. It worked well on portraits. Now I can;t seem to replicate the filling in of darkish midtones because the new controls lighten the darker areas.

If fill is not going to be available I'm probably not going to upgrade which is a shame as I;ve been with LR from the beginning.

 

Why do developers have to make things more complicated not less?

 

OR Am I missing something....?

 

Also why does import automatically bring in as Linear, whereas v3 auto develops as medium contrast - i.e. s curve?

 

John

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 3, 2012 1:12 PM   in reply to quantum 123

    quantum 123 wrote:

     

    I have only just started to play with BEta 4

     

    That's the main problem.

     

    You're used to the system from LR1-3.  You've had just about no time to get used to the new controls.

     

    Many posts have been made on this topic, but you really need to use a whole other method with the new controls.

     

    As a start, try this simple workflow:

     

    Set exposure for the midtones, ignoring the brights.

    Use -highlights to bring the brights back inside the range.

    Use +shadows to bring up the darks.

     

    If you've adjusted the exposure properly, -highlights and +shadows will have about the same number, but opposite signs.

     

    That's just a start, of course, and it completely ignores contrast, whites, blacks and clarity, which are important too.  But you need to walk before you can run.

     
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    Mar 3, 2012 1:15 PM   in reply to quantum 123

    quantum 123 wrote:

     

    Also why does import automatically bring in as Linear, whereas v3 auto develops as medium contrast - i.e. s curve?

     

    The old controls defaulted to medium contrast, blacks = 5, contrast = 50, brightness = 25.  This is a bit confusing to new users.  Also, some controls made the image brighter when you moved the slider to the right (i.e. exposure) and some when you moved the slider to the left (i.e. blacks).

     

    The new controls are supposed to be simpler.  All of them start at 0, tone curve starts at linear, and all the controls move the same direction (left is darker, right is brighter).  All the new defaults, combined with the profiles should give you the same starting point as the old defaults.

     
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    Mar 3, 2012 2:14 PM   in reply to quantum 123

    My experience is that (after becoming proficient with new controls, which is a must), Lr4 can often produce superior shadows than Lr3 fill did - but not always - depends on the tonal distribution in the original photo, as well as the results you find most pleasing of course.

     

    Editing tips here may help: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4243556#4243556

     
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    Mar 3, 2012 2:45 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Lee Jay wrote:

     

    The new controls are supposed to be simpler.

     

    They're not. (that along with everything else I say in this forum can be taken as "my opinion").

     

    Consistent left-right behavior is nice once you get use to it, but editing photos in PV2012 is just plain trickier, in my opinion.

     

    Don't get me wrong, overall I really truly honestly adore PV2012, and I'm not just saying that... - still, my point above stands...

     

    Summary:

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

    Once the new controls click, you're gonna feel like a huge weight has been lifted, and doors are gonna start opening all over the place...,  until then - not so much...

     

    PS - values starting at zero are nice but the new ranges are the only thing that really matters, past initial impression. Similarly for tone curve - makes no real difference to editing procedure.

     

    Rob

     
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    Mar 3, 2012 2:49 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    Lee Jay wrote:

     

    The new controls are supposed to be simpler.

     

    They're not.

     

    In the way I described them (all going the same way, all starting at zero), they are.

     

    In use, sometimes they are, sometimes they're not.

     

    As I've said, I've made presets for a similar effect to fill light because that's faster and simpler than using all those sliders to do the fill function.

     
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    Mar 3, 2012 2:51 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Why don't you share your preset values - you tease .

     
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    Mar 3, 2012 3:03 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    Why don't you share your preset values - you tease .

     

    I will share my presets, at some point.

     

    They aren't intended to perfectly match Fill Light - impossible.  They're just intended to give you a quick starting point by doing something similar.

     
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    Mar 3, 2012 4:13 PM   in reply to quantum 123

    In my opinion, people who come to Lr4 from Lr3 need to realize that the new controls are tricky to use and are gonna take a long time to learn.

     

    Balancing multiple sliders (and in many cases, in conjunction with the tone curve) for a similar effect that you used to get with just one slider is tricky, to me for sure, and I'm guessing trickier for the vast majority of other users too.

     

    Presets for fill are not a panacea, no not at all.

     

    My advice: hang in there. You may find, after you learn the tricks, that PV2012 results, including "fill", are, more times than not, superior to PV2010 (including it's fill). Other times, not so much...

     

    Summary:

    ========

    @PV2012 b1, Adobe has succeeded in creating a superior technology that is capable of producing superior results in most cases. Their goal may also have been to make them simpler to use, and more intuitive, and in some ways, they have/are, but in other ways - not so much...

     

    PS - Nobody who is "complaining" about Lr4 "fill" has said they are after an exact match - they just want their shadows to look good.

     

    Lastly, optimal values in PV2012 can be very unexpected, examples:

    * exposure may end up being negative, despite being slightly under-exposed to start with.

    * exposure may end up being very positive, despite highlights being nicely (or over) exposed to start with.

    * highlights may have a very negative value, despite brightened highlights.

    * shadows slider may have a very positve value, despite darkened shadows.

     

    Rob

     
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    Mar 3, 2012 5:30 PM   in reply to quantum 123

    quantum 123 wrote:

     

    Now I can;t seem to replicate the filling in of darkish midtones because the new controls lighten the darker areas.

     

    Am I missing something....?

    Yes: +exposure for sure, and probably -blacks as well. Also, you're probably going to need some -highlights to go with that +exposure.

    (I'm assuming you are already familiar with the new +shadows control).

     

    And in some cases - tone curve required as well.

     

    In the toughest cases, DNG Profile Editor to pre-process...

     

    Rob

     
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    Mar 3, 2012 11:58 PM   in reply to quantum 123

    I don't think it's easier, but it's usually better - sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

     

    I think it took some serious cojones for Adobe to change the basics that were so ingrained in their user base, but I'm really glad they did - Lr4 rocks!

     

    Rob

     
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    Mar 4, 2012 12:16 AM   in reply to quantum 123

    In many ways Lr4 basics are only an incremental change from Lr3, but you must learn to set exposure correctly, which is critical, and set on a different basis than Lr3...

     

    I'm not a defender, and it took me a long time to be proficient with PV2012, but I can usually whip out better photos quicker now. When you get to that point, you're gonna love PV2012.

     

    Don't get me wrong - I hear your complaint - Adobe fixed a lot of stuff that didn't seem much broke in order to fix a few things that did, and now you have to learn a new system but you don't want to - sorry about that (for their sakes - I've no connection to Adobe).

     

    Rob

     
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    Mar 4, 2012 2:31 AM   in reply to quantum 123

    More and more I feel there's been a serious miscalculation here. Rob has exhaustively documented his learning curve. The resulting tips (and sometimes non-intuitive variations) read like a mystery novel full of plot twists and turns. Eric Chan explains in another thread that the sequence of the controls is important, and that often a wrong move early on precludes an easy path to your desired creative result. Again and again, the same people pipe up to tell us "forget about what you've learned previously", discard you're presets, embrace the challenging puzzle of this wonderful new process. Don't like puzzles or wasting your time? Too bad because this cake has been baked. Adobe has not had much to say on any of this. Instead we've had the same monotonous sophistry from the same tired voices. If you're hoping to express a legitimate opinion to Adobe and not have to deal with an immediate rebuttal, we'll in the oft-repeated catch phrase for this entire forum (and Luminous Landscape for that matter) "IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN"

     

    We are not asking other users for guidance, we're giving our feedback to Adobe, a point for which Rob paid a heavy price early on, even though his contributions dwarf anything that anyone else has contibuted. The line of argument follows the script of a vacuum cleaner salesman you can't get rid off. Show us your images (give US one reason why you don't want this vacuum cleaner) and we'll decide if it's worthy of consideration. It's an arguing technique, plain and simple. That's why so many posters make it clear they don't want to argue.

     

    Adobe is making a bet with LR4 that automatic highlight recovery and shadow enhancement will please more users than it will annoy. Yesterday an HDR user presented a perfect example of a use case where Adobe's assumption fails, a five image bracket purposely shifting from under to over exposure. He had the issue dead to rights but instead of a simple acknowledgement he gets another graceless response.

     

    At no time did I ever feel like I painted myself into a corner with LR3 and PV2010. To the OP's point the controls were simple, intuitive and effective. In my LR4 experiments I'm not convinced the supposed quality delta is worth making every LR3 user learn a new system. And now we're supposed to be more worried about new users with no investment in this product being confused, wait until the majority of LR3 users come face to face with LR4. They're certainly not here.

     

    When, inevitably they do come to a non-beta-feedback forum that IS intended to provide user-to-user assistance, rest assured the "experts" will be here to let you know they're right and you're wrong. And of course, you can alway stick with PV2010, as if that even remotely addresses the seriousness of the issue.

     

    Somewhere at the bottom of all this are the images. The beauty of the internet is that all of us are discoverable. Follow the images, they tell the real story.

     

    And as for that vacuum cleaner, sadly, I'm waiting for version 5.

     

    Rob, Hamish, Victoria, Cornelia and the other positive voices best of luck. I hope one of you writes the definitive LR4 book... it's going to be a long one, and Scott Kelby is becoming too good a photographer to write all of them anymore.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 4, 2012 5:21 AM   in reply to VeloDramatic

    VeloDramatic wrote:

     

    More and more I feel there's been a serious miscalculation here. Rob has exhaustively documented his learning curve. The resulting tips (and sometimes non-intuitive variations) read like a mystery novel full of plot twists and turns. Eric Chan explains in another thread that the sequence of the controls is important, and that often a wrong move early on precludes an easy path to your desired creative result. Again and again, the same people pipe up to tell us "forget about what you've learned previously", discard you're presets, embrace the challenging puzzle of this wonderful new process. Don't like puzzles or wasting your time? Too bad because this cake has been baked. Adobe has not had much to say on any of this. Instead we've had the same monotonous sophistry from the same tired voices. If you're hoping to express a legitimate opinion to Adobe and not have to deal with an immediate rebuttal, we'll in the oft-repeated catch phrase for this entire forum (and Luminous Landscape for that matter) "IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN"

     

    We are not asking other users for guidance, we're giving our feedback to Adobe, a point for which Rob paid a heavy price early on, even though his contributions dwarf anything that anyone else has contibuted. The line of argument follows the script of a vacuum cleaner salesman you can't get rid off. Show us your images (give US one reason why you don't want this vacuum cleaner) and we'll decide if it's worthy of consideration. It's an arguing technique, plain and simple. That's why so many posters make it clear they don't want to argue.

     

    Adobe is making a bet with LR4 that automatic highlight recovery and shadow enhancement will please more users than it will annoy. Yesterday an HDR user presented a perfect example of a use case where Adobe's assumption fails, a five image bracket purposely shifting from under to over exposure. He had the issue dead to rights but instead of a simple acknowledgement he gets another graceless response.

     

    At no time did I ever feel like I painted myself into a corner with LR3 and PV2010. To the OP's point the controls were simple, intuitive and effective. In my LR4 experiments I'm not convinced the supposed quality delta is worth making every LR3 user learn a new system. And now we're supposed to be more worried about new users with no investment in this product being confused, wait until the majority of LR3 users come face to face with LR4. They're certainly not here.

     

    When, inevitably they do come to a non-beta-feedback forum that IS intended to provide user-to-user assistance, rest assured the "experts" will be here to let you know they're right and you're wrong. And of course, you can alway stick with PV2010, as if that even remotely addresses the seriousness of the issue.

     

    Somewhere at the bottom of all this are the images. The beauty of the internet is that all of us are discoverable. Follow the images, they tell the real story.

     

    And as for that vacuum cleaner, sadly, I'm waiting for version 5.

     

    Rob, Hamish, Victoria, Cornelia and the other positive voices best of luck. I hope one of you writes the definitive LR4 book... it's going to be a long one, and Scott Kelby is becoming too good a photographer to write all of them anymore.

    I can't see that the new controls make things more complicated. To me they are more logically organized and named (up to LR 3, the difference between exposure and brightness was a very confusing aspect of the controls). It took less than a day or two to get used to them. The controls are simple. From day one I was impressed about the new quality I could achieve regarding highlight recovery and the absence of halos and double lines caught my attention immediately. The change of controls and the adjustment everybody has to do to become familiar with it is worth to do, because the quality delta, you spoke of, is that huge. Not everybody will adjust that quickly, but the benefits are very obvious, so that the vast majority of users will likely be perfectly happy with the new process version.

     
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    Mar 4, 2012 5:33 AM   in reply to tgutgu

    tgutgu wrote:

     

     

    I can't see that the new controls make things more complicated. To me they are more logically organized and named (up to LR 3, the difference between exposure and brightness was a very confusing aspect of the controls). It took less than a day or two to get used to them. The controls are simple. From day one I was impressed about the new quality I could achieve regarding highlight recovery and the absence of halos and double lines caught my attention immediately. The change of controls and the adjustment everybody has to do to become familiar with it is worth to do, because the quality delta, you spoke of, is that huge. Not everybody will adjust that quickly, but the benefits are very obvious, so that the vast majority of users will likely be perfectly happy with the new process version.

     

     

    Completely agree. I'm not unsympathetic to the "problems" other people are reporting at length, but I'm utterly baffled as to why they're having them - for me everything's better and easier in Lr 4, and I'd come to grips with the new controls within minutes of my first Lr 4 session.

     
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    Mar 4, 2012 10:57 AM   in reply to VeloDramatic

    Hi Velodramatic,

     

    VeloDramatic wrote:

     

    Rob, Hamish, Victoria, Cornelia and the other positive voices best of luck. I hope one of you writes the definitive LR4 book... it's going to be a long one, and Scott Kelby is becoming too good a photographer to write all of them anymore.

    am I so positive?

    I couldn't possibly be more galled at the immature approach to the book module, and the impossibility of metadata reuse in print & book module.

     

    In LR3 I never got the hang of the basic sliders and sidestepped to the tone curve directly.

    My first attempts in LR4b yield much better results with the new basic sliders. I do the attempts because several threads in this forum have convinced me that I cannot avoid it if I am after best image processing quality. Having Rob's blog-thread for guidance is a real help. Fully agree with you.

     

    But then it is comparatively easy for me: as photography is not how I earn my money (but how I spend it ) I am not as dependant on uninterrupted editing speed as you probably are, and all the others whose livelihood stems from photography.

     

    As to writing the *definite LR4 book* I fully trust Victoria Bampton and I am very much looking forward to her LR4-edition of the "Missing FAQs" !

     

    I wish all photographers the best possible route through this change!

    Cornelia

     
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    Mar 4, 2012 2:56 PM   in reply to VeloDramatic

    VeloDramatic wrote:

     

    Yesterday an HDR user presented a perfect example of a use case where Adobe's assumption fails, a five image bracket purposely shifting from under to over exposure. He had the issue dead to rights but instead of a simple acknowledgement he gets another graceless response.

     

    Hum...are you refering to this thread at the Luminious Landscape? LR4 & HDR

     

    I ask because the author of the original article Lightroom 4 and HDR posted to the LuLa thread and said he agreed with me that it's an edge case and the LR4 Basic controls in PV 2012 are really, really good for single image processing. The problem he noted related to non-linear highlight roll offs and the problems HDR software has processing them.

     

    So, is that what you were refering to? If so, I wonder what part of my discussion there was "graceless"?

     
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    Mar 5, 2012 12:36 AM   in reply to quantum 123

    quantum 123 wrote:

     

    I just see LR going further down the route that should be the domain of PS -i.e. detailed adjustments.

     

    Not so sure about that part.

     

    Yes, RGB curves were added, but they were really a missing piece before, and are even more necessary in Lr4 to correct occasional anomalies of the new PV (used it just now to restore color that got sucked out of the top end after conversion - it was a photo I had struggled with for a long time to get good fill using Lr3 without running into it's limitations... Results in PV2012 were much better, due mostly to the improved fill. Went ahead and tossed some clarity in there too and wow! - Seriously, much easier and better in Lr4 - I pitched the tone curve I had worked so hard on in Lr3.

     

    And, yes, a few key locals were added. But, slider count for basics is actually the same.

     

    At the risk of repeating myself: more often than not, PV2012 produces fill that is superior to Lr3, and easier, once you learn how.

     

    There are also cases, where I can not get as pleasing results from PV2012 as PV2010, but again - those are minority cases. - not rare, but minority. - a net improvement, to be sure...

     

    Anyway, I'm not trying to sell you anything, just want to recommend that you spend the time to learn the nuances of the new controls before judging quality of results. At that point whether it's easier or not will no longer be an issue .

     

    Cheers,

    Rob

     
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    Mar 5, 2012 9:21 AM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Lee Jay wrote:

     

    I will share my presets, at some point.

     

    They aren't intended to perfectly match Fill Light - impossible.  They're just intended to give you a quick starting point by doing something similar.

     

    Does LR4b attempt to provide such a starting point automatically, when one edits an image in LR4b using PV2010, then converts to PV2012?

     
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    Mar 5, 2012 9:22 AM   in reply to Tony.S

    The beta really doesn't (only exposure), but the final will.

     
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    Mar 5, 2012 9:50 AM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Hmm ... when I edit in PV2010 then convert to PV2012, more than Exposure is non-zero'ed ... For example, if I have an image with PV2010 settings which include adjustments to Fill Light, Blacks level, and the use of a linear tone curve, then convert to PV2012, the non-zero'ed settings include Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, and a custom Point Curve (where the latter is above linear in the shadows, then linear elsewhere.)

     
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    Mar 5, 2012 9:57 AM   in reply to Tony.S

    Tony.S wrote:

     

    Hmm ... when I edit in PV2010 then convert to PV2012, more than Exposure is non-zero'ed ... For example, if I have an image with PV2010 settings which include adjustments to Fill Light, Blacks level, and the use of a linear tone curve, then convert to PV2012, the non-zero'ed settings include Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, and a custom Point Curve (where the latter is above linear in the shadows, then linear elsewhere.)

     

    Maybe it's more, but I know the conversion was very rough when the beta was released, and Eric posted that he expected it to improve prior to final release.

     
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    Mar 5, 2012 2:39 PM   in reply to Tony.S

    Tony.S wrote:

     

    Lee Jay wrote:

     

    I will share my presets, at some point.

     

    They aren't intended to perfectly match Fill Light - impossible.  They're just intended to give you a quick starting point by doing something similar.

     

    Does LR4b attempt to provide such a starting point automatically, when one edits an image in LR4b using PV2010, then converts to PV2012?

     

    If you can't get the look you want after exhaustive editing with basics and finessing the tone curve, you sure aren't going to be able to get it by clicking on a preset. (I realize presets are for convenient starting points, but they do NOT address the basic issue here).

     

    Assuming no big change come final release, I think the answer may come via camera calibration profiles instead.

     

    If you come up with a camera calibration profile that produces results closer to what you'll be wanting, or in any case, rearranges tones in a manner more conducive to toning with PV2012 controls, then you may have a fightin' chance of getting the last miles using PV2012 tools.

     

    Summary:

    ========

    I've found that some photos that are "untonable" in PV2012 with one profile, may be very much "tonable" using a different profile. Custom profiles will take you even further...

     

    Rob

     
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    Mar 5, 2012 4:33 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    ... If you can't get the look you want after exhaustive editing with basics and finessing the tone curve, you sure aren't going to be able to get it by clicking on a preset. (I realize presets are for convenient starting points, but they do NOT address the basic issue here) ...

     

    The starting point to which I was referring isn't a fixed preset -- it is the set of adjustment values which LR4 shows immediately after converting an image from PV2010 to PV2012. From my observations, and from what Lee Jay has written above, my understanding is that this set of values is "live" (i.e., specific to the image being edited, and to the PV2010 adjustments already applied to the image) and represents LR4's attempt to maintain the appearance of the image through the conversion from PV2010 to PV2012. (Note Lee Jay's caveat that this functionality is not optimized in the current beta.)

     

    For example, after doing my typical PV2010 stuff to boost shadow detail, then converting to PV2012, I'm given a nice Custom Point Curve with which to work, one which boosts the shadows. Yes, I could have created such a tone curve from scratch -- but having one created for me automatically by LR4 is a great time-saver.

     
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    Mar 5, 2012 5:54 PM   in reply to VeloDramatic

    VeloDramatic wrote:

     

    We are not asking other users for guidance, we're giving our feedback to Adobe, a point for which Rob paid a heavy price early on, even though his contributions dwarf anything that anyone else has contibuted. The line of argument follows the script of a vacuum cleaner salesman you can't get rid off. Show us your images (give US one reason why you don't want this vacuum cleaner) and we'll decide if it's worthy of consideration. It's an arguing technique, plain and simple. That's why so many posters make it clear they don't want to argue.

     

    Perhaps if users want to share feedback ... a public forum may not be the best place for that. They may want to offer their feedback here:

     

    http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/products/photoshop_fami ly_photoshop_lightroom

     

    (notice the first term in the address is "feedback")

     

    If you post to a forum and others disagree with your opinions and assessments, there will in all likelihood be a discussion pointing out those differences ... that is the purpose of a forum ... discussion ... If participants do not wish to hear opinions counter to your own, perhaps a public forum is not the proper vehicle.

     

    On another point, I am not sure if the reference to Scott Kelby was a compliment or veiled insult ... either way ... his assessment on Lr4b Develop Module improvements and pv2012 is:

    From: Photoshop Insider blog 1/27/2012

     

    Why I Think Lightroom 4 is Going To Sell Like Crazy

     

    "The improvements in Lightroom’s Development module are so significant, and so much better than what we’ve ever had before, that I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find most anyone still using Lightroom 3 in just a few months from now. In fact, if they didn’t add another feature, it would still be worth the upgrade just to get better looking images."

    While some folks believe Kelby is an Adobe shill of the highest order, he does voice his displeasure when Adobe falls short in their efforts ... and has done so many times.

     

    Everyone has the right to express their views. However, when folks discover they are in the minority viewpoint, claiming victim status because all involved are not rallying to your point of view does not help anyone. Or bemoaning the fact they can't stifle or censor opposing points of view will not achieve their goals either.

    VeloDramatic wrote:

     

    Somewhere at the bottom of all this are the images. The beauty of the internet is that all of us are discoverable. Follow the images, they tell the real story.

     

    Yes, Indeed ... the images are the most important factor.

     

    While I don't not believe Lr4b is all it could be and I wish it had been more ... learning new techniques on how to use pv2012 is not the end of the world as we know it. How did we add "fill" in our post processing before the advent of that slider in ACR/Lr? ... Now the adjustment can be made (though you may have to touch more than one slider) ... and ... made with much greater finished image quality. To me that's a win. I came to this conclusion by actually using the software and taking the the recommendations of other well-known established users and ignored the early claims that something was broken in pv2012. Of course YMMV.

     
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