1 2 Previous Next 42 Replies Latest reply: Jan 24, 2012 5:01 PM by areohbee RSS

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

    areohbee Community Member

      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

        • 1. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
          slarti3 Community Member

          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!

          • 2. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
            Lee Jay Community Member

            "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.

            • 3. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
              slarti3 Community Member

              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.

              • 4. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                areohbee Community Member

                slarti3 wrote:

                 

                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).

                 

                My impression was pretty well cemented after the first few dozen. And for me too, Lr4 is really delightful to work with, mostly.

                 

                 

                 

                slarti3 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. I liked its broadness.

                 

                I was pretty enamored by Lr3 fill light. The combination of lowering exposure and brightness to make the lights and highlights look rich, then increase the fill until photo bright enough had become pretty engrained. And I'm somewhat embarassed to admit, the fill-light did something unnatural with the colors that I generally found pleasing (gave shadows a rich look) - I'd attenuate with a desaturation brush sometimes if too much. The new basic tone controls, in general are surprisingly good at maintaining color integrity when one considers how radically the tone can be manipulated. I can't help but wonder sometimes however if Eric tossed in a bit of desaturation to make sure colors don't go bonky when yanking the tone around, because sometimes it seems like it.

                 

                 

                 

                slarti3 wrote:

                 

                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.

                 

                The improvement in the whites/highlight recovery algorithm may very well be the most satisfying for me of all the develop tool improvements. It was possible before to recover highlights successfully without losing too much pizazz iff one up'd the lights using the tone curve. But that still didn't cut it nearly as well as the new algorithm, in my opinion.

                 

                 

                 

                slarti3 wrote:

                 

                And then Exposure is just one slider for the rest.

                 

                If one gets exposure correct on the first pass, then all is well. - season shadows and highlights to taste - done.

                 

                However, if one spends a while on highlights, then realizes the picture is a bit too dim or bright, and adjusts that using exposure, then one must redo the highlight adjustments again after re-adjusting exposure. This is no big deal to me, since I just move on to the tone curve for fine tuning mid-tones, which is way better than using a slider anyway. - just an observation, and probably not optimal for people who've not yet become accustomed to including the tone curve for fine tuning after making their basic adjustments.

                 

                 

                 

                slarti3 wrote:

                 

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

                 

                A part of me is afraid my comments might serve as a jinx, if they have any impact at all, since overall it's an amazing new tool, which controls halos and clarifies shadows... But sometimes it re-distributes tone in a way that looks unnatural to me, not always bad, but sometimes... And, sometimes it's not the clarity at all but tonal redistribution that comes from default processing and migration of settings from PV2010. I think it's possible that the conversion algorithm favors upper midtones as a means for maintaining punch that may be lost by recovering highlights - dunno: now I'm really out on a limb... ;-}

                 

                (and sometimes I just want to clarify the mid-tones but not the shadows - presently no solution except local adjustment of the shadows after applying clarity)

                 

                (and sometimes I liked the halo effect of old clarity, even though less natural - really made dark silouhettes stand out on a light background...).

                 

                 

                 

                slarti3 wrote:

                 

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

                 

                Me too! - Overall, it's awesome, a joy to work with, and produces stellar results (albeit still some roughness to smooth out, performance-wise...). Especially, now I've learned to compensate using tone curve and locals for the occasions when the basic adjustments are producing less than optimal results.

                 

                 

                One version at a time... - long live Lightroom!!

                 

                :-)

                 

                R

                • 5. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                  TheStanofAggie Community Member

                  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.

                  • 6. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                    areohbee Community Member

                    Jason Meintjes wrote:

                     

                    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.

                     

                    Well said Jason. I just re-worked another image where the mids and highs fell into place fairly quickly, but it took forever to reshape the darker tones to have the same richness they did in PV2010. Final image was superior to what I had in PV2010, but the darks really took a lot of finesse (read: point curve - impossible to do with just the blacks and shadow sliders).

                     

                    Cheers,

                    Rob

                    • 7. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                      Lee Jay Community Member

                      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.

                      • 8. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                        areohbee Community Member

                        Lee Jay wrote:

                         

                        I'd like to know what any of this mean.  "Richness" doesn't mean much.

                         

                         

                        Default processing in PV2010 keeps the blacks anchored more on the left wall, and adding fill can produce a nice progressive lightening, whereas PV2012 tends to pull all the shadows off the left wall into a little mountain. The latter is great if shadow detail is desirable, but the former is better if a more gradual transition from black to dark is desired. As Jason said so well - its impossible to reshape using blacks and shadow sliders - the point curve is essential.

                         

                        Summary: Its not about contrast, nor saturation, per-se, its about the shape of the left-most part of the tone curve.

                         

                        UPDATE: Now that I think about it, this may be improved considerably by an adjustment to the blacks algorithm. Unlike the whites slider, it mostly just moves the clipping point, but does not significantly alter the shape of the leftmost part of the curve. Perhaps if sliding towards the negative pulled more of the darkest tones backward (toward the left wall), it would help.

                        • 9. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                          Lee Jay Community Member

                          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.

                          • 10. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                            hamish niven Community Member

                            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

                            • 11. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                              Lee Jay Community Member

                              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.

                              • 13. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                areohbee Community Member

                                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").

                                 

                                The solution for me was to roll this curve into camera calibration profiles.

                                 

                                Now I can have my shadow cake (PV2012-style) and eat it too (PV2010-style)...

                                 

                                (note: this can also be done using presets, but if you do it using camera calibration profiles, it frees up the tone curve for simple brightness adjustment, or other fine tuning).

                                 

                                *** NOTE: Locals don't necessarily translate well from PV2010 to PV2012. I got bit by this in PV2010 when I had locals with strong negative sharpening values which didn't blur in PV2003, then changing process version to 2010 resulted in local blurring. I created a lot of locals in PV2010 that include extreme and opposing values for exposure and brightness to simulate local highlight recovery, or shadow clarity. Switching to PV2012 can cause local tone anamolies when brightness was included in the locals.

                                 

                                Let me say that again:

                                 

                                Switching to PV2012 can cause local tone anamolies when brightness was included in the locals.

                                 

                                'nuff said for now,

                                Rob

                                • 14. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                  Lee Jay Community Member

                                  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.

                                  • 15. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                    hamish niven Community Member

                                    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

                                    • 16. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                      areohbee Community Member

                                      The issue to me is about what it takes to develop a photo how you want it to be, regardless of why you want it to be that way, or for how long...

                                       

                                      The PV2012 default processing pulls all the blacks off the left wall and radically alters the left-most part of the tone curve in a way that works sometimes, and not others - for me.

                                       

                                      Anybody can see this just by watching the histogram and then alt-clicking the exclamation icon.

                                       

                                      Perhaps Lee Jay always likes the effect of PV2012 shadows - that's fine, but I don't always.

                                       

                                      So the question then becomes what does it take to develop a pleasing picture in the cases when the default processing isn't optimal.

                                       

                                      Answer: Impossible using basic sliders - tricky but doable using point curve (and maybe some local adjustments).

                                       

                                      (I'm just talking about the blacks now).

                                       

                                      All raw processors have their personality, and mastery requires knowing how to compensate when need be.

                                       

                                      I'll continue to use the point curve and locals as necessary to get what I want, and be reasonably happy.

                                       

                                      But if the name of the game is editing efficiency, Lr4b is far from optimal, for me, since it still requires a lot of fiddling to get it right. In some cases, much more when using PV2012 than PV2010.

                                       

                                      Please don't get me wrong, and start getting all defensive and shjt. PV2012 is a net improvement over PV2010. The more I use it the more I learn to love it (and the more I learn to hate it sometimes).

                                       

                                      Rob

                                      • 17. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                        Lee Jay Community Member

                                        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

                                        • 18. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                          areohbee Community Member

                                          These photos look very similar to me.

                                           

                                          Perhaps what would be more helpful is to publish the settings used to accomplish in each case.

                                           

                                          R

                                          • 19. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                            Lee Jay Community Member

                                            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).

                                            • 20. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                              TheStanofAggie Community Member

                                              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.

                                              • 21. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                Lee Jay Community Member

                                                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.

                                                • 22. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                  TheStanofAggie Community Member

                                                  No. This just adds clipping.

                                                  The solution is to use the point curve.

                                                  • 23. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                    areohbee Community Member

                                                    Lee Jay wrote:

                                                     

                                                    Download them and overlay them.  They are quite different.

                                                     

                                                    Indeed. - I stand corrected.

                                                     

                                                    In this case, I like some aspects of PV2010 better and some aspects of PV2012 better.

                                                     

                                                    I like the shadows better in PV2012.

                                                     

                                                    To me, the PV2010 rendition looks more natural. Which is not necessarily the goal, but if it were, the PV2012 rendition would not cut it, and would be hard to make look more natural without a lot of work. PV2012 has an HDR-ish look to me - more dramatic, and intense, but sorta "tinny" - almost metalic, less organic.

                                                     

                                                    PS - to properly evaluate, all settings are required, not just the basics.

                                                     

                                                    (really - only 1/2 the clarity?)

                                                     

                                                    -R

                                                    • 24. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                      Lee Jay Community Member

                                                      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.

                                                      • 25. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                        Lee Jay Community Member

                                                        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!

                                                        • 26. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                          Lee Jay Community Member

                                                          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.

                                                          • 27. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                            areohbee Community Member

                                                            In my opinion, highlight and shadow sliders are a big factor in the HDR-ish look, but they are not a panacea, at least not for every photo. I can't say in this case.

                                                             

                                                            (but I won't ask any more what the clarity settings were).

                                                             

                                                            PV2012 redistributes tones very differently than PV2010. Sometimes, I click the PV2012 button, sigh at the awesome improvement, and go on to the next one.

                                                             

                                                            Sometimes, I gag, fiddle with the basic sliders until I get exasperated, then move to the tone curve to get closer, then ultimately resort to local adjustment until more-or-less satisfied.

                                                             

                                                            Sometimes, I fiddle briefly with the basic sliders and correct whatever wonkiness there may have been initially, and it looks awesome...

                                                             

                                                            I realize part of this is a learning curve, but part of it is just the nature and limitations of PV2012 (default processing + basic sliders). I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but it's the truth, from my point of view.

                                                             

                                                            (PS - expanded locals give more power to fix whatever ails a photo, but that's a different subject...)

                                                             

                                                            As Slarti said - you can't necessarily emulate the PV2010 fill light with any combination of exposure/contrast plus the other 4. Sometimes you can create something better, but sometimes - not so much.

                                                             

                                                            (sorry if I'm repeating myself - getting pretty close to bowing out at this point).

                                                             

                                                            All of the above,

                                                            Rob

                                                            • 28. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                              hillrg Community Member

                                                              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

                                                              • 29. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                                areohbee Community Member

                                                                Jason Meintjes wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                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.

                                                                 

                                                                I assume you tried the basic adjustment sliders every which way before reaching this conclusion - I know I did.

                                                                 

                                                                A few tone-curve presets and/or camera profiles may help you get closer quicker.

                                                                 

                                                                Here's my most recent example:

                                                                 

                                                                http://www.robcole.com/_temp/NIK3_32465_2-Snaps.zip

                                                                 

                                                                This photo was awesome in PV2010. I converted to 2012, and the dark background went to he|| in a bucket.

                                                                 

                                                                No matter what I did with the basic sliders, the tone was not pleasing to me - I could get the background just right using exposure blacks and shadows, but there was no way to bring the midtones and highs around afterward. Likewise, I could get the mids and highs looking nice, but then the dark bokeh background looked anemic and washed out.

                                                                 

                                                                I ultimately solved this by working the tone curve. (no local adjustment required).

                                                                 

                                                                Note: there are two snapshots:

                                                                 

                                                                Finished 2011-04-26 - PV2010 final

                                                                PV2012 2012-01-23  - PV2012 final.

                                                                 

                                                                PS - I like the PV2012 version best - but it took a lot of work to get there...

                                                                 

                                                                R

                                                                • 30. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                                  hillrg Community Member

                                                                  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

                                                                  • 31. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                                    slarti3 Community Member

                                                                    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.

                                                                    • 32. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                                      areohbee Community Member

                                                                      With your settings in PV2012, it looks similar to before (PV2010) only not as good, to me. It's duller: both the background and the leaves.

                                                                       

                                                                      When going to work on a photo and switching process versions, I want it to look *better* before I'm done.

                                                                       

                                                                      So the issue is not:

                                                                       

                                                                      - What does it take to get it to look almost as good.

                                                                       

                                                                      but:

                                                                       

                                                                      - What does it take to look at least a little bit better.

                                                                       

                                                                      Yes, I am talking about relatively subtle stuff in this photo. But the point I was trying to make is:

                                                                       

                                                                      - It was impossible for me to get it to look any better using the basic sliders. In fact, it was impossible for me to get it to even look as good. To bring it back to as good and/or make better required a fairly intricate manipulation of the tone curve.

                                                                       

                                                                      The basic 4-sliders did not have enough flexibility to undo the default shadow recovery and improve tone. The tone curve was essential for optimal tone in PV2012, not in PV2010.

                                                                       

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

                                                                       

                                                                      Also, I noticed you had to raise saturation significantly to restore color lost by the PV2012 tone handling. Hmmm.....

                                                                       

                                                                      Rob

                                                                      • 33. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                                        hillrg Community Member

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

                                                                        • 34. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                                          areohbee Community Member

                                                                          Did you try restarting Lightroom, and/or your computer? - still same?

                                                                          • 35. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                                            hamish niven Community Member

                                                                            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

                                                                            • 36. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                                              areohbee Community Member

                                                                              hillrg wrote:

                                                                               

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

                                                                               

                                                                              I think the desaturation was caused by non-optimal tone handling - I was able to restore saturation by manipulating the tone curve.

                                                                              • 37. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                                                hamish niven Community Member

                                                                                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.

                                                                                • 38. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                                                  Jeff Schewe Community Member

                                                                                  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.

                                                                                  • 39. Re: Lr4b - good news / bad news (we want control !!! )
                                                                                    hamish niven Community Member

                                                                                    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.

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