4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 25, 2015 12:09 PM by ManiacJoe

    Using Develop sliders to get good results

    media kat Level 1

      I'm shooting .CR2 so I have the flexibility of making all the changes LR offers. I'm trying to get what would generally be considered good results by most photographers, what I mean by that, I'm not trying to do anything artistic or outside of the box. I find myself going through the sliders in the Develop module dragging one way and saying now I can see more detail in these areas in the background, though I can also see myself dragging the other way and saying those areas showing all that extra detail are a bit too light and need the darker values and less detail.


      1. Is this just a subjective decision? Are there general guidelines for using the tools in LR for getting good results?

       

      2. I also use the histogram as a guideline, and if there are white areas that are blown out I make sure to drag the whites and highlights in the opposite direction until the red spots in the image start to clear up, while making sure the image still looks ok of course. I also do the same with Shadows and Black sliders with areas that are blown out to complete black with no detail being shown.

       

      Is this all just subjective? If the same .CR2 was given to two different well trained photographers/LR users, would they possibly choose different options/results?

       

      Any thoughts/info will be appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Using Develop sliders to get good results
          99jon Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Some users start in the Library (Quick Develop) by clicking the Auto Tone button. Give it a try and see if you like it as a starting point when you go to develop.

          • 2. Re: Using Develop sliders to get good results
            Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional
            Is this all just subjective? If the same .CR2 was given to two different well trained photographers/LR users, would they possibly choose different options/results?

             

            I'd say that this is largely subjective. You could give the file to ten different photographers, and probably get ten different interpretations.

            It boils down to personal preferences, and conventions to some degree. Some interpretations will appeal to a larger number of people than others.

             

            The possibilities of digital editing are infinite, and can be overwhelming. So knowing what you want is probably the key here. This only comes with experience, and by looking at a lot of photographs - your own, and those of others.

            • 3. Re: Using Develop sliders to get good results
              trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              media kat wrote:

              Is this all just subjective? If the same .CR2 was given to two different well trained photographers/LR users, would they possibly choose different options/results?

              Yes, absolutely! It also depends on the subject matter. Portraits are processed to make the subject appear as "natural" as possible with out accentuating negative features. (wrinkles, shadow under eyes, etc.). With landscapes most users will adjust for more detail, color saturation, and contrast.

               

              Here are some guidelines I've put together for using LR's PV2012 Basic panel Tone controls.

               

              Start with all of the Tone controls at their default 0 settings and adjust them from the top-down in the order shown below.

               

              • 1. Set Exposure to correct the image midtone brightness ignoring the highlight and shadow areas for now. Setting Exposure slightly higher (+.25 to +.50 EV) than what looks correct for the midtones seems to work best with most images.

               

              • 2. Leave Contrast at 0 for now. It’s usually better to adjust this after the first pass.

               

              • 3. Adjust Highlights so that blown out areas are recovered and/or “fine tonal detail” is revealed.

               

              • 4. Adjust Shadows to reveal fine detail in dark areas. For most normal images simply setting +Shadows the same as -Highlights (Example +50 and -50) works very well.

               

              • 5. The Whites control sets the white clipping point, which you can see by holding down the ALT key as you move the slider. Adjust it to the point where you see clipping appear with the ALT key.

               

              • 6. The Blacks control sets the black clipping point, which you can see by holding down the ALT key as you move the slider. Adjust it to the point where you see clipping appear with the ALT key. With very low contrast images such as a picture shot in foggy weather you may not want to use a lower setting (i.e. no Black clipping).

               

              • 7. Now go back and adjust the Contrast control to establish the best midtone contrast. Ignore its effect on the overall image contrast. That is set by the Whites and Blacks clipping point controls.

               

              • 8. Lastly touchup the Exposure control for the best midtone brightness.

               

              You can make second-pass with the same top-down workflow to “touch-up” the current settings. Having a better understanding of what each control does and how they interact is key to mastering LR's PV2012 Develop module Tone controls.

               

              You can also try using the 'Camera' profiles rather than just Adobe Standard. If you change the camera profile it's best to start over with the Tone controls reset to 0. You can do this using a Virtual Copy so that the original Master file image adjustments are retained. If you like the results with the a different camera profile you can 'Sync' the settings to the Master file and delete the Virtual Copy....or simply keep both.

               

              Use the Local controls (Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, Adjustment Brush) to "fix" image areas that need further adjustment.

              • 4. Re: Using Develop sliders to get good results
                ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                Yes, any and all the adjustments are subjective.

                 

                Great answer by trshaner.

                The one suggestion I would make to that is to go to the "calibration" panel first. Pick a camera profile that gets you a good start on how you want the image to look, then go to the Basic panel and adjust from there.