Learning Lightroom

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Scott Merryfield, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    I picked up Adobe's Lightroom 4 on sale a few weeks ago. I have been going through the online tutorials when I've had time, but this was my first opportunity to really try to post process some new photos using LR4. I have been using Canon's Digital Photo Professional to perform RAW file processing for several years.
    We went to our home town's Fall Festival, so I decided to take along my camera. While these may not be great subject matter, I would appreciate any positive comments or constructive criticism on my post processing. After all, that's how you learn.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I raised the shadows in this one to reveal the two children in the doorways
    [​IMG]
    You can find the rest of the photos here.
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Looks like a good start.
    How about some before & after?
    Looks like some serious lens distortion on that bottom one.
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Sam,
    Since the originals are RAW files, I'm not sure what a "before" would look like. Maybe with all the sliders set at their Lightroom defaults? I could try that. Even with everything set at the LR default, though, it appears there is some processing happening via LR's standard profile. If that doesn't work, I could try processing from DPP at the default settings. I know there is no auto correction that happens in that case.
    I used LR's lens correction for all the shots. That bottom one was shot at 24mm with my 24-105L, and LR had a profile for that lens. The 24-105L is known for some distortion at the wide end, so the combo of that, plus the normal wide angle distortion you can get on those types of shots, and the LR correction probably all contributed to the strangeness. I probably need to play with the lens correction slider to find the optimum settings for different shots -- I just left it at the default "100". I did play with the vignetting slider some, and it seemed to offer better correction than Canon's DPP.
    Thanks for the feedback. I will post some "before" shots when I have a chance.
     
  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Yup, SOOC = all Lr settings at their default. You WILL notice that each picture will change slightly on import tho! This is normal. Lr strives to get close to the baseline shown in the small jpegs that are used by the raw file but as their magic formula is applied you will see some minor differences, mostly in contrast and sharpening.
    I don't use any lens modifications on any of mine, so not sure if you are over correcting or if that is normal for your lens. A before and after would help there for sure.
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Here is that last photo with all LR settings back at their defaults:
    [​IMG]
    There is still some distortion in the lower left hand corner, so you can probably attribute that to normal wide angle distortion (24mm on full frame).
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Here is another "after & before" from last weekend's trip to the zoo. I accidentally overexposed the shot (forgot to reset exposure compensation from a previous shot).
    AFTER:
    [​IMG]
    BEFORE:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I'm so sorry I havent had a chance to take a look at that other one, just havent had the desire to edit my own stuff in 3 weeks, got a ton cooking and way behind on edits.
    Won't forget!
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I've been living in LR for the past few weeks doing my Dragon*Con photos. I'm amazed at the before/after comparisons/results you can achieve with LR. The more you do, the more you get the feel of what each of the sliders and curves will do for the photo.
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    I started playing with noise reduction a little last night, trying to clean up some old ice hockey shots taken with my 7D at ISO 6400. It will take some time to figure out how much NR to apply in different situations, but the initial results looked pretty good to me compared with what I could do in DPP. I will post a couple when I get a chance to upload them to Smugmug.
    That is one of the great things about shooting RAW. I can always go back and reprocess old photos as my post processing skills and/or tools improve.
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Here is a Lightroom vs. Canon DPP processing comparison for hockey photos I took last season with my 7D at ISO 6400. The main differences are in the noise reduction, and I reduced the highlights in the LR version to try and tame the over exposure of the ice.
    LR:
    [​IMG]
    DPP:
    [​IMG]
    LR:
    [​IMG]
    DPP:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Tough to judge by web sized shots, but those look like huge differences to me. The details in the faces in particular is not lost with NR, which can be an issue.
     
  12. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Thanks, Sam. I also liked LR's color rendition of the goal posts and Tim Horton's advertisement over DPP in the first photo comparison.
     
  13. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Here is one more Lightroom vs. Digital Photo Professional comparison from the same shoot. I had originally cropped this in DPP, and was never happy with the noise in the uniform, although I liked the composition after the crop. The crops are slightly different, but close enough. I like the uniform much better now, and once again the color of the goal post is more natural.
    LR:
    [​IMG]
    DPP:
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Have you shot at ISO 3200 and see how well the LR's NR works on the shots? I did a few at ISO 3200 and they came out pretty good after spending some minimal time in LR on them.
     
  15. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Patrick,
    The hockey shots were at ISO 6400 using the 7D. I do not think I have any at 3200 using the 7D in my ice hockey galleries. I couldn't get a fast enough shutter speed using the 70-200 f/4 IS lens. I do have some with the 5D3 at 3200 using my 135L, but the 5D3 produces pretty clean photos even at 6400.
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Here are a couple of shots from last weekend where the red (first photo) and yellow (2nd photo) were really too saturated and blooming. With LR I was able to just adjust those colors to get a more natural look. This is something I couldn't do in DPP.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    From our recent trip to South Carolina. I was able to use LR's adjustment brush to apply some increased exposure and highlights only to my wife. I did not have a flash with me, so this was the only way to get some additional light on her. It's not a great photo, but is interesting from a learning experience with the application.
    [​IMG]
     

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