Neophyte Lightroom user is making progress...

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by roundball, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    In early April I went to a local Arboretum to see what early blooms there might be…slim pickings but as I was headed back out towards my parked car I saw a fairly decent scene in front of me…a broad Japanese Maple, with early spring green and yellow leafed trees behind it, and blue sky & white clouds behind all that. I stopped, set up the tripod and shot it with a Canon FDn 50/3.5 Macro lens on an NEX-7 with ISO100 in AP mode.

    Got home and was disappointed to find the intense sunlight was more than the camera could handle and at the time I wasn’t knowledgeable / experienced enough to realize / remember I needed to add in some exposure comp. Had just installed Lightroom and struggled to try and figure out how to use it to save the scene but really didn’t have a clue what I was doing, had no success, set it aside, etc.

    Fast forward to today…shut in by the weather I began exploring / experimenting with LR features, then remembered the Japanese Maple scene, pulled it up and to my surprise was able to get it looking halfway decent like the scene I remembered…and to be honest I was surprised that it wasn’t all that much of a big deal to do it.

    In spite of the general consensus that Lightroom has more operating room with & influence over a RAW file…which I take no issue with…I have to say, I was impressed at being able to recover this JPEG file, and that while hardly knowing how to spell Lightroom.

    Here are BEFORE and AFTER photos of the Japanese Maple scene.
    BEFORE is the terribly underexposed scene as it was shot, SOOC.
    AFTER is only a few Lightroom tweaks (once I figured out what to tweak).
    I’m sure a skilled Lightroom user could make even bigger improvements on this but at the moment, I’m more optimistic about Lightroom’s capabilities on JPEGs than I’ve ever been.


    SOOC BEFORE LIGHTROOM


    AFTER LIGHTROOM

     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
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  2. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    807
    May 5, 2014
    australia
    Chris
    Second picture is a big improvement imho, though maybe the saturation is slightly too high, maybe just my monitor. very nice shot nonetheless.
     
  3. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Yeah, the colors (red, blue) came out great though I myself kinda prefer the greens of the 1st photo...

    I guess you can't please them all :biggrin:
     
  4. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Well, that's Lightroom for ya! I'd advise to shoot in raw+jpeg mode from now on so that you keep getting the jpegs as you're used to and you have the raws as an insurance to process in Lightroom. Raws are at an advantage over jpegs, especially when lifting shadows or pulling back highlights.
     
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  5. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Good feedback...so I took it back through Lightroom just now and tweaked the Green Hue a bit darker (+13). Does this edition look any better?

     
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  6. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    And this edition with +20 units of Green Hue:


     
  7. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    What did you set the clarity slider to?
     
  8. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Set it to +10
     
  9. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    Hmm, that isn't it then. There is something about the edit that looks a bit unnatural to me, I thought it was too much clarity.

    Maybe it is the shadow recovery, almost looks like HDR.

    The cool thing about brining up shadows, is you can do it selectively with an adjustment brush and it looks amazingly natural. It looks way better than bringing up the exposure slider with a brush. I would try that, use a brush over the red leaves and "leave" the background untouched
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
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  10. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    807
    May 5, 2014
    australia
    Chris
    Have too agree with Jai, something has happened to the colours. Maybe someone with more editing experience will have a better idea.
     
  11. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Oh make no mistake, not suggesting this photo is a finished product, LOL.
    This is definitely a learning process...and this particuar scene appears to be a good learning photo with the variety of colors involved
     
  12. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Thought just occurred to me...maybe "ADDITIONAL" changes of the same type always have to be done from an original JPEG?

    For example, I added +13 Green Hue to the original photo to darken the trees some, saved it and posted it here.
    Then as an after thought, re-impoted that +13 photo and applied +20 Green Hue.
    Doing it that way the +13 photo actually ends up becoming a +33, not a +20, right?

    And...maybe all that extra Green Hue has a collateral effect on other colors?
     
  13. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    807
    May 5, 2014
    australia
    Chris
    Not really sure how lightroom handles jpeg files as I always use raw. So I don't know if it keeps the original and creates a new file with the changes.
     
  14. Kirkp

    Kirkp TalkEmount Regular

    151
    Nov 2, 2014
    I'm impressed that you're able to bring up the highlights so far in the red leaves without severely messing up other parts of the image.

    You mentioned "additional changes". With most image editors if you edit a jpeg save to jpeg, then reopen that jpeg for additional edits you'll end up with nasty compression artifacts. If you intend to make additional edits, alway save interim results to a file with no lossy compression, such as RAW, TIF, or a format native to the editing software. And of course, never edit a jpeg and save the edits with the same file name. I'm sure most folks here know this, but there might be a few who don't.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  15. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Well, I keep nothing in Lightroom...(or any 3rd party software)...my entire photo file folder structure has evolved within Microsoft Windows / Windows Explorer on my PC and gets fully backed up at least every 2 weeks.
    I just use 3rd party products like Lightroom as external tools...I place no dependency on them to house anything important...I only import a file into Lightroom to do something to it, export it back out, then delete the original imported photo from Lightroom.
    And that's what made me have the thought above...if I import a photo back into Lightroom that already had some adjustments made to it earlier, anything that I then do in Lightroom is 'additive' to whatever had already been done.
    So that last edition had Green Hue +13 added on it's first import cycle to Lightroom...then a little later was sent back into Lightroom a second time where Green Hue +20 added.
    So the total of Green Hue would be equivalent to +33 units.
     
  16. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    A couple of things you might want to know about Lightroom, roundball: Lightroom doesn't "keep" anything. Any file you "import" into it is only gaining an external link that allows Lightroom to apply whatever changes you want to a "virtual copy" of the file. The original file resides wherever you want it to reside, and remains untouched by Lightroom. So there's never any danger of Lightroom going unsupported, or becoming "cloud-only," because the files you import from your camera are just as they were when you originally grab them off the SD card, unaltered, and you decide where to file them on your computer and/or separate backup device.

    That's one of the main advantages of Lightroom. Any "changes" you make to a file are only virtual changes. Unlike your current system, where you degrade your jpegs every single time you hit Save, with Lightroom you never lose any data from the original image file. It's as pristine as it was when you clicked the shutter.

    The other thing is that making changes to a file, exporting it as a jpeg, and then re-importing it is a sure way to make a jpeg even less useful than it originally was. Those changes get baked in to a file that has way too much baked in (and deleted) already. Every step in your process makes it less likely to deliver good results. You're steadily chipping away at the amount of data in the image file with each step.

    I know you have a system that you're comfortable with, and that change is hard. But if you're interested in getting better results from your image files, you sure seem to be doing a lot of things that will prevent you from reaching that goal. And with all the time you're spending messing around with these jpeg files, you almost certainly would be able to spend less time if you just shot raw files in the first place and allowed Lightroom to catalog and backup your files instead.

    OK, I'm done preaching now. :speechless:
     
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  17. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Sermon heard, LOL
     
  18. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    In shots with a lot of trees, bushes and grass I'll lower the yellow saturation a bit as Sony tends to be aggressive with yellow; same with red.
     
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  19. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Thinking about this, I'm not sure I'm with you on the point you seem to be making in the quoted paragraph above.

    When I import an original .JPEG into Lightroom, it remains in it's original state and does not get altered by Lightroom...Lightroom "makes" a duplicate, modified with any tweaks I might add.
    Then when I use the export function, the "modified" Lightroom version is exported...and as you know, with an identifier tacked onto the end of the filename to differentiate from the original.

    The exported modified Lightroom version is sent back & sits in my Windows file structure right next to the original photo file...I toggle back and forth comparing the full size before & after, if you will. I never lose any data from my original image file and it stays as pristine as it always was.
     
  20. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    That is absolutely correct, roundball. I was responding to the mention in your previous post about re-importing and doing more work on a jpeg that you had previously exported from Lightroom. That, plus every time you save a jpeg, even if you made no changes to it whatsoever, it gets recompressed and loses more information. It's a lose/lose situation.
     
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