Digital Darkroom

Image-Adaptive Behavior in Lightroom’s Tone Controls


(If you’re viewing this post as an email and can’t see the video, click here.)

There’s a lot going on under the hood in Lightroom – things that aren’t obvious, and aren’t talked about much, not even by Adobe. For example, all the Tone sliders in the Basic Panel are image-adaptive – that is, their behavior changes based on the image content. The two most important image-adaptive behaviors are the automatic highlight recovery, and the automatic black-point adjustment, which kick in when a raw file has overexposed highlights or underexposed shadows.

The seven-minute video above explains how the automatic highlight recovery and automatic black point adjustment work. The full 44-minute video about the Basic Panel Tone Controls has much more, including an in-depth look at all the Tone sliders, an explanation of why Adobe’s default settings might not be the best starting place for many images, and demonstrations of how I approach processing both high-contrast and low-contrast images in Lightroom.

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The Profile Browser in Lightroom Classic


Free Video: Profile Browser Overview
This free video includes the first 9 minutes of the complete 33-minute video, and shows how to use and navigate the Profile Browser, how to add and remove profiles from your Favorites list, how use the Amount slider with Creative Profiles, and more. The complete video is included in my Landscapes in Lightroom ebook and video package. If you’re viewing this post as an email, click here to see the video.

In April Adobe added a new feature to Lightroom Classic CC: the Profile Browser. The initial release of this update (Version 7.3) had many bugs, but those problems seem to have been resolved now, so I thought it was time to delve into this new feature in detail.

Profiles are actually nothing new. Every raw file needs a profile to convert the raw data into the colors and tones you see on your screen. And ever since Lightroom 2 you’ve been able to choose different profiles (essentially different flavors of color and contrast), but those options were hidden down in the Camera Calibration panel, where most people never found them.

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Lightroom eBook Updated!

The latest update to my ebook, Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide, is now available! This new edition is revised and updated for Lightroom Classic CC, and includes a brand new example where I take you step-by-step through processing a Milky Way photograph, plus six new videos about the Range Mask, the Profile Browser, fixing coma, removing color fringing around stars, and more.

I’ve also completely revamped the video about the tone controls – the most important part of processing any image – that covers their image-adaptive behavior, how each tool works, why you might consider changing your default settings, and how to approach processing both high-contrast and low-contrast images. The ebook now includes 17 videos altogether, totaling 3 hours and 45 minutes of runtime.

For a limited time this new edition is available at the old price of $26.95, but after July 9th the price goes up to $39. I know it seems like you have plenty of time, but you’ll get involved with other things, and before you know it the price will go up. So you may as well just jump on it now so you don’t forget. 🙂 Just click the Add to Cart button:

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New Lightroom Update Should Fix Most Problems

In my last post I cautioned about updating to Version 7.3 of Lightroom Classic CC (released in early April), as many people were experiencing problems. Yesterday Adobe released an update (v. 7.3.1) to address those issues. Here’s a link to the release notes.

From what I can gather so far, this latest update seems to be working, and people are reporting that most of the problems have been fixed. That means presets are now ordered and sorted correctly, and, for the most part, profiles are no longer being inadvertently changed when applying presets. (Profiles are still sometimes getting changed when I apply a B&W Mix preset to an image. This may not be a bug, however, but an inherent problem with the new implementation of profiles.) And most of the crashes and other performance issues people experienced should be fixed.

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Caution Required with the Latest Lightroom Update

Earlier this month Adobe released an update to Lightroom Classic CC (v. 7.3). If you haven’t already installed this update I would wait, as many people are experiencing problems. It’s not unusual for a software update to have some issues, but this release has more problems than usual.

Most of the issues relate to presets, so if you never use presets you’ll probably be fine. If you use presets I would definitely wait until the next update. If you’ve already updated and are experiencing problems, it’s actually pretty easy to revert to the previous version (7.2) of Lightroom Classic.

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Big Lightroom News

SBig Lightroom News, Lightroom Upgrade: spruce and aspens after an autumn snowstorm, Medicine Bow-Routt NF, CO, USA

I used the new Range Mask tool in Lightroom Classic CC to improve the green colors in this photo from Rabbit Ears Pass in Colorado

Adobe announced two new, different versions of Lightroom last week. And, unfortunately, the names have created a lot of confusion. Here are the essential things you need to know:

No More Perpetual License

Adobe will no longer make new standalone versions of Lightroom with a perpetual license. That means new versions of Lightroom will be available by subscription only. Lightroom 6 is the last non-subscription version that you can purchase outright. Lightroom 6 is still be available for now, but won’t be updated to support new cameras. (You can still use Adobe’s free DNG converter to convert Raw images from new cameras into the DNG format, then import those DNG files into Lightroom 6.)

New Lightroom Classic CC

The new version of the program we’re familiar with is called Lightroom Classic CC. This is the traditional, folder-based version of Lightroom. It is essentially the same as Lightroom CC 2015, but with performance improvements and a new Range Mask tool that allows you to make more precise selections with the Adjustment Brush, Graduated Filter, and Radial Filter.

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