Aspens in fog, White River NF, Colorado. I used a bit of negative Dehaze to slightly soften this image.
In preparing my recent presentation for the Out of Chicago Live conference, I was digging through my archives for examples to use, and found some interesting images I had overlooked. In some cases I had put them aside, too busy to process them at the time, and then just forgot about them. In other cases I think my perceptions had changed. And sometimes I could see the potential to process an image differently, using new tools and new skills.
One of those tools is the Dehaze slider in Lightroom. It’s not that new (2015), but didn’t exist when I initially processed some images, and can sometimes make a big difference – especially with fog. I’m a big fan of fog for forest scenes, and these days I’m often using Dehaze selectively with the Adjustment Brush to cut through fog in one part of an image, or thicken fog in another area to hide or deemphasize something. (Just to be clear, you can’t create fog where none existed; there has to be some fog to begin with. But you can make some tenuous fog look a little more substantial. I show how to do all this in my latest Lightroom course, Landscapes in Lightroom: Advanced Techniques.)
On October 20th Adobe released an update to Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, and Adobe Camera Raw that included a new tool – the Color Grading panel. It replaces the old Split Toning panel.
What is color grading? I guess I have a broader definition of that term than Adobe does. To me, color grading includes a wide range of color adjustments that go beyond the basics of setting a white balance and adjusting saturation. Mainly I think about adjusting individual hues to either bring the colors of an image into better harmony, or to separate and differentiate hues to create more color contrast.
Adobe just a released a new update to Lightroom Classic. There’s nothing earth-shattering here, but they’ve added a couple of nice new features that I think you’ll find helpful: a new Hue slider for local adjustments, and an updated interface for the Tone Curve. I explain these changes in this video:
(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.
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.
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. 🙂 Click this link to learn more about all the features of this new edition, see sample pages, or take the course:
P.S. If you purchased a previous version of Landscapes in Lightroom you’re entitled to a free upgrade to the new edition. Look for the email I sent out yesterday with instructions about how to get your free upgrade. Thanks again for purchasing the ebook, and many thanks to all of you who have written so many kind words to me about Landscapes in Lightroom – I really appreciate that! (Note that the email was sent to the address you used when making your original purchase. And if you don’t see it, try checking your spam folder.)
Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, Yosemite Meditations for Adventurers, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.
I’ve been using Lightroom since Adobe released the beta version in 2006. Over the years I’ve learned many shortcuts, and in this video I share some of my favorite tips – things I use all the time to streamline my workflow:
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