Video Tutorials

Image-Adaptive Behavior in Lightroom’s Tone Controls

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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.


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.


Free Bonus Video: Using the Arrow Keys in Lightroom

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The response to my ebook and video package, Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide, has been wonderful, well beyond my expectations. Thank you all so much for your support! I put a lot of effort into creating something that I hoped would be helpful to a lot of photographers, and it’s gratifying to see that this effort has been well received.

As an expression of my appreciation, I’m extending the discount codes for two extra days. Use the code lr520 and get 20% off the ebook package until midnight on Tuesday, August 6th Pacific time.

Also, I’ve created the free, bonus video tutorial above to go along with the ebook. It’s a tip about using the arrow keys in Lightroom to help speed your workflow and fine-tune your adjustments. I use the arrow keys all the time, and I hope you’ll find this technique helpful too.

Again, thank you all very much! I really appreciate all the positive comments you’ve sent me about the ebook.

— Michael Frye

P.S. If you know someone who might like this video, or who would enjoy the ebook, please share this post!


Lightroom 4: Working With the New Process

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Here it is, my second video about the new process in Lightroom 4. In Part One I explained how the new tone controls work; here in Part Two I talk about how to use these new tools to process both low- and high-contrast images. Here are some of the main points:

– Where to begin? If you’ve read my eBook Light and Land, or watched one of my previous videos about curves, you know that in the old process I preferred starting with all the Basic tone controls set at zero, and the point curve linear. Does this still apply in the new process? (1:10)

– Curves or sliders? The new Basic Tone sliders are much better than the old ones; are they good enough to replace the Point Curve? (10:30)

– Does the order matter? Adobe suggests using the Basic tools in order from top to bottom, starting with Exposure, then Contrast, and working down to Highlights, Shadows, Whites, and Blacks—essentially working from the midtones out to the black point and white point. But this contradicts a long-standing tradition in digital imaging of setting the black point and white point first. Should you stand with tradition, or embrace the new order? (13:02)

– Processing a high-contrast image. (21:04)

This video is about 27 minutes long, so, as I said with Part 1, grab your favorite beverage, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Spending a little time with this video now will save time later when you’re processing photos. More importantly, I hope that this video will help you get the most out of your images so that they convey what you saw and felt when you pressed the shutter.

As I mention in the video, the best way to learn more about processing images in Lightroom is to take a workshop. There’s are still a couple of spots available in my October workshop, The Digital Landscape: Autumn in Yosemite. This is a comprehensive course covering the entire process from capture to print, with field sessions covering exposure, composition, and everything you do before pressing the shutter, and lab sessions where we process and print the images with Lightroom.

I hope you enjoy Part 2!

—Michael Frye

Related Posts: Lightroom 4: The New Tone Controls; Using Curves in Lightroom and Camera Raw

Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author and photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to YosemiteYosemite Meditations, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters, plus the eBooks Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, and Exposure for Outdoor Photography. He 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.


Lightroom 4: The New Tone Controls

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As I wrote last week, Lightroom 4 represents a big change—the biggest change to Adobe’s Raw processing engine since Adobe Camera Raw was introduced in 2003. They’ve completely revamped the underlying algorithms for all of the tonal controls, and changed the behavior, and in some cases the names, of all the Basic Tone sliders.

Overall, I’m really happy with the new process, especially for high-contrast images. But if you’re accustomed to Lightroom 3 the new tools may seem strange at first. So I’ve been working on two videos to explain the changes and how to work with the new tools.

The first video, embedded here, explains some of the differences between the old and new processes, how the new tools work, and the ways they affect an image’s appearance. Here are some of the main points:


Photo Critique Series: Re-Processing a Misty Forest Scene

Photo Critique Series: “Mist” by David Eaton, Part 1 (direct link to YouTube)

Photo Critique Series: “Mist” by David Eaton, Part 2: Processing (direct link to YouTube)

Yes, the critiques are back—finally! This critique features a beautiful forest image called “Mist,” by David Eaton. The photograph was made in an area called The Chase near Birmingham, England.

This is my second video critique, and I’ve broken it into two parts. The first video discusses the processing (briefly), light, composition, exposure, and sharpness. In the second video I demonstrate how I re-processed the image in Lightroom.