For the month of March, Adobe is running a good discount on Photoshop and Lightroom Creative Cloud. Normally quite cost prohibitive for the non-professional, the cost of $10 a month was too much to pass up. My daughter wants Photoshop for her artwork and I’ve been wondering how Lightroom can change my photography. As WOW is becoming quite boring for me, it was an easy switch.
Once purchased, downloaded and installed, the search for tutorials started. On YouTube, I came across Anthony Morganti and his Quickstart training tutorials. After going through part 1, it was time to import some pictures to do some postwork. I went through some old photos and came across some from our vacation in Utah. When we visited Antelope Island on Salt Lake, it was overcast and rainy. The rocks had more color and beauty than the lack of light allowed. How well could Lightroom open up these pictures?
Shooting in RAW mode on the Nikon D7000 has several advantages. RAW saves far more data about the image than JPEG and Lightroom takes full advantage of it. Once imported, it was time to see the adjustments Anthony suggests in his first video.
The first changes Anthony suggests is in the Basic area, setting Highlights to +100 and Shadows -100. The first will flatten the picture and the second will open it up. After performing this on several photos, I am not sure it is always necessary. It does seem a good place to start. It will be interesting to play with these settings as I learn.
Finishing the Basic section is adjusting the Whites and Blacks by holding the Option key down while moving the slider. Anthony’s suggestion is to just allow the Whites in and deepen the Blacks quite a bit. It will depend on the photo, of course. This is also to the taste of the photographer and what is wanted with the post-processing. Here too is another place to learn. Clarity, vibrance, and saturation are adjusted to preference.
Lens correction is another section visited. On some photos, it makes little difference, but on wide angle shots it helps to straighten them out. As the Nikon D7000 will save lens information in the EXIF data, Lightroom will compare against its database and adjust as required. The photos loaded so far used a Nikkor lens. I do have some using my Tamron and it be interesting to see what changes are required for it.
Sharpening and Luminance under Noise Reduction are the next standard place to use a standard setting: 70 and 40, respectively. Adjusting the various colors and details is all according to the needs of the photograph and what the photographer is trying to do. I have learned that push the various colors dials too much can give the picture an other-worldly look. This is good to know, though, as there are times when such results will be wanted.
Here are a few pictures I’ve placed in my Flickr photostream: