Okay. So I started this week’s edit with the intent of using Lightroom 3’s basic adjustments (much like Ashley uses ACR) and then jumping to PSE to take care of the nitty-gritty stuff. I really do think that PSE (and CS) has a greater capacity for fine-tuning than LR3 and I wanted to take advantage of Ashley’s tutorials to learn these skills. But as fate would have it, I chose the wrong photograph. I got to the end of my basic adjustments in LR3 and decided that there was very little that I wanted to do with it beyond some minor changes that LR3 handles very easily (like vignetting). Note to self: For the next challenge, I need to pick a close-up portrait or macro to really take advantage of PSE’s advanced features and Ashley’s tutorials.
This is a cropped version of the original SOOC image
My goal was to correct the white balance and show the true colours of the wall and floor while maintaining the dark essence inherent in this night time shot of story time with the boys.
After basic LR3 edits
Before and after histograms and basic settings:
- Open photo in LR3.
- Crop and rotate photo if needed. I do this at the beginning because LR3 adjusts the histogram based on the crop.
- Use White Balance Selector (eyedropper) to select my “neutral light gray” (in this photo, I used the pillow).
- Use Temp and Tint sliders to fine tune the white balance.
- Click on Shadow Clipping Indicator (the arrow at the top left corner of Histogram to show black areas with no details and adjust Blacks slider accordingly to minimize black outs, if desired.
- Click on the Highlight Clipping Indicator (the arrow at the top right corner of Histogram) to show white areas with no details and adjust Recovery slider accordingly to minimize blow outs, if desired.
- Make further adjustments to the Tone settings (Exposure, Fill Light, Brightness, Contrast). Again, because I wanted to maintain the essence of night-time reading (mainly the photo’s darkness) I increased the Exposure level only slightly.
- Adjust Presence sliders (Clarity, Vibrance, Saturation). I upped Clarity to 50 and Vibrance slightly for this photo.
- This is the point where I had intended to continue my edits in PSE but didn’t because there was very little graininess that I wanted to correct and there were no facial details that could be recovered using PSE because I didn’t zoom in on this shot. Incidently, LR3 allows you to open the image into an external app like PSE by going to the top menu bar and selecting Photo > Edit In and following the steps to select the app you want.
- Use Sharpening and Noise Reduction tools to minimize blur and noise.
- Use Adjustment Brush to brighten faces slightly. Again, because of the lack of details on the faces in this photo, LR3 did a good enough job in my view.
- Add Post-Crop Vignetting, if desired. For this photo, the vignette amount was set to -24 (a medium setting).