Friday, August 1, 2008

Lightroom 2.0: localized corrections

Lightroom 2.0 was released three days ago on July 28. The upgrade is $99, and it has paid for itself already.

There are a number of improvements, but the most important to me is the localized correction feature. These are non-destructive adjustments, meaning they do not modify the original RAW image data, and they add virtually no size to the file. The new tools are more intuitive and faster than using Photoshop for similar results, and now it is unnecessary to make a Tiff file for these adjustments.

Correctly exposed for maximum dynamic range and shadow detail, the untouched RAW image is pretty washed out. Global adjustments to improve the sky would unacceptably darken the foreground.

A brightness adjustment was applied just to the sky and feathered in to the mountains with the new adjustment brush. There is also a graduated filter tool, but in this case the brush proved better to paint around the mountain shapes. This represents just a few minutes of work.


Troy Bouffard said...

Stunning how the corrected version looks so realistic, immediately prompting vivid memories.

Traveler said...

Hey, Patrick. How you doing? (Dave Ferguson - and yes, I owe ya some photos. Had completely forgotten.)

So you used the brush on the sky to lighten. What did you do to get the ground brighter?

Patrick said...

The foreground adjustments are a cumulation of global contrast, brightness, clarity and saturation adjustments. Not much saturation actually, that tends to be a natural result of the other adjustments. Lightroom 2 is outstanding for local adjustments, and while the program is a little slow in some respects, the adjustment "attributes" can't be beat. In particular, when you don't want or need to make a tiff of every image and work on it in Photoshop.