Lightroom Turned Upside Down, Make a Change

Shooting for the Homebuilder Barry Watson and Windsor Homes in Eads Tennessee. Post production completed in Adobe Lightroom
Shooting for the Homebuilder Barry Watson and Windsor Homes in Eads Tennessee.

Working your Raw File.

Yes, Adobe is an awesome company with at least two “off the scale” great products.  Two of their miraculous products, PhotoShop and Lightroom, are resident on my desktop every day I work or play on my MacBookPro.  I’m sure there are more but these are my best buds. .
I am also a fan of the evangelist Julieanne Kost, Terry White and Russell Brown.  But they got ONE thing wrong.  I’m sure it’s only one.  The Lightroom workflow they preach is to begin the edit of your photo when you settle in to the Develop module at the TOP.  From section Basic move down to Tone Curve; then HSL/Color/B&W; then Split Toning; Detail; Lens Correction and Effects.  Then, finally, in Camera Calibration select the preference for your profile.  At this point you probably messed everything up.  You see, as you adjusted all the Lightroom adjustments to your liking you had a good image.  Then, when you select the profile at the end the bulk of density and contrast adjustments will need to be tweaked.  Double your work………in your spare time.
You’ve set White balance and Exposure and adjusted for Shadows and Highlights and Contrast.  You may, but I wouldn’t, adjust the tonal curve.  When you get to the calibration you can easily use a snappy profile and at that point you’ve overcooked your photo.  Selecting your profile needs to be step one.  Click a well designed profile that gives you 80% of your look and you’ll remove some of the other steps from even requiring your visit.  The profile has contrast, saturation, color and vibrance in a nice, repeatable package.  Lightroom packaged it with a box and bow just to speed your editing.
I’ve created some custom profiles but they’re not getting my attention as much as some of the standard issue like “camera portrait” and “camera vivid”.  Take your landscape to camera vivid and you’ll experience the neck jerk that folks felt the first time they say Fuji Velvia after being controlled by Ektachrome (Kodak) for years.  Take a people pic to portrait and you’ll see the skin enhanced.
When you’ve shot Jpegs you may recall that one of the less desirable characteristics is that the processing and creation of the Jpeg uses a profile. Mister Jpeg creates that profile………Not you. This is the selection process that, in Lightroom, allows you to pick some of the basic characteristics of your raw photo.

So, Make some changes in your Lightroom Workflow.

These are the reasons for NOT starting at the top when editing your prize imagery.  Start at the bottom with a profile and move up thru the details and end by tweaking in Basic.  So much has gone into those profiles to match some of the time-tested results of film R&D and you can take advantage of that research.  Some snap and contrast and vibrance or saturation and shadow detail, or lack thereof, and it’s as easy as one click.

Special Thanks to Windsor Homes, Nikon and LensRentals.


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