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Author Topic: Preparing a Raw file in Lightroom for Photoshop  (Read 9402 times)
RFPhotography
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« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2011, 07:55:46 AM »
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Change is a difficult thing for a lot of people.  Many get 'set in their ways' and it's difficult for them to move off those methods to embrace something new and potentially better.  Perhaps Varis fits into that group.  As for Margulies, no comment.  Roll Eyes

Varis, as Jeff points out, has been doing this a long time.  He was probably a relatively early adopter of digital processing as it related to scanned film.  He may have created a workflow in that era that served him well and that he's continued on with and altered (improved?) over the years to account for new knowledge, new tools in the PS toolbox, etc.  If he's firmly entrenched in that workflow then it's possible that he's reluctant to move off it.  Could be out of comfort with what he's been doing.  Could be a variety of reasons, including wanting to sell books.  Whatever the reason, it's difficult to understand why someone of his stature would, apparently, so thoroughly dismiss what is a wonderful advancement in digital image processing.

It seems, to me, that this method he's advocating in the book is complexity for the sake of complexity for the majority of people.  Perhaps for his work it's useful but may not be for many (most).  I've come up with a method of creating a 'digital zone system' that breaks the image up into true brightness zones.  I use it a fair bit in b&w conversion but also for some colour work where LR/PS aren't as effective.  I'll probably be the only one to ever use it though because it appears somewhat complex and there are some quirks in PS that are annoying so it's likely no publisher would ever touch it.  That and the fact that I'm not a 'celebrity photographer'.  But while it appears complex, it does have benefits and has made some images far better than what I could have done with the standard LR/ACR/PS tools.  Would it have benefit for enough others to make it worthwhile distributing it or profitable for a publisher?  Probably not.  And since I have no name caché, people aren't going to buy it just because my name's on it; which is what I think ends up happening with a lot of books that are published.  Perhaps including this one from Varis.
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stamper
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« Reply #41 on: October 27, 2011, 08:49:24 AM »
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Quote John

Again, Stamper, it's you that needs to look at yourself and put a bit more thought into it. The method does the same job now as then, but it has been comfortably surpassed as the best way to work.

Unquote

John you have one book in your site for sale on Lightroom and two for Photoshop. You're stating Lightroom is the way to go in preference to Photoshop. You seem to me to be selling two books that have been superseded by Lightroom. I take it this means the buyer's have a choice about which method suits them?

Quote

I wouldn't argue it in terms of quality, but certainly in terms of time effectiveness. Correcting the images in raw means you can get far more images finished to the same level of quality - just switch to Lightroom's AutoSync mode, for example, and with a single drag of the slider you can adjust dozens or even hundreds of images simultaneously. It's not speed for its own sake, but more properly-corrected images in the bag, more of the day is left for whatever pixel-level jiggery-pokery you really need to do in Photoshop.

Unquote

The italics are my emphasis.

What is the point of doing this if you care about the quality of your image.

 
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 08:55:29 AM by stamper » Logged

digitaldog
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« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2011, 09:06:48 AM »
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am I right in saying that you did the same or similar before Raw Processing became the efficient program it is now?

In a word, no. When I was scanning, I used good software (ColorQuartet on the drum, LinoColor on others) and used all the tools available to produce the best possible ‘rendering’ if you will, before Photoshop ever entered the picture.

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You obviously have a commercial interest in the latest technology and it shows.

I have an interest in using the right tools for the right job. You can if you wish, use a kitchen knife as a screw driver. I personally prefer a good screwdriver.

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I think your attitude may put people off buying your books.
You obviously confuse me for someone that gives a shit <g>. I’m not in the book selling business.

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Personally  - I have many books - but I haven't bought any of yours.

I have only one, published way back in 2005 and have zero interest in either writing another and don’t really care if you buy it or not. If you want to discuss using tools for quality workflows, I’m all ears. You’ve only stated you don’t like my attitude which is fine, but have made no comments on the salient points I’ve raised about how Lee dismisses the tools we have for rendering data before Photoshop enters the scene. I’m interested in continuing that discussion with you if you want, I have no interest to discuss what books you may or may not buy including mine. And yes, I’ve been know to use the term polishing turds, an activity that some go to great lengths to teach and can be useful when there is no other option available (you’re handed a rendered turd and no raw accessible). In this case, the instructor and author had a raw file.

Next question?
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2011, 09:09:48 AM »
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The persons that advocate the "flat" raw conversion aren't to my knowledge members of this forum so they can't defend themselves.

They are certainly free to come here and ‘defend’ themselves although the original brainchild who came up with this idea (of which I suspect Lee has latched onto) never ventures outside his closed and highly censored list. You might want to invite him here but it will fall on deaf ears. Ask yourself why.
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Andrew Rodney
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #44 on: October 27, 2011, 09:32:11 AM »
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What is the point of doing this if you care about the quality of your image.

 

It's not about whether one cares about the quality of the image.  To suggest that making bulk or batch adjustments to a set of raw files is an indication that the photographer doesn't care about the quality of the images is, frankly, ridiculous.  There are times when batch changes make complete sense.  As in when editing a series of images from a specific shoot.  A studio shoot, for example, shot under specific lighting conditions and where an adjustment to one would be applicable to all.  It's about efficiency and effective use of time.  As someone else said, if a person is charging by the hour and wants to clockspin (a borderline ethical practice) then they can go about using whatever convoluted workflow they wish.  But for the photographer who wants to be effective and efficient with time and make a living but not make a living off every client and still produce top quality work, then making use of tools that enable or support that philosophy makes absolute sense.

Back to the book; however, why does Varis suggest that any alterations made in LR/ACR after demosaicing are pointless?
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #45 on: October 27, 2011, 09:48:22 AM »
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John you have one book in your site for sale on Lightroom and two for Photoshop. You're stating Lightroom is the way to go in preference to Photoshop. You seem to me to be selling two books that have been superseded by Lightroom. I take it this means the buyer's have a choice about which method suits them?

Huh? It clearly depends on the specific task. I did not generalize to say Photoshop has been superseded by Lightroom or say it is the way to go in preference to Photoshop - for many purposes, yes, other purposes no. In the specific case we've been discussing, it looks to some of us that most of it could be done better (ie quicker, more readily by most people) in Lightroom / ACR.

quote
I wouldn't argue it in terms of quality, but certainly in terms of time effectiveness. Correcting the images in raw means you can get far more images finished to the same level of quality - just switch to Lightroom's AutoSync mode, for example, and with a single drag of the slider you can adjust dozens or even hundreds of images simultaneously. It's not speed for its own sake, but more properly-corrected images in the bag, more of the day is left for whatever pixel-level jiggery-pokery you really need to do in Photoshop.
Unquote
The italics are my emphasis.
What is the point of doing this if you care about the quality of your image?

I specifically said "to the same level of quality" and "properly-corrected".... And to repeat my answer to Pegelli's question, the choice between the methods isn't one of the ultimate quality one can achieve but of how much you can get done in your day. Why follow a method that allows you to finish two images when you could use another that lets you finish ten and where the drudgery is done quickly and leaves you time for really fiddly stuff that only Photoshop can handle?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #46 on: October 27, 2011, 12:08:23 PM »
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... The method worked well in the past and that HASN'T  changed because raw processing has improved...

Typewriters (mechanical) worked well in the past and that HASN'T changed because electrical ones and computers emerged. A 20-year old car (in working order) will get you from point A to point B today as it did 20 years ago, and that HASN'T changed because new models emerged. But a new car will do it with less gas, less pollution, in greater comfort, and will keep you safer in case of an accident. Which one you would prefer to use today?  That is not to say there aren't people still preferring mechanical typewriters or vintage cars. That is not to say there are no idiosyncratic pleasures in using a well-design tool or car from the past occasionally. But the real issue is that for most people and most of the time, new and improved things are preferable. 
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Slobodan

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« Reply #47 on: October 27, 2011, 12:27:27 PM »
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Typewriters (mechanical) worked well in the past and that HASN'T changed because electrical ones and computers emerged. A 20-year old car (in working order) will get you from point A to point B today as it did 20 years ago, and that HASN'T changed because new models emerged. But a new car will do it with less gas, less pollution, in greater comfort, and will keep you safer in case of an accident. Which one you would prefer to use today?  That is not to say there aren't people still preferring mechanical typewriters or vintage cars. That is not to say there are no idiosyncratic pleasures in using a well-design tool or car from the past occasionally. But the real issue is that for most people and most of the time, new and improved things are preferable. 

+1 ~ Well said.
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jrp
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« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2011, 01:31:01 PM »
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I would love to ditch Nikon's Capture  NX 2 and do more of my processing in Lightroom/ACR + Photoshop but prefer CNX2's rendering; ACR seems to give me slightly less appealing pics.

As Lee points out at the start of the video, contrast is more important than colour.  While ACR/CNX2 have good global contrast handling, they are less adept at local contrast (ACR has clarity), CNX has high pass and USM sharpening, and Nik's Tonal Contrast filter.  ACR also has the capability of saturating and controlling the luminosity of a range of colours.  However, they are obviously not as flexible as the full panoply of Photoshop's channel luminosity blending, plug-ins, etc.

My own preference is to get a neutral image from CNX2 that has as full a range of tones as possible (no clipping) and then go into Photoshop to optimize the global and local contrast, and to make it more colourful in a way appropriate to the subject.  Going into Photoshop is necessary, as I usually have other things to do.

This is a low-volume workflow.  If I want to process tens or hundreds of photos, I would stick to ACR.

So for me, it really boils down to the absence of sophisticated control over contrast and the limitations of "finishing" features in CNX2 that leads me to work the way that I do.

If I did more studio work, I dare say that the balance would tip to doing more in the raw processor, but as it is, it makes more sense to make the most of Photoshop's power since I am going there anyway.
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #49 on: October 27, 2011, 01:35:11 PM »
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Typewriters (mechanical) worked well in the past and that HASN'T changed because electrical ones and computers emerged. A 20-year old car (in working order) will get you from point A to point B today as it did 20 years ago, and that HASN'T changed because new models emerged. But a new car will do it with less gas, less pollution, in greater comfort, and will keep you safer in case of an accident. Which one you would prefer to use today?  That is not to say there aren't people still preferring mechanical typewriters or vintage cars. That is not to say there are no idiosyncratic pleasures in using a well-design tool or car from the past occasionally. But the real issue is that for most people and most of the time, new and improved things are preferable. 
On the other hand: if you are able to write great novels on a typewriter, but get writers block everytime you boot your mac, then the choice is really easy, no matter how large the technical advantages of the mac are?

-h
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #50 on: October 27, 2011, 01:45:02 PM »
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I would love to ditch Nikon's Capture  NX 2 and do more of my processing in Lightroom/ACR + Photoshop but prefer CNX2's rendering; ACR seems to give me slightly less appealing pics.

As Lee points out at the start of the video, contrast is more important than colour.  While ACR/CNX2 have good global contrast handling, they are less adept at local contrast (ACR has clarity), CNX has high pass and USM sharpening, and Nik's Tonal Contrast filter.  ACR also has the capability of saturating and controlling the luminosity of a range of colours.  However, they are obviously not as flexible as the full panoply of Photoshop's channel luminosity blending, plug-ins, etc.

My own preference is to get a neutral image from CNX2 that has as full a range of tones as possible (no clipping) and then go into Photoshop to optimize the global and local contrast, and to make it more colourful in a way appropriate to the subject.  Going into Photoshop is necessary, as I usually have other things to do.

This is a low-volume workflow.  If I want to process tens or hundreds of photos, I would stick to ACR.

So for me, it really boils down to the absence of sophisticated control over contrast and the limitations of "finishing" features in CNX2 that leads me to work the way that I do.

If I did more studio work, I dare say that the balance would tip to doing more in the raw processor, but as it is, it makes more sense to make the most of Photoshop's power since I am going there anyway.

Maybe you don't prefer the way LR/ACR handle local contrast but tools are available.  The Adjustment Brush can be a terrific local contrast tool if used well. 
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digitaldog
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« Reply #51 on: October 27, 2011, 01:49:17 PM »
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On the other hand: if you are able to write great novels on a typewriter, but get writers block everytime you boot your mac, then the choice is really easy, no matter how large the technical advantages of the mac are?

True but the words, either typewriter or Mac are the same. I’m hard pressed to believe the final results and image quality is the same using a convoluted set of fixes in Photoshop on poorly rendered data versus properly rendered data. Sure, if the two processes produce identical results but the differences are the time spent, not a huge big deal if you don’t mind the extra time spent (or as said, charge by the hour). The argument is more than which method is faster. Parametric editing is more flexible, especially if you trying different variations using virtual copies. Its totally non destructive. You’ve got an unlimited history in terms of time spent editing that image. You’ve got tremendous control over tone (just try fixing blown highlights on a rendered image, or adjusting white balance that’s way off).

In the end, there are tools Photoshop offers that a raw processor can’t and vise versa.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #52 on: October 27, 2011, 01:55:41 PM »
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True but the words, either typewriter or Mac are the same. I’m hard pressed to believe the final results and image quality is the same using a convoluted set of fixes in Photoshop on poorly rendered data versus properly rendered data. Sure, if the two processes produce identical results but the differences are the time spent, not a huge big deal if you don’t mind the extra time spent (or as said, charge by the hour). The argument is more than which method is faster. Parametric editing is more flexible, especially if you trying different variations using virtual copies. Its totally non destructive. You’ve got an unlimited history in terms of time spent editing that image. You’ve got tremendous control over tone (just try fixing blown highlights on a rendered image, or adjusting white balance that’s way off).

In the end, there are tools Photoshop offers that a raw processor can’t and vise versa.
I never had enough patience to learn photoshop - I use Lightroom 99% of the time. Not beause it is necessarily technically best, but because it does most of the things that I want rapidly, intuitively and easily.

My point was that if you feel more "inspired" by one set of tools that may or may not be blessed by the experts as "best", then chances are that you will make the best end-results using your favourite tools. This may not be true for anti-virus programs, but it probably is true to some degree for activites that involve a minimum of artistic work.

-h
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jrp
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« Reply #53 on: October 27, 2011, 02:01:49 PM »
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Maybe you don't prefer the way LR/ACR handle local contrast but tools are available.  The Adjustment Brush can be a terrific local contrast tool if used well. 

I can see that, but I don't like to "paint" if I can avoid it.  Takes too long.  Channel curving and blending is fast and effective.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #54 on: October 27, 2011, 02:26:04 PM »
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I can see that, but I don't like to "paint" if I can avoid it.  Takes too long.  Channel curving and blending is fast and effective.

And that's fine.  That's personal preference.  But saying the tools aren't available isn't accurate.  That was all I was trying to convey.
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meyerweb
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« Reply #55 on: October 27, 2011, 07:28:46 PM »
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Having a commercial interest may mean a bias is involved that means objectivity is lost. Your post makes it obvious that you think the "latest" is best and older methods should scorned. These "arcane turd-polishing workflows" still work. I believe you have commercial interests in publishing photographic theories. If I had the time or inclination I bet that I could scour the internet and see some of the things you advocated in the past as being worthwhile. Are they now not worth the paper they were printed on? Lighten up and be more objective. Smiley

I think, perhaps, it's you that need to be more objective.  Once upon a time, a horse and buggy was the best way for a family to travel. You could still use that horse and buggy to do so (in fact, many Amish still do). But I don't think many would argue that just because it still works it's a good approach. So yes, doing all your image correction in PS still works, but compared to doing it in LR it's kind of a horse and buggy.
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RobertBoire
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« Reply #56 on: October 28, 2011, 04:46:20 PM »
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I wonder if the originator of this thread is beginning to regret asking the question Grin
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #57 on: October 28, 2011, 08:44:37 PM »
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I wonder if the originator of this thread is beginning to regret asking the question Grin

Why?  It's been a discussion of differing points of view with, arguably, valid points on both sides.  No one's got nasty.  Some of the commentary is more informed than others but there's probably something for a lot of people to take away from it and say they learned from it.
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #58 on: October 28, 2011, 11:44:01 PM »
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Guess I should spend more time in Lightroom discussions even though I only use ACR. Nothing goin' on in ACR forum. Just stumbled upon this one and saw the Lee Varis video. First I've ever seen of his work.

Did Lee know that the image of the red church didn't look right after he was done? I mean it looked like an old hand colored post card from the 1930's only new looking. It also looked like a miniature with all that micro contrast.

Or was he just showing all the channel blending and Apply Image techniques for instruction purposes only. I lost track of all the steps but the only image that looked sort of right was the power plant in the desert. That's a lot of work for what I thought would give a whole lot better results than doing it in ACR/LR.

Is anyone else seeing Lee's results as odd looking?

The black kid skin lightening technique was good but at a certain point it left posterized facial highlights that resembled a skin pigment disorder known as vitiligo. Probably should've dialed back the opacity slider on the High Pass layer.

That was a long hour and a half watch for something I can't even remember to do.
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« Reply #59 on: October 29, 2011, 10:21:57 AM »
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When I think back to the B&W darkroom I had in my parents basement when I was 13, all I can say is, ain't it grand to have all these tools to use in whatever way inspiration leads?

Perhaps you're ALL right (although it helps to state your case w/ a modicum of cool).

While I usually follow a set workflow that's evolved as new tools have come along, I often discover a breakthrough for making an image work when I'm in an experimental frame of mind and go against my own conventions.

Viva la difference!
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