Saturday, March 16, 2013


Lightroom is the most indispensable tool I have for processing images, all my work begins by using Lightroom, other programs include CS5 for final touches and Photo Mechanic for browsing (I use a MAC), I consider all three programs essential to my work.

You can see in the first example how much can be recovered from the shadows, that is a pretty extreme example, but it happens, the second is a lot closer to a normal exposure and much easier to handle when shadows and highlights are not clipped.

Adjustments are almost always very subtle when an image is exposed correctly, often a small tone curve adjustment along with shadows and highlights. In the case of the second image above, luminance was used to control contrast in the blue, yellow, red and orange, along with curve a adjustment,  then shadows and highlights. Sharpening always is left at the preset standard in Lightroom.

Sometimes trickier images that show an odd color cast may need a hue or white balance adjustment and there is the occasional image that needs a digital Graduated filter.

Images In Light

Friday, March 1, 2013

Why I shoot RAW

Final image after PS CS 5
Larger Image

RAW image converted in Lightroom 4 to 16 bit tiff

Original RAW Image, before processing.

Shooting in jpg only is like throwing away the negative, I always shoot in RAW format with my DSLR, I want to be able to get everything out of my files and RAW format stores a lot more information than a jpg does.

My original RAW files are selected and have the majority of processing done in Lightroom, highlight recovery and shadows, white balance, individual color luminosity, tone curve and a small amount of pre-sharpening.
This is where I may decide to do local adjustments in PS CS5, along with a very slight tone curve, crop and possibly print-sharpening. They are then saved in 16 bit tiff format for future printing or work and long term storage.

Local adjustments may include dodging and burning or a layer mask or slight color adjustments, PS CS5 is only used for images I select for possible future printing or as a select image for web presentation.

All images for use on the web are saved in jpg format. I may end up with several formats and sizes of each of my select images that get stored on an external drive.