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In the last two “Before and After Friday” posts (Sun House, Elegant Lamp) I have been sharing how I edit HDR images in Photoshop and Lightroom. I edited those images mainly in Photoshop because they needed something to be added or taken away, but not all my images are edited in Photoshop and not all have to be HDRs. In the last 6 months I have been using Lightroom as my main editor, since I was editing most of my images in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and opening Photoshop just to save the files.
In lightroom the first thing I do is click all the lens correcting boxes and apply some capture sharpening and noise reduction.
My next step is to make adjustments to the toning of the image. I start with the black and white points and move the sliders while pressing alt to see where the tones are being clipped allowing me to more accurately set a black and white point. I then adjust the exposure as well as adjusting the shadows, highlights and clarity.
Next I make some curves adjustments. To the overall contrast as well as each colour channel.
I then make some local adjustments using the adjustment brush if needed. For this image I made adjustments; in the window to bring back some detail from the outside, the highlight spots on the chemise and window on the right and brightening the shadows on the walls.
Sometimes I need to made adjustments to the perspective and straighten the image
I then make some final tweaks to the noise, as the adjustments may have added some, as well as adjust the sharpening. Further sharpening is applied during the output stage.
This is an image that some would think would need to be a HDR to balance the scene, but there was already a wide dynaic range in the image and some more contrast would have taken away from it. The curves adjustment has given it a slight film feel and the detail brought back in the window adds a lot instead of having a massive highlight hot spot.
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