The After and Before forum is organised by Stacy Fischer, it is a place where amateurs as well as seasoned photographers explain the wow and how about their photo and editing decision.You can read more here about how to take part.
This week adobe announced to an anticipated surprise, they were upgrading Lightroom to version 6 or CC. As a subscriber to Adobe Cloud within a matter of hours I was able to download and install the new version of Lightroom. Although I had a few hiccups in getting it to launch (A bizarre log out of CC and Log in and then launch).
The rumours were true, all the features that were in the latest Adobe Camera Raw would migrate over to its cousin program. Like being able to make local adjustments more tailored for an image; for example erasing parts of gradients that go over buildings or extending a radius adjustment into more of a custom shape. A panorama editor and HDR toning was added to Lightroom, really removing the step of having to leave Lightroom to go to Photoshop or another program and then imported back again.
As a fan of natural looking HDR images this peaked my interest as I was watching Light room’s YouTube channel and picking out some info that might be important to the update. Something I did learn was to go to preferences and make sure you check the box for Lightroom to use your graphics card’s processor and change the custom catalogue preview to auto, to help speed up Lightroom and make it work more efficiently.
I did plan a slightly different image for today’s forum post, but I was too excited to play with Lightroom CC. I decided to try out the HDR feature on an image I took last summer that I had a bit of a problem editing.
First I selected the three exposures I wanted to merge to HDR, right clicked and chose merge to HDR. This opened a new dialogue box with options Auto Align (which helps align exposures if you took the pictures without a tripod), Auto Tone (that applies a toning to give a natural exposure that you can adjust later in the develop module) and different ghost removal options (I went with medium). I have to say that the auto align and ghosting worked really well, I will need to experiment how far this can be pushed.
Once the file was merged Lightroom created a DNG file (its version of raw). I jumped to the Develop module and applied a black and white toning with some contrast.
I added an inverted radial adjustment to the lower left of the image, reducing the contrast and brightening the mountain top.
Normally this is all I would be able to do unless I made that adjustment with a brush. Now however I can adjust the radial adjustment. I clicked on the brush option in the Adjustment pallet and clicked remove. On the bottom of the window I selected to show the adjustment area, which heighted the area with red. I used the brush first to remove the adjustment form the sky and then clicked auto mask to remove the adjustment from the sky close to the maintains edge to limit a halo effect.
Now with something like a base the image I wanted, I sharpened the image and appl;ied noise reduciton.
I added a gradient tool to darken the top of the image and as my wife would say, make the sky moody.
I added a brush adjustment tool to add some clarity to the clouds on the bottom right of the image.
I went back to my radial adjustment and refined my adjustments there to create a greater separation in tones.
My final adjustments were just cleaning up the imge to remove some dust bunnies form the image. I adjusted the exposure slightly and added a slight blue to the shadows.
As HDR processing goes this was quite simple as well as creative. The auto toning is something similar to exposure fusion and gives a very wide range of tones to work from, similar to getting a 32 bit image from Photoshop.
As to what I think about my final image. I like the moody sky and the layers of depth as you move through the image. The darker and slightly contrasted tone works nicely to bring the image together and give an emotive feeling. For me I am glad I was able to finally get the image edited as I have three other versions I am still not keen on.
Have you upgraded to Lightroom CC or are you going to be upgrading to Lightroom 6? ~What are your thoughts on the image and do you like how I have edited it?
Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.
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