workflow

Lightroom Video Published

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It appears that quite a number of you want to know more about working with Lightroom and what tips might help save you some time. With this in mind I put together this short 10-minute video demonstrating a few points including History, Snapshots and Integration with Photoshop. These may not be the most exciting features but they could save you a lot of time. Probably much more than the 10 minutes it takes to watch the video.

As always, requests for future video topics are gratefully received.

Processing the Wind Farm Image

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The other week I published an image similar to this.

Finished wind farm image
Finished wind farm image

Well for those who are interested (and quite a few people emailed me), here is the starting image.

Starting image of the wind farm prior to any adjustment
Starting image of the wind farm prior to any adjustment

If you want to know the processing steps I posted the tutorial on Lenscraft. Here’s the link.

https://lenscraft.co.uk/processing-wind-farm-photograph/

Creating a Lightweight Photoshop Workflow

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Creating a Lightweight Photoshop Workflow

Rough seas, Norway, March 2012
Copyright: Robin Whalley 2012
Contact: robin@lenscraft.co.uk

Last night I was the guest speaker at a Camera Club; something that I like to do a number of times each year in order to share my knowledge, but also to pick up information from others. The event went well and the presentation I delivered was entirely new, not only in content but in approach. The real innovation for the session was that I demonstrated how I use Photoshop to craft my images.

What became apparent from talking to people after the event was that my workflow in Photoshop was quite minimal yet achieved a lot. You see I have standardised my approach to be adequate for around 95% of my images and most of my changes can be applied in just a few minutes. Sure some of the better images I will spend longer on, but only if the additional effort is justified.

Here then is my approach:

  • Clean up the image by removing dust spots etc on a new empty layer. I do however try to keep my sensor clean by using an Arctic Butterfly brush so that any cleanup work is minimal.
  • Use a Curves adjustment layer to adjust brightness
  • Use a curves adjustment layer to adjust contract
  • Use a saturation layer to adjust saturation
  • Add a new empty layer and stroke the image to create a frame

Whilst I didn’t demonstrate it last night I have created an action in Photoshop to automate the addition of the above layers so that all I need do is activate the action using Ctrl-F3 (which is the key combination I have assigned).

Consider also that all my adjustments are on layers which give rise to a number of benefits:

  • I can turn the layer on or off to hide the effect
  • I can adjust the opacity of the layer to control how strong its effect is on the image
  • Each layer has a blending mode that you can use to make further enhancements
  • Each layer has a layer mask attached to it which I can use to target the adjustment onto a specific area of the image

Once I am happy with the image I create a new consolidated version from all the layers by pressing Shift-Ctrl-Alt-E. I then sharpen this for output e.g. for paper or for the screen. My finished image is then saved as a PSD file with all the layers remaining in place. Again this gives rise to timesaving benefits:

  • Each time I output the image to new media I can create a version of the image with the correct level of sharpening and simply turn off the other layers
  • I can create modified versions of the same image e.g. versions with and without the frame
  • If in a couple of weeks I decide I was a little heavy handed with one of the adjustments e.g. saturation, I can simply adjust the opacity of the relevant layer to control the effect
  • If I later decide to work on the image further I have all my earlier layers already in place and ready to enhance further

By following my approach I find that I minimise the total time I spend on each image whilst achieving good results.

Copyright: Robin Whalley 2012 www.thelightweightphotographer.com
See more of my work at www.lenscraft.co.uk