Lightroom Guy Blog

New Lightroom Texture Slider & Clarity – What’s the Difference?

By D.A. Wagner | May 30, 2019 |

Thanks to guys like Max Wendt at Adobe, we now have the Lightroom Texture Slider.

Max wanted to develop a tool for Lightroom that works like Photoshop for smoothing skin. Once he achieved the result he was looking for, he thought, “what would happen if I made the slider work the other way?” And thus, the Lightroom Texture Slider was born. Great for subtle contrast increases. Great for smoothing skin. If you’re a true technology wank, read more about Max’s Texture Control here.

It is a very useful feature that’s in both Lightroom Classic and Lightroom Desktop. And this new feature has been added to the basic develop settings as well as the local adjustment tools.

Now, you may have wondered what the difference is between Texture and Clarity, especially if you’ve had some time to play with the Lightroom Texture Slider. It can be hard to see these subtle differences. But at its most basic, visually, the Texture Slider is less contrasty than Clarity but still adds enough to crisp up an image without going to Sharpening. Which I shy away from (that’s another story). And, in order to make the most of the Lightroom Texture Slider, it helps to know what these three tools look like up close.

The Texture Slider

Pushing the slider right, the Texture results are lighter, less heavy and contrasty than it’s older sister, Clarity.

And, the feature of the Texture Slider that Max Wendt was aiming for: Smoothing skin on human faces. Moving the Lightroom Texture Slider to the left softens skin. But don’t go too far, keep the look natural.

A simple slide to the left on the Texture Slider for negative numbers is an easy fix for softening skin, expecially on high megapixel captures, which can be very unforgiving for faces.

The Texture Slider is a very welcome addition to Lightroom Classic and Lightroom Desktop. It may very well take the place of the Clarity slider in many situations. You’ll find it in the Presence section of the Basic Panel and in with the sliders for the Radial, Gradient and Adjustment Brush local adjustment tools.

What you NEED to Know About Color Space …

By David Mark Erickson | May 23, 2019 |

Thankfully the answer is: very little!

Color Space gamut map
Gamut map of various color spaces

Just the other week, a client bought a new camera and came to us with a question about color space. They had read a few articles on the internet about the difference between ProPhoto, AdobeRGB and sRGB. Thinking more was better, they set their camera for ProPhoto. But, got confused when it came to changing settings on their computer.

This simple answer is, if you’re shooting raw, it doesn’t matter what the color space setting is on your camera. Color space only comes into play when you’re ready to export your images on your computer.

When setting color space on a camera body, what’s not obvious is that this refers only to JPG images. If you’re shooting raw images, the camera body doesn’t do any work to process the image. When a camera body is shooting JPG, the camera will crunch the raw data, apply any artistic styles (sometimes called scenes or picture control or styles) as well as setting the color space. If you do happen to shoot JPG then your best bet will be to set for sRGB.

Exporting a Color Space in Lightroom

On the software side, Lightroom (and most other top end programs), manage color space internally. So, you don’t have to worry about anything. Only when it comes to exporting images out of Lightroom does it matter which color space to choose.

Export dialog box in Lightroom Classic
Choose sRGB as the default export Color Space in Lightroom

For exporting, the default choice should always be sRGB. This is the most widely used and safest choice, especially if the photos are going to be only used digitally (web pages, social media etc.).

Only if you are printing photos with a high end printing service OR working with some other professional organization will you need to worry about your choice. More than likely it will be AdobeRGB for printing.  Rarely would you ever use ProPhotoRGB.

For a more detailed discussions about color space, here are a few other sites with good information:

Lightroom Updates – Classic and Desktop. What?

By D.A. Wagner | May 15, 2019 |

What’s In a Name?

Hello everyone, it’s time again for Lightroom updates. But first, more confusion from the Adobe marketing team …

Adobe has tweaked the name of Lightroom Classic. Formerly, the official name was “Lightroom Classic CC” and they are now dropping the “CC” to make it just Lightroom Classic. Just to be clear, this is the original version of Lightroom that allows you to manage your own files.

The newer version of Lightroom is now being called “Lightroom” or “Lightroom Desktop.” Confused yet?? Again, to be clear, this is the newer version of Lightroom, which was totally redesigned and that is enabled to use the cloud.

Classic Logo ^ ————– ^ Desktop Logo

Given the difficulty with the name, Adobe is keeping the logos for the two programs separate, for now. Further, in order to make things simpler for ourselves and our clients, we here at Lightroom Guy use the distinction Classic vs. Desktop. We’ve found that this is a reliable way to refer to each. When in doubt, remember that the Classic version has squared corners on the logo and the Cloud version has rounded corners.

For more information, you can always refer back to our post about the fundamental differences between the two. And, if you haven’t updated Lightroom before, here’s the Adobe link for updating from the Creative Cloud. So, until Adobe figures out what the hell to call Lightroom, we’re here to tell you about new features, bug fixes and improvements in all versions, no matter what you call them.

Lightroom UpdateClassic Version 8.3

We’ll start with our go-to version, the big Kahuna, the Lightroom update for Classic. Here we have some cool new features being introduced along with a few feature improvements and a laundry list of bug fixes.

Texture Slider

You’ll find this slider located above the clarity slider in the Basic Panel and in the local adjustment Gradient, Radial and Adjustment Brush tools. And, you’ll find this feature also in Lightroom for Mac/PC and iOS/Android/ and Adobe Camera Raw (Photoshop). Adobe says, “By isolating only medium-sized details, Texture can smooth skin without affecting pore details (delivering a natural smoothing effect…“).

So what does that mean? The Texture slider’s negative numbers soften skin and other textures while still maintaining fine detail. It behaves a little like Clarity in the numbers, but unlike Clarity, fine lines and facial details are better preserved.

The texture slider’s positive numbers adds crispness to landscapes and can create the illusion of additional sharpness in soft details without using Lightroom’s Sharpening tools. Texture doesn’t add the heaviness of darker shadow details that I’m used to seeing with the Clarity slider. You’ll also find Texture is used in a new preset found in the pulldown presets menu of the Gradient/Radial/Adjustment Brushes called Soften Skin (Lite).

As always, with Clarity and now, with Texture, a little goes a long way. I know I’ll be finding more uses for this new Texture slider.

Flat Field Correction

This has been available as a Lightroom plugin for many years. Now, this plugin has been built into the Library module. It’s a sophisticated tool that analyzes and corrects a raw capture for color casts. When done, Lightroom creates a new DNG with the corrections. Note, however, that this requires a second, reference image in order to do a correction. You can read in-depth how this process works at RawTherappe, an open source, raw processing application used by many professionals.

Lightroom updates
Flat Field Correction Dialog

Import from SD/CF Card – Source Change

Up until version 8.2, importing from an SD or CF card pointed the Lightroom Import Dialog to your memory card in “Devices” in the Source Panel (left side of Import Dialog). This has changed. Lightroom 8.3 now points the Import Dialog to “Files” and the DCIM folder, so you may be disoriented the first time this happens. You may need to select “Include Subfolders” or navigate to your capture folder.

Lightroom updates
Lightroom no longer defaults to the memory card. It now goes to your DCIM folder. You may have to check the “Include Folders” Checkbox in order to see your photos for import.

When we did our tests importing one hundred – 45 megapixel photos from a Nikon D850, we saw about a 50% reduction in import time between using Device vs Files. Had we known this, we would have been advising our clients to import from folders a long time ago! We’re glad the Adobe Lightroom Update team made this time saving change.

Click here for more about the new features of Lightroom Classic. And click here for a list of the bug fixes in this Lightroom Update.

Lightroom Update 2.3 – Desktop

For the Lightroom Desktop version 2.3, iOS version 4.3 and Android version 4.3 you’ll also find the new Texture slider. Plus, there’s Defringe, formerly only available in Classic. And, there are nearly 50 bug fixes, which make this update important! You can read all the bug fixes on the Adobe site here.

Read about the new features for these versions of Lightroom on the Adobe site here.

APA Partnership and New Lightroom Guy Workshops!

By David Mark Erickson | May 8, 2019 |
American Photographic Artists logo, Lightroom Guy workshops

Over the last couple of years, we have been developing a partnership with the American Photographic Artists (APA) | NY Chapter by presenting Lightroom Guy workshops and Tech Talks. The NY Chapter is very active and has a thriving membership. We are happy to not only provide Member Benefits but to offer several, ongoing events and activities planned for the coming year. All events and activities are open to members and non-members alike, with APA Members receiving preferred pricing. You can learn more about APA and join here!

APA is the country’s leading non-profit advocate for photographers of all levels. They organize events, negotiate benefits for members, hold seminars, promote members’ work, organize photo contests, and much more.

APA Branded Workshops

No doubt, the crown jewel of the partnership is our branded Lightroom Guy workshop series. Together, APA and Lightroom Guy will be offering a series of ongoing workshops to teach practical Lightroom skills.

We’ve seen first hand how difficult it is to teach real skills when it comes to Lightroom. The bottom line is that Lightroom is a very complex and fiddly program!

Over the course of several years, we have been developing and perfecting our own methods for how to best teach Lightroom in a workshop setting. We are now proud to offer that expertise in Partnership with the APA NY Chapter.

Develop Like a Pro

APA Develop Like a Pro
Develop Like a Pro

Our first offering will be our highly popular Develop Like a Pro workshop. In this specialized workshop you’ll learn professional digital darkroom techniques that will take your editing skills to the next level. Lightroom has improved considerably over the past few years, adding powerful features like Adobe Sensei and Profiles. We’ll show you planning strategies and Develop module approaches that make critical use of these tools along with many of the other new Lightroom features, including Color and Luminance Range Masking techniques.

When: Saturday, June 1st from 9am to 1pm
Location: Photoshelter Conference Room
33 Union Square W, 2nd Floor, New York NY 1003 (View Map)
Snacks and beverages will be provided
Members: $199
Non-Members: $249

Register now as space is limited!

Future Workshops

In the coming months, we will be publishing a schedule of additional workshops, including:

  • When Lightroom Fails: Advanced developing techniques using Adobe Photoshop
  • Lightroom Workflow Basics: Get the most out of the Library module
  • From Digital to Print: Making books in Lightroom Classic
  • Lightroom 101: Everything you need to confidently use Lightroom Classic

Keep an eye on our LightroomNYC web page as well as the APA | NY Chapter page for announcements and details.

Quarterly Tech Talk Events

Lightroom Guy and APA Tech Talk at Hasselblad, Lightroom Guy workshops
Lightroom Guy and APA Tech Talk at Hasselblad

Being a photographer in the digital age is no simple thing! In order to help photographers stay up to date and to get help dealing with their own complex circumstances, we have initiated a quarterly series of evening seminars, called Tech Talks.

At every event, DA and I will deep dive into particular topics, like spec’ing out new computers, back up strategies and choosing peripherals to help bring to light what might be otherwise shrouded in technical mystery. Following the presentations, we will open the floor for an extended Q&A session where attendees can get help in dealing with their own questions and technical circumstances.

Join us for our next Talk which will focus on how to choose and plan for buying a new computer & accessories.

APA Tech Talk
APA Tech Talk

When: Thursday, June 6th from 6 to 9pm
Snacks and beverages will be provided
Location: Photoshelter Conference Room
33 Union Square W, 2nd Floor, New York
(View Map)
Price: $10 General Public | $5 for APA Members

Register Here

1-2-3 Lightroom Develop Strategy

By D.A. Wagner | April 23, 2019 |

Our 1-2-3 Lightroom develop strategy is an easy and fast approach to great results for raw captures (JPEGs, too). Beginners and even experienced Lightroom users can benefit from utilizing Adobe Sensei’s ever improving machine learning. These features are incorporated into the Develop module of both Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC. Using the 1-2-3 Lightroom develop strategy takes less time and is far more productive than poking around with sliders, especially if you’re unsure of what the sliders do.

Taking advantage of Adobe Sensei means clicking on those AUTO buttons and options. It’s not always perfect, but awfully close most of the time. And, since Lightroom is non-destructive, go ahead, click away!

The 1-2-3 Lightroom Develop Strategy

1-2-3 Lightroom Develop Strategy
  1. Click the AUTO button in the Basic Panel’s Tone section (that should be cool enough, but there’s more!)
  2. Above the Tone section is the WB (White Balance) section. Select the pulldown menu where it says, AS SHOT and select AUTO. If AUTO doesn’t do it for you, return the setting to AS SHOT.
  3. Next is the Profiles panel. You might have missed this new feature, which has been available since Lightroom Classic 7.3. I usually go to the Modern Profiles – Modern 3 or 4 are my go-to’s. You might want to explore the Profiles to see what you like best.

Done. That’s the 1-2-3 Lightroom Develop Strategy. Watch the one-minute video to see this process in action.

There is a number 4 in the 1-2-3 Lightroom develop strategy. It’s adding radial filter (a digital version of burning and dodging for you former darkroom users), to open shadows on faces or scene details. I’ve written about this before with in-depth how-to video. You may want to watch it for the specifics of using the Radial Filter. One of my clients describes it as an “instant spotlight,” adding a light to fill in unwanted shadows.

Now, I’m not allowed to discuss specific upcoming Lightroom features due to our NDA with Adobe. However, you can expect more updated develop module improvements in future versions of Lightroom Classic very soon, making this 1-2-3 Lightroom develop strategy even more effective.

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