Basic Editing in Lightroom: Part 1
So, what we're gonna do here is I'm gonna start off and I'm gonna, again, I'll build from the basics pretty quickly as the day goes on, but what I wanted to start off with was just to kind of show you guys, there's so many tools out there, I understand people use different tools. I use mostly Lightroom and Photoshop, but I wanted to show you, when you look inside of Lightroom and you see under the basic panel, you see exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, saturation, white balance. Well, if you were to open a photo in Photoshop, and so I'll just take a blank image here, and you were to open up just a RAW or a JPEG photo in Photoshop and go into the camera RAW dialog box, you'll see that the settings are exactly the same in there. If you were to open up Apple Photos App, you'll see it's got exposure, shadows, highlights, contrast, saturation, white balance. If you open up the multitude of editing apps on your phone, it'll have the same thing, so, moral to this story i...
s, is these settings are all kind of the same, so, if I'm using Lightroom or if I'm using Photoshop, if you're using something else, chances are it's gonna have the same exact settings. They all work pretty much the same. They all have the, every program has their little tweaks here and there, but, a lot of those settings work the same. So, we'll start off here in Lightroom. I'm just gonna go, I'm gonna go just basic, basic on a photo. Let's go ahead and, let's go with, I think that's a good starting point. Actually, you know what, we'll get to that. I've got a better starting point for us. Let's go right here because this one, this one makes a pretty, pretty dramatic change. So what we do here is, I start off in the basic panel inside of Lightroom, alright? And for your outdoor photos, what I've found is exposure is really tough to start with first. Because what happens is, we can make it darker and that brings back the sky. We can make it brighter, that brings back the foreground. So, you're kind of battling between the two of them, right? Well, instead, what I do is I actually go straight here to highlights. So the highlights let me get at the bright parts. And then the shadows let me get to the darker parts. So rather than exposure where, if it were, if it were a portrait, if it were a more controlled lighting situation, exposure is usually the first place I'd go to, because, that kind of gives me controls. It's almost like the sledgehammer, like, everything gets bright, everything gets dark. But, for your outdoor stuff, I think you're gonna find that you gravitate toward highlights and shadows first. After that, I'll kind of tweak my highlights and shadows here, after that, what I'll do is, I go down to whites and blacks. So whites and blacks is, there's actually a little formula that you can use, it kind of does the work for you. If you hold down your Option or Alt key, and you click on white, you'll see everything goes black. So then what I do is I just take that slider and I drag it to the right, and when you start to see those little specks appear, that means you're getting pretty close to a white point. Okay? Then you do the same thing for blacks. Option or Alt + Click, everything's gonna go white this time, alright, Then I drag it to the left and when I start to see a couple little specks appear, I have a black point. So, what's that do? It does a few things for us. One, is it adds contrast to the photo. You'll notice that I don't edit with the histogram. Alright, I don't ever look at the histogram, and I don't do any editing with the histogram, so, and I get this question a lot, you know, what's a good histogram supposed to look like? Right? A lot of times, I guarantee you that if I didn't bring this up now, the question was gonna come up, like, Matt, why don't you use the histogram? So what's a good histogram look like, you know? In this photo, the histogram looks like this, but if I moved over to, maybe a photo like this, look at the histogram there, totally different. From just looking at the histogram, it doesn't tell me if the photo's good or not good. It'll tell me, do I have a black point, do I have a white point? And that's really, that's really all I want when it comes to the histogram, is, I want to know when I get to a white point, I want to know when I get to a black point. So rather than open up the histogram which is fairly useless for me, I just do that little trick there with the whites and the blacks. It does the same thing, it essentially makes sure that, let me go ahead and move this. It essentially makes sure that you don't have that little gap there. That little gap right at the edge which is telling me that there's nothing black in the photo. I don't want to say it's a rule, but most of your photos are going to have that black point. It doesn't have to be that there's a ton of blacks in the photo, but most of them are gonna butt up right against that black point. So again, Option or Alt + Click, and that will kind of just move you over there. Okay? We got our exposure, we got our highlights and shadows, we've got our whites and blacks. If I were to just do a before and after right now, and the best way to do a before and after in Lightroom is to just hit the backslash key, so, hit backslash, that's before. Backslash, that's after. It's a pretty big change for like four sliders, okay? So from here, a couple things that we'll do is, you know, I'll do some straightening to it. It doesn't have necessarily a horizon line where I can see the horizon line. I'm gonna use that edge of the water that goes across as my horizon line because it looks to me awkward that it's crooked. So we'll go to the crop tool, and it's actually got a straighten tool right inside of it, and all you do is just click and drag along something that should be straight. And it'll straighten it for you. Okay? Alright, from there, white balance. So, does anybody remember my epic quote from yesterday?
You like your-
I like my stuff warm. (laughs) So, that, you know, deep thoughts, I like a warm, a warmer photo so, temperature, you're gonna find me, I'm always kind of tweaking it over here to the right just to enhance the temperature a little bit. So we did our cropping, we did our white balance, we got our, I always call this the toning phase, exposure toning phase, and so we got all that done. Down here you've got this whole section, it's got clarity, vibrance, and saturation. This is a good way to add a little bit of kind of boost the photo a little bit, so clarity, clarity adds contrast, okay? And what I mean by contrast is, the contrast slider adds contrast. The whites and blacks, remember I said, they add contrast. Clarity's a little bit different because contrast and whites and blacks, they work, if you were to look at the tones in the image, over here is black, over here is white, so, everything in between. Contrast handles the blacks and the whites as do the blacks and whites sliders. Clarity pushes contrast into everything in here, okay, so all those middle colors, those grays, that's where it's gonna tend to push contrast. It almost looks like a sharpening type of a slider. It almost looks like it's adding detail to the photo. You don't want to, I think, you know, your first inclination is ooh, look, I can crank it up. You don't want to crank it up to 100 for the most part, so, you know, somewhere, 25, 30, but, just kind of give a little bit of an edge to some of the parts of the photo. Vibrance and saturation both boost the color. Vibrance tends to work better on portraits, because it leaves your skin tones alone. Saturation will boost all the colors, alright? So my landscape stuff, I'll usually use saturation for it. Just be careful, it goes, like, it goes radioactive quick, so, I mean, you can get really bad with it, so just, and it happens fast, so you're, I mean, very rarely does my saturation go above 10. I just want to push a little bit of color into it. Alright. Close basic, Tone Curve. The best way that I use tone curve is just close it. Move on to the next one. (laughs) So the tone curve, the tone curve is really there for people that are curve junkies from Photoshop. Alright, so back in the day when Lightroom was first created, of course there's a lot of people that have influence in making, making the app, and, and so, you have some people that say, well, I don't use curves, I use this, so those sliders go in, and you see people, oh my god, I gotta have curves. So there's a curve in there, so it's really, you know, it's there to add a little bit of contrast to some of the things we used to do back in, when we used to use curves for Photoshop. You can get into trouble with the tone curve, but I don't really do anything with it because it's mostly for contrast and I already did that in my last step. HSL, this is a fun little spot here because it allows you to go in here and kind of attack different colors. So hue, saturation, luminance, I don't typically go to the hue. Maybe on some fall color photos when I wanna kinda tweak the reds and the oranges and yellows a little bit, but I don't typically go to the hue, but the saturation, you know, if I go to blue, you can see I can kind of push the blue. There's not a lot, but if I go to like yellow, you'll kinda see, I can either add yellow or take it away. Same thing, greens, if you look at the green. So here, green, I might boost the saturation a little bit. Alright, yellow I found looked kinda fake, but the greens I will. And then luminance is how bright or how dark. So if I go to my greens here, I can make them brighter, or I can make them darker. Okay? Works good on the sky. We don't have too much blue in here. But if you had a sky where you just had a lot of crisp blue color in it, you could almost make it a little bit brighter or a little bit darker, almost like you used a polarizer. Same type of effect there. And then, there's actually this little guy right over here, a little target adjustment tool, if you're ever not sure what colors there are, like I wanna go to the saturation and just boost the saturation over here, just click up or down, just drag up or down. And you'll see it's actually moving both of the sliders. Cool. Alright. So that's our hue saturation. Next one here is split toning. I don't typically do much split toning for my landscape stuff. The only time I use split toning is when I make a black and white conversion, so just convert it to black and white, and then go over here to split toning and kinda push a little bit of color. And give it a little bit of a tint. So, if I were gonna do it here, that would be where I did it, but again, I don't typically do a lot of black and white, I don't typically do a lot of those conversions, so I don't find that I use the split toning that whole lot. Little tip for you guys is if there's something that you don't use a lot, if you right click and you are in here, you'll find that it's got check boxes next to all of them, so you can turn it off, so if I don't use split toning a lot, I can turn it off, alright? So it's pretty good, it helps you, just kinda helps minimize the stuff that you're working with there. You don't, like you'll see me show you those things, but you won't ever really see me do it, and the reason being is because I do a lot of videos, so you can imagine the support requests that I get when I do a video somewhere and my split toning panel's hidden, and if I don't mention it, people are like, where did your split toning panel go? And I get like 100 emails asking where's this panel, where's this panel? So I usually don't do it, but if I didn't do videos in training, I'd probably turn split toning off, because I don't typically use it. Ooh, I'm gonna show you one more. Tip time. So. Notice if I open up the basic panel, and then I go open up, I don't use tone curve, so let's go to HSL, I open up the HSL panel. I'll open up the detail panel, do some sharpening. Lens correction, so I've got all these panels opened up here. And what eventually happens is you will spend your entire day scrolling. 'cause you're scrolling up, you're scrolling down. You'll spend your whole day scrolling. And it kinda gets, it gets pretty monotonous. So Lightroom's got this little setting inside of it. It is perhaps the worst-named setting inside of Lightroom, but it does the trick. If you just right-click over in your panels over here, come on, hello, there we go, I guess you gotta right-click like on the gray, there's something called Solo Mode. So Solo Mode basically says, only work with one panel. So my basic panel is open. And if I go down here to, I won't go to Tone Curve. If I go to Detail, it opens up the Detail Panel, and if I look up, it closed Basic. So it's only keeping one panel open at a time, which definitely helps out a lot. So again, you just right click on any of the darker areas inside of a panel, you'll see it's called Solo Mode, you wanna turn that on, so, I don't know why it's not called Single Panel Mode. Right, like Solo Mode, like I would never ever think that, but thank God they do it, because it gives me a job. Alright, so we got Solo Mode turned on. We'll keep working our way down here. Detail, most of what I'm gonna do here in detail is gonna be sharpening, so for your landscape stuff, you're gonna find you don't have to do much noise reduction 'cause we're not really, we're not really using higher ISOs to get a lot of noise in the photo. We'll take a quick look at some examples, but for the most part, you're just gonna be doing your sharpening here. So, go down here to Amount. I'll crank up my amount, now here's the trick, is while you do get a little preview over here, I usually zoom in on part of the photo that I'm really concerned about. And I wanna be zoomed in to 100% 'cause you're not gonna see the sharpening if you're not, okay? If you wanna know how to zoom, best way to do it is over here on the left hand side, which by the way, I hide my left-hand panels a lot, 'cause unless I'm getting into my preset workflow, I don't tend to use them. But you can just click, see that little arrow there, just click that. And you can hide them, okay? So, the navigator panel at the top of it has fit, fill, and then one to one, which is 100%, and then it's got this kinda custom one at the side, so I'll change it to like three to one here. Okay, so that goes into 300%. So you won't see your sharpening unless you're at least at one to one. So I'm gonna take my amount setting, I usually crank it up pretty high, I'll get pretty close to 100 with it. Especially for your landscapes, they can afford a lot of detail. Radius. Radius I'm gonna give you a formula and basically just leave it at 1.5, alright? So what radius does is it finds edges. And it says, you know, once I found that edge, how far out do you want me to apply the sharpening? 'Cause that's essentially what sharpening is, is sharpening is detecting edges inside the photo, and then it's putting contrast on those edges. So if you think of that amount slider as a contrast slider, it kind of becomes more familiar. But if you get the radius too high, what happens? You ever seen an over-sharpened photo, and it looks like it's glowing in some spots? So that's what we wanna try to avoid. So the radius, keep that about 1. and then the detail is the other place you can get trouble with. So just kinda reign your detail in. 40, 50 is pretty good. What detail says is, so amount is how much of that contrast is it gonna add? Detail says basically, how much do you want me to go search around this image to sharpen it? So at a very low setting, it's only gonna find the edges, you know, the extreme edges in the photo. As you start to crank it up, you'll see that detail, see what it starts doing here? And I'll zoom in one level more. See how it starts to sharpen the sky in that texture there? So that's what we wanna try to avoid, so that's why, I'm usually gonna be around 40 or 50. If for some reason you find a setting that you wanted to crank your detail up for and it was doing that, it was kinda sharpening the sky or something you didn't want to, there is a masking slider, and what masking does is it hides it from like smooth areas in the photo. So if you think of landscapes and a sky, it's gonna hide it from the sky. If you were thinking of a portrait, it would let sharpening go into the eyes and the features that you want it, but it would hide it from the skin, okay? And you can actually get a little preview of it if you hold down your Option or Alt key, and click on it. You can see what it's doing. So at zero, everything's white and being sharpened, right? And then as I start to crank it up here, see how the, wherever it's black is where it's hiding the sharpening from. Okay? So that's your masking slider if you happen to, if you happen to want to get rid of it from anyplace. Question I get asked a lot is, how do you avoid over-sharpening? Like how do you know how much is too much? So, I can give you formulas, I can tell you, you know, I've given you ranges for these things, I can kinda tell you, what I can say is that, when you look at your before and after, and it does that, you've sharpened your photo too much. You know, it's a tough one, guys, because the way that I usually kinda break it to people is, I could give you the ranges, at some point in time, your taste has to become involved. This is not robotic, you have to develop a taste for this stuff. So how do you develop a taste for it? You know, hopefully in my classes I'll show you, like what's too much and what's too little. So I can help you show you that stuff. The other thing is is, you know, find somebody in this, in photography that you trust. Find somebody, find a friend of yours, maybe it's an online friend, whatever it is, you're part of a forum, find somebody that you trust that you know wants to make you better. Okay, and there's a big difference there. There's a big difference, because we all know, we've probably all been to a camera club where somebody's kind of, or we've seen somebody put somebody down just because jealousy or whatever. So you gotta find somebody that wants to make you better. Like you know and you trust them and they wanna see you better, and you send them a photo and say, what are you thinking of this? And they give you an honest critique of what they're thinking. So you can post them online, ask a friend, whatever it is, but you gotta develop a little bit of a feel for a style for what's overdone and what's not overdone. If they look at it and they're like, oh wow, what'd you do to it? I didn't do anything. Are you sure? So, and which has, I've seen it before. Like I've looked at somebody's HDR photo, I'd be like, holy crap, dude, you HDRed the heck out of that thing, he's like, no man, I barely did anything, I'm like, like come on, I'd like, I know this stuff too, and I know what a photo looks like when it comes out of the camera, that is not it. Anyway. So that's your sharpening stuff there. I kinda did, I did this little trick before, I didn't really show you what it was. See that little toggle switch at the top there? So you turn that off for each panel, it'll turn just that panel on and off. Alright, so before, remember I showed you the backslash key was your before and after? That is for the whole image. But those little toggle switches are just for the panels. Cool, so we got our detail going. We'll take a quick look at noise reduction here, let me go jump into, let me go jump into a photo where we know we had some noise reduction, which was our brackets. I know one of the examples yesterday I showed. So, if you remember this photo, it started out like this, and I kinda started pushing up the exposure here. If I zoom in, let's get rid of those panels. If I zoom in to 100%, you could start to see the noise. Believe it or not, if you didn't know, Lightroom's actually already done a little bit of noise reduction to it. If you go under the detail panel, you'll see that the color slider is at 25. If I bring that down, you immediately see all those little color specks. So the color noise that it, Lightroom actually does a really good job there, I think, you know, just leave it around 15, 20, 25, whatever the default is. And your color noise will be gone. What you'll be left with is all of this grainy-looking stuff. So that's under Luminance Noise. So what we do here is we start cranking up our Luminance Noise. And you'll see that go away. I'll show you, that's before. That's after. You know what happens with noise reduction, right? That happens to get rid of the noise, blurs the photo. So what you can follow it up with is detail. And you can bring back some of that lost detail. So if it starts to blur the photo too much, you can bring back some of the detail with it. And then, you know, just little side not here, the contrast slider's interesting, it's actually, it's not hooked up to any code behind it. So it's just there, I think they wanna see how many times you click on it and move it, but it doesn't actually do anything. Actually a little bit, but. Seriously, I think there's like dummy code behind it, and it just sends clicks back to Adobe, hey, they clicked on it and it's not doing anything. I've never really found it made a significant change on the image, though. Alright, so let's take a look here, we can just go to this panel. That's before. That's after. Before. After, alright? So that's some noise reduction. I got this thing. You guys can probably figure this out already. I have a lot of things. My one thing is is I think we stress way too much about noise. I really do, I think, I think we have become a photography generation that is obsessed with over-sharpness and noise. So if I could, if I could say anything to you, it'd be, let this stuff slide a little bit. Especially the noise reduction. Here's the deal. When this image is at a size where you would see it onscreen, you can't see the noise. So no web-sized version of our photos is typically gonna show more noise, unless it's just so ridiculous, unless we shot it, you know, 100,000 ISO. But most of the ISOs we're shooting that, you know, even the higher, 3,200, 6,400, that sized version, the size we're gonna share on the web, you won't see the noise. So where are you gonna see noise? Print, okay? So now that the image gets bigger, now that, you know, maybe somebody, and we all know, like we put it up on the wall, the proper viewing distance is for us to stand back and view it, we all know that as photographers, what do we do? We walk up, we put our noses to it. And we examine every little detail of it. But if you stand back, you might see a little bit, depending on how big that photo gets printed. But the interesting thing about that is the printing process smooths out a lot of your noise to begin with. You know, if you've ever heard, like we over-sharpen our photos for print, there's something called print sharpening, which we'll take a look at, but we can over-sharpen our photos for print because the ink hit the paper and it spreads. And so, a sharped photo on our screen looks a little bit softer once it gets printed. Same thing with noise, noise, a lot of noise will smooth out just in the print process. And the best story I can tell you, I used to write an elements book, I used to update a Photoshop elements book every year. And in there was a noise reduction tutorial, this is a true story. So the first printing of this book, I put the before and after images in. And when I got back, and unfortunately it was too late, when I got back the printed copies of the book, you're flipping through the pages, you can't tell. You can't see any difference between like what the tutorial was showing you and what it wasn't. That's because it all smoothed out in the printing process. So what I had to start doing is is going to my before image, and I had to start fake noising it really bad so that when it printed, it still looked noisy. But it is, it actually, like you could not see the difference between the two images, so, something to consider, I think we have gotten pretty, like we're obsessed with detail and sharpness. It's not a bad thing, it's just, yeah, I think the photo really matters. Yeah?
Is this sharpening the same as the output sharpening that's in the export menu?
Okay, so the sharpening in the detail panel, no, it's a little bit different than the output sharpening that's in the export panel. So if I wanted it, so if I had this photo, and I wanted to save it as a JPEG, so maybe I was gonna send it to a lab to print or give it to a friend to print, I would go File, Export, alright, and then as I scroll down here, I can save it as a JPEG, I can choose the size, and you're gonna see there's an output sharpening section here. And in that section is what you wanna sharpen it for, matte paper or glossy paper. Two really different mediums, right? You know, your glossy paper, it's not gonna spread as much. Your matte paper, it's gonna spread a lot. Canvas is like got a flat, I wouldn't even bother reducing noise if I'm printing on canvas, 'cause you just never would see it. But you choose what style paper you're gonna print to, and then under the amount setting, low, standard, or high, I'd just leave it on standard. Alright, low, it's kind of almost nonexistent, high is it's almost too much, so. Standard is a good one. But, that adds a little bit of sharpening to the JPEG that you're gonna send to somebody to print. So it kind of over-sharpens it. Mr. Jim?
Matt, we got a question from the internet. Question from Rick, who says, wants to know a little bit about the relationship of the base megapixel of the image and the amounts of sharpening that you use in the slider.
Okay. So, I think what they're asking is is the bigger the image, technically the more sharpening and everything that we'd wanna do to it. In Lightroom, you don't really have to worry about that.
Because Lightroom doesn't really see the size of the image, and it's not really making adjustments based on that. A lot of that comes from back in the days of Photoshop. It's just kind of a good side note to know. Whenever you open an image in Photoshop, it has a size to it, okay? Go into the Image menu, down to Image Size, it has a pixel size to it whenever you open that photo. Just by the fact that it's open in Photoshop. So what you'd have to do is for, you know, if I sharpened an 800 by 600 JPEG, the same as I sharpened a 4,000 by 3,000 pixel JPEG, that 800 by 600 JPEG would get demolished. It would look ridiculous. So you're sharpening settings kinda matter inside of there. But when you're inside of Lightroom, using the detail, you don't really have to worry about it. Only place you, radius, your lower megapixel images, you know, maybe 1.4, but it's so negligible, I wouldn't even bother worrying about it. Cool. Alright. So we got our sharpening, we got our, we talked about our noise reduction, let's jump back over to the photo we were working on here. So we got our detail panel, we did all that. Lens corrections, again, we don't have too much we have to worry about for the landscape photos, this would be for more architectural and for shooting cityscapes and whatnot. But one of the things I always do is I enable the profile correction. 'Cause that finds the lens and the camera, and if you see, it makes a little bit of a difference, right? And then, the other one is chromatic aberrations. Really tough to see. I mean, I gotta zoom so far in to even see it. When you have a contrast, the edge, sometimes you'll get a little magenta color fringe on it, that's called the chromatic aberration. Did it, oh yeah, you know what, let's go back to it. Let's do it. Going rogue. Ah, yeah, look at that. So, you see that fringe along there? So chromatic aberration just makes it go away. Okay? Alright, so we've got our chromatic aberration, we got our lens corrections, again, I always turn that on. If you have something that's really tilted, you could go over here to manual. You've got some distortion that you can work with, but this is pretty cool. If you're using the CC version of Lightroom, about a month ago, they released an update. So there's a whole new panel here. So if you're not using, or if you haven't updated Lightroom, or you haven't seen this yet, there's actually a brand new panel called Transform. It's got vertical perspective, it's got horizontal perspective. You can rotate it, you can offset the X and Y axis if you need to. But this upright technology's pretty cool as well, because it will automatically look at lines in your photo. And it'll straighten it. So you can do auto, guided, level, vertical, and then, wonder if I, this photo's not really slanted, but I'll show you what I mean. What you would do is you would take it and drag along the vertical surface, and then take another guy and drag along a vertical service, and I'll kinda, I'll cheat it and do that and you'll see what happens. So what it's doing is it's straightening based on the guides that you give it. So pretty cool stuff. The upright stuff has been there for a while. And what would happen is people were saying, well hey, upright's cool, but it's not quite doing what I want it to do. That's when they added the guide it in just recently. Alright, so that's our lens corrections and our transformations effects. I use a vignette a lot, so it will become a joke by the end of the day, because everything gets a vignette. So I'll kinda darken the edges a little bit. I'll change the midpoint so it goes into the middle, and then to make it not look like a circle, I'll usually feather that and adjust it. This one I don't have to add a strong vignette to, but just so you can see. So what's that do? To me it kind of just brings people into the photo. You've darkened the edges, brings people into the photo. I always imagine my photos printed with a white matte. So I like to print on metal too, but I always like to print like a nice black frame with a nice white matte around the photo. And so I'm always thinking of my photos like that, and that vignette really helps me kind of center and subdue everything on the edges. Finally, camera calibration, this, you know, I'm covering it last. It's a tough one. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. What camera calibration does is I'm gonna just go to, I'm gonna go to a RAW photo that I haven't changed yet. What camera calibration does is it's got all these profiles in it, so you know, when you're shooting your camera, there's these little pictures styles. Vivid, landscape, portrait, whatever they happen to be. What they do is they apply like a little special juice, secret sauce to your photo. And if you open up your photo in your camera manufacturer software, the software, you know that disc that comes in the box that everyone takes and throws away? If you open your photo and you install that software and you open up your photo, your camera manufacturer reads that stuff and applies a juice to the photo. A little secret sauce, so, because they see that stuff. Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, says, alright, you said you're shooting RAW, I'm gonna show you the RAW photo. Not gonna juice it up, not gonna do anything to them, just gonna show you the RAW photo. Now, if you wanna simulate those things that you did in the camera, then you can choose one of these picture profiles. So I could go like, camera vivid. You see? That's before, that's after. Let's see here, camera, landscape. Same thing. So what it does is it kinda gives you a better starting place if you're used to using those styles, and what happens is is you shoot, you have those styles turned on and you look on the back of your camera and you're like, ooh, that looks great. And then you bring it on your computer, like, why is it flat? And sometimes even worse is, you ever look at it, you like, you look at it loading in Lightroom, and you see this vivid photo and then it goes flat? That's because it's looking at the embedded JPEG that came in your RAW file, and that has the juice applied to it, which is why it looked good in your camera. But as soon as Lightroom really rendered the RAW file, that's when it went flat, and it just shows you the regular RAW file. So, yes?
Can you please explain the de-haze tool and effects?
I will, oh, got it, I skipped over de-haze, didn't I? I will show the de-haze feature, but we're gonna talk about de-haze a little bit later, so. I did, I skipped right over, I kinda went down past, 'cause I don't use the grain, grain, I'm not gonna spend a lot of time on this one, grain adds grain. Wanna add grain to your photo, add grain. So de-haze does exactly what you think. It de-hazes the photo, I wonder where, here, I got a good example for you. Let's go to this one. So. See how hazy it was back there? Okay. So de-haze does a good job de-hazing. One of the things that I do, and it's good, because a lot of this stuff, number one, de-haze is a slider. So you can paint it in. Here, I'm gonna mention this now, because, so I use, I have a lot of brush presets. I have a lot of developed module presets and all that stuff. One of the things that I do is I have a brush, because the sliders tend to, you know, kinda kill the whole photo. So when I go to my brush, and this is one of the packs in the preset collection, is I have one called haze killer. So you can see here, it kinda does a couple of different things. It's got contrast, it kind of boosts the highlights. Pulls back the shadows. It adds some clarity. I can add de-haze sometimes too, and sometimes I choose not to, and then it even adds some sharpness. So what the brush does is it lets me just go in here and kinda paint over the photo. Here, let me back out just a little bit. So I just paint over the photo in the places that I want. I don't have to worry about the sky, 'cause it's not really gonna sharpen the sky. But probably right up until that point back there. So I can just go in there and do that. Okay, and that way, de-haze is awesome. The only problem is is if there is a lot of bright colors in the photo already, it really juices up the colors. So it really favors a photo that's a little bit less saturated, and if we have something that's already saturated in it, that's when I'm gonna jump over to my brushes, but. Alright, let's see here, so let's go ahead and cancel, or just reset out of that one. And then, you know, I've talked about presets, but I have grad filter presets, there's one click, basics, which are basically just like all kinds of, you can look at the navigator here. You know, there's sun glow. But there's a whole bunch of ones, if you hover over, a cool little tip, you hover over, it'll actually change it in the navigator. So a lot of people like click on a preset, undo, click on a preset, undo. You don't have to do that, you can just hover over it.
Matt, can I slip in with a--
Quick question from the internet, do you mind?
So this is from Kimberley George, who says, Matt K., my hero, (Matt laughs) do you tend to prefer manual control of your settings, or does using presets let you gain efficiency? Or does it depend on the photo you're working on?
So it depends. Here's the best way I can say, here, best way that I can do is tell the way I use presets. So what I have are, like my one-click basic presets, these are kind of my styles, like, and I suggest, as you do this more, develop a style that's yours. Alright, that's, you know, you'll tend to process, you like something dark, you like it bright, whatever, but I think we all develop a style. So these are my styles, so presets for me kinda give me a springboard to my style personally. So you know, like for me, like I like warm, I like, I like warm, I like glow, so I tend to go to something like that. And then, you know, you look at the basic panel, and I can always pull back settings. But it gives me my overall style. So as you get more advanced, I think you use presets just to keep with your style. As you're starting out, the way that I tend to use presets, and the way that I would suggest people use presets is like, like I created, so one of the collection packs there is Workflow. And what it does is it just walks you through a landscape workflow. And the cool part about it is, is that, if you, you can copy my preset, I don't care. But if you do it the right way, you just change the settings that are good for landscapes, like if you look through here, I didn't include every setting in Lightroom, so I kinda just walk through, like just click, like daylight, cloudy, shade, warm. You know, I can just bounce through a couple different exposures, creatively take a look. Subtle toning, normal toning. Darker sky, dust shadows. Clarity and contrast, so, those are kinda more I think for people that are just starting out. 'Cause it kinda keeps you from getting in trouble. So to answer her question, it kinda depends where she's at. She's just starting out, then I think they're a good place to develop workflow with and a workflow type of a pack. If she's more advanced, then I'd say, use them to make their style, use them to save some time, you know, you, I have vignette presets, I don't, because I don't wanna just use them all the time, you'll see me go down here, but it gets monotonous if I go and drag all the sliders all day long, like I go to my presets and I just make a vignette.
Yeah, and another question, I'm just curious, do you apply any type of, sorry, what do you apply as a standard operating procedure on import?
Standard operating procedure on import, so--
I don't typically use import presets. My problem with import presets is is I forget about them. And then, and then I go bring something in that maybe I don't want that preset, so for me, I don't typically do anything standard on import. What I will do is I'll click on a photo, and if like this whole photo shoot I want to use camera landscape, that profile, I'll apply the camera landscape to it, and then I'll Shift + Click down in the filmstrip, I'll choose Sync, and I'll turn on the calibration. And I'll just sync it across, and so it, you know, it takes me 15 seconds to explain it, but to do it takes like five seconds.
So it's a good way, once you've imported, apply something, apply it across the board.