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Lesson 8 from: Photo Editing in Lightroom Classic for The Photo Enthusiast

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

8. Detail

Learn how to choose the correct amount of sharpening and noise reduction to your images in the Detail panel in Lightroom Classic.
Next Lesson: Lens Corrections

Lesson Info


So now let's talk about the detailed panel and detail is really important because that's where we get the proper amount of sharpening and it's also where we get the proper amount of noise reduction. And so let's go zoom in here so that we can see this brick wall. We're always going to do this at a 100%. So you want to zoom in To 100% of that photo to see what you're doing in the details and you'll see that we have in the sharpening area. We have the amount slider radius details and masking the amount slider is how much are you sharpening any given thing? The radius is how big are the chunks that you're sharpening? Are you sharpening just each individual pixel or are you sharpening? Big things like an eyebrow or like a pole. And so it kind of allows you to bleed further out before you start creating hard edges. Um and then your detail just helps to increase the edges a bit so that you can see better detail. So bricks or eyebrows or things like that and then you're masking is something t...

hat I very rarely use because uh the idea is that you can tell it when to start sharpening but it usually does a fairly poor job. So we're going to just avoid masking altogether. Now the amount slider is how much we're sharpening any given thing and I want you to notice that as I increase it you can start to see the actual pixels. So see how it becomes rough, like sandpaper. That's because each individual pixel is getting sharpened and so I'm going to keep my sharpening right around 40 and that's 40 is pretty good for bricks and for landscapes and things like that. But if you find that your photograph, especially if it's a human looks too rough, looks too much like sandpaper or or their face looks a little too sharp and too rough. The skin does, it's probably because you have your amount sharpening at 40 which is wrong. Go to like 25 for a person. Um and and that's kind of where you see that happening. So 40 looks about right the place that you want to go to sharp and large things like a poll. These these porches, these patios with these big poles on them or the awning or or the edges of these tiles. That kind of stuff that's going to be in the radius because the radius is, how far out do I look for a line and then I sharpen that line. And so I'm gonna grab the radius and I'm going to increase the radius and this is where I see that we start to see some sharpening happening on individual things like a poll or a awning or a tile. So I like my radius especially on like a landscape or a cityscape. I like it around to maybe 1.8 something like that. That's a pretty good amount of radius on a human. I wouldn't go quite that far but somewhere between one and two is your radius and somewhere From 40 down to maybe 25 is a good range for your amount. And then detail just eyeball it and see if you need more detail in your photographs. You can see if I swing right, I get a lot more detail in the bricks. If I swing left, I get very little detail in the bricks. So just eyeball it, but always eyeball at 100%. Otherwise you don't see what you're doing. So I'm gonna bring that up until I get there, which I put it at 27 I'm not gonna mask because I don't want to not sharpen anything. And now an argument could be made that you don't want to sharpen the clouds, but it's not like they're getting sharpened anyway, because there's no edges. So I like what we're getting there, we've got that weird color that's being created by our color grading and our tone curve, we've got really good detail. Now, noise reduction, noise reduction is really important when you're dealing with shadows and this is this is not a noisy photographs. So we don't need it. So if you go to the highlights, you'll see that there's very little to no noise and as you go to the shadows, you'll see a lot more noise occurring and that's just a normal natural thing inside of digital photography, shadows have noise highlights don't and so if you're looking for noise, do I have noise in this photograph? Just look to the shadows. If your shadows don't have noise in them, then the photo is going to be great. But if it does have some noise to it, especially if you have to do any heroic brightening to the image, it's going to have lots of noise, especially if I have a photograph that's really, really dark and I go in and do some heroic exposure brightening. You can see how I'm getting a lot of noise in the details, see that it's just really, really noisy. It looks very rough. That's where we would go into our noise reduction and increase the luminous noise reduction and you can see that I'm solving the problem of all of the noisy sandpaper look, but I'm also creating softness to it. So I'm losing some of the details in the actual bark of the tree. So as I increase noise reduction, I actually decrease sharpness of things in the photograph. So be very aware of that and just kind of fluctuated and find the happy medium between the two. But then once you've done that, if you take your details, you can actually increase your details and kind of get some of those details back but also maintain the noise reduction. So first do the noise reduction until you're happy with the lack of noise, then take your details slider and slide it up until you're happy with the amount of detail you have in the photograph and that should get you where you want to be. Now I weigh over Brighton this image, you know four stops that way but at least now I know that as I brighten this thing up, I can actually get some nice detail in the wood there and it's not going to be a noisy image. And finally in most cases color noise reduction is pretty much set at 25 and it works because most cameras today have really good noise reduction on their own. And so when they come into light room, if if the noise reduction is at 25 it's gonna be perfect. You're not gonna see any color noise. If you turn off noise reduction even on a good photograph you will see color noise, let me zoom in a little bit more. You see that even more let me zoom into. Do you see those red and green little pixels, that is color noise and you will always see that in every photograph no matter how good the quality is of the photograph. If your color noise reduction is off. So always color noise reduction is at 25 to start with because that is just what we need in digital imagery to get rid of those stray pixels that we all are going to see

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Ratings and Reviews

Byron Sieber

Jared does an excellent job at taking a subject and breaking it down step by step. He includes great explanations along the way to help you understand why he is doing something. His results, which are great photos, speak for themselves.


Excellent class with great detail on the new Masking tools! Thanks, Jared!

Michael Grosso

Excellent overview of the features included in the most recent upgrade of Adobe Lightroom. Very practical applications are covered at a very good pace. Thank you!

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