Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lightroom trial report.

You might remember a month or so back I was exploring a trail version of Lightroom software.  Well my trial period has run out, and after a pretty through go at it I have decided to stump up the cash and buy a copy.  I was previously using Photoshop elements which I never really got on with and anyway it kept hanging my computer.  I like Lightroom much more because it makes it quick and easy to rescue wrongly exposed pictures and it is very good at finding old photos from my alarmingly huge collection.

Here’s a before and after example of a picture that was badly in need of rescue -  a really difficult one


OK it’s still far from perfect, but you get the point.  Here’s another from the same set


Actually these blog pictures don’t do it justice, it loses a bit in the transfer to the blog, but again you can see the difference.  What I like about Lightroom is that it doesn’t just correct the overall exposure, but it makes it easy to bring out one particular colour or to adjust blacks separately from whites.  hence above it was easy to darken the outside rock while leaving the inside of the cave clear. It also has several different types of what you might think of as sharpening, in particular something they call Clarity which seems to work really well in scenes with water.  This one below took about ten seconds to fix. Notice the difference in the surface of the water.  That’s the Clarity adjustment. I also dropped the brightness of the sky and introduced a bit of vignetting in the corners, all in a few seconds.


I suspect quite a few photo apps can do similar things, but I’ve never found one as versatile easy to learn and use as Lightroom.  Anyway, there it is.  Of course there are tons more fancy things it can do like graduated filters and whatnot, but I thought I’d show you the basics.  Lots of videos on YouTube show what it can do.

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