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Photography DiscussionTo Rule Or Not To Rule - That Is The Discussion

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St3v3M
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To Rule Or Not To Rule - That Is The Discussion

Post by St3v3M » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:45 pm

Following up on the Monthly Masters' Discussion Cartier-Bresson and The Decisive Moment there's a link about Dynamic Symmetry in Photography that's interesting and wonder if you have 'rules' you live by when taking and processing your images. They don't have to be 'always rules' but should be something more than not. S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by St3v3M » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:24 am

I didn't realize until a few minutes ago that I have a sort of preset I work within postprocessing and thought I'd share it here.
- I also didn't realize how limiting the title was so I changed it to reflect the discussion I was trying to start.

Within in Lightroom I -
1 - Up the Blue Primary Saturation (Camera Calibration)
2 - Adjust the Blacks, Whites, Shadows, and Highlights (Basic)
3 - Work the edges of the Point Curve (Tone Curve)

I came across Step 1 by accident and if I remember right it was an article about wedding photography which I don't do so I was surprised I read it. The article basically said all wedding photographers slam the Blue Primary Saturation to 100% which smoothes out the skin colors. I've found it works on most images, but for some I may limit the effect to 75% or go the opposite way entirely. It's not an all or nothing, but I've found it works more than not by far.

Step two is something we should all know, sometimes I will press the modifier key and let Lightroom decide for me but mostly I work this as needed.

The third step is another I came across by accident. I was trying to understand the Tone Curve and found a lot of the images on Instagram have a formula where they grab the Black Point and slide it up against the left wall. I gave it a try and wondered what the White would do. Then I wondered what it would look like if I slid them along the bottom and top walls respectively. I don't move them far, maybe 2 to 5 points max and they don't affect the White or Black in Basic so it's another level of fun!

It's funny how you do something without thinking about it until someone asks. S-
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Post by minniev » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:14 am

I have NO rules, but I do have some well used recipes.

I do use an import preset in Lightroom, too complicated to list but it's based on Erik Meigs' preset for my Olympus EMI Mk ii https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4097090. So, I import with that preset, usually set black and white points first, then make a few additional tweaks to clarity, shadows and highlights and curves before doing whatever else the image seems to want.

I have an imprecise recipe that results in what some folks have called my signature look. It involves exporting an edited image from LR to Photoshop, creating two additional layers, one using a glow effect created in PS or a plugin, and the other a layer of increased tonal contrast and detail. The opacity of these layers varies according to image and whim, and part of those layers may be masked in/out according to same.

I am forever experimenting though. This week I've been fooling around with a way to add a very slight painterly effect to my swamp images by using a layer of Topaz Impression, one of the Degas filters at a very low opacity and some masking to add back in critical detail only in certain areas.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by St3v3M » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:24 am

minniev wrote:I have NO rules, but I do have some well used recipes.
...

Ah ha, my ploy to learn your secrets has worked and I can make masterpieces too (evil character laugh)
- I can't even keep a straight face while typing this... laf

I love that we're taught to follow The Rules then how to break them, and I wonder if in that breaking we find ourselves, our true authentic voice.

Keep experimenting, you wouldn't be you without it! S-
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Post by Duck » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:32 am

I have watched a few of Tavis Leaf Glover's videos on composition and, for the most part, are very instructive. There are a couple of points I disagree with him and it has prompted me to write an article about it. As I started writing it grew in length and breadth and I have to split it into two parts. I am almost done and I'll post it in the Tutorials section after I've posted it on my blog.

Soon, I promise. :doh:
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Post by Matt Quinn » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:55 pm

St3v3M wrote:Following up on the Monthly Masters' Discussion Cartier-Bresson and The Decisive Moment there's a link about Dynamic Symmetry in Photography that's interesting and wonder if you have 'rules' you live by when taking and processing your images. They don't have to be 'always rules' but should be something more than not. S-


I took a seminar from a photographer, an early tester of LR, who COMMANDED us to stay away from the tone curve, and ALWAYS to do the following:

move the Highlight slider ALL the way to the left and the Shadows slider ALL the way to the right,
hold down the opt key and move the white slider to the right till the triangle appears and the black slide to the left till the triangle appears
up clarity for landscapes, down clarity for portraits

use SEP 2 for B&W, Viveza and CEP for color.

Stay away from PS till we've mastered LR.

That's pretty much his course.

I still do that, but now I export into PS, go to Camera Raw Filter and select Auto and keep it if I like it.

Then, depending, I may muddle around in SEP2 or fiddle with the tone curve. (He's moved away; don't tell.)

Than I may post and wait for folks' reaction.

But I may incorporate some steps from this thread. Cool stuff.

Matt
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Post by Duck » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:18 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:I took a seminar from a photographer, an early tester of LR, who COMMANDED us to stay away from the tone curve [...]

Wow, tone curves is such a powerful tool that can do so much more than the basic sliders alone can. I teach Lightroom and your comment just irritates me. That's not teaching Lightroom, that's teaching a 'one trick pony' show.

Hmm, what else can we apply that mentality to? 8~

"When you go to a restaurant STAY AWAY from the Chef's Specials. Always add ice to your drink, push your veggies to the side and add salt to your meats."

"When you go for a drive STAY AWAY from all potholes. Turn your heat all the way to the right and the AC all the way to the left."

Okay, I'm done venting... :wall:
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Post by Matt Quinn » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:05 am

Wow, tone curves is such a powerful tool that can do so much more than the basic sliders alone can. I teach Lightroom and your comment just irritates me. That's not teaching Lightroom, that's teaching a 'one trick pony' show

Duck, Any recommendations on a tutorial on the tone curve? Nothing in pM. Glad I got your ire up. Another opportunity to learn.. Matt
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Post by Charles Haacker » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:31 pm

Duck wrote:
Matt Quinn wrote:I took a seminar from a photographer, an early tester of LR, who COMMANDED us to stay away from the tone curve [...]

Wow, tone curves is such a powerful tool that can do so much more than the basic sliders alone can. I teach Lightroom and your comment just irritates me. That's not teaching Lightroom, that's teaching a 'one trick pony' show. [...]

Without checking to see if it's already been addressed, this is a topic that I think deserves its own thread. As a beginning/intermediate-ish Lightroomer I am certainly interested. I have certain favorite tutors (Anthony Morganti, Julianne Moore, the guy on Phlearn, the other guy on Piximperfect to mention my top four)... In fact I did just check and don't see this specific topic so I'm gonna go start it right! Now! :clap:
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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Post by Matt Quinn » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:53 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:
Duck wrote:
Matt Quinn wrote:I took a seminar from a photographer, an early tester of LR, who COMMANDED us to stay away from the tone curve [...]

Wow, tone curves is such a powerful tool that can do so much more than the basic sliders alone can. I teach Lightroom and your comment just irritates me. That's not teaching Lightroom, that's teaching a 'one trick pony' show. [...]

Without checking to see if it's already been addressed, this is a topic that I think deserves its own thread. As a beginning/intermediate-ish Lightroomer I am certainly interested. I have certain favorite tutors (Anthony Morganti, Julianne Moore, the guy on Phlearn, the other guy on Piximperfect to mention my top four)... In fact I did just check and don't see this specific topic so I'm gonna go start it right! Now! :clap:


I now have some names; thanks. I have visited Phlearn and Piximperfect, but have found them hard to follow they go so fast and their cursor is invisible so I can't see where they are clicking even if I stop, go back several times, and freeze frames. I may take Linda's advice and get a student from the local cc to sit by my side and point. After the holidays.
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