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Image ProcessingOpening the Floor Regarding the Learning and Use of Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw Et Cetera

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Charles Haacker
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Opening the Floor Regarding the Learning and Use of Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw Et Cetera

Post by Charles Haacker » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:07 pm

So this just came up under the To Rule or Not to Rule thread and I thought it deserved its own thread (I can't see where it has been specifically addressed at least recently). Matt Quinn innocently enough noted that he had once been advised (well, commanded actually) to use a formulaic approach to Lightroom:
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, 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. [...]

Well! That caused Duck to erupt...
Duck wrote: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. [...]

So for me, as a beginning/intermediate-ish Lightroomer I am certainly interested in furthering this discussion wherever it goes. It does not have to be specific to the tone curve. I'm just a learner (I've suggested elsewhere that we all are, life-long). I've only been a CC subscriber for something over a year but I was very familiar with Photoshop Lite (Elements). Since discovering its joys I LOVE Lightroom! But like everything it has a learning curve. I have been self-tutoring on YouTube. I have certain favorite tutors (Anthony Morganti, Julianne Moore, the guy on Phlearn, the other guy on Piximperfect to mention my top four)... My personal goal has been, since the beginning of my photographic journey in the early '60s, to make the very best "print" I can (I think in print-quality terms even on the well-tempered monitor). I'm not particularly creative, I just want quality, but I keep changing up my approach as I go and I am just now dipping my big toe into (incidentally) the Tone Curve. (?) :doh:
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 Duck » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:31 pm

You and I have the same teachers. Go figure. :D

Unmesh Dinda of PixImperfect is a fantastic teacher. He doesn't just show how, he explains why as well. Here is an awesome tutorial on using curves in Lightroom;

https://youtu.be/YhQjt4_8yyk

When I teach editing in Lightroom I compare using tone sliders and tone curves to manipulating a stretched out slinky. If you move one part of the slinky that movement transmits, in smaller degrees, to other parts of the slinky. Adjust the shadows slider and that movement transmits to the blacks slider and to the exposure slider which in turn transmits down to the highlights, although far less amount, and maybe even to the whites (depending on how much adjustment you originally made).

There are a lot of things I love about the tone curve, but for beginners the first thing I teach them is they can edit their image visually using the point target selector (little circle icon in the upper left corner). I have gotten so many, "Aha!" moments because by nature we are visual people. It's easier to point and adjust.
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Post by Psjunkie » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:45 pm

I was going to put that exact link up for Matt last night and got sidetracked...way to go Duck!!

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Post by Matt Quinn » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:57 pm

Duck, Frank, Many, many thanks. Onward! Will post results, if they deserve it. Matt
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Post by minniev » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:39 pm

Duck wrote:


Thanks for a good intro to tone curves. They are one of the most under-utilized tools in LR I suspect. They're far more powerful than they look.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by Matt Quinn » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:36 am

Duck wrote:You and I have the same teachers. Go figure. :D

Unmesh Dinda of PixImperfect is a fantastic teacher. He doesn't just show how, he explains why as well. Here is an awesome tutorial on using curves in Lightroom;

https://youtu.be/YhQjt4_8yyk

When I teach editing in Lightroom I compare using tone sliders and tone curves to manipulating a stretched out slinky. If you move one part of the slinky that movement transmits, in smaller degrees, to other parts of the slinky. Adjust the shadows slider and that movement transmits to the blacks slider and to the exposure slider which in turn transmits down to the highlights, although far less amount, and maybe even to the whites (depending on how much adjustment you originally made).

There are a lot of things I love about the tone curve, but for beginners the first thing I teach them is they can edit their image visually using the point target selector (little circle icon in the upper left corner). I have gotten so many, "Aha!" moments because by nature we are visual people. It's easier to point and adjust.


Duck, Wild. This guy is a kick. I could follow his rapid chatter very easily. I didn't know about the two tone curves; this will be cataclysmic.

I looked up Shelton on Google and you are partially on our way to or from Cape Cod. We use 95. If it suits you, on one of our trips, I would like to stop by and meet you. And Mrs Duck, who looks more merry. I always have my bride with me.

Thanks for the link . I will watch this several times to absorb as much and I can. With sRGB and tone curves now, no limit. Well, there is always PS. But there is also tomorrow. Matt
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Post by Duck » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:03 am

Matt Quinn wrote:I looked up Shelton on Google and you are partially on our way to or from Cape Cod. We use 95. If it suits you, on one of our trips, I would like to stop by and meet you. And Mrs Duck, who looks more merry. I always have my bride with me.

Friends are always welcomed. It would be great to have you for a visit. We can even plan for a photo shoot and some one on one Lightroom editing. I have lots of tips and tricks up my sleeve. :D

I am glad the video was helpful. He has a better on camera presence than I ever will.
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Post by Matt Quinn » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:31 am

Duck wrote:
Matt Quinn wrote:I looked up Shelton on Google and you are partially on our way to or from Cape Cod. We use 95. If it suits you, on one of our trips, I would like to stop by and meet you. And Mrs Duck, who looks more merry. I always have my bride with me.

Friends are always welcomed. It would be great to have you for a visit. We can even plan for a photo shoot and some one on one Lightroom editing. I have lots of tips and tricks up my sleeve. :D

I am glad the video was helpful. He has a better on camera presence than I ever will.


Maybe, but you don't use no double negatives nor no comparative superlatives neither, and, I suspect, can pronounce the letter "v." No? Nitpicks, I admit. Very clear content.

I'll be in touch when our travel plans develop. Matt
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Post by Matt Quinn » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:56 pm

Duck wrote:
Matt Quinn wrote:I looked up Shelton on Google and you are partially on our way to or from Cape Cod. We use 95. If it suits you, on one of our trips, I would like to stop by and meet you. And Mrs Duck, who looks more merry. I always have my bride with me.

Friends are always welcomed. It would be great to have you for a visit. We can even plan for a photo shoot and some one on one Lightroom editing. I have lots of tips and tricks up my sleeve. :D

I am glad the video was helpful. He has a better on camera presence than I ever will.


On reflection and rereading, my reply on the video was arrogant and I apologize. My editor's beanie fits too snugly; I spent a portion of my journey as a magazine editor and can't shake the urge to pick up the red pencil. I quarrel with the NYT and grouse to my spouse about flubbed disjunctives not only in opinion pieces but even in editorials. In the big picture, however, communicating info is the main point, and, in the main, the video was spot on. Thanks. Matt
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Post by Duck » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:22 am

Matt Quinn wrote:... My editor's beanie fits too snugly;..

No worries. Try having a mother who was an English teacher correcting you all the time (English is my second language, after Spanish)

I give Unmesh leeway since he is from India.
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