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  • August 27, 2020 11:37:18 AM
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A Little About Us

A group dedicated to the enjoyment of photography. Our mission is to provide high-quality articles on various aspects of photography and photographic life. Through this media, we aim to provide knowledge and inspiration to the photographic community regardless of photographic ability.

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    Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Transform Panel

    The Lightroom Transform Panel is all about correcting distortion in your digital images, including lens distortion, perspective distortion, and alignment induced by the photographer. This short article guides you through ... Read more The post Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Transform Panel appeared first on Photography...

    The Lightroom Transform Panel is all about correcting distortion in your digital images, including lens distortion, perspective distortion, and alignment induced by the photographer. This short article guides you through the different modes of correction available to you.

    Lightroom Transform Panel

    Lightroom Transform

    The Transform Panel sits towards the bottom of the Develop Module. Transform and enables you to correct vertical and horizontal misalignments. These misalignments in digital images can be due to a number of factors including lens distortion, perspective distortion, and incorrect alignment of the camera to the subject when taking of the shot.

    Lens distortion occurs due to the curvature of the glass elements in your lens. It can happen in any lens and can take the form of barreling or pincushioning. Take a look at our detailed article on lens distortion for more information.

    Perspective distortion is a warping of an image and tends to be exaggerated depending on the angle of the shot, where objects close to the lens appear larger than they really are, and conversely, objects further away appear much smaller.

    Here is a great little image from wikipedia that demonstrates the effect of perspective distortion at different camera angles.

    Finally, incorrect alignment is where the photographer gets the horizontals and/or verticals misaligned when they take the shot.

    The good news is, Lightroom has the ability to correct all of these misalignment problems either automatically, or manually if you want more control.

    Lightroom Transform

    Automatic & Semi-Automatic Corrections

    The six buttons at the top of the Transform panel form the auto corrections section. Albeit, by default, all adjustments are set to Off which is the first button. So we have 5 buttons to play with.

    From personal experience, I have only ever felt the need to use the first two buttons; Auto and Guided. The others, for my eye at least, can give some undesirable results. But, covering each one in turn:-

    Auto:

    Analyses your image for vertical and horizontal edges, and corrects your image accordingly. You can see the effect in the before/after example below. Lightroom has corrected the vertical alignment of the castle, as well as adjusting the horizontal alignment of the castle and the castle wall. Of course, in doing so, Lightroom has adjusted all of the pixels in the image accordingly.

    After
    After
    After
    Before
    Before
    Auto Mode

    Guided:

    In Guided mode, you tell Lightroom where the horizontal and vertical lines are in your image. You do this by adding guidelines. Basically, when you press the Guided button, Lightroom presents you with a guide-line and a magnification window. You click on each end of the line to create a guide-line, and you can add as many guide-lines as you need, and press Done.

    Lightroom Transform

    Lightroom then works out the rest. In the example below, I placed three guide-lines. Two on the verticals of the castle, and one on the castle wall.

    After
    After
    After
    Before
    Before
    Guided

    Level:

    As its name suggests, the Level mode only looks for horizontal lines in your image and adjusts accordingly. Here is the before/after example:

    Before
    Before
    Level

    The Level adjustment does its job and has fixed the horizontal alignment.

    Vertical:

    Here is the Vertical mode adjustment, which corrects with a bias towards vertical lines that Lightroom finds in your image.

    After
    After
    After
    Before
    Before
    Vertical

    Full:

    Hopefully this mode will now be self explanatory, and corrects verticals and horizontals.

    After
    After
    After
    Before
    Before
    Full

    As alluded to above, I have never personally found a utility for anything other than Guided or Auto Mode. The other modes I find a little aggressive in terms of the editing and cropping. Undoubtedly, however, there will be people out there that use them all the time!

    Manual Corrections

    The manual corrections sliders are located underneath the auto mode buttons. They give you manual control over any transform adjustments made. You can either apply one of the automatic modes and then fine tune it with the sliders, or if you want full control yourself, then go ahead and correct an image from scratch.

    If you found this Lightroom Article on the Transform panel useful, here are some that may interest you:

    Lens Correction
    Lightroom Lens Corrections

    Lens Corrections is about correcting unwanted distortion, aberrations and vignettes from your digital images.

    Lightroom Details
    Lightroom Details

    The Details Panel in Lightroom allows you to sharpen and de-noise your digital images

    Lightroom Color Grading
    Mastering Color Grading

    The Color Grading panel is a great tool to perform targeted hue adjustments to Highlights, Shadows and Midtones.


    .

    The Photography Group are affiliated with some of the biggest names in the photographic industry, and with whom make this page possible:

    Adobe – Adobe creative applications are the benchmark in the industry. Photography focussed plans start at £9.98/m inclusive of VAT for Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop plus 200Gb of document storage.

    DJI – Fly as you are! Discover DJIs range of drones and gimbals.

    Joby – Joby has designed mounts, cases, lights, stands and grips with a user-centric approach. The end result is a range of functional yet playful, innovative yet easy to use products. 

    Luminar 4 – Revolutionary tools and AI technologies give superpowers for creative photo editing.

    Manfrotto – Discover Manfrotto’s exciting world of accessories and solutions for photographers and videographers.  Carefully designed for your unique photography or videography experience.

    Vaonis – The company that brought us the STELLINA, and revolutionised astronomy, making it accessible to a broad audience from anywhere in the world, even in the heart of the city.


    The post Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Transform Panel appeared first on Photography Group.


    Photographing Tower Bridge – London

    Tower Bridge is one of the most famous structures in the United Kingdom and has been a defining landmark in the city of London since its completion in 1894. In ... Read more The post Photographing Tower Bridge – London appeared first on Photography...

    Tower Bridge is one of the most famous structures in the United Kingdom and has been a defining landmark in the city of London since its completion in 1894. In this Photographing London series, we will cover the best locations to get stunning images of the iconic Tower Bridge.

    Contents

    Location Map

    In case you are not familiar with the locations we are going to go through, we have created a map with each one pinpointed for you. Even if you are familiar with London, this will hopefully help you plan your visit to Tower Bridge.


    Best Times To Photograph Tower Bridge

    Photographing Tower Bridge is at its best during the golden hour, blue hour and at night. However, if you can’t make it at these times don’t be put off. You can get great photographs at any time of day. If you have the time, it is also worth sticking around for when the bridge is open. The Tower Bridge website has a page dedicated to the bridge lift times here.

    Best Places to Photograph Tower Bridge

    The Timepiece Sundial (St Katharine Docks)

    The first location on the list is also my personal top location. The Timepiece Sundial is a sculpture in the St Katharine Docks area. The steel sundial looks like a giant washer, upon which the hours are marked with raised dots. It makes a stunning foreground object with the Tower Bridge in the middle-ground. Compositionally it makes for a visually appealing shot at whatever time of day you choose to visit.

    One of the other great things about this location is that this angle onto the Tower Bridge masks some of the larger more modern buildings that lie just beyond. You, therefore, end up with a shot that is a little more architecturally in keeping.

    Photographing Tower Bridge

    Right in front of the sundial, you can also get a clear view of the bridge as the main subject. Shot here in the early evening, the lighting on the bridge makes an interesting composition with the bridge almost silhouetted against the skyline. Plus as a bonus, timed for when the bridge was open.

    Photographing Tower Bridge

    Butler’s Wharf

    Our next stop is opposite St. Katherine Docks on the South East side of the River Thames. There is a waterside footpath along Butlers Wharf with some great views of the Tower Bridge as the main photography subject. If you happen to have the British weather on your side when you visit, it is also one of the best spots to grab a sunset shot, as well as some lovely early morning shots with the light starting to reflect off the structure.

    Photographing London

    Tower Wharf

    Staying in the vicinity of Tower Bridge, our next stop-off is Tower Wharf back on the Northside of the Thames. This is a great spot for sunrises if you are up early enough to catch one. You can either grab a shot with the bridge as the focal point or stepping back. little and grabbing a shot with the walkway in the foreground.

    In either case, this is probably the best location if you are looking for all the buildings to look visually in-keeping, as very few of the more modern London buildings are visible from this position looking at the bridge.

    Photographing Tower Bridge

    London Bridge

    Stepping further away from the bridge now, specifically from London Bridge, you can get some great views of Tower Bridge either with a zoom lens to frame the symmetry of the bridge, or with a wider angle shot taking in the banks of the River Thames and the surrounding area.

    Photographing London

    Tower Bridge

    So far, we have skirted our way around Tower Bridge, but you can also get some pretty unique viewpoints photographing Tower Bridge from on the bridge itself. Long exposures and night shots work particularly well as you can catch the light streams from vehicles. But, day shots are equally as good for focussing in on the architectural details.

    Tower Bridge

    If you enjoyed this article, then please check out more of our Articles and How-To Guides. Here are some more travel articles which may interest you.

    Isle of Mull

    8 Top Photographic Locations on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. Written by a local photographer.

    Isle of Skye

    8 Top Photographic Locations on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Written by a local photographer.

    Scottish Highlands
    Scottish Highlands

    8 Top Photographic Locations in the Scottish Highlands, written by a local photographer.


    .

    The Photography Group are affiliated with some of the biggest names in the photographic industry, and with whom make this page possible:

    Adobe – Adobe creative applications are the benchmark in the industry. Photography focussed plans start at £9.98/m inclusive of VAT for Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop plus 200Gb of document storage.

    DJI – Fly as you are! Discover DJIs range of drones and gimbals.

    Joby – Joby has designed mounts, cases, lights, stands and grips with a user-centric approach. The end result is a range of functional yet playful, innovative yet easy to use products. 

    Luminar 4 – Revolutionary tools and AI technologies give superpowers for creative photo editing.

    Manfrotto – Discover Manfrotto’s exciting world of accessories and solutions for photographers and videographers.  Carefully designed for your unique photography or videography experience.

    Vaonis – The company that brought us the STELLINA, and revolutionised astronomy, making it accessible to a broad audience from anywhere in the world, even in the heart of the city.


    The post Photographing Tower Bridge – London appeared first on Photography Group.


    Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Lens Corrections

    The Lens Corrections panel in Lightroom is definitely not one of the most talked-about features in the Lightroom ecosystem. However, there are a few features within the panel which are ... Read more The post Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Lens Corrections appeared first on Photography...

    Lightroom Lens Corrections

    The Lens Corrections panel in Lightroom is definitely not one of the most talked-about features in the Lightroom ecosystem. However, there are a few features within the panel which are really useful during digital image post-processing.

    Lightroom Lens Corrections panel is all about adjusting your image to take into account lens distortion from the lens you used to capture your digital image. Before we describe what the Lightroom Lens Correction panel does, its worth to understand what lens distortion is, why it occurs, and therefore why it is often desirable to correct it in our digital images.

    Contents

    Lens Distortion

    Most commercially available camera lenses are made up of several pieces of glass which bend light entering at the front of the lens onto the cameras sensor (or film for non-digital cameras). The glass used is slightly spherical. In fact, the wider angle the lens is, the more spherical the glass needs to be; in order to reflect and bend light from a much broader field of view.

    The different distortions that this creates we will cover in a moment. Firstly though, it is worth to understand that:

    • Because lenses by design need to use spherical glass, it means that when you point your lens at an object, the objects at the centre of the lens are slightly closer to the glass than the objects at the edges of the glass.

    This difference in distance is of course only very small, but it is enough to cause optical aberrations in your images. Namely that the image that the camera’s sensor sees and records, is more magnified in the centre than it is at the edges. Hence the image appears to have a slight curvature.

    Generally speaking, expensive prime lenses are less prone to distortion effects than their cheaper cousins. However, there are specialist lenses such as a Fish-Eye, which deliberately use the distortion effect.

    Barrel Distortion

    Following the principles above, the most basic type of distortion you will get in your images is barrel distortion. i.e. The centre of the image is more magnified than the edges of the image. You will typically notice this type of distortion with wide-angle lenses. But, it also happens in telephoto lenses at the wider focal lengths. e.g. a 100-400mm lens may have noticeable barrel distortion at 100mm, and no distortion at 400mm.

    Barrel Distortion

    Pincushion Distortion

    Pincushion distortion is the opposite of barrel distortion, whereby the portions at the edges appear more magnified at the edges. This phenomenon is prevalent in telephoto lenses at the longer focal lengths.

    You may also notice the effect if you are a binoculars user.

    Pincushion Distortion

    Moustache Distortion

    Moustache distortion is rare in modern lenses, but not so rare that you will never see it. It is a complex mixture of both pincushion and barrel distortion, and starts as a barrel distortion at the edges of the image and gradually turns into pincushion distortion in the centre of the image.

    Moustache Distortion

    Chromatic Aberration

    Chromatic aberrations are a form of optical distortion caused by a failure of the lens to focus all of the colours to the same point. It can either be caused because:

    • The wavelengths of light are focussed at different positions in the focal plane, due to the optical distortions and/or magnifications present in the lens by design.
    • The wavelengths of light are focused at different distances from the lens, due to focus shifts. 

    In either case, whilst it can occur anywhere in an image, it is often most prominent in high contrast areas, e.g. between the sky and trees, or between a building at the sky. Typically, you cannot see chromatic aberrations until you zoom right into the image at magnifications greater than 100%. You can identify it as fringes of colour; often green or magenta.

    Chromatic Aberration

    Cheaper lenses are often more prone to chromatic aberrations than their more expensive counterparts. Here is an example magnified to 800%. You can see a green border between the edge of the building and the sky.

    Vignetting

    Vignetting is a reduction in an image saturation and/or brightness towards the edges of the image, as compared to the centre of the image. In photography, we often use vignetting for aesthetic effect. However, the vignetting that occurs naturally in-camera, tend to be a little harsh and therefore non-aesthetic. There are three causes of vignetting:

    • Optical Vignette: Because a lens is made up of lots of lens elements, the elements at the rear of the lens are shaded by the ones at the front.
    • Natural Vignette: There is a natural illumination drop-off as light refracts through the lens, and is more prominent at the fringes of the lens elements.
    • Mechanical Vignette: Due to the interruption of light into the lens. e.g. screw-in filters added to the front of the lens and blocking light at the fringes of wide aperture shots.

    Note that, Lightroom cannot automatically correct mechanical vignetting, as this is something introduced by the photographer and not a function of the lens itself.

    Lightroom Lens Corrections

    Lightroom Lens Corrections

    The Lightroom Lens Corrections panel sits towards the bottom of the Develop module.

    There are multiple functions to play around with within this panel. But, for 99.9% of people, there are only really two radio buttons that you would normally need to worry about.

    By default, when you open the Lens Corrections panel, you are presented with a Profile view. Also, most of the information in the panel is greyed out until you click the radio button for Enable Profile. Firstly though, lets briefly cover the Remove Chromatic Aberrations radio button.

    Chromatic Aberrations

    Lightroom does a really good job of hunting down any nasty coloured fringes in your images. To this end, I typically check the Remove Chromatic Aberration radio button option for any image I am processing in Lightroom. There are exceptions, but for general landscapes, portraits, nature & travel shots; the Remove Chromatic Aberration option is a great little software function.

    Lens Profiles

    As alluded to above, when you check the Enable Profile Corrections, the section in the panel below it called Lens Profile becomes visible. At the same time, you may notice some changes occur in your image. This is Lightroom automatically correcting for any Lens Distortion.

    The way Lightroom does this is that it has correction profiles for all of the different manufacturer’s lenses. When you import an image into Lightroom from your phone, it typically includes lens data, including lens type, focal length, aperture etc. This is all information Lightroom can use to correct your images.

    Here is an example image with Enable Profile Corrections switched off and then on.

    After
    After
    After
    Before
    Before

    You can see that there are a few things that have been corrected in this.

    • The image was taken with a wide-angle lens, and consequently, there is some barrel distortion in the centre portion of the image.
    • There was a little optical vignetting at the four corners of the image.
    • There is a very slight adjustment in the image contrast.

    If you keep Lightroom updated regularly, so that it has all the latest lens profiles available to it, and/or you are not using a really obscure lens or one that is completely new to the market. Then, for most users, this is as far as you would normally need to delve into the Light Correction Panel.

    If you want to however, you can adjust the lens corrections yourself, or even make your own custom settings.

    Advanced Settings

    In the default Profile view, there are two further sliders. One covers distortion, and the other is vignetting. There may be some cases that you need to fine-tune the correction that Lightroom has done automatically. In these instances, you can use the distortion slider to adjust distortion to your liking.

    The second slider can be used to introduce a lens vignette. I have deliberately used the term “lens vignette” here, as I personally find the effect you get from this is a little harsh, as it faithfully reproduces a vignette that you get from a lens. i.e. It tends to appear only in the corners. For this reason, I tend to recommend to people not to use this slider if they want a vignette, but instead to use the dedicated vignette effect in the Lightroom Effects panel. However, the slider is there for your use, if, for example, you find the profile correction for your lens was not quite to your liking.

    Manual Settings

    Lightroom Lens Corrections

    The Manual Settings view is for those that want ultimate control over distortion, chromatic aberrations, and vignetting. It is split into three sections:

    • Distortion
    • Defringe
    • Vignetting

    There may be some cases that you want your image to have some distortion for e.g. aesthetic effect. The Distortion slider allows you to introduce barrel distortion into your image by moving the slider to the left, and pincushion distortion to the right.

    There is also a Constrain Crop radio button, which helps you handle how Lightroom implements distortion if you have/or intend to crop your image.

    Defringe allows you to manual correct chromatic aberration. You get an eye-dropper, so that you can select any purple or green fringes in your image, and sliders to subsequently target purple and/or green fringes together with a slider to adjust the colour balance of the effect.

    I have personally never had to use these settings, as Lightroom does such a good job. But for all the perfectionists out there, the controls are in Lightroom for you.

    Vignetting allows you to add or remove a vignette from your image. I find that this function in the Lightroom ecosystem is not as harsh as the one in the manual view, but it is only really of use for corrections of vignettes, and not to add an aesthetic vignette. However, the functionality is there for you, with a vignette slider, and a separate slider to control where the mid-point is for the vignette in your image.

    Reference Material

    If you are interested in finding out more about lens distortion, including the science and mathematics behind it, here are some references you may find useful, and which were used as reference material in the construction of this article.

    Distortion in Optics – Wikipedia
    Chromatic Aberration – Wikipedia
    Lens Vignetting – Wikipedia

    If you enjoyed this article on Lightroom Lens Corrections, please check out some of our other Lightroom Articles and How-To Guides. Here are some which may interest you:

    Lightroom Color Grading
    Mastering Color Grading

    The Color Grading panel is a great tool to perform targeted hue adjustments to Highlights, Shadows and Midtones.

    Mastering HSL & Color

    The HSL & Color Panels allow you to perform targeted adjustments to specific areas in your photograph for Hue, Saturation & Color optimisation.

    Lightroom Details
    Lightroom Details

    The Details Panel in Lightroom allows you to sharpen and de-noise your digital images


    .

    The Photography Group are affiliated with some of the biggest names in the photographic industry, and with whom make this page possible:

    Adobe – Adobe creative applications are the benchmark in the industry. Photography focussed plans start at £9.98/m inclusive of VAT for Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop plus 200Gb of document storage.

    DJI – Fly as you are! Discover DJIs range of drones and gimbals.

    Joby – Joby has designed mounts, cases, lights, stands and grips with a user-centric approach. The end result is a range of functional yet playful, innovative yet easy to use products. 

    Luminar 4 – Revolutionary tools and AI technologies give superpowers for creative photo editing.

    Manfrotto – Discover Manfrotto’s exciting world of accessories and solutions for photographers and videographers.  Carefully designed for your unique photography or videography experience.

    Vaonis – The company that brought us the STELLINA, and revolutionised astronomy, making it accessible to a broad audience from anywhere in the world, even in the heart of the city.


    The post Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Lens Corrections appeared first on Photography Group.


    Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Detail Enhancement

    The Detail Panel in Lightroom enables you to add sharpening to your images and to control the amount of noise. This article covers the controls in the detail panel to ... Read more The post Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Detail Enhancement appeared first on Photography...

    Lightroom Details

    The Detail Panel in Lightroom enables you to add sharpening to your images and to control the amount of noise. This article covers the controls in the detail panel to help sharpen and denoise your images like a pro.

    Contents

    Lightroom Details Panel

    Lightroom Details Panel

    The Lightroom Details Panel is accessed through the Develop Module. It contains three sets of functions. Firstly a Detail Zoom panel, which enables you to focus in on a specific area of your image. A Sharpening panel, and a Noise Reduction panel.

    Details Zoom

    The Details Zoom is a useful tool when using either the Sharpening or Noise Reduction filters. It enables you to remain in the image Loupe View in the main window, but at the same time, focus in on any specific areas that you are working on.

    You can access the Details Zoom, by left-clicking the square cross-hairs at the top left of the Details Zoom panel. You then left-click anywhere on your image to bring that up in the Details Zoom window.

    Lightroom Sharpening

    Lightroom Sharpening

    The Lightroom Sharpening panel consists of 4 sliders. A sharpening Amount slider, which when applied activates sliders for Radius, Detail, & Masking.

    The first thing to recognise with the Sharpening tool is that this filter is not going to correct sharpness in your images. What it does, is create the illusion of sharpness and detail. Lightroom achieves this by identifying the edges in your image and then increases the edge contrast. For this reason, Sharpening needs to be applied sympathetically to your images to avoid transitions/edges looking unrealistic.

    The amount of Sharpening you can apply, and need to apply also depends on a number of factors. The first being the subject of your image. So, for instance, a pure landscape shot of rolling hills and sky, you generally don’t want to harden the edges of the transitions, as it looks unnatural. Conversely, Sharpening a cityscape works very well, as contrasty edges help to make the subject stand out.

    The other thing to bear in mind is what type of image you are sharpening. RAW images are generally larger/have more pixels, so can be processed with the Sharpening tool more than a JPEG, which has already had sharpening applied by your camera.

    For this reason, by default, Lightroom applies 0 Sharpening to JPEGs and 40 to RAW files.

    The final factor to consider is the quality of the RAW or JPEG file.

    Sharpening

    I have known several tutors describe predefined criteria, like always set sharpening to 75. In practice, I have found that images from e.g. my Canon EOS 5D IV can be sharpened significantly more than an image from a Canon EOS 7D. Therefore practically, the settings you use, very much depend on all of the above factors.

    Sharpening Tips

    By default, Lightroom applies 0 Sharpening to JPEGs and 40 to RAW files. When refining this, always set the view-mode to 100% to give a visually representative idea of the effect. You can also use the Details Zoom view at the top of the Details panel, by left-clicking the square cross-hair box at the top left of the panel and then clicking on an element in your image you want to focus on.

    Lightroom Zoom Window

    Moving the Amount slider to the right increases the sharpening, and to the left it reduces.

    The Amount slider has a coloured red zone to the right hand edge of the adjustment area. This indicates the region that you are highly likely to see unsightly edges in your image, so as a general rule, avoid this extreme.

    A useful tip when using the Amount slider, is to press the Option key (on a MAC) or ALT (on a PC), which presents you with a desaturated image, which is much easier to determine the sharpening effect.

    When sharpening RAW images taken on my Canon 5D IV, I often set the sharpening to around 90-100 as I have found this to be an optimal zone for this camera. But, there are normally areas in an image that you don’t want sharpening, for example, the sky portions. A useful feature in Lightroom is the Masking slider. Pressing Option (on a MAC) or ALT (on a PC) whilst moving the slider brings up a temporary mask.

    The black areas on the mask are areas that won’t have any sharpening applied, and the white areas are areas that will. So, by moving the slider, you can fine tune areas that should be sharpened and those that shouldn’t.

    Worked Example

    Here is a very short demonstration of the technique I use to sharpen an image.

    You can see from this, that I first set the view mode to 100%. Then set a zoom focal point on an area I wanted to be sharpened. Following this, I used the desaturated mask to fine-tune the sharpening Amount. Finally, I used the Masking slider with the mask view ensuring the sky portions of the image are not sharpened.

    Radius & Details Sliders

    The Radius and Details sliders are two effects that I have personally never really needed to use, as I have found the default settings to be adequate for all images I have ever optimised. However, the Radius slider controls the thickness of the edge where contrast has been applied. Moving the slider to the right increases the thickness of the edges, and to the left reduces them.

    To get a visual indication of the effect being applied, press the Option key (on a Mac) or ALT key (on a PC), and you get a grey screen view with just the thickness of the sharpening lines applied.

    The Details slider controls the amount of sharpening effect which is applied to the details in your image. A low value only applies the effect to very large edges, and a high value applies the sharpening to even the smallest of edges.

    Lightroom Noise Reduction

    Noise in digital images often occurs as a result of:

    • The use of high ISO settings In-camera
    • Long exposure photographs, most noticeable in low light
    • During processing due to extensive edits, often with non-RAW images and/or correction of under-exposure
    • Because the sensor in your camera is a lower spec, most noticeable in low light
    • Heat in the camera affecting the sensor, most noticeable in hot weather
    Lightroom Noise Reduction

    The Noise Reduction controls are split into two groups of noise reduction; Luminance and Color. To understand what the sliders in these panels do, we first need to understand exactly what types of noise they target.

    Luminance Noise

    In modern digital photography, Luminance noise is predominantly caused when there is either a lack of available light, when the image was captured, or that the image was under-exposed. It os often referred to as hot-pixels of light or graininess in an image.

    In Lightroom, using the Luminance slider, you can smooth the pixels in your image to help eliminate the problem pixels. However, you need to avoid over-doing the effect to avoid too much loss of detail and sharpness, which can render your image almost plastic looking in appearance.

    Luminosity Noise
    Luminosity Noise – Source Wikipedia

    Luminance Denoise Tips

    The trick when using Luminance denoise in Lightroom is not to try and remove all noise from your image. But more to determine an acceptable compromise between the amount of noise and the amount of sharpness and detail.

    The other trick to use when applying noise reduction, is to ensure that the view-mode is at 100%. This gives you the visually representative idea of the effect compared to how the eye would see a printed image.

    The Luminance slider starts at zero, moving the slider to the right increases the amout of smoothing applied to your image.

    As soon as you apply Luminance denoise, two more sliders become available to you. These are Detail and Contrast. These sliders help you counteract the negative effects of Luminance de-noise, by increasing edge sharpness and contrast. As far as how much of these to apply, there is no set formula and depends very much on your image. The best thing is to experiment with the three sliders at 100% view-mode and get the most visually appealing effect. As a rule of thumb, however, I generally start at about 10% Luminance de-noise and then work from there. You will find that you can apply more of the effect on RAW images than you can JPEG. This is basically because you typically have more pixels within a RAW image, as it is uncompressed.

    A final tip when using Luminance de-noise, is to click the Option key (on a MAC) or ALT (on Windows), as you move the slider. This brings up a temporary desaturated version of your image, and is often easier to work with than colour.

    Color Noise

    Color Noise
    Color Noise – Source Wikipedia

    You can identify Colour Noise in an image as random variations in the pixels. The Color slider helps to remove this by smoothing the colour variations. The effect is not as destructive in terms of sharpness and contrast loss, but once again, care is needed to avoid over-processing your image.

    Color Noise Tips

    Further, as with the Luminance slider, the Color slider once applied, gives you further sliders to recover any Detail & Contrast lost. As a rule of thumb, I start with about 20% Color denoise and work from there.

    Conclusions

    Whilst there is no exact formula to sharpen and denoise your image, with the use of the techniques described in this article, and with a little trial and error, you should easily be able to apply the effects to your own images.

    If you enjoyed this Lightroom article, please check out some more of our Lightroom How-To Guides. Here are some articles which may interest you.

    Lightroom Color Grading
    Mastering Color Grading

    The Color Grading panel is a great tool to perform targeted hue adjustments to Highlights, Shadows and Midtones.

    Mastering HSL & Color

    The HSL & Color Panels allow you to perform targeted adjustments to specific areas in your photograph for Hue, Saturation & Color optimisation.

    White Balance
    Master White Balance

    White Balance is a scale of the primary colour intensities. When post-processing it is important to render neutral colours correctly.


    .

    The Photography Group are affiliated with some of the biggest names in the photographic industry, and with whom make this page possible:

    Adobe – Adobe creative applications are the benchmark in the industry. Photography focussed plans start at £9.98/m inclusive of VAT for Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop plus 200Gb of document storage.

    DJI – Fly as you are! Discover DJIs range of drones and gimbals.

    Joby – Joby has designed mounts, cases, lights, stands and grips with a user-centric approach. The end result is a range of functional yet playful, innovative yet easy to use products. 

    Luminar 4 – Revolutionary tools and AI technologies give superpowers for creative photo editing.

    Manfrotto – Discover Manfrotto’s exciting world of accessories and solutions for photographers and videographers.  Carefully designed for your unique photography or videography experience.

    Vaonis – The company that brought us the STELLINA, and revolutionised astronomy, making it accessible to a broad audience from anywhere in the world, even in the heart of the city.


    The post Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Detail Enhancement appeared first on Photography Group.


    Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Color Grading

    The Color Grading panel in Lightroom is one of the most recent upgrades to the software package. It allows you to perform global and/or targeted adjustments to colours in your ... Read more The post Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Color Grading appeared first on Photography...

    Lightroom Color Grading

    The Color Grading panel in Lightroom is one of the most recent upgrades to the software package. It allows you to perform global and/or targeted adjustments to colours in your images. The intuitive user interface means tonal adjustment is now a breeze to achieve. This makes the tool ideal for correcting tonal imbalances and making tonal enhancements in your images.

    Lightroom Color Grading

    As an example image, we will use this image from the top of Ben Ledi shot in the Scottish Highlands. The low-level clouds were moving extremely fast, and have picked up a lovely hue from the sunlight, which was quite low over another mountain range. This hue is something we can enhance using the Color Grading tool. Also though, the shadows in the mountain are a little too pink, so we can also use Color Grading to correct this at the same time.

    Ben Ledi - Scottish Highlands

    Before we get into editing this image, let’s quickly cover the layout and functionality controls in the Color Grading tool. You access the Color Grading tool through the Develop Panel.

    By default, the panel shows three tonal adjustment circles, one each for Midtones, Shadows, and Highlights. You are presented with three adjustment zones; and include all the colours from the visible spectrum. Each zone has a Luminance slider to adjust the brightness of the tonal adjustment being applied.

    Further, each circle contains two draggable adjustment pins. The outer pin allows you to select a hue and rotates around the edge of the circle. The inner pin adjusts the saturation level. The centre of the circle represents zero saturation and dragging the pin to the edge is maximum saturation.

    Also, at the bottom of the panel, there is a Blending & Balance slider.

    Lightroom Color Grading

    Blending Slider

    Blending controls the amount of mixing that occurs between the Shadows and Highlights into the Midtones.

    Lightroom Color Grading

    To demonstrate, here is a neutrally coloured starting image. The Highlights are set to a magenta hue, and the shadows are set to a green hue. In the first image, the Blending is set at 0% and in the second image 100%.

    In the 1st image, you can see that the Midtones are dominated with green and in the 2nd image, they are dominated with magenta.

    So, we can see from this that at 100%, the Highlights are prioritised and blended into the Midtones. At 0% the Shadows are prioritised and blended into the Midtones. At the datum position, 50%, there is equal prioritisation between how the Highlights and Shadows blend with the Midtones.

    Blending at 0%
    Blending at 0%
    Blending at 100%
    Blending at 100%

    Balance Slider

    The Balance Slider is a prioritisation of whether the Shadows or Highlights are dominant within an image. At 0% the shadow tones are dominant, and at 100% the highlight tones are dominant. From this, we derive that at the slider datum of 0%, there is an equal prioritisation between Highlights and Shadows.

    In the next example, the Blending slider is reset back to its datum of 50%. The Shadows and Highlights are still set to green and magenta respectively

    At a Balance setting of -100% the green tones dominate the image eliminating any magenta, and at 100% magenta tones dominate.

    Lightroom Color Grading
    Balance at -100%
    -100% Balance
    Balance at 100%
    100% Balance

    These examples are obviously using the controls at their extremes for the purpose of demonstration. But, from this, we can see that the use of these blending and balance sliders is an efficient way to perform targeted colour enhancements or even replacement, without resorting to destructive processing methods.

    Worked Example

    Now, let’s get back to our image from Ben Ledi! Now, the edits we are doing here are subtle compared to the extreme examples above. Generally, of course, this is going to be the case with the majority of your edits using the Color Grading tool.

    Firstly, I corrected the magenta colour in the grass. To do this, I selected a green hue from the Midtones and then increased the saturation to the desired effect. Finally, I reduced the brightness using the Luminance slider.

    Next, targeting the Highlights. I selected a hue right on the boundary between blue and magenta, and, to keep increased the saturation ever so slightly.

    Lightroom Color Grading
    Lightroom Color Grading Final

    Lightroom Color Grading Conclusions

    It’s worth experimenting yourself with the various sliders and controls in the Color Grading panel. The intuitative nature of the controls combined with the ease of getting results makes for an enjoyable learning experience.

    If you found this article useful, why not check out some of our other Lightroom Articles & How-To Guides. Here are some related articles you may find useful:

    Mastering HSL & Color

    The HSL & Color Panels allow you to perform targeted adjustments to specific areas in your photograph for Hue, Saturation & Color optimisation.

    White Balance
    Master White Balance

    White Balance is a scale of the primary colour intensities. When post-processing it is important to render neutral colours correctly.

    Lightroom Watermarking
    Lightroom Watermarking

    The Watermarking function in Adobe Lightroom allows you to add a graphical or textual watermark to your images during export


    .

    The Photography Group are affiliated with some of the biggest names in the photographic industry, and with whom make this page possible:

    Adobe – Adobe creative applications are the benchmark in the industry. Photography focussed plans start at £9.98/m inclusive of VAT for Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop plus 200Gb of document storage.

    DJI – Fly as you are! Discover DJIs range of drones and gimbals.

    Joby – Joby has designed mounts, cases, lights, stands and grips with a user-centric approach. The end result is a range of functional yet playful, innovative yet easy to use products. 

    Luminar 4 – Revolutionary tools and AI technologies give superpowers for creative photo editing.

    Manfrotto – Discover Manfrotto’s exciting world of accessories and solutions for photographers and videographers.  Carefully designed for your unique photography or videography experience.

    Vaonis – The company that brought us the STELLINA, and revolutionised astronomy, making it accessible to a broad audience from anywhere in the world, even in the heart of the city.


    The post Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Color Grading appeared first on Photography Group.


    Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Master HSL

    This article covers the Lightroom HSL (Hue, Saturation & Luminance) control panel in Lightroom Classic. Generally speaking when post-processing images in Lightroom, you: Correct the image contrast & tonal balance ... Read more The post Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Master HSL appeared first on Photography...

    This article covers the Lightroom HSL (Hue, Saturation & Luminance) control panel in Lightroom Classic. Generally speaking when post-processing images in Lightroom, you:

    Having done that, 95% of the time, your job is complete. However, there are cases when you need to make tonal adjustments to a specific colour grouping. This may be, for instance:

    • You want to enhance specific colours, for example in a golden hour shot.
    • You need to correct a colour that looks tonally unbalanced.

    Lightroom HSL & Color

    The Lightroom HSL & Color panel is located in the Develop module and then scroll down past the Basic and Tone Curve panels. As its name suggests, the panel is split into a section on HSL and one on Color. Both sections do exactly the same thing, we will cover each one in turn; firstly the HSL panel.

    HSL panel

    Hue

    Lightroom HSL - Hue

    Saturation

    Lightroom HSL - Saturation

    Luminance

    Lightroom HSL - Luminance

    The HSL panel consists of four tabs. One each for Hue, Saturation and Luminance, and the fourth which shows all the Hue, Saturation & Luminance sliders in one scrollable window. The layout is the same for each, in that you get a set of sliders for each of the colours in the ROYGABPM (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Aqua, Blue, Purple, Magenta) spectrum.

    • Hue: These sliders target the shades of colour in your image. The hue change is independent of the intensity of a colour or how dark or light it is.
    • Saturation: These sliders target the intensity of colour. The change is independent of the shade of colour, or how light or dark the colour is.
    • Luminance: These sliders target darkness/lightness of a colour in your image, and is independent of its shades or intensity of colour
    Saturation Tab

    In the following example, we have an image that we previously processed using Tone Curves and Presence Tool panels, and has rendered the blues just a bit too saturated.

    Using the Saturation tab, we can easily adjust this by targeting the Blue slider and reducing the slider slightly. One point of note here and this is from personal experience.

    I typically avoid moving any of the sliders outside of the range -30 to +30, as the result tends to end up looking unnatural. Of course, this is just personal preference and depends on what type of image you are processing. Anyway, here is the before-after for the saturation adjustment above.

    After
    After
    After
    Before
    Before

    Draggable Pipette

    Lightroom HSL

    There is another really useful tool in the HSL panel. It doesn’t appear to have an official name from Adobe, so for the sake of description let’s call it a draggable pipette. You initiate it by left-clicking the small icon at the left of the HSL panel, as indicated on the figure to the left.

    Basically, from either Hue, Saturation or Luminance tab, you select the draggable pipette. Then, select the colour you want to edit directly on your image. Left-click and drag the pipette either down or up, to respectively reduce or increase the colour range you just selected.

    Here is a very short video demonstrating how to use the draggable pipette. In the video, we demonstrate how to adjust the saturation and hue in a sunset image using HSL.

    Color Panel

    Color Panel

    As alluded above, the Color Panel, which is accessed by left-clicking the “Color” text at the top of the panel; does the same as the HSL Panel. The main difference is that the ROYGABPM controls are radio buttons along the top of the panel, and there are sliders each for Hue, Saturation & Luminance. The Color Panel additionally doesn’t include the draggable pipette.

    The Color Panel includes a multi-colour radio button which gives you a scrollable list of ROYGABPM colours with HSL sliders for each.

    Lightroom HSL & Color Panel Conclusions

    In terms of post-processing, you can just select a panel layout that suits your personal workflow style. Hopefully, this guide has been useful to you, to indicate how you can include Luminar HSL adjustments into your post-processing workflow.

    Check out other articles in our Ultimate Guide to Adobe Lightroom. Here are some which may interest you.

    White Balance
    Master White Balance

    White Balance is a scale of the primary colour intensities. When post-processing it is important to render neutral colours correctly.

    Lightroom Tone Curves
    Lightroom Tone Curves

    If you can master Lightroom Tone Curves, you will never need to purchase another Lightroom preset. With a little practice and experimentation, you will soon be a Tone Curve champion.

    Lightroom Presence
    Lightroom Presence
    (Saturation & Texture)

    The Lightroom Presence sliders enable you to adjust the texture and saturation of your images, and are part of the standard controls used in post-processing


    .

    The Photography Group are affiliated with some of the biggest names in the photographic industry, and with whom make this page possible:

    Adobe – Adobe creative applications are the benchmark in the industry. Photography focussed plans start at £9.98/m inclusive of VAT for Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop plus 200Gb of document storage.

    DJI – Fly as you are! Discover DJIs range of drones and gimbals.

    Joby – Joby has designed mounts, cases, lights, stands and grips with a user-centric approach. The end result is a range of functional yet playful, innovative yet easy to use products. 

    Luminar 4 – Revolutionary tools and AI technologies give superpowers for creative photo editing.

    Manfrotto – Discover Manfrotto’s exciting world of accessories and solutions for photographers and videographers.  Carefully designed for your unique photography or videography experience.

    Vaonis – The company that brought us the STELLINA, and revolutionised astronomy, making it accessible to a broad audience from anywhere in the world, even in the heart of the city.


    The post Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Master HSL appeared first on Photography Group.


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