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Avoid Lightroom?

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Videalist
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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:12PM

I read many comments saying that when using Lightroom to adjust RAW files, we should do as little as possible for each of the settings, in particular vibrance, saturation, exposure, sharpening, noise etc.


So, if I understand, why using Lightroom 4 ?  Cant we just use Photoshop and convert the RAW file into JPEG as is ?  If this is the case, what would be the best RAW to JPEG conversion settings to make in Photoshop CS6 ?
vandervelden
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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:20PM

I use LR4 all the time and whack the sliders about all over the place. No problems with quality/acceptance at iStock.


It's a brilliant program for post-processing.
slobo
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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:42PM
Isn't Lightroom stripped down version of Photoshop? I am under impression that RAW convertor is the same for both programs. I use Photoshop and I am not shy in pushing any of those levers to any extent for as long as I can verify with my own eyes that quality didn't deteriorate.
kelvinjay
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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:10PM
Photoshop is a great tool, but it's geared towards very intricate editing of individual images, with a mass of tools for adding text, cloning logos out at 400% zoom, compositing images and elements together.

Lightroom on the other hand seems to be a tool to help photographers edit batches of photos. It totally revolutionised how quickly I can work, as the presets I have created allow me to get 90% of the way there with one click. Looking around the room at iStock lypses, I reckon that about 95% of contributors use it.

Whether you are using PS or LR, you need to edit carefully for iStock. I'd especially beware of sharpening in the RAW stage. My personal work flow is to do all the major changes to cropping, lighting and WB etc in LR. I then export the RAW as a 16 bit TIFF from LR. I then do any further detailed work in PS, such as cloning, patch tool, noise reduction and sharpening.

The beauty of LR is being able to easily edit an image and then apply those same tweaks to a bunch of other images, which can save a lot of time. Trying to do that with Actions in PS is a lot more work and generally a big headache. I don't think you need to be more careful with LR than PS when editing, but like any tool though, LR can be abused as well as used, so I would generally suggest that newbies to it not go too crazy with the sliders, especially if they are not familiar with iStock's acceptance standards.

(Edited on 2013-02-20 16:22:23 by kelvinjay)
pink_cotton_candy
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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:30PM
Excellent explanation Kelvin! One more bit of awesomeness about LR is its organizational management power. It is very different from anything I've ever used and I do not have it down myself (so I can't answer any questions ).

There are lots of resources online but I highly recommend those who are not great at organizing (like me ) to pick up one of Scott Kelby's LR books as it seems quite complete about the basics. I have it for LR3 so I can't say anything about LR4. Kelby goes into a lot of detail about this feature and I never would have figured any of it out on my own. There's stuff in there about first starting to use it and transferring over from a different system.

For me, I feel like if I could get the basics down (I haven't because I don't shoot/process often enough), I could use the online resources to find more tips and tricks.

Feverstockphoto
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Posted Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:34PM
It's the Adobe Camera Raw converter that is used by Photoshop to tweak the raw file before it goes into photoshop proper. It uses the same engine as Lightroom as mentioned so they have the same controls. ACR can also be used through Adobe Bridge that comes with Photoshop - was sort of compared to and used similarly to Lightroom although Lightroom has more parts and function in one place. 


The best conversion settings in the raw conversion depend on image to begin with, where you want to take it, if what you do improves look without too much degradation and the standards required to pass inspection upon uploading to Istock....  Rest mentioned above, 16bit, convert to 8bit jpeg as last step before uploading.

Edited : Many take the image through Lightroom or Bridge/ACR doing basic corrections into Photoshop for more advanced or detailed work. It doesn't have to be one or the other .


 

(Edited on 2013-02-20 17:45:19 by Feverstockphoto)
Kativ
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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:18PM
Adobe has 30day free trial. You just have to try it yourself and you'll see what you've been missing all along. IMO, it's a must have tool for photographers.
Whiteway
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013 11:32AM
Posted By kelvinjay:
...Lightroom on the other hand seems to be a tool to help photographers edit batches of photos.

I thought, perhaps, the attraction was the extra cataloguing capabilities. It's possible to do batch operations in Canon's DPP software, is it much quicker with Lightroom?
kelvinjay
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013 1:50PM

Posted By Whiteway:
Posted By kelvinjay:
...Lightroom on the other hand seems to be a tool to help photographers edit batches of photos.

I thought, perhaps, the attraction was the extra cataloguing capabilities. It's possible to do batch operations in Canon's DPP software, is it much quicker with Lightroom?


I haven't used DPP for a while, so maybe it's changed, but I don't think it can store more than a single set of settings at a time, which is pretty restrictive. With Lightroom I have loads of presets that I created myself and can apply them to a set of image on import or apply the afterwards with a single click .

I have my stock import preset, which has sharpening dropped to 10 (from the default 25) and no noise reduction at all. Everything is set flat, as I want to be in complete control of everything to begin with, due to the standards our images are judged by.

I have a wedding colour preset, with sharpening at 25, noise reduction at 10 and clarity +10, a slight post crop vignette. Then I have a B&W version with a slight boost to overall exposure by half a stop, whites and highlights taken down a few points and blacks made a bit crunchier, post crop vignette is stronger and the B&W conversion is done with a slight boost to the orange / yellows to improve skin radiance...

And I have dozens of these, multiple HDR recipes, cyanotype, landscape specific settings, portrait ones. All one click away and then I can start refining the look, to see what works best for any given image.

The LR cataloguing capabilities are quite good, I don't use them much, but it can be pretty cool to see what gear and settings you are using the most. e.g. I checked to see how many times I used my 70-200 f/4 on a particular holiday and realised that out of the shots I kept, I only kept one from that lens that I liked. So next time we went away, that lens stayed home. And the keywording options work well for dealing with multiple shoots.

As Kativ said - there's a 30 day free trial. I'd honestly recommend LR to any photographer. I've used PS since 1992 and my first ever job was in a printers using Photoshop to cut out transparency scans with the pen tool. So I feel I've used it for long enough to say that Photoshop isn't really a tool for photographers, it's more for designers. Whereas with LR, I felt like it was the tool I'd always been looking for.

(Edited on 2013-03-01 13:54:53 by kelvinjay)
Kativ
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013 2:34PM

Posted By Whiteway:
Posted By kelvinjay:
...Lightroom on the other hand seems to be a tool to help photographers edit batches of photos.

I thought, perhaps, the attraction was the extra cataloguing capabilities. It's possible to do batch operations in Canon's DPP software, is it much quicker with Lightroom?

Canon DPP only works with Canon cameras but LR works with many other brand/model so even if you change from Canon to Nikon or to Sony from Fuji, you are more likely to be covered. That's another benefit right there. I use Nikon, Canon, and Sony and does everything in LR from cataloging to adjustment and export.
lagereek
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013 3:29PM

Thats the trouble really. LR, is same as Camera-Raw, universal converters, optimized for none but still good enough for most. Camera Raw, will clip the color chanels, especially the reds and yellows, LR suffers the same problem in most cases. It can be rectified but time consuming and sometimes impossible.


DPP and NX are not much to look at but they are in fact optimized for its cameras digital Raw files. Again the art is to get it right in-camera with correct in-camera settings.


LR however is exellent for batch processing and organizing.
fotoVoyager
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013 3:40PM
Lightroom is the best piece of software I've ever bought. The newest version is fantastic, with its ability to vary colour temperature across an image and control the individual colours in incredibly subtle ways. I highly recommend it.
wdstock
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013 8:14PM
FWIW, I'm also a big Lightroom fan. I used to use DPP several years ago because I (still) believe that back then it simply did a better job converting Canon's RAW files. However, with the current version of LR, I no longer believe that (to be fair, I stopped using DPP a while ago, so it may have also improved). Also, LR's noise reduction is fantastic; really kills chroma noise. Also, I don't believe DPP can do the highlight recovery tricks that LR can (again things may have changed with the current version). I use LR and only LR at this point. One persons's experience and opinion.
Whiteway
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Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013 12:31AM
All very interesting. Are you listening, difydave??

I'm not considering moving to Lightroom because I've used Photoshop for years, and am comfortable with it. After my bad experience with another RAW processor (Phase 1), I will always prefer the manufacturer's own, and that means DPP. (I stick with Canon, so no problem there.) Also, the adjustments made from within Lightroom sound like the ones I can make with the filter software that I already have.

Still, Lightroom is popular for a reason. More complicated but more flexible than DPP. More straightforward than Photoshop, maybe.
Difydave
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Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013 6:40AM

Uh! Wassat? Yes sir of course I'm paying attention! You were talking about, er, about. Cameras! That's it! Or something.


I can feel my arms getting shorter, and my pockets getting deeper by the second!
lagereek
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Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013 11:22PM
Posted By Difydave:

Uh! Wassat? Yes sir of course I'm paying attention! You were talking about, er, about. Cameras! That's it! Or something.


I can feel my arms getting shorter, and my pockets getting deeper by the second! smile

Come on Dave! with the beauty of Cornwall at your feet,  you gotta have the best, hey?
Difydave
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Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013 3:18AM
I don't know Christian. I've used the Pentax Raw converter for years, and it does pretty well everything I need, and I'm happy with the results. I don't really need the cataloguing facility. I've got my own system that works OK for me. (And short arms and deep pockets of course!
lagereek
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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013 1:27AM
Posted By Difydave:
smile I don't know Christian. I've used the Pentax Raw converter for years, and it does pretty well everything I need, and I'm happy with the results. I don't really need the cataloguing facility. I've got my own system that works OK for me. (And short arms and deep pockets of course! smile


Hi Dave!  yeah youre right!  good port you have, so why change a winning formula? no need at all.


all the best.
stockcam
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Posted Mon Mar 4, 2013 3:44AM
It is perfectly easy to batch process in Camera Raw.
huePhotography
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Posted Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:21AM
One of the reasons I love lightroom is just for easy file organization. Even if I didn't use the image processing I would still use it for organization of files.
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