understanding inner working and trade-off of Basic and Detail sections in Develop

Community Beginner ,
Oct 17, 2020 Oct 17, 2020

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I am new to Lightroom Classic. Is there a place where I can read about the inner working of each feature of the Basic and the Detail pannel, and what are the trade-off (what I gain and what I lose when I use each ruler).

For instance, I noticed that in some pictures I can obtain nicer colors by very slightly moving the Blacks ruler to the left, or by moving the Dehaze ruler even more slightly to the right. Results are often equal to my eye. What each of the two exactly do? I mean, I know de-haze takes the haze out. But it has an effect on any photo, even without haze. What is it?

Or what do I gain or lose when I use each of the rulers for de-noising a picture taken with high ISO.

These are just examples. As I try to understand why some pragmatic approaches work, I seldom find the answer in Adobe's help. Any other resource I can use?

Thanks

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LEGEND ,
Oct 17, 2020 Oct 17, 2020

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There are plenty of tutorials on these things on the internet. Here's one. You can search for others.

 

Basically, in my opinion, there are many ways in Lightroom Classic to get an almost identical effect. If you can't see the difference, then it doesn't matter which one you use.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 17, 2020 Oct 17, 2020

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I understand DJ, and I can be a very empirical person too. But if I can understand the theory behind, it is better.

Just for the small story I am retiring soon, after a long and busy profesional life that has nothing to do with photography. I started with this hobby with the intention to go as deep as I can, both in skills and knowledge. Much better than putting on my pajamas and look at TV for the next 30 years. If anybody can point me to resources I can use to go deeper in a structured manner, it will be much appreciated. In whichever direction, but deeper.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2020 Oct 17, 2020

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Start out using the basic adjustments from the top, down to Blacks.

If you can't achieve what you want with these sliders, try to use one or more of the adjustments under Presence in addition.

 

  • Texture will enhance texture, but will also, depending on the amount, make any noise in the image more prominent.
  • Clarity will increase local contrast, without affecting general contrast. I usually prefer Clarity over Contrast. If you have a flat image, using the Blacks and Whites (or Highlights) sliders will improve the contrast considerably.
    Be aware that Clarity may blow the highlights, so you may have to readjust the Highlights slider. 
    Like Texture, Clarity will accentuate any noise. (to evaluate noise and sharpening, always view the image at 1:1)
  • I use Dehaze sparingly, and only as a last resort. It has a dramatic effect on tone and color, and will also (as you have found out) darken the shadows/blacks.

All these adjustments are in the Basic panel.

The Detail panel is  for sharpening and noise reduction.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 17, 2020 Oct 17, 2020

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Thank you Per, this helps.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2020 Oct 17, 2020

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Some of my web bookmarks- (but maybe not the "inner workings" )

Lightroom Classic Training Videos

Julieanne Kost's Blog | Adobe Lightroom Classic

! CLASSIC TUTORIALS

 

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.3, Photoshop 22.4.2, Lightroom 4.3, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2020 Oct 17, 2020

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Here's an article I wrote on the Basic Panel Tone control adjustment, which should be helpful

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/help/tone-control-adjustment.html

 

Here's a YouTube video search on the LrC Detail panel controls.

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Lightroom+Sharpening+%26+Noise+Reduction+Tutorial+

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2020 Oct 17, 2020

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One of the best authors I have encountered who offers the kind of in-depth explanation I suspect you are seeking is Martin Evening. Unfortunately the most recent Lightroom book available was published 2 years ago and Lightroom has evolved since then. Much of the underlying theory behind Martin's detailed explanations still applies though.

 

See what you think: https://www.amazon.com.au/Adobe-Photoshop-Lightroom-Classic-Book/dp/0135447399/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2020 Oct 17, 2020

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Fortunately, the excellent section of Martin Evening’s book explaning the Sharpening settings is available as a free PDF excerpt. It’s nice that it’s still online, because it’s one of the best explanations out there:

http://www.photoshopforphotographers.com/pscs4/downloads/Cameraraw-sharpening.pdf

 

Another valuable reference is Victoria Bampton’s book Adobe Lightroom Classic — The Missing FAQ. I just looked at the Basic panel section and it’s very good. Her website is also a great resource.

 

Quick summary of the rest:

  • Exposure sets overall brightness.
  • Contrast applies a basic S-curve. I almost never use this because I usually want to set a custom curve in the Tone Curve panel.
  • Highlights and Shadows use recovery algorithms and automatic masking to get the most detail out of those tonal ranges. That makes them much different and often more effective than the traditional method of shaping the Tone Curve in the highlights and shadows.
  • Whites and Blacks set the lightest and darkest points in the image’s tonal range. If you see colors getting “nicer” when you move Blacks to the left, it could be because those colors are more saturated when darker, for example. If you set Whites and Blacks in too far, the other controls have less range to work with.

 

Texture, Clarity, and Sharpness all have to do with local contrast. Much of the difference between them is in what level of detail they address, or what frequency range if you think in terms of frequency separation sharpening:

  • Sharpness was there first. It addresses the finest (highest frequency) details. The book excerpt linked above explains the options.
  • Clarity was added next. It addresses low frequency (coarser) details, and is also focused on the midtones.
  • Texture was added recently, to address details in the frequency range between fine and coarse. Many experts say it works better as a local adjustment (paint it in where you need it), than as an overall adjustment.

 

Many experts work with sharpening and noise reduction at the same time.

 

Dehaze is a completely different thing. While at first glance it looks like a contrast/saturation adjustment, Julianne Kost of Adobe says “The Dehaze technology is based on a physical model of how light is transmitted, and it tries to estimate light that is lost due to absorption and scattering through the atmosphere.” It is best used sparingly, not as a substitute for properly adjusting contrast with the other options.

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