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Lightroom

SOME OF MY FAVS FROM 2016

Thought I would do a short post of my favorite images from the last year – have not done this in a while. For more info on photo adjustments, click on the image to go to Flickr where links to the original blogs are available. Hope you enjoy my favs!Image of the Veira WetlandsImage above is from the Viera Wetlands in Brevard County and used the Orton Effect.
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Image of a Malayan Tiger at the Jacksonville ZooThis beautiful Malayan Tiger was post-processed using the fabulous Topaz (for website link, go to my Tidbits Blog sidebar) Impression 2 filter. This is one of my favorite images created using Impression.
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Image of a painted pink roseImage of this peach rose is one that was painted in Photoshop with the mixer brushes, and the background was created in Corel Painter – then the layers were stacked in PS.
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Image from Shorpy's of a boy looking in a store window in DC cc 1922The original image was taken in Washington, DC, around 1922 was cropped and hand-tinted in Photoshop. I find it is really fun to hand-tint old images found at Shorpy.com.
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Image of the Flagler Kenan Pavillion at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, FloridaThis is the Flagler Kenan Pavillion at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida. It is one of the lightest, brightest rooms I have seen and is on the IntraCoastal Waterway. This effect was created with the no longer available Lucis Pro 6.0.9 Photoshop plug-in – too bad that in 2016 it finally became a reasonable purchase and then it discontinued.
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Painted image of St. Trinity Church in Belarus Image is of St. Trinity Church as seen from the Mir Castle in Belarus. This image was painted in Photoshop using Jack Davis’s painting action.
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Image of three painted birdsThese three painted Florida birds are presented in a Lightroom template with the background added in Photoshop. The birds were all painted in Photoshop and the bird backgrounds painted in Corel Painter.
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Composite image of Rudolph the Raindeer and a Native American little boyThis image is an example of a composite that integrated several elements into a story.
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Image of several ants on a dandelionImage taken with a LensBaby Composer on my camera which gives a very lovely soft effect.
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Flowers created using Paintstorm StudioThese flowers were painted in Paintstorm Studio, a really nice painting program.

Next week I plan to continue presenting all the Fun Tips and Tricks that can be done in Photoshop with a little painting mixed in!…..Digital Lady Syd


HOW TO CREATE 2017 CALENDARS IN BOTH LIGHTROOM AND PHOTOSHOP

2017 January Calendar example This week I thought I would give you a quick tutorial on how to create basic calendars using your own photos. A calendar can be so personal and might be the perfect last-minute gift. Recently I blogged about how to use templates in both Lightroom and Photoshop, and these techniques use very similar steps to create calendars. (See my How to Use Lightroom’s Print Templates to Display Your Images blog and How to Use a Photoshop Template blog.)

The first thing that needs to be done is to download the free calendars. First Ed Weaver at Red Photographic site distributes the calendars every year along with the wonderful Lightroom Print templates. Also Calendar Labs.com has different formats that can be downloaded as Word documents – see the Photoshop Calendars section below on how to convert these to JPEG files. Either site’s calendars can be used in both programs.

LIGHTROOM CALENDARS

Matt Kloskowski (a former Photoshop Guy) created a recent blog that basically covers how to get the templates into your program  – check out his Free Lightroom Calendar Preset and Templates blog. It is important to understand that the JPG calendars are just that – JPGs and need to be Imported into Lightroom just like any other image. Therefore, they need to be placed in a folder probably with your images so you know where to find them. The templates also need to be imported into Lightroom – the files have an extension of .Irtemplate. In the Lightroom Print module’s Template Browser, create a new category called 2017 Calendar Templates – then right click on the folder and import these templates. There are 11 being imported.

The image above used the Calendar 8 1:2 X 11 1 month template. Matt suggests creating a New Collection called 2017 Calendar Templates. From the Develop module, select all the 2017 Calendar JPGs and drag them into this collection. Now go through your images and choose ones you would like to include in your calendar. The collection makes is very easy to add the images and the calendars into the templates once back in the Print module. Highlight the new Calendar collection  and the Film Strip at the bottom will show all the items in the collection. Click on a template in the Template Browser to chose one. Just drag images into the openings of the template you have selected. To adjust the images inside the openings, must CTRL+drag image to fit – this is because the template is a Custom Package. My 12-month calendar did not look right when selected. If this happens, click on the Page Setup button and go into your printer’s Properties. You probably need to set the paper size to the size in shown in the template description – my printer does not have all the sizes shown so the standard 8 1/2 inches X 11 inches was used for the these examples and set to Borderless Printing to get the template openings to look correct. A background color or Inner Stroke can be added. Instead of printing right from Lightroom, I like to go to the Print Job section and choose Print to: JPEG file. Press the Print to File and save the file as a JPEG. Now more adjustments can be made in Photoshop if needed.
Image of a 12-month 2017 CalendarBelow is a different example of how to use the templates in Lightroom. This calendar used the Custom Center template in Lightroom Templates folder. Note that the heading colors are different from the gray tones in the original calendar JPEGs – this can be done by first selecting the calendar needed, then enter the Develop module, create a Virtual Copy (by right clicking on the image) and changing the color – this time the Split Toning panel was used to do this. The Virtual Copy can be dragged onto the template just like the original image. I just kept going back to the Print module and seeing if the resulting color matched nicely. Also, on the Calendars, I removed the bottom lines by just adjusting the cells – then used the CTRL+drag inside to further adjust calendar in the cell.
Image of a January/February 2017 Calendar

PHOTOSHOP CALENDAR

It is actually easier and there is more creative license to do calendars in Photoshop. First create a document that is the size you want the calendar to be – I used 8.5 inches X 11 inches again. Now bring in the calendar. The calendars from Ed Weaver are fine or download from Calendar Labs.com for some different formats. If using the Word document calendar, just open it up in Word, right click on the calendar itself, and choose Copy. Go into the Photoshop file and right click or CTRL+V to Paste the calendar into the document. Now Free Transform (CTRL+T) to adjust size and to position. If Copy is not one of the options in Word (as in the 12-month calendar which is in a table format), need to right click and choose Select -> Table – then right click once calendar is highlighted and click on Copy. It will now Paste into Photoshop. Next place an image for the top of the calendar – or just paint in a New Layer above the calendar. New Layers can be placed above the Background layer and fancy brushes can be used to paint behind it. There are now all kinds of possibilities for creating beautiful calendars for each month or for yearly ones.

Image of a January 2017 Calendar with Lions showcasedAbove the background was painted behind and above the image to give the whole month a snowy feeling – this might be a little hard to read, but it was fun to create. These are just my lion buddies that look so good wherever I put them. Used the Pretty Action”s Magic Dust brush again, some of Aaron Blaise Canvas Texture brushes, and a couple of Grut’s FX Cloud brushes (they don’t have to be used for clouds!). The image below is another example of creating the Calendar in PS and just dragging in the calendars and images. A layer mask was placed on the calendar and using one of the canvas texture brushes again, parts were lightly painted out in the calendar. Then the calendar was duplicated and taken into Color Range where the white was removed – press CTRL+J and just the numbers were shown on the layer – a Layer Styles stroke was placed around it. Then the layer was set to Color Burn at 64% so it shows up, but is slightly transparent. The flower image was taken in the Bahamas – Corel Particleshop was applied using the Cluster Brush to add some bright lights. Also the Magic Dust brush was used to add more of a magical feel. Really fun!January 2017 Calendar Hope this was easy to understand. It is a lot of fun to create your own calendars – I like to do this every year. Just experiment around and you should be able to get the hang of it. Enjoy the holidays!…..Digital Lady Syd


HOW TO USE LIGHTROOM’S PRINT TEMPLATES TO DISPLAY YOUR IMAGES

Images of Maui from a HelicopterThis week I thought I would discuss using the built-in templates in the Print module of Lightroom. They can be a little tricky. I listened to some videos recently from Lynda.com by Julianne Kost called Introduction to Photo Compositing. She used a Lightroom Print module diptych template for her images before saving them as JPEG files in the Print To field. I just sort of improvised and used a canned LR default called Custom 2 over 1 in the Template Browser, which is an example of a Custom Package Layout Style. Then adjusted each image cell to fit the image selected in the Filmstrip at the bottom. The low original coastline image was more square than that shown – just used Photoshop’s Content-Aware Scale to stretch it out while protecting the coastline. The background in the template was a beach texture created in Corel Painter with some grunge brush strokes added on top – had to select the white border and remove it before adding the texture. The Maui images above were all processed using similar filters – the now free Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 set to Luminosity blend mode and then Topaz (see website link at my Tidbits Blog sidebar) ReStyle. Pretty simple workflow.

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Image of three Florida birdsHere is another image LR template showing my painted birds that used a rather unique set up for presenting your photos. I don’t know why, but I like the vertical strip look. In PS, a different texture was used for this background. Again, selected the white border and added a layer mask. Then applied the mask to just leave the images that can then be placed above the texture layer.

Now for the Layout Style template issue! I find these print module templates not as easy to use as it should be. After playing around with the two templates shown above, I have learned that there are differences between each style and how you load the images. Here are some issues to be aware of:

  • Sometimes the images are not in the same folders. If this happens a temporary new collection needs to be created so all the images appear in the filmstrip together. The Quick Collection does not work, must be in a created one. The Filmstrip is how you add the images to your templates so this is a necessary step. You can remove the collection when you are done printing or saving the final image as a JPEG.
  • A lot depends on whether you are using a Single Image/Contact Sheet template or a Custom Package. Depending on which one is being used determines how the images can be added to the template. If you cannot drag images in individually from the filmstrip, the template is a Single Image/Contact Sheet template. More on this below.
  • Unfortunately, the size of the images cannot be increased or reduced to adjust inside the cells – in other words no Free Transform to adjust image in cell – the aspect ratio is set. The work around would be in the Develop module to create a Virtual Copy of the size or part of image you would like to use and then select it in the Filmstrip using the Print Module.

For Single Image/Contact Sheet templates, the limitation is that the images can only be added based upon the order of the images in the Filmstrip – must select all of the images at once in the Filmstrip to add. Therefore, if you do not like the order, you will have to rename the images to set the order. When using this type of template, the images can be adjusted inside the the individual image cells by just dragging inside them. The Zoom to Fit can be checked to make it fit the cell, but the size cannot be adjusted otherwise. Press CTRL+click on the image to deselect image to remove from template.

For Custom Package templates, the images can be dragged into any cell and in any order. If a template will not let you add another image, that means a Single Image/Contact Sheet Layout Style template has been selected. Unfortunately there are not as many options to create a template when the Custom Package  is selected. There are no Layout Margin or Cell Spacing cells so all the image cells have to be lined up using the Rulers checkbox in the Rulers, Grid & Guides section. This can be tedious to do, but worth the time so that the images can be added in any order. Start with Cells section and press the Clear Layout button – then Add to Package and click the 2 X 2.5 button, then start adjusting the size of the cell to taste by dragging the sides or corners. To adjust the image position inside the cells, must CTRL+drag on image or else the actual photo cell moves. To delete a cell, just press the BACKSPACE key. To duplicate a cell, press ALT+drag to it to a new position. If

Below you can see the difference between the two major Layout Styles. Luckily in this case you can get very similar results, but it is harder to set up the Custom Package style. The top screen shot used a Custom Package layout and the bottom one used the Single Image/Contact Sheet layout. If you would like to see the preset settings more clearly, click on each image to see settings in Flickr:

Screenshot of a Single Image/Contact Sheet for 3 Tall preset

Image of a 3-Tall Custom Package preset After images are lined correctly, go to the Print Job and change Print to: from Printer to JPEG File. The image can then be brought into Photoshop where the background can be changed and text added. Pretty easy at this point.

In my Showing Off Your Images with Lightroom blog a while back, there are several more examples of using LR templates. For more info on how to create your own Print Template presets, Scott Kelby did a really nice job in his Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (any version) Book for Digital Photographers, “Creating Custom Layouts Any Way You Want Them” chapter. Here he goes into more detail on how to make several different creative effects using the Custom Package layout style. This module has not changed since Lightroom 3 at the time of this blog. I really like templates. It is too bad it is so confusing as to how to get these nice effects. I am surprised Adobe has not updated the Print module to incorporate some easier ways to add photos and adjust them. Hopefully that will be part of the next update. Anyway, it was a lot of fun creating some different ways to show my images. Have a good week…..Digital Lady Syd


HOW TO CREATE A SPLIT TONING TONE CURVE IN LIGHTROOM OR CAMERA RAW

Image of a pirate on a kiddie ride at Daytona BeachShowing just a couple tips for Lightroom and Camera Raw that I learned a while ago from my favorite Photoshop Guru, Jack Davis. This image is of a Pirate that sits atop a kiddie ride at the Boardwalk in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Desaturate and Add Back Localized Color

The first trick is to desaturate the image setting all the Saturation (SAT) sliders in the HSL section of Lightroom to 0. Then they were adjusted to show just a hint of any colors I wanted to show up in the image, so in this case, Red was set to -81, Orange -61, Yellow -54 and Aqua -85. All the other sliders were set to -100 so no color showed through at all.

Next the Adjustment Brush was opened and 2 pins were painted to darken the colors in localized areas. The reds and blues were saturated more by setting the brush to Clarity 77, Saturation 100, and Sharpness 83 on the Pirate. The brush Flow was only 70 and Density 61. Also added another point for some less intense color in the Pelican picture and boats setting the Saturation to 53. On the last pin point the Saturation was set to -100 to remove extraneous reds and yellows in the background. Jack Davis does a wonderful job of tinting a photo using this technique where he starts with all the Saturation sliders at -100. Check out most of his video classes on Creative Live. As an aside note, if you wanted more of the same effect created with the Adjustment Brush, you can always add a second pin and repaint with the same settings the area to double-up the effect.

Split Toning Effect Using Tone Curves

Next a Split Toning effect was applied using the Tone Curve to get the pretty vintage blue color in the image. This is a really neat section to use for split toning that you do not come across very often. Once again Jack Davis, in his wonderful Lightroom 5 Training (Day 3) videos for Creative Live, used these settings to achieve this look. In Lightroom, click the little icon on the bottom right of the section to make sure it shows the word Channel: RGB under the curve and not Region sliders (Parametric Curve tab in ACR) so you will be able to access the individual channels. This is the Point Curve tab in Camera Raw. Open the Channel drop-down field to select the Red Channel and Green Channel and create a very soft S curve by clicking in the grid and dragging. By using these settings for the Blue Channel, you are taking the blues out of the highlights and darkening the shadows.  (My settings for this Curves preset are: Red points are roughly set to bottom left corner, 26.7/31.6%, line goes directly through the center, 73.3/76.1%, and top right corner; Green points are set to bottom left corner, 32.1/17.3%, through the center point, 74.9/76.1%, and upper right corner; and Blue Channel set to a straight line that starts at 0/21.6% for left side and ends at 100/85.1% on right side.) In Lightroom there are two ways to save the Tone Curve settings: Save it down as a regular Develop preset by clicking the (+) sign on upper left corner of the Presets Panel – name it and only check Tone Curve in the dialog; and the second method is to be sure you are in the Point Curve screen (icon on) and the Point Curve field drop down should show the word Custom. Open list and at the bottom select Save and name – now it will be added to drop-down list for use again. If you are having trouble finding where to put these curve points on the grid in Lightroom, it is much easier to do in Camera Raw by entering the numbers using the Input and Output fields in the Point Curve tab. To save as a preset, go to the pop-out in upper right, select Save Settings and choose Point Curve, Name it, and it appears in the Curve drop-down choices, and not just in Photoshop Camera Raw but also in Lightroom! Pretty cool and it is a little easier to do this in Photoshop than in Lightroom. I hope a future Lightroom update will add the Input and Output fields to this section.

Opening Lightroom Settings in Photoshop as a Smart Object

Since there was a lot going on in Lightroom with this image, I decided to bring it into Photoshop as a Smart Object in case further editing was needed. By right clicking on the Image in Lightroom, and choosing Edit In -> Open as a Smart Object in Photoshop, the photo will contain all the Lightroom settings. In Adobe Bridge, highlight image and right click – select Open in Camera Raw. When finished with edits, hold the SHIFT Key and press the Open Object button for image to be a Smart Object in Photoshop with saved settings. Of course in Photoshop CC, the image can be first opened in Photoshop, then right click on image and select Convert to Smart Object. Go to Filter -> Camera Raw filter and the edits will also be saved to this layer. Screenshot of image from LightroomIf you look in the upper right corner and behind the pirate, you can see some distracting reds that were missed when painting out with the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom. By double-clicking on the little icon inside the Layer icon , the image can be reopened with all the Lightroom settings still available. If editing using using the Adjustment Brush, the settings, (that is the Size, Feather, Flow and Density sliders) do not carry over between programs. Whatever the brush was set to the last time it was used in Photoshop will still be there, not the ones used in Lightroom. Therefore if the results do not look right, look at those brush sliders! In this case the pin point that had the Saturation slider set to -100 was clicked on so these areas could be further edited – otherwise a new pin point will be dropped down. When finished editing, just click the OK button and Photoshop will automatically update the image to the new Camera Raw settings.

The last step was to add a Black and White Adjustment Layer to check the focal point (the pirate) and do a little adjusting with the sliders to get his colors just right. The layer opacity was set to Luminosity blend mode where the layer mask was filled with black (CTRL+I in mask) and just the parts needing adjustment were painted back. That was it.

I hope everyone will try out this some of these little tips – Lightroom and ACR are so powerful! And for my American friends, hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Can You Get a Painting Look With a Photoshop Action? Jack Davis Can!
How to Use a Black & White Adjustment Layer to See Contrast in an Image


HOW TO CREATE A BLOWN OUT EFFECT PRESET IN LIGHTROOM OR CAMERA RAW

Image of a deserted Roller Coaster at Daytona BeachJust doing a fun quick blog this week on a Lightroom (Camera Raw) preset I created several years ago and rediscovered. This is an image of how I envisioned this roller coaster looking at Daytona Beach as we move toward the cooler months.

This image was first processed from Adobe Bridge in Adobe Camera Raw using an old preset of mine that uses the Camera Calibration Process 2010, so the new sliders were not present. It was one of my favorites and it was called Colorful Blown Out. (For an example of original use, see my blog Colorful Blown Out Look Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw Preset. The download links do not work anymore, so see Bird image below for the original preset settings.) I like this preset as it makes it easy to separate your subject from the background so the Color Range Command can be used. By adding a texture underneath, some really interesting and nice effects can be achieved. The Roller Coaster image uses the preset with the old 2010 Process and sliders. See end of blog for more post-processing info and how the Color Range selection was created.

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Image of Daytona Beach Another image from Daytona Beach near the end of summer. Mainly locals enjoying a few final days. Well, the same blown out preset for Lightroom 3 was used on the first image, but this time I updated it to Camera Calibration Process 2012. Click on the image below to see the settings used for the Basic and Luminance sections which make up most of the preset. The other Sections were Sharpening set to Lightroom default of Amount 25, Radius 1.0, Detail 25 and Mask 0. The Effects Post-Crop Vignetting was set to Style Color Priority, Amount +22, Midpoint 28, Roundness -14, and Feather 4. At this point the settings were saved as a preset. The Exposure and Vignette settings definitely need to be changed to suit the image, and possibly all of them – it is just a starting point. All these same settings are the same in Camera Raw as well. I do find I prefer the original preset more than the 2012 version created with the new sliders. My advice is to try both preset versions.

Screenshot of settings for Lightroom presetIt is a pretty high key look. In case you cannot see these settings, here they are: Exposure +2.39, Contrast +96, Highlights -28, Shadows +28, Whites 0, Blacks +10, Clarity +34, Vibrance +70, and Saturation 0. For more post-processing info, see end of blog.

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Image of a Roseate Spoonbill This rather comical image of a Roseate Spoonbill from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery used the original 2010 process. If you want to try it out, here are the Basic Section settings: Exposure +1.61, Recovery 0, Fill Light +56, Blacks 3, Brightness +50, Contrast +97, Clarity +68, Vibrance +70, and Saturation 0; Post Crop Vignetting set to Highlight Priority, Amount +36, Midpoint +54, Roundness -15, and Feather +76; Luminance set to Reds -39, Yellows -36 and Greens -25; and default Sharpening settings. These also need to be adjusted some to get the correct effect, but it is a good start. And lots of people prefer the Recovery and Fill sliders and use the older 2010 process with their old favorite presets often. See this short video by Matt Kloskowski, one of the best Lightroom gurus, called Lightroom’s Secret Shadow Slider Trick. The Fill In slider is quite high in the 2010 process versus the lower amount of Shadow in 2012. It is really great that Adobe lets you use the older sliders so you can still use some of your favorite presets.

Hope you try this effect, it is actually pretty nice on some images. Look forward to the coming months with everyone! Have another good week!…..Digital Lady Syd

Image Info:

Image 1: Info on finishing this photo is as follows. The Roller Coaster image was opened as a Smart Object in Photoshop where it was duplicated. This layer was rasterized to form one regular layer (right click on words in layer and choose Rasterize). This regular layer was taken into Select -> Color Range, choose Highlights, and clicked the Invert check box to select the roller coaster and not the sky. Next press CTRL+J to put selection on a layer of its own. Next several texture were tried out underneath to see what would give an interesting back effect. This time I used two of my painted textures and the Blend If sliders to get the colorful result. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz (for website link, see link at my Tidbits Blog) Lens Effects Dual Tone Red to Yellow preset was used as a starting point, then sliders tweaked to get the effect I liked. A Black and White Adjustment Layer was added on top to see where my focus was going. By adjusting these sliders and setting the Adjustment Layer to Luminosity blend mode, the bright detail in the center were emphasized and where the image focal point is. The layer mask was inverted to black (CTRL+I in mask) and just the focal area was painted back in. On another stamped layer, Nik Viveza 2 was used to darken the edges a little. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added as a last step on top.

Image 2: Therefore, it was taken into Photoshop to add a few more tweaks. The Liquify Filter was used to slim down several of the beach-goers. On a stamped layer Topaz Adjust was applied using Topaz Adjust’s Painting Venice preset (one of my favorite Adjust presets) with changes to Transparency (0.57) and Warmth (0.17). On top one of my Corel Painter beach textures was added to soften and give the foreground a little more color, and was set to Normal blend mode at 53% layer opacity. A layer mask was added and the people were painted back a little to make them show up better. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added as a last step. Pretty easy and lots of fun to do! I just love all the activity at the beach!

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
I Didn’t Know That! Converting Lightroom Preset to Adobe Camera Raw Preset


HOW TO USE THE DEHAZE SLIDER IN LIGHTROOM AND CAMERA RAW

Image of a View from Edinburgh Castle in ScotlandOriginally I thought there was not too much to discuss about the new Dehaze slider feature when it was released for Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC2015 in Camera Raw version 9.1. Now that it has been around a while, there are a few things that should be addressed. The image above of a view taken from Edinburgh Castle in Scotland is a perfect example of how this slider can really make an image pop without much manipulation. Below is the image as it came into Lightroom as a Camera Raw file. Original Camera Raw image taken from Edinburgh Castle in ScotlandAs you can see the clouds were really blown out in the original along with a real flat look, which RAW files tend to be. There were just a couple things done: the Dehaze slider (found in Lightroom CC’s Effects Panel or Photoshop CC 2015’s Camera Raw’s fx Panel) was set to +76; the Sharpen Tool Amount was increased to sharpen the whole image a little; the Noise Reduction Luminance slider was set to 16; and an Adjustment Brush was used on the left foreground trees as they were too dark compared to the ones on the right (the Shadows were opened up, the Contrast reduced, and 1/2 stop of Exposure was added to blend these trees into the others}. Nothing was done in Photoshop to this image. I really like what just a simple Dehaze adjustment  can do to make this a beautiful image and what I remember.

Julieanne Kost, the Adobe Evangelist, says in her blog that Dehaze 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.” She says to adjust your White Balance first, before using the Dehaze slider. If you are afraid that you may be clipping the blacks, press ALT+drag the Dehaze slider and watch the image to see when the black pops in. Then adjust the Basic Panel sliders like the Shadow and Vibrance sliders. If using this slider from Photoshop CC2015’s Camera Raw filter, it can be applied as a Smart Object (Smart Filter-same thing).

Ben Wilmore, the Photoshop guru, said to adjust the White Balance after using the Dehaze slider first. Also Blake Rudis, another Photoshop expert, suggests using it as a first step if there is any haze in your image, so that is my workflow. The Dehaze slider can introduce a color cast, especially with hazy skies. This needs to be fixed after setting the slider.

It has been suggested that this slider works well with cityscapes, as above. Also it works well with underwater images, as in the Manatees image. The turtle shot below uses it as more of a creative slider to add some haze to the background of the image. It would be nice if you could add this effect using an Adjustments Brush or Graduated filter.

DEHAZE PROBLEMS

As mentioned before, it can add color casts, especially blue, in the shadows because the ground bounces the cool outdoor sky light up onto your objects. Sometimes it exaggerates artifacts as in small white highlights and dust specs. Ben Wilmore suggested three ways to correct for these issues.

  • Change the White Balance Temp or Tint sliders in the Basic Panel, or use an Adjustment Brush with the Temp/Tint sliders set to correct the color cast, and then paint in where correction is needed. Try to adjust in the direction of the opposite color (for example, if too much blue from water or sky, then add some yellow; too much green in underwater shot, then add magenta).
  • Use the Split Toning Panel. With Hue slider look for the opposite color (as above) to use in the Shadows or the Highlight areas, and then adjust the Saturation for how much color effect you need.
  • Use the HSL Panel and go to the Saturation sliders and lower the incorrect color.

These are all pretty easy fixes, and it depends on the image as to what works best – sometimes all three will need to be used.

Image of turtles in a bowl.
This shot was for Bob, my son’s long past turtle, and the humble beginnings these creatures have. These turtles were being sold in a store at the beach and I actually felt sorry for them – they were so crowded in this little bowl. The original RAW file is shown below. I decided to try adding haze to this photo to draw focus to the front turtles since there was way too much color and too many turtles in the image.  This time the Dehaze slider was set to -67 before the Basic sliders and the Adjustment Brush were used.

Camara Raw image of Turtles Once the haze was added, the Adjustment Brush was used to remove the haze off the few turtles in the front, and yet leave the effect alone for the distance. It worked very nicely. See the brush settings used and the red overlay brush strokes in screenshot below. By varying the brush Flow amount, the effect can be removed more lightly from parts of the image. The Temp and Tint sliders were adjusted along with an increase in Saturation to help recover the brightness in the foreground turtles.
Image of Overlay applied with Adjustment Brush in Lightroom
I did get a little of the white blown-out artifacting on the foreground turtle’s back. In Photoshop, Topaz (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) Detail 3 and Nik Viveza 2 were used to add some detail and brownish tones back into his shell since I think the patterning in the shells is the interesting part of this image.

Image of Manatees at SeaWorld-OrandoThe Manatees above seemed to totally enjoy watching everybody take pictures of them while visiting their exhibit. The RAW image is shown below so you can see the color cast, noise and bright highlights. Image of Camera Raw file of Manatees at SeaWorld Orlando

The Dehaze slider was set to +78, the White Balance was changed with the Temp slider set towards yellow and Tint towards the magenta. Then a little Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Clarity, and Vibrance changes. Next some HSL changes using the Luminance and Saturation sliders to tone down the greens some more. The Split Toning Highlights and Shadows were also added to give the highlights and shadows some corrected color. In Photoshop the Spot Healing Brush was used extensively to remove the little spots everywhere that were in the water – very time consuming. A Noise Reduction filter was used with the layer opacity set back to 75% so as not to remove all of the grain interest. Since the reflections were so bright at the top of the image and drew the eye up, a black to transparent gradient was applied to a New Layer. A layer mask was added and the manatees were painted back in so the focus is on them. I found it not as easy to use the Dehaze slider with the underwater image, but it definitely sharpened up the details so you can see the manatees more clearly.

LIGHTROOM 6.1 WORK AROUND

This slider apparently is not without its controversy. This feature is in the latest update of Lightroom CC, but it was not included in the Lightroom 6.0 original release. Apparently the programs are identically, except the Dehaze feature is not turned on in Lightroom 6.0. Prolost’s website has some free presets that will allow you to use the Dehaze slider effects – I do not have this issue so I do not know how accurate the results will be, but worth a try. Also, there is no guarantee that if Lightroom 6.0 is updated, these presets can still be used.

LIGHTROOM/CAMERA RAW EXTRAS

If you would like to download the new Lightroom CC/6.0 Manual, here is the link to Adobe’s pdf file as it is a little hard to find. Also I just learned that “Adobe provides backwards compatibility for the latest cameras for free in Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, and CS6 as well as Lightroom 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, through the Adobe DNG Converter. With this tool, you can easily convert camera-specific raw files from supported cameras to a more universal DNG raw file.” Therefore, if you bought a new camera, you will be able to open the files up in the older versions of both Lightroom and Photoshop’s ACR – no feature updates, but at least your programs are not unusable.

Well hope you enjoyed this blog – a pretty simple slider that seems to give some big results to the images you are processing. A lot of people are really liking the effects. Until next time, have a good one!…..Digital Lady Syd


HOW TO GET A LOCALIZED BLUR IN LIGHTROOM OR ADOBE CAMERA RAW

Image of Scott Monument taken from Edinburgh Castle in ScotlandI recently ran across an article on how to get a nice depth-of-field effect using the localized tools (Graduated Filter, Adjustment Brush and/or Radial Filter) in Lightroom (or Adobe Camera Raw) without going into Photoshop to apply a Gaussian Blur or Field Blur. This technique is so basic, but it is easy to forget that you can do this quickly to your image without the use of Photoshop! The image above of the Scott Monument as taken from Edinburgh Castle in Scotland is a good example of how you can drive the focus of your image very easily by just using Lightroom or ACR.

I was reminded of this little trick in a short Martin Evening Peachpit article where he explained that by stacking the Sharpness and Clarity settings, you can increase or decrease your depth of field in an image. First do your regular Lightroom or ACR changes. To get the soft localized blurring as shown in the background and the foreground above, a Graduated Filter was opened using these settings – Sharpness set to -100 and Clarity to -30. By applying the Graduated Filter three times to the sky area, twice to left bottom corner of the image, and twice to right side of the image, a pretty nice blur was created leaving the center sharp. Since the spire of the monument was too blurred, the Adjustment Brush was opened up and the spire painted over with the Brush sharpness set to +100 and the Clarity to +30 using two different points to add the sharpness back to that area. Also some more localized blur was added with a new Brush mask to the background around the monument and the left foreground trees. All in all a pretty easy way to accentuate the focus point in an image. Martin does mention that after so many applications of the settings, there will be no change. Also he recommends viewing your image at 1:1 view to see the results accurately. After using the Graduated Filter on this image, it was opened in Photoshop and Topaz (see sidebar at Tidbits Blog for website link) ReStyle’s Dutch White Smog preset was selected to finish up the post-processing – thought it gave a pretty close representation to what Scotland looked like to me.
Image of Hogwarts School at Universal Studios OrlandoHogwarts School at Universal Studios Orlando in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the image shown above. It used exactly the same principal as the first image with blurring the foreground area but sharpening the school to draw focus to that area. I am finding this technique seems to work best on landscape images. I tried it on a portrait and had trouble keeping the skin looking smooth – other techniques would work better in that case. In Lightroom some basic straightening and sliders were applied. Then 6 Graduated Filters were used on the trees in the image. Next Seim Effects PW4 Sampler Tint 81A Warming preset was applied before taking the image into Photoshop. Seim offers this preset sampler free at his website – I really like the presets he has created. This may seem counter-intuitive, but Topaz Detail 3 was used to sharpen up the the image – a black mask was added and only the school was painted back, therefore leaving the trees still slightly blurred. This step could have been done in Lightroom with an Adjustment Brush set to a large amount of sharpening. A Camera Raw Radial filter was added so the eye is further drawn up to the school, which could also have been done in Lightroom. Last step was adding my SJ Thin Double Edge Frame – this is the only step that would need to be done in Photoshop. Image of an old castle-like building in BelarusThe above is an interesting castle-like old building in the countryside of Belarus – I can’t help but wonder what this structure was years ago! This building drove me crazy trying to get it to look straight – I just don’t think it is a straight building but I did my best with the Adaptive Wide Angle filter (see my blog How to Use the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter). Clouds were added using my free Cloud Brushes 1 and 11 set to 32% layer opacity. Last step involved applying Topaz ReStyle Cream and Plum preset (my favorite preset for this plug-in).

This blurring effect is a great technique to use if you do not want to go into Photoshop to finish up the image. I believe the best way to do this is by applying the Gradient Tool several times and then going back in with an Adjustment Brush set to the opposite settings to remove the effect in localized areas, also several times if needed. And don’t forget the same settings can also be used with the Radial Filter and several areas can be selected. This is a great quick trick to add to your Lightroom (ACR)-Photoshop arsenal of tools to speed up your workflow. The same principles apply when using any of the localized tool settings. Give this a try and see what you think!…..Digital Lady Syd