I’m starting to dive into the wonderful world of Photoshop. I was convinced that I would only use SOOC as I didn’t believe “processing” was part of the art. Then I started learning that the camera’s dynamic range is limited when comparing to that of the human eye, which adjusts based on contrast and for and is very dynamic compared with the sensor in a camera, which is status once the image is taken. With this in mind, cameras have roughly an 8-11 dynamic range whereas the human eye has upwards of 24 stops of dynamic range (each incremental stop of light is doubling in brightness). With that in mind, I searched out Lightroom and Photoshop. Lightroom seemed to be the go to, where I could adjust dynamic range, white balance, saturation, vibrance, noise reduction, sharpen, color cast, mask, dodge/burn, smooth, catalogue my shots; all with the ease of sliders. When will I ever need layers and masking? Well, Lightroom has served me well, and will continue to serve me well. But I’m just now beginning to unlock the magic of Photoshop. Tonight’s image is from a shoot I did 2 years ago in Malibu, California, of the pier. I originally edited in Lightroom, and looking back, I was pretty heavy handed with the sliders. I had cranked the sharpness up significantly; after all, if a little sharpness is good, wouldn’t a lot of sharpness make the images even sharper? Ummm, nope. Upon closer look, now that I’ve “grow” over the past couple of years, I can now see haloing around the edges, a week bit over the top in some other areas as well. Tonight was the first time I created a luminosity mask where you can edit based on brightness of pixels (like brightness/shadows are treated equally within similar brightness range and independently of other tones). This image was a bit heavier in the shadows, so the changes are dramatic, but I can definitely see the benefit. As when I first started out, my limited understanding is frustrating, but the enthusiasm and excitement of learning something new and starting to ‘visualize’ what it can do for my images has me very excited about where I’ll end up a year or two from now. In the meantime, tonight’s image was color corrected in photoshop, various distractions were removed ( a couple of people, planes streaking in the sky), and I used the luminosity masks for curve, hue, saturation adjustments. The other two images are SOOC and my initial Lightroom adjustment.
Lightroom Edit:SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera)