I’ve been without my computer for most of the week. I reinstalled Windows, which in itself is quite easy, but it takes time to get the rest of your configuration back up to speed. I thought I would take the opportunity to try out Lightroom 4, so I downloaded the 30 day trial. This is the first photo I have edited with the new version of Lightroom.
As always, we start with the exposure which I’ve included below.
Looking pretty good! No clipping on either side, lots of data on the right hand side of the graph… particularly impressive since this is a snowy scene which can often throw the cameras metering way off.
So what direction will we take this photo for editing? To me, it’s all about the eyes, and anything we can do to emphasize them will be a good thing.
I can’t say the framing is doing anything for me, but since the ears are very close to the top edge I don’t have a lot of cropping options. It’s not bad, and at least the ears haven’t been clipped off, so I’ll leave it alone.
This is not a colourful scene, so I’m going to go black and white with this one. Clicking “Black & White” on the treatment panel will take away the colour, but before we move, let’s take a look at the white balance.
The white balance looks a little off in the original photo – it’s a little bit cool – but since we’re shooting RAW it doesn’t matter, we can change it. But hang on, haven’t we just converted to black and white? Why do we need to adjust the white balance? Well, if you’ve never adjusted the white balance after converting one of your photos to black and white – you should try it. The colour information is still there underneath the surface, and most of your colour controls will affect the look of the black and white version. I took the white balance value to +16714.
The new Lightroom 4 basic panel makes it a little more convenient to adjust the contrast without going into the curves panel. In fact, I didn’t touch the curves panel in this edit which is particularly unusual because contrast matters a lot more for a black and white image.
An adjustment worthy of note is -49 clarity – which softens the whole image. You might be wondering why I would want to soften the whole image… the reason is because in the next step I’m going to paint in positive clarity around the facial features which will increase the contrast between the background and the things we want to focus the attention on.
As well as taking the clarity to +100, I increased the exposure to +0.52 too. Highlights to -100 prevents most of the lighter areas from turning pure white. Below you can see the areas I painted these adjustments.
The last thing to add was a post-crop vignette of -39. And that’s it – this week’s edit is finished. Click on the image below for a better view.
Thanks for reading. 🙂