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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
Here I want to take a look at how we can use the Effects panel to add film grain to our photographs, and here we will be working with two different images, just to have a bit of fun. With this first photograph, let's go ahead and zoom into 100%, so we will go to this 1:1 View here, and then reposition the Navigator so that we can focus in on the important area of the image. Next, let's open up our Effects panel. Now, down beneath our Post-Crop Vignetting controls, we have the ability to add film grain. Here what I am going to do is exaggerate things so that we can deconstruct these controls.
When we increase the amount, you can see that a higher amount is a higher intensity of film grain. All right. Well, what about Size? A larger number here is actually a larger size of grain, a smaller number is going to be a smaller or more fine amount of grain. What about the Roughness? Well, less Roughness means more uniform grain; a higher amount of Roughness, you can see here there is more variation in that pattern. Let's reset this, press Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows, and click on Reset Grain.
Here what we might want to do is bring up our amount, modify the Size and Roughness until we have a nice look, adding just a bit of variation to the tonal qualities here. Press the Backslash key. There is our before and then after. And you know, adding film grain can be a ton of fun, because it can smooth out some transitions, especially if you have some really hot or bright highlights, or it can just add a little bit of an imperfection to the photograph. Now, do keep in mind that whenever you add this effect, it's also going to be in combination with other adjustments, like in the Basic panel.
For example, if I increase my contrast, you can see that the grain shows up in different ways, compared to when I decrease that. So just make sure to experiment a little bit as you work with these controls, and keep in mind that adding film grain is connected to the rest of your workflow. Speaking of that, let's look at one more image. Here we will click on this photograph, and what I am going to do is zoom out so we can evaluate the image. Well, let's say say that what we want do is create a bit more of a vintage effect here with this photo.
So in that case, I am going to bring up my Fill Light. Now, that is going to be problematic. It's going to introduce a bit of noise to the image, but I am okay with that, because again, I am going for something which is a bit more vintage. So I am just going to modify the exposure and whatnot here in color. Next, I will go to my B&W panel, and in the B&W panel I might modify this even further, again, just looking at trying to have some fun with this photograph. Well, what about adding some film grain? Let's go into that 1:1 view.
Here we can see the detail that we have to work with, and we will go down to the Effects panel. And this images is already a little bit soft, so what I will do then is increase my amount of grain, modify the overall size and the roughness, and I will play with these sliders together until I come up with an effect, or a look which I think might fit my overall vision for this photograph. Okay. Well, I am kind of liking that. I will go back to the Basic panel and modify my contrast, also my clarity, just keeping in mind that all of these sliders always work together to give us our overall look and feel.
Next here, we will zoom out. Another thing that I want to do is add some bignetting; it's just too bright around the edges. So let's scroll down, and we will scroll down to our Effects. And in the Effects, we will go ahead and darken up some of those edges, again, just looking to try to have some fun with this particular type of a look here. We will modify the roundness there and the feather and, again, just to try to come up with an interesting border or edge, which gives us a distinct look or feel. And here I am going to tinker a bit, trying to find an edge which might be fun with this photograph, just something that kind of darkens up the entirety of the edge there.
And I will control the midpoint as well, just pushing that off to the edge. I think that's kind of fun. All right. Next think I want to do is I want to add some tone. So here I will go to Split Toning, and in my shadows, I am going to bring up the saturation and try to find a nice deep orange or red type of a tone there. And perhaps a little bit of color in the highlights as well wouldn't hurt. And again, all I am looking to do here is just illustrate this idea that when we are creating Effects, it's using all of these controls together.
Last thing I want to do is press the M key in order to select the Graduated filter. I am going to click on the Exposure here, because what I want to do is modify that effect. So I will choose Exposure, and I am going to decrease that, and then click and drag across this area of the image, darkening that bright spot over there. I will also click and drag here in the foreground, darkening that up as well, and just control this amount. Now, the point here isn't to go into how we do all of this stuff and how we use all of these tools, because I am assuming at this point you already know how to do those things; rather, what I want to do is simply illustrate how we can add film grain to our photographs and then connect it with our larger workflow.
Well, here I think we have a pretty fun and interesting interpretation of this scene. Let's take a look at the before and after. Press the Backslash key. There is before and then press it again, and there is after. So as you start to work with the Effects panel, and in particular, as you start to work with film grain, experiment with some images that are a little bit more straightforward, like this photograph, and see how the film grain affects the image. But also, don't neglect to try some other creative variations of your photographs, because you never know what you might come up with, using these controls in combination with some of the other skills that you have when working on your photographs in Lightroom.
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