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Evaluating images

From: Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop

Video: Evaluating images

One of the first steps in optimizing an image in my view, is to not even optimize the image at all. To not try to change the appearance of the image, but rather to evaluate the image and see whether or not its worth working with. And to get a sense of which types of adjustments you might want to apply. Let's take a look at this image for example. One of the things I'll do early on with many images. Is evaluate the histogram, we have a large number of bright pixels that's obviously the sky here. Now since this is a foggy day and we have some diffuse lighting, that might not be a problem but its something I'll want to pay attention to. And I also can see that the darkest values in the image don't go all the way down to black.

Evaluating images

One of the first steps in optimizing an image in my view, is to not even optimize the image at all. To not try to change the appearance of the image, but rather to evaluate the image and see whether or not its worth working with. And to get a sense of which types of adjustments you might want to apply. Let's take a look at this image for example. One of the things I'll do early on with many images. Is evaluate the histogram, we have a large number of bright pixels that's obviously the sky here. Now since this is a foggy day and we have some diffuse lighting, that might not be a problem but its something I'll want to pay attention to. And I also can see that the darkest values in the image don't go all the way down to black.

So that's something that I might want to keep in mind, possibly darkening up those dark values. I also like to evaluate the capture settings. In this case I can see that the image was captured with an ISO setting of 400. Which for the camera used in this case that's not a serious concern, at higher ISO settings, I might be concerned about noise. But at 400 ISO I'm not really worried about it. I can see that the aperture was F16, so I should have pretty depth of field front to back. And so I won't need to worry about any issues of soft focus for example at least I shouldn't.

A 125th of a second shutter speed. I should also have a sharp image with no motion. This image happens to have been captured on a tripod. So, that should certainly be the case. So, I think all things considered the settings look to be pretty good. I do want to pay careful attention to those brights. Making sure that I've got at least some texture or detail in the sky. Obviously it's going to be pretty bright. But I want to make sure that it's not totally blown out. I can also take a look at the overall sharpness of the image, and perhaps evaluate checking for dust spots and other blemishes. Just generally trying to get a sense of which sort of adjustments I might want to pay attention to for the image.

For a sharpness check, I'll work at the one to one zoom setting, so on the navigator, I'll click that one to one option. And then I can click and drag the box in the Navigator. In order to zoom around the image, and get a sense of whether or not the image is indeed sharp. And of course, in this case, it was obviously a bit hazy with fog so there may be some relatively soft detail. But it does look like the image is sharp. I'll even zoom into a four to one zoom, just to get a little bit better sense of it. And it looks like we have good detail here, I'm not too concerned about the detail level here, or the sharpness. This happens to be a relatively low-resolution image, and so I'm not going to see tremendous detail when I zoom in. But all things considered, it looks good.

And also, zooming in at that four to one or maybe even taking this up to an eight to one zoom setting. I'll check for any noise, and it looks like in this case there's some small indications of noise. I see a little bit of green and magenta in the wood here, for example. But overall it looks like the image is pretty clean, which is what I would expect considering the ISO setting was at 400. So, again by checking the histogram, checking those Capture settings you could go even into the Library module. And scroll through to check some of the other metadata values including the Exif settings.

If you feel that those would be helpful in evaluating the image. But then also using the Navigator to zoom in to varying degrees to check the image for sharpness, for detail, etcetera. Once you've taken the time to evaluate an image. You'll have a better sense of whether it's worth working with. And which specific adjustments you might want to apply.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop
Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop

34 video lessons · 1448 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 
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  1. 1m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
  2. 15m 9s
    1. Overview of the Develop module workflow
      3m 8s
    2. Evaluating images
      3m 26s
    3. Seeing a before-and-after view
      3m 40s
    4. Correcting mistakes with the History and Snapshot features
      4m 55s
  3. 20m 17s
    1. Starting with a Develop preset
      4m 9s
    2. White balance adjustment
      4m 8s
    3. Basic exposure controls
      3m 26s
    4. Highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks
      3m 15s
    5. Adding clarity to an image
      2m 15s
    6. Boosting colors with Vibrance and Saturation
      3m 4s
  4. 31m 39s
    1. Fine-tuning with the Tone Curve adjustment
      7m 22s
    2. Advanced color adjustments
      5m 5s
    3. Sharpening an image
      6m 33s
    4. The Graduated Filter tool
      5m 2s
    5. Painting adjustments into an image
      7m 37s
  5. 24m 11s
    1. Cleaning up blemishes
      5m 4s
    2. Cropping and straightening photos
      5m 55s
    3. Applying noise reduction
      3m 52s
    4. Lens correction adjustments
      6m 2s
    5. Removing red-eye
      3m 18s
  6. 18m 41s
    1. Creating virtual copies
      2m 52s
    2. Converting color into black and white
      3m 51s
    3. Adding a color tint
      2m 30s
    4. Split toning effects
      3m 20s
    5. Adding a vignette effect
      3m 56s
    6. Adding a film grain effect
      2m 12s
  7. 12m 31s
    1. Adjusting multiple images with Quick Develop
      2m 49s
    2. Duplicating the previous adjustment
      2m 38s
    3. Copying and pasting Develop settings
      3m 54s
    4. Synchronizing Develop settings
      3m 10s
  8. 17m 16s
    1. Basic Photoshop workflow
      5m 41s
    2. Stitching panoramas
      5m 1s
    3. Working with HDR images
      6m 34s

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