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In this workshop digital imaging guru Tim Grey focuses on the Develop module of Adobe Lightroom 4. Starting with an overview of the image optimization workflow in Lightroom, Tim walks you through the process of evaluating your images and deciding what adjustments you need to make. He teaches you how to use the Develop module's presets to achieve quick results, as well as how to apply your own adjustments, from simple exposure and color adjustments to advanced options like the Tone Curve and the Graduated Filter tool. Learn techniques for cleaning up your images, applying creative adjustments, and duplicating adjustments across multiple images. Finally, get some tips for integrating Lightroom and Photoshop to create panoramas and high dynamic range images.
By their nature, the lenses we use for photography bend light. Sometimes that bending can be a problem and we end up with a distorted appearance in the image. At other times our perspective relative to the subject can also add to that distortion. Fortunately, Lightroom enables us to compensate for those issues. On the right panel in the Develop Module, if we scroll down toward the bottom, we can find the Lens Correction section. And there are two ways to work with the Lens Correction section. We can use the Profile option which will apply automated adjustments that are aimed at compensating for the behavior of the lens. Or we can use the Manual option where we can exercise a little bit more control over the result.
We'll start off with the Profile option. If I turn on the Enable Profile Corrections check box, then we can adjust the settings for the compensation, for that lens correction. In may cases based on Metadata, the Make, Model, and Profile will be found automatically. But if not, you can also choose from those options, for example, which camera was used to capture the image and which lens was used as well. This image happens to have been captured with an iPhone. And so, we can apply a Lens Profile Correction to the image based on the behavior of that particular camera, in this case, a camera built into a cell phone.
If you turn the Enable Profile Corrections off and on, you'll see that there's a bit of an adjustment to the image. We have both a Vignetting Adjustment and a Distortion Adjustment. And so, you can see, especially down toward the bottom edge of the image, some change between the before and after. We can fine tune the amount of those corrections, both for the Distortion Correction by moving the Distortion slider left and right as well as the Vignetting Adjustment. And we can also compensate for Chromatic Aberrations simply by turning on the Remove Chromatic Abberation check box. This will cause Chromatic Abberation in the image based on the lens behavior to be removed.
But as you can see with all of these adjustments, these automated controls for lens correction, we are not seeing a very strong effect within the image. And this particular image shows some rather strong distortion. For those type of situations, we can go to the Manual Controls and transform the appearance of the image. The Distortion slider allows us to compensate for Barrel or Pin Cushion Distortion. We can use the grid that displays while we're adjusting that slider to help us fine tune to get the best effect. Right about there, for example, we start to see some straightening of the horizontal lines.
It looks like maybe the vertical lines are still a little skewed, but I will wait until I have applied some additional adjustments to make a final decision there. I can adjust the vertical perspective, so in this case, I was looking upward toward the subject, for example, and so we have little bit of Perspective Distortion. The window is getting narrower up at the top than it was at the bottom. I can use the Vertical slider in order to essentially tilt that image toward or away from me. And again, using that Grid display to help us judge when we have the best adjustment applied to the image.
Right about there looks to be pretty good. We also have an adjustment for Horizontal Distortion. This is effectively as though we were tilting the image left or right. For this image, I don't think we have to concern ourselves with Horizontal Distortion much if at all. Well, that looks to be pretty good, and that's a value of 0. So obviously, not too much of an issue for this photo. We can also rotate the image. I don't think in this case that's necessary. But if it were neccesarry, we can drag left or right in order to rotate the image to straighten up those horizontal and vertical lines, for example.
Now, you'll notice that the adjustments I've applied have caused the image to be warped in such a way that we're seeing some gray background areas. And so, we need to effectively crop the image to remove those areas from the photo. And it's a good idea to keep in mind that whenever you're dealing with a geometric subject like this, if you feel there's any risk of distortion, you might want to shoot a little bit wider than you otherwise would. So that you have some room for cropping after you've applied the corrections. I'll go ahead and use the Scale slider to effectively Zoom In on the image so that we can crop it. We can also constrain that crop.
I'll go ahead and Zoom Out and notice that no matter how much I reduce the Scale, Lightroom is not allowing me to present any of those gray areas in the image. I could crop further but I can't crop less. With Constraint Crop turned off, of course, as you saw, it is possible to retain some of those gray areas. We can also control the Lens Vignetting Adjustment. This is aimed at reducing the effect of Lens Vignetting. In other words, to lighten up the edges to compensate for a light fall off at the corners, but we can also use it to apply a creative effect.
However, keep in mind that this Lens Vignetting is being applied to the original image, not to the cropped version. So think of this as a corrective, not a creative effect for the photo. There are other ways that we can apply a Creative Lens Vignette effect. If we do adjust the amount, we can also change the midpoint, pulling the effect in toward the center of the photo or keeping it constrained only toward the outer edges of the image. In this case, I won't apply a Lens Vignette Correction at all. We can also specify, if we want to, remove fringe artifacts from the edges. We can do so at all edges within the image or only the brightest edges in the image.
Generally speaking, those artifacts would be most visible in the highlight areas of the image. So, I would typically start with highlight edges, if I were seeing any artifacts, but in most cases, I'll leave the options set to off. As you can see with this photo, we've applied a rather strong adjustment to help correct for some of that Distortion and Perspective issue that was going on. And of course, as you've seen, this type of correction can be most important for images that consist of geometric shapes and especially with lots of straight lines that are parallel to each other.
But here, we've got I think a pretty good adjustment for an image that had a fair amount of Distortion in the beginning.
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