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Seeing a before-and-after view

From: Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop

Video: Seeing a before-and-after view

One of the things, it seems, a lot of photographers struggle with is evaluating their adjustments for an image. It seems that sometimes we get a little acclimated to relatively strong adjustments, strong contrasts, and strong saturation, for example. And so we sorta lose sight of when we've taken things a little bit too far. For that reason and for a variety of other reasons, sometimes I'll work with the Before and After view turned on. Or I'll at least evaluate the image after applying some adjustments using that Before and After view. Let's go ahead and apply some basic adjustments, just so that we can get a sense of the Before and After view here.

Seeing a before-and-after view

One of the things, it seems, a lot of photographers struggle with is evaluating their adjustments for an image. It seems that sometimes we get a little acclimated to relatively strong adjustments, strong contrasts, and strong saturation, for example. And so we sorta lose sight of when we've taken things a little bit too far. For that reason and for a variety of other reasons, sometimes I'll work with the Before and After view turned on. Or I'll at least evaluate the image after applying some adjustments using that Before and After view. Let's go ahead and apply some basic adjustments, just so that we can get a sense of the Before and After view here.

I'll assume that I want to increase contrast, maybe I want to darken up the blacks just a little bit. I might also want to increase clarity, and perhaps increase vibrance. Now, at first glance, this might seem like a good adjustment. But I think it's actually a little bit too strong. Let's take a look with a Before and After view. And see how it can be helpful to see the original unedited version of the image along with the final result. On the toolbar below the image preview area, you'll see that we can switch between our Loop view or the primary view of just the image, and a Before and After view.

I can turn on the Before and After view, or I can click the pop-up to the right of it, to choose a particular option. We can arrange the images left to right or top to bottom, and we can also see the entire image or a split where we see half of the image with the adjustments and half of the image without the adjustments. I'll cycle through each of these so that you can get a sense of them. Here's the Before and After with both versions of the image visible in their entirety. I can also show one version of the image with the left being the before version and the right being the after version. And I can enable a similar view with the images arranged above and below or with that split happening with a top to bottom split.

Part of the decision here relates to personal preference. And part of it relates to the image itself. In some cases you might be able to work with a Split View. And in other cases that might not work quite as well. While you are working in the Before and After view, you can also designate whether you want to copy the before settings to the after image. In order words essentially undoing your adjustments, you can copy the after settings to the before making that setting a new before so that future adjustments would revert to this setting. Or you can swap the two if you want to go back and fourth between the two for any reason.

Generally speaking though I don't swap the Before and After but rather continue refining my adjustments. And I can actually do that while I'm looking in this Before and After view. I'll reduce the clarity for example just a little bit and maybe tone down that adjustment for black so that we don't have quite as much density in the image. Somewhere around there looks to be a little bit better. And sometimes you might find that it's helpful to switch between the top-bottom split and the left-right split for example. Just evaluating the image in a variety of different ways. And also keep in mind, especially when you're really scrutinizing an image.

It might be helpful to hide the panels, so that you can see just the image. I'll press the Shift+Tab keys in order to hide all of the panels. You can also press the T key to hide the toolbar if you'd like, and you can even go into Lightouts view and press L once to switch to the End display. And then L one more time so that only the image itself is visible. Or then press L again to get back to the full display of Lightroom and Shift+Tab to bring back my panels, and T to bring back the tool bar.

As you can see the Before and After view can be very, very helpful for evaluating your images, and making a decision about whether or not you need to further refine your adjustments.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

34 video lessons · 1422 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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