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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.
Presets can really speed up our overall work in the Develop module. Let's take a look at how we can use presets in order to help us out when we're converting to black & white. Well, here I have this photograph of a professional surfer, and what I want to do is convert this image to black and white. So I'm going to open up my Navigator panel, and I'm going to open up my Presets panel. I want to make this conversion by building off of one of these different presets. If you scroll down, you'll notice that you have a General - Grayscale conversion. That was kind of muddy, not very interesting.
Well, what about the High Contrast? Well, little bit too much contrast. Then another one, Creative - B&W Low Contrast. That's pretty good except I need to modify this. Then one of the things that I found is I almost always modify my Presets. They're almost always starting points for me. So I go ahead and modify my Exposure a little bit. I'm just going to bring up some Fill Light, bring down my Blacks, little more Contrast here, and modify the Brightness, until I have a nice black & white conversion that I think works well for this image.
Okay, well, that's pretty good. If we compare that to the original starting point, let's see how that looks. I'll do so by clicking on B&W Low Contrast. So here was the preset. Press Command+Z on a Mac, Ctrl+Z on a PC to undo that. Then there is the file as I modified it, so just a really nice starting point. With this particular file, you'll notice that I've just desaturate it 100 points, and then modified some other settings here. That always triggered or started off by applying the preset.
Well, one of the things that we can do next then is apply these settings to multiple files. So I'll go ahead and click on one. Hold down the Shift key, click on another, or a string or set of photographs, and then click on my Sync button. This will then open up my Synchronize Settings. What I want to do is synchronize my White Balance, Basic Tone, Treatment and Color. I don't really need to do anything else here. I'll simply go ahead and click Synchronize. What will happen then is it will apply these settings to these other photographs.
As I click through these photographs, we can see that these settings have been applied to these images. One of the things that happen a lot of times is that each image reacts a little bit differently. So currently I have all of the images selected. If I just want the surfboard selected, well here is what I do. I will press Shift+Command+D for deselect if we were on a Mac, on a PC, the same shortcut Shift+Ctrl+D. Now here, I could either go back to one of these other presets. I could try a different one out. In this case, I think maybe that High Contrast might be nice starting point.
Then from there, I can go ahead and modify my settings and change the Blacks amount until the image looks good. So as you can see there is going to be some give and take, in regards to how we actually use these presets. But nonetheless, they're great starting points. They can really speed up our overall workflow, especially if we've similar images, especially if they're photographed in similar ways. Or if they're little bit different, as we've seen here, all that we'll need to do is perhaps experiment with some of the presets or some of our controls in order to come up with the overall best black & white conversion.
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