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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.
With this photograph, we're going to take a look at a pretty quick Develop module workflow. Well first let's evaluate the image, and in order to do that I want to hide the panel on the left, so I'll press the F7 key. That gives me a little bit more space to look at the image, and I'll press the L key to dim the lights down, just so I can focus in on this image. Press the L key one more time to turn them off. Well, now that I take my mind off of Lightroom, I notice that, you know what, these guys, these little other surfers here, just have to go. The color and tone looks good.
I just want to boost it. A bit more contrast and color saturation there would be nice. So let's press the L key to bring back Lightroom, so we can see the interface. If we look at the Histogram, we have some good detail here. Let's check our clipping. To do that, press the J key. This will then turn on these little clipping indicators. Well in this case, not a lot of work to do, perhaps bring up our Recovery slider just a bit there and bring in a touch of fill light. Again, there aren't many problem areas with this photograph. Next thing I want to do is boost the contrast, which will help out my color, bring in a little bit of vibrance and also perhaps work on the saturation, and then swing the color temperature one way or another, maybe just a little bit more warm there, and again, just modify these controls until I like the visual look and feel of the image.
At this juncture, press the Backslash key. There's before and after. I'm not going for anything surreal; I don't need to push this image very far. Therefore, I don't need to do a lot, and you want to keep that in mind in regards to your own workflows. Certain images will require a lot of work; other images, not so much. Make sure to really pay attention to the photograph in order to determine the right workflow. Let's turn off the Clipping Indicator. We'll do that by pressing the J key. What next? Well, with this image, I obviously want to get rid of these guys.
So in order to do that let's press our new shortcut, at least new to Lightroom 3, for the Spot Removal tool. It's the Q key. You also can obviously simply click on this tool here. Well, how then can we start to work on these areas? One of the things that we can do is zoom in a bit, and you can actually simply click, and then Lightroom will set a source, or sample area, for you. Yet when I click, I can't see the tool overlay. Do you remember the shortcut to show that? It's the H key. All right, well there is the overlay.
What it did is it sampled an area which was dark. That didn't work for me. So I click and drag that to a new spot and then also hover over this edge, make this much bigger here and just look to try to bring out this little blemish in the photograph. We can also hold down Command on a Mac, Control on Windows and click and drag in order to select an area that we want to work on and then reposition the sample area in order to fix it up. Now if those circles are distracting, press the H key. You can then hide those. I think that looks pretty good, not perfect, but good enough.
All right, well let's press the Spacebar key and then click and drag around the image just to evaluate it. and say let's work on this guy over here. What we can do, once again, is either Command or Ctrl+Click and Drag, or you can simply click and then drag yourself, and as I drag over to this area, I can say, hey, I want to bring in some of this content onto this area of the photograph. Well bummer, I can't see the edges. Press the H key. It will bring those back in here. We can change the size of this. You'll notice that I have a water line. As long as I line that up, so that this is following that same area, I'll be in good shape in regards to removing or cleaning up that area of the photograph.
I'll press the H key to hide those and then press Backslash. There's my before and then after, some pretty subtle, little adjustments on this image. Let's zoom out, so that we can see the entirety of the frame. Well, now that we've gotten this image to a pretty good place, we may want to get a little bit more creative, and let's say we want to experiment with cropping. As I mentioned previously, I like to use virtual copies when I'm making these enhancements or creative modifications that I'm not quite confident about. I don't know if this is going to be the best interpretation of the image.
So let's do that here. Press Command or Ctrl+Apostrophe, next let's press the R key to grab our Crop tool, and then let's press the O key. And as we press the O key, we can view different crop overlays. If ever there's a crop overlay, which can rotate, you can press Shift+O in order to flip that. As we do this, we see some different options which might help us out in regards to the cropping of the photograph. And let's say that what we want to do is put this surfer on this intersecting point here.
Well in that case, we'll go ahead and just grab one of our corner points and drag this around and reposition this, and again, just have a little bit of fun with cropping and see if this does anything for the image. Now the great thing about this is we can press the arrow key to go back and forth between our two photographs, and in this case I think it's kind of a nice crop, although I think it's a little bit too low in the frame. So to reactivate the Crop tool, press the R key. And then here, I'm going to make this guy taller. I want to have this type of composition, but I want him to be bigger in the frame.
Now I'll double-click to apply that. It feels like we're lower kind of looking up at him a little bit more, and then again, just toggling back and forth between these two options of the image by pressing the arrow keys. So now at this juncture, I'm done with this image, and I want to include a really brief workflow just to get you thinking about that. You know those famous song lyrics that go, "You have to know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run." Well, that song is referring to gambling, and I also think it has to do with the Develop module, because sometimes we can convince our self that we need to do more and more and more, and a lot of times getting really creative is a great idea.
Yet other times, you simply need to walk away and say, you know what, enough is enough, and for a photograph like this, I want it to be an editorial action shot. I don't want it to be surreal; I want it to be pretty straightforward, really simple and beautiful. So in that case, in this particular workflow, we're done.
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