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- View Offline
- Editing the color and tonality of video
- Trimming a video for length and content
- Sharing video on Flickr and Facebook
- Creating and customizing a book layout
- Geotagging and creating saved mapping locations
- Working with the Clarity image adjustment
- Making RGB tone curve adjustments to images
- Fixing chromatic aberration and white balance
- Utilizing improvements in Fast Load and Lossy DNG
Skill Level Intermediate
Some of the new features inside of Lightroom 4 are a bit more exciting or dramatic, others are a bit more functional, and sometimes it's those functional new features which are actually more helpful over the long haul. Well, here we're going to focus in on a couple of new features which are really functional. They have to do with soft proofing and also output. What Soft Proofing does for you is it allows you to create a soft proof to kind of simulate how an image might appear in a different output destination, whether it's going to be viewed on a monitor or say you're going to print it on your own desktop printer.
Well, here I have a photograph and there are these really neat, bright, vivid colors. Yet a lot of times what happens is when you have bright colors like this, it looks really good on your monitor, and then you go to print, and it just doesn't turn out. Well, here we're going to look at how we can work with Soft Proofing in order to correct that. Well, one of the things you'll notice is that down here in the toolbar, you can turn the Soft Proofing option on by simply clicking on this icon here, or you can do so by pressing the S key.
Now if this isn't visible, click on the triangle icon, and then select it from this menu so that it shows up in your toolbar. Well, either way, we're going to notice some pretty dramatic differences here. Now let me just scroll up and close some of these panels, so that we can really focus in on what's happened. We see a different color in the background. We also see a different histogram in something up here which says Soft Proofing. Let me show you that again. I'll press S once for back to our normal histogram, press S again, and all of a sudden we have this soft proofing environment.
One of the reasons why the background is changing is some people argue that it's better to have your image surrounded by the color that it will be surrounded with when it's actually printed. Well, you can change that by right or Ctrl+clicking, and you can choose a different degree of white here and you can select that or you can choose the Paper white. One of the things that you want to do when working with this is create a proof copy. Now all it is actually is, is a virtual copy. Let's go ahead and do that.
We'll create a proof copy and you'll see that I now have a version or a virtual copy of the image right next door. Well, now that I have that, I can go ahead and test this out. There are two indicators, two new icons at the top of the soft proof histogram. If I click on this one, it will show me the colors that are out of gamut for display on a monitor. Turn that off, and let's turn on the one, say, for printing. Now again, it's showing me this highlighted in red that all of these colors are going to be problematic, and they're going to be problematic with a certain profile, in this case, AdobeRGB (1998).
If I choose a different profile, let's say sRGB, we're going to see a lot more color is out of gamut, all the area that's highlighted in red. We can also choose a specific paper type. Let's say, I am going to print to this paper on my Epson 3880. Here it's simulating my paper and ink combination. We turn that off, you notice that paper, it's just a little bit more dull there and it's showing me that. I can also compare this with another paper type, and you see that the type of paper determines what color is out of gamut, because certain papers, well you know, glossy papers, they can reproduce a wide range of colors. matte papers or velvet papers, they can't do that as easily.
We also have two rendering intents, and we can click between these two to try to see if there are any differences to determine which one will work best for our photograph. And the great thing about this is we can use a soft proof to show us this area where there's going to be some colors that are clipped. Now we can make some changes; we can fix those areas. Well, how could we do that? There are a lot of different techniques that you could use. One technique would be to go to the HSL panel. Well, here I could go to the Saturation option, click on the Target Adjustment tool, and then go ahead and hover over those colors.
In this case, it's showing me it's primarily oranges there, and I'll click and drag down to desaturate that color. Move up to this area over here, desaturate some of those tones, and I keep on doing that, just clicking and dragging down; do so on the greens as well in order to get all of these colors in gamut. Now the advantage of doing this is that this gives me the chance to kind of see what my image will look like. I could then go and make other changes, say contrast or brightness or whites or exposure or you name it, and continually check or evaluate the photograph.
For example, go to the Basic panel. In the Basic panel, let's say, what I want to do is I want to increase my whites a little bit, brighten up the image, maybe darken those shadows a touch. You can see that as I make these changes, it also gives me some clipping indicators based on the changes that I've made. So again, if I need to go back and work on those greens, well we know how to do that, right. We could go into that HSL area, and we could fix those areas up. We could also deal with some of the other problem areas. Now what's nice about this is we can continually check with our different rendering intents and really just find the best way to reproduce this image on this particular printer and this particular type of paper.
Well, let's look at one more example. Here I've a photograph of the musician Jack Johnson. The Soft Proof is already turned on, because I left it on. Now currently, I have this little indicator which is showing me that I have some sort of problem area in these bright reds here. If ever you want to turn that indicator off, you can either click it or press the shortcut Shift+S; Shift+S for Soft Proof. Press that again; it turns it back on. Well so far, I see that I have a little bit of problem there in that area of the image.
Well, another way that I could fix that would be with my Adjustment Brush. Here I'll select the Adjustment Brush. I want to choose an option of desaturating, because that color is too bright there. It's asking me as I make that adjustment, what do I want to do? Do I want to create a proof copy here? Yes, indeed, because we don't want to make that to the original image just the one we're going to output. Now I'll go ahead and paint over this area. I am just going to paint back and forth here, be sure I am desaturating a little bit in that painted area, over there in the greens, a little bit on the zipper, and that's actually bring that back there.
I am going to just paint on this area, the zipper there, so I bring back all of that and a little bit around the eye a couple little areas that are out of gamut there as well. So again, as you can see there are different ways to make adjustments to correct your images. Let's say you don't want to use the Adjustment Brush. Well, select that point and hit the Delete key to remove that. I still have the clipping. What else could I do? Well, you could also go to your basic controls and you could use some of these settings. In this case, perhaps if we desaturate here, we could remove some of that.
Sometimes lowering the contrast will get rid of some of those bright colors that are out of gamut as well. In this case, I am focusing on paper, but you could also do this for monitor settings as well. Well, now that we are focusing on paper, I want to highlight one more new feature inside of Lightroom 4, and it has to do with output or printing. If you go to the Print module, one of the things that you will notice here is that we have some options. We have this ability to do our normal color management as before. We can choose that Profile, we can choose the Rendering Intent.
These remind us of the soft proof we just worked on, right. Let's go ahead and select new image here to apply that; perhaps this one looks good, just that orientation I think looks nice. And then we have a Print Adjustment. One of the things that people complain about a lot with printing, including myself, is that our prints just came out too dark, they were lacking a little bit. The reason that happened is because, when you calibrate your monitor or if you don't have a modern which is calibrated, your images have this rich contrast, a lot of brightness, and you see that because of the way a monitor displays color.
Now that's completely different between the way a printer outputs color. It creates color via ink, while a monitor works via light. Well, a lot of us will calibrate our monitors to correct for that, but sometimes a calibration just isn't there enough. Well, we now have this new adjustment; it's called the Print Adjustment. Now one of the things, it's a little bit tricky with this, is that when you make changes here, you won't see anything. In other words, as I change this from negative 100 to positive 100, I am not going to see anything.
So what you're going to need to do is some print testing and one other things that you'll discover, say, that I discovered on my own monitor is that typically for my prints I needed to increase my brightness just by about 20 points or so as to need to increase the contrast by close to about 10 points, and again, that was based on how I calibrated my monitor, the type of monitor that I had, etcetera, etcetera. So what you'll need to do is to run some print tests with this, in order to get a feel for how these controls work, because they won't make any visual adjustment to the image here, although they will make an adjustment to the final print, which comes out of your printer.