Glimpse Into RAW Processing

Photography - 101 From Auto Modes To Manual
12 minutes
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In the last video we talked about in camera processing and encounter processing is absolutely wonderful, especially for achieving well getting closer to your final vision in camera. And that's something I always recommend, get as close as possible, get your images right in camera and then use raw processing and additional editing to finalize your vision. In this video here, we're gonna give you a demonstration of raw processing and how powerful it is and what you can do essentially to achieve the final vision and the flexibility you have in a raw file and doing all these things. Now of course, raw processing and in this example, we're gonna be using Lightroom. This is really beyond the scope of photography, one on one raw processing in and of itself. We have a 20 hour 3d mini course in the Lightroom workshop collection that teaches essentially the entire process everything from importing and managing your files into Lightroom all the way over to organization and workflow all the way through to advanced artistic effects and how to develop images for HDR looks for high contrast color.

For low contrast fades for filmic fades for black and white and amazing editorial looks, and all that kind of stuff is covered in that workshop collection. So I would say that if this is a topic that interests you, then be sure to check it out because post processing or raw processing is really as big a part of the artistry and photography as any other step along the way. Let's go ahead and get started. I'm going to work on this image that we shot for Keith Christine's little shoot right here. And what we're going to do is I'm going to go ahead and just show first we're going to go through and process this just normally and really you don't need to follow along guys, we're gonna be going super fast. In the actual workshop collection, we explain everything in complete detail.

I don't want to spend hours here I just want to show you a quick glimpse of what can be done. So just kind of follow along and walk through we're doing and it will make complete sense. Once we process it the this kind of manually, we're going to go through and show the power and having a preset system along with it because it speeds up the workflow tremendously. All right, let's go ahead and start this off. We're going to start with a biggest adjustment First, and for this image, it's exposure. So we're gonna adjust exposure and temperature.

And I'm gonna go ahead and add a little Tone Curve. Tone curves are these little mathematical looking things that look crazy, but in reality, they're not we cover this in a lot of detail in the workshop so that you guys can have complete control of your images, they're actually quite fantastic. I'm also going to pull down the clarity just a little bit just to reduce mid tone contrast. And let's grab a little bit of shadows and blacks and add those in as well. And I'm also going to reduce the reds and the oranges just a bit because their skin tones are a little bit on the orange and red side. So I'm just gonna pull those out in the saturation just a little bit.

Let's go ahead and we are going to zoom in this was shot on a prime lens it was shot on a 35 millimeter f two, so you'll notice it's a bit soft. So what I'm gonna do is just add a bit more sharpening to this image. Let's go ahead and increase the radius as well. A little bit of detail and that's pretty solid. And I might do a tiny bit of noise reduction just to decrease some of that Fine, fine noise grain that's being added by some of the sharpening doing too much noise reduction when you're sharpening is actually going to counteract the sharpening effect. Okay, so this is a good basic look at what this image would look like process.

So if I hit backslash, which is the before button on Lightroom, you'll see this is the before, and this is the after. Okay, so we've come quite a long way, just making a few adjustments here. Now if I wanted to say adjust the curve, maybe I want to go for a little more of a matte finish, I can do that I can pull up the curve and kind of create more of a subtle kind of matte finish to this image by pulling down the highlights pulling down the shadows. So we just pull down the highlights on the side, we pulled up the shadows on the side, we get more of that kind of map, filmic look I'm gonna drop the contrast a bit. Okay, and then I might just adjust a little bit that exposure or sorry, not exposure temperature a little bit. So again, here's another completely different look just by adjusting a little bit tone curve.

Now this is great approaching an image like this, you know, it's taken years for me to get this quick as far as processing and I can process an image like this in 30 seconds to a minute Very, very efficiently. But presets are is what's going to make it that much more powerful, in essence, because what we can do with presets, we have more control over the vision and we can get there much quicker. So let me go ahead and give you a demonstration, what I'm going to do is, let's go ahead and create a virtual copy of this image. And I did that by hitting Ctrl at posture command apostrophe. If you're on a Mac, I'm going to reset this out. And then what we're going to do is just click through, I don't know why I'm telling you all the buttons because there's too many buttons to talk there.

So let's just go through and do this. So what I'm gonna do now is I'm just going to do a foundation preset, which is basically to apply everything that we just did in one single click, all I got to do now, it applied the skin, the saturation, or sharpening or color effects, everything I'm going to do is basically just brighten this up, and then I can choose, well my temperature, okay, so I can just bring up the temperature a little bit. And we get to that first kind of basic look. Now let's say from here, I'm going to create another virtual copy. Now let's say that I want to go ahead and I want to actually darkened down the image. Well, we have based on adjustments here, we can actually just crush the blacks a bit get more contrast there.

Fantastic. Let's create another virtual copy. Okay, now from here I say, Well, what if I want to add a kind of filmic look to it? Well, I can go up to our stylization and add a neutral matte to it, which again, add that matte finish in one single click all that adjustment in the tone curve is all done. Well, let's say I want to do a black and white Well, I'm going to go ahead and just click black and white and fantastic. I'm just going to add a little black to that.

And great, maybe adjust my exposure by point five and pull the lips pull up by point five and then pull the blacks down just a little bit more. Let's bring the blacks down. Great, we have this nice high contrast black and white look. Now what if I want to black and white with more of a matte finish? Well again, I'm going to choose a matte I can go with a neutral matte I can go with a filmic for more film grain and so forth. I'm going to go with the filmic.

I'm going to adjust my exposure down just a bit and I'm just going to pull back my blacks just a little bit. Okay, and then we can make if you need to make fine tuning adjustments, you can do that by going to this sliders. Again, what if I want to go back to a color, let's say I go back to a color I'm going to do this time. Let's go see what a skin decent looks like that looks nice, but I kind of want to kick up the blues and greens. So let's do that. Let's pick up the blues and greens.

And now let's basically pull down the blacks. So now we have a nice crushed look to the image again. Okay, so this is how the presets work in making so many effects. Very simple, very quick and easy to access, so you're not having to go through tons of sliders. Let's do one last I'm going to get a little more advanced with this one I'm going to go with let's go with the color skin D set and then we're going to go with a bright wash. And then for this, I'm going to bring down the blacks just a little bit. And then what we can do here is I can go and change the colorization via several different ways.

Okay, so first I'm going to do is adjust the curve. So I'm going to go into my let's do a warming curve. So rather than just a standard bright wash, I'm going to add amber toning into that bright wash or I can choose apricot toning. If I want to be a little bit more kind of orange. I even have warm cross processing. Let's go with Amber stick with that.

And I'm going to say I'm going to add one more level of color effects over that with a little bit of yellow violet toning. So now we have a kind of vintage like a stylized color look to the image, again, with just a couple clicks. This would take five minutes for me to dial in all these adjustments to get to this point, but we have it in just a couple seconds. So all those different looks, we just created, like several different looks to the image. It hasn't updated these previews that let's click on it, see if it updates it. There we go.

Okay, in just a quick matter of seconds, we got to each one of these. Again, the presets also include things for retouching. Let's go and try one more image. I have this image over here. So let's go ahead and do the basics, where I'm just going to go up and I'm going to go with a black and white for this image. And I did that the black and white has, let me show you this real quick.

This is really cool. I'm gonna hit Ctrl Shift or Command Shift artists or reset this out. This is the standard black and white conversion that Lightroom gives you. This is the preset black and white conversion. See how we get to pretty much a finished image just with one single click. Now from here I'm going to put a matte finish on it.

And then I can soften the skin if I need to. But really, the skin is kind of where I want it to be. If I want to soften it up, I might soften it to that point and then brighten the image. But I kind of like it with that little bit more contrast look, so I'm just going to pull it down just a bit. Okay, so from here, let's go in and show you a little bit of the retouching stuff. So in retouching, if we bring up our local adjustment brushes, we have all these options here.

So if we want to do a little bit of detail enhancements, let's say that I want to hair just to kind of have a little bit more kick to it, I can just go and paint this in, just to her hair. Okay, gives the hair just a little more richness a little more detail. So kind of makes it pop a little bit more. Cool. That looks nice. Let's say now I'm going to hit New and now I'm going to just do a little bit of work on the eyes so I can go to the eye brightener.

I'm going to zoom in, and we're just gonna bring this right over the eyes and this image is a little bit soft to see. Sorry, though, it works for the purpose of our tutorial. When you're shooting on these primes, it's really, really important to Take a lot of shots, I think I'm pretty sure I have some sharper images of this, but this one just happened to get selected here. So that's not a big deal. Okay, when you brighten the eyes, one of my favorite tests to see if you've gone too far with it is to go back to grid view or go with thumbnail view and then just enlarge the size of it. If the eyes look like they're popping out, like kind of like alien form like they are right now then you've gone a little bit too far.

So what I'm gonna do is go back in, I'm going to click on that little pin for her eyes. I'm just gonna pull it back a little bit. So I'm just clicking and dragging to the left to kind of tone it down a little bit. I'm going to add another one, we're going to go this time into our Iris enhancer, and we're going to zoom in, and we're just going to go right over those irises just to kind of make those irises pop just a little bit. Again, we can kind of adjust that down by clicking the pin and just pulling it back a little bit and getting it down. Nice, natural look.

Let's again go back a little bit and see still has a little bit too much pop to it. So what I'm gonna do is just adjust the brightening down because the the actual the other pen is actually overtime actually Let's delete that one is leave the iris. So all we're going to do is just leave it over the iris and that looks fantastic like that. Perfect. We also have enhancers we've gotten black and white on this so it's not gonna do too much, but there's also a lip enhancer, which is going to boost colors. We have teeth whitening, and so forth castlight enhancing for the eyes, and just tons of really cool stuff.

We could even add a glare. Actually, I'm gonna show you what that looks like. It's kind of cool. Okay, so let's take a look at this. I'm going to go ahead and just hit backslash. Here's the before image and here's the after.

Get two really nice beautiful looks. If we want to do any retouching with the skin, we can we have these lined diminishers in here as well. If you go right here we have a line diminisher but that's why we've kind of brightened up the image quite a bit so that these lines on the forehead really don't appear. But if you want to diminish them further, you can actually use the line diminisher if needed. Okay, so this looks fantastic. Let's go back here just for one quick click.

I want to show you one nifty little thing and the newest version we added. A lovely little sunflower thing to the precess so watch, I'm gonna switch this to a neutral matte, so it has a soft kind of fade going on to it just kind of, I feel like it fits with that flare Look, I'm gonna go down to our sun glare. And what I'm gonna do is just increase the size of this brush now. Alright, so after I get to kind of appropriate size, I'm just going to drag and drop this in, kind of right where I feel like it would fit. And so typically, to get the best effect, you're going to drop the flare over the area where the lights coming from. So kind of in the scene, it looks like the lights kind of directly behind them, or directly above them.

And so what I'm gonna do is just place it right here. And we get this lovely little flare coming in through the trees. Okay, so very simple, very quick, and we have a very convincing flare. So here's that before, and here's our lovely flare, we can actually paint in more of this if we want to go across, we can then hold down alt or option and we can kind of shape it however we like. Let's hold down alt, let's bring that over. There we go.

Okay, so just a nice, soft flare coming in from the top. Very nice, very convincing all within Lightroom Alright, so that's it as far as post processing goes. So hopefully this gives you a glimpse into what can be done, how much artistry goes into the raw processing portion, what you can do inside of Lightroom on your own and how much more speedy and how much more creative options are opened up by having a preset system available to you as well. So if you're want to learn more, be sure to actually go to SLR lounge comm Ford slash store you can see the entire Lightroom workshop collection you can learn specifically each individual component so organization and workflow you can learn Develop module mastery, or you can learn the preset system you can buy the pieces them and also get the tutorials for it. Or you can buy everything in the workshop collection as well.

That's it for this video. Hopefully you all enjoyed and I'll see you in the next one.

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