Developing Your Digital Photos in Lightroom 4
Not too many years ago when we talked about development in connection with photography, we were talking about the chemical process of producing an image on film and then making prints. As we transitioned from film capture to digital image capture, development took on a new meaning. We are no longer manipulating silver or colored dyes attached to a physical base. Now we are manipulating pixels on a computer screen using complex algorithms.
Fortunately, we don’t have to understand the algorithms any more than we had to understand the chemical reactions. We have computer software that harnesses the algorithms so we can use them to develop our digital photo files. The software even employes some of the same terminology we used in the darkroom. It is still the responsibility of the photographer to decide how the final image will look and how it will impact on the viewer.
The software tools for developing digital photographs have become more and more powerful and Lightroom 4 comes close to being the only software a photographer needs. The new ebook from Craft and Vision, Essential Development, goes a long way to helping us master the intricacies of digital photo processing.
Starting with an explanation of the histogram, Seán McCormack walks through the sliders for Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks. He explains what each one does and how they affect each other. He then explains how to use a camera profile and how to adjust white balance.
I found the chapters on Beauty Retouching, Dodge and Burn, and Cross Processing less relevant to me as a the landscape photographer. He caught my attention again in the chapters on Cropping, Straightening and Fixing Skies. Sharpening, Noise Reduction and Correcting Lens Issues have always been a mystery to me but not anymore after digesting McCormack’s explanations.
All together the book contains 20 techniques for using Lightroom to develop great images. Any photographer whether beginner or pro will benefit from studying these techniques and applying them in their work.
The complete package includes a set of 85 Lightroom presets. The advantage of presets is that you can quickly see in the preview panel how various adjustments will affect the photograph making it quicker and easier to apply to achieve the look you are after.
Special Offer on Essential Development Package
The retail price on this package is just USD $7, but for the next six days, use the promotional code DEVELOP6 when you check out so you can have the Essential Development Package (incl. the Toolbox of 85 Lightroom presets) for just $6 OR use the code DEVELOP20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST Tuesday – October 23, 2012. Click here to purchase the Essential Development Package
If you want to keep it simple, you can purchase the PDF only for just $5 – visit the standard product page at Craft & Vision. At 120-spreads this is great education and a killer value.