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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Resolution Vs. Sharpness


Crowded Pixels • Extender Percentages • Shedding Light On Adobe Lightroom • Protection • Laminates • Storage Is In The Cards

Labels: How-ToColumnTech Tips
Shedding Light On Adobe Lightroom
Q I’m an amateur photographer, but I do try to get the best image results possible. For several years, I’ve been using Elements as my photo software. You’ve recommended Lightroom. What advantages does Lightroom have over Elements, and does it require use of Photoshop?
R. Black


A Lightroom is an excellent software for editing images (separating the keepers from the throwaways), for preliminary optimizing and for keywording, cataloging and filing your images for quick and easy retrieval. Elements and Photoshop don’t have the cataloging capabilities and aren’t as efficient for editing and initial optimization.

My own workflow begins with Lightroom, where I first attach keywords and copyright data to each image. Then I edit the images to determine which are of sufficient quality and content to keep. Lightroom allows me to quickly compare images side-by-side at 1:1, not an option in Elements and Photoshop.

Once I’ve selected the images I want to save, I do some preliminary optimizing in Lightroom, using the Develop functions, such as cropping, sharpening, and improvement of color and exposure. Sometimes, this work in Lightroom is all I need to do. But often, I’ll bring the finished Lightroom image into Photoshop for more fine-tuning using the powerful processing options.
My own workflow begins with Lightroom, where I first attach keywords and copyright data to each image. Then I edit the images to determine which are of sufficient quality and content to keep. Lightroom allows me to quickly compare images side-by-side at 1:1, not an option in Elements and Photoshop.
There’s always more! The new (as of this writing) Lightroom 3.0 public beta 2 previews some new features that I find to be the best methods for sharpening and noise reduction I’ve seen anywhere. And (at last!) Lightroom is offering a way to add a watermark to images that I’m going to post on the web.

Protection
Q I just spent a lot of money on a professional-level 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS lens. Should I invest in a UV filter to protect the lens from dirt or will this introduce aberrations?
P. Nelles


A A UV filter is often used to protect the front element of a lens from abrasive dirt, salt water and blowing sand, or from breakage due to careless handling. That said, any filter placed at the front of the lens will cause some degradation of the image, albeit ever so slight. When you stack more than one filter, the impact is visible. So if you want to use a filter such as a polarizing, warming or neutral density for photographic effect, you should remove the UV filter first. I personally don’t use any filter on my professional lenses unless it has a definite photographic purpose.

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