Daily Archives February 13, 2018

It’s “Faster Lightroom Classic Tuesday,” everybody!

Adobe just released another update to Lightroom Classic CC (the regular desktop Lightroom we all know and love), but today we will love it more because it’s much faster than ever before.

Lots of speed improvements throughout (building upon the speed enhancements from the October update), and you’ve probably already read test results leaked around the Web last week that show the new Lightroom Classic 7.2 is significantly faster in many areas (provided you have at least 12 GB of RAM – though I always recommend, and use 16-GB). Plus, they’ve made the process of creating Collections and Collection Sets from Folders tremendously easier, along with some other important tweaks that you’ll dig (it’s all good stuff).

Lightroom expert (and Photoshop World Instructor) Rob Sylvan did a post today on all the new 7.2 update features over on my other blog: LightroomKillerTips.com and if you’ve got a sec, he’s posted all the full details and screen caps there. Here’s the link. 

Next week, it’s you, it’s me, it’s Lightroom in Texas
Next week I’m in San Antonio and Houston for my Full-day Lightroom seminar (and yes — I’ll be showing the new stuff live at the seminar). You can still come out and spend the day with me – here’s the link.

After that I’m heading to the WPPI conference in Las Vegas (I’ll be doing a book-signing there at the Rocky Nook booth. Details to come). Maybe I’ll run into you there. :)

Alright, let’s go download the new Lightroom Classic! :)

Best,

-Scott

Hello there! It’s Tuesday, so I’m back to gatecrash the blog again! This week, it’s all about Auto Tone!

So, I’ve been asked this question twice, which therefore automatically merits a blog post about it. Trust me, that’s how that works. ;)

‘What is Auto Tone?’

Well! First of all, what does it do? Photoshop’s Auto Tone (along with Auto Contrast and Auto Color; all found under the Image menu) can instantly fix colour and contrast problems in your images. The click of a button sends the Photoshop algorithms into action, the whole image is assessed, and from that assessment, Photoshop applies what it has determined is “right” for the image. What’s happening, in reality, is that all that work you did with the Exposure, Contrast, Shadows, Highlights, Whites, and Blacks sliders, along with the White Balance you decided upon, are all being looked at and adjusted again right after you adjusted them. That image you worked hard on and made pinpoint adjustments on is being changed and what you thought was best, Photoshop perhaps didn’t! It’s essentially a fight between what is popular and what is right, so here’s what it’s actually doing: –

Auto Tone samples the entire image and assesses the colour values individually. It goes into the Red layer, sets the darkest pixel as black, sets the lightest pixel as white, and redistributes all the other values in between the two. It then does the same for the Green layer, then finally for the Blue layer. Each colour has been dealt with alone, and the result is a combination of the three. Each now has its contrast adjusted, essentially, and the result when you’ve changed each of these layers and combined them can often be quite dramatic because we now have a totally different combination of colours.

For the sake of perspective, and for not leaving them out, here’s how Auto Contrast and Auto Color work, too: –

Auto Contrast samples the three colour values combined rather than splitting them apart, still adjusting the darkest pixel and lightest pixel, and still redistributing a bit in between. The result should, hopefully, be that any colours that needed a little extra punch now have it.

Auto Color starts off the same as Auto Tone in that it splits up the colours and sets the darkest pixel to black and the lightest pixel to white, but rather than redistributing that remainder, it makes an attempt at getting the colours right rather than just spreading it all out. What it does, instead of redistributing the colours, is it neutralises the midtones a little to correct any unwanted colour cast and emphasises that boost in contrast.

So now that we know that, we can further understand why I said, “it’s a fight between what is popular and what is right.” Take a look at what’s popular. It often has crushed tones, blacks that aren’t black, or a range of contrast so slim that in terms of “picture perfection,” it won’t be winning any contests. However, in terms of popularity, it’s scored #1. Here’s an example: –

This is a shot of mine taken practically from the hip. I was in Santa Monica with Peter Treadway and Stephanie Richer, just as the sun was dipping down, when I quickly snapped the palm trees (a rarity for me) in silhouette. The first shot is how I set the sliders, setting the image for myself at what I deemed to be pleasing and the more “popular” edit.

 

 

This second one is what happened to the image when I hit Auto Tone (Mac: CMD+SHIFT+L; Windows: CTRL+SHIFT+L, if you’re interested).

 

 

Now, I like my edit, obviously. But, what has happened with Auto Tone isn’t wrong, it’s actually a far better representation of what should be going on there in terms of the colours and tones present at that time on that day. Here are the two intermingled for a good comparison: –

 

 

So, the conclusion is this: I’ve explained Auto Tone, Auto Contrast, and Auto Color, so hopefully you understand them if you didn’t before. It’s often seen as a bit of a cop-out button, purely because it has the word “Auto” in it, suggesting that the creative flow is taken away from the creative, but it’s actually a metric ton of useful because of this: –

Set everything up the way you want it, then hit Auto Tone, Auto Contrast, Auto Color, or all three, and check out the result. What you actually end up with should be a considered version taking all you’ve seen into account, knowing what’s popular and what’s right! That’s my tip, you can have that for your back pocket, and I hope you all have a great week!

Much love

Dave

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