Lightroom 2.0 Beta

Volume 11, Issue 35; 05 Apr 2008; last modified 08 Oct 2010

A quick peek at my most wanted Lightroom feature: localized corrections.

Since I got my Mac, I've been using Lightroom to manage my collection of digital photographs.

Lightroom does everything that I do routinely: crop, adjust exposure, adjust colors, adjust sharpness, occasional blemish removal, and manage image metadata. And it does so excellently.

There are two problems that most often make me resort to GIMP: significant editing (usually removing objects I wish hadn't been there) and exposure masking.

Consider an image like this one (not really a very good image, but illustrative of this point):

The sky has some nice bright spots, but the sea is too dark. Doing a “global” exposure adjustment to bring out shadow detail blows out the sky:

I usually tackle this problem by loading the image in GIMP, creating two layers, adjusting the exposure of the sea in one layer and the sky in the other, then blending them together. It works, but it's tedious. It also doesn't work by applying a (reversible) set of changes to the (unmodified) original image as Lightroom does, it changes the actual bits in ways that are difficult or impossible to reverse.

Enter Lightroom 2.0 with “localized corrections”. Localized corrections allow you to “paint” with an exposure correction. In this image, I've adjusted the exposure of the sea on the right hand side of the image, but not yet the left, without effecting the sky:

Exactly what I needed. I don't really consider myself competent to provide an in-depth review of Lightroom 2.0, but this feature alone is worth the price of admission.

Comments

Have you tried Lightzone by LightCrafts?

It's an astonishing piece of software, with non-destructive editing functions, and makes a nice companion to Lightroom.

Best wishes!

—Posted by klaus e. werner on 28 Aug 2008 @ 09:45 UTC #