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Archive 2012 · Lightroom fast processing
andy S

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lightroom fast processing

I am using Photomechanic 4.5.3 & Lightroom 3.4.1

When viewing a picture in photomechanic, it looks great by simpling clicking the "color management" button.

Even after spending 10 minutes with the same picture in Lightroom, I cannot get the same results.

Therefore, my question is: what is the fastest way to simulate the Photomechanic color corrected results in LightRoom? (auto white balance & auto tone does not seem to do the trick.)

Thank You!

Jan 22, 2012 at 07:33 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lightroom fast processing

Photomechanic uses the embedded jpeg, so look to see what your camera has set as its default jpeg setting, e.g Landscape, neutral, faithful, vivid etc. The colour management tool uses a particular colour space and is set in preferences. You should be able to use the adobe settings under camera calibration to help simulate this or make a preset and use that on import.

Jan 22, 2012 at 08:01 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lightroom fast processing

Be sure that you are not confusing colour management and tonal adjustments. They're quite separate concepts.

It would pay to photograph a grey or white card in difficult lighting conditions but I'd expect that selecting daylight white balance would have you well on the way to getting correct colours in a daylight scene such as the one shown above. Then you just need to correct exposure and contrast and so on to your satisfaction (knowing that snow is trickier to handle than many other scenes).

There is rarely a single button solution to such problems but you can be lucky.

The more complex path is something like this but is always flexible:
1. Set the Adobe process and profile to what you're used to. I start with camera neutral and edit from there. Others prefer more vivid, less realistic images. This step is important because it affects other parameters without showing up on their adjustment scales. i.e. there is no obvious measure of how much it affects things like saturation, contrast, etc.
2. get the WB right, because it affects the histogram and exposure warnings and hence all of the other steps. Snow may or may not actually be white white but there might be white bits of clothing or whatever that you can use to set WB.
3. Set the exposure to get the brightest parts right, to avoid burnout.
4. Check / adjust contrast. This one is easy to do but so many other things affect the need for it that it sort of lives in every other step too. Some images need a major contrast tweak up or down but most do not.
5. Set the black level to get the dark areas right.
6. Set the fill light as required if the dark areas are too dark.
7. Set the brightness to fix the middle tones.

I generally avoid much if any recovery setting because it does weird things to so many images if high settings are used, and doesn't work as well as the method above for others.

- Alan

Jan 22, 2012 at 08:34 AM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Lightroom fast processing

The fastest way is to use the raw conversion software supplied by your camera's manufacturer.

As previously pointed out, Photo Mechanic is using the preview JPEG that is embedded in every Raw file. So if that's the result you want you can (a) shoot JPEG and accept the camera's processing (b) use the manufacturer's software which defaults to the in-camera settings (c) use a utility like BreezeBrowser Pro or Instant JPEG from Raw to extract the embedded JPEG from the Raw file (not all cameras embed a full-sized JPEG but most recent cameras do).

But those approaches negate the purpose of a Raw converter like Lightroom which gives you the latitude to process an image according to your vision and not necessarily what the camera's engineers decided. In my opinion, the first step to getting Lightroom results that are close to the in-camera JPEG is to profile your camera with a tool like X-Rite's ColorChecker or ColorChecker Passport. Then use that profile as the specific camera default in Lightroom (its set via the Camera Calibration panel). You can also modify the other defaults like Brightness, sharpening, etc. and save them as new defaults. (Press the ALT key and the Reset button in Lightroom's Develop panel changes to "Set Default..." If you click on it then, it will allow you to save the current Develop settings as the new defaults. Any new imports after that point will automatically have those new settings).

With a bit of time and tweaking you can produce results in Lightroom that fairly mirror the in-camera JPEG.

Jan 22, 2012 at 11:47 AM

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