!!!TOTAL PHOTOGRAPHIC TRANSPARANCY!!!

Battlecorals

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Sure this is actually pretty gimmicky, but what the heck. Here’s a delightful new acro of mine that I got chance to shoot last night. And rather than just showcase a close up or two, and do one of my near kitschy now write ups, I thought I’d share exactly how the photo was processed in Lightroom. Admittedly, I am no pro, and have only learned as I’ve gone. But with a little basic know how, and minimal knowledge of lightroom, you can produce acceptably accurate coral pics.

The pic below is the unedited RAW shot. Clearly heavy on blue and a little underexposed. There is a nice green/yellow in the body that didn't take very well, but otherwise it's a pretty good shot. Focus is Sharp and DOF is just about where I want it as well. If you are suspicious about why it's labeled as a a copy, and think that I must have done something tricky to keep the sliders at zero, please rest assured there is nothing fishy going on. It is because in order to keep the finished processed pic as is, and to get the screen shot of the fully reset version, I simply made a copy then reset it leaving the original processed as you see it at the end of this write up.



This pic was taken under one radium 250 halide, ran on an old galaxy ballast. The galaxy burns them just a few hues bluer than the spec m-80, which works pretty well for photographing. I shoot in RAW using auto WB on a Cannon 6D. The first thing I do in LR, just after applying the auto lens distortion correction, is to always pull the WB slider over to 50000. This pulls out all the blue almost perfectly. Tint will get one click to the red usually as well but not always.

Tone and exposure adjusted accordingly and cropped a little.


Next I’ll drop the highlights. Sometimes a lot, and sometimes a little. Just depends on the pic. Same goes for the shadows, whites and blacks.

Next is presence, which includes that infamous saturation slider. I’ve found that the better my skills have gotten at shooting coral, and optimizing my light properly, the less need I’ve had to mess with these. Saturation, more often than not stays at zero, but I’ll add a click or two a vibrance when necessary, toggling the pic between my two screens in the process, to see see how it looks on both. One monitor is calibrated pretty well and one is tweaked a bit to enhance whats on screen a little. It’s not always easy to do, but try your hardest to keep these under 10. Saturation especially. Vibrance is a much better choice to richen up a pic if it's needed in my opinion.

I don’t really use the tone curve in coral photography either. I’m usually happy enough with the adjustments I've made with the tone settings. Maybe a slight and soft “S” at most.

Then comes Hsl/Color and luminance. And pretty much the same as the presence, I’ve found that I don’t really need to mess with these much either. I will pull luminosity down a little on tips sometimes when they get wasted out. This actually works really well to restore lost tip color, and is one of my little secrets. But I’m happy to share, as the goal here is to represent the coral as faithfully as possible, and if this help you out in doing so then all the better. I can spot abuse of any of these sliders pretty easily, and the more you use LR to process your own pics, so will you.

Cropped for a close up



Ultimately that’s it. There’s a few things that happen to the raw data when the pic is actually exported to a jpeg as well, so heres a final version, with watermark. I still wasn’t completely happy with how that yellow body was washed out a bit but, I was not able to isolate it enough without making the pic look pretty bad so I settled for it.

Still a decent pic and a truer representation than most of a great looking acro!


 
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nonstopfish

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Adam, is Lightroom a program or a free download
It's a program you buy. Much much cheaper and easier to use for basic stuff like this than Photoshop.

Looks like Adam does nearly exactly what I do, with maybe an extra step or two.
 

saltyfilmfolks

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Lightroom is the best soloution for 99% of what most anyone will need here.
Next time you shoot under the halide take a 100w incandescent bulb on a dimmer and dim it till you can just barely see it on the subject when you click it on and off by eye. It'll a add the R O & Y
Spectrum the halide didn't have.
That's why when you tried to saturate it overall you couldn't it wasn't there.
You can go to the individual color channel and saturate it there.
 
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Hogan

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What was your shutter speed, aperture, and ISO on the original pic?
 

sawdonkey

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My Lightroom techniques are very similar. Just crank the yellow/blue slider to the right, tweek the red green, adjust brightness, and you can get a very true to life photo. You can also get a very not true to life photo if that's your thing[emoji51]
 
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Battlecorals

Battlecorals

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What was your shutter speed, aperture, and ISO on the original pic?

LOL. whoops, i guess you might have to squint to see that under the histogram On a mobile forget about it. Here's a closer shot of the settings


 
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Battlecorals

Battlecorals

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Lightroom is the best soloution for 99% of what most anyone will need here.
Next time you shoot under the halide take a 100w incandescent bulb on a dimmer and dim it till you can just barely see it on the subject when you click it on and off by eye. It'll a add the R O & Y
Spectrum the halide didn't have.
That's why when you tried to saturate it overall you couldn't it wasn't there.
You can go to the individual color channel and saturate it there.

Hey thanks a lot for the post. I've tried lots of different lighting configurations over the years. But I'll admit I never though of using an incandescent that way.

Will have to give it a whirl:)
 

steve&mari

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Another beauty and love how you explain the process for the pictures. The how to vs the previous thread about how not to do pics lol.
 

Hogan

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Thanks for sharing! I am on a phone so it was a little hard to see.What lens do you use?
 

d5332

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nice write up
Hope many others follow

Hope 2016 is as transparent for many and may your sales grow exponentially as a result your transparent write ups.
 
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Battlecorals

Battlecorals

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nice write up
Hope many others follow

Hope 2016 is as transparent for many and may your sales grow exponentially as a result your transparent write ups.
Awesome thanks a lot for the post!
 

Sangheili

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For those looking to save a few bucks, try RawTherapee. It is open source and free. I actually greatly prefer it to Lightroom as it has an even wider field of White Balance adjustment (with my Canon and Lightroom, I could never get enough blue out of the pics if shooting under LEDs).

Also I use FastStone Photo Resizer to add Watermark and batch resize photos. RawTherapee does some of that, but I like having an external tool.

 

jasonandsarah

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I have lightroom on my phone because my new note 5 allows me to shoot in raw! Thanks so much for the write up and explanation! Now hopefully the app is similar to the PC version.
Before lightroom

After, there isn't to much difference but I only wanted to make it look more realistic.
 

revhtree

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I'm loving your articles!
 

westreef

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Hi Adam, did you use a tripod for this topdown shot? If not, you must have very steady hands.
 

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