Thursday, 26 September 2013

Duxford War Museum, frustrating

I managed to get a couple of hours in the Duxford war museum and thought I'd be able to get some nice photos.  Sadly, as with a lot of museums, the urge to cram as much stuff in for display, ultimately detracts (in my opinion) from many of the exhibits.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Adobe- Give Lightroom a "back" button....please.

I'm really hoping that as a result of this post, someone will point out that I'm being an idiot and have overlooked this feature and its already there.  But I've Google'd and can't find an answer and it is driving me nuts.

In Lightroom "Develop" module, there is a handy "History" function that records the changes you've made to an image and this is great, but its not where I would like to see a "Back" button.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Lightroom 5, Spot Removal Tool (Not a Healing Brush!)

One of the tools I do use regularly got a makeover in LightRoom 5 and is one of the bits that there has been a fair amount of noise about.  The spot removal tool was great for, well, spots. You could also creatively use it in other ways, but to be honest it was a bit limited as it only worked by placing a circle over the thing you wanted to remove, so if you wanted to remove something that was long and thin, you'd have to put a big circle over it and then have LR work its magic, which did not often give great results.

In LR 5 you can now "paint over" the long and thin (or really any irregular shaped) things you wish to remove and Lightroom will do much better.  I've heard this feature described as being akin to CS6's healing features but sadly it really isn't, it IS much better and will mean in some cases you won't need to go to CS6, but its not the same and its not as good (in my opinion).

Original image and blemish removal comparison in CS6 and Lightroom 5.
Take this image for example, top left is the original, and there's a nasty branch covering the bird on the left.

Top right, shows the branch "painted" in with the CS6 Healing brush, and the image below it shows the result.  Pretty good.

Bottom left shows the new Spot Removal Tools' attempt at the same thing.  Because it samples from a nearby location it has carried across bits of the branch and the birds leg, which means more cleaning up.

So its a great addition to Lightroom and improves the tool a lot, but a Healing brush it isn't.


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Lightroom 5 New Features in Use

So I've now purchased LR5 and moved over to it fully, which was a pretty painless process (apart from the pain in my wallet!).  The thing with running the Beta version was that whilst you could play with the new features, its not the same as having it as part of your standard workflow, I've often found that "cool new features" or plugins etc quickly fall by the wayside and don't become a regularly used feature when they are added to your normal day to day work.

So which features have quickly been integrated my workflow and which have not?

Well actually its not that simple because often I have to remind myself to use the new features as my ways are seem quite entrenched.

One of the features I am using regularly is the "Visualise Spots" function that comes alive when the "Spot Removal" tool is activated.  Its ideal for highlighting dust spots as it says, but I've also found it really useful to check whether other manipulations have left artifacts that you don't notice at first but could become visible later.

As an example:
Puffin coming in to land on Staple Island.
In this shot of a  Puffin, coming in to land, I mucked it up and got half a Puffin in at the bottom.  I could have cropped it out but I wanted to keep a good bit of space around the flying one so elected to use the new version of the "Spot Removal" tool that now allows use over irregular shapes.

And it looks like this.
Distracting Half Puffin Removed
Which looks ok (I've left the LR dot in to show where the half Puffin was).  However if you then invoke the "Visualise Spots" function it looks like this.
Visualise Spots function showing blending errors
You can now clearly see that there is a dark crescent visible which is where the Puffin has been removed, so this needs a bit more work.  Incidentally this function has also revealed a spot (may be dust may be an object in the distance), this is the proper function of the tool, so using it to check for blending blemishes etc is not its prime function but is helpful nonetheless.

I'll Post a few thoughts on the new "Spot Removal" tool, which I'm finding a bit disappointing but perhaps my expectations were too high!