Lightroom 4 and ACR

One of the guest speakers at ISAP this year was Scott Kelby.  Nikon have sponsored Scott to speak at ISAP in the past and it was good that they brought him again this year.  He had a longer slot than in past events and so was able to go into a great level of detail in what he discussed.  He also brought his normal style of presenting which combines a lot of humor with the educational elements.  I find him a good guy to listen to.

I learned a lot of little things from him during the course of his presentation but today I want to focus on just one thing.  This relates to the processing of images using Lightroom 4 and Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop CS6.  As he pointed out throughout his session and for those of you that don’t already know, these two things are exactly the same.  The processing engine and the controls are identical and the images can be processed in either and get exactly the same results.

What I found fascinating was the level of aggressiveness possible with the controls.  Having used the previous three versions of Lightroom, I have become accustomed to just how much I can use the sliders without the whole thing becoming a total mess.  With Lightroom 4 there is a new processing engine available and the sliders have been changed in their functionality.  I have been getting used to them and experimenting a little with what they do.

What Scott showed us was that you can really be a lot more forceful with the slider use.  Previously, if you used too much of a slider, the image would begin to look really bad.  Now, the sliders are a lot better controlled and you can use far more of the available range without everything becoming scary.  Scott’s methodology through the sequence of sliders also helps out with this.  After his lecture, I went to the laptop and had a go.  It was true.  You really can be a lot more aggressive and the results are really good rather than horrifying!  This was a great learning opportunity and will significantly impact how I approach things in future as well as making me revisit a few previous shots!

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