I have seen announcements from Adobe about a feature that is coming soon to Lightroom which seems particularly appealing to me. When dealing with dull and overcast conditions, I shoot quite heavily overexposed. This gives me a lot more shadow detail to work with and also still allows me to pull back detail in the sky. On a dull day, a couple of stops of overexposure can work quite effectively. The Lightroom/Camera Raw editing only has a limited amount you can do with the exposure and shadows sliders so it is not ideal for this. However, the new version of Lightroom is going to use AI to analyze the image for a subject to be selected or a sky. What I didn’t realize was that this was already available in Photoshop. I decided to have a play with it there to see how it works and get a feel for the way it might work in Lightroom soon.
I opened the image in Photoshop as a Smart Object. I then created a New Smart Object Via Copy to duplicate the object. In Select, I picked Subject and it did a pretty good job of selecting the airframe. Some edges were a little vague but overall pretty good. I used that selection to make a mask on the upper layer. Then, I was able to open each Smart Object in Camera Raw and edit them each to optimize the sky or the background. Some tweaking was occasionally required to ensure that it didn’t look like a bad superimposed job but it worked quite well. Lightroom will have this function as a filter so I should be able to do something similar in there but we shall see when it gets released. If it works, it could be a great addition to the editing toolset. I wish I had known about it in Photoshop before to be honest!
UPDATE: The Lightroom update is now out and I have played with it a bit. I think it is even better than the Photoshop implmentation so I shall put together a more detailed post on how it is working out for me.