2023 – The First Cut Is The Deepest

It seriously looks like I’m going to buy Lightroom as soon as the release candidate is expired. Why? Well, you can do a lot with very minimal effort.

Take for instance this image. To the right you see the original JPEG, straight out of the OM-D. The sky is clearly overexposed, but due to the tremendous contrast the camera had little choice. It did its best to record the whole dynamic range, but of course there is no way to do that in a JPEG.

To the left you see the result of a pretty simple conversion in Lightroom. Applying automatic levels brought back the sky and the roof, and it did so perfectly. Of course now the shadowy foreground was much too dark. Therefore I’ve used a gradient local adjustment, using it to brighten the foreground and at the same time to warm up the shadows.

Finally I’ve brought the image into Photoshop, enhanced the foreground patterns and local contrast in the the walls with Topaz Adjust, removed the dark spots on the walls (because they perversely looked like clumsy manipulations), added some vignetting, etc, but if you look at it, 80% of the work was done in Lightroom, using maybe 20% of the time. That’s not bad.

The Song of the Day is “The First Cut Is The Deepest” from Rod Stewart’s 1993 album “Unplugged….And Seated”. Hear another live version with a funny start on YouTube.

2 thoughts on “2023 – The First Cut Is The Deepest”

  1. There is no doubt the Lightroom version is far superior to the other but, since I only shoot RAW, I was unaware that LR could coax this much of a change on a jpg. Nice work.

    1. No, no, this is of course not a conversion made from a JPEG, it’s from the corresponding RAW 🙂

      But still, I find that if you simply click “Auto”, what Lightroom does is seemingly more often pleasing than what ACR 4.6 does.

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