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Funky Joy With Adobe Lightroom
Pure Fun ( slightly stylized ) -- Ravenna, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/80 sec, f/13, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Pure Fun
( slightly stylized )

Today we visited a most excellent playground in Ravenna, a town four miles north, and among the resulting photos was one of Anthony gleefully enjoying a spin on a suspended tire. I liked the picture, but thought that a more punchy treatment would suit it better. I've occasionally liked the results of a “Dave Hill look” treatment (described here, and another example here), and what you see above is the result.

This time, though, I took advantage of a new feature of Lightroom 2 to soften it up, and take off the edge that the normal Dave Hill result.

Pure Fun in Adobe Lightroom
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/80 sec, f/13, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Pure Fun
in Adobe Lightroom

You can see in the develop settings at right that most settings are totally exaggerated... recovery, fill light, blacks, and contrast. The key here is clarity, and how it was applied. Clarity was first introduced in Lightroom version 1.1 to allow you to enhance local contrast, and with the normal “Dave Hill look” treatment, you push it to its maximum.

Lightroom 2, however, introduces the ability to apply negative clarity, which reduces local contrast. This softens things up, with the marquee use being to smooth the look of skin in a portrait (and as such, negative clarity is normally used with a localized-correction brush, so that you don't reduce the contrast of areas like the eyes).

In this case, I used negative clarity on the entire frame, which softens up the whole thing, bringing the somewhat harsh “Dave Hill look” more in line with the youthful, innocent subject of the shot. I really like the effect.

Here's the “normal” treatment I would have given the original photo, which has some fill light applied to make up for the harsh shadows...


Not So Interesting But Still Fun -- Ravenna, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/80 sec, f/13, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Not So Interesting
But Still Fun

And for context, here's what he was spinning on...

Ravenna, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos

He was actually spinning at a fairly good clip, but a fast shutter speed makes it look like he's just sitting there.


Comments so far....

“Negative clarity” alone justifies my switch to LR, since I feel that this phrase perfectly describes my mental state 99% of the time….

— comment by Zak on August 1st, 2008 at 4:52pm JST (6 years ago) comment permalink

Amazing! I love what you have done with this picture. It looks like a filstill from Pushing Daisies! ^.^

— comment by Cherrylicious on August 2nd, 2008 at 4:16am JST (6 years ago) comment permalink

It’s truly astounding when seemingly small features of a piece of software winds up affording powerful applications. Adjustment brushes, on their own, are amazing (am I the only person here whose volume workflow makes multi-layer adjustments in Photoshop impossible from a time-management perspective – but easily managed via LR 2.0?). Negative clarity is the closest thing to digital magic I’ve encountered in some time.

And, needless to say, the analysis offered here was invaluable. Thanks again, Jeffrey, and happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2009 is a lot better than 2008!

— comment by Bill Grae on December 30th, 2008 at 1:00pm JST (5 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink
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