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Thread: Lightroom / C1 explanations

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2009
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    Lightroom / C1 explanations


    This may be a strange question, but can someone please explain in layman's terms how the recovery slider works in Lightroom and / or vs C1? Basically I'm trying to get my head around when I should use it vs exposure, how I can visually tell I've gone too far with the setting, and how it may effect other areas of the image.

    Also, again in layman's terms, what exactly does the clarity slider do? When I adjust it it seems, to my eye, to alter mid tone contrast but at high settings can cause weird dark halo kind of effects. Is this correct? Does the effect take into account actual image content on a per image basis or could one find a setting for their camera and tastes and apply all?

    Thanks for your help!


  2. #2
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    Oct 2008
    Hurst, Texas (DFW area)
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    Re: Lightroom / C1 explanations

    Hi Tim

    Im still a novice when it comes to C1, but in LR, the recovery slider is used only for highlight recovery. Heres how I use it. From within the develop module, click on the upward facing arrow at the upper right corner of the histogram block, this will show any blown highlights within the selected photo. Now move the recovery slider to the right only enough to make the blown highlights disappear and then stop. Note that the highlights you are trying to recover should contain detail (i.e. not be specular). A similar technique can be used for shadows by clicking on the upward facing arrow at the upper left corner of the histogram block and moving the fill light slider to the right only enough to make the blocked-up shadows disappear.

    The clarity slider is actually an unsharp masking (USM) technique called Local Contrast Enhancement. It applies USM at a low amount and large radius only to the mid tones. So you are correct about it altering mid-tone contrast. I adjust this on a per image basis because the mid tone content varies widely between photos.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by Paul_Kerfoot; 16th October 2009 at 07:32.

  3. #3
    Workshop Member
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    Re: Lightroom / C1 explanations

    Paul's spot on.

    Just a quick note that the "upward facing arrow" is actually an exclamation point in a triangle ("warning!") which is called the "exposure warning" indicator. In addition note that you can set the point at which the "exposure warning" triggers under [Preferences > Exposure] depending on your aesthetic taste for amounts of detail in highlight/shadows vs. the amount of contrast/pop in the image.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom / C1 explanations

    I can only speak for Lightroom. Recovery is 'highlight recovery' -- it only works well for RAW pix. If the highlights are overexposed, in develop module, clicking on the triangle at the right of the histogram will bring up a red overlay showing what's blown. And, the colour of the triangle shows which colours are blown. Recovery seems to use info from luminance and the unblown channels to "rebuild" information.

    A combination of exposure reduction and recovery can gain 1 - 2 EV in many pix.

    Clarity, again in Lr, according to Martin Evening is a hybrid of local contrast enhancement using USM with low amount and high radius, and a midtone contrast enhancement -- he doesn't explain further.


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