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Thread: Avoiding Haloes in LR

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ron Pfister's Avatar
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    Avoiding Haloes in LR

    Hi all,

    I've been doing quite a bit of landscape photography as of late, using a Sony NEX-7 and M-mount lenses. The DR that the NEX-7 offers at base-ISO is quite a bit greater than what I'm used to from my Canon DSLRs. As a result, I've been experimenting with single-shot HDR editing in LR4, mostly with B&W conversions. As long as I ETTR during capture, this actually works surprisingly well in LR4 (much better than in LR3 and earlier). However, LR4 shows a tendency to produce fairly wide haloes when extreme adjustments of negative highlights and positive shadows, clarity and contrast are combined.

    Below an example where you can see light haloes around the dark contours of the lava hills and volcanoes. It might not be noticeable at first glance, but when you look closely, you can clearly see the haloes. I actually had to restort to brush adjustments in the sky because the haloes simply looked unnatural.

    I was wondering if any of you have experience with this and would be willing to share techniques that minimize these haloes. Alternatively, I'd also be interested in experiences with this respect from other RAW-conversion workflows.

    Many TIA for any insights you're willing to share!

    Ron




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    Re: Avoiding Haloes in LR

    In C1 you have several more tools for major tonal adjustments, local contrast, and sharpening.

    In these images I'd probably have used the HDR-via-LCC method, added some shadow recovery, a few local adjustments including a gradient, and then used structure and clarity for sharpening rather than standard sharpening. It's hard to tell without seeing the unadjusted file, but I probably would have also made more of my tonal adjustments using the Color Editor to restrict changes by color/subject rather than region/tone. This leads to far fewer artifacts along hard edges like sky/ground lines.

    Have you ever used C1? It takes a bit longer to learn for some, but the image quality is absolutely first rate.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Senior Member Ron Pfister's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Haloes in LR

    Many thanks for your feedback, Doug! I haven't touched C1 since 2004 or 2005 - a loong time . I have recently read a comparative review of LR4 and C1-6 that judged the highlight recovery abilities of LR4 far superior to those available in C1-6. Would you agree with this? And how does C1-7 fare with this respect? Highlight recovery is key when doing single-shot HDR...

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Haloes in LR

    I use LR and also have C1-6. I am pretty happy with the newest LR and haven't tried C1-7 yet. My workflow consists of getting the histogram to a good place in LR, then moving to CS6 and using levels or curve adjustment layers and masking for the type of adjusting that you are doing. With photoshop, I can put the adjustment exactly where I want it and I avoid haloes. I'm using NEX7 and A99.

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    Re: Avoiding Haloes in LR

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Pfister View Post
    Many thanks for your feedback, Doug! I haven't touched C1 since 2004 or 2005 - a loong time . I have recently read a comparative review of LR4 and C1-6 that judged the highlight recovery abilities of LR4 far superior to those available in C1-6. Would you agree with this? And how does C1-7 fare with this respect? Highlight recovery is key when doing single-shot HDR...
    When it comes to highlight recovery and high ISO noise reduction: LR3 < C1v6 < LR4 < C1v7

    When it comes to color, tonal transitions, low ISO detail extraction, overall "look" and minute adjustments LR4 < C1v6 < C1v7.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Senior Member Ron Pfister's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Haloes in LR

    Thanks for your feedback, Cindy and Doug!

    @Cindy: I'll definitely have to dust off my PS-skills to follow your preferred workflow, but it's probably the best option in terms of the level of control over the resulting image. When you do B&W, do you convert in LR or PS?

    @Doug: I'll definitely give C1v7 a go. Is it possible to use it just as a RAW-converter, i.e. without using its new asset management features? Considering the time I've invested in my LR catalog, I'd prefer to stick with LR as my main application, using other RAW-converters only where necessary.

    Here another image that illustrates the issue I described in my original post:


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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Haloes in LR

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Pfister View Post
    Thanks for your feedback, Cindy and Doug!

    @Cindy: I'll definitely have to dust off my PS-skills to follow your preferred workflow, but it's probably the best option in terms of the level of control over the resulting image. When you do B&W, do you convert in LR or PS?

    ...
    Ron,
    My past experience with LR3 and C16 was that Capture one did a much better raw conversion. Like I said, I have not upgraded to C17 yet and am using LR4. I have a LR library going back to 2004, so don't plan to give up LR for my catalog.
    The answer to the black and white conversion question, is that if I'm posting a photo to my web site, I may just do a LR conversion. I have some nice film presets that do a pretty good job. If I'm doing a photo that I plan to print, or one that has a less than perfect dynamic range, then I will get the histogram as perfect as possible in LR and then do adjustments, black and white conversion and sharpening in Photoshop. I go back to Lightroom for printing to my 3800.

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Haloes in LR

    >I was wondering if any of you have experience with this and would be willing to share techniques that minimize these haloes. Alternatively, I'd also be interested in experiences with this respect from other RAW-conversion workflows.

    Please post your basic settings dialog in LR4.

    - Clarity and Sharpening can create these halos
    - Maybe Highlight recovery and shadows too.


    >I actually had to restort to brush adjustments in the sky because the haloes simply looked unnatural.

    Plan to publish soon a nice PS technique to brush off such halos
    Uwe Steinmueller
    -------------------

    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ron Pfister's Avatar
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    Re: Avoiding Haloes in LR

    @Cindy: thanks for the clarifications. It definitely makes sense to prioritize and to invest time and effort into the images that will be printed. I mostly print 24x36" (or more than 36" in the case of panos). At that size, painstaking attention to detail is a must, IMO.

    @Uwe: many thanks for your input. Below a screenshot of the settings used to create the previous image (Pinar on Black Lava). Quite extreme by all standards, I must confess. In LR3, the result would have likely been an unsightly mess. Not so with PV2012 in LR4 - it's really quite amazing how far you can go in terms of DR with just one exposure. And it is frustrating that you can't seem to be able to go all the way without leaving LR

    One of the primary reasons for the haloes appears to be the extreme negative highlights adjustment. The reason why I'm doing this is because it is very effective at darkening the blue of the sky. If I reduce the luminance of the blue channel, I quickly see artifacts (blotches/streaks) in the sky. This doesn't happen with extreme highlight recovery settings.


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    Re: Avoiding Haloes in LR

    I'm going to guess :-) that clarity at 100% in LR 4 might be it.

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