Tag Archives: lightroom

Improved colours in Lightroom and Camera Raw

Colour profiles is one area where I always felt Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw could be improved a lot. Rawshooter Premium had the brilliant ColorEngine plug-in with colour profiles from colour wizard Magne Nilsen. I was never able to quite repeat these colours in Lightroom or ACR.

Lightroom colour profile comparisonUntil now. Fortunately Adobe Labs have come to the rescue with their much improved color rendering package. Have a look at this comparison of my Hawk Dreaming landscape, the top photo is the new Adobe Standard beta profile, the bottom photo is the standard Lightroom ACR4.4 profile.

The rendering of red and orange hues is much improved in the new profiles so if you’re a Lightroom 2.0 or Camera Raw (you need to get at least version 4.5) user waste no time, download the profiles and follow the instructions from the Adobe Labs page and enjoy much improved colours! I recommend using the "’Adobe Standard beta’ profile in the package but try them all and see what you like best.

Lost and Found

I am back in Copenhagen after a long 30 hours of flights from Sydney to Denmark. I hardly know how get back to normal life and write normal blog posts again; this time my soul never made it back with me and will forever live somewhere in the outback. I would want to go back tomorrow if possible.

I have a lot of work to sink my teeth into fortunately. Have transferred all RAW files from Lightroom 2.1 on my laptop to my main workstation and have developed exactly 1 RAW file! A sentimental can-stare-at-this-forever-brings-back-memories Hawk Dreaming at dusk silhouette shot:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Hawk Dreaming Sand Palms at Dusk
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Normal service will be resumed shortly on this blog when I find my lost marbles!

Return of the Two Toned World

I recently wrote about black and white conversions in the Two Toned World post and I have since continued my test of different techniques. Selling five 70x100cm prints in black and white recently for a client taught me a thing or two about black and white conversions and printing them!

Another advantage of black and white photos – besides being able to shoot in the middle of the day – is when it’s raining cats and dogs you can escape into Photoshop and go through old shots and try them in black and white. This Saturday it rained non-stop so I spent the day gathering and checking all my gear before takeoff this Wednesday to Australia – and toying with black and white conversions in Photoshop. With no colours in the world on a gray rainy Saturday I thought it only appropriate to work in glorious black and white:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Nambung National Park in Western Australia
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Copenhagen’s Lake Peblinge in duotone
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Duotone Tree in Fog
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The first two shots were converted using Alien Skin Exposure2 plugin which I have found to be by far the best way to convert to black and white. The level of control is incredible and the results are perfect. No posterisation or any problems at all in the converted files; they’re gorgeous and will print big with no visible pixel problems. The last shot of the Tree in Fog was converted directly in Lightroom 2.0; also a good way to convert. All 3 of them are in duotone where the shadows are pure black, but highlights have a slightly warm sepia tone. This lends the photo a bit of warmth while steel keeping it in stark mono.

Here’s a few tips on the conversion and printing process:

  • Viewing reflected light off a print compared to direct light from a monitor (calibrated of course!) are two different beasts. With no colours, a black and white print may appear somewhat darker than the image on screen so experiment to find just the right conversion. You may need to do an image that onscreen appears slightly too bright to achieve the print you want.
  • You want a full range of tones from black through all shades of gray to white. Don’t leave big areas of pure black or white though; they look less satisfying in print. Make sure you have shadow detail, don’t burn any highlights. Use shadows and highlight tool in Photoshop for this. White on paper in a black and white print just means no ink is used; so you’re just seeing the paper colour.
  • Create contrast and more contrast than you would in a colour photo – or the print looks a bit dull. Remember though; no burned highlights and no big black areas, always have some detail. Create different layers for shadows and highlights adjustments and blend them manually using masks to ensure contrast but also have detail.
  • Black and white prints can hold a lot more sharpening than colour prints but still you must watch out for unsharp mask halos. They are very visible in big prints.
  • It’s very easy to overdo the conversion and create posterized areas; usually the sky is the first to suffer. This may look alright on screen but is to avoided like the plague once you’ve seen it on a print! You may be tempted to do something like +140% red channel, -50% in the blue channel but it will severely posterize your sky and ruin your print.

After a lot of work I feel I have finally learned how to do satisfying black and white (well duotoned) digital files, something which I have previously found almost impossible and one area where I used to think film was so much better. With some clever techniques; a digital Ansel Adams style print is possible (now if only I had his eye for compositions).

Summer Storm in Copenhagen

The month of May brought us some incredibly good Spring weather, 347 hours of sunshine (a new record) and temperatures up to 29,5c degrees. I know, a chilly day in the Australian outback but it’s all relative as someone once said.

The month of May brought very few photos though, sunshine from a clear blue sky lends itself well to trips to the beach but not to my style of photography – dramatic and special light! I love Summer but also need some drama light to keep my photography fix going (I’m an addict). Like always, I want everything! My new favourite saying: I want patience and I want it now!

A dramatic change means beach trips are now out and photo trips are in again with everything from rain and hail storms to sunshine thrown into the weather mix presently! Thursday night in Copenhagen some amazing alien looking light and cloudscapes chose to visit us and fortunately I was ready. I shot a series of shots at two locations and this is the first of them, my permanent spot at lake Peblinge on my way home. It’s 10.23pm (sun sets at around 10pm) and a 20 second exposure captures this – click for large size:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Summer Storm in Copenhagen Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

It’s the sort of shot that gets better the bigger it is but I hope you still get a sense of how awe-inspiring the light was. It’s also somewhat otherworldly and I feel like doing a version with a UFO in there and Scully and Mulder in a boat on the lake – the truth is out there! I have more photos to come from this X-Files cloudscape night so maybe the next one will feature an Unidentified Flying Object!

Lightroom 2.0

This shot was developed in the beta version of Adobe Lightroom 2.0. I have recently started to use this as my RAW development tool and I must say I like it a lot and I like it a lot more than Lightroom 1.0. They fixed a lot of the things that annoyed me in 1.0 and added some incredible new features. Adobe purchased the Danish company Pixmantec and their product Rawshooter a short time before 1.0 was released but had no time to incorporate features etc. into Lightroom 1.0. With 2.0 I think the Pixmantec boys have had a lot more inputs and Lightroom 2.0 really feels like a lot more like a mix of the best of Rawshooter and Lightroom to me. I really like it and reckon Lightroom 2.0 will be my new RAW developer of choice. I did almost everything in Lightroom including the vignette effect, I only used Photoshop for sharpening and very little healing and painting with light. I still wish it was faster and more responsive, Rawshooter runs rings around Lightroom in terms of speed!