John Walker

Upgraded to Photoshop and Lightroom Package - Workflow?

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Before I get into bad habits with these two packages can I ask what 'work flow' other members use.

 

I'm not planning to save TIFFs - just to go from RAW and finish with JPEGs.  

 

So ...  Lightroom or PS first etc ?

 

John

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Lightroom first for sure as you are working on the raw file which is preferable for most things and you can do so much now in Lightroom that used to require Photoshop. I learn best from books and I have gained much of my knowledge from Martin Evening's Lightroom books. Juleanne Kost's (Adobe expert) tutorials and the Lightroom Queen are excellent resources among many on the web. I found Lightroom easy to learn coming from ACR and Photoshop. I still use Photoshop for retouching images if required and if I want to do detailed local adjustments where selections are desirable or essential but Lightroom's tools for local adjustments have advanced considerably in the last few years. 

 

I keep any files I work on in Photoshop as PSDs with layers intact as I don't want to repeat the work if I want to make further changes. GIven the very cheap price of storage now, I don't understand the rationale behind deleting TIFFs or PSDs. 

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Play with the sliders in LR, John. First click on the WB dropper and find something that should be true white, gray or black.

I usually look for areas too light and take the brightness slider down.That will also make sky bluer unless it is blown. You can take the white slider down, also. Just play with them.  Contrast about 10%. If the image is washed out, decrease black slider.  Add some vibrancy if you like it.

I won’t go into everything, MDM has made excellent suggestions. If you want to do further work in PS, look at the top of the LR page and where it says “Photo”, click on that for the drop down. Then click on “Open in Photoshop 2018 or is it 17? Whatever the newest version is. It’ll migrate the image into PS for any further work you might want to do. I usually do my curves and cropping in PS.  Then I “save as” to the folder all the images (RAWS) are in, you’d do just the jpeg where I do Tiffs.

 I take all of my LR images into PS and save from there...I don’t even know how to save back to the folder from LR!!  :D Just haven’t looked.

Betty

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Posted (edited)

First I download the raw files from camera into my own database based upon year and month.

 

I then add filenames and do my  keywording in LR. Once you get the hang of it, you'll appreciate the ease with which you can copy and edit stuff.  You can partially automate the process by having common sets of keywords available as a macro - can't recall what LR calls the process, the program tends to be a law unto itself in many ways. So my raw files are all catalogued in LR.

 

Then I do my heavy lifting in LR, i.e. changes to exposure, colour balance, highlights and shadows etc, as it's better to work on your more detailed  raw files. I then export a 16 bit TIFF to PS, where I make a lot of use of adjustment layers. Sometimes I'll make more than one TIFF in LR and combine them in PS. Personally I prefer the selection tools in PS to the broader brush stuff in LR, while I'm far more conversant (and happy) working with PS.

 

Being exceedingly parsimonious, I rarely save either TIFFs or PSD files, unless I have the definite intention of doing further work  on the image later. I therefore save the raw files  and processed JPGs only. 

 

My JPGs are stored by location or subject and year. I can't access them from LR directly, but as they have common names with the raw files, I can cross reference between the LR catalogue and my own system.

 

 

Edited by Bryan
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7 hours ago, Bryan said:

First I download the raw files from camera into my own database based upon year and month.

 

I then add filenames and do my  keywording in LR. Once you get the hang of it, you'll appreciate the ease with which you can copy and edit stuff.  You can partially automate the process by having common sets of keywords available as a macro - can't recall what LR calls the process, the program tends to be a law unto itself in many ways. So my raw files are all catalogued in LR.

 

Then I do my heavy lifting in LR, i.e. changes to exposure, colour balance, highlights and shadows etc, as it's better to work on your more detailed  raw files. I then export a 16 bit TIFF to PS, where I make a lot of use of adjustment layers. Sometimes I'll make more than one TIFF in LR and combine them in PS. Personally I prefer the selection tools in PS to the broader brush stuff in LR, while I'm far more conversant (and happy) working with PS.

 

Being exceedingly parsimonious, I rarely save either TIFFs or PSD files, unless I have the definite intention of doing further work  on the image later. I therefore save the raw files  and processed JPGs only. 

 

My JPGs are stored by location or subject and year. I can't access them from LR directly, but as they have common names with the raw files, I can cross reference between the LR catalogue and my own system.

 

 

 

We have similar workflows up to the last stage where I keep the PSDs and discard the JPEGS as these can be written out at will at any point. The reason I use PSDs instead of TIFFs is that Photoshop handles the PSDs a lot better if there are any layers. TIFF can do it but it can be awkward, slower and occasionbally prone to corruption. I do keep the PSDs along with the original raws and use the Lightroom database to keep track. Keywords as well as filenames are very useful for finding images.

 

I am not writing this to persuade you to change as I don't think that is likely but just to explain my reasoning :).

 

I would only discard a layered PSD if I was absolutely sure I was never going to work on it again which is the opposite to yout approach and in fact I could never be sure I was never going to work on it again so I never discard them. In fact whenever I go back to look at older images, more often than not I want to tweak something. Given the price of storage which has dropped continuously so that 1TB is now around £20 or less, this is a no-brainer. Even valuing my time at less than the minimum wage, the cost difference would be enormous if I was to consider the time I would spend tweaking older images. 

 

Why would I want to tweak? Multiple reasons in fact. It could be reconverting a raw image given the vast improvements in raw converters. For somebody like the OP who has been converting presumably using the cut down version of ACR in Elements, the difference in the conversion could be huge with the latest ACR/Lightroom. In particular, highlight recovery has improved massively over the years. If I use the same crop as with the original PSD, I can add the newly converted image as a layer under the existing adjustment layers. 

 

Or it could be I had my monitor a little too dark or too bright back in 2009 and I wasn't watching the histogram carefully so I might want to tweak a curves adjustment layer a little. Or it could be many other reasons. 

 

The point is obvious no doubt. Save a little money on storage but spend a lot of time redoing images or not because of the work involved. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, John Walker said:

Before I get into bad habits with these two packages can I ask what 'work flow' other members use.

 

I'm not planning to save TIFFs - just to go from RAW and finish with JPEGs.  

 

So ...  Lightroom or PS first etc ?

 

John

 

One very important thing I would strongly recommend if using Lightroom is to to always write your metadata into xmp files rather than keep the metadata solely in the catalog (database). The reason for this is that if you did get a corrupt database which can happen (never happened to me but it does happen as the forum member named Marb may testify), then you lose nothing except a little time reimporting the images into a new catalog. It also means you are independent of Lightroom in the future.

 

You do this in the Catalog Settings - Automatically write changes into xmp. I do this first whenever I create a new catalog. 

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Many thanks for all your replies and advice - plenty to set me on the right track.

 

One thing that is confusing me.  Using the Open with ...   option  When I open a RAW file in PS it opens in the ACR part of the program.  When I open the same RAW file in Lightroom it doesn't open in ACR or at least not the ACR screen that I am used to.  It goes straight to what I believe is the main Lightroom screen.  What am I doing wrong?

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You are not doing anything wrong - that is intended behaviour. It is the same raw converter in LR as ACR but with a different interface so they do exactly the same thing. I find the LR interface far more intuitive. LR is modular so there is no main screen as such. The Develop Module, which is what you are referring to, is the ACR equivalent.

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Happy to help John. It's not difficult to get the basics but it needs an initial shift in perspective as you are seeing.

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15 hours ago, John Walker said:

Before I get into bad habits with these two packages can I ask what 'work flow' other members use.

 

I'm not planning to save TIFFs - just to go from RAW and finish with JPEGs.  

 

So ...  Lightroom or PS first etc ?

 

John

 

I shoot RAW, drag and drop the folder into LR Classic, work with the sliders there, save as a tiff, drag the tiff into PS CC, do my spotting and other finishing touches there, Save and Save As a 8-bit jpeg to send to Alamy. I have the Nik collection under Filters in PS, and I often do something with the Vieza 2 tool there.

 

I do not save the tiff. After QC passes my images, I delete the tiffs but keep the RAW and jpegs.

 

Edo

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From what I can make out there are as many different workflows possible as there are photographers - read what other people do, watch a few videos and they play with some of your own photos and you will find a way of working that feels natural to you.

For what its worth its very rare for me to use both programs at the same time on the same photo.  I generally use Lightroom to do all my post processing (I actually use photo mechanic for ingesting) and photoshop for either design or if I am doing something arty that requires pixel-level manipulation.

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5 hours ago, John Walker said:

When I open a RAW file in PS it opens in the ACR part of the program.  When I open the same RAW file in Lightroom it doesn't open in ACR or at least not the ACR screen that I am used to.  It goes straight to what I believe is the main Lightroom screen.  What am I doing wrong?

 

For what it's worth; I won a major Photoshop award a few years ago and have been using Lightroom since version 1. The Develop module in Lightroom is basically the same as ACR, except that, in my view the LR version is better laid out and has some additional tools. I now only use PS for very limited, and some would say, quirky adjustments.

 

For example, I prefer to adjust exposure using the levels slider in PS, by dragging the Blacks and Whites sliders to where the curve begins and ends. This can also be done in LR, but I find PS to be more accurate and this simple adjustment can really push up the contrast and tones, and if you're nearly "there" with the original image, there's not much more to do. I also do spotting in PS, as I find the spot healing tool much faster and again, more accurate, than the LR version.

 

Then, in LR, I work down the basics panel, but I always start by eliminating CA and adjusting the lens. I usually then (after exposure) set a medium tone curve, add some clarity and Vibrance (never saturation) and the job's a good 'un!

 

 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Steve Valentia said:

 

For what it's worth; I won a major Photoshop award a few years ago and have been using Lightroom since version 1. The Develop module in Lightroom is basically the same as ACR, except that, in my view the LR version is better laid out and has some additional tools. I now only use PS for very limited, and some would say, quirky adjustments.

 

For example, I prefer to adjust exposure using the levels slider in PS, by dragging the Blacks and Whites sliders to where the curve begins and ends. This can also be done in LR, but I find PS to be more accurate and this simple adjustment can really push up the contrast and tones, and if you're nearly "there" with the original image, there's not much more to do. I also do spotting in PS, as I find the spot healing tool much faster and again, more accurate, than the LR version.

 

Then, in LR, I work down the basics panel, but I always start by eliminating CA and adjusting the lens. I usually then (after exposure) set a medium tone curve, add some clarity and Vibrance (never saturation) and the job's a good 'un!

 

 

 

All very good and I wouldn't argue with very much as I do pretty much the same myself. I do have a default saved to deal with chromatic aberration so that button is always on and I do have a camera-specific default setting for vibrance as I use one camera for landscapes (+20) and another for portraiture (0 vibrance)

 

However, the levels adjustment in Photoshop is indeed a bit quirky if you don't mind me saying so and with all due respect to a guy who writes in David K's magazine :). So what do you mean when you say more accurate? I'm not getting this one.

Edited by MDM

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, MDM said:

However, the levels adjustment in Photoshop is indeed a bit quirky if you don't mind me saying so and with all due respect to a guy who writes in David K's magazine :). So what do you mean when you say more accurate? I'm not getting this one.

 

I totally agree, and it feels quirky, even to me when I doing it. But, I'm (half) convinced that when I pull the histogram to the corners of the graph in LR it can still leave the image (usually) under exposed. If I take it into PS, there is often still a flat line on the whites side - or even on the left (blacks) - and further levels adjustments brings it where it looks right to my eye - and usually less flat. It may just be my imagination, but it's a habit I'm stuck with! Often, though, just as a belt-and-braces "check".

 

Incidentally, I've just been promoted to Associate Editor of Cameracraft (David K's magazine). So, quirky works sometimes. ;)

Edited by Steve Valentia

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Steve Valentia said:

 

I totally agree, and it feels quirky, even to me when I doing it. But, I'm (half) convinced that when I pull the histogram to the corners of the graph in LR it can still leave the image (usually) under exposed. If I take it into PS, there is often still a flat line on the whites side - or even on the left (blacks) - and further levels adjustments brings it where it looks right to my eye - and usually less flat. It may just be my imagination, but it's a habit I'm stuck with! Often, though, just as a belt-and-braces "check".

 

Incidentally, I've just been promoted to Associate Editor of Cameracraft (David K's magazine). So, quirky works sometimes. ;)

 

Might be a monitor thing or it might be just plain quirky - nothing wrong with that.

 

Congrats on the promotion and best of luck. That is an honour indeed. Cameracraft is a beautiful, classy magazine. David is a true genius. I must subscribe. I was buying it off the shelf until it went way up in price a little while back. 

 

Just subscribed :)

Edited by MDM

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9 minutes ago, MDM said:

Just subscribed :)

 

Brilliant! The new edition has just gone to press, and should be with you in a week or so. Come and say hello on the FB page. :)

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3 minutes ago, Steve Valentia said:

 

Brilliant! The new edition has just gone to press, and should be with you in a week or so. Come and say hello on the FB page. :)

 

Great looking forward to receiving it. Will check out the Facebook page too. 

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10 minutes ago, Steve Valentia said:

 

There's this one too, for posting / sharing photos.

 

Cheers Steve. WIll check that out too. I've been intending to get more active on Facebook so that should inspire. 

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I import into LR, do everything in there, export as a jpeg, save the jpeg and RAW originals and I'm done.  LR is really all you need, IMO, of course.

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This thread has got me itching to sit down and watch some instructional videos to get more out of both Photoshop and Lightroom - but I am in rushed off my feet with other stuff right now and am not even managing to shoot stock photos

 

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3 hours ago, Steve Valentia said:

 

I totally agree, and it feels quirky, even to me when I doing it. But, I'm (half) convinced that when I pull the histogram to the corners of the graph in LR it can still leave the image (usually) under exposed. If I take it into PS, there is often still a flat line on the whites side - or even on the left (blacks) - and further levels adjustments brings it where it looks right to my eye - and usually less flat. It may just be my imagination, but it's a habit I'm stuck with! Often, though, just as a belt-and-braces "check".

 

 

3 hours ago, MDM said:

 

Might be a monitor thing or it might be just plain quirky - nothing wrong with that.

 

 

Could the inconsistency in the histogram be because LR is using ProPhoto RGB and perhaps PS is set to a default working colour space of AdobeRGB or the export (via PSD or TIFF) is using AdobeRGB? Changing from one colour space to the other seems to to alter the RGB histogram so that histogram based contrast and exposure adjustments using one or the other are inconsistent. You may want to take a look at this thread https://discussion.alamy.com/topic/10185-soft-proofing-on-or-off/?tab=comments#comment-182159. If both LR and PS are set to ProPhotoRGB I find things become more consistent, but then get messed up when you save to an AdobeRGB jpg for Alamy.

 

I'm no expert in this area, but I also see inconsistencies in the histograms between LR and PS if I don't set PS to use ProPhotoRGB and the export format to ProPhotoRGB. I'm now doing all my final adjustments in PS after RAW conversion with my colour space set to AdobeRGB since that's the format I want to end up with for Alamy. 

 

Mark

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17 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

I'm no expert in this area...

 

I beg to differ; that all sounds like a very expert analysis to me. I'm using Pro Photo in LR and Adobe RGB (which I prefer, for some reason - another "quirk" perhaps) in PS. So that all fits very nicely with your theory and thank you for explaining it. :)

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Sorry to be a pain but I'm still confused with Lightroom. On all the tutorial videos for Lightroom CC there is a menu bar across the top with Library I Develop I Map I Book I Slideshow etc.

I don't have this menu bar.   I've tried every option I can find including toggling F11 etc but no luck.   I am opening Lightroom from the icon on the task menu.

 

What am I doing wrong?

 

 

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