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Author Topic: Lightroom Auto Experiments  (Read 1326 times)

Chris Kern

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Lightroom Auto Experiments
« on: December 14, 2017, 06:01:19 PM »

I'm posting this and its associated attachments with some hesitation.  It does not describe a rigorous test: I was just tinkering with the new "intelligent" Lightroom Auto control to see what it did with a few of my images.  However, I thought the results were interesting enough that I decided to make them publicly availableóand perhaps prompt others to post some samples of their own.

Methodology: I copied all the settings from a processed raw file except the ones mediated by the new Auto control: Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks, Saturation, and Vibrance.  I then pasted the settings into a virtual copy of the raw file in its original imported state.  Finally, I used the new Auto control on the file with the pasted settings.  Since the order that adjustments are applied reportedly has no effect on Lightroom's final rendering of the file, the before-and-after pairs in this post and the next one should accurately reflect the difference between how I manually had processed the respective images and the effect of the Auto control.

* * *

Sample 1 (Alebrijes)

The original capture was not optimally exposed.  I was making a snapshot of a couple of the Oaxacan alebrijes my wife and I have collected so I could email to some friends a sample of this genre of Mexican folk art, and I didn't bother to modify the camera's auto-exposure setting.  Needless to say, because of the white background, the image was significantly underexposed.  I dealt with this in post before I sent the email.  I thought just maybe the examples slurped up by Adobe's neural network when it was creating the dataset for the Auto control might have allowed the software to recognize that these subjects had a white background, but apparently not.

Sample 2 (San Miguel de Allende Skyline)

This pano was properly exposed at capture time and the lighting was excellent, so I expected the Auto control to do a fairly decent job with it.  As Jeff Schewe explained in another thread, "the new Auto is a bit conservative with extreme highlights with a tendency of texture and detail being important. Also, the shadows tend to be fairly open," and that's exactly what I think I see here.  My manual adjustments were a bit punchieróthere may even be a few blown highlights, although the Lightroom histogram doesn't show themóand I didn't try to recover all the shadow detail in the raw file because that's not the way the light looks on a sunny day in central Mexico.  But if I was processing this image for the first time, the Auto settings wouldn't be an unacceptable starting point.

The forum software restricts me to four attachments, so the two final examples will appear in my next post.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 06:20:55 PM by Chris Kern »
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Schewe

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Re: Lightroom Auto Experiments
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2017, 02:53:19 AM »

Totally unclear about what is what...can you edit the post and put labels below the photos indicating what it represents?
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Chris Kern

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Re: Lightroom Auto Experiments
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2017, 09:26:02 AM »

can you edit the post and put labels below the photos indicating what it represents?

I tried, but couldn't figure out how to use the "Insert Image" button in the forum software to upload a file in a way that would interleave the photos and text.  Does that button require a remote URL for the image file?  The "Attach" function allows me to upload images to the LuLa website, but only positions them at the bottom of the post.  I suspect I'm missing something obvious here. . . .

However, to clarify: In each pair of attached files, the first (with the filename nameManual.jpg) is the image as I edited it manually.  The second (with the filename nameAuto.jpg) is the image with the new Lightroom Auto modifications for Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks, Saturation, and Vibrance, and my original manual edits for everything else.  In other words, the second attachment in each pair represents the way LR Auto adjusted those sliders for that image.

Schewe

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Re: Lightroom Auto Experiments
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2017, 01:11:25 PM »

Again hard to tell what is happening with seeing the original default starting point...
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Peter_DL

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luxborealis

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Re: Lightroom Auto Experiments
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2017, 01:39:48 PM »

Irrespective of what the originals looks like, based on the sample provided, I like your manual processing better.

If you are trying to determine if ďthe end justifies the meansĒ, itís the end result that counts no matter what originals look like. Iíd say: Thinking-Seeing Human 2; Algorithm 0
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luxborealis

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Re: Lightroom Auto Experiments
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2017, 01:55:01 PM »


http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/12/15/is-adobes-new-auto-button-in-acr-and-lightroom-worth-using

See video.
--

Is this guy for real?

In each case, the new Auto button does a pretty good job, but no where near whatís possible with a thinking human being who knows a bit about LR (or ACR). He does say that youíll need to go in and further adjust sliders, and itís not over-exposing, like the old Auto button did, but the photos still appear slightly mushy. I guess thatís better than too much contrast.

Of course, Iím also looking at this from a different perspective. I use the Auto White and Black point feature fairly regularly for full-toned images. I also use Auto Contrast at times. I donít see that this new Auto button trumps this combination, so, to me, LR CC is still not worth upgrading to from the stand alone version Iím still using.
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Lightroom Auto Experiments
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2017, 05:55:38 PM »


http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/12/15/is-adobes-new-auto-button-in-acr-and-lightroom-worth-using

See video.
--

From that video the new "Auto" button appears to be a recipe for "My prints are too dark" before the user has a chance to adapt to the sudden dramatic "film like" darkening of the image. The old ACR Auto button appears to lighten evenly from the shadows to highlights so the user can see detail in the shadows. Since I'm using CS5 the Auto button likes to crank the contrast quite a bit.

The histogram analysis of that video is very impressive in how the Auto button tames the highlights but at the sacrifice of darkening mid-range which actually gives the impression of darker prints. I usually have to apply an umbrella shaped or reverse gamma shape point curve where the hump is just left of middle gray.   
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