Black Clipping-blue/aqua/white triangle....what is the routine now?

Rose Weir

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The image is balanced after the basic V4 sliders....BUT...there is a black clipping triangle.
Hold the Alt key and hover over the triangle displays small areas(rock crevices, along a roof line etc) I can use the -shadow brush and the clipping triangle will go to dark blue ....or
I go to my point curve settings where I saved a black clipping ONLY setting. The black end point was pushed up just a little.

I have moved the black slider well into the plus side and that just dilutes or flattens the image.
These images were in high direct light on rock structures so contrasty. While testing the v4 beta I went for situations where the lighting was on the extreme side i.e bright sunlight, white snow, overcast, snow falling or mid day clouds moving, rock outcroppings. The final version arrived as the rocks and water setting was used. It was an F9.5, F11 and some F13 settings at Iso 400 (and still blew out the sky but V4 does give back sky cloud detail)

Its miniscule black clipping on the actual image and it could be a 'hang over' from past versions where I consider it a cardinal sin to have clipping.
It doesn't affect the 'soft proof'.
What does affect the soft proof is if I do not have enough exposure setting then its a 'flat soft proof'

It appears to me the emphasis on the midtone developing..(middle out to end routine) doesn't fit, totally, with extreme lighting situations so instead of feeling like I have cheated I suspect the 'expected' routine is to nudge the point curve. Is this so?

Rose
 
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Hi Rose,

Here is a question I have for you. Did the final tweaks you made in your attempt to minimize the clipping enhance your image, did it make make the story you are trying to tell clearer? If it did then far out, keep doing it and don't worry about if is "cheating" or whatever. If it didn't then you might want reconsider if you really need to do that.

For me the develop process is really all about sculpting the tonal range of the image to help me tell the story that I saw when when I took the picture or to try to bring out a different story that I see in the image now. I don't think that the new controls have, as you say an "emphasis on midtone developing" but rather I think that they now give us clear and concise control over the key tonal ranges. You could do this in LR3 but it was not at all obvious which sliders to use. Now they are just right there where you can us them and it is much easier to use.

Some additional thoughts on black point clipping. I have found that in both LR3 and now LR4 that I almost always will push the blacks until there is at least some clipping. I do this while watching full image not the clipping mask. I find that for every image there is a optimal setting where this will pop the rest of the image.

This is especially important if you also have had to bump shadows slider to bring out shadow detail that would otherwise be lost. I have found that I can make a really big move with the shadows slider to bringing out a lot of detail which by it self this would leave the image looking flat. But if I follow it by lowering the blacks (LR4) as described above, the resulting image will start to pop.

-louie
 

Rose Weir

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Thanks for responding. I was a 'little' frustrated while doing these images that out of the camera were in that ....dynamic range...but not much of a hill in the middle of the histogram <grin>...
Your first question hit the main issue. No, messing around to cancel that black clipping wasn't an improvement. The subject matter were either piles of rocks or layered walls of ledgerock face fully into the sun so they only had texture going for them because I was on a 'fill the screen with the group' theme. So I just sat back and muttered 'So BE clipped then!'
I recalled a tutorial found on the web likely back in Lr2 but it was an illustration of the benefits of allowing the blacks to have the clipping triangle be blue and you are quite right that pushing on the blacks to that point is of benefit; especially in these full light settings.
ALSO, that histogram we read out of the camera and the playback is actually the jpg inside or alongside the raw so it doesn't really represent the actual range that the raw file is going to display. I came across this info in a good article so I'm working on just using it as a loose guideline. On occasion I have taken a second shot with revised settings and in Lightroom the first shot was the one <grin>

The challenge with devloping in V4 is to keep watching the screen and not engrossed in the histogram which has been my habit.
Thanks for the input.

Rose
 
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Hi Rose,

I'm glad that you found my comments useful. I was initially thrown off balance by the new develop module until I had a chance to work with it for a while. Here is a link to one of Julieanne Kost's video tutorials, Develop Module Advancements in Lightroom 4. I found it very helpful in describing each of the new sliders and how they can be used.

-louie
 
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