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Dependencies in Adjustment Order

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I have read that the order of adjustments does not make any difference. It seems to me I've seen some notes here, and other places, on applying one adjustment before another. Some of the ones I'm seen:
  • Always denoise first. This makes it easier for the other adjustments to make sense out of what needs to change.
  • Apply lens correction last because it has to extrapolate information to change the pixels. Extrapolation plays around with the image information.
  • Always change Exposure first. From the FAQ "It’s important to get the Exposure setting about right before moving on to the other Basic tone panel sliders, as the range of other sliders are affected and they won’t work well if your Exposure slider is set incorrectly."
I'm looking to optimize my workflow so wonder if the order of adjustments should change rather than just going top to bottom as Adobe suggests.

Thanks
 
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Adjustments are not applied on the image, but stored as a ‘to do list’ in metadata. When you need a rendered image, such as when you export an image or print an image, that ‘to do list’ is carried out on the fly, in the order that Adobe considers best. In other words; it does not matter if you apply lens corrections first or last, because in practice they are applied when Adobe thinks it’s the best moment to apply them, regardless of what you did.

Having said that, it may be easier as a workflow to carry out certain adjustment before other adjustments. After all, certain sliders -like the exposure slider- interact with other sliders, like highlights or shadows.
 
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Internally, we are told that Adobe applies adjustments in what they have determined to be the best logical order
When you import an image, the adjustment sliders have default positions. If you make an adjustment, say exposure, Adobe will reapply all of the adjustments in their best determined order. All of this goes well and it does not matter which order you add adjustments, Adobe will still apply them in their best logical order.
For performance, you want to apply any pixel applied adjustments last. These include things like spot removal, upright tool, and to sone extent Noise reductions since it looks at surrounding pixels to apply some smoothing


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All this makes sense but the FAQ seems to imply the range of some adjustments are based on previous changes.

"It’s important to get the Exposure setting about right before moving on to the other Basic tone panel sliders, as the range of other sliders are affected and they won’t work well if your Exposure slider is set incorrectly. "

It's the relation of Exposure to others from the above statement I was hoping to understand better but it sounds like Adobe does it's own internal optimization.
 
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I think you are reading too much into this. If you set Exposure too high, you blow out the highlights and the Whites slider may not have enough room to compensate for that. That is what it says, in my opinion. It does not say that setting the exact same values in a different order would give a different outcome.
 

ChuckTin

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I've never seen that "logical order" mentioned. ?
I've always tried to do global luminance corrections first then lens corrections then color and local luminance tweaks and print sharpening last.
 
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Although there is no standard rule (except in maybe Victoria's FAQ book), the consensus around here is to apply your adjustments from the top of the list down with the exception of the pixel intensive functions that are recommended to be applied last.
 
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"It’s important to get the Exposure setting about right before moving on to the other Basic tone panel sliders, as the range of other sliders are affected and they won’t work well if your Exposure slider is set incorrectly. "
The actual adjustments are applied in the same order behind the scenes, regardless of what you do (with the exception of overlapping spot healing), but the choices you make will be different depending on the order of the sliders in the Basic panel. To illustrate, make the exposure too high and then try to use Highlights to bring back cloud detail. It won't work as well as if you'd set the Exposure about right in the first place. You could do Highlights and then do Exposure, but then you'd have to adjust Highlights again, and that's seriously inefficient!
 

ChuckTin

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I thought that in Lightroom (most of?) the adjustments are kept in the sidecar file so that the actual image file is as close to out-of-the-camera as possible.
Meaning that you can erase the sidecard file and still have the original. And the sidecard, being a compilation of adjustment vectors can be altered any number of times and quickly.
 
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I thought that in Lightroom (most of?) the adjustments are kept in the sidecar file so that the actual image file is as close to out-of-the-camera as possible.
Keeping the adjustments in a sidecar file is an option that you can choose, but the prime location for all the changes that you make is the catalog database. You are correct in that the original image data is never changed, as Lightroom is a non-destructive editor, and that you can always revert to the original un-edited image....but you don't need to delete a sidecar file in order to do that, all the edits are stored in the catalog and can be seen and selected in the history panel.
 
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Well, I'm still feel a bit confused, or dense, or both. I do tend to over analysis.

I can dance all over the adjustments; up/down, inside/outside, select a previous point in history etc. The net result of my drunkers walk over all the adjustments, multiple times on each, are single values for each adjustment attribute. These net values are reflected in the DB (I assume) and/or XMP file. When I look at the XMP file the attributes seem to be in particular order (See attached). Now, this could just be because of the order it's written out in.

I'm in the process of recreating my catalog (I know, wrong approach, but it's started). I import my old raw files with their XMP and get the rendering I had in the old catalog. However, this is done in the new catalog without my drunkers walk history being copy from the old to the new catalog.

So to Victoria's example "... make the exposure too high and then try to use Highlights to bring back cloud detail. It won't work as well as if you'd set the Exposure about right in the first place. ". This makes sense and relates to what what Johan said "After all, certain sliders -like the exposure slider- interact with other sliders, like highlights or shadows. "

So, its those inter-dependencies, like exposure to highlights/shadows, I was looking for. Is it fair to say the inter-dependencies are reflected in the top-to-bottom order Adobe has put into LR? In other words, don't try to denoise before exposure.

Thanks
 

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LOL Drunken edits often turn out to be the best Paul...

There's nothing wrong with dancing around, it's just not the most efficient way of working. But when you've had a glass or two, who cares??

Don't worry, Lightroom only cares about what settings you end up with. Adobe's just tried to make it easy. There are exceptions to their order. I tend to do lens corrections before anything else (as defaults) because that can affect the Basic panel decisions you make. That's about it though. Everything else works pretty well top down.
 
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In fairness to the OP, his comment was not that he had had a few before editing, but that his path through the adjustments was a "drunkard's walk", that is, a more or less random excursion through the various sliders. This term has a relatively well-defined meaning in statistics and probability theory. I suppose that it could have had both meanings, for sure!
 
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I tend to do lens corrections before anything else (as defaults) because that can affect the Basic panel decisions you make.
Ah, thanks for that note. I posted another query about lens corrections seeming to increase exposure and was told that was expected if there was heavy vignetting. I thought I was already in a confused enough world. ;)
 
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his comment was not that he had had a few before editing, but that his path through the adjustments was a "drunkard's walk", that is, a more or less random excursion through the various sliders. This term has a relatively well-defined meaning in statistics and probability theory
True, but it also comes up in computing which is my background. After all these years, I just took 'drunkards' for granted. LOL/
 

Zenon

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Adobe does recommend this for better performance. The document also suggests to avoid a lot of brushwork. If you anticipate there will be use PS.

Order of Develop operations

The best order of Develop operations to increase performance is as follows:
  1. Spot healing.
  2. Geometry corrections, such as Lens Correction profiles and Manual corrections, including keystone corrections using the Vertical slider.
  3. Global non-detail corrections, such as Exposure and White Balance. These corrections can also be done first if desired.
  4. Local corrections, such as Gradient Filter and Adjustment Brush strokes.
  5. Detail corrections, such as Noise Reduction and Sharpening.
Note: Performing spot healing first improves the accuracy of the spot healing, and ensures the boundaries of the healed areas match the spot location.

 
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