Lightroom: Clarity Adjustments

Lightroom: Clarity Adjustments

I’ve recently made the move – somewhat inevitably perhaps – from Aperture to Lightroom.  It’s taken many, many evenings to migrate photos over, and I’m finally nearly where I want to be.  Approximately 700Gb of photos from 2004 to present have been moved over, most onto an external disk, all into a single catalogue.   I have to say that I’ve been a bit anxious about what to do about Aperture (well, Photos app as it will be replaced by) for some months, so now feel a sense of relief that I am no longer in a cul-de-sac with my photo management.  I loved Aperture, and will always prefer the more flexible asset management tools, but I have to applaud the adjustments in Lightroom.  The grad filters, the quality of the exposure and recovery sliders and the lens corrections are very good and I use them a lot.  It seems to be able to push and pull photos a long way before the quality breaks down.

Now to the main purpose of this post; the Clarity adjustments in Lightroom.  They are very powerful indeed, of course similar to Definition in Aperture, but seem to be even more effective at rendering excellent local contrast.  But here’s my problem;  I’ve been revisiting and re-editing many, many photographs, and those that I was previously content with I’ve been fiddling with Clarity and often whacking it right up.  This has mainly been restricted to black and white shots where I want high contrast – in particular urban shots and street photography from Hong Kong.  I’d shot these in black and white with some contrast settings on the X-E1.  How much is enough?  I feel I might by overdoing and look back in a few years and regret making what I consider to be strong adjustments.  I am pretty quick at powering through a few hundred images to do the editing, but not I am now pondering whether I am doing too much adjustment or not enough?

I suppose this is about (a) learning your tools and (b) learning to develop your own style of photograph.

High contrast B&W-6

High contrast B&W-5

High contrast B&W-4

High contrast B&W-3

High contrast B&W-2

High contrast B&W-1

 

 

Leave a Reply