Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2010/11/24

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Subject: [Leica] LR and PS (was 'AARRGGHHH!!')
From: tgray at (Tim Gray)
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 10:01:13 -0500
References: <> <>

On Nov 24, 2010 at 02:01 AM -0500, Mark Rabiner wrote:
> I do really think its just laziness to depend on a image sorting program to
> processs your images with.

LR is a lot more than just an image sorting program.  It's a RAW 'developer' 
(for lack of a better word), an image sorting and categorizing program, and 
a non-destructive photo editor.  Mind on that last bit though, while your 
editing instructions are saved in the original file, you still need to 
finalize them by exporting your edited version.  This ends up being similar 
to doing 'Save as...' in Photoshop.

In other words, you could turn Photoshop into a similar non-destructive 
editor by opening a file, making your edits, recording each change you made 
in a notebook, and using 'Save as...'.  I know that's a bit far fetched, but 
all LR is doing for you is cutting out the notebook step and integrating it 
into metadata.  *Photoshop could do this too.*

> We can't start forgetting what Photoshop can do for us or if we never knew
> what Photoshop can do for us than we are in a poor state.

I do agree with this sentiment.  Photoshop and similar programs are 
incredibly powerful.  Dan Margulis's book on Lab was pretty eye opening to 
me.  Some really great stuff in there which would be a bear to tackle in LR.

My point in the previous email was that most of the stuff that we can do in 
LR is not in fact directly related to RAW files.  It's just image 
processing.  And if you don't believe me on this point, note that you can 
edit jpg's and tiff's in LR and Camera Raw just like you can do RAW images. 
You still get 99% of the functionality.  The only RAW bit is de-Bayering the 
image.  Basically interpolating the color from the Bayer data.  Also rolled 
into this step is setting the white balance (setting the relative gains of 
the RGB channels, which CAN be done after the fact too*) and probably 
recovering blown highlights.  Take a look at dcraw for an illustration.  All 
the other stuff, adjusting colors, dodging/burning, dust spotting, making 
B&W, adding grain, removing noise, and whatever else LR does nowadays is 
just image processing.  It could be done in Photoshop as well.

I don't know why Adobe hasn't integrated a non-destructive work flow into 
Photoshop.  Oh yeah I do - most of the people on this list probably own 
Photoshop AND Lightroom.  Win for Adobe.  However, they could just save an 
instruction list detailing each action into the image metadata, just like 
they do in LR or Camera RAW, and BAM! you have non-destructive editing in 
Photoshop now.  In fact, as mentioned earlier, you can already kind of do 
this with tiff's (and maybe jpg's) in PS by opening them in Camera Raw. 
Changes are even saved into the metadata.**  It'd be nice if there was a 
more straightforward way to access it though.

I do agree that LR gives users an efficient interface to access 
non-destructive image processing.  It's a shame a similar philosophy isn't 
integrated into PS.  Other companies don't have the clout to do it, since 
any saved non-destructive edits can really only be read by a program that 
can read and perform all of those edits.

Of course, I still stand by my previous statement.  Use whatever works for 
you.  Just be aware that sometimes if you get to set in your ways, your tool 
becomes a hammers.  Cue hammer/nail quote.  Once I got out of the Camera 
Raw/Aperture/LR mindset (due to my transition from dSLR to film), I realized 
how incredibly powerful actions in PS are.  I knew they existed before, I 
just didn't realize I could do some of the things I do with them.


*: The big difference between digital and film in terms of setting the white 
balance is that digital is a linear medium.  The RAW data is linear, while 
film data is not.  That's what gives rise to color crossover in the shadows 
and highlights in white balanced adjusted film scans.  Presumably some 
contrast changes (tone curves) are made to in camera jpg's and processed RAW 
files which make adjusting white balance a bit more difficult in post.

**: As a corollary to this, I see NO reason to save as a DNG in Vuescan 
while scanning.  If you want to access Camera Raw functionality, just open 
up your tiff in Camera Raw.  You can do all that you want just like you 
saved it as a DNG *plus* you get to use your tiff file in other programs. 
There is however a reason to use Vuescans 'raw' functionality, which is not 
the same as a digicam raw file.  It's just an uninverted linear scan - 
there's no Bayer array to de-Bayer.

Replies: Reply from leicaslacker at (kyle cassidy on the LUG) ([Leica] LR and PS (was 'AARRGGHHH!!'))
Reply from leicaslacker at (kyle cassidy on the LUG) ([Leica] LR and PS (was 'AARRGGHHH!!'))
Reply from leicaslacker at (kyle cassidy on the LUG) ([Leica] LR and PS (was 'AARRGGHHH!!'))
In reply to: Message from tgray at (Tim Gray) ([Leica] AARRGGHHH!!)
Message from mark at (Mark Rabiner) ([Leica] AARRGGHHH!!)