With your 5D3 raw files, what's your lightroom develop workflow?

Started Apr 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
Jonathan Brady
Jonathan Brady Veteran Member • Posts: 5,515
Re: The Order that Works for Me

MiraShootsNikon wrote:

The Photo Ninja wrote:

Do you use the camera calibration tab? First, second, last? Which setting do you use?

What other tweaks do you use on the majority of images?

My basic routine: Spot / Retouch --> Exposure --> Contrast and Tone --> Color --> Sharpen / Detail.

Step-by-step, that means that on Import, I:

[1] Brush --> Clone / Heal. I do this first because cloning / healing is most responsive before you've accumulated a stack of edits the system needs to churn through to render them.

[2] Crop / Rotate.

[3] Camera Calibration --> Profile: I pick the look I want to start with, which often corresponds to the camera mode I shot with.

[4] Basic --> Exposure: I adjust to suit.

[5] Tone Curve --> Point Curve, Custom, RGB: I set the black point, adjust the white point, and create a tone curve that gives me the contrast and general tone I want. Usually I use the target adjustment tool to set and level the points.

[6] Gradient and/or Brush --> Exposure: I dodge / burn any selective areas to suit.

[7.1] Basic --> Shadows: infrequently adjust to suit (usually between 0 and +15)

[7.2] Basic --> Highlights: infrequently adjust to suit (usually between 0 and -15)

[7.3] Basic --> White Balance: adjust to suit.

(I almost never touch the contrast or the black and white sliders, mostly because I already set these points more definitively when creating my tone curve.)

[8.1] Basic --> Saturation: adjust to suit--get a baseline color level.

[8.2] Basic --> Vibrance: adjust to suit--tweak the baseline I set with Saturation.

(I almost never touch the Clarity slider. I think that what it does in either direction is gimmicky and ugly.)

[9] Tone Curve --> Point Curve, Custom, Channels: here I adjust the individual channel curves to hit the image's final color. Often I'm just setting black / white / mid levels for the red, green, blue curves to get true black, true white, etc., but for many fashion images I'll also tone / crop shadows or highlights, or create a cross-processed look, here.

[10] HSL --> Hue: any quick final color adjustments to suit.

(I almost never touch Saturation or Luminance.)

(I also almost never touch Split Toning. I tend to do my black-and-whites in NIK Silver Efex Pro.)

[11] Brush --> any detail adjustments: brightening eyes, adjusting eye color, selective sharpening of facial features and wardrobe details.

[12.1] Detail --> Sharpening, Amount: pull positive just to "cut" through any AA filter haze, not to actually add acuity.

[12.2] Detail --> Sharpening, Radius: pull to match your lens's smallest projected airy disk over your sensor's pixel grid. I.e., if your lens projected pin-point sharpness that corresponds to one-and-a-half of your sensor's pixels, your radius is 1.5. Back when I was shooting a Nikon D2Hs with massive pixels, I almost always set this below 1. Now, with the 5D3's much smaller pixels, I'm usually around 1 - 1.3.

Thank you for sharing all of the details! For someone like me who just purchased LR, it was great to see this and (try to - lol) understand the rationale behind it. Some follow up if I may...

  1. I googled Airy Disc and saw that it was named after the guy who described it, not actual Air which was surprisingly helpful. I also saw it was LOADED with math. Then I googled Airy Disc Calculator and found this: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffraction-photography.htm This showed me that for a 50D, the pixel 4.7 µm, for a 60D it's 4.3 µm so I figure for my 70D it's probably about 4 µm.  I also noticed that the Airy Diameter doesn't change at a given lens aperture regardless of the system used, only it's projection onto the pixel grid does (and how much area of a pixel is covered).  Now that this is out of the way (and assuming my understanding is correct)...
  2. Are you saying that whatever the Airy Diameter/Pixel Diameter is, that's what you set your radius at?  In other words, if Airy Diameter is 8 and Pixel Diameter is 4, then you set the radius to 2?  If not, can you correct me?
  3. What are the benefits/drawbacks to going higher or lower than this number?

Thanks so much for any info you're willing to provide!  And again, thanks for the detailed explanation!

[12.3] Detail --> Sharpening, Detail: pull to add deconvolution sharpening. Again, I'm not trying add acuity I didn't capture, just trying to maximize what the sensor got. Usually between 28 and 35.

(I don't touch Masking. I think masking your RAW pre-sharpeneing gives photographs an uneven, "choppy" texture. I also don't ever really use Noise Reduction. I'd always rather take the noise than lose the acuity.)

[13.1] Lens Corrections --> Basic: check Enable Profile Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberration

(Sometimes I will back down the Lightroom default lens vignetting correction and keep a little of the lens's natural fall-off.)

[13.2] Lens Corrections --> Manual: correct geometry to suit, if necessary.


 Jonathan Brady's gear list:Jonathan Brady's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R II Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS Sony FE 35mm F1.4 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8 +2 more
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow