Bird photographers, your Lightroom workflow recommendations please

Started Dec 10, 2016 | Questions thread
Reilly Diefenbach
Reilly Diefenbach Forum Pro • Posts: 12,674
Re: Bird photographers, your Lightroom workflow recommendations please

Import raw to LR>Camera Standard>Lens Profile>Remove CA>Fill in Shadows, pull down Highlights to taste. Check auto WB.

Open in Photoshop> Hiraloam sharpening @ 20- 70%. Sometimes Lab Color Boost @ 40%. Flatten. Hiraloam and Lab Color Boost are quick Photoshop actions which were posted a few years ago on DPR but have since vanished. Here they are.

You can do similar things to the pic in LR using the brushes, but Photoshop is far more accurate.  I do not ever use Clarity, Vibrance or Saturation in LR.

Open image in Topaz Remask, mask the bird. Remask works in seconds and is extremely accurate.

Open Topaz Denoise, denoise the background only per the mask. Vary opacity of mask if the bird needs any denoising. It usually doesn't if ISO was 1600 or below. I'm looking for glass smooth background while retaining max detail on the bird. Open a curve layer and lower the exposure on the background a bit such that the bird stands out more. We're after maximum possible 3D effect. Flatten all layers. Clone or erase distracting elements such as reeds sticking out of the subject's head, etc. Save to LR. Adjust sharpening per your camera requirements. 40 is about max before things start to look oversharpened. LR's sharpening is the best I've found.

And yes, I do this routine on each and every bird pic I consider a keeper. Here's a Flickr set that will give you an idea.

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