When I moved to Delaware in Jan. '05 I set up my darkroom again, but also got my first digital camera a Kodak Z. I moved in 2007 and intended to set up a new darkroom in the basement of our rental house, even purchasing blackout plastic to cover one-half. But time constraints started to get in the way and it started to get harder to get the chemicals. In '08 the price was finally right for me to move to a digital SLR. I began shooting a lot more, but did little with them. I already had experience using Photoshop and Illustrator, but mainly did any adjustments using the Kodak and Canon Eos software. But this past Christmas I received Adobe Lightroom, which I finally began to really explore this past week, so much so that I've neglected doing much on this here blog or over at WTF Pennsylvania (though I've kept up the twitter updates).
There are a number of features that I've found very useful. In addition to being able to adjust levels and contrasts, there are cropping selections that automatically set the right aspect ratios for the size of prints I plan to make. There are also a number of preset modifications that I ignored at first, but have found to incredibly useful in making creative adjustments.
One emulates a direct positive or transparency. The preset doesn't always improve an image, but for certain shots the results are amazing:
|Bison at National Bison Refuge, MT -as shot.|
|Same image as a direct positive.|
|Sara Beth as bride, as shot (not by me BTW).|
|Same with bleach bypass emulation.|
|Grand Teton, as shot.|
|Grand Teton with selenium toning|
|Old Faithful, as shot|
|Old Faithful, direct positive|
|Wrigley Building, Chicago, as shot.|
|Same image, converted to grayscale, contrast increased and cropped.|