Default Contrast / Blacks / etc. in Lightroom

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by robgomez, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. Hello,
    Is is a wrong move to have all the settings put to ZERO in Lightroom when beginning to edit a wedding? It seems like we need Contrast and Black levels, and others to be set the way they are, because a normal zeroed out RAW file looks ugly and unusable.
    What are you opinions about this. I am looking for quality, as well as speed. I no longer wish to spend 2 weeks editing a wedding. More like 5 days of hard but fast work.
    Thank you!
  2. Rob,
    Are you editing raw files? Or out-of-camera JPEGs?
    My default settings for raw files are Lightroom's default settings, that is, I import the images into Lightroom and let Lightroom display them. A good bit of the time these days, the image is pretty close to ready right there. I will sometimes add a little clarity (very little, you can overdo that slider very easily!) and adjust the white or black point; plus I sometimes have to play with white balance. But I'm editing raw files exclusively.
  3. I created a preset that reflects our style and preferences as a starting point for all images. I have variations of the preset so that images with similar lighting scenarios can be adjust all at once -- in 1/4 stop increments from a stop under to a stop over. So it all depends on your style.
    My settings -- applied on import -- are all sliders zeroed with the following exceptions: contrast +10, medium contrast point curve, clarity +20, vibrance +30, saturation +5, sharpening 50, luminance noise reduction 25, lens profiles enabled. That's what works for me based on our cameras and lenses and the environments in which we shoot. I also have a matching set of presets set for very dark, club-like party rooms that include white and black point adjustments and shadow lift. I always use a color checker passport profile so I leave the black and white adjustments out of the initial import preset, as I find them to be very close for proofs with no adjustments.
    I also have a set of presets for studio lighting, location lighting, and various types of lights like studio strobes outside or QFlashes. Set the first image in a sequence -- let's say your bridal party images -- the way you want and then just sync your settings across all the rest of the images in that location. And save your settings as a preset, which takes about 10 seconds.

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