Lightroom Histogram Levels: I friggin' give up.

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by thomas|5, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. I need to know how to adjust the levels of my images, which seem to default at 0 and 255. My editor tells me I need to submit them at 5 and 250. I don't pretend to really know all that much about digital cameras so go easy on me. I've honestly searched the web and the archives here, but I'm not sure I'm using the right search criteria. I've looked through (as near as I can tell) all of the menus in Lightroom (I have 1.1) to no avail. Am I on a fool's errand? Or is this gonna be one of those things that I'll feel stupid about for not getting it on my own? Can anyone shed some light? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. I don't think you can do that in LR. You would have to export the image and use "Levels" in Photoshop.
     
  3. I thinks when I was playing with capture one they had levels buried in the menu somewhere. But in most Raw engines like Adobe Raw or Lightroom to tweak the exposure you use "Exposure" to adjust the light end and "Shadows" to clip the dark end. There are a couple of other sliders below to adjust the middle point. Use the histogram and preview while working with these sliders. While not exactly levels these achieve the same thing. You should read Real World Camera Raw to get a better understanding of this process and how to use it to your advantage.
     
  4. You can try lowering the hilights and the shadow sliders, -5 each. It does clip the ends. I don't know if its on a scale of 0-255 though. The sure way is to use photoshop levels and clip the ends to 5 and 250. If you're going to be a pro and work in digital, you are going to need photoshop sooner or later.
     
  5. I have Corel and to do this you need to go into Image> Adjust>contrast enhancement and you can sellect the output. Sorry I can't help with lightrooms, but maybe this will help you locate it in "help" Chris
     
  6. not sure either if it can be done in LR, but you DONT NEED to "export" it as was suggested. If you export it, it leaves LR, instead, just open it in PS but within LR so that LR remembers where it's at. Right click, I believe (I'm not at my workstation) on the image, the select whatever program you want that's in the list, a dialogue box will then open and LR will, if you choose, make a copy for you and then remember where the edited PS copy was saved, so long as you save it. If you do a save as, it wont remember where you put it. . .
     
  7. These are the bottom sliders of the levels control in photoshop which is the industry standard. Photoshop Elements has these controls. Esentially you are wasting 5 on either end of the dynamic range possible.
     
  8. Thomas, I don't believe that Lightroom will do what you want, the way you want it. (Adjusting the various sliders and curves will get you a file with values from 5 to 250 but I think it will make the pictures a bit odd in the process. Photoshop will do it in an instant though: Image->adjustment->levels then put 5 and 250 in the two "Output Levels" boxes at the bottom of the dialog box that appears on the screen.
     
  9. Alec is absolutely right. You should NOT clip the highlights/shadows; instead, you should set the outputs to 5 and 250.
     
  10. Excellent. Knowing that it's out of the purview of Lightroom is helpful. I managed to find it in Photoshop, thanks to your kind interventions. Until recently, I only shot film and sent it out ot be drum scanned. As such, a working understanding of digital photography wasn't necessary. As to why the files need to be the way I've been asked to make them, I couldn't begin to know. Thanks, everyone.
     
  11. Thomas, I think it has to do with the fact that most printers can't output the darkest few pixels and the brightest few pixels in a way that can be differentiated. ie. Anything above 250 will look white, and anything below 5 will look black.
     
  12. "As to why the files need to be the way I've been asked to make them, I couldn't begin to know." Becasue even a really good offset press on standard papers can't sperate tones darker than 5 (everything below that is jsut black) or brighter than 250 (everything above that is detail-less white or "paper white") Actually I am a bit surprised at 250 as the paper white setting for most CMYK printing processes and papers is usually closer to 245.
     
  13. By setting the outputs to 5 and 250 you have a "safety margin" when converting the images to sRGB or aRGB. Remember that the develop mode in LR uses a linear version of ProPhoto RGB, which is a huge color space. Setting outputs to 5 and 250 will help avoiding clipped shadows/highlights in sRGB or aRGB.
     
  14. Daan, Editors don't care about color spaces. They care about their printing presses ability to reproduce tone on paper.
     
  15. "Editors don't care about color spaces. They care about their printing presses ability to reproduce tone on paper." It would be a shame though if images came into print with blown highlights, wouldn't it?
     
  16. Yes butthat's up to the photographer isn't it? How much have you actually used Lightroom? I've got reasonably extensive experience and I know others who have more and no one else seems to be having the problems you are. Here's my basic workflow: global edits (inclusing capture sharpening) are done in Lightroom 1.1 and exported as 16 bit per channel, PSD documents using the ProPhoto workspace. In Photoshop , I do localized edits. These are then saved as "master files", still as 16bpc ProPhoto , but nowas TIFFS. These are backed up. Files that are to be sent to clients are converted to 8bpc TIFFs, PDFs or jpegs in the color space requested (or profile if inkjet printing.) or into sRGB if the answer to that question is "I don't know". These files are also output sharpened dependent on use (web, offset lithography (magazines, postcards, etc.), continuous tone or inkjet printing and size. If a client needs an image both for web and brochure use they get one version for the web and another for the brochure, ad or what ever.
     
  17. "Yes butthat's up to the photographer isn't it?" Exactly my point. Maybe editors don't care about color spaces, I certainly hope photographers do. "How much have you actually used Lightroom? I've got reasonably extensive experience and I know others who have more and no one else seems to be having the problems you are." Problems? What problems? It is good to know you have a lot of experience with LR. Good for you! I am only saying that when you choose LR, you are basically choosing a ProPhoto RGB workflow, just like the one you described. This has it's good and bad sides.
     
  18. "Maybe editors don't care about color spaces" But the person who asked the question cares. you are basically choosing a ProPhoto RGB workflow, just like the one you described. This has it's good and bad sides." No bad sides that I have found as it leaves me with the most and best options down the processing pipeline.
     
  19. "But the person who asked the question cares." That is why I gave him some feedback on his question (seem to be running in circles here). "No bad sides that I have found as it leaves me with the most and best options down the processing pipeline." Again, good for you... There are others who have different opinions / experiences.
     
  20. "It would be a shame though if images came into print with blown highlights, wouldn't it?
    Yes but that's up to the photographer isn't it?"
    Can't argue with that. If your highlights (well, the important ones) are above 250, and your shadows are bunched up near the zero, then clipping them both even more does no one any good.
    The recovery sider in Lightroom is amazing... sometimes. A well exposed raw file will have highlights a little above 250 and well above 5. In this case bringing them in to a range between 5 and 250 makes very good sense. The graphic department, or the printers can then show or clip whatever they like. It's the new fangled version of supplying a B&W print with grey highlights and just barely black blacks.
    The last time I used it (weeks ago), Lightroom made it interesting by using a 0 to 100 scale instead of 0 to 255, like PhotoShop. Better brush up on your algebra... t
     
  21. aaaaand what's the problem with using the biggest Color Space you can convert raw into, and then picking the right (and always smaller) space for any particular application?
    What would be the advantage in starting small, like sRGB, and then converting to a larger space? You're just interpolating color. Not as good as capturing it in the first place... t
    Hey Scott, regarding "As to why the files need to be the way I've been asked to make them, I couldn't begin to know"... it's time to find out, man. Welcome to the 21st Century... t
     

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