I’ve reviewed a lot of cameras. It’s been my job for many years. And I’ve quickly figured out that in-camera effects are mostly boring and unimaginative or just a bit crass. But there are exceptions.
LUT stands for LookUp Table. It’s a digital file that shifts colors and tones in hue, saturation, luminance – usually all three. LUTs are used widely in video editing and cinematography, but are becoming increasingly popular in regular stills photography. They are like ‘pre-processing’ for images. They give you a whole new look without involving any of the editing tools – unlike presets.
A high key image is one which consists almost entirely of bright tones. This works really well for subjects with white or near-white tones and gives a very bright, airy look. Not every image needs a full range of tones from solid black to brilliant white, and not every image needs the ‘perfect’ histogram. Histograms are there to tell you what’s happening, not what to do.
All image-editors offer color controls that let you target a specific color or color range and then change its hue, saturation or lightness. In this example, I’m using the Color Editor in Capture One, but any photo editor with HSL color controls will let you do the same.
What’s in a name? Preset effects typically have names to give you an idea of the kind of subjects they might work with, but in reality you should just choose a preset that gives you the ‘look’ you want. For this dramatic seascape I turned to the Hollywood Glamour preset in Silver Efex Pro, one of the key plug-ins in the DxO Nik Collection.
Capture One 23 comes with a whole series of new features, and one of these is the Cull window, a workspace for filtering out your best shots and ditching the rest.
It’s easily done. You view a RAW image in Lightroom, it applies the default Adobe Color profile and you don’t even bother to question it. You can see what you don’t like, you do some editing – sometimes it takes a while – and you fix it. But often you’re fixing an issue introduced by the default Lightroom profile, and not something that actually needs fixing!
If you want the short answer, it’s yes and no. Yes, you can create digital bokeh, and no, it’s not as good as the real thing. You can, however, create a reasonably convincing bokeh ‘look’.
DxO PureRAW 2’s processing is better than Lightroom’s, but it can also be used from WITHIN Lightroom. So how does that work, and are the results (a) really worth the effort and (b) as good as regular RAW files to edit?
Lightroom and Capture One offer HDR tools with a difference. They don’t create wild and exaggerated HDR effects. Instead, they create what I would call DNG ‘super-negatives’ with extended dynamic range that you can then exploit however you like.