Lightroom Tips

A Comment About Some Comments

Hey folks. I just wanted to say thank you for the time you’ve taken to participate in some discussions on the blog in the last couple of weeks. There’s been some pretty decent topics brought up and it reminds me of what I really like about this blog which is the level of participation from the community.

Also, a number of people ask whether or not I’m going to weigh in and I usually just stay out of it. However, I did want to at least leave you with my final thoughts on two topics of interest.

1) Is it wrong to use some one’s LR settings?
This one garnered over 100 comments. Well, as you already know, I don’t think its wrong at all. I saw a lot of good points on both sides but in the end, I don’t care what you do with my settings. Unless you took a photo at the same time, in the same place, with the same exposure settings, etc… my settings are useless to you. They just won’t look the same.

One more quick analogy. What if a guitar player got on stage and sets his Volume to 6, his Gain to 8 and Reverb to 7, etc… Then he proceeds to play a song and some person catches a glimpse of those settings. He wrote them down and posted them on the internet. If you took those same settings he used for his sound and played your own song, its silly to even think you committed a crime right? Now if you took his song (or in our case a photo) and played it as your own, then you got big problems. But taking his effects/settings means nothing.

Some folks pointed out that my drug company analogy didn’t sit well because the generic versions don’t come out until a patent runs out on the drug. Big deal. The key point is still the same. Whether you use my settings today or several years from now (when a possible patent runs out) is irrelevant. The key question and issue still remains – is it wrong to use that information? I say no.

2) The Retouching I did in the latest Before/After video.
A few folks commented on the retouching I did in the latest before after video (the window and the brown patch of grass). I’m posting my comments here and not creating a whole “Retouching Ethics” post because I think enough of those have been written about before. I’ll leave you with my thoughts though. The retouching I did was to make the photo look like the way it did when I was there. Honestly, when I was there I was caught up in the blue sky, the nice breeze, great weather and everything else about the scene. I never even noticed the brown spot in the grass. Everything looked green to me. But when that photo is printed as a 20×30 on my wall you’d better bet I’m going to see that brown patch. And I want everyone who looks at that photo to see the beautiful red barn, the beautiful blue sky, and the beautiful green grass all uninterrupted. I don’t want them looking at the dead brown patch of dirt and grass on the ground and the very top portion of the fence that appears to be cut off (I couldn’t compose the photo any different because of what was in front of the barn). I know Photoshop and by golly I’m gonna use it to make MY photo that hangs on MY wall, look better then the photo of the person that chose not to use Photoshop. I’ll know I Photoshopped it and I’m OK with that. I’ve created the photo that I “saw” when I was there. It was my vision. The people that visit my house and see my artwork won’t know what I did. But they will know my stuff looks better then the guy next door that doesn’t use Photoshop (sorry I’m competitive to a fault I think).

Oh… and when they ask if I used Photoshop on the photo you know what I’ll say? Heck yeah I did! I’m not ashamed of it one bit.

Well that hopefully puts those two topics to rest. Thanks again for all of your participation.