Using Lightroom 4 Filters
The more I play with Adobe Lightroom4, the more I enjoy it. It is definitely a must have for any level photographer. In this post, I’m going to show one photo, to which I have applied several of the many different filters available in Lightroom4.
This is the photo “as shot”: ISO 800, F5.6, Exposure 1/30, 55mm
(click any photos in this post to view their full size)
The first thing I want to show you is the “Auto Tone” filter. This is a great ’1 click’ option that can make a lot of difference in an already nice looking shot. In the one above, I know that my ISO could have been a little lower which would have taken away some of the ‘brightness’ at the top of the photo in the step rails.
As you can see in the below comparison, this one filter alone can make a huge difference.
Here is the original photo with only the “Auto Tone” filter applied:
The really great thing about the filters in lightroom4 is that you can choose more than 1 type and one of my favorite (and most often used when I want to add a nice ‘finished’ touch to a photo) is the Vignette2 filter. There are 2 Vignette filters, Vignette1 and Vignette2, with the previous being a little more subtle, and the later a little more darker. I got for the ‘wow effect’ most of the time, so in these I used the second one.
The Vignette Filter
To show just how powerful the Vignette filter can be even when used alone, I applied it to the “as shot” photo that is (according to me) too bright. Notice how it tones that down:
It’s easier to notice when compared side by side:
From this point on, I will include a comparison of the vignette2 filter along with each of the filters reviewed.
Just as it sounds, the “Aged Photo” filter will give it a sort of ‘washed” or “faded” out appearance. My opinion is that it has more of a look of photos that were originally black and white and then retouched with color, or that of the first ‘color film’ developing.
You will notice in these comparison that include the vignette2 filter that the filter blends with the color applied in the first filter. In the example below where the “Aged Photo” filter created the overall colors in beige tones, the vignette complimented it.
From what I’ve seen so far, the “Punch” filter adjusts the contrast a few levels.
Screenshot of Lightroom4 Punch filter:
Comparison after adding the vignette2
The full size (click image to view full size) with Punch and Vignette2:
B&W Look 1
There are MANY variations of the black and white filter effects included in the Lightroom4. The one you select will depend on the photo you want to use it on. (Ex: lighter and darker images due to the contrast levels in the different B&W filters).
For this image, I chose B&W Look 1:
And the comparison after further adding the vignette2 filter:
Cross Process 2
The last one I’m going to do is called the Cross Process 2 filter. There is also a Cross Process 1 and 3. Much like the black and white filters, these will also be determined by the photo you’re applying them to, depending on light, colors, etc.
Applying Cross Process 2 to the original image:
This is a really great filter to use if you would like to give your image that “70s” feel and by adding the vignette2 filter as shown in the comparison below, it definitely reminds me of the photos that came from the older cameras of the 60s and 70s.
Something to think about: A lot of these filters can manipulate the quality of your original image. ALWAYS make a back up image of the original, if the original was shot in RAW, make a back up of that and file it in “Originals” or something similar. The photo that I used in this post is originally a 4272 pixel wide x 2848 pixel wide, 18.1MB file that I resized to 2135 pixels wide x 1423 pixels high and saved as a .jpg that is now only 285kb in size. The original of the same size is at the top of this post. Take a look at it (click image to view full size in another browser) and then click the image below of the same size, only edited with filters and see what I mean.
This particular image I used “as shot” and made no edits before adding filters. You can post process any RAW image to light, darken, adjust contrast, etc so that it is suitable for any of the filters that you want to use. It will take a little trial and error in the beginning.
I hope this helps a few, leave a comment if you have questions!
(please remember to share! :)