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Thread: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    I know that I should not be hitting auto but as I'm learning to edit I think it is a good starting point.

    I recently noted that hitting auto in Elements and Lightroom produces very different results and the changes the histogram are also quite different. I would think that computerized editing programs for photography would use a similar method to achieve an ideal edit but this seems not to be the case, so how is one to know which edit is better?

    In Elements I opened in raw, set WB to daylight and hit auto.. Elements increased the brightness of the photo by 77 and increased the contrast by 55, sharpened 25% and colour noise reduction also 25%.. (presets)

    Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone


    Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    In Lightroom with WB also a raw photo and WB set to Daylight.. Hitting auto decreased the exposure by 1.43, decreased the contrast by -25, Increased the whites by 21 and decreased the blacks by 21, it also sharpened by 25% but no noise reduction in this preset.

    The Lightroom edit is richer in colour but too, dark. I think? Why does LR decrease the exposure so much?

    Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone


    Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone


    The Elements edit is pretty close to the jpeg original in terms of the photo and the histogram.

    Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Thank you.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Christina - I'm not an Elements user, but I do know that Adobe completely re-wrote a number of the algorithms when they came out with Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4 versus their implementations in CS5 and Lightroom 3, so that similar settings give you completely different results, even though the functions still have the same names and controls.

    As you are using an old version of Elements (version 9); I believe Elements 11 is the current version; having this kind of result is not at all surprising to me.

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Hi Manfred,

    Thank you. Good to know.

    Yes, I'm using Elements 9... Are you saying that the LR edit is preferable and that perhaps I should upgrade to Elements 11?

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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Christina,

    I think Manfred has part of the answer. I think the rest might be here:

    hitting auto in Elements and Lightroom produces very different results and the changes the histogram are also quite different. I would think that computerized editing programs for photography would use a similar method to achieve an ideal edit
    There is not really any such thing as an "ideal edit." The best edit depends on the image and, even more important, what YOU want it to look like. "Auto" editing algorithms in different software packages (when I started, I sometimes used one in Paint Shop Pro that I think was called "enhance image") are just the software writers' idea of a combination of edits that will usually look good.

    The auto edit is sometimes a handy way, particularly when you are starting out, to get ideas about changes that you MIGHT want to keep. I wouldn't treat them as anything more than that.

    Dan

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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Christina,

    LR4 uses a major update of Adobe RAW processing algorithms, released in 2012. The 2012 process is the default process when you import a new photo into LR4 catalog. In the develop panel, under camera calibration you can switch back the old 2010 process. I do not know if this solve your problem. I do not use Elements.

    Personally to develop the RAW file I would use the new, more powerful, 2012 process of LR4. Then, if needed, you can always export the developed photo to Elements 9 for more photo editing, and then back to LR4.

    LR4 and Elements 9 use two different versions of Camera Raw, To export a file from LR4 to Elements 9, the file is first saved as Tiff and then opened into Elements 9.

    LR4 and Elements 11 use the same version of Camera Raw, so they share the developing data settings and there is no need of an intermediate Tiff file.

    Cheers
    Andrea
    Last edited by kris; 2nd April 2013 at 06:22 PM.

  6. #6

    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Christina-I always try to start by setting the Black and White point in LR4 now and then go from there always looking at a side by side with the original to see how far I am going (not wanting to go too far from the original, but fail a lot LOL). However I am still learning but willing to share what I have learned thus far. Here is a short tutorial on how to set the white/black point.

    I tried the auto button for a while but then got tired of not getting what I wanted and so gave up on it and went with the above and added my own tweaks to the rest of the sliders if any.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDq1JguOyv4

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    Hi Manfred,

    Thank you. Good to know.

    Yes, I'm using Elements 9... Are you saying that the LR edit is preferable and that perhaps I should upgrade to Elements 11?
    I don't think one solution is particularly better than the other. The main variable is what works for you. I use Photoshop CS6 / Adobe Bridge for most of my work and occasionally tinker with Lightroom. Both have, in my opinion, completely different target audiences. I think the same can be said for Elements and Lightroom.

    I do most of my work using adjustment layers and layer masks. The fact that Lightroom does no support these is the main reason I really don't use it very often. It has some nice cataloguing functionality, but from a technical standpoint I do not like its monolithic database design either.

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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Thank you to all for your helpful replies and advice.

    Carl, I have been using the black and white point sliders but not as a starting point, so I will try this. Great simple link. Thank you. Andrea, I will also try using LR4 for the raw photos.

    Dan, what I am finding confusing is that when I hit the Auto tone button in LR, it changed my photo a lot. If I'm reading and understanding the histogram correctly, I believe that LR changed my photo to a low key, low contrast image. I've been working really hard to improve my bird photos, exposing to the right and to see the histogram changed so much. LR darkened the photo a lot, which makes me question my my camera settings, ie; perhaps they were not the best.

    I do like the darker, rich colours in the LR edit but I also like the lighter exposure as shot, but thinking that maybe I overexposed... I'm also still learning to critique my own photos, and sometimes I don't know which edit I prefer, as with this particular photo.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 2nd April 2013 at 11:58 PM.

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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Christina,

    LR darkened the photo a lot, which makes me question my my camera settings, ie; perhaps they were not the best.

    I do like the darker, rich colours in the LR edit but I also like the lighter exposure as shot, but thinking that maybe I overxposed.
    Don't use how any software imposes automatic edits as a guide to your exposure. The histogram is your best guide to exposure. If you have a properly exposed image, you can change the brightness in editing to suit your tastes.

    I'm also still learning to critique my own photos, and sometimes I don't know which edit I prefer, as with this particular photo.
    That shouldn't worry you. One of the nice things about digital is that you can try lots of different edits and compare them to see what you like.

    My unsolicited suggestion is that you try relying less on the automatic edits, or at least stop giving them so much credence. They are sometimes a useful way, particularly at first, to get ideas about possible edits, and sometimes the automatic edit might come reasonably close to what you want. However, it is in no sense ideal. Ideal is what gets you the image that YOU want. Over time, you will develop a feeling for how different kinds of edits affect the image, and you will find it easier to go directly to that particular edit.

    Dan

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Thank you Dan

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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Christina,

    It sounds to me like you have a strong idea of how you want your images to look but might be questioning that because of a software program's tendencies. You don't rely on your camera's auto settings so you should think about why a software program's auto settings would suit you any better. You are fortunate Elements 9 has provided you with a satisfactory auto result. I use Elements 9, too. When I found out I could process raw files using Elements 9, I started shooting and processing raw and have never looked back. A lot more time at the computer? Yes. But, I feel like I am molding each image, shaping, restoring, and finishing it--all with as much control as when I choose my camera settings and take a picture. My advice would be to continue on the path of personal control by creating your own processing approach. Especially exposing pictures using ettr requires a specific processing response to recover the brights and reduce overall exposure. You will probably need to work with curves and adjust hue and saturation. Is there an auto setting for all that?

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Hi Larry,
    Thank you for your reply. Before joining Cambridge I did not edit my photos except on the rare occasion using Picasa to lighten shadows and increase saturation... A little over a year ago I purchased Elements and Lightroom and although I've learned a lot about editing, I'm still learning. I suppose it is a matter of gaining more confidence in my edits but part of the learning process is also knowing if I've improved my photo by editing, or not. I've seen edited photos that don't look so great.

    Seeing how much Lightroom darkened my photos, even though I liked the rich tone of the water, made me question my ability. And yes, for some reason I was thinking that a computerized editing program would make better choices and do a better job of editing than I would.

    Thank you for sharing by relating an editing program to a camera. Makes perfect sense to me. I intend to keep learning and improving my skills.

    What is ettr?

  13. #13

    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Christina- Here are some you tube tutorials on editing wildlife with LR4. I have started using the brushes a lot more now in LR4 for more selective editing. Watching the tutorials have helped me a lot in moving away from the auto settings. Plus playing around some on my own.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc....1.MkDbLhy9GQc

    ETTR is "exposure to the right". There are some long posts on the forum on this subject. There are many more posts on the subject. This is just one to get you started or not....lol

    Expose Left, or Expose Right (or neither?)

    Also LR4.1 has been updated to 4.4 have you downloaded the upgrade yet?
    Last edited by Carl in Louisiana; 5th April 2013 at 05:06 PM.

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Hi Carl,

    Thank you for the link. I will view and try. Selective editing and masks (in Elements 9) is something that I am working on right now.

    Yes, I've read that thread (very interesting) but somehow missed the meaning of the jargon ie; ettr Thank you.

    Not yet, but I guess I will.

    Thank you.

  15. #15

    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Your Welcome Christina,
    Here is one more that is pretty neat or I thought so. I still have not got around to using PSE10 yet but will one day.


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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Thank you Carl,

    I use both... I like LR for it's presentation, simplicity, and the buttons that let you make changes in small increments, and especially the crop tool in LR. And also the fix for chromatic aeration which Elements 9 doesn't have.

    I like Elements for the healing brush for dust spots (content aware), the variety of selection tools (and it seems easier to me to select things in Elements). I also prefer using levels and curves in Elements, changing photos to B&W, and once I figure out layers and masks I know Elements is handier. So I think it is good to have both.

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    Re: Editing in Lightroom 4.1 vs Adobe Elements 9 - Auto Tone

    Yes, I know what you are saying. When I first started editing my photos, I was worried they would go into some other universe. That attitude has really helped me, though, as I use it to keep my edits subtle. Most of the time. Sometimes, I go pretty far from subtle. But, I am in complete control. If I don't like the way an edit is going, I just hit close, don't save, and start over. That is a benefit of shooting raw. The raw file is never changed by any amount of editing I do. In fact, one thing I do on occasion, is edit an image one way, then go back to the raw file and process it a different way. Then, I can compare the actual photos instead of wandering about in my head.

    The key really is you know how you want the image to look. It's just about practicing, reading, and practicing some more. Like learning how to play the flute. You know how the song should go and after enough practice and lessons, you not only play the song but do a few new riffs of your own.

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