One of the most important attributes of Adobe Lightroom is the fact that it is not an image editor, but an image data base application. Unlike tasks you perform in Adobe Photoshop, which permanently alter files, tasks you perform in Lightroom that are related to editing your image are non-destructive, you are not altering your image, you are simply attaching a series of descriptive attributes to the image file. No matter what you have done to an image file in Lightroom, you can always return it to its original, raw file state. This means that Lightroom allows you to travel back in time, and “re-do” any image in the catalog.
This has proven very useful to me as my skill levels have improved over time and my self-critical eye has become more discerning. The original rendering I made of this image last year used the HDR process, and that processing resulted in a muddy image with no additional dynamic range other than the range of tones that are present in this rendering. The other outcome of my original HDR rendering produced an incorrect color tone on the body of the Cadillac. Today’s image was processed in a straight-forward manner, with minimal adjustment to overall exposure, highlight and shadow detail. Minor boosts in contrast and clarity of the car and a boost in brightness of the chrome and white walls were brushed in. A virtual copy was made of the entire image and that second image had clarity reduced and was darkened. The two images were then composited together in Photoshop, producing the bright, sharp foreground image of the car with a subdued background. I am very happy with the final body color, which to my recollection matches the actual body paint color of the car in life. Suffice it to say, I am now moving in a steady direction away from HDR processing of my automotive images.
Prints are available at: http://goo.gl/tC10m .
Car Show Fortnight
I’m not sure how much, if any work gets done with this modified convertible pick-up truck, but I would imagine it would be fun to cruise around in, with maybe an ice chest full of cold beverages in the bed. This yellow machine was strutting its stuff at the Old Pomona Classic Car & Hot Rod Show in July of 2011 on a very hot day. Initial processing was with Lightroom and HDR Efex Pro; I applied painterly effects to the image using Alien Skin Snap Art 3 and blurred the background in Photoshop.
A week after the Vette Set show we paid a visit to the Pasadena Police Department’s annual classic car show. The PD shut down Colorado Boulevard (where the Rose Parade is held every New Year) in front of the Paseo Pasadena shopping center. This caddy was my favorite of all the rides on exhibit that day. A very low to the ground, super sexy convertible coupe, I gave the scene a dark romantic look, and emphasized the symbolic front end to underscore my impression of this being a sleek bling machine that will guarantee it’s owner a score.
This happy couple was spotted stopped by a red light at the corner of Raymond and Del Mar in Pasadena, California, with the car radio blasting rock and roll, obviously enjoying the day. A great way to welcome spring time in Southern California, cruising in a convertable.