On Monday evening 16th October an eager audience of members at Brookhouse was treated to an insight into the processing techniques used by John Gardner to achieve the tremendous images we keep seeing (oh, it helps to start off with a great image in the camera!). John pointed out that he can’t afford to spend a lot of time processing when he is doing commercial work so he had developed a workflow and various techniques which can give results quickly.
On his last evening of technical tips, John was surprised how few people were using Lightroom, so tonight he wanted to take people through some of the basics and show what could be achieved. He now uses it most of the time as it “does the job”, using the Library and Develop modules – in fact he prefers the Develop module to Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop. He took us through how he organises his folders and how Lightroom links to them. He then showed how he evaluates the images in a new folder to sort the wheat from the chaff and flag them appropriately. Then the demonstration went onto the Develop module taking us through some of the basic adjustments he uses and the respective shortcuts. Given the speed with which he is able to transform unprepossessing images into ones with quality and impact, many people were writing furiously to record the gems of wisdom. One particularly worthwhile tip John gave was how to export one or a group of images to a folder changing names, sizes, formats etc. which could be used for competition entry making the Competitions Secretary’s job far easier!
Then it was on to Photoshop to have a look at skin smoothing on portraits, sharpening by using Gaussian Blur (blurring to sharpen?? – don’t ask but it worked!), eye brightening to give impact without looking false and non-destructive dodging and burning (which I was trying out just before starting this write-up and it works very well). There were too many tips and tricks to list here and all of them were based on images with a step-by-step demonstration to ensure we could see the effects – and how easy John made it all appear!
In all it was a fascinating evening giving a wealth of information which I am sure will be being tried out this week by many of the members. Special thanks should go to John for the way he clearly and patiently explained everything despite having a defective screen on his new laptop!