Playing With Clarity in Lightroom

Hi Folks:

This is just a quick idea I came up with last month as I was playing around inside Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. The Clarity Slider is part of the Basic panel in the Develop module, and normally it’s used to increase mid-tone contrast in an image. In Lightroom 2.0 Adobe provided the option to use ‘negative’ clarity as well, which can be used to give all or part of the image a dream-like effect. I used negative clarity in my image titled ‘Do Bicycles Dream?’

https://i2.wp.com/farm4.static.flickr.com/3160/2716654561_26b3e657d7_o.jpg?resize=500%2C335

It’s a tool, and like any tool, it can be used or abused. Anyway, this is my first spring here in in the city of flowers, and being a true Canadian I was both surprised and delighted to see crocuses and snowdrops peeking their heads out of the ground at the beginning of February. Up north February is synonymous with ‘mid-winter’. Not too far from where we’re living right now, one of our neighbours had their entire lawn erupt in crocuses and other flowers:

Crocus Panorama

Now, to extend the dyamic range of my hdr images I tend to use Timothy Armes’ LR/Enfuse plugin to combine the images I’ve made at different exposures. Thinking about how it works though, got me thinking about combining other sorts of images. I took a close-up image of my neighbour’s crocuses and processed as I would normally in Lightroom’s Develop module, then created a Virtual Copy of that image and turned the Clarity slider all the way down to -100. I then used the LR/Enfuse plugin to combine both images together. The result is below.

Blended Crocuses

At first glance it appears as though the image has simply had negative clarity applied to it, but there’s detail in it as well, especially if you zoom in on it. It would be possible to create something similar in Photoshop using layers and Gaussian Blur, but not exactly. Anyway, it’s just something to play with.

Have a great day,
Mike.

P.S. You can find more of our posts on photography and Lightroom tutorials here, and you can find links to over 200 other sites that have Lightroom tips, tutorials and videos here.

4 Replies to “Playing With Clarity in Lightroom”

    1. Mike Nelson Pedde Post author

      That’s true. Funny, I invest so much time in Lightroom that I think of ACR as a stand-alone product as well, not part of Photoshop.

      Thanks for the reminder!

      Mike.

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