Pa’i ki’i Imagery

May 7, 2011

Lightroom Fun or How to do More with Less

Just outside the Assagio’s at the Ala Moana Shopping in Honolulu is a 12 foot tall water sculpture. I took pics of it a few months back but didn’t think too highly of what I got.  The picture bottom left was the best of the lot.  Images like this are candidates for Lightroom presets.  Presets range from a simple Black and White to a very funky looking infrared treatment.  I’ve posted numerous images on the blog utilizing presets.  Creating a preset is just a matter of changing the different settings in the Develop Module and then saving a group of settings you like.  Then click on that preset and your image will instantly change to reflect those settings.  If you like it, print it or export it to your photo sharing site, and whatever changes you make have no effect on the original image.

Here I am with an “EH” photo looking for inspiration in a preset and I stop at the Point Curve Presets.  These are presets which manipulate the Tone Curve.

Tone Curve

This one makes the curve look like an “M” as you can see here.  Presets are not set in stone.  You can play with it if the initial look isn’t what you wanted.  Which is what I did here. Moving the Dark slider back and forth,  I liked the different results but didn’t think the individual images were as interesting as the kaleidoscopic result I created from moving the slider back and forth!  How to recreate that effect?  An animated GIF file!!! The first step is to create a series of virtual images with incremental changes to the image. In this case, I moved the dark slider over ten points at a time starting from –100 ending at +100 resulting in 22 different virtual images. To create the GIF, I had Lightroom export the images into separate layers in Photoshop with the “Edit in” command.

In Photoshop I select all the layers then open the animation palette by choosing “Window” from the menu bar and selecting “Animation“.  With the animation palette open, ( it’s a long strip at the bottom of the window)  I needed to convert each layer to it’s own frame in the animation palette. With all the layers selected, I clicked the flyout menu in the upper right hand corner of the animation palette and choose “Make frames from layers”. The animation palette will be populated by frames of each image. Then I needed to choose how long each image will display in the GIF with the frame delay option.  For this, I picked .05 sec.  Finally, I saved it with “ Save for Web and Devices (.gif under this option)” in the File menu.

There is one caveat to this. Make sure you reduce the images to a manageable size!!!  Assuming you’re working with images from a DSLR as I was, you can’t work with the original size in Photoshop.  Especially since I had 22 versions of the image.  Photoshop will choke and die when you save for the web. I could have used a smaller number of images but I liked the effect with 22.  I exported the different versions as JPEG’s  resizing on the long edge at 1024 and a quality setting of 25.  Then I Imported those images back into Lightroom and used them to create the GIF in Photoshop.

From a plain Jane to a Kaleidoscope of Color!  (click on the image to see it change)

Shifting Colors                                                                    

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