Lightroom: Custom Workflows

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  • Updated 4 months ago
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When processing photos, there's a specific order that I like to follow when processing my photos. I would like to be able to create a "workflow" that would simply lead my through each step in the order I set, one at a time. This would let me focus on the look and feel of the image instead of the repetitive steps and making sure they're done in the right order.

This might look something like:
1) Exposure
2) Contrast
3) Clarity
4) Shadows
5) Blacks
6) Noise reduction
7) Sharpness
8) Vibrance
9) Saturation
10) HSL

With each step, the user would be presented with a way to 1) accept and continue on to the next option, 2) commit to changes early and skip the rest, or 3) cancel and undo any previously completed adjustments.
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Michael Kubilis

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Posted 4 months ago

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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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The good thing about the parametric editing in Lightroom is that there is no ‘right order’. Unlike with a pixel editor, you can do this in any order you want, because the order in which you do things does not matter.
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Richard Kain

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This sounds exactly like an appeal/justification for having action-like capabilities inside Lightroom. Shouldn't this be in the ongoing thread about actions?
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Michael Kubilis

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1) I do understand that there is no 'right order', but there may be an optimal order of doing things for each session. For example, it'd be silly for me to worry and fret over ever bit of the HSL sliders before adjusting basics like color balance and exposure. If I'm working to correct skin tones, I get the photo to a neutral state before diving into the other controls.

2) I hadn't thought of it being like actions. I'll think on that one and see if I need a thread about actions.
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Michael Kubilis

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I see it would be a kind of a 'Guided Interface' or 'Guided Workflow.' As for actions, I'm remembering when I created Photoshop actions that would pull up dialogue boxes and allow user input as they were run. It's that part that reminded me of actions.
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Richard Kain

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Johan's comment that "an action normally applies certain settings" is not quite correct - that's the way the steps are recorded, but the action's creator can change any step to wait for user input, which would be the opportunity for the user (of the action that had been created earlier) to provide the values appropriate for the new situation.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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The word ‘normally’ makes it quite correct. What you say is true, but an action that does not do anything by itself and only waits for the user to do everything is not the most common way of using actions. Quite frankly I think it might even slow down my workflow, not speed it up.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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And remember the parametric editing. An action would force you to follow a certain order, while we agreed that this is completely unnecessary in a parametric editor like Lightroom.
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Richard Kain

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While that is correct, I see the use of the "action" as a way to structure one's behavior - you cannot forget one of your steps, and you don't have to rely on memory. Furthermore, if you were processing a series of somewhat similar images, you can rely on the memory within the action - i he Photoshop version keeps the last setting, so when you get to an image so similar to the previous one that it uses the same value of one of the settings, you just tap Enter and that one's done.