Lightroom: Don't Remove Fill Light Slider

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  • Idea
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • Not Planned
  • (Edited)
Do Not Remove "Fill Light" Slider in Lightroom 4 final
Because "Shadows" Slider in LR 4 Beta not working well on soft shadows its effect only hard shadow i am working as wedding travel photographer so in natural light photographs special in portraits some time soft shadows appear in eye area so "Fill Light" slider work better then Shadow slider
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Muhammad Saeed

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Posted 7 years ago

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Rob Cole

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I'm sure Adobe deliberated for a long time before deciding to change the basics to what they are and remove the fill-light slider (as well as brightness).

I'm guessing any attempt to affect improvement at this point MUST be accompanied by examples of how desired results were NOT achievable with given toolset (or it took inordinately long to do so).

For example, I can already hear the defenders gears turning: well just up the exposure to reach further into the upper tones, then downplay the highlights to compensate. To which I would add: use the tone curve to fine tune.

Begging the question: have you tried these things?

Honestly, I have a love/hate relationship with Lr4(b1). More adjustment range with the new sliders is a really good thing, but sometimes they result in a weird tonal distribution that is hard to correct without resorting to tone curve and/or locals (not to mention color issues).

Summary: I miss the fill-light slider too. Its gradual lightening from darkest to lightest was smooth like silk, and brightness also was smooth (affecting its tones in a manner which did not redistribute relative relationships...) so compensating for excessive reach of fill-light using negative brightness still resulted in a natural organic look - one that did not yank the tones around and separate things in weird ways. Still, I think our options are:

- Learn to use the new controls as is, as best we can.
- Really convince Adobe to make some changes, if possible.

I doubt they will just toss the fill-light (and/or brightness) back in, due to popular demand... (but I could be wrong ;-}

Rob
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Rob Cole

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To forum admin - I assume it would be OK with Muhammad if you convert this to an 'Idea' - its not really a bug.

See related thread:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Paul Cockerill

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Fill light was great, it was one of the most predictable of the old controls, adjusting the black clipping with the new controls can give similar effects but I'm not sure it's quite the same.

I like the new controls but whats wrong in leaving the old ones too maybe a seperate legacy tone control panel so you can choose which you use.

Probably a coding nightmare but it would be really nice to see.
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Jim Wilde

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No coding nightmare.....it's already there. Simply choose the PV2010 in the Camera Calibration panel and you get the LR3 basic controls.
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Paul Cockerill

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I appreciate it's still there but only if you switch to the 2010 process. I kind of meant adding a panel called legacy under basic in develop so you could choose which tools to use while using the 2012 process.

I've had a look and switching between the two processes every +10 increments of fill appears to translate as +20 Exposure, -10 Highlights and +10 Shadows.

It doesn't faithfully reproduce between processes though so you can't really swap and change.
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Rob Cole

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I knew what you meant, and I'm guessing you are right - it would be a coding nightmare.

While we're on the subject, what makes Lr3's fill light so nice, in my opinion, is the rather smooth fashion how it works. Even if it's not exactly what you wanted, it's effect can be easily smoothly throttled using brightness or the parametric tone curve.

Like Lr4, it has the magic which keeps from losing mid-tone contrast when applied.

I've got my fingers crossed that Lr4 will prevail in such a way that we can all laugh about how we once preferred Lr3's fill light... (those of us who do sometimes, I mean).

We'll see.

R
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Shaun Keenan

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Rob - thank you!!!
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Muhammad Saeed

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Thanks!
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barry pressman

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I agree completely. Current LR users have a strong expertise with LR 1,2,3 controls. They can tweek a picture without thinking. The system was excellent. So, Adobe, why are you going to piss-off your base????
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Paul Cockerill

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Hi Rob,

Out of interest, what did you do?

Have you been using Exposure, Highlights and Shadows together or have you a different method?

Thanks, Paul.
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Rob Cole

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I've been trying to post tips & tricks as I come across them in the user forum:

e.g. http://forums.adobe.com/message/42590...

As I said, it's trickier (but more flexibility/latitude), and one needs a new mind set - fill-light is more an integral part of an overall toning procedure, instead of a thing in and of itself.

I think I would have preferred a design which makes successive refinement a primary criteria, if it were possible, but that's beside the point now.

Mind set:
* multiple sliders required, along with some iteration.
* no way to just have a progressive fill without influencing top end - it's a loss compared to Lr3 - gotta mourn and go on. Put another way, to "emulate" Lr3 fill you will need to use exposure, contrast, highlights & shadows sliders, instead of just the fill light slider.

The tricks:
* overall exposure is critical and must be set more for midtones, than highlights.
* contrast is also critical and must be balanced with highlights & shadow sliders.

Notes:
* the "distance" between blacks and shadows is a primary determiner of intra-shadow contrast (along with exposure and contrast). (lower shadows)
* the "distance" between exposure and shadows is a primary determiner of upper "shadow" contrast.

Another biggie for me:
* +whites -exposure will expand highlights, left-shift the midtones, and compress shadows - I make use of this regularly. (hint: when I say "overall" exposure I mean the whites/exposure combo). It's sorta the opposite of "fill", but if one subsequently increases shadows to restore fill, it allows one to maintain intra-shadow contrast while simultaneously reducing upper-shadow/midtones contrast, which can keep midtones from being too bright whilst pursuing strong fill, and allow for some fabulous midtone and highlight separation at the same time.

Conclusions:
* I wish I could give a simple formula for "fill", but I can not - it depends on the photo. But one typical case is:

~ set exposure higher than what you'd need for highlights, to lighten the darks.
~ If blacks are unseated - now may be a good time to pull them leftward.
~ reduce contrast, to further lighten the darks (but only if loss of midtone contrast is ok, otherwise this is not a good method for filling).
~ reduce highlights, to compensate for "excess" exposure at the top end.
~ increase shadows slider for more fill, but use blacks slider to keep blacks seated.

Another case, if you want to fill the bottom-most end without increasing intra-shadow contrast, then +blacks instead of +shadows (same as -blacks in Lr3, except with more room).

Summary: In many ways Lr4 fill is like Lr3 fill - instead of blacks and fill modulated by brightness we have blacks and shadows with exposure and highlight compensation counter balancing, plus contrast plays a more critical role... (put another way - after the mental shift, one begins to think of toning as adjusting the mid level via exposure then balancing contrast with highlights/shadows - and after a while the concept of "fill" proper fades...).

Final thoughts: I regularly hit the tone curve to undo some of that automatic shadow recovery that's so wonderful for some photos but is the exact opposite of what I need for others.

PS - The correct things to adjust often depend on assessment of midtone vs. upper shadow vs. lower highlight - I regularly scan using the tone curve's TAT tool for info. One day, maybe it will be ever-present in the histogram.

Sorry it's not simpler, but it actually can be quite fun after a while - there is more latitude for how those darks are filled, and more latitude for midtoning and highlight toning too - without the image falling apart or color issues...

Also, new clarity can help fill shadows now too.

Cheers,
Rob
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Muhammad Saeed

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Thanks!
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Rob Cole

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Hi Muhammad Saeed,

Please report back after you practice for a while, I'm still trying to pick up tips too!

Cheers,
Rob
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Andrew Rodney

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Current LR users who take a bit of time to use the new tools in PV2012 will find it does a vastly superior job and that Fill Light-like adjustments are entirely possible. Yes, it isn’t easy to get hip to new controls but it is doable after working a few images. Plus new users to the application will find the new tools easier to learn and use for an number of reasons (example, everything starts out zero). If a new toolset is provided (example in the past, lens corrections), users had to learn to use them. So learning something new isn’t cause to suggest Adobe is trying to piss off anyone.

And if you really, really hate PV2012, stick with PV2010. You are not forced to use the vastly superior rendering tools.
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Rob Cole

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See related post in user2user forum:

http://forums.adobe.com/message/42360...
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Rob Cole

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Update:

Sorry if I seem wishy-washy, but the truth is:

For some photos, Lr4 can do a better job, and for other photos, Lr3 fill is better.

Hoping this can be improved before final release, but I think people should be preparing themselves that they may have to use locals as supplement (not even tone curve is enough to cut it in some cases), or be processing some photos with PV2010 instead, or just be willing to accept that some photos processed with PV2012 will be inferior to what they would have been in PV2010 and try not to worry about it too much...

Cheers,
Rob
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cedward brice

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Please bring back the fill light slider in LR4. I know the new highlight and shadow sliders are better quialify but i found fill light to be more poppy/edgy and used heavily with smart object layers in CS5 for artistic purposes.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Please bring back the Fill Light Slider in LR4.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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You can always revert your image to PV2010 if you absolutely have to have the Fill Light Slider. You just can't keep the new processing and have your Fill Light too.
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cedward brice

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Wasnt aware of that thx..still not very effcient for me as Id like to have access to the new sldiers and fill light at the same time...
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Rob Cole

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This just in: Many problem photos that don't respond well to:

+shadows +exposure -highlights

will respond well to:

+blacks +exposure -whites

and simple tone curve to reseat the blacks.

Using this technique, I can now fill many previously problematic photos in Lr4 to be superior to Lr3.

There may still be some corner cases, but this tip reduces their number.

Rob
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Jennifer Roberts

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I've just spent a day trying to replicate the Faux HDR effect I use constantly in LR3 by maxing the Fill Light, Contrast, Recovery and Clarity sliders. It is not possible to achieve the identical effect. I've also downloaded Mattt Klowowski's attempts and they don't do it either. I liked the over the top look - halos and all!
I still have my LR3 preset of course, and I like (actually am thrilled with) LR4 generally - highlight management is actually vastly improved - but fill light was a single slider that I used constantly and I would love it to come back.
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Rob Cole

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I just did the same thing for a friend who was having problems.

Note: the positive aspects of the Lr3 fill-light effect have nothing to do with the masking halos. There was a misunderstanding - a word mixup - calling the enhanced local contrast effect of the algorithm a "halo" - not the same, no not the same at all as the masking halos that are essentially never good. The positive effects are due to it's different underlying algorithm.

Anyway, indeed - there is no way to match the beloved effect in some photos. One can get close by cranking blacks and/or shadows all the way up then compensating using the tone curve, and adding as much clarity as the photo will take - supplemented with locals... But I agree, no - not the same, and not nearly as good for some photos that were really benefiting from Lr3 fill light, or should I say totally dependent upon it.

Only way to get Lr3-fill in Lr4 is to use PV2010. I too wish Adobe had built enough flexibility into PV2012 shadow toning controls so it wasn't necessary to use an older process version to accomplish.

I mean, it's fine for old photos to leave at PV2010, for now. But, new photos will need to use the old process version too, if the same effects will be desired - and all photos requiring PV2010 for the fill will have to stay at PV2010 forever, unless Adobe remedies come Lr5...

Rob
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Tore Riise

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I would really love to see "Fill light" back in LR5 - as of now I always convert my photos back to the 2010 process to get it back.. and it takes time! Looking really forward to LR5 - the beta looks very promising, specially the auto leveling feature (as I mainly photograph realestate).

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: return Fill light.
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Tore Riise

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I somehow managed to delete my comment... not deliberately (was trying to edit something).

Well, Rob.. ;)
I live by "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and for some that is maintaining roots in the past, and for some it just works. I didn't mean to sound insulted, and all I want is fill light to come back from the valley of shadows. Sure, I just convert my real estate pics back ti PV2010, and it's no sweat - but it could have been "just a slider" and saved me for some work ;)

Tore
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Rob Cole

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Fair enough Tore - fingers crossed...

PS - I made a half-baked attempt at a plugin that would allow people to combine tools from different process versions on the same photo, but it was mostly just a relatively thin wrapper for: "pick one for initial process, then export (back to catalog) and use the other on it". But, I don't use the plugin, and I don't even remember which plugin it was at the moment, so can't really recommend it...

Good luck,
Rob.
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Lee Jay

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I still love fill light, and I still love PV2012. That's why I created the fill light presets for PV2012 for fill light 20, 40, 60 and 80. They're published here and you can certainly copy them. Maybe that will get you up to PV2012.
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Rob Cole

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I don't see any link where those presets are published here (in a collapsed comment maybe?).

But if I may, the basic formula is:
+exposure (for more reach)
-highlights (to keep from over-exposing top end).
+shadows (to further fill the bottom end).
-contrast (so shadows and highlights are not so compressed...)
+vibrance (to make up for loss of pizzaz due to -contrast, and because Lr3 fill over-saturated and colored the shadows, which fwiw: I often liked). +saturation may also be used...
+clarity (ditto, and because Lr3 fill had a "clarifying" effect which Lr4 clarity helps simulate).

R
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Lee Jay

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Here they are:

Fill Light 20
Exposure 0.27
Contrast -15
Highlights -10
Shadows +10
Clarity 5
Saturation 5

Fill Light 40
Exposure 0.55
Contrast -30
Highlights -20
Shadows +20
Clarity 10
Saturation 10

Fill Light 60
Exposure 0.83
Contrast -50
Highlights -50
Shadows +50
Clarity 20
Saturation 25

Fill Light 80
Exposure 1.1
Contrast -60
Highlights -50
Shadows +50
Clarity 20
Saturation 25
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Allan Olesen

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I don't understand how it causes you extra work that you want all photos in Process 2010.

Do you first import as Process 2012 and then convert to 2010? If so, why this unnecessary step?

Make Process 2010 a part of your import preset. Forget that 2012 ever existed. Problem solved. Takes less time than writing a forum post - which will not solve the problem anyway.
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Rob Cole

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In my opinion, mastery of PV2012 equates to mastery of the whites and blacks sliders - and knowing when and how to combine curves (or move black/white point on curve). Plus using locals when global settings aren't optimal in all regions.

-blacks will help seat the blacks - that's the easy part to learn, but +blacks (even very large values) can also be combined for smooth fill, which keeps intra-shadow contrast lower (which can be good if you are otherwise having to use large +shadows values to get enough fill, and still needing -blacks to seat...): often requires a debrightening curve and/or inwardly moved black-point to reseat. hot tip: +blacks loves +clarity.

also, +whites, often in conjunction with some combination of -exposure +shadows -highlights -contrast can help fully expose without over-exposing mids or over-compressing highlights. when +whites allows one to get by with less contrast (and still be contrasty & not hazy looking...), it can also be serving as a key participant in "shadow filling". (doesn't work on every photo, but some: very much so).

Finally, if +exposure and/or +whites is jamming the top end too much before reaching full exposure / sufficient clipping (happens occasionally in pv12), back off on either or both and move white point in on the point curve. Not directly related to fill, except that if you are trying to use exposure to do more of the heavy lifting, fill-wise, (or hoping to use more +whites to keep from needing so much +contrast), you may run into this problem...

Rob
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Andrew Rodney

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You really don't need Fill Light if you can master the new controls. My suggestion is to start here:

http://mulita.com/blog/?p=3945