Well, they’re not so much hidden as easily forgotten. In this blog, I’m going to remind you of some of my favorite features that are so subtly presented in the interface that, if you’re not careful, you can easily forget are there. Of course, if you start using them often, they become such a habit that they become unforgettable.
1.Be sure to include “all rights reserved” in your personal metadata, not just “copyright Your Name 2007″
2.Don’t forget to use collections. Then you don’t have to move an image out of its catalog. Put images into major collections, then create sub-collections and put the appropriate ones into there, too. Start now. It takes a long time to go backwards and cover all the collections. The good news is that any collections are useful, so adding more is just more useful. Also, as you build collections and then process images, you may want to add some of those images to certain collections.
3.Should you convert to DNG? Pro: DNG is a format that’s likely to last a lot longer than a proprietary format for a specific camera. Con: You may have uses for non-Adobe RAW software that won’t read .DNG files because their makers are competing with Adobe.
Read on to be reiminded of some things that you’ll find especially useful to remember in the Develop module.
4.The Color and Grayscale buttons in the Basic panel. Clicking the Grayscale panel is the fastest way I know of to create a black and white image that has just exactly the brightness values you want for all the colors and shades in the image. You can adjust the brightness of individual colors and you can also use all the sliders to “fine tune” just the effect you want in very particular tones. You can even do this after you’ve made regional adjustments in Photoshop.
5.The White Balance Dropper. All you have to do to accurately set the white balance in most images is click on anything that you know should be neutral, such as a pair of black shoes or the whites of the eyes. Though it’s true that you may be a little off because of slight tints or reflections, it’s much easier to get close before you use the Temp and Tint sliders.
6.We tend to forget about the ability to click the on/off switches in the Histogram for showing blocked highlights and shadows. It’s best to leave them on, turning them off only when they get in the way or can’t be adjusted out without ruining the overall appearance of the image. For instance, in very high- or low-key images you may want to intentionally block large areas of white or black. It’s part of the “effect” your after. Hint: Dragging the Recovery slider to the right usually eliminates blocked highlights while the Fill Light slider does the same for blocked shadows. Try NOT dragging those Exposure and Blacks until you’ve done what you can with Recovery and Fill.
7.Regional buttons in the Curves panel lets you adjust the contrast within a specific brightness range.
8.Clarity: Sharpens edges primarily in the mid-tones, so you get more snap where it’s needed most while it’s highly unlikely that you’ll oversharpen.
9.Lens Vignetting: This is really an adjustment in the Lens Corrections panel. But I often use it just to lighten or darken the corners of the image in order focus the viewer’s attention on the center of the image. However, keep in mind that this only works well when the center-of-interest is in the center of the picture. Otherwise, you’re better off to do the vignetting in Photoshop, where you can place an oval selection anywhere in the image, feather its edges, invert the selection, and then lighten or darken or re-color the new selection.
10.Presets: I’ve mentioned these before, but remember to create one any time your adjustments result in an effect that you’d like to apply to other images in future. To do so, all you’ll have to do is click.