My Lightroom Workflow pt. 6 – Independent Development

After receiving a ton of great feedback on the last article in this Lightroom Workflow series, I decided to take some time over the weekend and quickly go over one more important piece in the puzzle: ISO/camera dependent development settings.

lrprefs.jpgWhy would you want to do such a thing? Simple. Let’s say you’re totally happy how Lightroom treats the pictures from your camera on all ISO levels up to 800, but starting from ISO 1600 you need that slight tad more noise reduction on all images. But just up there, all other images should be left alone. Or imagine you have two cameras, a DSLR and a point-and-shoot, and you import pictures from both cameras into Lightroom, but they both have very different noise characteristics, so you want to treat their respective images in a different way.

Open Lightroom’s preferences dialog and simply check “Make defauls specific to camera serial number” and “Make defaults specific to camera ISO settings”.

The next step is to open an image that is at the according ISO, put it in Develop mode (e.g. press the D key), do the adjustments for noise reduction, sharpening, and everything else that you want to use as a default for images from that camera at that ISO from now on and save those defaults, by selecting Set default settings.. from the Develop menu.

defaultsdialog.jpgThe following dialog looks slightly scary, especially the “changes are not undoable” section, but don’t worry, you can always overwrite the settings with newer ones, and if you’re all tired of those defaults and want to go back to normal, just click “Restore Adobe Default Settings” and everything will be back to normal. For that ISO. For that camera.

Next time you import a RAW file that falls within these parameters, Lightroom will automatically apply the new defaults to your images.

Oh, and if you read my last Lightroom article and still wonder how to find the right noise reduction/sharpening settings in order to mimic the camera manufacturer’s JPG processing, hold tight! I’m working on that one too, just a few more days and I’ll shed some more light on yet another cool Lightroom trick.

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Author: Chris Marquardt

Chris Marquardt is an educator and podcaster. He wrote Wide-Angle Photography and is the co-author of The Film Photography Handbook and Absolut analog. He's the host of this podcast and a few others. Chris teaches photography all over the world. He is a regular on the TWiT Network.