Local contrast magic – with Ted.

Ted Johnson wrote to me the other day about LCE or Local Contrast Enhancement and we decided to make this video together. Lightroom calls this “clarity” and has a slider for it, but in this tutorial we will give you an enhanced look into how you can do it yourself inside Photoshop (or Gimp) – and be in full control.

About Carl Rytterfalk

Welcome to my blog! I'm Carl Rytterfalk, a swedish photographer who loves everything that is interesting in the world of photography. In 2002 I fell in love with the three layered Foveon sensor and has since then been an addicted user of Sigma cameras. Though I use Canon and Nikon as well. :)
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7 Responses to Local contrast magic – with Ted.

  1. Jon Winters says:

    Local Contrast Enhancement is a great technique. Easy to learn and it really ads a lot of depth and pop to many of your photos. I’d encourage everyone to give it a try.

    Sean McHugh from Cambridge in Colour has some more great examples and a print tutorial.

    High pass filter is also worth consideration. David Hobby from strobist.com recently posted a howto.

    Sometimes I’ll run both LCE and High Pass then decide which I like best. (If you’re a Gimp user you’ll need to install high-pass.scm from http://registry.gimp.org/node/7385)

    Thanks Carl and Ted, great tutorial.

  2. Markus Paul says:

    Here is a nice video tutorial (but in german), it shows your sharpen settings for sharpening the main structure and “normal” sharpening for details (@ 4:20)


  3. Bob van Ooik says:

    I have the feeling “clarity” in Lightroom is more like a High Pass sharpening. Although I do have to say that it also feels slightly different.

    With high pass sharpening you can really make a subject pop from contrast and sharpening. And as with all those tools you can “overdo” it and make such things like in the Nike ads material. Might be something for you to have a look at too :)

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  5. WindInYews says:

    Carl, very good technique, to add the use of the History Brush to softly modulate where you want the effect to appear.

    One of those things that’s in a way obvious, but only after you do it a time or two so that you’ll think that way.

    Or get taught so here ;)


  6. marcuslow says:

    Actually u can do nearly the same with LR in that you use clarity to a bit “negative” and then select the brush and select “clarity” and use a positive clarity on the image that u want to “pop”. This would be roughly similar to the reverse way of using the history brush in PS.

  7. Hi Marcuslow, thanks for the tip. Reminds me that I should use this technique sometimes (any of the ones mentioned above). I honestly hardly ever do any editing like this.

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