The Lightroom and Camera Raw team has been very pleased with all of the positive feedback on the new image processing(PV2012) available in the Lightroom 4 beta. (It will also be available in the next major version of the Camera Raw plug-in) The ability to recover shadow and highlight detail with a straightforward set of controls without introducing artifacts or over-the-top faux-HDR effects is a huge leap forward in image processing. I thought Scott Kelby summed it up quite well when he said, “Your photos look better processed in Lightroom 4. Period.” Often, when a product from the Photoshop family produces something incredible, it’s referred to as magic. However, the real magic is how the talented engineers at Adobe convert cutting edge research into elegant, easy to use software solutions.
The cutting edge research in this case is a paper titled, Local Laplacian Filters: Edge-aware Image Processing with a Laplacian Pyramid. The title is certainly a mouthful and the body of the paper will be difficult to comprehend unless you’ve spent a fair amount of time with equations that contain more Greek letters than numbers. But don’t let the complexity prevent you from downloading the paper and perusing some of the sample images that demonstrate the challenges and results using various processing techniques. The research is so impressive that it was published in SIGGRAPH 2011*, a prestigious journal in the computer graphics industry.
Why am I sharing this very technical piece of information? The team would like to share the praise that we’re receiving for the new processing controls with the authors of this research paper:
Adobe Systems, Inc
|Samuel W Hasinoff
Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago and MIT CSAIL
University College London
Note: There is also some contributing knowledge from this paper as well: http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/67030
* ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 2011).