Lightroom Direct Positive

I had the opportunity to go to lunch with Ben and James earlier this week and for the first time in recent memory, our lunch conversation was actually not about work. Instead we talked for a bit about Photography.

There was curiosity about what the “Direct Positive” settings did that I mentioned for this photo:

We talked for a little bit about post-processed manipulation and similar. I did more post-processing (which consisted of mainly playing with Lightroom’s develop settings) than I think I ever really have. I was basically just playing – but I liked how the “Direct Positive” effect looked on that particular photo.

I wasn’t exactly sure what all it did – here’s the original:

It’s underexposed because of the -1EV setting – and a bit washed out – so that’s probably why the saturation settings took so well. I’ve see shots that look like the “Direct Positive” shot before online and in a number of magazines. I’m not exactly how you’d ever pull that off in camera. So I assume there was also some manipulation of things.

Here’s a shot of the Before/After split in Lightroom:

And for the curious – you can actually see the EXACT settings that the preset does (this is so cool for the software geek in me). I’ve seen mention that Lightroom uses Lua for it’s interface – so I’m guessing this might be a Lua structure/hash.

From: ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Develop Presets/Direct Positive.lrtemplate

s = {       title = ZSTR "$$$/AgDevelopModule/Templates/DirectPositive=Direct Positive",       internalName = "DirectPositive",       type = "Develop",       value = {               settings = {                       AutoBrightness = false,                       AutoContrast = false,                       AutoExposure = false,                       AutoShadows = false,                       AutoTone = false,                       Brightness = 0,                       Contrast = 0,                       ConvertToGrayscale = false,                       Exposure = 1.15,                       FillLight = 0,                       HighlightRecovery = 25,                       HueAdjustmentBlues = 0,                       HueAdjustmentCyans = 0,                       HueAdjustmentGreens = 0,                       HueAdjustmentMagentas = 0,                       HueAdjustmentReds = 0,                       HueAdjustmentYellows = 0,                       LuminanceAdjustmentBlues = 0,                       LuminanceAdjustmentCyans = 0,                       LuminanceAdjustmentGreens = 0,                       LuminanceAdjustmentMagentas = 0,                       LuminanceAdjustmentReds = 0,                       LuminanceAdjustmentYellows = 0,                       Saturation = 0,                       SaturationAdjustmentBlues = 55,                       SaturationAdjustmentCyans = 75,                       SaturationAdjustmentGreens = 0,                       SaturationAdjustmentMagentas = 0,                       SaturationAdjustmentReds = 0,                       SaturationAdjustmentYellows = 25,                       Shadows = 14,                       SplitToningHighlightHue = 0,                       SplitToningHighlightSaturation = 0,                       SplitToningShadowHue = 0,                       SplitToningShadowSaturation = 0,                       ToneCurve = {                               0,                               0,                               255,                               255,                       },                       ParametricDarks = -20,                       ParametricHighlightSplit = 75,                       ParametricHighlights = 60,                       ParametricLights = 10,                       ParametricMidtoneSplit = 50,                       ParametricShadowSplit = 25,                       ParametricShadows = -60,                       Vibrance = 0,                       WhiteBalance = "As Shot",               },               uuid = "5410FFE9-3355-4A55-A1A5-582782F72BC5",       },       version = 3,}

Basically – a kick up of the exposure and highlight recovery – and a lot of saturation settings (plus a change in the tone curve). This is a really cool way to pass around and apply settings.