Iridient Developer

Today I spent some time testing out potential new workflows for processing images. As many folks know, I love Photoshop and Camera Raw for processing my images. I feel these tools give me the most option from start to finish… including basic edits, cloning and potentially layering images. I have a very set workflow as well. However, I am willing to change if I see real difference and benefit. Here is my basic workflow:

  1. I load images onto my drives, via Lightroom import. At the same time, organizing my images by date, state/location, event. 
  2. When I go to process an image, I take that image into Photoshop and then work within Camera Raw/Photoshop layers as needed. 
  3. Saving the image back to Lightroom. 
  4. Lastly, I export from Lightroom with my watermark to share. 

There has been much talk about Adobe (LR/PS) not being the best processing tools for Fuji RAW files. There is discussion of “wormies” or “squigglies” which I do see when sharpening. The details on processing this image: Clarity +13, Highlights +18, Vibrance +28, Saturation +11, Contrast +18, Color Luminance Green -20 and Orange +18. Sharpening +33, Masking 0, Noise Reduction 0. The key thing here is that I did not use the masking feature in Camera Raw, so 100% of all of the pixels have been sharpened 33%. 

Here is what they look like: 

Camera Raw processing with sharpening and NO masking on the sharpening, and noise reduction

So my next test was to process the image like I normally do, using Photoshop. I used all of the same settings as noted above, but I also used the masking feature in Sharpening and did some minor Noise Reduction as follows: 

For Sharpening, Sharpening was set to +33, Masking 100 (this means I only masked the edges, instead of every pixel). For Noise Reduction, Luminance +17, Luminance Detail +50, Luminance Contrast +8, Color Noise +16, Color Detail +50. 

Here is the result: 

Camera Raw processing with sharpening with masking to edges and noise reduction

Knowing that the “wormies” show up when the image is sharpened and hearing that Iridient Developer is supposed to be superior to Photoshop and Lightroom for Fuji RAW, I decided to test out a couple of workflows. 

First, I processed my image, with all of the above settings, but NO sharpening and No noise reduction in Camera Raw. I decided I would use Iridient Developer in the final stage of process solely for sharpening the image. For sharpening I used the following Iridient Developer settings: High Pass, Radius +.60, Amount +70 Standard, Edge Masking +92. Of all of the Iridient Developer sharpening settings, I have found High Pass to be the most pleasing to me. 

Camera Raw processing with Iridient Developer sharpening

Lastly, I decided to try using Iridient Developer to process and sharpen the image. This time, I mirrored the Camera Raw adjustments in Iridient Developer and used the Iridient Developer sharpening immediately above. To me the puffins look very similar and the greens may be a bit brighter, but that is because Iridient Developer does NOT have Color Channel Hue/Saturation/Luminance, that can be found in Camera Raw, so I wasn’t able to incorporate Green Luminance at -20 and Orange Luminance at +18. 

Iridient Developer processing and sharpening

Here are the images side by side: 

Camera Raw Sharpening +33 with No masking on the left and Camera Raw Sharpening +33 WITH Masking at +100

Iridient Developer

Camera Raw image processing with Iridient Developer sharpening on the left and Iridient Developer processing and sharpening on the right. 

Obviously, which is more pleasing is 100% subjective, but for me, I think that the Camera Raw processed with Sharpening and Noise Reduction in PS resulted in the most pleasing overall result. 

I will continue to test this out on other images. But at this point, I don’t see much benefit to changing up a well-oiled and honed process. 

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