Rebecca’s Reverse Clarity Technique

This is going to be a quick note. I just came back from a trip to Mt LeConte in the Smokies with a friend of mine, Eric Bowles. We had a great trip but it showed me how much out of shape I was. Now to try to correct that over the next 3-4 months with all the travel and photography I have planned..

When I got home after 2 days, my lovely wife showed me her images that she had been processing from our trips starting this spring. She had previously been using a little point and shoot camera and I got her a Sony NEX 5n for her birthday. She has been having lots of fun using it and still learning the intracies of differents modes of shooting and focusing. She also took to processing in Lightroom like Michael Phelps takes to water.

Rebecca showed me some of her images and one really struck me. She showed me how she achieved the look and it was so simple. Instead of increasing Clarity, she moved the slider the opposite way ( negative Clarity) and, boy was the image stunning.

Rob Sheppard and I have always taught others to move sliders all around and see what kind of effect you get. Rebecca took that to heart and came up with a great look.

I decided to try the technique on a shot from Rainbow falls. It’s subtle, but I really like what it does.

Before Reverse Clarity

After Reverse Clarity

So the moral of this story is two fold. One, don’t get out of shape and try to hike 7 miles up the mountain with gear and then 7 miles back down. Two, move your processing sliders all around. You won’t damage anything and you might find a look you really like.

3 Responses to “Rebecca’s Reverse Clarity Technique”

  1. Chuck Klos says:

    Hi Bill, I also have used this technique occasionally with much success. You likely don’t recall my Bosque del Apache Vista image that I submitted for critique at our NANPA Great Smokies Regional Event. Applying negative clarity to the image seemed rather stunning to me.
    ~ Chuck Klos

  2. I created a preset for negative clarity awhile back. I like the effects it creats. The lighthouse and waterfall are beautiful. I dont use it very often but I shall go back an locate some images that this might work on!! Thanks for sharing! Cindy

  3. Nicole Riley says:

    Hi Bill,

    I am a mostly self-taught photographer, who is eager to learn more tricks of the trade and technique. I’ve started photographing about in 2006. I really have the bug too. Wildlife and nature are my favorite subjects, but I do venture into other areas, just to find out, if I would enjoy that too…
    This negative clarity idea, will be added to my routine, on photos that can benefit from it… thank you for sharing it!

    I really love the effect it has on your lighthouse picture! Exquisite!

    Nicole Riley

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