Here is a comparison of some basic enhancement of a RAW format photo using the PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory software versus Lightroom 4. The differences may be minor but I do feel the bottom photo captures the delicacy of the winter afternoon light the way I wanted too. I have often wondered why my JPEG image that my Pentax writes at the same time as the RAW file (a .PEF format) comes out “punchier” and “brighter” than the RAW image, even with a fair bit of tweaking. Maybe I’m not tweaking enough or doing the wrong tweaking! Raw Therapee (a great open source program) seemed to do a better job, but a fair bit of fiddling was often required. The new lightroom BASIC development panel is shown on the right (and it is the only panel I used). The main contribution to the difference is in the White balance, which I changed to Auto (and I’m not even sure what that does, but it has lifted a green grey hazy colour cast from the background). Next i used the clarity slider Opps I probably gave away a big secret here. The clarity slider, which enhances the contrast in midtones, first appeared in in Lightroom 1.1 but was modified in Lightroom 3, and again now in 4 beta is a definitely a “secret tweak” among Lightroom fans I know. It seems to be a magic way to lift any photo, with the result a lot of folk always seem cranked it over to +100, +50ish is enough for me. Then a tiny bit of adjustment to the tonal strength of the highlights and shadows and there it was the photo I wanted to take, all on a single panel in a few seconds.