When I started the Cooking RAWs series on my blog 6 months ago, I did not expect much. My intention was to demonstrate to the followers of my blog the importance of photo editing. I also wanted to share my vision that with every version of photo editing tools (Lightroom, Photoshop) the importance of post processing in photography increases giving us more freedom to achieve our creative vision.
The concept was simple, I asked readers of my blog to send me one of their unprocessed photos and I would give them a few ideas on how to approach the editing.
But the series resonated with my followers and it became one of the most popular types of the articles on PhotoTraces.com.
At this point, I published 18 demonstrations of the various ways of approaching photo editing.
At the same time, I felt that majority of the photographers who followed the Cooking RAWs series felt like bystanders because they did not have the access to the original photos I use in my demonstrations. I could not share them for the obvious reason, I do not own them.
Today, I decided to slightly change the rules of the Cooking RAWs challenge.
I dove deep into Lightroom archives and selected photos I took a while back, rejected them and never had any intentions to edit and publish them. I want to challenge myself to see if it is possible to revive them by using modern editing tools and techniques.
And since all the original photos belong to me I will be happy to share them with you so you can follow the demonstrations step by step.
I called it Cooking RAWs – Reviving The Rejects.
Cooking RAWs – Reviving The Rejects
The photo I selected for the first edition of Reviving Rejects Challenge I took almost 10 years ago in Maine while driving from Montreal to the Atlantic coast of Canada.
I never paid attention to this shot. It does not have an interesting composition, has no colors with the dull overcast sky in the middle of the frame.
It is not surprising that I rejected it originally.
Let’s see what we can do with it.
To follow this demonstration you need one of my Lightroom Preset Collections. If you never bought any of my premium collections, you can always download my Free Preset Collection.
Also, I am making awalable the original RAW image I used in todays demonstration. Download it, import to Lightroom and try to revive it following my lead.
Total time: 2min
As usual for my editing, the first stop is to improve the composition.
I did not think I could drastically improve the composition but I wanted at least to straighten it up.
I used the Crop Overlay tool to rotate the image and Lens Correction panel to fix the vertical perspective.
Below are exact setting I used.
Lightroom Rapid Editing
Total time: 12min
If you are not sure what is Lightroom Rapid Editing, please check my detailed tutorial “Lightroom Rapid Editing System”.
I used Lightroom presets from 4 different collections to edit the featured photo:
- Natural, HDR Blend, Point Lobos presets from Landscape Preset Collection
- Desert View preset from Cityscape Collection
- Rock Point preset from HDR Preset Collection
- Summer preset from Summer Colors Collection
Lightroom Editing Formula: Natural (9, 13, 16, 20, 24, 33)
Lightroom Editing Formula: HDR Blend (8, 20, 33, 35)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Point Lobos (5, 10, 33, 40)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Desert View (5, 9, 13, 33)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Rock Point (1, 9, 14, 21, 33)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Summer (5, 33)
If you decide to take Cooking RAWs challenge with me, please join my closed Facebook group and post your results using hashtag #CookingRAWs.