This is new edition of Cooking RAWs series where I ask people to send me one of their unprocessed RAW photos and I would give them a few ideas how to approach the Lightroom editing in the most efficient way.
For today’s demonstration, I selected the photo by Bryan Scanlon from San Francisco. He recently visited Cuba (Havana) where he took the featured photo.
Total time: 5min
The first step was to improve the composition. The main goal was to make it tighter by eliminating unnecessary details. The secondary goal was to fix the perspective.
I used the Crop Overlay tool to change the aspect ratio from 3×2 to 4×3.
Total time: 5min
When Bryan took the photo he wanted to highlight the irony of the sign and the reality. I liked his idea but I also recognized a small problem; the sign was too bright. When I tried to increase the contrast the sign became invisible.
Before I could move forward with the editing I had to use selective editing to make sign darker with more contrast.
I selected the Adjustment Brush tool with the following setting and painted over the sign until I achieved the effect I wanted.
Lightroom Rapid Editing
Total time: 10min
If you are not sure what is Lightroom Rapid Editing, please check my detailed tutorial “Lightroom Rapid Editing System“.
Below are five editing versions of the same photo. To show the potential of the Lightroom Rapid Editing I used presets from Cityscape Preset Collection in a combination with the TOOLKIT.
Under each photograph, you can find the Lightroom Editing Formula which reflects every single editing step.
As you can see it took me between 4 and 6 clicks to achieve the final edits.
Lightroom Editing Formula: Montreal (4, 10, 23, 32)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Paraglider (1, 10, 13, 33)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Desert View (10, 14, 18, 28, 32)
Please use the comment section below to let me know what version you like best.