(#1) Cooking RAWs – Editing Your Photos Challenge

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The “Cooking RAWs” series is my attempt to help photographers who are just starting to use Lightroom Rapid Editing as I offer my personal guidance.

I ask people to send me one of their unprocessed RAW photos. Then, I give them a few ideas on how to approach Lightroom editing in the most efficient way.

So far this approach worked well and I believe I helped many people to improve their photography. Now I decided to make some of the cases public so more people who are starting to tackle photo editing can benefit from them.

Today I am going to show how I would approach the process of photo editing using RAW photo by Bill Domansky. He recently started to use my Lightroom Editing for Landscapes.

Bill took the featured photo using Canon 7D Mark II with Canon 16-35mm lens. I could see right away that the capture had a ton of potential. Bill did a great job by using 0.5 sec shutter speed to create a smooth look of the running water.

I can split the editing process of the featured photo into three steps:

  • Composition Improvement
  • Destruction removal
  • Lightroom Rapid Editing

Composition Improvement

Total time: 1 min

Because of the horizontal position of the fallen tree, I thought that the best way to improve the composition was to use panoramic framing.

I used the Crop Overlay tool of Lightroom to change the aspect ratio of the photo from 3×2 to 16×9.

Destruction removal

Total time: 30 sec

The next step was to remove a minor distraction in the form of the debris and the rocks in the water on the right side.

I used the Spot Removal tool in Lightroom. It took me only one stroke to paint over the debris and Lightroom did its magic by masking them with the texture of neighboring water.

Lightroom Rapid Editing

Total time: 10min

The last step was to apply Rapid Editing. If you are want to learn more about Rapid Editing, please check my detailed tutorial “Lightroom Rapid Editing for Landscapes“.

Below are six editing versions of the same photo. To show the potential of the Lightroom Rapid Editing I used presets from Landscape Collection in the combination with the TOOLKIT. I didn’t use any of the editing tools from Lightroom right panel.

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 8 clicks to achieve the final edits.

Lightroom Editing Formula: Natural (9, 13, 17, 21, 23)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Sunrise (1, 13, 15, 30, 40)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Skyshine (10, 17, 32)
Lightroom Editing Formula: End of Summer (14, 18, 32)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Drought (9, 14, 18, 21, 31)

Please use the comment section below to let me know what version you like best.

  • Natural continues to be a stellar preset. It works so well on so many pictures. End of summer looks pretty cool too, but my vote would be for Drought.

  • Daniel Thomassin says:

    merci beaucoup pour votre post;bonne et heureuse année 2016

  • heitordelima says:

    Natural, drought in a close second place

  • I like the last version as I naturally prefer cold tone.

  • NineRocks says:

    Natural or End of Summer

  • Drought – with a bit more Yellow

  • Drought – with a bit more Higher Color Temp.

  • Drought looks more natural for me.

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