(#12) Cooking RAWs – Editing Your Photos Challenge

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Cooking RAWs - Editing Your Photos Challenge

This is a 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 landscape photo by Rich Bachman from Denver (Colorado). He took the featured photo in Eldorado Canyon State Park using Sony a7R II with  Sony 16-70 F4 lens.


Total time: 10min

As usual, the first step was to improve the composition.

It was the most challenging step of the editing. The original composition was not well balanced with the cliffs/mountains on both sides of the capture and the big “hole” in the middle. This is common landscape photography hurdle when natural elements of the scene (trees, bushes, hills, cliffs) prevent us from creating mindful compositions on the spot.

After trying multiple variations by changing aspect ratio and orientation of the images I decided to stick with the square crop. I made the cliff on the left side the focal point of the composition and emphasized the color and texture contrast between the rocks and the sky.

I used the Crop Overlay tool to crop the image. I change the aspect ration from 3 x 2 to 1 x 1.

At the same time, I made sure that the horizon was perfectly horizontal by hitting the AUTO button inside of the Crop Overlay  panel.


Lightroom Rapid Editing

Total time: 15min

If you are not sure what is Lightroom Rapid Editing, please check my detailed tutorial “Lightroom Rapid Editing System”.

Below are seven editing versions of the same photo. To show the potential of the Lightroom Rapid Editing I used presets from Landscape Collection and Fall Colors 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 3 and 5 clicks to achieve the final edits.

Lightroom Editing Formula: Natural (10, 17, 21, 23, 33)


Lightroom Editing Formula: End of Summer (4, 10, 19, 23, 32)


Lightroom Editing Formula: High Pressure (12, 32, 38)


Lightroom Editing Formula: Harsh Shadows (5, 10, 33, 37)


Lightroom Editing Formula: Open Sky (4, 9, 11, 18, 31)

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

  • Chris Newham says:

    The Natural one works best for me.

  • heitordelima says:

    Natural is great. Amazing DR in this sensor

  • End of summer .i like the warm colors in this photo.

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