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.
This was the most challenging photo to edit among all the images from Cooking RAWs series.
The main issue was the monochromatic nature of the capture.
When I edit landscape photographs in Lightroom I try to apply various editing settings to different parts of the image. For example, if I treat areas of the sky, water and vegetation of any given landscape differently, I can achieve an incredible variety of editing options.
But, when you edit monochromatic image where colors are not too distinct, it is not always easy to come up with the multiple options. Sometimes, the black and white conversion is the only choice you have.
The second challenge was the high contrast of the scene.
If you check the Histogram of the image you can see that the image lacks the mid tone with the high volume of highlights and the shadows.
Below is the example of the histogram of the well-balanced image. As you can see the majority of the pixels are concentrated in the midtones.
When I tried to apply even mild levels of the Contrast and Clarity it clipped the highlights and shadows turning them into blacks and whites. I had to use the combination of the contrast edits with the shadows recovery (Open Shadow adjustments of TOOLKIT) to balance the image.
Total time: 2min
As usual, the first step was to improve the composition.
To start, I wanted to reduce the impact of the of the road in the composition by cropping out the foreground part.
I also changed the aspect ratio from 3×2 to 4×3
I used the Crop Overlay tool to crop the image.
Lightroom Rapid Editing
Total time: 20min
If you are not sure what is Lightroom Rapid Editing, please check my detailed tutorial “Lightroom Rapid Editing System”.
As I mentioned before, it was a challenging photo to edit. I had to dive deep into my Lightroom preset collections to find preset that worked with this image.
I used the following presets:
- Blooming from Spring Colors Collection
- Lazy Day and Morning Sun from Summer Colors Collection
- End of Summer from Landscape Collection
- Sunblast from Cross Processed Collection
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: Blooming (5, 9, 17, 22, 31, 39)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Sunblast (1, 21, 24, 33, 36)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Lazy Day (6, 9, 11, 17, 32)
Lightroom Editing Formula: End of Summer (4, 10, 12, 33)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Morning Sun (33, 40)
Please use the comment section below to let me know what version you like best.