(#15) Cooking RAWs – Editing Your Photos Challenge

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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 a seascape photo from Bournemouth (UK) by Mike McNamara from the United Kingdom. He took it using Nikon D5300 with the kit lens 18-55 mm.

What I realized while editing this photo is that I do not have Lightroom presets dedicated exclusively to seascapes. Since I shoot seascapes a lot I will need to put together a Seascape Lightroom preset collection in a near future.


Total time: 2min

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

I made the composition a bit tighter to draw attention to the vertical pole (not sure about the proper name). Also, I made sure the pole is perfectly straight.

I used the Crop Overlay tool to crop the image.

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”.

The seascape was shot on an overcast day and as result, it lacks colors and contrast. The main challenge here was to bring this seascape back to life.

Since I did not have presets designed specifically for seascapes I used presets from three different collections:

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: Golden Gate (9, 17, 21, 25, 31, 39)


Lightroom Editing Formula: End of Summer (2, 10, 14, 15, 32)


Lightroom Editing Formula: Warm Day (1, 10, 17, 27, 32)


Lightroom Editing Formula: Broken Clouds (2, 10, 17, 32, 34, 39)


Lightroom Editing Formula: Boston (1, 10, 17, 19, 27, 34)


Lightroom Editing Formula: Lifeless (9, 17, 33, 34)


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

  • Mike McNamara says:

    Hi Viktor,

    Thanks for that, always good to see other people interpretations of photo’s. I agree with your crop; btw, the item on the post at the end of the Groyne is a Radar Reflector. I like the Golden Gate edit the best, closest to what I did myself.

    Kind regards

    • No problem. I agree, the Golden Gate version looks more natural than the rest. If you want me to link your name to your portfolio or social account, let me know.

      Thanks for participating.

  • Not sure I like any of the versions but if I had to make a selection I would take another look at Golden gate and Lifeless. I would prefer to see the horizon level and let the pole take it actual off vertical position.

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