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Today, I am featuring a new Cooking RAWs case study. For those new to the series, Cooking RAWs is where I ask people to send in one of their unprocessed RAW photos and, in return, I give them a few ideas on how to approach Lightroom editing in the most efficient way.
The featured photo was taken in Romania by Andrey Kosenko of Ukraine. The photo is of the famous Transfăgărășan mountain road, which crosses the southern section of the Carpathian Mountains. Andrey took the image with his Canon 700D and Canon kit 18-55mm lens.
First, Andrey and I had a slight miscommunication. Let me explain.
The name of the photo series is “Cooking RAWs” and reflects my request for unprocessed photos in RAW format. RAW format offers much more flexibility and potential compared to JPEG. To learn more about the differences between RAW and JPEG, and how to use them in your photography, read this detailed article on the subject.
After selecting the Transfăgărășan photo for this issue of the Cooking RAWs case study, I expected Andrey to send me the original RAW file; however, he did not have one. He is new to photo editing and has never felt the need to shoot RAW.
This is when I decided to make an exception and demonstrate how Lightroom Rapid Editing can be used with both RAW and JPEG images.
There is a huge difference when editing different image formats. If you use identical editing steps with both RAW and JPEG images, the final look of each photo will be different. Plus, you cannot be very aggressive with your editing when using JPEG.
Total time: 2 min
The first step was to improve the composition. I did not have to do much—I simply changed the aspect ratio from 3x2 to 4x3 to make it a bit tighter.
Total time: 10 min
The next step—jumping straight to Photoshop—was not typical for my editing workflow. Normally, I stay in Lightroom as long as possible when editing RAW photos to benefit from the RAW editing environment. Only in the final step do I rasterize the image and make the final touches in Photoshop. Since I started with a JPEG from the beginning, it did not matter here.
In Photoshop, I removed distractions like cars, people and powerlines from the composition using the Stamp Tool.
Next, I brought the photo back to Lightroom and ran it through the Lightroom Rapid Editing workflow.
Lightroom Rapid Editing
Total time: 10 min
f you are not sure what is Lightroom Rapid Editing, please check my detailed tutorial “Lightroom Rapid Editing System”.
I used presets from 3 different collections to produce 5 final versions.
- Natural, Point Lobos and Beyond the Reach from Landscape Collection
- Burning from Fall Colors Collection
- Black Point from Black & White Landscapes
Under each photograph, you can find the Lightroom Editing Formula which reflects every single editing step.
As you can see it took me between 5 and 7 clicks to achieve the final edits.
The Final Versions
Lightroom Editing Formula: Natural (9, 12, 18, 32)
Lightroom Editing Formula: End of Summer (14, 32)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Beyond the Reach (9, 32)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Burning (13, 32)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Point Lobos (13, 33)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Black Point (1, 7, 13, 31)
Please use the comment section below to let me know what version you like best.