(#26) Cooking RAWs – Editing Your Photos Challenge

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Today, I am featuring the 26th 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.

(#26) Cooking RAWs – Editing Your Photos Challenge

The featured photo was taken by Barbara Wood from New York. The photo is of Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. Barbara took the image with his Canon 6D and Canon 24-105mm f/4 lens. She used the following settings: f/4, 1/500s, ISO 200, 50mm.


When I evaluated the unprocessed featured photo, I could see that it was underexposed by 2/3 of the stop. But, since Barbara took the photo in RAW format, I did not worry too much because I knew it would be easy to fix it in post processing.


Total time: 2 min

The first step was to improve the composition.

I cropped it much tighter and rotated it by +3.5°.

Lightroom Rapid Editing

Total time: 10 min

If 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 6 final versions.

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: Autumn (9, 13, 15, 31)

Lightroom Editing Formula: Point Lobos (10, 14, 15, 31, ,38)

Lightroom Editing Formula: Clock Tower (1, 9, 13, 16, 32)

Lightroom Editing Formula: Harsh Shadow (1, 9, 32)

Lightroom Editing Formula: Sunblast (1, 10, 14, 17, 32, 38)

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

  • pfalcon1949 says:

    Like the first one better.

  • Art DiGiacomo says:

    I’m not happy with any of the versions. But if I had to pick, it would be point lobos.

  • I too like the natural version. Editing is a very personal thing, but given the conditions and lighting, this looks like an excellent result!

  • Point lobos is best to me

  • I like Natural best. Then Harsh Shadow and Point Lobos. I am surprised you could get so much detail from the RAW image. Just because of the fog and low clouds.

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