Today, I am featuring the 28th 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 by Michael Gooch from New York. He took the photo at Toronto Island while visiting Niagara Falls. Michael used Canon Rebel T6 and 18-55mm kit lens with the following settings: f/8, 1/125s, ISO 100, 33mm.
If we analyze the featured photo we can see the following issues:
- The photo is underexposed by about half stop
- The horizon is not straight
- There are distracting elements on the right side
- The vast empty sky does not work here
Total time: 2 min
First, we need to improve the composition.
My goal is to eliminate distracting elements, minimize the impact of the empty sky and to emphasize the yachts reflections in the water.
I used the Crop Overlay tool to level the horizon and to crop out unnecessary elements.
Total time: 5 min
I used the Spot Removal tool in Lightroom to remove the derbies in the water.
You can find a detailed tutorial on how I use Lightroom Spot Removal when editing landscapes here: Lightroom Spot Removal Tool When Editing Landscapes
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 (4, 9, 13, 18, 32)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Crisp Day (5, 10, 12, 18)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Drought (5, 8, 13, 17, 32)
Lightroom Editing Formula: High Contrast (6, 9, 14, 18, 30)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Green Again (5, 9, 11, 14, 18)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Point Lobos (5, 12, 18, 31)
Please use the comment section below to let me know what version you like best.