(#9) 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. Then, I give them a few ideas on how to approach Lightroom editing in the most efficient way.

For today’s demonstration, I selected landscape photo from by Ugo Cei, a travel photographer from Italy. I highly recommend his podcast The Traveling Image Makers dedicated exclusively to travel photography.

He took the featured photo using Fujifilm X-E2 camera with the Fujinon XF 16-55mmF2.8 lens.


I normally start the process of editing with the evaluation of the composition and if necessary, I tweak it. In this case, I was happy with the composition and I did not see any ways to improve it. So I jumped to Rapid Editing right away.

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“.

Below are seven editing versions of the same photo. To show the potential of the Lightroom Rapid Editing I used presets from Landscape Collection in a combination with the TOOLKIT.

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 6 clicks to achieve the final edits.

The main challenge I faced while editing the featured photo was the overexposed sky. When I simply applied style presets from Landscape Collection the sky became blown out. I had to use two-step TOOLKIT processing to compensate for the overexposed sky and balance it with the shadows in the foreground.

First, I used TOOLKIT adjustment 6. Exposure — to lower the global exposure by the whole stop, and in the second step, I used pretty high Open Shadows values to recover the dark areas of the capture.

Lightroom Editing Formula: Natural (6, 9, 19, 23, 31)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Shark Cove (6, 9, 27, 31, 40)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Tropical Morning (6, 8, 11, 30)
Lightroom Editing Formula: HDR Blend (6, 10, 31, 34)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Broken Clouds (6, 9, 27, 30, 39)
Lightroom Editing Formula: End of Summer (6, 9, 27, 30, 39)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Point Lobos (6, 31, 40)
Lightroom Editing Formula: Overcast (6, 9, 16, 30, 38)

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

  • Peter Stassen says:

    Normally I go for Natural but this time Point Lobos. It gives a warmer color to the picture and accentuates the long shadows. Further more it leads the viewer to the hills at the horizon.

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