My husband is gainfully employed by a giant corporation. He’s recently been working on a project that involves some photography, which has been a fun way for us to connect. He borrowed my camera and tripod to take some pictures. I guess that was helpful because the next day he told me that he (really his corporation) was buying the newest version of my camera body, an $800 lens and Adobe’s Lightroom for his project. At that moment it was hard to not feel extremely jealous and … put out? Yesterday, however, he told me how much he’s liking the efficiency of Lightroom. That was much easier to get excited about! Lightroom is quite a powerful program. In honor of my husband’s enthusiasm for a photography-related topic I thought I’d share a a little about how I use Lightroom. Before I bought Lightroom I was using Google’s Picasa. It was adequate for organizing and doing simple edits like cropping, but lacked features I needed in order to dive deeper into editing.
Here’s an image of my cello-loving son that I’ll use to demonstrate the power of Lightroom. It’s a JPEG image shot with a 35mm/1.8 lens at f/2.2 and an ISO of 200 with the flash. Here is the original image, straight out of the camera.
The first thing I do when editing an image is check it’s temperature and tint. I think those are ok for this image, since I’m fine with it looking like it was shot inside with a flash. I think it’s a bit too dark, so I increased the exposure using Lightroom’s exposure slider.
Then I reduced the shadows subtly to regain some detail in the darker parts of the image. This works even better with a raw file. You can see the biggest difference on the right side of the image.
After that I used the vibrance slider to adjust the coloring just a tad.
Then I used the heal and clone tools to get rid of the piano bench legs that are coming down out of the top on the left. I did a quick fix here and some of the grey shadow is still present, but you can see the usefulness of this feature.
Last of all I cropped the image slightly on the right side so that the visual emphasis is placed more on the cello playing and my son’s concentration.
I made all these adjustments easily in about five minutes using Lightroom. I used Lightroom’s Snapshots feature to capture each step of the editing process. Then I used my own Lightroom export preset to quickly export the files in the size and dimensions that I wanted for this blog post. Pretty slick, especially since I can batch process my other cello images with one click of the Sync button.