Photo 101 Rehab Hosts: Image Reboot #1

Reboot

Welcome to the first instalment of Image Reboot – a monthly feature partnering with Lucile’s Photo101 Rehab Clinic, and designed to give you some insight into how I go about editing photos in Lightroom. I am, by no means, an expert and I have taught myself how to use it, which means I am still learning all the time! There is so much more to learn and I’ll share it with you as I learn.

I particularly enjoy editing when I think a photo isn’t going to make it. I thought these photos were lost. I was under the Shorncliffe pier (north of Brisbane), taking photos of the light coming through the broken-down pylons. The view down the long line of timber overhead was quite intriguing, so I took a few photos but it was quite difficult to shoot handheld in such low light.

Here’s where the power of editing comes in to save the day. In these two sets of photos below, the Original image is on the left, and my Edited images are on the right.

I edited the photos in Lightroom, so now I’ll walk you through my process:

  • I began with the lens corrections which remove any distortions.
  • I then increased the exposure to brighten the whole image so that I could see what I was working with, and cropped in to provide some interest.
  • Next, I increased the contrast to +75, quite high, to provide some sharpness to the image.
  • In the Details window of Lightroom, I also did some Noise Reduction using the Luminance Smoothing sliders.
  • Finally was Highlights, Shadows, White Clipping and Black Clipping. When you move these sliders, the feedback on the image is immediate so that you can get an idea of how the changes will affect the image.
  • I find in images that have needed increased exposure, you need to bring the Highlights down, however in this case, I have actually increased them to +32 because I like the glow that emanates from the opening in the distance.
  • I have decreased the Shadows just barely (-4) to give me a little more detail.
  • The same with Black Clipping – I’ve raised the value slightly to +36 to increase the detail, but I have decreased the Whites all the way to -100 to downplay the exposure level of the “light at the end of the tunnel”.

I’m quite happy with the results. What do you think? If you are new to photo editing, you could try this for yourself – just copy my original photo and import it into your editing software and follow along the process. If you’d like a copy of the original photo, I’d be happy to share it with you, just let me know. While I’ve used Lightroom, most editing software has similar sliders and controls that you can use – even the Photos app on the iPhone has most of these settings. Please let me know if you try it out or why not do a post of your own and link back to Image Reboot?! And you can add the tag #imagereboot

x desleyjane

23 thoughts on “Photo 101 Rehab Hosts: Image Reboot #1

  1. I liked the darkness and mystery of your originals, so wouldn’t have increased the exposure so much, myself……but that’s just my thought!

  2. This is a familiar scene to me yet I have not seen such a photograph. At the moment, they are ripping down the old pier to replace it with a new one. I will definitely try this tutorial – thanks so much for posting.

  3. This was helpful to convince me to try LR and to see that my free software has something similar, but much more crude. Yay for editing! I have tried to save photos, too but generally don’t bother with overexposure. What is LR like for those?

    • I downloaded a free trial of LR before buying.
      For over-exposed shots I was actually surprised a few times. Usually, you lose all detail but it did manage to work well quite often. Maybe because I shoot in RAW…

      • Ooooo…. really? That’s neat! And yes, shooting in RAW may help? I thought about making the switch to RAW but without the software to convert it, I haven’t bothered. Is it a pain to convert??

        • Not at all. You can shoot in RAW and JPEG, al it costs you is space on your card and hard drive. In Lightroom (or other programs) you just import the RAW files, do your editing and then export the file as a JPEG. Very simple process. Love it!

          • Good to know! I thought it was going to be a lot of work but it doesn’t sound like it. Will have to give it a try. Do you notice a big difference in quality as compared to cranking up the same in jpeg?

            • I think it just gives you more to work with. Sometimes, the jpg seems better because there’s a certain amount of noise removed and other things done to the photo as the camera compresses the image to jpg. But I prefer RAW as it does seem to give me more options.

              • Okay. That makes sense. I guess the best thing is to give it a go and see what happens. It’s sure fun to be playing with a camera. I feel like it’s something I can keep working on in perpetuity.

What do you think? I'd love to hear it all.

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