before and after #1 … [workshop wednesday]

As promised last week, here’s my first “before and after” post (with apologies to Bobby Earle, who runs an awesome series called “Before and After Wednesdays” on his blog … you should check it out ;)).

I’ve chosen a random photo from a recent shoot, and I’m going to show you how I moved from my “straight out of camera” image on the left, to the processed image on the right.

Note: for some reason, the “before” image has a vignette on it. It shouldn’t. Imagine it’s not there 😉

A few points before we begin:

  • You may or may not like this particular photo, or the way I’ve processed it. That’s fine! I hope you’ll get something out of my approach anyway.
  • My approach to post production is just what works for me. Figuring out what works for you will take time. Be patient, and don’t waste time trying to imitate me or anyone else.
  • To improve your photos, become a better photographer. Post production can only do so much 😉

With that out of the way, let’s open our photo in Lightroom’s Develop module.

As you can see, the develop settings are all at their default values, and the photo is looking pretty dull and lifeless. Let’s starting by fixing up the white balance (WB).

How did I know to choose that particular white balance? Experience and taste, mostly. You’ll get the hang of it by practising 😉

What I usually do next is click the “Auto” button in the Tone panel. Lightroom then guesses how best to tone the image. It’s never a perfect guess, but it can be a good starting point, unless Lightroom gets confused by strong backlighting or something else.

From there, I tweak the tone sliders to my taste. Again, knowing how best to do this with your photos and to your taste will come with a lot of practise. (And then, if your taste is anything like mine, it will change :P)

Finally, I usually add a vignette, and I’m done 🙂

Obviously there’s more to it when it comes to black and whites and duotones, but we’ll talk about those another day 😉

I hope that was helpful! If it was, please let me know in the comments and tell your friends about workshop wednesdays. That way I’ll know to keep doing it for you 🙂

Oh, and please keep asking questions for me to answer on workshop wednesdays!

6 February 2010 - 4.00pm

Chris Scott - This is great to see the post-processing in Lightroom from someone else’s perspective. Keep it up! Don’t let the lack of comments fool you; this is good stuff!

5 February 2010 - 8.55pm

Denise - Thanks very much for this Luke, much appreciated.

3 February 2010 - 7.45pm

Bernadette - Very helpful!

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