Imagine that you have just processed a color image and that you are happy with the result. But you’d also like to experiment with it a little. Perhaps you’re curious to see how it will look if you convert it to black and white. Maybe you’d like to give it a different look using a Develop Preset, or crop to the square format.
In Photoshop, you would have to make a copy of the file for every variation you want to try. If you are working with 16 bit TIFF files, the extra copies take up a lot of hard drive space.
As we all know, modern photography is as much about capturing the perfect moment as it is about touching up that moment to turn it into a perfect photo. One of the most common of these post-processing edits is removing the glare from a subject’s glasses—a minor detail that’s difficult to avoid when shooting, and one that only takes a couple of minutes to improve. Phlearn’s Aaron Nace has a great tutorial on removing glasses’ glare:
The method Nace teaches will take a steady hand and previous Photoshop knowledge, but with just a bit of practice and patience it can be a very effective way of improving a picture. You’ll take an image with an obvious flaw and turn it into a stunner.
You could spend some time just playing around and learning through doing, but if you’re looking for a nudge in the right direction here are a few simple concepts that I wish I’d thought about before starting my own Lightroom journey – hopefully it helps you! Five things you should know about Lightroom before you start:
#1 Your organizational strategy
This might not seem important at first, but Lightroom is an amazing organizer of your photographs if you choose to use it as one. So before you start haphazardly uploading photographs into your Lightroom catalog try to come up with some sort of basic organizational strategy first.
Lightroom has the power to completely transform your landscape photograph into something far more powerful, something that hits home with viewers, and something that pops off the screen.
By default digital cameras create flatter image files than what you see with your eye. Your eye has the ability to see dimensions like no camera can really capture. Although many try.
What is Dimension?
The definition of dimension is: an aspect or feature of a situation, problem, or thing. When utilizing the word dimension in your photograph, think of the features of specific locations and objects within the frame. As an example, in the photo you will see here, there are multiple layers of dimension to play with. There’s the sky, the water, the rocks, the buildings, the grass, and the shed. Each has its own uniqueness to it, and can and should be treated as such.
Many photographers take their camera’s autofocus (AF) system for granted because it’s very effective in so many situations. However, it’s worth getting to know it a little to help deal with those occasions when it doesn’t do exactly what you want. If nothing else, at least understand what the problem is.
Adobe Camera RAW image editing software makes it incredibly easy to tone images, far easier than in a traditional darkroom, but it’s often a technique that’s applied as an afterthought.
Just as with untoned monochrome images, however, it’s far better to have the end point in mind at the shooting stage.
Helpfully, most cameras have a toning option available within the monochrome Picture Styles, Picture Control or Film Simulation modes and although we’d always recommend shooting raw files for post-capture conversion, it’s well worth investigating these to find the settings that you like, or that most closely approximate the look you want to achieve with the raw files.
*TIP: Check out my FilterSim Lens Filter Simulator actions for toning, getting White Balance, and creating excellent B&W or Color conversions in Photoshop or Elements – or grab them below with no hassles (the download link will automatically be emailed to you once checkout is complete)
Converting color images into black and white is a fun process, especially if you know what you’re doing. But most photographers are shy of getting their hands wet because of the sheer complexity and workload. Hopefully this video by Andrew S. Gibson will clear the air around the process:
When it comes to dodging and burning, everyone has their own technique. Some take a little more time than others, but the results will ultimately be better. Fashion, beauty, and portrait photographer Michael Woloszynowicz shows us four different approaches to dodging and burning in Photoshop and explains when you can use each—and what limitations to expect:
1. Dodging and Burning on a 50% Neutral Grade Layer
Lightroom is all about productivity and workflow, making you a more efficient photographer who works smarter, rather than harder. Here are some of the handiest tools for becoming more efficient with the program and cutting a massive image-editing job down to size.