a9 July 2014

Post-processing Wednesday: Forest paradise

before after

Time for another post in my Post-processing Wednesday series. For more posts from this series go here.

About photo

Today I would like to share post-processing steps for one of my landscape photos taken last autumn in Polish Tatra mountains. Weather was rather ugly, it was cloudy, dark and raining often so dynamic range of the scene was very low so there was no need to use HDR. That's why I took just a single exposure.

Adjustments to make

Adjustments to make
In this case Before image shows unedited image and After shows finished image after editing it in Lightroom. Generally speaking Before image already looks quite nice but it would benefit from a few adjustments that were shown in the image above and were listed below:
  1. Increase global contrast as the image has fairly low contrast,
  2. Increase saturation of yellows and reds to make image more vibrant,
  3. Darken rocks in foreground as they attract attention to much and are therefore distracting.
For more details about this photo, including exact location and EXIF metadata as well as link to buying a print, please read this post.

Editing in Lightroom

This image is a bit different than majority of my images because almost whole processing (apart from sharpening) was done in Adobe Lightroom. Why? Because it was sufficient to use Lightroom in this case. One thing that you should do is to always use as easy workflow as possible to achieve results you want. This way you will save some time for processing more images :)
  1. I started by going to Lens Correction tab and checking both Enable Profile Corrections (to remove vignetting and distortion) and Remove Chromatic Aberration.
  2. Then I went to Tone panel:
    1. I decreased Contrast to -7.
    2. I decreased Highlights to -50. Purpose of this change was to restore some detail in brightest parts of the image and to darken them a bit (especially rocks in foreground).
    3. I increased Shadows to +67. Purpose of this change was to restore details in darkest parts of the image (shadows between trees).
    4. I decreased Blacks to -43 in order to increase contrast of the image without affecting midtones and highlights.
  3. In Presence panel I made following adjustments:
    1. I increased Vibrance to +27 to boost saturation of less saturated colours (like greens).
  4. Then I went to HSL / Color / B&W tab to adjust colours. What I wanted to achieve was to make reds, oranges and yellows more pronounced:
    1. First in Hue panel I decreased Orange to -13 (what moved them towards Reds) and Green to -16 (what moved them towards Yellows)
    2. In Saturation panel I increased Orange to +62, Yellow to +18 and Green to +33 thus increasing saturation of them.
  5. Final step was addition of small vignetting in order to focus viewers attention on the center of the image instead of its corners. So in Effects tab I adjust Post-crop vignetting:
    1. I set Amount to -36,
    2. Midpoint to +50
    3. Finally I used large Feather of +98 to provide very smooth transition between region with and without vignette.
I already mentioned that the only thing I did in Photoshop was to apply sharpening (because it gives me more options to do that than Lightroom) so I loaded my image into Photoshop CC and sharpened image using high-pass sharpening. Make sure to follow the link to learn more about this sharpening technique.

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