I remember when I started shooting RAW and discovered Lightroom back in 2011. I was thrilled and overwhelmed by all the possibilities that were suddenly before me. And even though I wasn’t all that new at photography, it sure felt like it since this was a whole new world.
If you can relate, Nigel Danson has a video for you. He gives you seven simple Lightroom tips that you should definitely know if you’re new to photography, shooting RAW, or Lightroom. And trust me, they work, and they’ll help you raise your editing to a whole new level.
1.Understand your RAW file: it’s important to understand how much detail you can pull out from the shadow and highlight areas of your photo. For example, Nigel usually pulls the exposure all the way down to check what he can get from the highlights. Then he does the opposite and searches for the details that he can find in the shadows.
2. Contrast does more: you probably already know that contrast changes the difference between bright and dark areas of your image. However, increasing contrast also increases saturation, so that’s something to keep in mind when editing.
Also, oftentimes you don’t want to adjust contrast in the entire image. Therefore, use selective adjustment tools to adjust the contrast only in specific areas of the image. This leads us to the next tip:
3. Global vs. Local: don’t just adjust the image globally, but also focus on the local adjustments. Not each area of your image needs the same kind of adjustments, so rely on Brush, Graduated Filter, or Radial Filter tools.
4. Nothing is lost: this tip leans onto the first one. The perk of shooting RAW is that you can bring back a lot of detail that seems lost in the highlights or shadows.
5. HDR is your friend: I remember that HDR (high dynamic range) was all the rage back when I started shooting digital. And in most cases, it was dreadful, so people often connect it with terrible editing nowadays. But remember, HDR is your friend, not the enemy, at least if you play your cards right.
6. Negative clarity: Clarity and Dehaze sliders work great in some images, giving them more edge contrast and a bit of a “punch.” However, some photos look much better when you reduce Clarity and Dehaze, which creates a moody, painterly look.
7. Fine control of saturation: many of us are tempted to crank up the saturation slider, especially in landscape photos. However, you’ll get much better results if you adjust the saturation only for specific colors.
I found this video fun and educational to watch, as it’s always the case with Nigel’s videos. If you’re a newbie, I hope you found it useful. And if you aren’t – I hope it reminded you of your beginnings and those sweet struggles of getting to know Lightroom. :)
[7 SIMPLE LIGHTROOM TIPS every beginner photographer should know | Nigel Danson]
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