Lightroom Rescue in under 10 minutes…

Grim Day…

Day 1 of the summer series of workshops and we get a winter night…. in may….

It wasn’t raining too much when  we got to the reservoir, so I showed a couple of new people how to expose using a meter.

Here’s the shot I got – 4 seconds, histogram told me that the sky had not burned (I’d metered from the sky, so was expecting that!).

It was also to show the effect of a polariser on the water and long exposures on the water surface.

So you’d usually just throw these things away and return on a better night… but I thought I’d quickly use lightroom, especially the Grad tools, to see what I could drag out of the RAW file.

Shoot RAW – Always!

Were this shot as a JPG file, you’d definitely best binning it – the vast majority of useful data is thrown away “in camera” so all the enhancements below are impossible..

Unedited RAW File


Exposure and contrast tweaks


Correct verticals


Apply grad to make sky moody


Apply a grad to brighten the land


Optional Vignette – Draw eye to centre of shot


Final shot

So there you go – It’s not going to win any prizes but from a throw away shot you can drag a lot of info out of the RAW to get something with a little interest.

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