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

_MG_0139
 

Exposure and contrast tweaks

_MG_0139-2
 

Correct verticals

_MG_0139-3
 

Apply grad to make sky moody


_MG_0139-4
 

Apply a grad to brighten the land

_MG_0139-5
 

Optional Vignette – Draw eye to centre of shot


_MG_0139-6
 

Final shot

_MG_0139-7
 
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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