When I started learning lightroom, it was a mess. I had no idea you could sync edits, you could create presets (Or the idea of presets), and definitely did not understand how far you could save a photo.
Now to those who do not know any of the above, be affirmed. YOU ARE ALL GOOD. I’ve had lightroom for three years now and I’m still kind of a wreck with tonal curves and stuff. Let’s not even start on how many times I call my best friend about syncing issues… (s/o @taylorkaderly) But anyways. I recently shot this amazing couple in this amazing place with some pretty crazy light. It was afternoon (which all photographers who vow only to shoot at golden hour, stretch yo self), and not cloudy. Sun was streaming in from all over.
As I’ve grown as a photographer, I am still trying to find the fine line between quality photo vs quality moment. I am guilty of throwing out some emotional memories if its not tack-sharp or just garbage quality in my standard. I wouldn’t say I regret that. It is what makes my creative standards strong and high. Now, what has helped me is learning my tools post-camera. Where I can save a good moment from what I called bad quality. So this shoot. They were laughing and be adorable, and every once and a while the sun would hit my lens in the most blown-out way. It created this dead photo, over exposed, washed out, weird vibes. Three years ago, hands down would have tossed it. I had no idea you could draw depth out of something that looked so flat.
So first off, THE BEAUTY IN RAW. Raw images gives us all the information we need to create a photo. We have every layer, every spec, ever piece of light, every pixel. We can change hues, saturation, contrast, highlights, glow, exposure, you name it. When you look at a photo you see just whats before you. RAW is like 100 layers deeper than that. Its so COOL!! Below are a few examples of why I still hold strong to quality, but am learning its in places I never knew. Don’t give up on a photo until you’ve tried it all.
It is important to get great shots SOOC (striaght out of camera) however, every once and a while , we all mess up. . Its the memory they have from the session, its the way they loved your questions and stories, the way you made them feel confident, and THEN its the way the photo looks when received. I want to be clear I am not promoting that editing is IT. You can NOT make adobe your crutch. A true photographer CAN take the best moments SOOC. Editing is an element that brings art out of what is already stunning. Embrace the weird light and try some new stuff to work on it. Its really cool that these are my favorite shots form the entire session. Just want to inspire some photographers out there who deal with sunflare and funky light. Play with your tonal curve, the exposure, the shadows. Don’t give up till you’ve tried it all. AND yes, there is a point that you throw it out. But that is a topic for another day.
These are extreme settings. On another soap box, I could talk about how amazing Lightroom is to cultivate style and mood. Below are some of the shots I got when the sun didn’t flare up and get funky. How I still use editing – it is still important. You still benefit so much from shooting in RAW. Its not for just when the camera goes BLAH.
I’ve gotten so passionate about editing and how wonderful and fun it is. I love seeing a mood drop by one scale change in warmth. Its not warping the truth. Its enhancing it to the way I saw it. Be confident in setting your style. It takes a long time, and honestly no preset can do it. I don’t have one bought preset this is my GO TO paste on. I cannot paste and go. Its a whole process. That is what makes it my style. I created it. I am the only one that will edit this photo in this way. That is why they hire us. They hire us to create beautiful things for them BY us.