Adobe Lightroom editing tutorial
This video shows how I edited my photograph of Battle Creek Falls in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and turned a so so photograph into an image that pops and makes the soft water shine. You too can edit like a pro! Click here for a tutorial on How to Photograph Silky Waterfalls Like a pro! One thing I failed to mention in the video was that some of the noise could have been prevented by using the long exposure noise reduction setting in my camera. I had forgotten to turn it on:) But, if that happens to you, there is still a way to save your photo if the bones are good! I hope you enjoy the video!
Hi! This is Juventa with Vezzani Photography and today I wanted to do a quick video to show you how I used Adobe Lightroom Classic to edit my soft water, waterfall picture of Battle Creek Falls to go from this:
So, in order to get a soft water picture, especially one like this – one that has this really magical effect – you can’t edit that in Adobe Lightroom. You need to start with good equipment. And so, to take this picture, I had an ISO of 100, and an f-stop of f-14. I’ve noticed that if you go to f-16, f-22, then the pictures lose a lot of image quality and I’m not happy with them. So, f-14 was about as high as I wanted to go with the f-stop.
Then, I was able to get a 10 second exposure. The only way I was able to do this was by using a filter. The filter that I like to use is a Singh Ray Variable Neutral Density Filter and Polarizer. (For more about how to take soft water photos, what gear to use, and how to do it, click here!)
So back to the editing tutorial. When I first got home, I have to be truthful, I was a little bit disappointed with what I saw. The quality is good when you zoom in, but it was just darker and it was missing a lot of the magic that I was hoping to get.
And so there are things you can do to brighten your pictures up. I did some initial editing and synchronized, but then I wanted to work with the photo. The first thing I did was use the punch preset. I really this preset in Adobe Lightroom for my landscape photography photography.
And so I used the punch preset and what that basically does is it increases the vibrance and the clarity in a picture and so I think that it’s a nice preset. The next thing that I did was I used the brush tool. This is one of my favorite tools in Adobe Lightroom.
So if you look here, this is where I brushed. What I initially did is I wanted to focus on the clarity and so I just wanted to give the rocks around the waterfall a little bit more clarity. If you look at the red area, this is where I brushed. I added about +48 of clarity.
Then I played a little bit around with the clarity just to see what I was happy with . So I went up to +82 and then down to +60. Then I played a little bit with the saturation to kind of bring out the colors that were already there. I ended up ending with a saturation of +18 and a clarity of +60.
After using the brush tool, I then wanted it to be a little bit brighter and so I changed the exposure to +.10 and that is found over here using this slider. The next thing I did is I wanted to help with the luminance and the grain.
If you zoom in, it’s not horrible. The luminance tool is located right here on the right hand side and it’s right here. It’s the noise reduction. But I just added a +25. It’s not very noticeable but I can notice a difference and that was just to clean it up a little bit.
The next thing that you can do when you are playing with water pictures especially is to add saturation to just a few of the colors in the picture. That’s located right here on the right hand side. You click on the color you want. In this case I was working with the blue. Then what you do is add a little saturation. Honestly, in this particular photograph, there just wasn’t a lot of blue to bring out so it didn’t really make a difference.
But I did play around with the blue, aqua, and the green. The next thing I did was I wanted to really get the water to pop. And so, I focused on the highlights and the white clipping. So the first thing I did was to increase the highlights. That’s located right here or it’s also located up here. You can click on it and slide it back and forth.
That really helped bring out the water just a little bit. The next thing I did was I wanted to increase the white. Now if you see this up here – this little triangle turned yellow when I did that – and so just a little bit of the waterfall had too much white clipping. And so I had to play around with it until I was happy with what I did.
I then used the crop tool which is located right here. I was able to crop it a little bit tighter. As you can see, I just took a tiny bit out, and that helped with some of the overexposure on the rocks. I then played a little bit more with the white clipping and the highlights.
I got to a point where I was really happy with how the waterfall looked, but as you can see, there were overexposed areas that showed up in the water. The way that you can fix that is by using the brush tool again.
And so what I did is I added a brush here. And so I brushed down here and up here and I played around with the slider on the right with the highlights and white clipping until it was fixed.
After this, I still wanted the waterfall to pop a little bit more and so what I did was add another brush stroke. This one right here. I just did it on the edges around the water. This time I used the dehaze tool. The dehaze tool helped take off some of the lack of detail caused by the mist from the water.
So once I brushed the dehaze tool around the waterfall, I then wanted to work with the white balance a little bit. The white balance is located up at the top right here. And so I ended up doing a custom white balance until I was happy with the colors that I got by changing the temperature and then changing the tint.
After that, I wanted a little bit more detail and so I updated the contrast to +9. The really helped the detail to show up in the rocks around the waterfall.
The next thing I did (as you can see I had a lot of “Add Spot Removals”) was I had to take out some noise that could not be solved by the luminance tool. It’s really hard to see, but if you look right above where my mouse is pointing (I’ll do a circle around it) there is a little dot. It’s kind of a green dot and sometimes it shows up as red.
And so what I ended up having to do was I had to do these spot removals. That’s done right here with this tool that I’m pointing to at the upper right hand side. So if you look at this, what I like to use is the heal brush for things like clouds and waterfalls and landscapes, rather than the clone tool. I made a tiny circle and covered the dot and then I used the heal brush. If you go back before, you can kind of see how it had that noise, and then after I did the heal brush, all of those were removed.
After I did that, I thought maybe it had a little bit too much contrast, and so I brought the contrast down to a +6. This was my final image. I hope this video has been helpful and that it’s shown you that you can take a picture like this, and if the bones are good, you can create a picture like this.
For more videos and more photographs, please visit my website www.vezzaniphotography.com! Thanks so much and have a great day!
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