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Lightroom Editing Series Other Photography Photography Tips and Tricks

How to do a Single Picture HDR look in Adobe Lightroom

How to do a Single Picture HDR look in Adobe Lightroom

You transfer your pictures from your camera onto your computer. You take a look at them and some of them just don’t look the way you thought they would — underexposed, a little out of focus, dull… Fortunately, Lightroom is here for you.

Adobe Lightroom is a great tool to make, or rather fake, the HDR look using only one picture. Not only is it extremely simple to do, but it only requires fiddling with the basic sliders.

Let’s get started!

(I am assuming that you already know how to import pictures into Lightroom and get into the Develop module. See you there! A complete guide for Lightroom for beginners is coming soon… patience.)

First of all, I like to start with the Highlights and the Shadows. The sliders can be found under the Basic tab. For the HDR look, I bring down the Highlights slider to -100 and set the Shadows slider to +100. This will bring back details in the picture (and dynamic range). It might look washed out for now, but don’t worry, we will take care of that in just a second!

*Do not abuse this HDR technique. It may be a quick fix but nothing remedies crappy technique. Sincerely. *

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Lightroom Editing Series Photography Street Photography Urban Photography

How to Make a Bad Picture Look Good in Adobe Lightroom

Final Image

Images © Jack (Wei Xi) Luo | Photograph IO. All rights reserved.

For more Lightroom editing workflows like this one, click here. Disclaimer/warming : you can’t actually turn a 100% crappy shot into an 100% amazing one. While Lightroom and digital darkroom these days can overcome most technical shortcomings with relative ease; talk about noise reduction, tonal editing to modify the sensor feel, or even shake reduction as of Photoshop CC, NOTHING will fix bad composition and plain simple laziness. Sorry. 

What happens when you take a bad (ok, ordinary) point and shoot picture and try to make it into something good?

In this fourth of the Lightroom Editing Series, we’ll turn an bad (ordinary?) picture of a Chinese highway (it’s in Shenyang if I recall correctly) taken using a 2008 compact, the Sony DSC-H50, into a great looking shot using modern Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. And it’s a video this time 🙂

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Lightroom Editing Series Photography

How to Edit a Cinematic Scene in Lightroom

Before/After
Before/After

Images © Wei Xi Luo | Photograph IO. All rights reserved.

For more Lightroom editing workflows like this one, click here. View the different steps distraction-free using the lightbox by clicking on the images. 

Did it ever happen to you that you took a shot in camera but visualized something totally different with your eye? Have you ever wondered how to turn a seemingly ‘ordinary’ image into a cinematic scene?

In this third article of the Lightroom Editing Series, we’ll turn a mundane scene of a New York yellow taxi into a cinematic-style piece of art. The picture itself was shot using a Fuji X-Pro1, 35mm f/1.4 lens at 1/125 sec @ f/1.4, ISO 400.

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Lightroom Editing Series Other Photography

Turn ON This Simple Lightroom Setting and Avoid Headache Later

Montreal Clock Tower
SOOC Shot of Montreal’s clock tower.

Don’t get me wrong. Lightroom is a great program overall.

It combines photo editing and photo management into a single tool. It does non-destructive editing with RAW and Jpeg files, which means that the original file will always remain intact no matter the changes done to the final image. All of your develop edits are stored in Lightroom’s built-in database (aka catalog), just like every other tool you used, such as flags, collections, etc. But there is one problem with this type of centralized data storage. Your Lightroom catalog, just like any other database, will eventually fail.

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Photography Tips and Tricks

Photography Tips and Tricks #4 : Use Lightroom Camera Calibration for Better Blues

Calibration

For more quick photography tips and tricks like this one, click here.

There are many ways to enchance the sky in landscapes. Some people like to boost vibrance or saturation alltogether, while others like to underxpose highlights. Some people like to add GND filters, while others like to use HSL pane or even tone curves for better blues.

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Lightroom Editing Series

How to Edit Blown Highlights in Lightroom

New York Foggy Street
A foggy scene of a street in New York City. (Original photo)

Images © Wei Xi Luo | Photograph IO. All rights reserved.

For more Lightroom editing workflows like this one, click here. View the different steps distraction-free using the  lightbox by clicking on the images.

One of the many requests we have received over here at Photograph IO is in our editor’s editing workflow. As a result, we’ve decided to start a weekly series on Lightroom editing from start to finish. Although the post and screenshot format will be currently used, we might consider switching to Youtube/Vimeo videos if you readers prefer. Let us know in the comments! For the first image to edit, we will be starting with a relatively easy picture to process, a foggy street scene in New York City. I took this picture at 1/200 sec @ f/1.4, ISO 200 using a Fujifilm X-Pro1 with a 35mm f/1.4 lens, and intend to convert into a high-contrast black and white photo.

1) Cropping and straightening

The original photo was already straightened well-enough : there was no need to adjust, and the composition fitted nicely in the golden overlay in Lightroom 5.5, so no adjustments here.

2) White balance

Since I intend to convert this color shot into B&W as the original SOOC jpeg was, I decided to skip this part altogether since the in-camera WB was good enough for my needs and white balance for B&W doesn’t usually do much of a difference. No adjustments here either.