Last week, I decided to process some photos that I took a few months back at Como Zoo. They were taken with my Canon 5D using a 24-105mm. When I first looked through the photos, I was disappointed that a lot of them were flat, lacking contrast. I was not surprised by this being that a lot of the shots were taken indoors with low florescent lighting. Instead of not publishing these shots or even just publishing boring photos, I decided to take this opportunity to push Lightroom a little further than I usually do.
I’ve been using Lightroom since the first beta was released. Before that, I processed all my photos in Photoshop. Back in my Photoshop days, I pushed around a lot of pixels. After I adopted Lightroom into my workflow, I left that behind, for the most part, and focused more on working on more photos. Lightroom really took me away from the processing portion of photography (in a good way) and allowed me to focus on capturing my shots. I wasn’t pushing pixels around so much anymore. I have always known that Lightroom is very powerful and is capable of drastically changing a photo especially after they introduced that Adjustment Brush, something I rarely ever used.
When looking at a few of my photos, I thought I wanted to try out the Adjustment Brush to really bring some life into them. I have always been hesitant to use that tool, worried that my end result would look fake. Diving in headfirst, I used the brush to boost the contrast, adjust the colors, and even sharpen the subject. I made a before and after shot that really shows what one can do with Lightroom. On this photo, I took maybe 15-20 minutes to edit it. I know I have done a lot more to the photo, but I didn’t want to go overboard with it. Again, I don’t want my photos to look very fake. Most of my edits in the set took less time after I got used to using the Adjustment Brush. I think I will end up using it more from now on, of course, only when I feel like I won’t be abusing it.
Anyway, I thought I’d share my before and after photo. I may end up writing a walkthrough of how I processed these shots from the zoo. In the meantime, you can check out this photo and the rest on my Flickr.