ArchivesEditing Bundle

In the Green: Beginner-Friendly Editing Tutorial

This tutorial takes place on Lightroom only, and discusses with some emphasis making editing choices or having an editing rationale, rather than blindly following a tutorial. 

This tutorial will work best if you have explored around Lightroom before, even if you aren’t totally comfortable using it.

We will discuss:

  • what our goals are in editing
  • various methods to set the white balance
  • using the global adjustment panel
  • removing chromatic aberration/fringing
  • using masking, especially radial gradients
  • creating a soft glow behind the dog
  • briefly looking at the clone/heal tool
DSC06683 DSC06683

Edit Together: Styles Edition

In this version  of Edit Together, we’re going to work on this beautiful photo of Oakley, taken by Jamie (@tails_that_follow) .

I’ve chosen it because I can see it has a lot of possibilities to edit in different ways. On one hand we can make it quite bright and warm, a magical and hopeful scene with a proud dog surveying his kingdom…

On the other hand, we could make it cooler, darker, and more dramatic. Enhance this foggy smoke, and now we are being watched by a more wild creature, in whose domain we have found ourselves. 

Mountain Sunshine

In this tutorial I wanted to create an image that would match a similar one I had of Journey, so I could print them both out for my wall. Therefore, I had quite a specific look in mind, which was: late sun flare through the mountain gap, dawn/dusk time.

In this tutorial we will be:

  • Working on brightening Loki up
  • Bringing texture and detail back into the clouds
  • Adding the fake sun flare overlay
  • Discussing how to keep light natural both with the fake sun and with this open landscape scene
  • Adding some fake rim-light around Loki’s ears to keep the light natural
  • Changing the colour balance to tint everything gold and slightly magenta
  • Removing bits of grass
  • And the normal process of dodge & burn, removing colour-casts from his chest and so on.
DSC04822-2 Taken at f/2.8 with a 24mm lens.

Snowy Wonderland

This tutorial works on Journey in the woods, standing in the snow. 

It is relatively underexposed, with a relatively high ISO. 

We will cover a number of techniques including:

  • Selective edits in Lightroom/Camera Raw
  • Content aware crop.
  • Keeping our workflow as flexible and re-editable as possible
  • Curves layers
  • Masking (lots of it)
  • Gradient Fill
  • Radial Gradient
  • High Pass action
  • Dodge & Burn
  • Adding snow with a brush
  • Healing spot brush
You will need to be quite proficient in LR & Photoshop as I move very quickly in this tutorial and don’t explain the tools in depth. 
DSC00796 DSC00796-Edit

Sadie in the Woods: Full Tutorial

In this tutorial we’re going to working though my process to create one of my favourite pictures so far, of my friend Annika’s dog Sadie, in the woods.

The first part of the tutorial was recorded from my van, while livestreaming on Facebook…. then my computer had an absolute meltdown, so I finished recording the tutorial later, without being live.

Since this is a photo for Annika, I won’t be offering the RAW file for download this time. You can of course edit along on one of your own photos, just keep in mind there’s a few elements in this photo that make the tutorial work, which won’t work with every photo:

  • Dog looking up and to the side
  • The light in the background
  • Soft ambient light on the dog from no particular direction

Edit Together: Keeping it Simple

In this edit together we’re going to work on one or two pretty simple photos, to show that you don’t have to spend hours editing, and you don’t need ten thousand layers, to create a good photo. Some photos, because of the location, mood, or whatever, don’t need much.
Often we feel like these photos are “boring” or that we need to do more to them… but then we can end up overdoing it. 

So, let’s Keep It Simple.

Apologies for the awful recording quality. Zoom records in really low quality, and my computer can’t handle editing + screen share + separate screen recording right now. I’m going to look into a solution but at the moment it is what it is.

Journey On a Rock

This tutorial will take you from start to finish editing a slightly under-exposed, backlit photo of Journey. 

In order to do this tutorial, you’ll want:

  • a decent knowledge of Photoshop basics, eg., masking, adjustment layers and so on
  • A decent knowledge of Lightroom, eg., radial filters

This techniques in this tutorial will work best with:

  • backlit photos, with even lighting on the dog’s face
  • slightly under-exposed photos, but it’s ok if you have some blown-out highlights
  • photos with some kind of natural “shape” to the foreground and background (eg., not on an open field).
Remember: Not all editing tutorials will work on all photos. The key is to take the rationale and reasoning behind when and why to make certain edits, and consider if that applies to the photo you are working on. While my process and my steps are very similar from photo to photo, an underexposed backlit photo will require different ways of working to a brighter forest-green photo.
 

Since this is one of my favourite photos, it’s one I would prefer that edits do not get posted on social media. 

Below, you

DSC09683 DSC09682-Edit-2-4

Loki in the Deep Dark Woods

One important thing to keep in mind when it comes to creating the “Deep dark forest” look is that it really does begin in-Camera. Which is to say that if you haven’t set up this mood in the first place, just making the photo darker and darker is not going to create the mood you want.

There are so many elements that go into creating this photo that the editing is almost the least important part of it. You need to have already considered:

  • the location
  • the light (or lack thereof)
  • the expression
  • the pose
  • the colours already present in the scene

Without these things contributing to the feeling of the “deep dark forest”, your editing is likely to not make sense.

The Next Level course goes into detail about these elements. Or, if you’re in the Learning Community, make sure you check out the Deep Dark Forest lesson that covers these elements specifically to achieve this look. 

Editing Tutorial

Here is an editing tutorial, working on the photo below. Remember, you mightn’t need to follow my exact steps – you may want 2 curves layers instead of 1. You might need to do more or less work on the greens, etc. It all depends on the photo you’re working with. Similarly, you can use many of these techniques to create other “deep dark” effects. It’s all about curves layers, darkening, and remembering where the light would naturally be hitting – even if there isn’t very much of it. 

In the tutorial below, I actually couldn’t “shape” the light as much as I sometimes might, because there was no real shaded side of Loki. Just remember that if the light wouldn’t be hitting a part of your dog, because it’s amongst the ferns, or emerging from some trees, or it’s just his face surrounded by ferns, it doesn’t make sense for those areas that should be in shadow to be bright. The more you learn about how light works, how it falls off from bright to shadow and so on, the more realistic your edits will be.

Before
After

You can have a go at editing this photo too! The .TIF file acts (more or less) like a raw file, but if for some reason you can’t edit .TIF files, there is also the high-res .jpeg file.