POST-PROCESSING USING LIGHTROOM OR ACR
YOU DON’T need me to remind you that most photographs are better shot in raw, as this allows for greater flexibility in post-processing. When shooting in challenging weather conditions, keeping control of contrast or ensuring all the information remains within the 0-255 spectrum can be difficult, so using the camera’s dedicated raw convertor or Adobe Lightroom is one way of overcoming this. You will need to pay for Lightroom, but you can download the raw convertor for free at www.adobe.com. 1 This is a typical image captured in the rain. There’s a reasonable level of contrast, but it’s in the wrong places. The sky is too light, while the foreground lacks some sparkle. This can be remedied using just a handful of tools in Lightroom or the Raw Convertor. 2 The sky in the image appears pale, while the foreground shadows are too dark. I reduced the highlights by dragging the Highlight slider to the left. I then cautiously pushed the Shadow slider to the right, which immediately increased shadow detail. It’s easy to get carried away, so keep an eye on the histogram. 3 The sky was still too light; by using the Graduated Selection tool, I made a smooth incremental selection and was able to subtly darken it by pulling the Exposure slider slightly to the left. The great advantage of using Lightroom or ACR is that if you don’t like what you see, you can return to an earlier step by clicking Previous. 4 Possibly the most appreciated tool in Lightroom or ACR is the Clarity slider, which increases the contrast in the mid-tones. By pushing the Clarity slider to the right, the mid-tones are expanded, revealing the boardwalk’s texture. 5 The finished image. Often qualities we saw when we took the photograph are not apparent when we view it in the LCD or computer screen. By carefully adjusting selected tonal values in ACR, much of the initial drama that motivated you to take the photograph is revealed.