Black Canyon 3a-small

After editing: Here the foliage in the foreground springs to life, drawing the viewer toward the chasm through which the Gunnison River flows and the rugged mountains beyond.

Salvation so often comes in the form of communing with nature. Escaping the bustle of the life we lead in the “real world” is a way to reconnect with Life in the Real World. It’s a reminder of the expanse of this planet we call home, and a how we can spend our entire lives exploring and investigating and still only touch the iceberg of what there is to know about the universe. If you’ve been following my blog, you probably know how much these explorations mean to me.

But sometimes salvation (from a photo’s perspective, anyway) also comes in the form of software. Since I started using Lightroom a couple of months ago (and really only seriously in the past couple of weeks), I’ve really come to appreciate how true that is. I’ve spent much of the past couple of days finding photos that are on the surface “unsalvageable” and making them into something worth sharing. And I never could have done it properly (at least not without hours of work) with Photoshop Elements. Here is a case in point.

The photo above was edited primarily in Lightroom, and pretty quickly. I did do a little softening and dodging/burning in Photoshop Elements (I have a few actions I like to run on almost all my photos that I can’t use in Lightroom), but most of the real recovery is thanks to Lightroom. There are probably a few other minor adjustments I could make to really improve it, but I was looking to do a quick and broad edit to see what I could muster from what I initially estimated to be a hugely disappointing (but promising) photo.

Here is the original, unedited:

Black Canyon 3--before

Before editing: The sky and background are essentially properly exposed, but the foreground is horribly underexposed. The foliage is flat and indistinct.

I hope you’ll agree that the edited photo is a vast improvement over the original.

I feel like I’ve become a walking advertisement for Lightroom, but it’s not exaggeration to say that this bit software has really given me a whole new perspective on salvation.

For those of you who have read all the way down here–I was thinking about starting to do a few “how-to” posts, if there is enough interest. Nothing too specific, but just a broad overview of my working process. If you would have any interest in some tutorial-type posts, please leave a comment and let me know.

One thought on “Salvation

  1. Pingback: Perched at the Edge, Reaching for the Abyss « Sterling Starling Creations

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