Snap to shot

Some more “post-production technique” for you here today, again using Lightroom – but if you are a Mac user, you can also use Aperture if you so prefer.

Let’s say that for some reason (you are testing a lens perhaps), you want a picture of your bathroom and hallway, using a very wide-angle lens. Like this:

But no – first, let’s retake that to get some of the foreground mess out of the picture. Remember: simple is good… simplify, simplify, simplify. Pretty much everything you can take out of a picture improves it.

So take this shot again after you aim up a little:

Better. But it’s too dark, the colours are wrong, it’s all distorted.. waah.

Can we save this, and how long will it take?

Let’s attend to the white balance first. Go to Lightroom’s DEVELOP module, enter the Basic pane, and use the dropper on a white area to set an OK white balance. You can adjust more later, but at least get it close. You shoot RAW, so white balance can be set after you take the picture (if you shoot JPG, you have to get it very close in camera).

OK, here we go.. click:

Better. Now go to Lens Corrections, and apply the Profile correction, if Lightroom knows your lens/camera combination. This fixes the dark edges and the curved lines (I was using a 16mm lens here on a full-frame camera):

The curved door is now straight!

Now, still in Lens Correction, go to MANUAL, and fix the converging lines that you got because you aimed the camera up. Dragging “Vertical” to -27, and then cropping off the excess picture, gives me this:


Now, finally, let’s fix brightness and colour properly.

Brighter; adjust the colours again, highlights down to fix the window… a last White Balance fine tuning, and hey presto:

That entire fix took about 30 seconds. Doing this in Photoshop would take much longer. It’s still a silly “I’m just playing around” snapshot, but at least it is a technically proficient snapshot, in mere seconds.

You can see how Lightroom (or Aoerture) change your life as a photographer. Again, as in yesterday’s article, I am not advocating taking bad pictures and fixing them later, but you will sometimes want to adjust your images, and with modern software and RAW images, this is very simple.


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