How i speed up and improve my postproduction process with Lightroom presets and brushes
Do you know what happen when a photoshooting session ends?
Either outdoor or in studio, whenever i'm looking through the viewfinder of my camera, i'm 100% happy but after that, the less exciting part starts. Well, i'm still excited when i download the pics on my computer but, once i have to start the post production and go through hundred of pictures to adjust or improve some aspects, i could lose my excitement. I'm not a fan of pixel peeping, i don't want too overwork the images and i want to keep them as natural as possible but it's also true that, when i deal with landscape photography, I like to emphasize the atmosphere, maybe with a more dramatic sky or a warmer sunset. Sometime, i add sunbeams, i have to admit. :-)
Since i've discovered Adobe Lightroom, he is my faithful assistant,giving me a very big help in the whole post production process, even more when i found out the power of presets and brushes. Of course, the good way is to have the image perfect already in the camera, but we know is not always easy.
Anyway, good or bad, once the image is in Lightroom, i always apply very few and non-invasive adjustment: saturation/vibration, sharpness, shadows, whites and clarity.
This is a quite repetitive task and with Lightroom presets, you can somehow automatize all these adjustments in one click and that save you a lot of time when working on lot of images from the same photo session.
Even though i've created my own presets, i'm always curious to try some other professional ones and i've found an interesting bundle from Sleeklens, the "Through The Woods Landscape Bundle". Inside this package, they offer, at a reasonable price, 51 presets and 30 brushes for landscape editing: exactly what i was looking for!
So i thought: if it can improve and speed up my processes, why not give it a try?
I bought this Through The Woods landscape bundle and i immediately tried it on some recent landscapes pictures i took here in Luxembourg, the day i had a nice sunset. The original RAW image, with all the values to zero, look like this:
Sunset over Luxembourg old cityThe starting picture with all the parameters set at zero in Lightroom
After installing the presets and brushes (very easy to do), you can see the long list of available new presets on the left panel, so i've started immediately to play around and test some of them.
Right after applying 4 presets (highlighted in the picture below) the result is already quite good, as you can see. In couple of minutes i've reached already an impressive result, thanks to a very well made presets.
After this, i wanted to apply some local adjustments, mostly improve the sharpness and colors of the sky, to make it warmer and nicer, and this is the possible using the Sleeklens brushes.
Within the brushes, you can do a lot of things, you have a wide choice from the bundle and it makes the local adjustments incredibly fast and efficient. In this case i've used the Golden Sun to make the left side of the sky, the part closer to the sun, much warmer and bit more yellow.
The list of Sleeklens brushesThe list of Sleeklens brushes Using the Golden Sun Sleeklens brush to improve the sunset look and feelUsing the Golden Sun Sleeklens brush to improve the sunset look and feel
Remember how was the image when i started? Check below the comparison between the "Before and After" version. It took me really 5 minutes to reach this result! Not bad, uh..?
Of course, this is possible when the starting image is already well balanced in the camera, otherwise the whole process, even with presets and brushes can be long and complicated as well as alter the reality and purity of the image.
So, this is what normally happens when a photoshooting session and before i share publicly my images. If you want to suggest me other tips or you want to know more, just leave a comment, i will be happy to answer.
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