Behind the Exif: From meh to wow thanks to Lightroom.

I’ve made no secret of my love of shooting with my Nikon, my love of my Tokina 11-16mm, nor my love of Lightroom. So we can move past that mutual appreciation society and cut to the chase.

Running short of time, between moving from work to meet Mrs Wolfcat and the Cubs, I spotted a pretty sunset.  Of course, like any good photographer I had my camera and not just my phone on me, so I fired off a couple of shots.  In Auto-mode the camera just didn’t balance how I wanted, the sky just blew out the shot.  So quick flick to manual mode and start shooting.

The first shots got the sky closer to what I wanted, and the foreground element, but not the middle ground subject matter.  Never mind I said to myself.  Lightroom will be my friend when I get home.

So here is the process…
Stage 1 – Import – This is the Raw shot.
Stage 1

Stage 2 – Auto Tone ( to see what it does, never a final, always a starting point )
Stage 2

Stage 3/4 – Lens Correction and Camera Profile ( in this case Vivid )
Stage 4

Stage 5 – Saturation and Vibrance ( I want the colours to sing )
Stage 5

Stage 6 – Bottom Graduated Filter ( to bring up the shadows in the bottom and foreground elements )
Stage 6

Stage 7/8 – Top Graduated Filter ( Drop back the sky and introduce some shadows and contrast )
Stage 8

Stage 9 – Spot Removal ( in this case the bird, that wasn’t sharp at the shutter speed )
Stage 9

Stage 10 – Stuff around with Crop Angles… and export.
Stage 10



EXIF Data:

  • NIKON D7100
  • ISO Speed – 320
  • Date and Time (Original) –2014:07:28 17:43:00
  • Exposure Mode – Manual
  • White Balance – Auto
  • Focal Length (35mm format) – 16 mm
  • Scene Capture Type – Standard
  • Gain Control – None
  • Contrast – Normal
  • Saturation – Normal
  • Sharpness – Normal
  • Lens Model – Tokina 11.0-16.0 mm f/F2.8


This image is available to buy at both Redbubble and at 500px ( where it can be licensed as well )


Buy the print on Redbubble.

See the funny thing is, I would like to do more photography, but raising kids and camera gear don’t go hand in hand, so you really do need to buy my prints 🙂

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