Looking for Feedback on Lightroom Edit (New User)

Hello! I am new to Lightroom Classic CC and would love some feedback on one of my first edits. I will admit I tried to remove the power lines and got frustrated so I think I will have to go to Photoshop to do that. This was taken in Portsmouth, NH. Areas I should address?

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David Pavlich's picture

Not sure if this was at Sunrise or Sunset, regardless, I'd go when the Sun is at your back at Golden Hour. The problem with getting this processed is that with the building being so heavily backlit, you have lens flare and light bleed over on the upper right corner of the building.

You might try a brush to bring down the brightness of the sky.

Beyond that, I'd either get closer to take the shot to eliminate as much of the distracting background, or just crop it closer.

The building has 'personality', but because it's taken in the winter, the snow to the left piled in front of the pallets is distracting. It would be better if the snow was covering the foreground. Of course, you can't control that aspect. Or, get the owner to shovel the snow away so you can take a better shot. :-)

Another thought...go back on a cloudy day and convert it to B&W. A little dodge and burn to add a bit of contrast might make this a pretty cool shot.

Thank you, David. It was sunrise. I took your advice and experimented with the sky and cropped the image closer - completely agree about that ugly snow! I don't live in the area so I can't go back (at least not easily) but I'll keep your tips in mind for other shots!

As you can see I cropped it dramatically! Edited out the power lines and a few other distracting details, tried to correct for the sun flare and toned down the sky a little (definitely not sure the best way to go about that!)

Francisco B's picture

House is interesting, general composition isn't great. There is too much distracting information in the photo.

Sky is blown out and image looks oversaturated. Less is more. Since you are new to lightroom I would learn some basic image workflows, which there are a ton of on youtube. Learning how to dial back exposure and how to use saturation goes a long way. I do like your lighthouse photo and think that is an image worth improving with some editing; you should maybe dial back the exposure a bit on the whites and work on making the blues pop a notch more.

I do agree about the distractions in the photo, Francisco! This was essentially a very underexposed image that was a throwaway that I decided to experiment with in Lightroom. I will take your advice on a basic workflow tutorial - it's easy to get carried away with all of the sliders in Lightroom!

Francisco B's picture

If you're not going to be bulk editing a lot id stick to using photoshop and camera raw (which is basically the lightroom panels). Lightrooms real value is if you have to edit several similar images at once since it lets you copy/paste edits you've done to one image.

I would also check lynda.com, they have a ton of great lightroom and photoshop tutorials and the last time I was on there they had a month trial. I would learn color correction & then enhancement. Taz Tally has a beginner and advanced color correction tutorial for photoshop that is excellent and will only take a couple days to get through.

Thanks so much for that insight. It seems "everyone" is using Lightroom and I feel like I have been missing out on something life changing! I am by no means a Photoshop expert but have become adept at certain aspects, and I just started shooting in Raw. I was intimidated by it and am determined to just stick with it from now on. And thanks for the rec on the tutorial!

I tinkered with the lighthouse image - hopefully this is a bit improved!

David Pavlich's picture

This is a much more pleasing shot. My only comment would be that if it's possible, revisit this spot at Sunrise or Sunset. Catching the golden hour would make this a really neat image.

Agreed on the timing! This particular day I was with my family doing our "tourist thing" but would be nice to visit at another time of day.

David Pavlich's picture

It's tough when you're the photographer and nobody else in the group is. I'm guilty of being left behind because I'm shooting something while everyone else keeps on walking. :-)

I actually like the vibe you have created here. Some of the dodging is a little out of control but overall I actually think it works.
This is much more like a lifestyle or editorial image with the single point perspective of a modest commercial structure. The wires add to the fact that this is not some hipster cottage.
High contrast with high saturation is very au courant for the more style oriented publications.

The Lighthouse shot is a pure tourist snap. OK but not as engaging as the original photo.

Thanks so much, Indy! I do still like the photo despite some of the feedback but like any form of art it's so subjective! But I can certainly appreciate some of the comments from a technical perspective. I'm glad you like it - now I'm off to look up "dodging"!

David Pavlich's picture

I agree in part, but the fact that Deb put the lighthouse in the left third of the frame differentiates it from a tourist snap. A tourist would have placed the lighthouse in the middle of the frame. ;-)

Point taken. OTOH a tourist would have about a 100 to choose from and one likely would have had a similar comp. ;)