For me Lightroom is my first port of call when processing an image. I like its simplicity, its versatility and for me the easiest post processing software to use. My main aim of using Photoshop is to remove elements that you can’t remove in Lightroom.
The above photograph was created by using Lightroom’s HDR feature. Once the HDR image was created I immediately sent the image to Photoshop to remove some of the distractions, mainly the people standing just above the water cascade.
This was done easily in Photoshop using the Spot Healing Tool.. I could have sent the photograph back into Lightroom but I wanted to use some filters I have the first Filter I used was Nik Collection Color Efex Pro.
I wanted to warm the photograph up so in the Nik Software I used two filters one a Warmth Filter and the second a Soft Focus Filter. I then saved my image in Nik and it was Imported back into Photoshop. Using a mask I faintly removed this filter from the steps of the water cascade. I didn’t like the sky so it was off to Topaz Texture Effects 2 to add a Preset I downloaded.
Again this gave my photograph a warm look and once again I removed the Filter effect slightly from the steps of the water cascade. I did no more in Photoshop so I saved my image in Photoshop and it was automatically sent back into Lightroom. And this was the image I was going to use for all of my compositions.
I have a few presets in Lightroom which I use on a regular basis… some I have altered to suit my style of editing… others I just use as a starting point.
My first composition was to create a warm looking photograph
I liked the golden tones and the green and how soft those weeping willows were. In Lightroom I then created a virtual copy of this photograph, reset the image back to the original import and then added a warmer looking Preset which added a reddish tint to the image which created my second composition.
For my third composition, I then did the same as before… made a virtual copy.. reset the image in the Develop Module and then added a Preset I modified from an original Preset from Serge Ramelli where it involved using lots of radial filters to add lights to the photograph.
This gave the image a dreamy like effect to the image. For my fourth and last composition I then decided to use a Preset which I use primarily as a starting point for Black and White Photos.
Throughout my processing of this photograph I wanted to keep a soft looking feel to the trees whilst keeping clarity to the water cascade and the elements that were in the water.
You don’t have to stick to one filter… you can mix and match.. and I love the versatility of all these Filters/Plugins. If it wasn’t for having to use Photoshop to remove certain elements, I could have processed this photo by only using Lightroom and Topaz Labs Software and Nik Collection Software work both in Photoshop and Lightroom.
Mix and match is the order of the day for me today… I have loved using these software programmes with each other. And if you don’t like what one programme has done.. and you are using Photoshop just duplicate your final image layer and try another combination of the various presets within each plugin/filter.
Just one little tip.. normally in Photoshop once I have finished my spot removal which I do on a duplicate of the original image.. I then press Control + Alt + Shit +E which merges all my previous layers together. It is this new layer, that I have just created, that I duplicate before applying a Preset/Filter and once I have created my new duplicate layer for that particular plugin I name the layer to tell me which Plugin/Filter I used. I didn’t do it for this image simply because I knew that I was definitely using the soft focus from the Nik Collection to create the soft dreamy look to the image.