Shane Baker | Even boring images can be made more interesting
Wind-blown grassesWind-blown grassesDry grass blowing in the wind near Canberra.

Even boring images can be made more interesting

May 29, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I went on a morning photo walk with a friend this week, and came back with some (being charitable to myself) average images. One was this - which to be honest, was never more than a snap. The original image.The original image.The original image.

Anyway - I was fiddling around in Adobe Lightroom, and I thought I would have a little play with the image - just to see if it could be made more interesting.

After creating a virtual copy (command-' command - apostrophe) on the Mac; control-' on a Windows machine), I adjusted the black and white points for the image. This is easily done by using the black and white sliders in the Develop Module while holding down the option key (alt key in Windows). With that, a crop and a with little Clarity, the image looked quite a bit better.

Oh, I also removed some dust. There seemed to be enough gravel on my sensor to pave a garden path! (Yes, I'm exaggerating - just.)

I then started wondering about how it would look in monochrome. Yes, there's colour in the image, but it's not a major factor. So I went into the Black and White panel and converted it to black and white. To add a little interest, I added a sepia effect.

The image at the third stage: converted to black and white and with a little sepia for good measure.Stage 3: converted to black and white and with a little sepia for good measure.Stage 3: converted to black and white and with a little sepia for good measure.

It didn't look too bad, but I thought a touch of a vignette would help.

The slider on the Effects panel was ok, but I really wanted something different, so I created another virtual copy and used the Radial Filter to create a vignette effect. I slid it down the image, so that the bottom of the filter's oval was actually off the base of the image. I thought it looked pretty good.

The final version, after use of the Radial Filter.The final version.The final version. Don't get me wrong. This isn't my photo of the year, and normally, I wouldn't bother to show it to anyone. But I think it illustrates that with good editing software, an image can be made more interesting fairly easily and quickly. In this case, I'd say I spent less than 5 minutes getting to this point.

It's also worth bearing this in mind if you're flicking through your catalogue of past images. I think we've all "discovered" gems that we've overlooked in the past. Sometimes, all they need is a little polishing in "post" to let them shine.

Happy shooting.

Shane Baker








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