Processing Project: Stormy Mountains
So this turned out to be one of my favorite photos from a trip to Colorado. Remember we talked about composition and artistic and mood, and talked about stormy weather? This was a trip to Colorado where this whole, I mean a whole storm was moving in and we pulled up to this location. A couple of us got our cameras out and just dropped them on the hood of the car and just took pictures, and if you went to the back and got your tripod out, you missed it. But remember how I told you when the sun is only hitting part of something, shoot it. We pull up and I see these beams of sun coming down and hitting the mountain back there, I'm like that's good. When the sun's only hitting part of something, take pictures of it, and that's what we did. It happened so fast, literally anybody that got their tripod out missed it 'cause it only lasted for like 20 seconds. But it's a fun one to process. Actually, I mean pretty simple to process. I wanted to show you where I used plugins, too, where in that ...
point that a plugin would come in for me. Let's take a look here, remember exposure, tough to do on this one. Whites, our highlights and shadows, so I pull back on the highlights, open up the shadows a little bit here. Option or alt click for whites. This is a tough one, I mean I can come pretty close to a white point there. Just keep in mind, I know I mentioned the white point, but photos like this, I don't know that they're gonna have a total, total white point, where we're going to try to make that stuff white. Might see a couple little specks, but I would probably stop. Not everything can have white point, most will have black point, but not everything's gonna have a white. So white point, we got our black point, I've got a little bit of clarity here. Definitely warm that one up. Let's go jump into my brushes. I'm thinking, I like gritty, the gritty effect for the mountain range back here. I'm not gonna be real particular and use the auto mask just for the sake of time. You get the idea. The other thing that's cool about, honestly, just so you can see, it's got a lotta clarity, little bit of temperature shift over there for that gritty type of effect. Whether you make your own presets, whether you buy presets, whatever, the cool thing about it is is you can start to run through, the ultra gritty effect, you can start to run through 'em, and as you change things, you'll actually see 'em update live on the screen 'cause you kinda already made the settings, so when you make a change, they change right on there. Try tack sharp. Ooh I kinda like tack sharp. Oh that's why, I have mask on. I was wondering why's it going so slow. There we go. So kinda sharpen up the mountains a little bit, I gotta try it just 'cause I like it, haze killer. If I pull back a little bit, we'll go with it. And then notice that I'm adding some warmth to it. I wanna kinda add a little bit more to that. Alright so we're kinda got some gloominess going on, let's go grab our graduated filter and I'm gonna go to darken sky. So just drag down. Again, I'm gonna go to my brush, do what I did before, go into erase mode, and just erase it. 'Cause you know that grad filter's gonna drop a line right across it. Okay, so I think if you look at our before and after, that's our before, that's our after. I think we've done some good Lightroom stuff to it, let's go into detail, we'll add some sharpening. Remember you gotta zoom into 100%. Add a little bit of radius, and some detail to it. I got my sharpening. Lens corrections. And then come down here. I'm gonna hold off, actually if I were to finish this in Lightroom, I'd throw the vignette on it, okay. But who uses plugins? Okay so we got one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. We've got nine people in here, and about seven people use plugins. I can't see everybody out there, but I'm pretty sure a lot of hands, did anybody out there raise their hand? That's what I like to see.
Yep they're raising their hands.
Somebody raised their hand. Plugins have just become such a part of the workflow, mainly 'cause I think where Lightroom and Photoshop are super strong at is just editing, toning, a lot of different stuff. I think the plugins are great for a stylization phase, adding some style to your photos. I think you could do a lot here, but I think you can actually kinda go a few steps past it. One of the plugins that's a go-to for me is ON1 Effects. I'm gonna go jump into Effects. Let's go in, what do I use this stuff for? For me, stylization. One of my favorite ones is gonna be under the sunshine filter here. I like sunshine, I like glow, so I'm gonna go to Sunglow. What that's gonna do is it's gonna add a warmth, little bit of a softness to it. It's pretty cool because there's masking brushes here, so just like inside of Lightroom and Photoshop, you can go in and I don't wanna do anything to the sky, so I'll just go up here, and I'm not gonna be real particular about it, but I can go up there and kinda change it. It has the auto mask feature that Lightroom has too, so you can help your lines a little bit better there. Little bit of a glow. Let's go in here and what else would I do to it. Honestly, I kinda like the sunshine, I like the glow, and I don't know that I'd go that much further with it. That's kind of a big part of my finishing phase for it. The other thing, remember presets we talked about? There's landscape presets. I do this a lot. It's kinda the same thing that I told ya I do in Lightroom, it's just, you know what, open up, and you can kinda run through, and does anything catch your eye. You know what did catch my eye? That one. It's a little bit, little bit hot. We'll pull our opacity back. Looks pretty good. And then I will finish it up with...
A vignette (chuckles). One of my favorite ones, when I use effects, one of my favorite ones there's when you go into the vignettes section, there's this big softy. So we'll go throw that on. Hit apply. This is a lot like Photoshop where when you go into Photoshop it makes a copy, you hit apply, it comes back into Lightroom, so when I go back into Lightroom, it will have made a copy and that copy will have my settings applied to it. Let's go back over to this one. We can see a couple things here. Hit our backslash key. That's before, that's the total before photo, that's after Lightroom, and then that's after the effects. It's not a big change, but it's style. It's a little bit of that stylization. Let's go ahead and hit reset here and I'll show you the whole thing. So that's before, after. Cool.