I can’t believe that only 6 short months ago I was using iPhoto to manage and edit all of my photos. Since then, I’ve switched to Lightroom and don’t think I can ever go back. Lightroom makes it so easy to get incredible results in a very short period of time. I’m amazed at how a seemingly boring photo can be salvaged and become a work of art. Take this photo I took while walking around north of Lake Phalen in Saint Paul. It was a dreary, cold day and I was walking back to my car and liked how the Gateway Trail bridge was framing the one behind it (Frost Ave.). I thought it might make a good grayscale photo when I got it back on my computer.
The before is pretty drab, eh? I think if I had opened this photo in iPhoto, I would have passed it up. But in Lightroom you can quickly hover over certain presets and immediately see a preview of what the image would look like with that preset applied. I did just that with some of the black and white presets I had installed and really liked this one. A little bump in the contrast, and bringing down the highlights, shadows and blacks, then boosting the clarity turned this into one of my favorite shots!
Here are the preset settings from the Basic Module. I’m absolutely amazed at the power and simplicity at your fingertips once you spend a little time in Lightroom. It takes a little getting used to but is so worth it. The hardest thing is to just let go and let Lightroom manage your photos. You do have to follow a workflow process and always stick to it. If you can do that with Lightroom, you’ll be fine.
The moral of the story: don’t give up on your photos! If you see something that grabs your attention, try some Lightroom presets to reveal hidden potential in the shot.