Check out the color, contrast and sharpness in this picture of a short-eared owl that I photographed with its prey, a small dove, in the Galápagos. Notice the exposure and the nice composition. Pretty good, don’t you think?
Well, the image didn’t start out that way. Here’s the original shot, which looks kind of drab and flat, mostly due to the poor lighting conditions.
Enter Adobe LightroomFor this quick fix, I used Adobe Lightroom 3. Lightroom was designed from the ground up for photographers, unlike Photoshop, which I still use and love, but was designed for the whole spectrum of graphic artists. Keep in mind that the adjustments I use also are found in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Apple Aperture. Some are even found in Apple iPhoto.
Here’s a look at the Lightroom Develop module. This is where you can enhance your images, quickly and easily. Let me take you through the steps that I used to enhance my image.
1. Basic PanelAs the first step in my quick fix, I went to the Basic panel. I darkened the exposure using the Exposure slider, boosted the contrast using the Contrast slider and increased the vibrance using the Vibrance slider. If you’re just getting started in Lightroom, you’ll be amazed by the control you have over your image even in the Basic panel.
To open up shadows, use the Fill Light slider. For overexposed highlights, use the Recovery slider.