In this edit example I will use Lightroom. I have moved back to Lightroom as I much prefer the cataloging aspect of Lightroom compared to Capture One.
I do miss some of the advanced colour edit options of Capture One, but on balance Lightroom works better for me.
So the image I will work on here was taken in Richmond Park – London. It is of two Red Deer standing on a little hill, looking back out over a lake.
The conditions where overcast and and a bit hazy and the original raw file is very low contrast. It was taken with the Nikon D500 and the AF-S 400 f/2.8.
Lets look at the un-edited file first.
The first thing I do is change the camera profile from Adobe Color to Camera Standard. The profiles will vary depending on the camera that was used.
This gives us a better starting pont for colour and contrast.
To remove some of the haze I adjusted the Dehaze slider to +54 and adjusted the black and white point:
One adjustment I often like to make is to the Camera Calibration.
This panel is at the very bottom of the list and here you can play with the hue/saturation for the red-green-blue channels.
I made the following adjustments:
This warms up the colours a bit and adds some richness to the image.
The image is still quite flat so we will work on the contrast. For this I have made a curve adjustment as folllows:
One thing to observe with Lightroom’s curve tool is that there are two curve panels!
The default is set to display a linear curve that you can add control points to, but in the lower right corner of the panel there is a button that will take you to a secondary adjustment curve (as displayed above).
This secondary curve has fixed bands for Shadows – Darks – Lights – Highlights.
You can make adjustments to both curve panels and they will work in combination.
This is really useful as you can set a first pass curve for the basic grade, then make an overall adjustment with the other curve to tune the final image.
Now it is time to look at the composition of the image. I have gone for a square crop to focus the image on the deer.
I have also made a few tweeks to the Basic Panel settings. I find that when adding Dehaze it exagerates the colours so I have pulled back on the Vibrance to counteract this.
To focus the view further on the deer I have added a vignette:
Using the brush tool I added some extra warmth by adding some white balance.
This was painted in as shown bellow:
Now I will add some sunshine to the image.
I drew a gradient mask and added Temp and Whites to give the illusion of warm light flooding through the forest.
One problem we need to solve is the gradient overlapping the birch trees in the foreground, casting an unwanted glow on the trees.
You can erase unwanted masks by using the brush tool in the gradient panel.
Here I erased the mask over the tree trunks:
The final tweek I have made is an overall curve adjustment to add some extra contrast:
So here is the final before and after comparison: