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Bill Ley wrote:
Thanks Jeff, I guess no matter what I do in LR, if the original photo wasn't properly lit, there's not much I can do to improve it.
Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole ... reconsider trying to fit the square peg into a square hole, instead (or vice verse @ round peg/round hole).
I think the trouble folks run into with their processing is that they are trying to force their processing toward the wrong light. If the subject was illuminated by indirect, soft blue light then trying to process as though it was illuminated by direct warm or direct neutral is kinda the round peg/square hole approach.
Recognizing / accepting that soft blue light is different from warm direct you can work from that premise. The tenets of "North light" have been heralded for centuries. But North Light (in the northern hemisphere) is soft and blue. If soft and blue was sought after by master painters, then it likely isn't exactly what I'd consider to be "improper" lighting ... but certainly has different characteristics. From that, it isn't that the lighting was improper, but rather I sense a mismatch in pp approach for the different light.
PP is not a "one size fits all", but rather an extension of studying the light (quantity, quality, color, direction/orientation, mixed/homogenous/gradient/consistent, etc.) and then deciding what your goals are for your image. Sometimes we allow ourselves to get "boxed in" to what it "should be" without fully embracing what it "can be" ... predicated upon what it is.
For your images, your subject is backlit by direct warm light, and front light by indirect cool light. Recognizing which portions of your image are illuminated by which color/quality of light is key to your processing decisions. As always, S&P to taste (skin tones not my forte), but when shooting ambient, it can help to understand your orientation/time of day will yield a different color of light on you subject.
That being said, if you like shooting in soft blue light, just know that trying to process it into studio portrait lighting or OCF flash look is a bit of a square peg/round hole approach, but that doesn't make the lighting "improper".