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Lightroom & Photoshop to the Next Level (tips)
  
 
eskimochaos
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lightroom & Photoshop to the Next Level (tips)


I seem to be at the point where I know how each adjustment alters the picture and unless I'm doing some hardcore lighting manipulations with automotive photography, I can be in and out of Lightrroom and Photoshop in 30 minutes.

I really want to take some of my cityscape photography to the next level but I don't know where/what that is. Any tips?

www.wbfarrell.com

These had like 20 minutes of editing.


On the Edge by wfarrell4, on Flickr


Down the Line by wfarrell4, on Flickr

This one like 6 hours. It was taken in broad daylight at a car show.


Start me Up by wfarrell4, on Flickr

Thanks,

Will



Mar 23, 2014 at 03:12 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lightroom & Photoshop to the Next Level (tips)


Will,
I need time to digest, reflect, analyze two powerful and engaging images that already appear finished and impressive. As (only) a matter of taste, I prefer the less busy first image, but playing on the busy city and ice flows works very well in the second. And I have no problem with the purplish/bluish cast to the ice, though it might be an area of debate.
The only thing, on first look, that I wish was different was smaller starburst effects from the distant lights. And I have no idea how you could control that. But this is really nit-picking a superb image with engaging foreground, leading lines, distant subject, use of light, reflection and color...Damn good!!!

Scott



Mar 23, 2014 at 03:20 PM
jojoenglish85
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lightroom & Photoshop to the Next Level (tips)


Damn, that is stunning, really really good work you have there.


Mar 23, 2014 at 03:21 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Lightroom & Photoshop to the Next Level (tips)


love the third, too.
When you think of taking it to the next level, is there some particular look or work you are emulating?



Mar 23, 2014 at 03:31 PM
eskimochaos
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Lightroom & Photoshop to the Next Level (tips)


sbeme wrote:
love the third, too.
When you think of taking it to the next level, is there some particular look or work you are emulating?


It's hard to say because at this point we are going to be discussing personal styles which are always debatable. For instance, I know some people HATE the color of the ice picture or my pictures in general; however, I LOVE it and it is almost exactly what I was going for considering I was illegally parked on a bridge and took 1 picture.

Scott....it's almost like I feel bad only spending 15 minutes editing pictures. Like I could be doing more - I just don't know what those techniques or "looks" are??



Mar 23, 2014 at 03:38 PM
 

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sbeme
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Lightroom & Photoshop to the Next Level (tips)


eskimochaos wrote:
It's hard to say because at this point we are going to be discussing personal styles which are always debatable. For instance, I know some people HATE the color of the ice picture or my pictures in general; however, I LOVE it and it is almost exactly what I was going for considering I was illegally parked on a bridge and took 1 picture.

Scott....it's almost like I feel bad only spending 15 minutes editing pictures. Like I could be doing more - I just don't know what those techniques or "looks" are??


Others may be able to provide a more nuanced analysis leading to some subtle improvements. But I would say you are there! Powerful images with careful attention to color, light, compositional elements, verticals, sharpness. I would be very happy to have planned, captured and processed any of these images close to as well as you have done. They are your vision and they are finished extremely well. Yes, some may like or dislike like the simplicity/busyness, white balance/color statements but I would proudly display them.
The fact that you can process these images in 15 minutes is a testimony to the starting images, the ease of LR as a tool, and your good eye. Some of my most successful (in shows..) images have required one or more hours of work. Others, less than 3 minutes. It depends on subject matter, capture, statement vs technicals, initial errors in capture requiring fixes, etc. The images that have taken me the most time had significant cloning issues, necessitating photoshop, or needed extensive shadow recovery work and selective sharpening. All depends.


Scott



Mar 23, 2014 at 03:45 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Lightroom & Photoshop to the Next Level (tips)


+1 @ Scott on many points.

As to the "next level" ... that's kind of a nebulous concept/attribute without knowing what your objectives are for your processing and your goals for your image(s).

For me, I pick out a technique (say WB, sharpening, masking, etc.) and strive to improve my command & control over it. IMO, there are some aspects of "next level" that are really en vogue (say HDR or compositing, skin smoothing, etc.) that are little interest to me, but others find them to be a worthy milestone to embark upon @ trying to stay trendy or current, whereas I strive more toward technical control than popular.

In that regard, I think if you could help give at least a little direction to what you consider to be YOUR "next level" that you want to take things, then others might be able to chime in a little better.

As noted, much goodness (styling variances noted). For me, I am an advocate of "What's the point?"or "What is the message that you want to convey to your audience/viewer(s)?" ... and let that be a guiding force for how to proceed with your processing.

Imo, there are lot of cool, neat, exceptional tips,tricks, techniques and trendy things that can be done, but a LOT OF FOLKS do them as trending or distinction purposes. That can get a lot of "Oooh's & Ahhh's" ... but, imo if they aren't serving your message/point, then they can be a matter of look at my cool processing (which has its own merits), moreover than aiding your message ... unless your message is about "cool" stuff. Increasingly more skillful application of the tenets of the fundamentals (scale, mass, tonal values, sat/desat, sharp/blur, hue, etc.) are the "next level" that I advocate ... but that's boring stuff that doesn't usually excite too many folks among the masses.

I advocate a study of master painters to learn how they applied the tenets of their craft. If you think about it, once we enter into LR/PS, we are embarking on digital painting to finish from where the camera made the sketch to what our vision for our image is. Understanding what I'm trying to achieve relative to how I want to influence/massage my capture into my message is the level that aspire to. If your "tips, tricks & techniques" are already allowing you to do that ... then they are serving you well. From that you are adding to your arsenal/palette/array. Just depends on your objectives which direction you want to go with your craftsmanship.

Sometimes an image is the way you want it sooc, other times you can work on it for decades as your processing/vision develops (e.g. AA). If it only takes two minutes to get it where you want it, then so be it. Whether it be a "decisive moment" capture or the Sistine Chapel ... the element of "time to produce" really isn't a determining gauge of the level of your craftsmanship, but having the command & control to produce your piece as you envision it (and can withstand scrutiny) is. For me, "next level" is about degree's of refinement in command & control to presenting your message.



Mar 23, 2014 at 09:11 PM
FarmerJohn
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Lightroom & Photoshop to the Next Level (tips)


As a former Chicagoan, I want to say that I love #1 and #2. The river and lake and skyline are great photo subjects! I'm envious!

Agreed with all the compliments about your style and composition.
I agree with the "pick a technique" and try to get better at it.
For me recently, that technique has been learning how to use layers and content healing tools in PS Elements. Not always beneficial, but very powerful when used properly, so that's why I'm trying to get better at it. Maybe there's a specific skill you want to learn? The people in this forum were very helpful on one of my images (Chicago skyline, in fact) when I was trying to learn layering technique.



Mar 24, 2014 at 04:15 PM
dfgriff57
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Lightroom & Photoshop to the Next Level (tips)


Have you thought about trying some panoramas with the cityscapes? These are awesome and very artistic to me. Finding a new technique or subject can be challenging, as these would certainly challenge me. Thanks for sharing.


Apr 05, 2014 at 06:36 PM
IndyFab
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Lightroom & Photoshop to the Next Level (tips)


All three are outstanding. My only comment would be to lower brightness on city in #1 a bit, the stars are a bit to hot, and you will get more definition, detail, clarity... etc.. JMHO


Apr 06, 2014 at 04:13 AM





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