I kinda sorta LOOOOOVE this photograph from earlier this week.
And not just because it involves the world’s cutest kid (IMHO, of course).
We made a mad dash to the Smoky Mountains earlier this week to spend a day and a half with Keith’s parents. We’re a bit pressed for time these days, but it had been nearly 5 months since we last visited with them and they were begging to have a chance to spoil our little firecracker. Who are we to get in the way of such important work?
We headed out to Cade’s Cove early in the day and were lucky enough to have a black bear sighting within the first mile of the loop. Cool, huh?! Yes, we got a few photographs, but the bear was not only across a BIG field, but also sleeping high up on a branch in a tree. That’s my long way of saying, there’s nothing exciting about the images of the bear.
The above photograph, on the other hand, is priceless to us.
And while the interaction and expression are the emotion in the image, there was a teensy bit of tweaking I did to make this image really sing.
Here’s the original:
I knew as soon as I saw it that it was a winner in our book. Buuuuuuuut …. exposing properly for my subjects (the people) meant that the sky was a little over exposed and was lacking the intense color that was truly there.
Enter the graduated filter in Lightroom …. (this is where angels begins to serenade us).
Graduated filters are, in a word, AWESOME! They are super useful in lots of different ways, but I used it on this image to bring the sky back.
Here’s a look at the size and direction of the filter I created (before I made any exposure and saturation adjustments).
Next up is a peek at how it looked on the screen when I simply decreased the exposure (-1.79) and increased the saturation (+56) on the area covered by the graduated filter:
Click done and voila!
Big difference, no?
We love using graduated filters in Lightroom for lots of different uses, especially for bringing back detail that your eye could see but maybe your camera was unable to completely capture.
PS- If you’re wondering why I was set on ISO 500, it was a slip up somewhere along the way. I started the morning at ISO 400 and at some point my fast flying fingers hit the wrong combo of buttons and dials and oops 😉