The Raw Truth

I am going to mention two things at once in this post, so I apologise in advance for not doing full justice to either. Here is a picture of friends Gerry and Elisabeth on the summit of the little gem of a mountain in the Trossachs called Ben A’n. I found it while doing a new year tidy up of my lightroom catalogue. Here’s the picture:

Ben An Summit

The two things I want to highlight are that I had a major file corruption issue with a lot of my precious files over the end of 2007 and the start of 2008, in which I have lost a lot of data. (More about this in a  posting soon). So I was sad on naming this folder of otherwise uninteresting files to note the corruption that you will see in the next picture. I realised that I could clone it out because it was in easy areas of the sky to deal with. My second point is one to which I will certainly return later, not only is the picture corrupted, but it was far from a great picture in terms of exposure. Gerry and Elisabeth are slightly backlit and underexposed, perhaps exposure compensation or fill-in flash (my then 400D had no spot metering) would have helped, but I used none of them. I did take the picture in RAW file format, so look how easy it was for me a year on to:

  • warm it up with the colour temp slider.
  • Increase the vibrance/colour saturation
  • Increase the clarity/ midrange definition
  • Use a virtual grad filter on the sky to darken it
  • Use a virtual grad filter on the foreground to brighten it
  • Change the curves to brighten faces
  • Use the spot repair tool to clone the corruption out of the sky

And all of this without going into photoshop elements even once. I love lightroom. (Corruption issue aside).

The original (I’m embarrassed to show you).


If you can use RAW format, and can be bothered with a little tweaking, you should!


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