A lot of people ask photographers, "What camera do you use?" or "What settings do you use in your camera?" and to be truthful, it really isn't the most important part of how the image will look.
knowing what the settings do and how to use your gear is very important yes, and a "professional" camera with a beautiful lens really doesn't hurt in achieving the best image. But the aim of this article is to show that you can turn a crapy image into a nice one on the computer.
When I get an email or a DM from a follower who is unhappy with how a picture they took is looking and they are looking for advise on how to improve next time they take a new picture, I often reply
"What if I show you how you can turn your disappointing picture into something you can be proud of now?"
For this article I'm going to use a picture I took in Australia, It isn't a "good" photo, it's under exposed (too dark) the composition isn't the nicest and the light itself in the image is rather poor despite the sunrise having been amazing that morning. So basically all the wrong "settings"
Here is the image unedited, straight out of the camera.
Image is way Under exposed
At this point I would recoment using Adobe lightroom or a similar photo editing software
Below is a step by step of how I "saved" this image by adjusting things like the the highlight, shadows, exposure and contrast slowly.
Maybe even a crop to fix the composition.
Adjusted the Exposure,
whiteS & blackS
Clarity & Vibrance
brings back some details and colours in the image
A quick tip for the whites and the blacks in lightroom is to hold down the "option" key on a mac whilst moving the slider, this will turn the image momentarily into pure white or pure black and as you move the slider, small coloured pixels will appear, you want to set the slider just before those pixels appear, this will make sure the parts of the image that are white, are actually white, and the parts that are black are actually black, and not some grey.
It's especially useful when making black & white images to have a very clear look.
This step should be adjusted a few times during the edit, as a lot of adjustment will interfere with this.
After this, we can start adding some more colours and some light to the image, let's start with a blue sky
Here we are using a graduated filter to adjust the image temperature just on the top half of the screen
Lastly, let's make the sunrise light on the hills more pleasing using a few radial filters where we can adjust individual areas on the image
Notice I also used this tool to make the trees seam like they catch some light too.
And here is the final image next to the original :
Now, see if you can find it in my Instagram feed @teomorabito and DM me your before/after pictures, I love hearing about my followers.