Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Learned: Flower Field 05.21.11

This week I learned the power of a good editing program. I have been working hard on developing my skills with manual mode and hope to begin to do all I can to make my shots look wonderful straight out of the camera (SOOC). At the same time, though, I know how much editing can do for a photo. I want to become more skilled at taking a picture to the next level with my edits. I had been using a free program called Gimp and have had fine results with it. However, after a reading a wonderfully helpful comment from Melissa about how Photoshop features can help with the editing process I decided to look at other programs. After some research I downloaded a trial version of Lightroom and the picture below is my first edit using it. I have also included the SOOC photo and would love to know what you think about my edit - what works, what I could do differently and any tips for using Lightroom. I really enjoyed using the program and found the ability to look at the before and after at the same time very helpful.

I realized when putting this post together that this photo was taken on the same road trip home as my I Learned from last week, which was not planned. Driving home from Lincoln City, one of my favorite Oregon Coast towns, I saw this beautiful field of flowers on the side of the highway. We turned around and spent some time photographing it. I loved the clouds in the sky and the colors of the entire scene. In post processing I cropped the picture to play with the rule of thirds, worked on the red, blue and green color levels, and played with the contrast and brightness.

Settings: Auto Mode - 1/250, f/11

Original Photo

Edited Photo
"Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs." - Susan Sontag

This is what I learned this week, head over to Click it Up a Notch to see what others have learned.

Click it Up a Notch


  1. Hi there, what a lovely view I can see why you stopped and also why you would choose more photos from that trip! The first unedited photo is well composed, in your edit you crop [ in my opinion ] a bit too much off the bottom and let the sky become the larger focus... but I love the color boost for the flowers, it does make them stand out more. I just started learning lightroom ... wish I had some tips the before & after is fantastic isn't it?! :D

  2. Lovely photo, a view to make driving a pleasure - the editing has really made the flowers 'pop'. Never used lightroom and I don't really know much about it, I only use basic photoshop.

  3. Wonderful shot, Emily! Love the enhancement the editing gave the colours in the flowers and the mountains. I have to agree with Jenny's comment (first) though that I would have left the foreground. I think you could have gotten away with a horizon in the middle because of the diagonal divide in the foreground.
    Love the quote, my weekends are now based around what shots I want to take and where.Great work learning how to use Lightroom in such a short time.

  4. Visiting from "Click it up a notch". WOW...your photo might have just given me the kick in the pants I need to explore the editing program that has been sitting in a box on my desk for the past few months! Gorgeous.


  5. editing can take a good photo and just give it a little "pop" of color or texture, nicely done

  6. It is true that SOOC is so important, but if you get wonderful SOOC shots the editing can make them all the better. It can be used for what it was made for vs. turning a not so good photo into a fair one.

    I think the edit brings out the beautiful colors and adds more texture to the sky which is fab. However, the SOOC crop is nice because the row of flowers comes right out of the bottom right corner which leads my eye into the photo (it is a nice leading line). In the edit, you crop that out, so the leading line begins in the middle of the photo. Does that makes sense?

    However, I really the way the edit made the flowers pop out of the photo.

  7. Beautiful landscape. Isn't it amazing the difference a few minutes in the digital dark room can make. I'm just learning photo editing too, and I'm finding it can be nearly as fun as getting the shot.

  8. Yay! I'm so glad to hear you are giving LR a try! I'm in LOVE with it! Seriously, LR and I are best friends :O) Let me know if you have any specific questions. I also have tons of videos on my blog of edits and tricks I've done in lightroom. I actually really like your crop. I think it was a good call to put the horizon in the top or bottom. I think the sky looks too cool to crop out so I think you made a good call by cropping out some of the flowers. I like the edit because you did do a good job making the flowers pop. I would say however, that the sky looks a little too blue. A little unnatural. This is something I still struggle with so take it with a grain of salt :O) It really is such a lovely location! Thanks for sharing!


Thank you for leaving your thoughts! I love reading your comments and critiques.