No matter how much…


No matter how much….

One of the many things you do with photos once you have taken them is process them. What you see through the camera viewfinder is not what you get.  The camera doesn’t work the same way as your eyes do and therefore you do need processing software.

As you will all know I use Adobe Lightroom 4.. in fact I couldn’t be without it. However, on saying that, I also have Photoshop Elements 10, which I purchased the same time as Lightroom 4.  I have , believe it or not, repeatedly told myself that I will learn Photoshop Elements 10 and never got around to it.

Even though I think I have learnt a lot, I suspect there is still much more to learn about Lightroom 4 and I am still on that learning stage as there is a lot more to learn. There are many photographers who share their tips with us novice photographers, not just about processing but about camera settings and how to get the best results from your camera. The two people I do follow and learn from, with regards to photo processing, are Matt Kloskowski of Lightroomkillertips and Serge Ramelli of Photoserge.  

Well I decided that as I do have Photoshop Elements 10, it is about to time that I learnt how to process a photo using that particular software and only to use Lightroom 4 to export my final results with a watermark.

So I picked an old jpeg photo which was taken on a FujiFinePix S5700 as my subject matter.

Unprocessed Photo
Unprocessed Photo

My first attempt was to put it bluntly a major disaster, as you can see.

First attempt
First Attempt – Nope not what I had in mind

Well my second attempt wasn’t that much better.. I wanted to create a reddish sky..

Second Attempt – OMG, how horrendous does this look

My god it was going from bad to worse.. time to give up me thinks and stick with Lightroom.  So by Saturday mid afternoon that was it I was sticking with Lightroom..

But that is defeatist isn’t it?  To give up and take the easy way out and not conquer something.  So yesterday I decided to knuckle down.. learn about layers, masks and adjustment layers and have another go.

So after many hours of watching videos.. reading the Photoshop Elements 10 Help Guide, watching more videos, I decided to crack on and have another go…

So I altered the brightness and contrast, increased the highlights, shadows and midtones and then added a photo filter and a Gaussian blur.. and I managed to get this result.. which is a vast improvement, I think, on the other two pictures.

Third attempt.. It is improving

But the rocks are not right now… I have got the sky with a reddish tint but the drama I think that sky needs.. but now the rocks..  I said to myself, “Oh well don’t give up, go back into PSE10 and have another play around.”  Which I did and this time I got the rocks to look right.

Rocks are looking better – time to give up me thinks.

Now as I said at the beginning, I wasn’t going to go into Lightroom4 to make adjustments, but guess what… no matter how much I tried to keep Lightroom out of the processing, apart from watermarking…. I failed.  You see in the end I went into Lightroom, did a few tweaks and then converted it to Black and White.

I am sure one day I will get to grips with Photoshop Elements 10, if I keep persevering, which I know I must do… but Lightroom is so, so addictive… once you use it and get to grips with it, you rely on it so much.

So, No Matter How…  much I wanted to not use Lightroom… I ended up using it… oh well… these things happen.

2 thoughts on “No matter how much…

  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences and your images.. For those of us who don’t do this professionally, the choices we have when processing our photos is frequently overwhelming. I like your approach of trying out lots of different things–it may not be efficient from a time perspective, but I find that it’s a good way to learn. I really like the final image. It seems to work well as a black-and-white.


    1. Thank you Mike, I agree I like the way the black and white photo turned out… and I was quite pleased how Photoshop Elements brought out the midtones as well as the highlights and shadows. Another good blog I read is Leanne Cole’s Photography blog. She gives you inspiration and great tips on using various forms of software.


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