island at raleigh

This scene may look familiar to you. It was the foreground of moon shots I took in May. ¬†You might even have the image as your July calendar desktop! ūüėČ ¬†I loved the graphic look of the trees and sky when the colour was removed from the image. I added a Radlab¬†preset filter in Lightroom to bring out more contrast. Maybe I’ll send it out for printing…
desaturated sunset island


precious infant girl
We are thrilled to have a new grand daughter. She and her sister live a 2 1/2 hour drive away from me so every moment we can be together is precious!

I had the privilege recently of capturing her during a nap.

Lightroom Develop Mode


The above image has been post-processed.

When I first uploaded the RAW files, I was a saddened by the harshness of the images. The clarity emphasized a mild rash on her skin.

In Lightroom, I found a couple of settings that softened the overall look.

As you can see in the lower portion of this module, under “presence”, I reduced the clarity quite a bit.

By reducing vibrance, the shades of colour lighten a little.

Reducing saturation I got an even softer, lighter look.


The image below shows the original image on the left and the adjusted image on the right.

It turned into a much sweeter, dreamier image, don’t you think?

Lightroom softening before and after

shades of (not so) grey

Here’s a screen shot in Lightroom, before and after view,¬†of my not so black and white misty morning image.

The saturation slider (last slider in the adjustment panel on right hand side) was moved all the way to the left removing all colour.

In Photoshop, we can look at the pixels up close. Using the colour picker tool, we can select an area of the image to see what the colour is. I hovered the eyedropper over a grey part of the image just above and to the right of the dialogue box and clicked. I tried this in a number of areas of the image with consistent results. (When I attempted a screen shot capture to share my findings, the eyedropper vanished from the screen! The image below was shot with my iPhone!)

Did you guess the hint of colour is orange? Darker shades of orange become brown and when added to an image create a sepia or aged look.

So my original image had a natural infusion of sepia!

sunbeams at dawn

I hope you have been enjoying the rays of sun on July’s desktop. I have more for you! This time I caught sunbeams at dawn reaching through morning mist at the creek. For specific screen resolutions, go here. I have a bonus option there, too!

free desktop nature calendar august 2012

It is difficult for the camera to balance the contrast between the brightness of the clear sky with the darkness of the foreground. A graduated neutral density filter can be physically added to the front of the lense to darken the sky somewhat but I did not have mine along. Fortunately, in Adobe Lightroom, where I do all my image upload, storage, rating and post-processing, there is a digital version of the graduated neutral density filter. I added a touch of darkness to the sky which brought more blue out and another digital filter to the foreground to reduce the darkness. Like seasoning your food, the amount added is personal preference. Below it a screen capture of the before and after of this process in Lightroom.

On the far right, you can see the amount of exposure compensation selected (-1.20) which is greatest at the top and fades to clear through a designated area centered horizontally above and below a selected point shown as a grey button (just to the right of the sun in the image). Like the physical graduated filter, the digital adjustment is linear. Lightroom also offers a large number of other adjustment tools. There are photographers who prefer to do as much in camera as possible and next to nothing in post-processing. I am quite happy to have come to this hobby in the age of all things digital and enjoy learning both camera and computer.