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Highlands Dawn, Hudson Valley

 Highlands Dawn
Canon 1DS Mk III, 1/6 sec @f/16, ISO 100, 19mm

It’s been a while since I’ve made a Lightroom video tutorial, and I do plan on creating these more regularly based on feedback from many of you. So here’s one of a recent image I made right here in the Hudson Valley – “Highlands Dawn.” A big part of my workflow is having a clear vision of what the final print will look like, and that’s something I find extremely important when processing RAW files. Knowing why you’re making an adjustment, or having a sense of what you want the image to convey will help tremendously when making critical decisions in the processing and overall workflow.

I hope this tutorial helps you think about these things when you’re processing your own images, and improves both your workflow and final result. Please leave any comments or questions below – the feedback helps me for future tutorials, and I’m always willing to help as much as I can.

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This Post Has 30 Comments

  1. Very enjoyable, Robert. I’ve been gaining skills with LR4 on my own through manuals and YouTube tutorials. This video affirmed that I am indeed reducing intimidation. I’ll have to learn more about masking, but overall your walk through was a treat.
    One quick Q: For your Arches trip in May I am bringing my Canon 24-70mm f2.8L [on a 5D MIII], which should be a versatile enough lens. I am [nearly] willing to splurge for another lens IF you have a strong recommendation outside of that range. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Bill, appreciate the feedback and glad it was beneficial. As far as lenses for the workshop, that is a great range for sure, though I never travel anywhere w/o a 70-200. Whether you should get one is hard to say w/o knowing more about your shooting style, and the types of images you’d like to make in UT. If you are primarily interested wide angle, grand landscapes then that lens will be great. IF you like to isolate abstract the landscape something longer is going to be better. Please feel free to send me an email with more specifics, and I’ll try to help as best I can.


  2. Thank you for this very informative video – I have to fine tune my landscape editing
    skills and this was very helpful.

    Not having taken a course in LR inhibits my ability to know what tools work best and a
    what tools creat the best enhancement to the sky or foreground.

    Looking forward to more of these

    1. Thanks Renee, appreciate the feedback and perspective. I’m glad it was helpful, and I do plan on creating more to demonstrate more creative to use Lightroom to process and interpret images. Stay tuned…


  3. Thanks for this fantastic presentation. You were able to walk us through a simple yet thorough workflow using LightRoom. The emphisis on creating a great capture in the camera was welcomed. Members of our photography club (Rockland Photography Club) and many photographers are often overwhelmed by post processing. You straightforward and simple approaching provides outstanding insight into the creative process I often recommend LightRoom and its left to right top to bottom workflow. Many want to jump into Photoshop CSx and I steer them to LightRoom. The Image itself and the comments about challenging ones self when capturing images in an area that that they have done many times before helps us to grow . Seeing the scene from other perspectives (and often results in a great shot). I passed this along to our facebook group page so that others may benefit from your excellent presentation. Thanks again.

    1. Many thanks for the kind words John, I’m glad it was beneficial to you and the club members, and I’m always happy to help. I will continue to share the things I think can make the greatest impact in the quality of photographs, and usually it has more to do with vision, creativity, and persistence, than with technology. I love the technology as well, but having a clear vision will always make a bigger difference.


  4. Robert, Thank you for this LR presentation. Your videos and blogs inspire me. When you are all completed with your image in LR, what format do you export and save it to for printing? Michael

    1. Thanks for the kind words Michael, really appreciate it. One of the amazing things about Lightroom is that you do not have to export to print. Lightroom uses the same RAW file that you develop to print from as well. This guarantees the best quality, plus I do not have to take up more storage space for additional files (tiff, psd, etc).

      I am working on a basic printing tutorial for Lightroom, it will explain and make it clear. Great question – thanks!


  5. Thanks, Robert! ‘Always good to see you present photo editing in a logical fashion, illustrating and explaining what the various tools do. These LR tutorials of yours are valuable instruction regardless of what photo editing software someone may be using. Best Regards,

  6. Excellent! Thank you so much for this tutorial. Was glad to see that I already do many of the things you do, but even gladder to see where I can do more. Looking forward to your printing tutorial for Lightroom.

    1. Hi Linda – thanks for the feedback and for watching the video – yes I find that even when I already know a particular technique, watching someone else use it helps me see different ways to use it myself. So I hope there is always something to learn from what I’m sharing and you can find your own unique ways to take it further.

      Many thanks, RR

  7. Just wanted to say thank you for the video.
    Great job and fantastic photo.

    Thank you,
    Craig G.

  8. Best video tutorial for LR… thank you for keeping it simple while explaining all the details. Just loved it 🙂

  9. Hi Robert, thank you for the landscape tutorial. It was inspiring and made me realise that I can do much more. I am very new to LR4 and a lot if what I do is very much trial end error but your video has given me insight into how to use different tools, i.e. the masking tool. Thanks again, Anita.

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback Anita. I really appreciate the kind words and glad to inspire you to think creatively and use LR to your advantage.


  10. Really enjoyed the video. I’m new to RAW and only just got LR so your tips will help a lot.

    One question: Where is the “options” key? It seems amazingly useful but my book hasn’t mentioned it!

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback Hugo. I really appreciate the kind words. The “Option” key on a MAc is the “ALT” key on a PC.


  11. I enjoyed your tutorial. I didn’t know about holding down the options key for clipping…And I like your methodical approach. You know when to stop polishing.
    Thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks for the feedback Steve, and apologies for my very late response. I’ve been on the road much of the last 2 weeks. Glad you enjoyed the tutorial and learned some new features in LR. Knowing when to stop working on an image is no easy task, but for sure gets easier with time and experience. I would suggest asking yourself the question “Is the photograph simple and clear enough for the viewer? Can I add or adjust anything else to make that question easier to answer yes?” These are some of the things I try, and it works to keep me from going around in circles of diminishing returns. Hope that helps!


  12. Robert,

    I wanted to thank you for this tutorial! I am just getting into LR in the Digital Portion of my Photography Degree and this video made a lot of things “Click” into place. Thank you so very much.


  13. Many thanks, Robert for this exceptional tutorial. For a non US person, your accent is very clear and measured, making it a treat to listen. And your simple, clear explanations make this the best processing example I have seen. Cheers!

  14. Robert
    Love your tutorials , I hold a licentiate ( Ireland ) and exibit on a regular basis . I have a reasonable knowledge of LR or thought so untill i watched one of your video’s.
    I was wondering if you have any video package that i could buy and import to my mac.
    I am mainly sea scape and land scape.

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