Post Processing

One of the biggest questions I get is "What camera do you use?" and I think this largely stems from the misconception that the style of an image depends entirely on the camera. This actually isn't the case at all, and I can actually achieve a very similar style whether I'm shooting on my $3000 5DMkIV or my $200 D3300. Rather, what makes the difference in terms of style is editing techniques applied in Lightroom and Photoshop.

For this shot, I purposely exposed for the sky figuring that I could bring out the landscape later in Photoshop. After all, shadows are much easier to recover than blown out highlights. In Lightroom, I made some exposure adjustments to the shadows and dropped the highlights a touch. I then corrected the white balance and shifted colors to be a slight bit warmer than usual. This gives the viewer a nicer, warmer feeling (which isn't quite how I felt seeing as how I fell in the cold river before taking this). I finished up by raising the black point and playing with curves to make it a bit softer.

This shot was much trickier to edit, and I ended up using a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop to give it my style. First off, it was taken in a dark slot canyon, so I had to pump exposure and shadows way up right off the bat. I then lowered highlights to avoid blown out areas, and countered it with an increase in whites. Once this looked good, I noticed that there isn't much contrast between me and the wall seeing as how my skin tone is a similar color. I fixed this by tracing my outline in photoshop, inserting a soft-white glow behind it, and then lowering its opacity. This not only helped give me more contrast, but it gives the image more of a misty, enchanted feel, which is honestly how it felt in person. To finish off this shot, I adjusted saturations of colors, increased the blackpoint, and used curves to give it a soft feel. 

Well, I hope that gives you a better understanding of my process. Every photographer edits differently, so every photographer has a different style. I learned most of what I know from just playing around in LR & PS, so hopefully you can do the same! |  IG: @davidmrule

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