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When you're traveling, you sometimes want to spend a day or two exploring the neighborhood where you're staying—just walking around with your camera, absorbing the neighborhood's personality, and assembling a collection of photos that, together, form a portrait of the neighborhood. These photos are a great way to bring your experiences home to share.
In this course, photographer and teacher Mikkel Aaland explores one of the oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods of San Francisco: North Beach, home to iconic architecture, beautiful vistas, delicious food, and more than a few interesting people. He explores the area on foot over a three-day period, taking you up hills, inside restaurants and shops, and into encounters with people on the street. Along the way, learn how to take advantage of natural light, shoot a city at night, pack and prep for travel shoots, and enhance your images in post-production.
Male: Let me walk you through some of the things I do to make an image better. So, let's start with this picture here, Coit Tower, and I look at it and the first thing I think, it's a little flat. So, I'm going to come over here in the Light Room, that's the application I use.t I'm really familiar with it. I come over in the develop module in the right panel, under the basic panel, under "presence," I almost always play with the clarity setting, right away.
By moving the clarity slider over to the right, I bump up the midtone contrast, and that immediately improves this picture. Some of the other things that I do is I open up the shadow area, they, went a little bit dark especially when I moved the clarity slider to the right. And also by moving the black slider over to the left, which I did to also increase the contrast the shadows closed down. But in Light room by moving the shadow Slider over to the right, you can open up that shadow area.
Now I tried different things with this picture, i tried some of the Light room pre-sets, I also tried the graduated filter that try to get a little more contrast and drama into the sky. I wasn't happy with any of those so I just went back to the default settings so, I did use something that's new in light room five and that is the new upright controls found under the lens correction panel. And that slightly straightened out the the tower, so I, I was happy with that so let's find another image here.
Take a look at it. This picture here I usually try to frame very carefully when I'm shooting. This picture I was just shooting and I, it was hard to frame. But by going in and using the crop overlay tool in Light room I was able to crop right into the essential part of the image. So that's the first thing I did to improve this image. I also increased clarity almost all the way, to the right, to 100% and, then, I also, took the highlight slider and, recovered a lot of the detail that was lost in the highlights by moving that to the left.
And then, opened the shadows by moving the shadow slider to the right. The main thing here really the main point of this was the crop and then adding some contrast. This picture is very similar to, it's the crop that makes it, and also just adding some clarity or contrast. I bumped up the, the white slider a little bit just to brighten up the, the whites. I also moved the shadow slider to the right to open up some of the shadows there I added the slightest bit of vignette control on the edges.
Just a little bit, Just to again, that's something that you can get away with if you just do very slightly you don't want to overdo the vignetting. So a very simply processing, the main thing here again was the crop,this image, I when I first saw it.y I just ignored it, it was way blown out, way over exposed. But I came back to it and I moved the exposure slider to the left three point two stops down and suddenly the bird was revealed.
And I realized by cropping this and then playing around with it, I could probably do something I did a lot of experimentation. And moving a lot of sliders ultimately I ended up moving the clarity slider all the way to the right pumping up that mid tone contrast moving the black slider to the left all the way 100%. Giving the blacks real richness, I lost some of the detail there but it really doesn't matter so much, I also increased the contrast.
And then finally, the final touch on this image was the white balance because it was just, a little, it was too cool. By going in and moving the temperature slider to the right, I warmed it up, gave it this golden look and now I'm totally satisfied with this picture. Add a combination of having some content that right works and then really, very important, the post-processing aspect of this. This is just a really good picture right out of the camera, took very little processing.
Opened up the shadow area in her, in the purple shirt, and I also gave it some more contrast by moving the clarity slider over to the right. I slightly increase the vibrance very slightly, just pumping up some of that primary color saturation, leaving the skin tones alone. And at the end just a slight vignette around the edges. This picture here was all about the white balance there was just so many complicated things going on with the white balance, there was the the neon, there was the incandescent lights inside the restaurant, the street light.
So I had to play around a lot to get what you see here, which is still not perfect but at least the skin tones are, are pretty close and also I did some contrast enhancement with the clarity slider and shadow. recovery moving the shadow slider to the right and highlight recovery as well, that was it I played around with the lens correction the new Light room five lens correction upright control. Because you can see the vertical lines are not vertical, but it really didn't do a good job with it so I just, I turned those controls off and I'm, I'm happy with the picture the way it looks now.
This picture here very little in terms of any kind of exposure control, bumped up the clarity moved the black slider to the left I lost some of the detail in the shadow area but in this case it doesn't matter. Sometimes it really matters that you keep the detail in the shadow areas, for this image it was, it was fine to, to block up the shadows I also recovered some of the highlights. Gave it a slight vignette, i did use Light Room five's new upright control to level it ,it automatically levels it for you -- it's just really cool how it works.
So you can see, I have certain things that I do, I'm pretty quick in Light Room. I go through my images pretty fast, I don't like spending a lot of time at the computer, I'd rather be out shooting pictures, but I do experiment. Play around with different pre-sets, different white balance settings but I do have certain things, some basic things that I do over and over again which increase the clarity. I move the black slider, I also recover highlights and open up shadows and often times I'll add a little bit of a vignette.
It's stuff that I do that doesn't take a lot of time but really, I think, makes a big difference at the end.
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