As you are learning Lightroom and discovering the joys of post-processing, your instinct will be to just crank every dial. It is a common mistake beginners make to over-process their images, especially when it comes to color saturation and contrast.
While experimentation is GREAT for the creative and learning process, it is also important to have intent. Eventually, you will want to hone your style so that when someone sees your work, they recognize the artist immediately!
You should not think of yourself as a photographer, but as a visual storyteller. Every photo you show is a story.
So ask yourself, “what story am I telling?” Are you curating a mood or feeling? Are you engaging the viewer in other sensory capacities than sight? Don’t be the person at the party who tells one of those “you’d have to have been there” stories. Be the person who could captivate a room talking about a trip to the grocery store!
This lesson discusses the first 5 things you should do before processing your photos, most of which has to do with methods of declaring your purposes and finding your creative style. If there are techniques used in this video that you do not yet understand, check the Advanced Post-Processing guides on this page to learn more!
0:00 – Intro
1:10 – Step 1: Create a balanced exposure.
2:22 – Step 2: Describe your photo to an imaginary blind person.
3:02 – Step 3: Reflect on your story.
4:28 – Step 4: What mood or feeling are you trying to create? Declare intent.
5:43 – Step 5: Explain the visual journey you are going to create.
6:30 – Using “Sunset Symphony” for a real-time example of this process.
Eventually, everything discussed in this video will be second nature to you; your style will have been developed (though it always evolves) and you will be able to sit down and go through your workflow without having to think so critically. In the beginning, however, it is important to think about these things not just in Lightroom, but in the field as well!