You have your first DSLR camera in your hand, have read the manual and learned what the buttons and knobs do.
You take the camera out to a park to practice taking photos with it and excitedly return home to see what you captured.
You load them on your computer with great anticipation of taking the next magnificent work of art and suddenly your heart sinks.
You recall vividly what the scene looked like with all the color and detail as you snapped the shutter button. “So how did THIS end up on my camera,” you ask? “It doesn’t look at all like what I envisioned!”
You are not alone! THIS is where processing comes in.
Without getting too deep, there are different file types when shooting photos. You can shoot RAW files and you can shoot jpegs. If shooting jpegs, you have options that your camera can be set to in order to give a finished image with color and pizzazz. Most can even be set to give a finished black and white image or perhaps a vintage sepia look.
RAW images allow you to do the color correcting AFTER the image is taken via processing. In my opinion, it’s the best. (Here is one example of why I feel that way. It is a lesson I learned a long time ago when experimenting with my first DSLR.)
If you are shooting jpeg and have not set up your camera to give you the pizzazz you desire – or perhaps you did and the elements didn’t come together to produce that magnificent work of art, not all is lost. It is the answer to why you need to learn Lightroom (or another processing program, although obviously I’m sold on Adobe Lightroom.)
We see things differently than our camera sees things. Our camera is not a brain! A DSLR can see 5 stops of light. Our eyes/brain sees 14 stops of light. What exactly does that mean? It means we can see details and colors with our eyes that a camera doesn’t have the ability to pick up. Processing images allows us to reflect back to what our eyes saw and draw more out of the image in order to share with others what we experienced.
Here is an example of what processing can do for you:
This image was taken last summer when in Chicago. It was an overcast, somewhat gloomy morning as we set out on our river and lake tour of the Chicago skyline. As we were trolling on the river towards the lock that would eventually let us out on the high seas (or rather Lake Michigan), I looked behind to see the tall skyscrapers getting smaller and smaller with the Trump Tower directly in the center. Even though it was gray and dreary, I saw colors and details and I wanted to share that with others. So I snapped.
When I returned to our cottage for the evening and downloaded the images from the day, I saw this image. It was NOT what I saw hours earlier. In addition to the gloominess of the day, I had my exposure set a little too low for the image.
But with the help of Lightroom (no Photoshop or other programs, Lightroom only), I was able to recover what I recalled seeing with my eyes earlier that day.
The difference in the two images is why even as a newbie to photography you need to learn Lightroom!
If you live in the DFW area and would like to learn Lightroom in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, you can get information here: Lightroom & More – Workshops with Debbi. With these workshops you will learn the basics you need to get started and get familiar with the program. More advanced workshops are also available when you are ready to learn more.
Why do you want to learn Lightroom? I hope I answered that question for you!
Have you ever experienced the disappointment of taking a photo that you saw one way with your eyes, but your camera captured it another way?