As a photographer and even filmmaker, raw material is crucial in the construction of our unique work. When the term raw is used, it is placed within the meaning of a source (whether that is a photo or video, for instance) that is presented at its most basic form. Something is considered raw in production when it has not undergone any process of editing at all. However, do not generalise this idea, as your simple camera’s photos are not raw unless you have an option on your camera that sets your choices to capturing raw photographs. Even the simplest cameras will not shoot raw material unless you set it to. A raw photo looks washed and depressive—it looks boring and is in not format to be posted the way it is. Hence is why colour correcting and colour grading are instrumental elements in the process of producing a successful result.
Colour correcting and colour grading are two different things, and it is important to understand what each of them means in the not-unheard-of case of speaking about it with someone who has the knowledge of it.
- Colour correcting is, from its name, the correction of colours within a visual source. It is adjusting brightness and contrast and making sure that the colours are not washed out and that they represent the reality of the situation the photo or video was shot in. It is making sure the produce is realistic-looking.
- Colour grading is a process that involves the transformation of an image or video into something more creative and abstract. In contrast to colour correcting, colour grading does not go by the rule of making sure that the footage looks realistic. Instead, it is based on creating atmosphere. Examples would include using black and white colours only or editing for a vintage look.
Adobe Photoshop allows you to carry out editing processes to your photographs in a very professional manner, yet if you are looking for a software that specializes in the correcting or grading of colours, then perhaps you will be more grateful with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. The difference between the two is the Lightroom CC’s fundamentalism is colours, whereas Photoshop opens you up to an abundance of options to create your image into art (for example, using layers, adding figures, creating special effects like dispersion).
Thus, I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to edit the colours of my photos because it is a lot more straightforward. Take a look at how I managed to enhance colours and correct the ones that the camera had not been able to capture. Also, note that the original image was not raw, yet I would understand why you could confuse it to be.
You can easily download a 7-day (free) trial of this program from the trustworthy website owned by Adobe, and use online tutorials to get a hang of it which are offered by Adobe as well and can moreover be found everywhere on YouTube. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is nowhere near as complicated and detailed at Adobe Photoshop.
When working in Lightroom, I take all of the options available to me one by one and see
how they would affect my image. Of course, for each different image I may want a different look, and that might, for instance, be as a result of the subject of the image itself. Nevertheless, I have found that some settings are almost always in my use. For instance, I always adjust the whites and blacks of my image, as well as increase the contrast and make sure the exposure is balanced.
Another example of something I will always look into regarding editing settings in Lightroom is the detail options that Adobe provides. This is an undoubtedly significant change that you can add to your photo. You can adjust the amount of detail you give, which, as you can see in the example, I often use to emphasize features of the face such as freckles (which I am, by the way, obsessed with).
Another feature of Lightroom I am always scrolling through is the Hue-Saturation-Luminance drop-down. This enables me to edit the present colours in the image exclusively. This is particularly useful when I am editing an image which is taken by a water source, for instance, so that I can make the blue pop out more, in contrast to the other present colours. Another example would be editing eyes which might contain a colour that is alternate to the other containing nuances in the rest of the photograph.
Nevertheless, that latter example might not be the best. In fact, if you want to edit a specific portion of an image (such as the eyes) and not affecting any of the rest of the subjects, you can use the option of the adjustment brush. This brush allows you to draw over the area in your photo that you want to be affected.
The effects of Lightroom are undoubtedly authentic. It is such excitement for me to be in this world that Adobe has provided, yet you can get a taste of it right now by downloading the trial or buying the program. There is no other software more professional than Lightroom (unless, of course, we are considering Photoshop as well) that will open you to such a large range of reforms you can bring to your images. That’s a promise.