I’ve had a few people of late ask me how I process my photos. So, I thought I’d wright a quick blog post explaining my process–what software I use and when. I do all my photo work between Lightroom and Photoshop.

For the people who assume I use Photoshop for everything and just use Lightroom as a catalogue, I don’t; I do 80%-90% of my work in Lightroom, but I send well over 50% of my images to Photoshop. Even though I use Photoshop for over half my images, I tend to just use it for quick simple things that Lightroom  can’t do or can’t do well.  I haven’t used Photoshop as my primary image editor since I stopped working for a company that did  fashion catalogs.

As an example of my workflow, take a look at this photo I took during the Dallas media dubbed icepocalypse.

Image directly out of the camera
Image directly out of the camera

I took this photo of a road construction site while driving home. To look at it now, it’s nothing special. When I imported to Lightroom I considered this photo to be a disappointment. It looked nothing like what I was expecting.

Image after Lightroom edits
Image after Lightroom edits

After importing to Lightroom, I started fixing the blown out highlights, lens distortion, saturation and overall exposure to turn the photo I came back with into what I was seeing when I took it. Then I started playing with the HLS editor to give it that magical Narnia looking touch, but  with all those color edits, I started to bring out distractions in the images–mostly having to do with the graffiti in the bottom left of the photo.

Image after Photoshop
Image after Photoshop

On to Photoshop to quickly remove the graffiti with an adjustment layer and 3 minutes with the clone stamp tool. Now that I have removed that distraction from the image, I took 30 seconds more to remove some noise, then saved the photo back to Lightroom as a PSD.