Post-Processing: an Image from Wyoming

At the moment, if you navigate to the home page of this site, the gallery that loads is that of Yellowstone National Park. Technically, I've included a couple of images in that gallery from the neighboring Grand Teton National Park as well.

But on the way to Yellowstone, there were a number of beautiful stops along the way. I wanted to highlight my post-processing one of these images.

I photograph in RAW and use Adobe Lightroom to import my images. Below, the RAW image as converted to JPEG:

Jackson River in Wyoming. Unprocessed JPEG.

I then exported the image into Adobe Photoshop CS5, where I made a few edits. First, I wanted to make the foreground sharper (the rocks, river, and the plants). Second, I wanted to bring some clarity into the clouds in the sky (it is slightly blown out in the original). The final edit looks like this:

The Jackson River. Edited version.

You'll notice that I've also altered the color of the sky from off-white to blue/purple. I was able to do that by changing my color mode from RGB to Lab in Photoshop (Image --> Mode --> Lab Color). Then I went to the Curves Adjustment tool and selected the "b" channel. From there, all you have to do is pull the curve ever so slightly downward to bring the blue hues into the image. Here's a screenshot:

Screenshot of LAB color mode and a very slight curves adjustment to the "b" curve to bring in the bluish hues.

This is a very simple post-processing technique but I've found it works quite effectively. If I wanted to create a more orange/yellow look, all I have to do is pull the curve in the opposite (up) direction above.

That's my brief photography tutorial of the week. If you have questions, please leave a comment below.


Note: if you want to see my entire gallery from Yellowstone (including detailed captions), follow this link.