Lightroom Color Correcting and Grading

A brief explanation of my technical process and creative decision making:

First of all, I did not crop the original image, to better show the changes I made in the edited correcting and grading images.

For the Geyser Iceland images, I wanted the color correcting and grading “after” editing changes to be more subtle from the original “before” image.  With the color correcting, my goal was to pull out more color from what my eye saw, then with the color grading, my goal was to make everything more intense without blowing out the whites, and also being able to read the darks.  I have used Lightroom for the Multiple Imaging course so am familiar with most of the features.  (I’m grateful to finally take this class because I just found more capability, and also understand now why I don’t use the Color Grading tool!  The difference between the correcting and grading images has more to do with extremes—the tools I used for grading allowed me to edit every color and light to greater contrast and saturation while being careful with the highlights, shadows and luminosity.

For the Lotus flower image, the correcting and grading changes were both more intense.  With the correcting, my goal was to show color contrast and details while still being realistic with the delicacy of the bloom. I also made the greens and blues darker but still realistic, to help the flower pop away from the background.  With the grading image, I hoped to achieve a sense of illumination directly on the flower, at night, and pushing the color contrast to create more intense and varied color, and then changing the texture and clarity to make the petals softer.  It’s interesting what happened to the outline of the trees that are next to the darker sky—almost like the color grading image has been posterized, yet I don’t see that on the flower.

Iceland Geyser before editing
Iceland Geyser after Color Corrected
Iceland Geyser after Color Grading
Lotus Blossom before editing
Lotus Blossom after Color Corrected
Lotus Blossom after Color Grading

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