Although many/most who use Lightroom also these days have Photoshop, some just don’t like the ‘heavy lifting’ required for the round trip to Photoshop, or even the ‘pain and grief’ of learning PS. This post is for those that prefer a LR-based post processing workflow.
The starting image is this capture of a church near us. It was taken with an Irix 11mm Blackstone lens; it is a single ETTRed image with a base exposure at ISO 100, and F/11, of 1/8s.
The first step is to carry out any lens correction and, unless you wish to manually tweak, select the ‘best’ white balance setting for your vision, eg Daylight in this case. Typically I would then bring my highlights to 0 and my shadows to 100 (and back off both as required) and then adjust the exposure, -1.3Ev in this case, to arrive at a basic post processed image:
Having got my basic exposure 'ok', I typically next attack composition as this will have an impact on the rest of my post processing. In this case, I wanted to correct the 11mm, hyper wide angle effect, and bring the near field cross into better alignment with the church. The best tool to do this is the guided transform in LR. Simply place you four guidelines to achieve the effect you are after. Here is a screen capture showing the process:
The final phase is to crop the image to your liking, clean up any extraneous ‘stuff’ using the LR spot removal brush, and ‘relight’ the image, ie adjust exposure globally and locally, to your choice using the radial and graduated local filters. Apply a final sharpening and carry out any other global adjustments, eg relook at WB, to arrive at this final image.
I hope this short post has helped those that are still trying to get their head around post processing. Once you have a workflow sorted out and understand a few tools, Lightroom is a very powerful post processing environment: that is until you wish to use luminosity masks etc and undertake radical surgery on your image; but that’s another story for another time ;-)