Sunset Impression I-III Post-Processing

In the previous post I described how I captured the images in the Sunset Impression series. In this post I'll describe the post processing steps that I performed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 to complete on of the images. Another common guideline for digital photography is to...

Expose to the right.

This basically means expose the image as brightly as you can without blowing out important areas of detail in your image. The image below is exposed in this fashion (see the overlaid histogram) and while it captures the basic essence of the scene it is much brighter than how I envisioned it.

Sunset Impression I - raw

The first step in post processing this image is to darken the image. This is most easily accomplished using the 'Blacks' slider in the Basic panel of the Lightroom Develop module. Essentially I slide the slider to the left until the image looks the way I want it to. This step can be seen in the next image.

Adjusting the 'Blacks' in the Basic panel of the Develop module in Lightroom 4 darkens the image.

Now the image contains information from the very dark end to the very light end of the histogram.

The next step was to enhance the 'coolness' of the water and the 'warmness' of the sunset. This was accomplished with the use of custom RGB point curves in the Tone Curve panel of the Lightroom 4 Develop module. This can be seen in the next image.

And there you have the final image!

Sunset Impression I

I hope you enjoyed these images and learned a bit about how to make them yourself. The final post-processing steps are not complicated and could be completed in Adobe Photoshop,  Adobe Photoshop Elements, Apple Aperture and probably even in iPhoto.

Please let me know how you liked the tutorial and if you'd like to see and read more like it in the future by leaving a comment in the comment box below.