This post is part of my weekly “The Power of RAW” series where I show you the power of raw and how my images look coming out of the camera and how they look after some post processing.
I think we’ve all been there. We’ve gone to a location we’ve always wanted to shoot and the light is poor, the conditions are not ideal and it isn’t how you envisioned the scene to look.
What do you do? Pack up and go home? Wait for the right light? Nope! Unfortunately for me I was in Iceland at the time so going home empty handed just wasn’t an option for me! This mountain range, Stokksnes, was the main reason that made me go to Iceland.
I waited for a few hours hoping that the light would change, the clouds would lift but it just wasn’t happening. I checked the forecast and the next couple of days was pretty much forecast to be the same, cloud, more cloud and even a bit more cloud with a touch of rain added in – it wasn’t looking good.
I had no option but to look for a composition I would be happy with. I pressed the shutter and what I seen on the LCD screen wasn’t nice at all. I tried longer exposures, shorter ones, changing my composition but nothing was working. I gave up and returned to my tent with jagermeister to drown my sorrows.
I left the next day completely disappointed that the light was terrible and the images I took were so poor, but I was in Iceland so my disappointment didn’t last too long!
Fast forward a couple of weeks post Iceland and I was reviewing my lightroom images. One composition stood out for me and I decided that I would see what I could do with the image, see if I could save it.
For me to save this image and to create a portfolio piece I was going to have to pull out all the stops!
Some of you are probably going to get really disappointed with me now, but I’m going to be honest. I can’t remember what I did to this image to save it.
Before writing this blog post, I did go back to Lightroom and Photoshop for an hour to see if I could replicate what I did and I just couldn’t – I just did far too many things to remember which is unfortunate.
I do know that I started in lightroom, it went into photoshop, there was dodging, there was burning, s-curve adjustments, Nik Collections Color Efex Pro 4, it went back to lightroom for some more adjustments and back to photoshop again then back to lightroom.
I spent hours on this image saving it. Was it worth it? Yes! Would I do it again? Absolutely not! I would just wait for the right light, whether that was having to travel back to Iceland again then I would just wait.
I guess why I’ve chose this image is because it’s a great example of what can be achieved when working with a RAW file. Even though I don’t remember what I did, I was able to edit and edit and edit the image without losing the quality, it was a completely non-destructive edit.
Before & After
- Nikon D610
- Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8
- Manfrotto 055XPRO3 Tripod
- Adobe Lightroom
- Adobe Photoshop
- Nik Collections Color Efex Pro 4