Shoot & Edit

It’s my hope that with the following knowledge, you’ll be empowered to maximize the potential of your Presets and bring out the best in your images.

Shooting Definitions

It all starts with capturing a photo. Below I cover what is Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO. Understanding these 3 critical variables will help you unlock a lot of potential, have more fun and shoot way better images. Technically, photography is all about dealing with the amount of light intake.
☑ Shutter Speed
Shutter Speed is how quickly the camera blinks. That's right, blinking. Just like our own eyes. Try blinking really quickly or slowly and that is exactly what the camera is doing when the industry refers to Shutter Speed.

 

REMEMBER ➜ A faster Shutter Speed means less light and less motion blur. A slower Shutter Speed means more light and more motion blur.
☑ Aperture
Aperture (also known as the F-Stop) refers to how big an opening the lens is set to, and this either allows more or less light in, just like how your pupil contract and expand during day and night. Aperture numbers like f/1.4 are opened way bigger compare to the likes of f/8 or f/11.

 

REMEMBER ➜ A bigger opening for the Aperture means more light and more background blur. A smaller opening for the Aperture means less light and less background blur.
☑ ISO
ISO is the camera's overall sensitivity to light. Most of the time, the goal is have this particular setting configured at the lowest (base) level unless in a dim-lit place. Why? Because the higher the ISO, the grainier the image will become. And that is generally undesirable.

 

REMEMBER ➜ The lower the ISO, the less grain the photo will have. The higher the ISO, the more grain the photo will have.

Editing Definitions

Whether you use Lightroom or Camera Raw, the sliders in each program behave exactly the same. Each program has the following sections in order: Basic, Curve, Detail, Color Mixer, Color Grading, Optics, Geometry, Effects, Calibration. I will only cover Basic as that is always necessary.

✅ White Balance
White Balance directs how cold or warm a picture is. More often than not the objective is attempt and accomplish a characteristic look, meaning it doesn't wind up excessively cold or warm. It would be ideal for it to look perfectly.

 

REMEMBER ➜ If the image is too cold, lift up the White Balance. If it's too warm, bring down the White Balance.
✅ Exposure
Exposure is the global brightness of an image. The goal is to never have it too bright or dark, or it will simply be too harsh on the eyes.

 

REMEMBER ➜ If the image looks too dark, lift up the Exposure. If it looks too bright, bring down the Exposure.
✅ Contrast
Contrast is the distinction between lights and shadows in the scene, the more difference there is, the more Contrast there will be in the final scene.

 

REMEMBER ➜ If the image looks too heavy, bring down the Contrast. If it looks too flat, lift up the Contrast.
✅ Highlights
Highlights are the bright (not brightest) parts in a picture. It will only modify brightness values within the limit set by the 'Whites' slider.

 

REMEMBER ➜ If the image is looks too piercing, bring down the Highlights. If it looks too pasty, lift up the Highlights.
✅ Shadows
Shadows are the dark (not darkest) parts in a picture. It will only modify darkness values within the limit set by the 'Blacks' slider.

 

REMEMBER ➜ If the image has lost detail, lift up the Shadows. If it has too much detail, bring down the Shadows.
✅ Whites
Whites are the absolute brightest part of an image and dictates the limit cap. Also, sometimes referred to as 'True Whites'.

 

REMEMBER ➜ If the image looks too blown out, bring down the Whites. If it looks too clipped, lift up the Whites.
✅ Blacks
Blacks are the absolute darkest part of an image and dictates the limit cap. Also, sometimes referred to as 'True Blacks'.

 

REMEMBER ➜ If the image looks too solid, lift up the Blacks. If it looks too faded, bring down the Blacks.
✅ Texture
Texture is a combination of smart sharpening or soft noise reduction on areas of a photo that lands in the 'mid-frequency' tones.

 

REMEMBER ➜ If the image needs medium sharpening, lift up the Texture. If it needs a smoothing effect, bring down the Texture.
❌ Clarity
Clarity is a inferior and harsher version of 'Texture'. It adds or subtracts edge contrast which are outlines around subjects and objects.

 

REMEMBER ➜ This slider is essentially worthless, hardly ever useful. Not recommended.
✅ Dehaze
Dehaze is a more specific 'Contrast' on areas of a photo that lands in the 'mid-frequency' tones.

 

REMEMBER ➜ If the image looks too foggy, bring down Dehaze. If it looks too thick, lift up Dehaze.
✅ Vibrance
Vibrance affects dynamic vividness to subtle colors without oversaturating or undersaturating the entire region of the picture.

 

REMEMBER ➜ If the image looks too colorful, bring down the Vibrance. If it looks too muted, lift up the Vibrance.
❌ Saturation
Saturation is an inferior and harsh version of 'Vibrance'. It oversaturates or undersaturates the intensity of the entire picture.

 

REMEMBER ➜ This slider is essentially worthless, hardly ever useful. Not recommended.

The other parameters I’ve built into my Presets (like Curve) are what defines the look you’ve purchased. So whilst you’re free to alter them, be careful with it because it’s very sensitive.

That being said, all my Presets can be used as is, or customized to match your workflow. So don’t be afraid to test their robustness and never stop upskilling. After all, photography is a vast art that rewards the lifelong learner.