Lightroom does a great job at letting you tweak a photo in almost infinite ways. This is excellent news if you have all the time in the world to play with, but if you’re hoping to share your photo with anyone else at some point, or just go and cook dinner, you have to draw the line somewhere.
I’ve found that if I’m not looking to change the feel of an image significantly then once the white balance is correct, the tone curve is probably the only other dial I need to turn to really polish off a photo.
As with all of the techniques I’ve referred to along the way, I’m not going to offer a detailed tutorial of how to use a feature. Youtube is packed full of videos showing exactly how to use every feature of Lightroom and Photoshop. There are some excellent ones, and some truly terrible ones, but you should pretty quickly find a regular poster that uses a style you get along.
With this photo I really wanted to bring up the dreaminess of the white light in the room. Without getting too arty (as arty I am not) I was hoping to play a bit on the contrast between the umbrella and the lack of rain, or in fact, lack of outside.
When you compare this with the previous iteration you can see I’ve increased the whites and highlights, added a tiny bit more contrast, and also given some extra vibrancy to the umbrella. Since there aren’t any other areas of colour (apart from the door in the background) this hasn’t caused the image to become too rich and unnatural.