A few weeks ago, I was in Jupiter Florida to get away from the snow and cold weather! The sun was warm and I had a great time. Since I had been doing some reading and research on both Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom I decided to take some pictures of the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. This would give me the opportunity to test my skills as a photographer and an editor of photos.

I learned several important things about this exercise. First, it is important to use a tripod when taking a series of pictures on the same subject. I did not consider that my photos would all have different horizons if I was handholding my camera. Also it is easy to get the horizon line slanted if a tripod is not in use! I also learned that it is important to consider what you are trying to capture and tell a story about. As Steven Covey stated “Begin with the end in mind”. As an example, after I had taken my photos I noticed that I had a nice sequence of photos showing the sunrise, however, I had some gaps in the position of the sun. If I had planned ahead the photos would have shown a better transition between shots. Third, I again learned how important lighting is to a good photograph. I made several mistakes in exposing for the dark ocean and the bright sky. Better luck next time!

When I got home and began the post-processing of my photos I took time to look at Adobe TV to learn more about using Lightroom. I also used the reference guide. Lightroom is great and one of the best things is that the edits are nondestructive. Each time I learned something new, I could simply push the Reset key and start over. This really helped me with the learning because I could experiment without worrying about ruining a photo!

I also used Photoshop Elements v12 to edit some photos for comparison. I have decided that for my purposes Lightroom is the far better tool. I will still try to use Photoshop Elements but not for developing my RAW files. If I can see some benefit, I will probably just purchase the standard version of Photoshop and scrap Photoshop Elements in the future.

I have posted some of my sunrise photographs on the Everyday Photos page. Take a look and think about how you would have taken these photos. I plan to take a series of sunset pictures when the weather warms up. Hopefully, I will use the lessons I learned in this exercise to create much better and more compelling photographs.

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Posted by The Gray Bull

Novice photographer using Canon gear. I tend to like photographs of urban scenes.

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