Before 'n' After
I continue to boggle at the wonderfulness that Lightroom sprinkles on my photos. I resisted buying it for quite a while, even after the Mad Oilman raved about it (and proved its worth with ever-better pictures of his own). Mainly because I'm kinda cheap, but mostly because I thought it was overkill for my "snapshooter" images. Then my parents came for a visit, and we watched over the MO's shoulder as he transformed his already-really-good shots of our travels from what we expected (really good shots) to OMG-that's-a-great-picture! And then Adobe dropped the price by almost half. And then I poked around and found out you could indeed keep your pictures on a totally different drive, which meant I could use it on my drive-space-challenged laptop after all, and just like that, poof, my objections had all disappeared. So I buckled and I bought it. And I haven't looked back....
The tutorials at the Adobe site are top-notch (Julianne Kost always has the answer), and before long I found The Grid, and then fell down the rabbit hole of Perfect this-and-that with Brian Matiash and now I'm having as much fun with my pictures on my laptop as I do on my iPad. (And I swear to Percolator I never thought I'd say that.)
Anyhow, where I was originally going with this thought was to post a before-and-after screen cap to show how spending just a bit of time in Lightroom makes me all happy and sappy about my pictures.
All I did here was apply a camera profile (I almost always go with Portrait or Landscape--they just seem to look the best to me), hit the auto-magic Auto Tone, and then pile on some Clarity and Vibrance (oh yeah, I'm a sucker for Clarity and Vibrance) et voila, my rose she has had une makeover!
Okay, not going to win any awards or whatever, but that's not the point (or my goal). What's exciting me is that I have a tool that makes me want to go out and take more pictures because now I'm really interested in making them into good pictures. It's not that it can save bad pictures, but that it can make regular pictures into something you actually want to look at again. And I'm actively trying to take better pictures to start with, 'cause eventually I plan to end up with some great pictures of my own.