Having grown up in the Midwest, I believe that Christmas should involve snow. Period. End of story. Too bad for all of you people in tropical climes; your Christmas lacks the very thing that makes it so cozy: COLD WEATHER.
However, due to retirement choices made by family members, and the fact that we have two weeks of vacation to kill every December, we have celebrated Christmas for the past several years…in St. Petersburg, Florida. Each year I vow that we will get a real Christmas tree, and each year I find it hard to motivate myself to come back from Florida and sweep up all of the pine needles that would fall to the ground, as our lonely Christmas tree cried itself to sleep each night, wondering where the family was that so eagerly decorated it just a few weeks ago. So we go fake. It’s truly sad.
Another thing I’ve vowed to do this year, and am actually following through on, is SIMPLIFYING MY COMPLICATED LIFE. To that end, I have decided to finally do something with all of the images of my daughter running around in her adorable Matilda Jane outfit in Florida over winter break. I’ve had these sitting on my hard drive for approximately three months, as I wrung my hands about having the energy to Photoshop each and every image (as I do with client work), and found excuses not to open up what were otherwise great images.
Well I say “pssshaw” (or however one spells that word) to that. I encourage people in my photography classes to check out Adobe Lightroom, as it requires absolutely no knowledge of all of that overwhelming Photoshop fanciness. Normally, I start out with an image in Lightroom and then move it over to Photoshop for retouching and final “awesomeness” (i.e. various Photoshop tweaks that form my special sauce). But really, given that there are so many tools in Lightroom, including spot edits, white balance adjustments, cloning, color isolation and tone shifts, and just the magic that is the contrast and curve tweak, why not just run these images through one program and call it a day?
Before Lightroom, und after…
What I had working against me was an overcast day and the little gifts that the pigeons left behind all over the pier we were racing up and down. Lightroom could deal with the former, with a little warming (beware of the over-saturation of greens and oranges in Lightroom, however, when you warm up and pop what is originally a somewhat dreary lighting situation). Photoshop could deal with the latter, but…eh.
Also, please note: DO NOT FEED OR MOLEST THE ALLIGATORS.
Also, despite the adorable Matilda Jane outfit, my daughter insisted on wearing her trademark “Leper Print” shoes. Pick and choose battles…
All in all, I am pretty pleased with the Lightroom-only results. Perhaps, if I just stick to this regimen a bit more, I might actually get through my trove of family photos at a much faster rate than I have been ever since I became a photographer. Of course, there’s that pesky album-making process, which I cannot even think about right now.
Here are the photos I shot of my son the same day. He got the Photoshop treatment, so you can tell that some of these images pop a bit more. But my daughter gets plenty of special treatment the rest of the time, so I feel no non-Photoshop-treatment guilt.