Saving the Shot with Lightroom 2

I was looking for an image last night and I came across some shots from Arizona that I had previously left for dead.  One in particular stood out because I remember coming across this tree as we were hiking to the Wave and I remembered that it just looked really cool sitting out there in the desert all by itself.  I really didn’t have time to set up a proper shot and the sun was in the wrong part of the sky for the time of day that I was walking by but I figured, what the heck.  When I got back home and started sorting images, it made its way to the bottom of the pile because it was, at first appearance, just another bad shot.

Enter Lightroom 2 with its great features like the Fill and Recovery sliders, the Adjustment Brush, and the Gradient tool.  Once again I found myself saying, “What the heck”, and began the process of trying to resurrect my poor sad tree shot.  After about 3 minutes, I was pretty pleased to find that there was actually something close to what I remembered when taking the image.  I’m not going to be hanging it on the wall or anything but it does go to show just how much you can salvage your shots with the powerful features in Adobe Lightroom.

Before Lightroom - Sad, isn't it?

Before Lightroom - Sad, isn't it?

After Lightroom - Not too shabby!

After Lightroom - Not too shabby!


  1. Funny you mention this, I was just yesterday I was looking for a photo for a forum that I took in 2003 in my pre-DSLR days. I was very happy with the photo then, but after this much advancement of photography gear, it was not up to my current standard. So, I took it into LR2 and brought it up as much as I could, which was quite a bit. You’re still not going to bring a 3MP p&s JPEG up to the quality of an SLR, but for posting on the web, I was very surprised. Although I have now opened a new can of worms as far as backlog of photos to processing!

  2. Eh… very good !
    Lightroom is really an artist… Think I have too some left for dead. Thank you for the idea !

  3. While I use camera raw and photoshop for all my processing, I find that Adobe and a couple other manufactures have made it possible for us to be more of an artist as opposed to just a photographer. I think it is great.

  4. Paul Lindenberg says:

    Oh Yes! Superb Recovery on the image. I’ve been sifting through my stuff for some to save with LightRoom® . Thanks for the work-flow practical.

  5. Hey Jeff,

    I agree with Jason – now, you’ve cost me countless hours going through my old discards to see what I can salvage. I guess I’ll spend this weekend digging for buried treasures!

  6. WOW. That is impressive. I already have a bunch of shots that I want to clean up a bit, after seeing this kind of demo, I’m wondering if I would ever have time to shoot anymore if I start doing this kind of recovery on more pictures.

    Great work.


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