Painting with the camera

The more experience I collect with Adobe Lightroom, the more I realize, how many possibilities I have to express what I call “painting with the camera”. As stated in this blog before, most of the time I do not choose the “journalistic approach” to transport reality with my pictures, but instead try to convey the feelings, a scenery or situation evokes in me.

I’d like to provide an understanding of that thought by using a recent example. I had been visiting the Black Forest – a beautiful region in the southwest of Germany. It was spring, and every morning, the first thing I saw from my balcony, was a stunning view over the hills of a valley called “Glottertal”. Of course, I took pictures of this scenery, where the rays of the sun were already chasing away the last bits of morning mist.

But the pictures from the camera (although I tried various exposures) in no way caught my feelings: the soft touch of the sun in my face, the fresh air, the hills, that dissolved in a blue-ish blur. So I started to experiment with Lightroom, altered exposure and contrast, fine-tuned blacks and highlights, the gamma-curve, saturation and luminance, and, as a final touch, used the adjustment brush to make the vanishing patches of fog visible. Below, you can view a comparison between the original picture and the final version (use your mouse to drag the slider across the picture):