how to edit bird photos in lightroom

When it comes to editing the s, there are widely differing opinions among nature photographers. On the one hand there are those who do not edit their pictures at all. On the other hand, there are photographers who want to get everything out of the RAW files with processing programs. In this article I’ll explain to you, how I personally edit my photos.

I edit my photos with Lightroom and Photoshop *. However, there are other programs for editing s. In the end, it doesnt really matter what program you use. The important thing is that you have a program that can read RAW files. I already explained in previous article, why you should always shoot in RAW format

When I return from a successful morning, I have hundreds of photos on my memory card. To select and edit them efficiently, you should fine-tune your workflow. Because the less time you have to spend in front of the screen, the more time you can spend outdoors. In todays article, however, I’ll concentrate on editing the photos. I will cover the whole workflow in a future article.

In this picture I had brightened the left side of the as well as the head of the young Coot. This change introduced a bit more dynamic.

After I have selected a photo that I want to edit, I start with the crop. First, I straighten the photo. Especially if you had to shoot from an uncomfortable position, the pictures are often not straight. With Lightroom this can be corrected quite easily. With Ctrl you can select the horizon and Lightroom will straighten the photo correctly.

The I try out different compositions before I decide on the composition that I like the best. In general, I try to create the composition according to the golden ratio.

Especially in animal photography you often tend to crop the so much that the quality suffers a bit. But you should avoid that. The bird does not always have to be shown in full format. Often pictures are much more interesting if the bird is shown a little smaller and a lot of landscape is included.

How much you can crop your photo depends on your camera. With a camera with a high resolution you can crop much more than with a camera with fewer megapixels. I try to crop to a maximum of 4000 pixels on the long side. In rare cases I also crop more.

After I have decided on a composition, I adjust the basic values of the picture. That means I make first adjustments regarding brightness, contrast and hue. For this part, I don’t follow any rules. It greatly varies from picture to picture how I edit them. The best thing you can do, is just to play with the sliders until you like the picture. Over time you will get a feeling for how to adjust the sliders.

After I have made the basic adjustments, I sharpen the a little if necessary. But you should not overdo it. If an is sharpened too much, white lines appear at the edges. These are disturbing and you should avoid them.

Then I let the program, in my case Lightroom, automatically remove the vignetting and distortion of the lens as well as chromatic aberrations. In some cases, I leave the vignetting in the . This is because the darker corners lead to the focus being directed more towards the centre.

Step 7: Clarity, Texture, Dehaze And Contrast

Increasing texture will highlight the details and sharpness of objects in the near focal range of the picture. Texture primarily deals with high-frequency areas of contrast. I typically experiment with numbers between 0 and 30, mostly in the range of 7 to 25. For this , I chose 23.

Clarity improves the sharpness in the mid-frequency ranges. Use it sparingly in situations where you want to maintain a nice bokeh effect. I have used 23 in this case.

Dehaze is a relatively recent addition, so I use caution when using it. It is used to increase contrast in the low-frequency areas. When I use it, I tend to use it sparingly. In this , I used a value of 5.

Contrast and clarity are similar in that contrast affects the entire tonal range of an object while clarity, also known as local contrast, is limited to the mid-tones. In this , I have used a value of 23.

how to edit bird photos in lightroom

Tips for better editing

You risk becoming lost in editing if you spend too much time in front of the screen. You’ll realize that the colors are completely off when you view the images again. Thus, you should take brief breaks if you spend a lot of time editing photos at the computer. In this manner, your eyes can heal and you can resume working on your photos while maintaining the integrity of the colors.

Always look at old photos again. I always discover pictures in my archive that I was previously unaware of. Particularly since you most likely have a lot of free time to go through your old pictures.

Step 8: Vibrance And Saturation

The time has come to enhance the colors of RAW files. The color depth of the is increased using both vibrance and saturation, but they do so in slightly different ways. Vibrance largely leaves alone areas that are already saturated, making it the least aggressive and recommended way to adjust the colors. Normally, I choose a vibrance value between 18 and 30, but in this instance, I went with 23. I left the saturation value at 0, but you might want to increase it a little bit for some shots to really bring out the colors in the areas that are more vibrant. Just a little bit, though.

how to edit bird photos in lightroom


How do I edit photos naturally in Lightroom?

Go to the development tab, and then on the editing panel all you do is hold shift key and double tap each slider. Lightroom will then decide what it thinks is the right level of adjustment to balance out the photo and give it a natural feel.

How do you crop wildlife photos?

When cropping to perfect my composition, I prefer to leave some negative space in the direction that the animal is facing, while positioning the animal in the outer third of the photo. This helps balance the image according to the Rule of Thirds while also showing some of the animal’s environment.