So far, I've kept my use of Lightroom to what I thought would make the images look more like the reality I saw. I edited, sure, but I kept it restrained. Well, today on Scott Kelby's blog there was a post from David Nightingale, also known as Chromasia, and his story went kind of like this (he told it much better): in processing bad images he learned how to create better ones.
And this is a kind of learning I've been doing too; processing my images makes me think about what I could have changed at the time of capture and I truly believe it has made me a better photographer. But a lot of images (the really bad ones, and the just sort of 'meh' ones) I just don't process. I ignore them, I delete them, and then I forget them.
But. Today. I decided to rescue one. Not a full rescue, mind you. And maybe not a successful one. I don't absolutely love it, and I'm sure there are some terrible mistakes I made in the processing, but I think it was a good exercise. And one I'll try to repeat in the future.
Okay, and now here's the before picture. I almost don't want to show it, because it's so blah, and why did I take it in the first place? But brutal honesty is good for the soul, right? Please bear in mind this is a raw file with no processing: no sharpening, no color adjustment, nada. All the stuff my camera could have done for me to make it better, I said "No thanks. I'll do it myself."
If you're curious, this was taken during a rainstorm at school yesterday.