Today I felt like doing some experimenting with post-processing in Adobe Lightroom (download the free trial here). I thought about some pictures I took two weeks ago and thought perhaps I could do something with them. I remember that after taking those particular shots, I felt disappointed with the results. Here’s the shot straight out of camera (SOOC):

Yeah. Pretty bland isn’t it? The composition is off, there is a shadow to the left of the chairs that’s distracting and overall, the photo doesn’t make any kind of statement. Blah! Normally this kind of shot deserves to go straight into the trash bin but I’m a bit of a pack rat and also a bit lazy so I left it without even bothering to process it with the other photos I took that day.

So, I tried something different. I used that terrible picture and played around with it. What do you think?:

I might even print this! It’s still not a perfect picture but it sure speaks to me more now than it did in it’s original state. I didn’t spend much time working on it either; a whole 5 seconds! A little cropping and a Lightroom preset I found by Mike Lao here. It’s called the “300″ preset mimicking the look for the movie “300″. I think it’s pretty snazzy, so, thanks Mike for sharing!

There you go! A photo destined for my trash bin, saved! Sure, it’s still not a perfect image but a little processing made it more interesting and meaningful. So go through your not-so-perfect shots and see if you can make them into something better. You never know what you might end up with!

Laura is a Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer. Visit