Hello everybody! Today I am going to talk about a picture I took during my trip in the Serengeti National Park. It is a picture of a lonely elephant that was resting under a beautiful acacia tree. It is a typical African scenario, that always surprises for its beauty.
Looking at the composition, I wanted to use the left end part of the acacia tree as a frame for the elephant, which stands in all its majesty at the lower third of the picture (thinking about the rule of thirds).
Once back home, I wanted to create the very same atmosphere I had in front of my eyes while on the scene in Africa. Firstly, the colors were far more vivid and the light/shadow contrast was much more emphasized compared to the plain raw file I had in my memory card.
Nikon D810 - Sigma 150mm-600mm “Sport"
600mm - 1/200 - f / 8.0 - ISO 200
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Africa
The development of the image had to take into account the peculiar shadow/light contrast and the real colors that were surrounding the elephant. The light/shadow contrast was created by the acacia tree's branches that allowed for the sun rays to spill-over the resting animal.
Here below a quick Lightroom workflow that I applied to this image:
- Base Adjustments
1) adjusted the highlights (all the way left)
2) opened up the shadows (+50)
3) increased the whites (+30)
4) closed the blacks (-30)
5) increased Vibrance (+45)
1) opened up the whites (+40)
2) closed the shadows (-35)
3) played with the mid tones a little bit
1) Orange and Yellow tones: left
2) Yellow and Green saturation: right
3) Yellow and Green luminance: left
1) Increased sharpness
2) Moved up Noise Reduction
- Dodge & Burn
1) Applied very carefully the radial filter in lightroom in order to emphasize lights and shadows as needed and in the most natural way possible.
Hope you find this quick guide useful. If so subscribe to my newsletter which includes several tips on how to improve your post processing workflow. Keep it up!
Laowa 12mm f/2.8
Nikkor 24-70 Z f/4
Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8
Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Nikkor 70-200mm f/4.0
Sigma 150-600mm Sport
Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 Tripod
Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 Pro Head
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