14 Snazzy Lightroom Before and Afters

Lightroom will surprise you.
Many photographers see it as a tool for basic adjustments, like exposure, white balance, and contrast, but think that creative processing needs to be done in Photoshop. Once you really dig into Lightroom, however, you’ll see that you can do so much neat stuff, it may just blow your mind.

We’ve been using it as our primary editing program for a couple years and it still regularly amazes us! So we’ve thrown together 15 snazzy examples to show you just how much creative editing you can do using only Lightroom!

Note: All of these have had the colour balance adjusted, some had tone curve adjustments, and some had profile corrections. The creative editing has been described after each example to give you an idea of how to achieve the look yourself! These are all processed fairly heavily, so you can see how much can be achieved. Make sure to edit to your own unique tastes!
1. Frost Branch



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Basic adjustments – increased exposure, contrast, saturation


Split toning – aqua shadows, low saturation purple highlights
Vignette applied to darken the edges



2. Twilight Seagull



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Cropped to square
Basic adjustments – increased exposure, fill light, brightness, contrast, clarity, and saturation
Split toning – warm highlights, cool shadows
Slight sharpening and noise reduction
3. Cattails



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Cropped to square
Basic adjustments – Increased brightness and contrast
Hue and saturation have been adjusted to bring out the warm tones in the stalks of the cattails and the shift the color of the water.
Split toning – warm highlights
Sharpening


4. Graphic Flower



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Cropped to square
Increased clarity
Saturation of purples increased and hues of purples shifted to red to bring out the color in the flower
Split toning – teal shadows and warm highlights
5. Sunset on the Amazon



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Cropped to square
Large increase in contrast
Split toning – This image is a great example of how adjustments under the split toning panel can produce dramatic results. Because this image had a lot of darker tones, and sunsets often vary in color intensity, by changing the colors of the shadows you can change the color of the sky quite a bit. This image could just as easily be intensely golden, or nearly blood red just by changing the shadows slider. I used a warmer tone for the highlights to retain the typical colors of sunset around the sun.
Sharpening and noise reduction


6. Yellow Wildflowers



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Cropped to square
Recovered highlights
Slight increase to brightness and contrast
Split toning – cool shadows and warm highlihgts
7. Peruvian Catch of the Day



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Cropped to square
Basic adjustments – recovered highlights, increased fill light, brightness, clarity, and global saturation
Saturation – Increase saturation and luminance of oranges and yellows to bring out the color of the fish
Split toning – blue shadows


Vignetting
8. Spikes



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Cropped to square
Recovered clipped highlights on flower leaves
Increase contrast and clarity
Split toning – warm highlights and cool shadows
Sharpening – Because this image was cropped so much and the detail of the flower was important, careful sharpening has been applied
9. Wildflowers




LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Increase contrast and clarity
Variety of hue adjustments mainly shifting the blue color of the flower to purple
Split toning – warm highlights, cool shadows
Sharpening


10. Cliffs of Miraflores



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Custom cropped to better balance the composition and remove the foamy water at the bottom
Increased contrast, clarity, and global saturation
Split toning – blue shadows, warmer highlights
Slight sharpening
This image also has a combination of graduated filters and adjustment brushes. The graduated filters were used to darken the sky and the adjustment brush was used to brighten the cliffs and add a bit of contrast.
11. Sunset Surf



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Cropped to square
Increased fill light, contrast, clarity and saturation
S
plit toning – pink shadows
Sharpening
12. Santorini



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Increased brightness, contrast, and saturation
Saturation – Adjusted the blue to darken the sky. Adjusted hue to slightly change the color of blue
Split toning – warm shadows
Sharpening
13. Greek Port



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Reduced exposure
Increased contrast and global saturation
Saturation – increased the reds to bring out the reds in the cliff and the blue to enhance the water.
Sharpening
14. Clouds Over The Volcano



LIGHTROOM TIPS:
Increased exposure, blacks, contrast, clarity and global saturation
Adjustments to hue, saturation, and luminance in order to bring out blue and oranges
Split toning – cool shadows and warm highlights
Vignette
Also used the adjustment brush to brighten some of the volcano island