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Bring Out the Best In Your Photos with the New Lightroom for Mobile

By Terri Stone

If there’s anyone who understands what it takes to shoot on location, it’s Elia Locardi. This photographer/videographer hasn’t had a permanent home since 2012. Instead, he travels from country to country, following inspiration (and photo and educational gigs).

Locardi says his photography was transformed by a combination of camera sensors that capture a wealth of image data, and the ability to edit that data in Adobe Camera Raw. (ACR is part of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.) He says that with this duo, he can pull an “incredible” amount of dynamic range from a single raw photo.

In the past, Locardi couldn’t edit raw files at shoots unless he brought his laptop to the field because the tablet and phone versions of Lightroom couldn’t process raw images unless they were first imported on the desktop and then synchronized to the mobile device. That’s all changed with the new Lightroom for mobile, which easily edits raw files. “It’s like being handed a new tool,” Locardi says. “It changes everything. Now I can access and edit these raw files on all of my mobile devices no matter where I am, out at dinner or working with a client, and when I do get back to the computer, everything I did from my mobile device automatically syncs back to my desktop Lightroom catalog. That makes post-processing with my mobile lifestyle even easier.”

Locardi tried out the new Lightroom for mobile on a recent shoot in Greece. While you won’t always have such striking subjects for your photography, why not outfit yourself with a tool that will bring out the best of what you do capture? Download Adobe Lightroom for iPhones and iPads and for Android devices.

Click to watch a short video filmed with Elia Locardi in several Greek locations, including the Meteora area and the island of Santorini.

BEFORE AND AFTER

The above video is a gorgeous trip through Greece, but did it leave you wondering how Locardi edited its images? Happily, Locardi has shared details of his Lightroom and Photoshop workflow.

Locardi shot Bedtime Stories with a Fujifilm X-T2 camera. The version on the left is what it looked like before he edited it in Lightroom and Photoshop.

“Post-processing Bedtime Stories was all about recovering the shadows while maintaining the highlights,” Locardi says. “I achieved that by increasing the exposure, shadows, and blacks, while decreasing the whites and highlights. After that, I used a graduated filter in the sky to add vibrance and contrast. I used another graduated filter on the lower valley to increase the exposure and highlights while adding more contrast. As a final touch, I used the Dehaze slider to add more overall contrast and a stronger feeling of depth. Then in Photoshop, I used the clone stamp tool to remove the distracting parking lot.”

Locardi captured Dreams of Meteora with a Fujifilm X-T2.

As with Bedtime Stories, Locardi edited Dreams of Meteora in Lightroom, beginning by recovering the shadows while maintaining the highlights. “I achieved that by dramatically increasing the exposure, shadows, and blacks, while decreasing the whites and highlights,” he notes. “After that, I used a graduated filter to select the sky and add both vibrance, saturation, and contrast, and a bit of Dehaze. For the foreground, I used a few graduated filters as well as radial filters to increase the highlights around the sunlit trees. I also used the radial filters to add selective contrast to certain areas and bring out the variations of colors in the greens, and remove the blue colorcast in the rocks and mountains.” Finally, he made small tweaks to the overall saturation, contrast, and vibrance. 

Locardi photographed Jewel of the Cyclades with the Fujifilm X-T2.

“For Jewel of the Cyclades, I used Lightroom to recover the whites and highlights in the sky and boost the shadows and blacks in the lower foreground,” he recalls. “After balancing the general image exposure, I increased the contrast and vibrance. Then, using a graduated filter for the sky, I used the Dehaze slider in harmony with contrast and saturation to make the sky more dramatic. Lastly, I removed some distracting elements in the lower right foreground using Photoshop’s clone stamp tool.” 

Locardi shot this photo with a Nikon D810 camera. The image on the left is unprocessed; the image on the right is the intermediate step, which he called Tranquility (First Phase).

Locardi took things further with a two-stage process. For Tranquility (First Phase), he repeated most of the Lightroom techniques that he used on Dreams of Meteora.

The image on the left is the intermediate Tranquility (First Phase). On the right is Tranquility (Second Phase).

Locardi then took Tranquility (First Phase) into Photoshop. “I chose another raw file from a later point in the night after the lights turned on,” he explains, “and I blended those two exposures together using simple masking."

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Here's a quick how-to on shooting and editing raw DNG photos with Lightroom for mobile.

If you want to track Elia's travels, you can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. For more about Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for mobile, check out the product page.