Here’s How to Bring Boring Photos Back to Life with a Little Help from Lightroom (VIDEO)

This Lightroom tutorial deals with a situation we’ve all encountered: “You make a photo, you think ‘yes, this it,’ I GOT that shot.” But when you get home and look at the image on you’re computer, you say to yourself, “Yo, this photo is kind of boring.”

That’s what happened to Atlanta-based photographer Evan Ranft recently, who fortunately knew how to turn the mediocre shot into what he had envisioned, with a little processing in Lightroom. In the eight-minute video below, he demonstrates what he did to salvage his image, so you can do the same with photos that don’t meet your expectations.

Ranft begins with an urban sunset photograph he made recently that really missed the mark. He admits he got lazy and concentrated on composition, without taking time to check his camera settings. But as you’ll see, all is not lost if you know how to use today’s modern editing technology.

Before describing the rehabilitation process, Ranft strongly suggests shooting in Raw for maximum leeway when correcting mistakes. After cropping the shot to his liking, Ranft begins by adding a subtle vignette. He then cuts the exposure, drops down the highlights, and pumps up the contrast to add drama to the sky.

Other steps include opening up shadows to accentuate the foreground, and brightening the clouds in the background. Then, a boost to saturation and vibrance adds some punch to the shot. A simple mask overlay reveals the changes he made thus far. All that’s left is a bit of cleanup and he’s done!

You can find more shooting and editing tops on Ranft’s YouTube channel. And be sure to watch his recent tutorial, explaining how to shoot great cityscapes photos at night.