As many of you may already know, editing is not my thing.
I love taking photos, but that's pretty much where my love ends.
Years back, my editing process involved hitting the 'play' button on enough actions in Photoshop to create a editing concoction that was nothing more than a wild mix of sharpening and vignetting and saturating and tinting and contrast that I neither understood, nor could recreate.
But at the time, I didn't really have a good enough 'eye' for editing to pinpoint what I even liked or disliked about my own editing process.
And that was the game-changer.
She taught me what accurate color really looks like. She taught me to watch for over-sharpening. She taught me how to saturate my images and helped me understand what an eye-sore over-saturation creates. She taught me how a light hand with vignetting goes a long way. She taught me how to avoid over-softening skin tones.
She taught me how to edit.
And then I spent the next few years, using Erin Cobb's Clean Color as the foundation of my editing process, while tweaking things here and there so that my editing had a look and feel that is (hopefully) all my own.
But I still didn't love editing.
I loved the outcome of my editing, but I dreaded the time-consuming process of editing - because for a Type-A girl like me, getting the perfect edit is a long process in Photoshop.
In fact, in the last year or so, I found myself purposely choosing not to pick up my camera, but not because I didn't feel like shooting - rather, because I knew that if I shot, I'd have to edit.
And I didn't want to edit.
Then my friend and past student Marilou Jaen started pushing me to edit in Adobe Lightroom. (I've had Lightroom for years now and have used it for its amazing photo organizing abilities and for some standard editing before pulling my images into Adobe Photoshop CS5 for final editing - but I didn't realize that over the years and with each new upgrade, Lightroom had become an editing tool so powerful that it could completely negate my need for Photoshop CS5.)
But if you know me, you know that I'm a bit of an old dog that doesn't like learning new tricks.
But if you know Marilou, she's like a dog with a bone.
So she just kept at me.
Pushing me. Helping me. Sending me links. Emailing me tips. Patiently helping me as I sat cross-eyed and staring a her via Skype. Walking me step by step through what she hoped would help me create the same look in editing that I was used to, but in nary the time.
And so, with Marilou's help, me and my images have been getting there, slowly but (painstakingly) surely.
And all the while, Erin Cobb has been working on a new tutorial: Clean Color for Lightroom.
And so this morning, I watched her tutorial and it helped me put the finishing touches on my Lightroom editing process. It confirmed for me some things that I was doing right. It confirmed for me some things I was doing wrong. And it taught me a few things I had never even thought of.
Who would have thought to do that with the Clarity slider?
Who would have come up such a brilliant trick to getting whites to look like 'true' whites?
Who could make it so simple?
Apparently, Erin Cobb.
So now through Friday March 8th, Erin is offering her Clean Color tutorial for Lightroom for only $89. (You can tweak her process in older versions of Adobe Lightroom, but Adobe Lightroom 4 is recommended.) After that, it goes back up to its regular price of $129. ($100 for past/current students of mine.)
And yes, there are tons of Lightroom books and tutorials out there (many of which are quite helpful, especially this book by Scott Kelby, which I think is a must for anyone who owns Lightroom 4) but none that teach you step-by-step, how to edit your portraits like Erin Cobb.
And don't forget that The Photographers' Workshop is the only place where Erin discusses and critiques editing for students using any of her Clean Color editing workflows. (So that means that all current and future students of The Photographers' Workshop will get to pick Erin's Clean Color brain for one week during the workshop and all past students can pick her brain also, by registering to audit a future class by logging in here, selecting 'go shopping' and adding the auditing seat for past students/$95 to the cart.)
And all that was motivation enough for me to (finally) get all of my Thanksgiving photos edited today - will share my favorite shot here - but will share the rest throughout the week...
And I edited it in no time at all.