How many times have you wondered if there was a magic wand that you can wave and, lo and behold, your flat-looking & lifeless RAW files comes to life!
How cool would it be, right?
I felt the same. I know it sounds stupid for a professional photographer to say this. But, I always wished I had a magic wand.
I think magic wand is much more needed for us bird photographers than anyone else. Don’t you think?
We are the ones who take 10 images instead of 1 because we don’t want to miss a possible action. Now, multiply this with 1000 times, since we started firing our machine guns (pun intended) because we felt the bird is about to fly.
Isn’t it the case always?
Now, you are back home trying to browse through thousands of photographs and they all…
….look alike. Phew…Crazy.
I’ve always had a fascination towards cutting down the time it takes to post-process my photographs.
Tell me if you are not. We all want to get out of our stupid computers (sorry Steve & Gates) as fast as we can and go spend our time in the field. Don’t we? Perhaps, we don’t mind few thousands more 🙂
So, here’s what I did to cut the post-processing time
First and foremost, I decided to shoot only when it mattered. This is a vital step which I recommend you to follow.
For instance, don’t shoot 10 burst shots in case of just one. Have control over how many shots you fire even if you are using high burst shots setting. Just control the pressure on the shutter button.
Then, I said NO to most scenarios, either because the light wasn’t good, the background was bad, the bird was too far, I couldn’t get a good composition, or I was anticipating a particular bird behavior, etc.
Basically, I’d follow what I wrote in 6 Sure-Fire Steps to Creating Amazing Bird Photographs for Novice & Amateurs.
Secondly, I learned, the hard way, that getting the best possible exposure in the field is the first step to making great photographs. So, I did everything I possibly could to get the best exposure in the field.
If you are not using exposure compensation in your daily photography, then you are missing out a lot. I insist you to quickly read How to Fix the Underexposure or Overexposure in the Field? Or, How to do Exposure Compensation?
Thirdly, I came up with this simple concept called “Iterative Selection Process” to image culling process which dramatically reduces the number of photos that I have to post-process.
Finally, I learned to use all the time-saver actions in the Adobe Lightroom software as noted in my video course.
Despite all these, I wasn’t getting anywhere in post-processing
Yes, it’s true. I am sure I might have confessed on many occasions that I am quite lazy when it comes to post-processing.
Please don’t ask me how did I end up making a 6-hour video course on post-processing! I don’t know. Trust me. I just did it. And I am glad I did.
So, recently, I thought it’s time to do something about the backlog of tens of thousands of images from 10 years. Yes from past TEN years! You know what I did…
I decided to work on something that might as well work as a magic wand!
I thought it’s high time that I create some bird photography presets in Adobe Lightroom.
Enter…Adobe Lightroom Bird Photography Presets
I have always made presets for myself. I have even taught my workshop students and have included it in my video course.
But I must admit that I wasn’t too serious about them.
However, now I am. I am more than serious. I have spent considerable amount of time in working on the lightroom presets that can help me and other bird photographers like you.
They aren’t perfect yet. In fact, they are far from perfect. They aren’t even close to magic wand. But, I’ve been surprised and impressed with some initial results.
Let me show you some before-after results so that you can see it yourself. All the results you see here are the outpu of just 1-click. Yep, that’s right. Just one click.
Let me tell you that it wasn’t until I got through some 500+ good images (I mean, good ones) from different places that I started seeing some good results.
And all the above results were achieved with just one-click presets! Of course, just one preset doesn’t work for all images. There are multiple presets that I am working on, testing them for different scenarios, and fine-tuning along the way.
Before you jump into any conclusion–good or bad–let me warn you that presets don’t work on all types of photographs. Some work extremely well on certain photos and some on other photos. They are kind of hit and miss as of now.
Nevertheless, the results are promising. Don’t you think?
Are These Adobe Lightroom Bird Photography Presets Perfect?
Nope. As I said, they aren’t perfect. There’s a lot of fine-tuning that needs to be done.
I can already visualize how it’ll reduce the heavy burden I’ve been carrying around for past ten years.
If you know how to create presets in Lightroom, you can try to create some for yourselves. It’s fun. Give it a shot!
In case you have bought my post-processing video course on Adobe Lightroom then I’ve explained how to create presets in Adobe-Lightroom-Develop-Module-Time-Saver-Actions.mp4 video. Please refer to that video and try creating some presets.
Stay tuned until next time where I’ll update you with some more results and hopefully some good news too.
BTW, do you know of any Bird Photography Presets for Lightroom available? Have you used any presets before?
Let me know in your comments.
All said and done, let me warn you that no matter how good you are in post-processing, there’s absolutely no substitute for getting the best exposure in the field.
So, go ahead and put all your energy into getting the perfect exposure in the field before you even think about post-processing.