Post Processing in Lightroom "My Work Flow" The 5 Step Tango

October 09, 2015  •  2 Comments

Sunrise KayakSunrise Kayak Post Processing is a huge subject and could be talked about for years on the how to's and such.  There are many photo editing programs on the market but by far the most popular are the Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.  I subscribe to the Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom CC for 10 dollars a month and get all of the new updates when they come out and its well worth the cost.  The program that I use to do most of my editing is Lightroom and in my editing workflow I use a process thats called the 5 step Tango.  I would love to take credit for this step by step process but I can't.  I learned of it on Creative Live with the instructor Jack Davis.  Jack wrote the first book on Photoshop (Literally ) and has been in the Adobe behind the scenes advisor ever sense the conception of the Photoshop editing programs.  He knows the "why?" Photoshop or Lightroom does what it does.  He came up with the 5 step Tango and I'll briefly explain how it goes.

PRE-TANGO- Before you actually get to the Tango there are some things that you need to do and these are global corrections that correct the whole image not just a small portion of it.  Lens Corrections and Chromatic Aberrations .  In the Lens Correction section there is a check box for both of these that need to be checked.  Lens Corrections correct the inherent flaws of what ever lens you were using and fixes them.  Like lens distortion that is common with a specific lens.  It also corrects Chromatic Aberrations that can be common with the lens.  Camera Profile comes default at Adobe Standard but can be changed to match the type of photo and camera you are using.  If your camera has different profiles like Landscape, Portraits it can be set here.  If you create profiles you can also put them here.  I have generic ones made for Sunny, Overcast, Flash ect... Sunset Beach PierSunset Beach PierMax Stansell Photography


Step 1:White Balance and Crop- You need to set your white balance so Lightroom knows what colors to use like Sunny, Cloudy, Tungsten or a number in Kelvin like 5500 ect... You also need to crop so when Lightroom is doing the math to fix things it knows what part of the image to work on.

Step 2: Auto (Undo:)  That right Auto!  I know Photographers don't like auto settings but Light room is a very powerful program lets see what it can do.  If you don't like what Lightroom has done you can reset back to the way it was and do it manually or you can adjust sliders to your liking from where Lightroom has put them.  If you want to do manually you need to follow step 3 and 4 .

Step 3: Exposure,Clarity,Shadow,Highlights - Adjust these in this order!  They are in the order for a reason because if you get out of order you may cancel out a correction you made previously.

Step 4: Whites and Blacks -  watch out for clipping of these

Step 5: Vibrance and Vignette - Vibrance lightens and saturates colors that are not saturated  in the image.  Vignette darkens up the corners to bring the viewers eye closer to the subject of the image.

POST TANGO:  Post Tango deals with Sharpening and Noise reduction and all of the fine detail  corrections that may need to be make like cloning out a dust spot or removing a blemish or using a filter.

And that is pretty much it.  Now I know that editing is very subjective and what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another but this works for me.  The most important thing to do in post processing is when you find a system that works STICK TO IT!  You can still experiment and learn new things and incorporate into your work flow be but be consistent! And you will spend more time Shooting than on a computer processing!  I have attached a video of me editing some photographs using Lightroom I am no expert at it but its just the way I do it.  And it works for me maybe it will work for you too!

Keep Shooting!

Editing Video:-



Zenith Clipping(non-registered)
simple but informative blog. our website also shares this kind of editing tips ,you could have a look
Alisa Lira(non-registered)
Essential tips for post-processing. Thanks for sharing the video. I think this will helps the reader to understand about post-processing.
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