Oregon Coast Workshop Photos and Lightroom Processin

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend. I got to spend some quality time on the beach with my family which was great since I just returned from the Oregon Coast workshop I taught over the weekend. Speaking of, I wanted to share some photos I took during the workshop along with the Lightroom settings. I saw quite a few “wow” moments from the participants this weekend at the power of what Lightroom (and only a few sliders) can do.

Before we get to that though, I want to say a big thanks to everyone who came to the workshop. We had a lot of good laughs, yawns (we were up early) and just an overall great time. Unfortunately I was probably the cause of a few laughs – not because of my sense of humor but because I happened to step into about 2 feet of water on the beach in front of half the group :) Anyway, thanks everyone – you guys were great!

OK, on to the photos (make sure you click them to see a larger version):

Here’s the final images. I’ve included screen captures below each photo to show the Basic panel settings. That’s where 90% of all the work was done. The only other changes made to the photos were sharpening using the Detail panel and vignetting using the Effects panel in Lightroom 3 Beta2 (I used the Highlight Priority setting on all of them). I also used the Adjustment Brush to darken the waterfall in the Multnomah Falls photo but that’s the only place the brush was used.

Multnomah Falls (Just outside of rainy Portland on Wednesday morning)

(Click for Larger Version)

Bandon Beach Sunset (after nearly getting soaked by a wave)

(Click for Larger Version)

Bandon Beach Sunrise (up way too early)

(Click for Larger Version)

Cape Blanco lighthouse at sunset

(Click for Larger Version)

Bandon Beach sunrise (yep, still way too early in the morning)

(Click for Larger Version)

Sunset (after soaking my shoes and legs in the water)

(Click for Larger Version)

Another Sunrise (different composition than the other – I can’t figure out which I like best)

(Click for Larger Version)

Another Sunset photo (Shot at f/22 to get a little sun star)

(Click for Larger Version)

As always, I’m interested to hear your comments and please let me know your favorites. After looking at them so many times I always find it hard to pick the 2 that I’m going to have printed large so lemme know :)

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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61 Comments

  1. They are just all great! But if I have to choose one, it would be the Multnomah Falls picture too.

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  2. Hey Matt,

    Great pictures. Wish I could have attended the workshop. Get over to the UK and I’m there!

    My favourite is def MJK2363.jpg. Great shot, I love the reflection.

    1 question, did you or the camera meter wrongly for picture 0051.jpg? I noticed you changed the exposure down by over 2 stops which seems a lot. Just interested.

    Thanks

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    • Thanks. I probably metered near the cliff somewhere. Not too sure. Very little was overexposed but I always look for a little over-exposure since LR is so good at bringing back the highlights. So even if I have a few blinkies I’m ok with it.

      – Matt K

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  3. Brandon Beach would be my pick-of-the-litter for personal long-term at-home wall art… with the request for a bit toned-down sense of coloration – now initially appealing, but for enduring long-term enjoyment… color-excess being too much of a good thing.

    Nit-picking aside: the most striking aspect is your method of “before-&-after” viewing, the finished image, then the LR before-after screens… plus the significant bonus of showing the actual LR control panel used to derive the results. It’s the best example of software descriptive illustration I have seen. Clarity on display. Keep up the great work of this demo-tool aspect.

    Technical note: I’m a bit stunned at your use of the “Recovery” slider, an otherwise highlight killer that imparts overall dullness to any image – I avoid it like the plague in LR2.7 unless totally desperate. Is there Recovery magic evolving from something unique to LR3?

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    • Nope, no change in Recovery in LR3. I just use it to recover highlight details, not to make highlights go away.

      – Matt K

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  4. I’m with Neil – you need to get over the UK!

    That said, I work with a company HQ’d in Portland and although I’ve been there a few times I’ve wanted to get out to the coast to do some shots. What was this weekend part of? Might have been tempted to join if I’d known (and could wangle the flight for work!).

    That said, the falls is my favourite too.

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      • Ah – okay. I did wonder. I’ve looked at some of the GA Photo Workshops but not got around to visiting in order to go on one.

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  5. Matt,

    Just wanted to let you know I think this idea of showing your Basic Panel is great. It gives us all a better insight into your general post-processing process and even your thinking behind the photos. I’d enjoy seeing more of this style of post!

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  6. They are all great shots but I like the waterfall shot the best. Thanks for showing the before/after shots and settings. That’s a HUGE help for me.

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  7. Hi Matt,

    Great photos, I think the second is my favorite. Can you share which lenses did you use for this photos?

    I’ve been following you for sometime and I believe I’ve had seen all your videos. Fantastic job! It’s really good to see someone taking a good time to share knowledge.

    When you have some spare time to spent make a visit to my flickr. Most of the job I’ve accomplished there is following lots of your posts.

    Take care

    Andre Silva/Brazil

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    • All of the these photos were taken with the Nikon 10-24mm lens on a D300. If I had it to do over again, I’d borrow the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 instead. I’m not totally pleased with the quality of the 10-24 and, believe it or not, it has some pretty bad chromatic abberations which I had to take out. Shooting into the sun is also a problem for it and that nano coating on the 14-24mm rocks when it comes to sun flare. I also used my 70-200 for some tighter photos, but I think the best shots of the group were wide.

      Hope this helps.

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      • Matt, I am trying to get a good wide angle lens for my D300. I was thinking about the 10-24 instead the 12-24, but you say that you dislike the optical quality of the 10-24. Would you suggest to get the old 12-24 instead? (the 14-24 is out of my budget). I see that Nikon is not planning to give us a wide angle prime (either a good or a bad one!) for the DX users. DX seems to be restricted to just zooms in the present and in the future of Nikon! Thanks a lot for your opinion!

        Best regards,

        Agustin

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      • Hey Agustin,
        I haven’t compared the 12-24mm with the 10-24mm so I can’t speak to it. As you can see, the 10-24mm isn’t bad. My photos look great at large sizes and I’m happy with them so don’t take what I said as a reason to not buy the lens. I can say that if you want the best quality photos then the 14-24mm is the way to go. Plus, it sets you up should you decide to go with a full frame camera one day. Hope this helps.

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  8. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for sharing your pictures. I think I’d have to follow suit and go for the shot of the Falls.

    The Before / After screenshots with the control panels are also very insightful and easily communicates the PP process without having to record a video or lengthy annotation – nice one!

    PS I’d also have to agree with the other UK posters here about getting you over here. It’s great to now have Joe McN coming over here in July as part of the Kelby Live seminars, but let’s just hope you & the other PS guys can soon follow suit soon.

    Regards,

    David

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  9. Hi Matt,

    Mi first comment. I preffer the Multnomah Falls. Beautifull and acurate greens for the foliage. The sunsets are great too. ¿Do you use a specific camera profile for your NEFs?

    Cheers.

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  10. Hey Matt,

    Great post with a great series of images.
    A favourite??? would have to be the Lighthouse; everything about it i spot on…tone, composition the lot…really like this alot.

    My wife has asked me to photograph a Lighthouse for her because of what it symbolises. She’s had quite a rough time lately with some family matters and her mother’s health deteriorating and the Lighthouse she says symbolises our relationship in that ‘I keep her safe’ as is the purpose of Lighthouses.

    So as you can imagine, despite being a wonderful image, your photograph has more to it; but then isn’t that exaclty what a photograph should do…spark off an emotion.

    Great work Matt,
    Thanks for sharing,
    Glyn

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  11. Thanks, Matt.
    The before and after format is a great idea! Good to see the setting you used.

    I notice you use both Vibrance and Saturation at times. Interesting….for some reason I seem to resist that, but it certainly works in these photos! I’ll have to start doing that again.

    Steve L

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    • Hey Steve,
      I don’t use Saturation much but it seemed to work well on these. I usually stay away from it though.

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  12. I think I like the lighthouse most. It is indeed stunning how much you can achieve if you just probe those few sliders in Basic Panels. I think I would not push some of them that far, but the effects are great. I feel inspired to revisit some images in my LR library.

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  13. Wow! These are amazing! Nice work :)

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  14. First, outstanding presentation. Extremely helpful for me to understand your use and the effectiveness of these sliders. So too would be the EXIF data for these images. Your basic camera setting for each photo would also be very interesting to know.

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful images, and your use of Lightroom!

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  15. Loved them all! My favorite is the lighthouse. I really like the lighting on that one.

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  16. Hi Matt,
    Amazing photos. Just wanted to say how jealous I am of the weather you got there in Oregon. I’ve been to the beach a bunch of times, and so often it’s a big mass of gray cloud over everything. You really captured though the essence of some of those places. And thanks for the Basic panel. That’s really helpful.
    Jonny

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  17. Nice job Matt,

    Bandon Beach Sunrise (Portrait) and Another Sunset would be my choice.

    The Oregon coast is a photographer’s paradise. Spent two weeks there a couple of years back and got hooked on Lighthouses.

    How did you get a shot of Multnomah Falls without people ? A little Ps work ?

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    • Nope, you can see the raw photo in the LR screen shot. No people. The secret is to go there when it’s pouring rain (like it was that morning). That way, nobody is in your shot :)
      I had a heck-of-a time keeping my camera equipment dry actually. Most of the photos I have from there have rain drops on the lens as I wasn’t prepared for that kind of weather.

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  18. Great shots.
    Interesting/suprised to see that on all but one photo you have not moved the Brightness slider. Not sure I could live without this slider for boosting/cutting mid-tones without changing highlights.

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  19. As usual these are amazing shots. I follow your blog daily and keep looking for you to set up a class in Northeast Ohio – Cleveland. Would love to have you come and teach us all these great techniques.

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  20. The Lighthouse !! Shot at exactly the right time of day

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  21. The pictures are great, although there are none of our lighthouse or bridge here in Newport. :-)
    I know you were up early/late & worked hard to get those shots, but you were also fortunate in the weather department. Today is June 1 & it’s very grey and “blah” here on the central Oregon coast.
    Again, beautiful shots!

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  22. Hi Matt,

    awesome pictures! My favorite is definately the waterfall and I do have a technical question: What sence does it make to reduce the Exposure on the one hand and to increase the Brightness on the other hand as you did in most of your pictures?

    Thank you in advance!

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  23. “Unfortunately I was probably the cause of a few laughs – not because of my sense of humor but because I happened to step into about 2 feet of water on the beach in front of half the group.”

    Matt, sometimes it’s a contact sport. :-)

    Nice photos. Especially Multnomah Falls and the lighthouse shot.

    Post a Reply
  24. Hi Matt

    How many Workshops do you do a year and do you have a link to them.
    I am from the UK but would be prepared to travel to the USA to attend one of your workshops and learn from the professionals.

    Ian

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  25. Hello Matt,
    So glad you got out here to Portland… I just wish I had remembered that you were coming this last week. Great photos!! I have seen many many of the same places since I’m from here (Portland) and I think you did a great job on capturing the colors and feel of the area.
    Hope to see you on your next trip out here to the Pacific Northwest. Don’t stay away too long.

    Dave

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  26. Great timing. I was taking beach photos over the weekend and I was unable to process them into anything. Now I’ve got some ideas and direction! Thanks!

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  27. The sunrise 2263 is simply AWESOME! Since I am so very much a newbie to getting a fantastic shot like that one, what direction was the sun rising from where you were positioned? All your shots were really spectacular. thanks for sharing them.

    Gil

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  28. I am stunned in regards to the highlights recovered in the Bandon Beach landscape shot. I use recovery all the time for my RAW shots but never recover that much detail. I see you brought the exposure way down as well- which I rarely do, and yet the overall shot is not overly underexposed that I would have thought at -2 stops.
    When is LR 3 coming out? (lol- just kidding!)

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  29. Hi Matt, great examples. I liked Cape Blanco lighthouse at sunset most.
    I noticed underscore in your RAW file names. Does it give you any advantage to use RAW in Lightroom?

    And please, keep shooting videos with Before and After examples.

    Thanks, Alex

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  30. Thanks for sharing this way with the Before/After. Could you please also include the LR histogram next time? :-)

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  31. Numbers 1 & 2 are my favorites. Maybe #2 alittle more. I also like the lightroom settings. Thank you for sharing.

    Tom

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  32. Hi Matt, really enjoyed the Lightroom screenshots, particularly like a couple of other people how much you can use the recovery slider which I often try to avoid. Would be interested in seeing the histogram too after the changes.

    Favourite would have to be between the Lighthouse and the Falls pictures.

    Chris

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  33. Thanjs for sharing these with the LR screen info. Very cool. Impressive images as always.

    Gus

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  34. I love how you did before and after! Keep going with it Matt, I am really diggin’ it! Maybe with a tiny description in with each one giving us an idea of what your thinking as well as local adjustments. Big fan of this!

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  35. Full credit for posting before and after photos, it would be great to see more photographers do this, but I bet a load would be afraid to as they like to give the impression they always “get it right in camera” and don’t require any of this “Photoshop” trickery to overcome problems during capture.

    Johm

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  36. Hey Matt,

    SUPER post and really awesome photos! I love your before and after photos they have taught me a lot. Now that you have posted the screen shot of the final slider adjustments, it REALLY helps. Please do this more often! I also learn a lot just critiquing your photos … just beautiful work! My favorites are the Falls and the Light house.

    Thanks again for sharing … awesome!

    Dennis

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  37. My faves: Bandon Beach Sunset, Another Sunrise and Another Sunset. Thanks for showing us before and after! Nice to know that not everything comes out of the camera perfectly for others too, not just me ;-)

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  38. These are incredible! Do you know of any workshops/classes happening in Denver?

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  39. Matt,
    Great shots! Love the Lighthouse and the Falls! Thanks for all the advice and help you give on your site.

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  40. Matt – I have no idea how I missed your announcement for an Oregon workshop – I would have really liked to have popped over for the weekend.

    Your Bandon photos are quite nice. Glad to see that the weather cooperated a bit for your visit / workshop.

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  41. Matt,
    My favorite is the Brandon Beach, portrait one. Thanks for giving us the before and after with the LR settings. I tried looking at the original and guess what I would have tried to do. This was a great way to see your photography and and see how LR can dramatically change pictures. This will help in judging my own “before” shots as to their possibilities with some LR work.

    Thanks.

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  42. Hi, lovely shots, but I’m confused over the lighthouse one … it looks great after your changes, but have you given us the full story?

    It looks like the right of the picture has been darkened, to bring attention back over to the left side, and what happened to the person approaching the lighthouse on the very left of the original !?

    Gary

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Gary,
      Nope. I’m lying to you :)
      The blacks, Clarity, Vibrance, and vignetting are what give the deepening color to the photo. The person on the left was cloned out using the Spot Removal tool which is why you see them in the before image.

      Matt

      Post a Reply
  43. Matt, first off, thanks for the before and after posts. It’s great to get a bit more insight on your work flow, and to also see how easy it is to make a good photo a great photo (no offense meant there!). I did notice a few occassions where you used the Black levels instead of Constrast. That’s a really good idea, and i underuse that slider. As far as my fav, i’d have to say the Sunset. I really like the falls, too, but there’s just a bit too much vignetting on the right side for my taste. All great shots, though. Thanks again for everything!

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  44. Hi Matt,

    I’ve know you as a great trainer and a really good photographer so far, but having read the story of the lighthouse picture over at Glyn Dewis site (http://glyndewisblog.com/) I can only say ‘Wow!’. You did great there and obviously you’ve made someone very happy. And it truly is a great shot too.

    Cheers,

    Torsten

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