Earlier this year, travel and documentary photographer Mitchell Kanashkevich released Understanding Post-Processing: The Video Series. Making the Most of Your Images in Adobe Lightroom 5.
I got to know Mitchell’s work just over five years ago after reading an article on David duChemin’s blog. His first eBook was called Understanding Post-Processing and contained very practical information on how to post-process your images using Lightroom. In this first excellent publication, he gave us the opportunity to look over his shoulder as he applied techniques and functionalities within Lightroom to enhance his images. It certainly was one of the better eBooks I have bought back then. Since then, Mitchell has published several other eBooks, some of them in collaboration with Digital Photography School. Later, he launched Eyevoyage, a new company he co-founded, which also publishes his new and future eBooks and videos.
Understanding Post-Processing: The Video Series contains 10 video tutorials, with a total duration of approximately 150 minutes, in which 10 different images are post-processed in depth. These unprocessed RAW images are also part of the deal and are downloadable once you buy this video package. The video files can be watched online at Vimeo (password protected) or downloaded as well.
The content of this video series is roughly based on his first eBook mentioned above. Since 2009, Lightroom has been changed significantly, and lots of new features have been added. Those of you using Lightroom 5 will get the most out of these videos, for sure, although the techniques Mitchell explains can also be applied using other photo software.
“I think it’s better to finish off your work with the global adjustments, before you move on to the local ones.”
Mitchell starts with several rather ‘simple’ images in which he introduces the different techniques he became skilled in over the years. Gradually more complicated alterations are necessary, and at the end he combines some of these in the final images. He teaches you how he deals with specific issues so you understand why he prefers a certain technique over another. With each image you learn some key lessons which are listed at the beginning of each video. Thanks to his unprocessed RAW images you can follow along easily. However, what I recommend you to do is to post-process the image first, before watching the video. Afterwards you can compare his and your final versions, and you will definitely understand much better where the differences in both versions are coming from.
For my taste, some of his images are too saturated and too contrasty. I would post-process certain photos differently in order to fit them to my own style and vision.
Over the years, Lightroom has become the major tool for many amateur and professional photographers. Almost every technique Mitchell talks about, I used in the darkroom when printing black-and-white images. First, you started with a neutral print (now the RAW file), next you analysed the possible changes which had to be made, and then you dove into the darkroom to start working on that final print. A similar process is applicable for Lightroom.
I certainly learned a few useful tricks, like working more precisely with the Radial Filter, whether or not combined with the Clarity slider. To my surprise, these are two functionalities I have hardly touched since their introduction because I mostly use selections in Photoshop to dodge and burn instead of using the Radial Filter.
The novice user who just starts to discover the post-processing capabilities of Lightroom will undoubtedly absorb every minute of this video series. On the other hand, some topics will be repetitious for the more advanced user. If you are already familiar with some of his previous eBooks, there is a slight overlap, but nothing much to worry about.
You can buy Understanding Post-Processing: The Video Series for $89.90 (€70) at the Eyevoyage webshop.