Re-exploring my Peggy's Cove shot / by Andrew Dacey

As part of my explorations of Luminar, I wanted to take another look at my Peggy's Cove shot from earlier in the year. I'd shared my previous editing steps for that shot on this blog already, and it was the start of a move to a more heavily post-processed style that I seem to be moving toward with my Florence shots and using Luminar. I'm pleased with these results, and I feel like it's an evolution of my style.

For the Peggy's Cove shot, I'd originally edited the photo in Lightroom, touched it up in Photoshop for removing some of the garbage in the water, and then finally applied a dramatic effect using Macphun's Intensify. Because of the heavier edit, as well as using another Macphun product I thought it would be interesting to see how I would approach things today in Luminar.

It's important to note that I deliberately don't look at the old image while I'm working on a re-edit. As much as this exercise is an exploration of a new tool, I'm also using it as an opportunity to let my style change and to see how I chose to process the images today. I have a memory of what the original edit looked like, but otherwise, try to approach things from the perspective of what do I feel the image needs, and where do I want to take it? What this means is that my comparisons are deliberately meant not to be as close a match as possible. While that might be interesting if you wanted to pixel peep, for me it's far more about how is my style changing and how using a different tool can influence the results.

I've mentioned before that I feel like editing images in Luminar creates a more organic workflow for me. What I mean by that is that Luminar has certain tools at hand that Lightroom doesn't. Similarly, there are some tools that Lightroom has, or work differently than Luminar. What this does for me is it presents me with opportunities that I might not have thought to explore otherwise. If I'm in Lightroom and want to apply effects, then I need to open Photoshop or another external editor. If I've already opened the image in Luminar, then I've already crossed that hurdle, so then having a filter like image radiance is right in front of me. Similarly, even in Photoshop, I have to think to use a plug-in or how to achieve the effect with other tools. I don't want to say that Luminar is a "better" tool, but by having some of these options immediately at hand, it's leading me in new directions that I might not have explored.

In the case of the Peggy's Cove image, I've taken it in a very different direction. The tones are very different, and I've gone for a softer approach to the sky and water, whereas in the original I went for a sharper approach. The one area I would explicitly call better is the details of the buildings and rocks. I pushed those quite far in the earlier edit, with multiple stages applying sharpening, and the fine details fall apart a bit when you zoom into 100%, whereas in the Luminar edit I feel that I've achieved a similar appearance of fine details without the artefacts at close examination.