Edit Like a Pro! - 3 - Light Trails on O'Connell Street | Joe Houghton | Skillshare

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Edit Like a Pro! - 3 - Light Trails on O'Connell Street

teacher avatar Joe Houghton, Passionate about business and photography!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. 1. Opening titles

    • 2. 2. Edit Like a Pro! Series promo

    • 3. 3. Introduction to our image

    • 4. 4. Selecting images to export into PhotoShop

    • 5. 5. Combining our images in PhotoShop

    • 6. 6. Finding the new merged file in Lightroom

    • 7. 7. Editing our merged image

    • 8. 8. Fixing verticals with the Transform tab

    • 9. 9. Changing the Crop

    • 10. 10. Basic panel adjustments

    • 11. 11. Tone Curve & Sharpening

    • 12. 12. Final Touches

    • 13. 13. Thanks for watching!

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About This Class

In the 3rd of this series on editing night photos, we take a look at a great technique to create amazing light trails images, by combining several light trails shots into a single stunning image!  Selecting our images in Adobe Lightroom, we then export them into PhotoShop, and with a simple bit of magic using layers and a blend mode adjustment, create a composite from 4 separate shots which has a real wow factor!

Anyone can do this - the steps are really easy for follow, so please join me for a fascinating look behind the scenes of creating this shot - "Light Trails on O'Connell St Bridge" in Dublin, Ireland.


Meet Your Teacher

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Joe Houghton

Passionate about business and photography!


I'm passionate about helping you improve your business & photography skills.

I've worked in global business for 20 years, and for the past 12 years taught at one of the world's top business school, and my business classes will introduce you to some useful and practical tools to help you plan and run your businesses and projects better.

I also run a photography training company. We all love capturing those wonderful moments, and whatever your camera or skill level, I can help you make better images and have fun doing it! I'm also an Adobe Lightroom Certified Expert, so as well as tips on taking your photos, I'll also share how to best use Lightroom to post-process and turn them into awesome images!

Join my classes and bring your business & photography skills up t... See full profile

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1. 1. Opening titles: I want to know how to edit your night shots like a pro. How to bring attention to subtle details of your shot. I'm Joe Hatton. Let me show you how it's really simple to do. By the end of this class, you'll know how to combine several light trail images into one stunning shot. Fix wonky verticals and clone out, distracting element on when to make global versus local adjustments. So let me show you how it's really simple to do. Click the Enroll button now. 2. 2. Edit Like a Pro! Series promo: Hi that this is a short at it tutorial using adobe like room, which is part of a Siri's that I've put together based on a night shoot that I did with some students in Dublin recently on the keys off the River Liffey. So as you can see from these three shots, this this Siris of of addict tutorials takes you through three very different shots that were taken during the night on shows you how the shots were taken on then how they were edited into their final forms, as you can see them here. So the 1st 1 is the Beckett Bridge at it, where we bring out the sky on DWI do an HDR high dynamic range. So we composite 37 shots together. T get this effect The middle one, the Navy on the keys. So bringing out the detail, doing some cloning work to clean up some mess on on his cap. Onda adjusting white balance on. Then on the right hand side, the light trails on O Connell Street Bridge, which again is a composite off a number of different shots where the light trails from different vehicles were brought together in photo shop using a blend mode on DSA. Um, layering so very simple techniques. Very easy to do. So if you watch the tutorials and follow along with me, I'll show you how to achieve thes looks yourself. I will also include the original raw files for the shots as part of the tutorials, so you can use those in light room yourself, or you can apply the same techniques to your own photos. So I hope you enjoy the tutorials. Look out for the other ones in the Siri's. If you just found one of them on any questions, feel free to drop me a line or an email. I'd be it be great to hear from you. 3. 3. Introduction to our image: So I'm in light room on. I've imported a set of shots that I took when we did a photo walk around the Dublin Keys. Ah, a couple of nights ago. So, as you can see as I scroll down, we started just before sunset on. Then we're getting dark and dark shots as we as we go through the night. And I've tried different techniques during the evening. But the one that I want to show you in this video, And if you watch some of the other videos, I will take some some other shots from from the same shoot on show you how to edit those. But in this video, I want to concentrate on the traffic trails. Andi, show you, You know, an edit of those traffic trails, but also, uh, quite a useful little technique that you can use to really improve the quality off your traffic trail images by stacking multiple images on top of one another, so that rather than just getting one bus or a couple of cars going past in your image, you can combine multiple instances of different traffic trails, um, on the same background, so relatively simple to do you would typically set your tripod up on compose your seen on. If we have a look here, I'm on. Um, I'm on a Connell Street bridge here, looking towards Trinity. As I move through these different images as one, there's a 2nd 1 There's 1/3 1 We can see that because the tripod hasn't moved at all. I can just move between these images, and I can see the individual traffic trails on. What we're going to do now is we're going to, and there's a slightly different angle. Eso I've moved the tripod and there and there and there. So these Airil separate images from the same place. So what we can do is we can take those different images on. We can stack them, weaken, superimpose them on top of each other and use a special blending mode in photo shop, the light and blending mode, which will basically just bring the brighter elements of the picture through and let them show through. So that's what we're going to do now on. Then we'll do a little edit on the shot 4. 4. Selecting images to export into PhotoShop: So if I press g to go back to the grid view, I can now choose the shots that I want from from this set. So I think if I double click here So let's let's find all the ones from this particular set that I want so that that's the previous set, so we'll start here. So I'm looking at, um, 8175 So 12 three for maybe not that one. Well, that one. Okay, so So maybe the four shots on. Then there's this one of the so oppressed g again. So I want those four shots, so I'm gonna hold the shift key down. And now, if I click on this, it's going to select all four of these. And then I don't want the this guy who's in the foreground. But this shut is again quite a nice one with the Swiss show. I'm going to choose that as well. So command and click Select that one as well. So now I'm just going to bring my left panel in, um so that you could on the top panel. There we have. So I now have selected the shots that I want to use. So I now go to photo editing. And now you can see all the different programs that I've got installed as add ins to light room on. What I'm gonna do is go right down to the bottom and open these shots is layers in photo shop. So I click on that. And what that's going to do is a photo shop isn't already open. It will open photo shop, and then it will load those those six images into photo shop a separate layers. So here we are on. Now, this is going to take a few seconds, so I'll probably just speed this up. 5. 5. Combining our images in PhotoShop: Okay, so we finished loading our shots into photo shop and you can see over on the layers palette . Here we have five separate shots stacked on top of each other, so at the moment we can actually only see the top shot. So if I turn off the bottom shots, nothing's happening. You can see because they don't show through it all. So what we need to do is we need to select these four top shots. Andi. We now need to change the blend mode for these top players from normal to lighten and watch what happens to the main picture, as I press like. Okay, so what's happening now is that the lighter parts of the shots are showing through. And now, if I turn off the bottom or any of the individual shots, you can see the parts of each shot that are contributed. If you like to the composite image by each of the shots. So it's quite easy now to t play around with this and perhaps, you know, just adjust it and say, Well, maybe I don't want that middle shot in the in the shop because at the moment that middle shot is adding a lot more white lines up here, which perhaps is just going to make things too much. So if I turn the middle shut off, then that might just give me a little bit more clarity. But where is you? See? I want to keep that because that's giving me the lovely swish at the top here. The 2nd 1 is, is adding just a little bit more detail down here. That's fine. The top one, you know, that's an important one. So that's give it. That was a bus coming past here so you can see the the high lines just here and then the top line. The top line is giving more car trails on its giving that nice white trail up there, which are quite like that's a little bit of definition in the in the sushi is, so I'm going to go with just showing those four. So now what I do is if I select all the layers and then command and E and that that flattens the image so that takes all those layers and it just gives me one image, which is then going to be a lot smaller to save than if I'd left all the layers intact. Because if you save and you stay with all the layers, it makes for a huge image on I only really want one image. So I'm gonna drop this back into light room now on, then do some editing on on it. So I've got my one layer. I'm not going to go file Save and photo shop will now, But in the bottom left hand corner, you can see it's saving that file to my hard drive on. It will give it a new name, so it's given it the name. 2016 11 19 Make 1 75 dash edit docked. If so, my original files were DMG files. But the file that is output from this process in photo shop is a tiff file, and it has the dash edit. I'm suffix in the file name so I can now just close that, um, window. And if I come back into light room, then there's my tiff file sitting in with my other files 6. 6. Finding the new merged file in Lightroom: Now, if you do this and you can't see the new file the tiff file, when you come back into your shots, just check down here that the sort has file name quite often. The sort by default is on capture time. And if it's on captured time, then this file was wasn't captured at the same time as the other shots. Vote shops just made it so it doesn't actually stack the new image with ones that it was taken from, if you like. But if you change that to file name, then the way that that photo shop is naming the files means it will appear alongside the shots in the right sequence. So now I've got my shot. I can double click on it and I can shoot this left hand tab down on. We can now go and perhaps do some some editor 7. 7. Editing our merged image: So in the library module, the first thing I'll do is, um I'll just keyword it. So I've already put a few key words in when I imported this set because this was done on a photo walk in Dublin so you can see some of those key words there. But what I'm going to do now is I'm going to add in some other key words so you can see, like trails is a key would have used before because as I start typing it, it came up, um o Connell Street. So I just press Oh, and there's O Connell Street, so I can just select it and hit Enter It saves me typing it all in again on That's probably enough for now. So I'm happy with my keyword. I can also look at down here on its its offering me other suggestions. Um, so none of those are the suggestions that are blanked out. Apply to the shot. The ones that are showing as white are already in my keywords list, so I don't need to select those, so that's fine. I come down a bit further than to the metadata panel, and I want to apply a preset. And I have a preset set here for Joe Hart in 2016. And when I apply that preset, it's going to put a lot of my copyright information into the I P T. C data, which is stored alongside the photo. Now, that stuff was was applied to most of the original shots. But because this is a new shot, that photo shop is just created. I need to apply my copyright information to it as well. So here we are on now I'm going to change the title. I just titled everything in that shoot evening on the keys to start with. So I'm going to just call this one light trails on Connel Street Bridge. Okay, tackles. That's fine. Okay, Andi, everything else in here, I don't need to worry about for now, so I can now go off into the develop module 8. 8. Fixing verticals with the Transform tab: so I'm doing just for now. I'm going to turn off my left hand panel. So I've got more room to work on my shot on. We're in the basic tab on. I'm going to start doing my basic develop now the first thing I'm going to do my My lines aren't quite vertical. You can see on the edge of the picture. The Heineken Building there isn't isn't quite vertical. And here the line isn't vertical. So first thing I want to do before I do anything else is go down to the Transform tab. Now I can try the vertical option and we'll see whether that gives me what I want. It's not bad, but it's not perfect. You can see. Look, I've still gotten non vertical lines where I want them. So what I'm going to do instead of that is I'm going to use the manual selection. So I click on the little upright barker here, and this allows me to draw lines on the picture. So let's find a vertical line. So if I take the edge of of this, um, window and you can see I've got the magnifying glass so I can select precisely the top corner of that window on. I'm gonna move down and you can see the line. So I'm going to move down to the bottom of this window below it and put my cursor there and I'm staying too light room. That's a vertical line. So that's my first vertical line on. I also need to give it a second vertical line s O that it conduce. It's magic. So I'm going to choose this building here. I'm gonna choose the edge of the building, and I'm going to draw a vertical line down the edge of that building, too. That and immediately I release on on that particular line. Now it's got those two lines. It makes everything vertical, so that's fine. And then you just click on the little done button down on the bottom to make those vertical lines disappear. Andi, I've set up my shot much better 9. 9. Changing the Crop: now. Next thing I will typically do is is I will go into the crop overlay tool so I can either press on the little button here or I can press on the r button, which is the short cut. And that brings up the crop overlay on the The original ratio is okay, but for this one, I want to slightly more panoramic crop. So I'm gonna go for 16 by nine panoramic crops. So I choose that here so you can see I'm losing some of the bottom and some of the top, and now I can click and drag the photo in that. So I want all of the top. Um, but I just want to minimize this road frontage, if you like in the shot. So that's I'm happy with that so I can click on. OK, Andi, Now I've got the image that I actually want to work with. Um, just looking at that again, I don't really know whether I just need that smidgen of a building in on the left hand side . So I'm gonna press are again and I'm just going to drag in from the left very slightly. It'll it'll shrink slightly down from the top and the bottom as well, while I do that. So there. Now I'll just read, Pull my shut up to the top like that there were on then that just gets rid of that slightly distracting element on the very left hand side. Press enter again and we're back into edit. 10. 10. Basic panel adjustments: So I'm going to go back up to the basic tab and let's have a little look at this Now the hissed a gram which shows is the range of tones in the shot is saying that we're find pretty much on the left hand end. We've we've not really lost too much detail there on the left hand end on the detail that we are losing if we go to total black is just very small elements of black So I'm gonna leave that Okay, But we've got definite white clipping on the right. So first thing I'm gonna do is just just pull the the exposure back a little bit and just see what happens to the shot. I don't want to darken the exposure too much because I'm gonna lose the buildings, but I can maybe just pull it back. Just, you know, 10.3 of a stop there you can see minus 0.3 just gives me a little bit more detail in the buildings and darkens off this stuff of it. But I've still got white clipping. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna pull the highlights down, so watch what happens When I pull the highlights down, it's just dampening off the white and you see as I pull the highlight slider to the left, watch the hissed a gram at the top on. It's bringing back the whites into the frame of the hissed a gram, if you like. So even though this looks totally white on the picture, it's not actually blown out white. It's it's just the white of the headlights, and that's that's absolutely fine. So I think I'll leave my highlights there because that's leaving my hissed a gram just nicely spread across the whole of the width of the history. Graham. Now my shadows, um, sometimes with a shot like this, where I've got an almost black sky, Um, but there's not really a lot of color in the sky. There's no real cloud detail or whatever, so I may just trapped, dropping the shallows just a little bit on making that sky go completely black, which is about there. I just think it sets off the colors of the lights and the buildings a little bit more if you if you fade completely to black, that's just my own particular taste. Now, one other things that very often works very well with these light trail shots, especially in an urban environment like this is boosting the clarity up. So let's try the clarity slider and boost the clarity. And just look what happens to the buildings, as I do that on also to the to the light trails themselves. They kind of they get a lot more definition and details. I wouldn't recommend being this heavy handed with clarity in a standard landscape shot, because it can really make things look overdone. But in a shot like this, which is an impact shot, I'm gonna push this up to about 45 48 there, er, aan die like that. Look, it's really brought the buildings into much more definition, and it's given me a bit more definition on the light trails as well. On the last thing that I'm probably going to do here in the best basic panel is just have a play with the vibrance because the vibrance, sometimes we'll give you a little bit more color. Um, then you were getting there so I can just bring the vibrance up. Um, because again, it's really bringing out the the kind of oranges on the shot, which which I quite like. I can play with the color temperature of the shutters, a hole up here. So if I want a cooler look, I can go this way and just pull it slightly to the left. If I wanted much warmer look backing, I can pull it the other way. The cool look actually looks pretty good because the building's air going a little bit cooler. But I've still got the color here in the lights, so that's quite nice. I think. I think I'm pretty happy with that. I don't think I need to really play with saturation. I can just leave that where it is. So I want to just zero wise saturation or any other slider. I just double click on that middle bit on it, pops it back to zero 11. 11. Tone Curve & Sharpening: now the tone curve. I've quite often just just go in here and just just see whether changing the contrast from medium to medium or strong, you know, just gives it to any extra month. So that's no change. And then that's strong contrast. Yeah, I'm gonna leave it. It's strong again. It just gives it a little bit more edge, a little bit more clarity. I'm not going near hue, saturation and luminous and color. I'm not using split toning for this. Next one is my detail panel. I'm going to add a little bit of sharpening. So about 70 or 80 of sharpening on then I only really wanted to sharpen the buildings on on . I really want to bring the texture out of this of this lovely, wet tarmac. So I'm going to use the masking slider. So I'm on a Mac. So the cult key as I hold that down and then slide the masking slider as I start to see areas of black. The black areas are where the sharpening that I chose in the top slider here doesn't get applied. So if I slide this way over to the to the right there, you can see the sharpening is really now only being applied to those areas of the shop that is showing is white in the mask here. Eso It's a great way to take the sharpening off areas of the shop that you don't want to apply sharpening to like sky, for instance, or flat parts of a building where you don't want to bring the texture out. So I'm gonna leave that there. I don't need to play with noise reduction because I was shooting the d 8 10 on ice, So 64. So I was on a very low I so so I know that my blacks are completely clean. Eso I don't need to do any noise reduction. 12. 12. Final Touches: lens corrections. I can remove chromatic aberration. I always just check that by default. I don't need to enable profile corrections now because I've have applied the profile correction myself using the verticals. But if this was a shot that I was just coming into that had been taken on the camera, if I checked, enable profile corrections on, then the make which of my lenses, which are Nick on, then it would pick up that this had been shot with as the 14 to 24. Actually, I wasn't using the 14 to 24. I was using the 16 to 35 milk at 16 mil. Um, so it's It's not finding that in its list, so it's taken the nearest one. Okay, so you can see it makes a little bit of a difference to the profile. But to be honest on this one, I think it looks better without the profile correction. So I'm going to leave that unchecked. The last thing I might do is in the effects panel is just add a slight vignette. Just to draw the eye into the middle slightly thing with vignettes is you. You should almost never know they're there, So the amount kind of minus 14 about minus 10 15 is just a very subtle nudge for the for the eye of the viewer into the center of the frame. And that is, Ah, shot updated. So if I just close that a minute so we have a look at the whole thing. I press the L button a couple of times for lights out. Here's a nice little trick when you have been doing and edit, and you just want to compare what the shot looked like before you did the edit with what it looked like after the edit. The backslash key, not the forward such the backslash key. If you press and hold that down as I'm doing now, that gives you the before the edit shot on, then take your finger off the backslash key, and that gives you the edited shot. So the backslash key is a great way of just switching between the before and the after, and you can see that the changes we've made have made a fair bit of difference to that shot , which was which was nice to start with, but which is a lot better now. 13. 13. Thanks for watching!: