I thought some of you might be interested to see what we teach in terms of image processing on the workshops. Here is a series of the same image from basic capture through final output with processing comments along the way. I used C1 for the raw processing and Cs4 for the final localized adjustments. A comparable result can be achieved in LR with its onboard local adjustments, but you would then need CS to do the independent color edits I perform in C1. The image is from the harbor at Port Orford.
First image is pretty much how it looked to everybody shooting that afternoon, and why several folks didn't even bother to take it:
Next is the same image with my basic recipe of adjustments applied in C1 using a style I made for this camera (P45+):
Here I made a WB and saturation change in C1, forcing the clouds to some color other than neutral:
That screwed up the sky and foreground a bit, but gave the clouds some color I could work with. I then went into C1's color editor to tweak individual colors and saturations, further enhancing reds in the clouds, warming (yellow-orange) the rocks while reclaiming (cooling) the blue portions of the sky to achieve this result --- which I think at the same time demonstrates the power of C1's color editor. Note that the only difference between the image above and this one are the three color-selection changes I described above using the C1 color editor!:
Finally, I took the above file into CS4 and applied some localized brightness and contrast edits and added a light sunset gradient layer over everything to "create" the final version presented here -- note I over-cooked these local adjustments a bit to make what I did in CS more obvious. (Note that with a LR>CS workflow, one would probably make the localized adjustments I make here in LR, then probably do the specific color edits I did above and add the sunset gradient in CS as layered workflow.):
Not that I'd say the final has taken a dog image and made it into a stellar print image, but I do think it took a plain image and made it at least calendar-worthy. I think it shows how much can be done with some forethought applied to composition and content at capture followed up with some basic processing techniques.
Hope you find it interesting,