I get bunches of emails asking about my workflow in Adobe Lightroom so I decided to put together a quick step by step tutorial.
The shot for this example was taken on a road trip out to Calendon, Ontario. A few people I know kept telling me about a geological feature in the village called the Badlands...I'm sure there is a correct name for it but it's so named because nothing can grow directly on it.
On the way back to Toronto I caught this view out the passenger window and pulled over to take a shot. For the gear hounds the settings were:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
50mm lens at F11
Shutter Speed at 1/50th of a second
I didn't choose these settings for any particular reason..the camera was set that way from something I shot previously. I adjusted the shutter speed for the exposure.
Once the file was imported into Lightroom I tweaked it as follows:
1) Lowered the exposure slider to -0.97
2) Raised the Recovery slider to +15
3) Raised the Fill slider to +45
4) Raised the Blacks slider to +21
5) Raised the Brightness slider to +81
6) Raised the Contrast slider to +81
7) Raised the Clarity slider to +60
8) Raised the Vibrance slider to +82
That got me into the general ballpark. A slight adjustment to the White Balance at (5100 with a +1 Tint) put me at 95% for a decent print.
I wanted the Fall colors to pop though and used the HSL/Color/B&W panel to get even closer.
Since I really only wanted specific colors brighter and not (more) saturated I did the tweak using only the HSL sliders for (Orange, Yellow & Blue) at +30, +30 and +18 respectively. You will need to adjust those to suit the image your working on.
The final step in to sharpen for Web Display or Print. Depending on the substrate (Print material) your using and the Printer itself...you may have to raise or lower the brightness further.