The Shooting Process

I had a few things going in my favour going into this photoshoot. It hadn’t been that long since we’d last had fog around, so I had a pretty good understanding of how to set up the camera and how the scenery would look, It’s surprising how quickly objects melt into the fog, and finally, I was ready for it. Having done a previous shoot in the fog, I had an idea of what I wanted to create. I was focusing on concepts like; Vastness, Obscurity, Eerie, Emptiness, so on. I think it’s really important to have a vision of what you want out of a photoshoot. 

I usually start my edits by cleaning up the image. I have two dust specks on my lens which I have to remove from every picture because I am yet to get it cleaned professionally. I also eventually remove the tree branches on the top right - Just use Lightroom’s spot removal tool for this. This is also when I’d crop, straighten and lens correct the image.


I don’t think there’s any shame in using presets. I’ll usually flick through a couple that I’ve either downloaded from other creators or made myself and pick that I like to use as a starting point. Loads of websites give out demos or free downloads for presets - it’s a great way to get started. I’d recommend looking for film simulation presets for Kodak Portra, Gold or Ilford to get you started.

Basic Corrections

Once I’ve a preset I’ll start to work on basic corrections such as exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows. There’s not much point in me going into detail over these settings as every picture is going to be different. Just move stuff around until it looks like what you have in your head. For me, I’m trying to get quite a dark, gloomy, mysterious vibe. 

Something I do all the time at the moment is lower the clarity of the whole image. I think it makes everything a little more soft, like vintage film photographs often are, and can give a sort of dream like effect. Try it out.

Split Toning

This is where you can get pretty c i n e m a t i c if you want. Split toning allows you to add specific hues to either the highlights or shadows of your picture. Experiment with what looks cool to you. I often add Yellows to my highlights, Reds to my shadows - It really depends on the image.

I never go crazy with the saturation though, only usually around 5 - 15

Local Adjustments

You can start fine tuning your image with the local adjustment tools. I want to create a dark foreground, bright but diffused light source and highlight a focal point in the image - in this case that’s the fence. 

I’d recommend you save your tool parameters into a new custom preset so you can use them again. I use the +Highlights & -Clarity brush above on every light source in my pictures.

And you’re done!

Save your development settings as a new preset then you can apply them to your other images from the shoot to maintain consistency.

You can also set your image as your reference image, allowing you to view it alongside your next image.

Download the preset here:

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