Lightroom and Photoshop

Lightroom and Photoshop Tutorial – Edit a Dock at Sunrise

In Lightroom, Photography, Photoshop, Videos by Diana K11 Comments

It’s exhilarating to wake up before dawn and be rewarded with a beautiful sunrise to shoot. In this Lightroom and Photoshop tutorial, follow along as I edit a beautiful dock at sunrise from start-to-finish.

Here are the step-by-step instructions to make it easier for you to follow along with this Lightroom and Photoshop tutorial.

Lightroom and Photoshop Tutorial Cheat Sheet

  1. Open the Raw file in Lightroom, and in the Basic panel of the Develop module adjust the Highlights to -50, Shadows to 74.
  2. Press the Alt (Mac: Option) key and drag the Whites slider to the right till you start to see highlights appear ( I adjusted the Whites to 15). This will give you a good White point.
  3. Press the Alt (Mac: Option) key and drag the Blacks slider to the left till you start to see shadows appear ( I adjusted the Blacks to -8). This will give you a good Black point.
  4. Grab the Graduated Filter and draw it over the lower portion of the sky.
  5. Adjust the Exposure to -44, the Highlights to -48, the Temp to 4, and the Tint to 2.
  6. Back in the Basic panel, adjust Clarity to -7
  7. Grab the Brush tool and double-click on the word Effect to reset all sliders for the Brush to 0 and increase Clarity to 39.
  8. Paint over the clouds.
  9. Adjust Clarity to 60, Exposure to -.07, and Contrast to 8.
  10. Grab the Brush tool again and double-click on the word Effect to reset the sliders.
  11. Increase Exposure to .82 and paint over the boats. (turn Aut0 Mask on and outline first, then turn it off and fill it in.)
  12. Increase Exposure to 1.35 and Temp to 22.
  13. Click on New for a new brush and set Exposure to .63 and Temp to 15.
  14. Paint over areas you want to brighten, such as the dock and other boats.
  15. Click on the circle on the boat in the foreground to activate that brush and adjust Exposure to 1.05 and Clarity to 19
  16. Open the Detail panel and zoom in.
  17. Adjust Amount to 72, Radius to 1.3, and Detail to 36
  18. Open the Lens Corrections panel and turn on Remove Chromatic Aberration and Enable Profile Corrections.
  19. Open the Effects Panel and Adjust Amount to -19, Midpoint to 14 and Feather to 100.
  20. Go to the Photo menu and select Edit in Adobe Photoshop cc.
  21. In Photoshop add a new blank layer and grab the Spot Healing brush (J).
  22. Make sure Content-Aware and Sample All Layers are turned on.
  23. Paint over any distractions you’d like to remove.
  24. Switch back to Lightroom and in the Basic panel boost Exposure to .60 and Whites to 11.

Download the Raw File

Click Here to download the RAW file to follow along with this Photoshop and Lightroom tutorial.


  1. Tom

    I don’t have Lightroom but do have photoshop CC6. I don’t understand using Lightroom as I start my workflow with Camera Raw [in photoshop] make adjustments which to me seem to be what you do in Lightroom and then use Photoshop and then OnOne 10 to finish my photo workflow. Is what I am doing the same? As a retired person can’t afford to buy Lightroom so stick with what I have.

    1. Matt K

      Hi Tom. Yes, you can use Camera Raw to do the same adjustments I did in Lightroom. Not sure if you knew, but Adobe has a package where you get Lightroom and Photoshop for 9.99 per month. It’s a great deal and a great duo for your workflow.

  2. Dan Wizner

    How do I open the raw file in lightroom?
    When I open it it opens in photoshop.

  3. Ron

    wow sure glad you left your cheat sheet to help me in learning lightroom . l do have both lightroom and photoshop on subscription. Ron

  4. Carol R

    Excellent refresher. Saw this originally, but reminded of it again through your email. The written steps very helpful.

  5. Massi Takeda

    Regarding spot healing in Photoshop why do you creat a new layer? I thought we can apply the spot healing brush straight to the background layer.

    1. Matt K

      Hi Massi – You can do it either way. One is somewhat destructive meaning you can’t really go back. Using a layer gives a little more flexibility in case you want to change it later. Personally, I probably do it on the same layer most of the time because I usually wouldn’t want to go back and bring spots back in but I must have been in the “mood” to use a layer that day. Different ways to do it – same results 🙂

  6. M. Takeda

    Thank you very much. To me it is very critical to be able to communicate with instructor like yourself as we always have something we fail to understand in video instruction. If not the video becomes incomplete and not so useful, which we trust is not your intention.

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