Taking the photo is just part of the process. You have to develop it as well. These days, we have it easy… developing a photo simply means making a series of edits so that the image reflects your vision. I took a very flat picture of Windansea Beach in San Diego at sunset in February. Live, the scene was great, with lots of colors and drama. However, the camera lacked the dynamic range of our eyes, so it renders the image quite flat. Part of that is in on purpose on my part in order to preserve as much of the details as I could before I developed it. Here’s what came out of my camera that day:
And here’s the final picture after I’ve “developed” it in Adobe Lightroom. The difference is like day & night.
The best part though is that it’s not that difficult to do and takes very little time once you’ve mastered the technique. Take a look at how I did it in this video: