Critique welcome & advice on Lightroom adjustments needed

April 1st, 2017
Overall, I was excited about how this shot came out:

I found, though, that the fire in the background made the toy trucks too dark. In Lightroom (which I don't have much experience with), I boosted the shadows to be able to see the trucks better, but then there was so much noise (grain?) in the areas that had been dark, so then I brought down the blacks. I like how that covered up a lot of the noise and the sky is now black (It was dusk when I shot), but then a lot of detail was lost in the trucks' lower halves.

I don't have experience shooting in manual and shot in "P" mode with a continuous shutter, and then I selected the shot in which the fire looked the coolest.

Critiques and suggestions appreciated!
April 1st, 2017
I'm not good with Lightroom, but I played a little...I used the adjustment brush to paint just the trucks, and then adjusedt:

clarity up just a little
exposure (midtones) up a little
Take the temperature just a teeny bit more "blue" helps the grey sections of the plastic pop out a little.
April 1st, 2017
You can also use the adjustment brush to "paint" the area of the shadows you lost and adjust just those shadows. Or do the reverse and darken only the sky if you like the rest of it.
April 1st, 2017
@houser934 @danette Thank you both! I haven't tried using the adjustment brush yet.
April 2nd, 2017

In the develop tab, on the right hand side you will see a round circle (radial filter), this will allow you to make an adjustment to a specific area.

If you select that, you can drag a circled over the area that you want lighter (the trucks). Invert this selection, or else it will effect everything outside of the circle, and make your adjustments to exposure, shadows, etc.
This link may help

When you have finished with your adjustments, you can always reduce the noise. This also done in the develop tab, on the right hand side towards the bottom, click on the detail section. This is were you can sharpen and reduce noise.

Have fun learning Lightroom, it is an amazing program. :)
April 2nd, 2017
You did remember to shoot RAW? I hope your camera allows this. It makes all the difference when submitting to LR. A longer shutter and a wider aperture with a smaller ISO (you did shoot at 1/320 and f/10, try 1/200 and f/8 and you could drop the ISO one stop) would help with the noise.

For small areas, the adjustment brush will work best I find. Make sure you "feather" so the effect is smoothed in at the edges. And especially click "Auto Mask" down at the bottom and keep the center "+" over the area you want to affect. This is magic that keeps the mask where you want it. For large areas, the adjustment brush is a real CPU hog, especially if you have multiple areas under adjustment.
April 2nd, 2017
@deborah63 @frankhymus Thank you! I have a lot to learn. I didn't shoot in RAW, but my camera does allow it. I've been excited so far with how much a few adjustments in Lightroom can improve a photo (but I have made mistakes in over-processing until it looks too artificial). I have just scratched the surface of what Lightroom can do, I guess. It's so much fun to keep learning new things all the time. I have been loving this project and this supportive community. Thanks again.
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