Photo Editing in Lightroom: Make Your Cityscapes Stand Out

Take your photo editing game to the next level with Jamal Burger (@jayscale) in this 50-minute deep dive into his Adobe Lightroom editing process!

In this class, Jamal takes his three favorite selects that he shot in NYC’s Financial District:

  • the lookup
  • the stride-by
  • symmetrical shot

. . . and pulls them into Lightroom for some detailed retouching.

Learn Jamal’s in-depth workflow for editing cityscapes, including cropping, color correcting, vignetting, graduated and radial filters, and more. By the end, you’ll be empowered to help your photos reflect your personal style and how you see the world.

What You’ll Learn

  • Introduction. “Editing is a reflection of how you see things and your personality,” says Jamal Burger. His Adobe Lightroom tutorial will show you how to turn your photographs into highly personalized pieces of art.
  • Symmetry, radial filter, sharpening. You’ll see how Jamal begins his post processing with an image of New York City’s Freedom Tower. He’ll walk you through Lightroom’s basic editing abilities and show you how to brighten parts of a video while shading others for emphasis. You’ll learn how to use the radial filter tool in Lightroom.
  • Contrast, colors, juxtaposition. Jamal will take you through the order in which he uses different Lightroom editing tools. You’ll learn techniques for adjusting clarity, exposure, vibrance, saturation, and contrast. You’ll also explore shadow photography in terms of enhancing contrast and how color plays into a photograph’s overall balance. As he progresses through the editing process, he’ll often remind you that you can always reference your original photo as you edit.
  • Lookup: Exposure, temperature, contrast, highlight clippings. You’ll learn how to balance lights and darks in photographs you take from below, looking up. In these photographs, shadows tend to be heavy. Jamal will demonstrate ways to preserve the shadows that add to a photograph’s narrative structure without obscuring the small details — an important skill that you can also bring to nighttime photography. You’ll then look at other uses for the radial filter and color highlights.
  • Stride-by: Cropping, graduated and radial filters, highlights, tone curve. You’ll learn how to set the scene in a photograph by using a graduated filter. You’ll also play with symmetry by imposing a grid over your photograph and centering the background of your photo instead of the foreground. Contrasting colors will also play a role in this Lightroom tutorial, as will the interplay of graduated and radial filters.
  • Stride-by: Shadows, highlights, vignette. Jamal will elaborate on the opposite-color contrasting he started to discuss in his last lesson. He’ll then move onto incorporating color into your tone curve and adding tints to give your image depth. Viewing your edited photograph in fullscreen will reveal if your photo is the finished product you desire. The fullscreen view may bring up “distracting” elements that do nothing but detract from your photograph.
  • Share your photos. Jamal encourages you to go take the photos you’ll later edit in Adobe Lightroom. You can experiment with stride-by, lookup, and symmetrical shots to practice. Jamal will encourage you to both share photos and look at the photos shared by others as inspiration.


Jamal Burger


Canadian based photographer Jamal Burger shifts focus between the city and sport through his work. Born and raised in Toronto, his surroundings have inspired his black and white perspective. Since 2014, Jamal has been sought out by acclaimed brands such as Jordan, Nike, Apple and more. On a social level, he has amassed a following of over 200 thousand followers organically. His fascination with documenting the now to showcase years down the line has brought him into new, exciting places to expand his perspective and further gain experience in his everyday photography. From Tokyo to New York, Jamal finds his niche in the city, where high energy and constant movement are prevalent. Jamal sees the camera as a means to capturing the fleeing moment in a concentrated, thoughtfully approached manor.


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