When I say processed for intensity, clarity, and sharpness in Lightroom, I mean that I have applied a combination of plus Shadow (to fill shadows), minus Blackpoint adjustment (to intensify colors and increase apparent contrast), plus Clarity (to increase local contrast and emphasize detail), and a very small amount of plus Vibrance (which increases or decreases the saturation of primary colors in an image). Finally I sharpen the image using the Sharpen-scenic preset.
80% of my images get this treatment and I have saved the settings to a preset so I can apply them with one click. 🙂 It is my “standard” preset.
If I want a more HDR effect, I use more plus Shadow and minus Blackpoint, and increased plus Clarity and Vibrance, and a bit of minus Highlight. This has become my “hyperreal” preset.
( Download HyperReal Lr preset. To install drag to your Lightroom Presets Folder. (In preferences>presets> choose “Show Presets Folder”)
I also have a preset for phone shots.
On rare occasions I will use the selective HSL tool to pick up a single tone/color (generally using luminance).
And on even more rare occasions I will use what I call the dueling “graduated filter effect” …drawing one GFE down from the top to darken the sky, and one up from the bottom to lighten and clarify the foreground.
Finally, mostly for forest floor macros, where the brighter background is distracting, I will use the “local adjustment brush” to paint in the background darker and softer (plus exposure, minus clarity). I set the brush to a medium flow, so I can paint over areas to build up the effect I want.
I very rarely spend more than 2 minutes per image on processing. Most are processed with a preset in a matter of seconds.