Photo editing…. oh, the possibilities! All of my images start in Lightroom. Usually, not much happens there as far as editing is concerned. That’s not because you can’t get a great edit straight out of LR, but it’s just not how I roll. I wanted to demonstrate a few different editing options for the same image. The first shot was taken today and it’s completely unedited, SOOC. The tones are nice, but it’s definitely plain jane.
SOOC – 85mm, 1/250, f/2.8, 320 ISO
Then, we move on to a colorful edit done strictly in Lightroom. There are two great features in LR (never versions) that give it a leg up as far as RAW editors are concerned – the adjustment brush and the graduated filter. The adjustment brush can be used to soften skin, selectively sharpen, add/subtract spot color, add/subtract spot exposure, etc. It’s no layer mask, but it’s the closest thing LR has to masking features exactly where needed. The graduated filter is key for creating custom vignettes and doing all of the aforementioned, but on a broader scale. I love these features. Achieving a color pop without creating funky skin tones takes a bit more work, by delving into the HSL channels, but it’s certainly doable. Here I had to decrease the reds, oranges and yellows to keep his skin from getting too pinkish/orange.
Edit in Lightroom ONLY
Photoshop is where most of my images land. The control of placing effects *exactly* where wanted and needed is crucial to a custom edit. This edit is much more understated, desaturated and moody… which I think fits quite nicely with the scowl on my love’s face. Deep, rich, poppy, isn’t always the way to go.
Edit in Photoshop
9 times out of 10, I’ll bring an image back into LR from PS and tweak it further. Here, I used the same image as above and simply added to it in LR. I’m not usually a big fan of the split toning feature in LR, but occasionally, it gives that added little something to take an image in a whole new direction. This image had a very light khaki added to the highlights and a light blue added to the shadows to create the tonal change. By adding more contrast, clarity, blacks, fill light and dropping the vibrance and saturation, an even moodier image arose.
Same PS edit from above with additional Lightroom edits added after PS.
Next, a super vibrant, perhaps over the top, edit was created in PS using strictly curves, blending modes and a texture. Easy, fast and certainly colorful.
Photoshop edit with texture added.
And finally, simple black and white. My black and whites are the epitome of simple… gradient map, levels, curves. 1-2-3, done. Actually, in this image, the blurred gradient to the sides of him began to show banding, a common problem when gradients are darkened. To remedy this, I added a small amount of radial blur and masked it onto just the background. Viola! Not more banding.
PS edit of black and white.
A world of possibilities. No actions. Straightforward steps.
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