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Heroic Lightroom

Lesson 18 from: Efficient Lighting & Post-Production

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

18. Heroic Lightroom

Lesson Info

Heroic Lightroom

this is one of my favorite pictures of myself and kevin burdick who's my musician friend that I love ondas on triple skip music but I'm gonna tell you the story of what this is so that you can see what could be done in light room because that's our that's what we're going to talk about here is what we can really do in light room so we this is a christmas party that we did last year and we built a wall and then we cut a hole in the wall and then put the frame on the wall and then you've got this kind of interesting fabric pasted to the wall and then you can go behind the wall and you can sit in front of this little hole and you can do whatever you like there on the ideas that you khun then have people come in and do silly things in front of this on dh then we can um we photograph it so we have the camera on a tripod and take the picture and it's being delivered immediately as we were tethering today or yesterday and the day before it's being delivered to to light room but what's happeni...

ng here is a pre set so if we go to the sea that this is everything that's happened to look it's been cropped and then if we take off the crop you also see that it has a bunch of um see that it's got to burn all the way around it see that if I hold there it's gotta burn it's also got a vin yet so if you go down to the the effects it's gotta post crop vignette on it it's been so I'm going to just reset this so you can see how far it's come so this is what it looked like originally when it shot that's what it looks like but the people who are getting their picture taken and as they leave on the second monitor are seeing that on every shot they never get to see the normal image they see that and they think that's coming out of the camera that's pretty cool and it's just right on the spot so even even if I'm doing something on location and I'm doing like immediate review on a on a photo booth I'm still using picked taj I've picked up I'm still using light room and the reason I'm using light room of course then they're going to pick taj where people can order him but I'm using light room because where am I going to be working on the images when I come home in light room so I wanted to the raw images being delivered to light room shown to the client so they can get excited about it it could be printed from there if I wanted it too or I can take it when I get home I have no work to do because it's already been done by a pre set on the way in and now I can just simply exporting his j peg sent him off to my my partner picked taj and then they can deliver it to the client that's a pretty quick work flow for a photo booth or anything else and and but I'm still using the very best file I'm using a raw image and I'm delivering the client amazing experience because they're seeing it and it's all done in light room now are there other things that I could use yeah absolutely there are other programs that mamie maybe even better at showing the client this or whatever for a photo booth but in the end I would have to bring those images back in the light room and adjust them and then get him out I don't have to do that so I always want the best quality I can get but I want it at the fastest possible pace and that's something that we can do in light room so um we talked about earlier reviewing images on the first day with a client in light room because there are other programs you can use to review images with clients but there's there's a lot of wasted time going back and forth between them and so think very heavily about the idea of using light room for every part of your production including reviewing images including shelling images as they're being shot because in the end if you're going to be working in light room you might as well stay there and it can do it okay so that's that's one thing that we can do in light room automatically and and automate our process of adjusting images okay so let's go into some hero images and let's just talk about things that we can do inside of light room so I'm going to go back to the develop module and I love this image I really I'm haunted by this image and I'm going to give you a second toe look at that and think about that image and then I'm going to show you where it came from a time so think about that image look at it and now I'm going to show you what it wass wow esso let's go back that's what I got out of the image and this is again where it came from so shall we do it again okay so listen there's several things that have to happen to an image but the first thing and I can't I can't say to you enough I can't explain enough this important concept the important concept is pre visualization you have to know from the time you shoot what you're going to do with an image and when I saw this image I was I was teaching a workshop in kentucky in louisville and this is the water plant or the it's something to do with the water company or something and it was right across street from my hotel but I came in and I was going toe go into the hotel and then I was going to go off too and I came up to this and I saw it and it looked to me like an insane asylum type of thing you know like the like the you know the creepy place that's in the show and and I looked at it but I was looking at it in broad daylight where it looked like this but I still looked at it and in my head I was seeing this dark creepy like image that's what I saw but I I only had one opportunity to shoot it because I was coming to the hotel dropping my stuff and going and I didn't know if when I came back I would have what I was seeing in my head I didn't know that when I came back there would be the right light for it or whatever or maybe it would be to let up and it wouldn't look creepy enough but it was soft enough a light that I thought I can really make this look like moonlight I can make it feel dark so what did I do to the image I shot the image so that I had good exposure so I've got the right whites have got nice whites in this here I've got I mean that's it's well shot image then what I had to do is I had to go in and first remove all of these little cones through those so if you go to my by under the setting see some of the cones were away actually I didn't just darkening it so I didn't even have to remove the cones I guess so but I could have removed the cones actually could have come in here but also notice that I have a truck driving up there so the truck doesn't have his headlights on but he needs to if he's driving out there at night doesn't write and notice also these lights aren't on but they need to be on if it's night time so there's a lot of things that had to be done to this image but I wanted to see if I could do it all inside of light room so here's what we do the first thing that we're going to do is we're just going to take it to black and white because it's a black and white image and then we're going to go and find an appropriate um kind of of moody uh uh tone to it so I'm gonna create a scion a type then I can start to adjust the exposure because I wanted to be nice and dark so I can do some ads from darkness to it then I'm gonna may bring the blacks down a little bit maybe I need to bring the shadows back up so we're working on these things and just trying to create the mood that we want out of this once we get the mood then we can start working on everything else so I'm gonna I'm going to bring this up a little bit I want to see so that's starting to feel like kind of moonlight hitting it but now I've got to start getting rid of some of this because you wouldn't see that kind of grass in the moonlight so I'm gonna have to start burning it and I I'm just going toe just grab these and bring him in see that I'm just adding burns a little bit of burned there and bring the burn there and then I also I'm probably going to want to this road needs to stand out a little bit more so now I'm going to take the brush and I'm going to come in with the brush and I'm going to let me tab this out so I get a little bit bigger picture I'm going to go into the brush and I'm going to create I'm going to go to my smart dodge and I'm going to bring this down so that I can get a little bit more detail on that road I want that road to just show up a little bit better so I'm just follow the road out here we go and remember I can always do stuff after the fact so I can really brighten up the road or dark and and see that I'm just going to brighten it up I don't want it to look like it's fake I just wanted to feel like it's reflecting the moonlight a little bit better I have another problem up here I don't like these these things look like mistakes in the sky so I'm gonna I'm gonna zoom into those guys up there see those I don't like those little balls up there so I'm going to turn on my spot tool and I'm gonna decrease the size of the spot tool and I'm going to remove I want the power lines obviously but I don't want those and I'm just gonna line them up so that it still recreates the line so I still want the line in there I just have the line it up so that the line gets put into the peace there and I'm gonna move a little further out do this one here and again this one needs to go across like that and this one needs to go here okay so now we're done with that I'm gonna zoom back out so now I don't have specks in the sky yes they did exist but we're not worried about reality in this shot our way not really ok so now we've got a problem that we've got these big he's got these lights but these lights aren't lit so now what we're going to do is we're going to go into our brush tool and we're going to look for we're going to do a uh where are we going to do turn on lights where does that go lights on there we go okay now my lights on is usually built so that when I'm in color I can create that same effect and I lights usually have a warm glow to them and so I add a little warm glow but if I add that warm glow right now it's going to look yellow and that's going to be ugly so we're going to turn that part ofthe so we're just going to take this down to zero so that there's no color being added and now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna come in at every light has to be in a lit in stages so the first thing that you do when you like something up and notice what's happening is I got the exposure at four so I'm really increasing the exposure bringing the shadows back down so that I don't brighton anything that's a real dark shadow um and I'm going to brighton where the bold would be because the bull was the hottest parts you'd have this like little glow in the center wherever the fire or the glow would be so I'm just going to go like this and brighten that one up and I need to I need to increase the flow of it so that we really brighten it up so I'm just going toe right in this guy up see that so there is my little there's the lightbulb and I got to do it here but it's always tricky to do it on this because it has the the little tool comes in its way so alone shoot if you don't do it right the first time you just going to lead it and do it again here we go okay there we go so I'm gonna brighten it up there's my bowl and then I'm gonna do another one here it's my bulb and I'm in it and I'm doing all of the bulbs at the same time so I'm just kind of scanning there's some more lights right there now I gotta decrease the size of this guy because they're gonna be smaller bulbs I'm gonna put these guys in a little bit more and a little bit more and now I'm going to go to the next ones oh even smaller bulbs and remember they're going to be less they're not going to be quite as bright farther away so I'm gonna have to kind of work on this see that so I've created my bowls now the next thing that I need to do is that I need to create the effect of light so light has a certain effect beyond itself so there's the light that's burning bright and then we're gonna add more to that around it so now I can just kind of do like a glowy thing around the around the bowl bright so I'm going to start here at these little ones and I'm just gonna oh shoot we go okay I'm just gonna just a little bit of a glow around these guys see how it now I'm the case of the light is glowing on there we go see that so there's a hot spot in there but then we're adding a little glow around there so that we can see that it's it's in well it's enlightening the case itself and you'll see it even more so when we come up to these guys I got a whole lot turn off these pins there you go see that so now those things are starting to glow and they get it gets more complicated when you get to these you've got to get those little tips to glow a little bit to there we go so now we've got some glowing going on and now there's one other thing that happens to light and our tow lights and that is that they glow beyond the glass they start to create kind of a fuzzy light source so at that point we have to make a new pin and this pin we're going to go in and create the light that spills from them and so we're going to do the same thing but we're going to do it a little less of a flow so it doesn't quite happen is fast and we're just going to kind of spread the light out a little bit and you'll start to see it wait for it I need a little bit more flow so it starts to glow around them some I'm just circling around them and you'll see you see how it's creating a bit of a kind of see how it's glaring it's almost like you have like I glasses on and you're seeing that kind of flair happening and you gotta be careful because you don't want it to be too obvious either but that glow is a unique signature too dark dark situations with lights that are glaring in your face and then we're going toe go back over here and we're just going toe make these glow these need a lot more but I'm trying to avoid the centre of these things because I don't want them to get too bright and so I just keep working on it they're so now if you zoom back out those air really bright but that's okay because that's we go past the mark and then we pull it back so now we're going to show our pins and now we have different pens that represent different things so I'm going to go to the first pin and I'm just going to drag it back and that I could go to nothing or I could go up and it's going to just kind of increase or decrease I'm gonna go to the next penn and this one I'm going to go down and I can as I go down see I'm lure lowering him and then as I increase him so I'm in a lower I'm just a little bit then I'll go back to this first pen and I'll lower those just a little bit okay so now I have my lights right but now I've got this car driving up and I get teo I get to do the same thing with the car so I'm gonna turn on my car lights here so what happens in a car well there's going to be some light that spills up here onto this here so it's gonna lighten up see how now got light hitting that building a little bit of light's going to hit that building right so we're going to follow that building and of course it's going to hit the the road in front of it and then it's going to really spillover down here below the car a little bit right in front here and right there but it's obviously not gonna light the truck up so now we go to the erase button here and scan you know go way down like this and let's zoom in even further and let's just erase this so that it's not it's not spilling over onto the truck at all we don't want the truck tow light up we just want the front toe light up now you tell me that that doesn't look like the light from a truck then take much we just have to room we just have to think about where things light up and we could probably go back and do a little bit even a better job because probably the light would light up this chainlink fence of it so you could come in and just kind of well that's way too much e e think I was on brush b there we go okay do you do you see how there's two brushes so you can have a brush a that's super super high and inflow and and low and feather or you khun do hi feather and low flow so I'm on brush b so I'm just going to kind of so see how I'm getting on lee those so I'm actually making this better than my original on because it's lighting up the fence the fence posts there a little bit and maybe this post would light up a bit more so you know you just think about what light does when it hits certain things probably like this little guy up a little bit and it would probably just light up this way a little bit more there that's probably better there okay so now let's zoom all the way out and now you see that now we see the lights from the car going onto the building so you tell me that I need photo shop in most cases I don't in most cases I could do so much stuff inside of light room because the idea behind light room is that they they took a program and they said there's a lot of photographers out there that were really skilled at doing things inside of their dark room and they could do all sorts of cool stuff and they just want some simple way to do the things that they could have done in the dark room but in an easier way and be ableto like eat while they're doing it or watch a movie while they're doing it or something right and so they gave us that so if you could have done it in a dark room you can do it here with more precision the only reason to go to photo shop for me is to take care of a lot of blemishes too smooth skin and to do some really tricky maneuvers like remove a person or put another person in or you know things like that that would take a you know serious amount of work inside a photo shop but if I can avoid going to photo shop I do because I can get a lot done I mean and I think I've dunmore to this image um other there's I think there's more than I did to the image but this is the basics but you can see that you can get a long way and take this and of course I'm gonna crop it because I think it's a better image so I may unlock the crop I think it's a better image kind of goes along skinny image plus the crop works better if you can get this road to come closer to the bottom of the crop that distance between the road is really crucial to the power of the image on dh here's my thing on cropping and I I know that throughout this workshop is I worked on images you've probably seen that I've I've paid a lot of attention to the crop and that's because of the crop is one of the most crucial elements in the photographs it's the great equalizer of all photographers because we all on lee have four edges it's all of us have four edges and that's what we have you and ansel adams have the same four edges to deal with the difference between you and ansel adams or you and harry callahan or you and whoever is that they use the fore edge is better than you do that's the difference and so if you can use your edges better to interact with the items in the photograph you'll do a far better job and so when I any time I look at an image I always look att what how is how are the internal items or the internal things in the photograph how are those shapes interacting with the frame and you'll notice that if it's a long way away like this this road is not interacting with the frame it all but as I increase the eyes I decrease the distance between the road and the frame suddenly that road becomes a very important part of the image because of its proximity to the edge so as things get closer to the edge they creep create more vibration and as you get more vibration it creates more importance and as you get more importance than suddenly you're saying something and so I'm always careful toe look at my edges and make sure things are interacting with them in a way that I'm choosing for them to interact I hate absolutely hate to see in any student worker in anybody who sends me stuff accidental frames hate accidental frames if you don't mean to have the frame exactly where you have it you should be working on that so hopefully you do that at the at the camera but if you can't do it at the camera especially like in this case we can't do this at the camera because my camera shoots not a long skinny image it's not a sixteen by nine fact maybe I ought to do that maybe I ought to do a custom sixteen by nine so that it's an exact so it looks just like it's on a film right so it's sixteen by nine frames so we'll do an exact sixteen by nine frame and so I'm going to do this exactly the way I would like to see it on a sixteen by nine on a film there that's how I would want the scene toe look if this was my story about you know some creepy thing happening in the same asylum or whatever that this is what it would be that's how we would open it you know and that you'd see it would just be still and then you'd see this truck driving or you know whatever so that's the opening scene to my horror film er oh here it is but I love this picture I'm really haunted by it but it's so interesting to me that I when I looked at this when I looked at that this is exactly what I saw in my head and so I took the picture and then I reproduce what was in the head inside of light room but the point is his light room khun go a very long way doing some pretty amazing things so this right here watch this this is amazing to me len's correction profile enable done this is what it looks like on a fifty millimeter lens done so what's happening is light room is actually doing the correction for the lens it's an amazing amazing tool so the things that you could do inside of light room are quite quite amazing for instance here this light was not on nor was this light but we corrected those inside of light room now I had to go to photo shopped in the end because this this this one was bent so this this lamp head was like bended over this way so I straightened it but I had to do that in photo shop but the the actual lights themselves were turned on inside of photos are inside of light room not photoshopped um we've already talked about the fact that we can do infrared stuff inside of inside of light room so amazing stuff could be done if you just take the time to do it um any questions out there yeah you don't wanna do it mind you but that they do behind you wei would oh yeah that's that's great thank you that's a great reminder so let's go teo so the image that james is talking about right behind me here is um an image from this wedding and this wedding let me see if I can find that particular image there it is now in this case I did it this is the original image so that's same image this is the original version and this is the artistic edit that I've done to that image but everything is done inside of light room never got a photo shop for that and most of that effect is simply done inside of presets so I just go to the presets that I'm interested in so in this case I think I did this so that's getting close there um I think that's close to what I had done and then I'm gonna take the oh yeah let's update it there we go and a little bit of we don't want is this the hold on let me let me make sure that this isn't the oh that's the edit no wonder it reacted weird well done when you do something to a photo shop document acts a little bit weird because it doesn't have the raw information here is the original image okay so that's the knot that's that that's a regular image not a j peg er a photo shop right so we go here we go to the develop module and let's just click on there that's close see that so there's the image there there's the image there so now all we need to do is do a little burning so I take my grady in't tool and I'm gonna burn in oops I'm going to go to one stop burned so see how I'm burning in and I can either burn it in with just a great idea or I can burn it in with a um I can burn it in with the brush so I can take a brush and come in here and just do a little extra burning so that those rocks aren't so bright like that and then I can take the sky the sky right now is being grady in that's how it's so if I were to reset the grady it you can see the sky is pretty bright up there because that's where the light is coming from so I dark in that part of the sky in order to get this but now I could take the entire grady in and I can go in and just say you know I want to take the saturation on that down a bit so that it looks a little bit more like that like that it's not quite as blue so I can take that down just by grabbing the let's update this so we have more control and I'm gonna take the saturation on it down like this and just pull out the saturation in those clouds see that so I'm pulling out saturation so they become a little bit more like those darkened clouds um so is a little different than what you're seeing up there but it's pretty close and no photo shop is used whatsoever and then of course I can play around with them by just grabbing the only thing that I think they're a little bit bright there and so what we'll do is we'll take the highlights and bring those down a little bit and the whites and bring those down a bit and then we can take the brush and just simply do a light burn on them and that will bring them down into a more normal gamut but all of that can be done inside of of light room um but the important thing about that image um is that when I'm looking at an image that is at when I look at an image that's important to me I asked myself what's important and to me the bride and the groom are the important thing and then the canyon and the clouds they're all backdrop and if you start the image right at the beginning you see that this is too bright this is too bright up here and it leads you away from them but this is just the naturally occurring information that I'm finding but it's not all that amazingly beautiful until you start treating it but it's what you see at the time and you know that this can be beautiful if you add the treatment to it we don't always see absolutely beautiful things in front of us we envision beautiful things what we see may be absolutely ordinary and that's what separates us from the rest of the world that's why we carry cameras and we call ourselves photographers because when we look at the world we don't see what is we see what we could create all right that's the difference and so when we're going out into the world and we're looking at something like this we see that they are the important thing that the canyon is the backdrop and now we have to do something toe what we have to make it intense and make it look like they are the important thing because the world still thinks that are the universe thinks that this is the important thing you know and that's what it presents itself as and then we have to then push our attention here and that's what and that's what working on images all about that's why so fun because you can take something that's just I mean that's not ordinary but it's it's beautiful as it is but you can take something ordinary like that shot of the of the of the water factory or whatever the water company in in louisville kentucky I mean you take something very ordinary and make it extraordinary and different and beautiful but it's it's what's in here that counts always in photography is not what's out there it's not that you went to rome that's not important you could be in your backyard and get something just a cz interesting because it's what's in here it's what it's what's in your head that's important and that's why it's so important to do things that are outside of the scope photography and listened to music that's different and listen to our watch things that are different and to look at books that aren't like what you do and to experience life so that when you have stuff installed in your head you can apply that to the images that you see in front of you and even if you never leave right light room you can do amazing things to him because you're you're pushing your head you're pushing what's in your head onto the images you're emoting onto them and so your client isn't seeing what existed your clients seeing what's inside and that's what's cool about photography any questions of victoria from eugene oregon it's wondering if you can get back up just a little bit too that lens correction in the church where you two fifty millimeter too oh great I'm specifically wondering do you choose the lens you need or are the one you want it to look like you could do either but I don't know that I have ever tried to do it the one I wanted to look like but in this case I'm using a pretty wide lens so I'm using a sixteen to thirty five and I'm at sixteen millimeters so I'm pretty wide on this shot and so there's a bow you can see that it's kind of got a natural bow to it so when I go to the lens correction which I can actually do inside of a preset to see this this lens correction auto I can just turn that on and it will enable this so I don't have to go down to lens correction but we'll go there so that you can see it and that is what excuse me when I enable lends corrections it automatically looks at my lens the default is to look at the cannon so it knows it's a canon camera it knows what kind of lens it is and then it's going to choose a specific profile for it and adobe has gone through and made profiles for it and you can see the difference watch watch what happens to this whole scene especially see the center of it so it's straightening out and that that the thing to take away from this is that it it knows every aspect of the lens and so it knows at sixteen millimeters this lens bends a little bit over here but not over here and right here does this and and so it just kind of re warps it to be straight but the other thing that's cool and this is what I love about this is that you can also go down and change the total amount so I can come in and say I really like the natural vignette of a lens so I can take that and turn it off so it still remains vignette id but the distortion is removed or I could take the distortion someone over correct for the distortion and so now it's even over correcting for that distortion so you can do that but you could I guess if you wanted to have never tried it let's see what it looks like if you were to just say well let's do it let's pretend this is a hostile blad er that way you know we could choose let's choose it to be a like a lens and it's a uh let's see if we have a wide like a lens here so a fifty millimeter like elin's that doesn't change it all that much because like elin's doesn't have distortion but let's see how about we do a cannon and we do a fourteen millimeter lens so we now it's really correcting for fourteen millimetres instead of sixteen millimeters so you could do a lot to it and by the way if you don't see your lens there there's a lens profile maker at at adobe and you just download it and then you print out this little target and you set up your camera take a whole bunch of pictures at all sorts of different settings and then you load those pictures into the profile maker and it reads that lens and creates a profile for it and then you just plug it in here and and now you've got a profile specifically for that lens and you can do it for your lens because each lens might be a little bit different you know because each lenses manufactured and you know each piece of glass is put in and so if you want to you could make a profile for each of your lenses so you could get really complicated here but in the end the takeaway from it is you can just hit the auto and it will do a good job

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Jared Platt Notes and Resources - Dec 2012.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Jared Platt Free Resources.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Deise De Oliveira

Jared is a great teacher! This course is much better than I imagined because it is not only about fotography, but also about passion. I loved it!

a Creativelive Student

Don't you just love it when Photographers, especially successful ones as Jared Platt, throw explanations out w/o any scientific backing to justify them? Jared's explanation of golden Setting Sun is dust and smog in the sky, when the real reason is scattering, the refraction of light by the molecules and objects in the atmosphere, not the smog and stuff much lower. He also defines latitude as a given amount, when it is actually the breadth of light individual camera sensors can record, normally about 5 or 6 stops. Made the rest of what he taught suspect at best. Glad I caught this for $25 rather than the huge first release price.

Anjani Millet

I was in the studio for this workshop and it was so, so much more than just about efficiency. Jared is a fantastic photographer and teacher, and makes everything so accesible. He covered Lightroom, presets, lighting equipment,software, music, artisic development, even, dare I say it, the soul of a photographer. I recommend this to anyone needing to spend a lot less time doing things you don't need to personally do, and/or anyone who needs to improve their artistry or technical skills. Do more. Waste less time. Share your work. Oh... and buy this course. :-)

Student Work