Lightroom® Post Processing Overview


Introduction to Flash for Children and Family Images


Lesson Info

Lightroom® Post Processing Overview

Well, let's go through some of those photos real quick. I'm gonna select a few to work on and I want to give you my general Lightroom approach. So, I'm gonna hit tab to get rid of the side panels. I've already selected a couple of images from the morning session here, there's Em. Great, that's one of the ones that we'll work on. And let's just go through some of these real quick. No smile, so that's a negative. A little bit better there. Actually we'll pick that as a, I'll tag that one. There's mom, Zander. I move pretty quick when I select images to edit. Oh, that might be it. Yeah, we're gonna go with that one. Alright and then I'm gonna shoot forward where we get to dad. Actually, where I get to the whole family, there. Alright, let's find one with the whole fam. Maybe that one? Yeah, we'll go with that one. Okay and then one final one with dad and the girls and we'll go with the big umbrella, that one there. Actually, that one there. Okay, there we go, I've got them selected. Now, ...

I'm gonna filter them out. So, we're in Lightroom and I'm going to use my filter bar down here and just look at only the ones that I've selected. They're down here in my film strip. These are the images that we'll be working on today. One of Em, one of her little brother, and actually the, oh I love that pose. That pose turned out really fantastic. And then the other pose was the, hey, how you doing pose. So, that one's nice. That one there, they're both kind of looking at the camera. He's got a pensive expression on his face, jumping in the air, and then the family, the Lutky family. Let's start with kind of a portrait and then we'll get into the family shot. So, this is a portrait with white and we know that our white balance is pretty close already so I'm not gonna do a whole lot with white balance. But I am gonna bring it into the develop pane. Why am I working on this photo in Lightroom? Well, I use Lightroom because it's ubiquitous. A lot of photographers use Lightroom. It's also very good. There's a lot of software packages out there, a lot of options for you to choose, but Lightroom is so common and there's so many learning opportunities out there, like here at CreativeLive we have Lightroom classes left and right. So, it's just a great tool to use and my photos are already in the software package so if I can do it all in one stop, I'll do it here. First thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna crop out anything that I don't like. I don't like her knees. So, actually I'm gonna crop down like this and then pull it up, and then I hit done. Great. And actually I might actually crop down a little bit tighter on top there. Alright, and I did the crop by typing the letter R and I'm always looking at all the edges of the photo and I still see a little bit of her knee right there. So, I'm gonna go one more little crop, pull that up. Perfect. So, first thing, checking out the basic pane. I'll get rid of my histogram to give me a little more space. In the basic pane, these are global changes, and one of the first things I do is overall exposure. You can see on her face it's a little bit bright, a little bit hot, and even on her shirt, it's a little bit bright. So, I'm gonna bring down the overall exposure a little bit maybe by a half a stop or so. That pushes a lot of detail back into the frame. Now, I want to go look at her face. Actually, first thing is I might try some clarity. Let's just see what it looks like with a little bit of clarity added. If I go a lot you can see, no that's not the right look for her and if I go a little, like get rid of clarity, that's not the right look either. A lot of times people look good with a tiny little bit of clarity added, maybe plus two, plus three, maybe even five, somewhere in that range. Don't go over the top. Otherwise the person looks a little bit too intense, in my opinion. Now we're gonna go look at the face, alright? We're gonna zoom in on the face and we're gonna look for imperfections. (laughs) How old is she four? She doesn't have a lot of pock marks, or acne, or anything at all like that, but she was eating before she came in here, and so there might be some stuff on her lips. I'm gonna zoom in here a little bit further and it looks like she has maybe a little dry skin there. So, I'm gonna get rid of that and the way that I do that is I go up to this tool and it's called the, or I'm sorry, the spot removal tool, the letter Q, and I get a nice little sized brush right there. I can change the size of the brush with my bracket keys, that's my left and right square bracket keys. I can make it bigger or smaller. And you really want it to be just a little bit larger than the thing that you're fixing. 'Kay so we'll call that good for now. And we'll fix a couple of these other little spots. There's a little bit of dry skin here so I'll just click around on a couple of those to even that out. Yeah, nice. And now I'm holding down the space bar which changes my tool from a brush tool to a hand tool and then I can click and drag using that hand tool. A little bit of dry skin there above her eye. We'll just fix a couple of those spots. I'm not gonna worry about that too much, that's all normal. Now the next thing, if we look at her face, I'll zoom to one to four here just to zoom out a little bit. Her hair is all over her face and if I had paid a little bit closer attention when I was taking the photo, I probably would have pulled all that away but I didn't and so we're just gonna go with it and we're gonna call this a hairy face photo. We'll call it good. Alright? If her hair was actually pulled out of the side and there was maybe one strand, then I would go in and fix that one strand. But just as a little helpful hint for you let me show you how to fix a single strand of hair if you need to. So, we also grab the Q tool, or the spot removal tool right there, we're gonna zoom in, I'll zoom in a little closer, so you all can see it. I'll go to one to two. And we just basically fix it in segments. So, you pick a segment maybe here and just drag along, fix that, cool, that fixed it. And then pick another segment that's kind of all in the same light. There we go. The problem is if you try to fix it all in one fell swoop, there isn't enough surface area to pull from to get a good sample to replace that part of skin. So, I like fixing in segments, yeah. Okay, we'll call that good. Yeah, very nice. Very, very nice. Now, this photo, that background, a lot of times you want the background to be white and if you were watching some of the other classes that I've taught here on Lightroom, you know I'm gonna go to brush now and I'm gonna add some exposure with my brush tool. That's right here. It's called the brush adjustment brush, letter K is the keyboard shortcut. So, I click that and it brings up a brand new panel. This is a little bit confusing for new Lightroom users. They're like, didn't I already see all that stuff? Well yeah, but it was under the basic panel. Now, we're under the brush tool. So, I click the effect, I actually double click effect, it zeroes out all of my sliders. I know I'm gonna increase exposure, and I know I want to increase some of the whites, so that when I paint here on the background, all of that gets brighter. Let's do that now. Oh, one other important thing, scroll down to the bottom of this brush tool interface and click auto mask. Trust me you'll be happier when you do that. Now, brush size you're gonna change your brush size with your bracket keys just like I described earlier but now that auto mask is on, it's gonna do a fairly good job of preventing the adjustment from going into her hair and going into the bow on her hair. Okay, so that's cool. And as I get in down in here, let's clean up some of that, brighten up that area, right down to the corner, super. Now I'm holding down space and I'm clicking on the screen and it zooms back out. In this photo, we used a single flash with no reflector and she was pretty close to the backdrop. So, you can see that shadow coming off the backside there. It's the way it is. We're just gonna have to live with it. I could take it into Photoshop and do a little bit more work with it but we don't have enough time today so I'm just gonna call it good. Now that that brush, that tool is active, I know it's active because you can see as I hover over the pin, that's called the pin, you see the mask, the red mask, comes forward and also I know it's active because there's a black dot in the middle with a white circle around it. It's active so I can make changes to my exposure in real time for that background. Nice. I'm gonna add a new brush, so I click there, click new, and now her face is a little bit dark just ever so slightly dark. So, I'm gonna zero out the effect, I'm gonna increase the exposure by about a tenth or a two tenths of a stop. So, now I'm gonna paint over her face to brighten that up a tiny bit. And this is all fine, its okay to do all this, trust me. In fact, you as a photographer, it's your prerogative, you need to make these adjustments. Now we're gonna go into her eyes. Oh good, she's got blue eyes. I love blue eyes. I'm gonna add a new brush and under this brush, now I'm gonna go to my effect presets and I'm going to choose something called iris enhance. And I know a lot of you have seen this before, so I'll move a little bit quickly here but I'm just gonna paint right there on her eyes. It's hard to see what's going on, so I'm gonna type O for overlay, so you can see where I've painted. A little bit smaller, paint right there, and now that I've got my masking tool on, you can see how it avoids the middle of her eye. Looks like I oversprayed there, so I'm gonna push my alt key, or option key, and undo that there, undo that there, type the letter O for overlay to get rid of the red. And now for the magic to happen, she has blue eyes so I'm going to bias the temperature of my painted area slightly more blue. And I'm gonna go big first so you can see the effect, that's obviously too much. I'm watching her dad sitting here going whoa, that's too much Mike. So, we never want to go that much. We started at zero, we want to go something like minus, I don't know, 10, minus 15 at the most. And then exposure up a little bit, and then clarity up a little bit, and then what I do, is I back up, I push my space bar back up, I hit done. And then I just look at it. Does it look okay? What do you think dad, alright? Yeah, 'kay. And then I do the before and after. And that's this Y, Y button. Before is on the left, after is on the right. I'm gonna step back away from the screen, so I can see what you guys are seeing. Yeah, it looks pretty good. Maybe her face needs to be ever so slightly brighter in the finished one but you can see where I'm headed with that. So, that's working on an individual child's portrait. If the background was black or dark and you wanted the background to get even darker, well then you can paint in a negative exposure rather than a positive exposure.

Class Description

When capturing images of families and children, you preserve memories for generations. Learning how to use flash opens up so many options, as you now longer have to be constrained by weather or location. Photographer Mike Hagen will help you incorporate flash into this genre of photography to create family heirloom images that also capture a moment in time.

In this class, Mike teaches you how to:

  • Create looks that wouldn’t be possible in natural light
  • Use your flash to freeze action
  • Use reflectors, modifiers and other lighting equipment to enhance your flash

Learn to harness the power of flash photography to make their memories last a lifetime. Give clients those special images by using flash photography to preserve their special moments.