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Lighting to Simplify Your Edit

Lesson 14 of 16

Processing Your Presets

Daniel Kudish

Lighting to Simplify Your Edit

Daniel Kudish

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Lesson Info

14. Processing Your Presets

Lesson Info

Processing Your Presets

Staying in Lightroom, I'm just gonna go over a few wedding photos, and the reason why I'm gonna do this is to talk about our DVLOP presets. If you guys haven't heard of those, they are a really great tool for editing in Lightroom and what they allow you to do is to mix and match different looks from different photographers to either try to copy them but ideally to encourage you to experience, to experiment and to try to print things to try to find your own look. So we have our own set of presets that exists with DVLOP and the way that we've designed these is really by thinking about all the different situations that we shoot in and how we edit in those different situations. The presets, let me scroll down. So when you purchase the pack, there's five, six different presets as well as some tools that you can apply on top of the images. The main one that we use is called Peril and what that does is very much in line with the settings that we just talked about in Lightroom. So it gives you...

a very clean base that is going to work in most situations. So once you apply the preset, it gives you a very strong starting point and from there generally the adjustments that we'll make are going to be with the exposure, do a quick crop. And then take our adjustment brush and go to Dodge and brush in our subject a little bit more. So everything that I demonstrated previously that took you know 5-10 minutes to edit because I was talking through it, we were able to accelerate it in our workflow and do this very, very quickly on each image. Now, in terms of workflow, the way that a wedding sequence works, right, the next photo from this is probably gonna be very similar as will be the next one and the next one, so you're gonna be working in sequences of four or five images that are very similar. So it's important to copy your settings, paste them or simply use previous settings just by really applying the exact same thing. That allows you also to get that consistency across a certain sequence of images. So carrying on. Another simple photo. Paro is going to be a great starting point; really gets the contrast, the highlights, the shadows in the right place, so all we have left to do from here is a adjust our exposure, adjust our white balance, adjust our tint, take our adjustment brush, dodge the bright space, the hands, the dress. And on something like this where the environment is interesting, we need to take a new brush again, set it to punch and then pass it over the landscape of the photo. So the doors, the walls, her dress, just anything where we want to bring out a little bit more color and then we'll go ahead and just make a little bit more adjusting to the temperature. What's bothering me here is that her dress is a little bit blue, a little bit purple. To fix that, we'll scroll down to our HSLs, saturation and lower our blues and purples. So that's going to give us a nice neutral look on her dress. Again something very simple, apply our Paro preset, go a little bit brighter, adjust our tint, adjust our white balance, give it maybe a little bit more contrast. Underexposed, take our adjustment brush and dodge out our subjects. So our workflow is extremely repetitive from one image to another and by knowing exactly what we're gonna do before we even do it is what allows us to edit, you know, upwards of eight hundred photos in one workday. We could also take the punch brush and apply it on the landscape of the photo. It's just gonna give it a little bit more contrast, a little bit more color and a little bit more clarity. Final tweaks to the exposure and to the white balance. So moving ahead to a different preset. We'll talk a little bit about our black and white. This one is called St. Henry. St. Henry is one of our grungy neighborhoods in Montreal and black and white just kind of felt they're... Sorry, St. Henry just felt like the appropriate name for a black and white preset. So it works very similar. Again, applies higher contrast, pulls the highlights and pushes the shadows and gives it a really wide tonal range. All we have to do from here is adjust our white balance, sorry, our exposure. May be lower the highlights that add more on this one, adjustment brush, dodge and brush in our subjects. What matters most in these kinds of photos is that we have good light to start with and that ties back to the way we shoot. Natural light exposing for the highlights. When we're in a controlled environment and we're doing portraits, make sure that the light is especially good on the bride and groom. If this was all in the shade and was patchy sunlight that we didn't control properly, the experience of editing is very, very different and much, much more frustrating. For sure there are times when it's out of our control and we're shooting at 12 in the middle of July and everything is just very bright and very shadowy, as it definitely makes for a more difficult experience but for the most part we try to make sure that everything is well exposed and well controlled. Go back to our black and white preset. Simply one click. Adjust our exposure, give it more contrast. Take our adjustment brush, dodge our subjects a little bit more. Maybe even the sticks, the landscape, take a new one, set it to punch and brush in the landscape of the photo. Just gives it a little bit more texture, a little bit more contrast. So these brushes, there are three; dodge, punch and skin soften, and they're all included with our DVLOP presets as well. You guys remember this image from our presentation before. So one click, hit the preset. Adjust our exposure. Stop at wherever the highlights meet and start getting a little bit too bright. So not go much past this point. Take our Dodge brush and add more light on the bride and even on some of the bridesmaids in the background. If that is not enough, simply adjust the exposure a little bit more, gives it a little bit more light. And again, this, the quality of the light here on her was already there. It was maybe a little bit underexposed but that's okay, we simply increased that with the exposure. What matters is that it's nice and even on her face; something that we anticipated that she might turn towards the light, so we set our exposure ahead of time, get ready for it and then bring it to life in the editing. Let's do one more black-and-white image. So something like this. You might be wondering what consists color versus black and white. How do we make that decision? And usually, our mindset is does color add anything to this photo? If it doesn't, it can go in black and white or if the moment is really strong, I think that black and white can often enhance that moment and really focus our attention on it. So that's one of those two things is what's gonna dictate for us whether we go color or black and white. Some weddings we'll do 10% of our images in black and white, other weddings will be 50-60%. There's no right or wrong, it's really what we feel best for each image. So set to black and white. Adjust our exposure. Underexpose a little bit, get more contrast. We'll go ahead and crop to bring focus the attention on the bride. Get rid of some of the distractions in the back. Take our adjustment brush and dodge the bride as well as some of the people in the back. Very, very simple 30-second edit and even in the context of a dance floor, a reception, the ambient light is dark but the quality of the light is good, it's nice and even and we can just bring that to life in the post-production. On the dance floor, we designed a preset that does a really great job with a bounce flash. That's how we shoot most of our receptions. Again, we like to keep the setup very, very simple so we bounce the flash off the ceiling or use the little flip card on the flash to create a bit of light. And then so the preset that goes along with this is called Karakia. It is named after a venue where we photographed a wedding where the party was crazy so we felt like that was appropriate and all it does is a very, very clean starting point for even the contrast is set to zero and then make adjustments from here on. What's important to know with presets is they should really be regarded as a starting point. It's never the final product for your image. From there you should always be thinking about what each slider does and what the settings are being applied. So we can give it a little bit more contrast here, underexpose, take our adjustment brush, dodge this guy, this guy and bring a little bit more attention to the center of the frame. Another bounce flash on the dance floor. Take our preset. Under expose it a little bit. Adjust our contrasts, fix our white balance. A little less green, a little less yellow. Adjustment brush and brush in our subjects. If that's not enough, just a gesture exposure, give them a little bit more light make sure that the light is focused on that. For our landscape photos, we designed a preset that really brings out the color, the contrast, the texture in the images. It's called the... It's called Hyder. So on this image, let's just start by straightening it out, make sure that any time we have horizon lines that those are kept as straight as possible. And so if we look at the before and after, this is without it, this is with it. Did it applied the, yes. So we can, sorry, lower, increase our contrast will be more, lower our exposure to really give it even more of that color that we're looking for. Pull our highlights and the final thing that we want to apply on this image, it's going to be our punch and that's we're gonna give it even more contrast, even more color on the landscape of the photo. By the preset, adjust our white balance, increase the exposure, give it a little more contrast, pull the highlights back down, make white balance tweaks and take our Dodge brush and bring out the subjects a little bit more. All right, next preset that we like to use called Marfa named after Marfa, Texas which is where we photographed this wedding in particular. We had this incredible gorgeous backlight during the ceremony and it felt appropriate to be named it after that. So what that preset does is it adds a lot of warmth to the image, and also a little bit more contrast via the blacks. Not via the contrast slider but via the blacks and that really helps with whenever we have backlight, and we have a little bit of haze, it brings that to life. So we have to do from here is adjust our white balance, adjust our exposure, take our Dodge brush and bring out our bride and groom just a little bit more. What's important here is that we don't trace them. That we use a big brush with a big feather and really trace sort of the path of the light so that the way that it falls on our subject is as natural as possible. Up the exposure, now, we can maybe give it a little bit more contrast. And then, final preset that we designed that we love to use is called El Viejo and that is really designed for ambient light so whenever we have warm, candle lit or something like this with candelabras, it does a really great job preserving the skin tones, all while bringing out a lot of the color within our ambient light. So simply start with cropping the photo, adjust our exposure. We're gonna stop wherever the candelabras look good but not not too overexposed and give it a little more contrast. Take our adjustment brush and dodge our groom, who's here in the mirror. Maybe you give it a little bit more on the exposure, and then if that's not enough, we'll take a new brush, secondary, give them a little bit more. As I do this, I realized he needs a little bit of a white balance fix, so while we're still in the adjustment brush, we'll just make him a little bit less green, a little bit warmer and a little bit brighter. So he looks good; so now we have that balance between like he punchy ambient light, all while getting a good clean skin tone. All right, so that was our Lightroom demo. As I was talking about, DVLOP. Those are the presets that we designed with them. You can get 25% off our preset pack which is everything that we just talked about. Use the code discount code DND 25 and it's valid until the end of the month. Other photographers who I've designed presets with them, there's two men, Gabe McClintock for Horace D. Chrisman studios, Sam Hurd, Susan Stripling, a lot of great names all have their presets with them and when what you can really do which is really the power of DVLOP, is you can mix and match these presets to really come up with your own look. And if you go in their Facebook group, you can see all the different recipes and combinations that some photographers have done and it's really incredible. It's a beautiful tool for really developing your own style and your own look.

Class Description

Good lighting makes for an easier edit, and solid editing knowledge allows the photographer to play more with light. That said, there are plenty of things you can do about substandard lighting in the post-production process that can save your photos. In this course, wedding photographer Daniel Kudish will conduct a live in-studio photo shoot with a real couple to show you how to create great lighting during your shoot so your editing process is easier. He’ll then do a full editing walkthrough in Lightroom® to demonstrate how to correct lighting problems and play with your lighting to bring your images to life.


Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe Photoshop CC 2018


Sara NAomi

So love the way Daniel explains the thought processes for the images. Calm mental very very helpful. The D+D pair are an amazing photographic team from the feelings, experience, teaching and the results of their vision. So want to take a class with them in person.

Carlos Rosa

Amazing, very short compared to other classes that I have, but it's really relevant, he goes straight to the point and there's a lot of great info, and that's what makes this class so good. I really like his style​ of teaching, very simple and clear, and that's what we need.


Excellent course! Daniel explains in details how to take the pictures and how to retouch them later. I like his easy and clear approach and the use of a lot of examples. I recommend this course to anyone.