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Lightroom Panel Overview

Lesson 18 from: Mastering Lightroom Classic & Photoshop Fundamentals

Andrew Kearns

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Lesson Info

18. Lightroom Panel Overview

To create a great edit, you need to know your tools inside and out to achieve the results you want. Andrew walks through each panel of Lightroom to break it all down, including the newly released and incredibly powerful Color Grading Panel in Lightroom.
Next Lesson: Edit 01

Lesson Info

Lightroom Panel Overview

So we're back from the shoot. It went great, honestly better than expected. We got the photos that we drew out. We got a bunch of ideas that spun off from those. And now I want to get into the editing. And before we get into individual images, I think it's really important to understand the tool you are using. So we're gonna go through the panels on the right side of Lightroom that I use, and just basically an overview of how each one works, 'cause it's so important to know how your tools work so you can move efficiently. And also, if you have an idea in your mind that you want to get from an image or a specific part of an image, knowing how to get that with the tools you have available. So let's get into the first panel, which is the 'basic' tab. So with the 'basic' panel, the shortcut is command 1 and by the way, all the panels here command 1, 2, 3, 4, just goes down the list. And one other thing to mention, I mentioned it earlier in the workshop, if you right click on any of these s...

elect solo mode, it's just gonna be a lot cleaner and easier to work with. So you hit command 1 to go into the 'basic' panel. You always should probably be familiar with this, but you have your white balance, some exposure toning, and also the presence panel at the bottom. But really I wanna focus on the white balance and the tone part of this panel. When I'm in the exposure panel, I'm simply going to get something close to what I want, the end product to be in terms of the exposure values. So with this, I really like the silhouette look going on, but I do want a little more details in these shadows. So I'm just gonna hop in, maybe bump up the exposure slightly. And I guess also it's worth mentioning, this image specifically, the highlights are blown out and I think it actually works really well for this image. And I'll get to editing those later in the image, but really I'm just looking at Eli, the interior of the car and getting that dialed in before tackling those highlights later, which I probably will in the curves. So I'm gonna push up the shadows a tad, take down the black slider, take down the black slider a little bit. And then with the white balance, I usually will have it somewhat neutral. And I used to edit my white balance more toward warm or cool. But since the split toning panel, command 4, this one, since it got upgraded to the color grading panel, I don't really do my colors in temperature in tint as much. So I'm just gonna kind of find a neutral, like a neutral look to it just by eyeing it. Something like that. So this is before, very dark. This is after, I'm gonna take the exposure down a little more. 'Cause I really like when I show that before image, I really like that dark look to it and I might change that a little bit later, but for now I think that's a good start. I'm gonna just add a touch of warmth. Cool. And then you could go into clarity and texture. I don't really think we can just mess around real quick and see if we like something some dehaze maybe to soften it. Yeah, I like that. I like that negative dehaze. So we just add a -10 to clarity, which I'll make this a little bit bigger on the screen. Okay. So with the dehaze, it's just softening the entire image. It's almost like taking the contrast down in a way, but it does something subtly different. I can't really explain what it does, but I'll use that to give it a softer look and then the clarity, you can see it right in here. It just softens that light against the steering wheel where there's a big contrast. I usually will put a little bit of negative clarity in there. Then I'll come up to the contrast slider and just finish this panel out. And I don't really think I wanna do too much with that. The last thing I'm gonna do in this panel is just a little lower on the highlights for this image. Again, with this panel, all we're doing is just getting an overall, general idea of what we want from the image. And I'd say that's complete. So we just messed with our exposure toning a little bit in the white balance. We use clarity and dehaze to give a softer look to the image and I'd say, that's good for that for that panel. We don't need to do anymore right now. I might refer back to it later to edit something. But yeah. With the exposure panel, all we're trying to do is just get a close to representation of the overall look, I'd say a little bit above 50% of the look we want already done in that 'basic' panel. With the 'transform' panel in the 'lens correction' panel. I look at it as really one panel. I use them both in tandem with each other. On the 'lens correction' panel, if you hit 'enable profile corrections', you'll see it just warps it slightly. And then it has a vinet on the lens and it fixes that, you can see that right here in the edge of the seat, make it a little bigger. Boom. You can see that highlight gets darker as I turn it off. And if I turn in corrections on, there it is. I'm gonna turn it on and then just take down the vinet a little bit for this photo. Depending on the photo, I will or will not use that. But generally I like to customize that a bit, really just it's photo dependent. And with the transform panel, all I'm really doing is using it to warp the image, to create a better composition. For this one, one thing I notice is, is his hat feels a lot bigger because of at the edge of the lens, so I wanna just fix that composition there. I'm gonna fix that by changing the vertical right here on the transform panel. And then I'll probably mess around with the crop, the aspect and the horizontal, all that's gonna work together to just create a more polished composition. I'll just do that real quick, so you can see with this photo. So right there, you see his hat, it becomes a little less big, but also it makes him feel a little crunched. So I'm gonna take it into the aspect and make it a little less crunched. And then with the horizontal, you see, it's almost like centering the frame a little bit more, cause what I'm seeing here, I just undid it real quick. This is the center of the image. And I want to center that center of the image. I guess this is the focus of the image rather, and I want to get that into the center. So I'm adjusting the horizontal right there and you notice everything just feels a little more pointed toward the subject. And so I'll turn the transform off and then on. And it just seems a little more, what I'm seeing with this transform tab is that everything's composed a bit better. It's just a bit tighter of an image. So that's with it off, big hat. It just feels a little, not wrong necessarily, but when you turn it on, you can see how much better it makes it look. I'm gonna add a little bit up in the aspect ratio and then also in tandem with those, I'll use the crop panel. So I'm gonna hit the R button for that shortcut and just crop in. And that sums up that panel. (typing sounds) And the shortcuts for those panels that I was using is command 6 for lens corrections, command 7 for transform. And sometimes I'll just pop in between those back and forth working both of them in tandem and then R for the crop panel. I crop this one to five by seven because I like the look. And you can keep these rule of thirds lines in it to help you align it in tandem with the transform panel. So you see this line right there matches with Eli's figure. And then this line on the right side is hitting his hand. But if it wasn't set that way, like you see if I change the horizontal, now it's a little off center, but if I kept it where it was, boom, everything's in line, that's the beauty of the transform panel. You can just basically cheat your composition a little bit and also fix lens distortions. And with that, let's just move on to the next panel. What used to be the split toning panel has now turned into the color grading panel. Split toning panel just used to have highlights, shadows, a selected color, and a saturation of that selected color. Now it's amazing what they did with this. You have shadows, mid tones and highlights now. So you have three different exposure values you can add color to. And in tandem with that, they added a slider right here where you can control the luminosity of each exposure value, which is unreal. It's such a powerful tool and I'll show you how I'm utilizing it for this. With this specific image, I want the highlights to be cool and I want the shadows, I think, to have a warmer tone, but slightly on the green side. So I'll just show you how I'm gonna do that. One quick thing, I'm gonna jump to this tone curve panel and just crush those highlights to like right there. Yeah, right there looks good. So I'm gonna undo that so you can see what's happening. It just makes it a little more faded. It makes it a bit more faded, which I'm a fan of. I'm gonna brighten it just a tad bit and maybe bump there. So just jumping around real quick, 'cause the reason why, the reason why I wanted to do that first is, it's gonna help me see the color of my highlights. If all the highlights are blown out, like they were, you're not gonna see too much effect when you're adding color to it. So with that, let's jump into the highlights. As you click the circle, you can see exactly what it's doing to those highlights. It's a little finicky for my taste. So there's a couple shortcuts I use to help have better control on this panel. You can move it as freely as you want. And if you have the color you want, you can hold 'shift' and you see that bar up here's there. And it states on that color and it just affects the saturation of it, which is awesome. And then let's say you like the saturation, but maybe you wanna change the color. You can click on that hold 'alt', oh wait, no, sorry. You can click on that and hold 'command' and you see there's a line that's in the circle. So it keeps that saturation that, it says it's 25 right now, but you can change any of the color, which is amazing. And then let's say, you want to let it free your roam like this, but it's moving a little too fast. You hold 'alt' and I move slow. It is a beautiful thing. As I'm moving through this panel, I'm gonna be using those shortcuts constantly. But it's, definitely learn those, definitely have those known by memory because that's just gonna make your workflow so much faster. As I stated, I wanted some blue. So if we want some cool highlights, we're gonna just put it right here. I'm gonna hold 'alt', so it's moving a little slower. I don't want it to be overly cool. I'll do it like that. And then I'm gonna hold 'command' for that circle and then I'm gonna hold 'command', so it's just moving in a circle, but keeping the same saturation. And I'm gonna make the saturation a bit brighter or I guess a bit heavier. Yeah, I think that's good right there. I'll hit the, without width. It's pretty subtle. I'll zoom in here. Yeah. But I think that's a nice touch because what we're gonna do is use some complimentary colors and throw some warmth in the shadows. So same thing. I'm going to come in here. And like I said, I wanted it to be a little greenish warm, at least that's the thought, we'll see if it as good as I think it would be. Holding 'command' to be in that circle. It's a little hard to see the shadows just because there's lights around me. So I'm gonna change my background color to black and then I can see those shadow values a bit better. I'm just shielding my eyes from the bright light. Yeah, that looks pretty good. And then the mid tone, first, I'm gonna see what the mid tone's affecting because if this is the original image, I don't really think there's much mid tones because you have this bright light and then these dark shadows. And if you actually look at the histogram up here, you can see there's really not much in the middle. So I'm curious to see what it will even affect, which is really not much, but adding color to that will be nice. So let's do that. I'm gonna make it extreme just to see what we're working with real quick. I think we're gonna make that warm. We're gonna put that in the warmer section of the circle. Just finding the right color I want. Yeah, that's looking pretty good. And then from there we have these luminosity sliders, so just keeps going. I'm gonna up the mid tones a slight bit right there. Push the highlight luminosity a little bit. Not too much. And then just looking at the darks here, the shadows. I think before I do that, I'm gonna actually jump back into the basic panel and just push the shadows up slightly. And that's really how my editing goes. I'll be jumping back and forth between panels as you see the other edits, but I really just wanna teach what these panels can do, before it becomes a frenzy. So I'm gonna take now. So now I'm gonna take down the luminosity in the shadows. Yeah. That's looking really good. I think I might take a bit of the warmth out of the shadows. Not too much though. Cool. So that's the color grading panel. It's beautiful. There's also more settings like blending and balance. To be honest, I've never used those, but I'm sure you can mess with it, find some cool effects that might suit your editing style. From there, let's see. We'll continue on with the coloring and go to the HSL panel. The HSL panel, you are able to target the hue saturation luminance. HSL, that's what it stands for. You're able to target that for each color. So with this photo, there's not a ton of color in it to be honest, or I guess that's not the main focus. One thing you have to remember is that, this is targeting the raw photo. So all that color we added in, if I targeted this, which is blue, it's not gonna affect the blue because we added the blue in. It's going to affect nothing, if I click there because it's just pure white. However, there's green on the truck frame. That's what we'll focus on. The shortcuts I'm using for this is 'command', 'alt' and 'shift', H for hue, you can see it selected right there, S for saturation and L for luminance. And what that does is it picks this little thing right here and I'll just show you, over exaggerate it. So you see what it does. If I click on Eli's skin tone, which you can see over here, it's selecting the red and orange and I just crank it up boom, way oversaturated, obviously. But that's what it does. You can pinpoint specific colors and change those HSL values. The first thing we'll do is target the luminance in that green truck frame. So 'command, alt, shift, L' Boom, didn't do too much, but like I said, this, this doesn't have a ton of color in it to target, but we can still do stuff with it. Now I'm doing a saturation, which actually brings that out nicely. I actually really like that change. And you notice the green and yellow, it's changing both of those. So how it works is, if you look at this, you would say, oh, that's a green truck frame, that's a green truck, but there are certain color values in there. So you're gonna be targeting the green and the yellow. As you see over here, it bumped up the green and yellow. And just for kicks, let's hit the hue and just change it up, see what we want. I really like that warmer tone to it. So we're gonna drag it down and you can see right here, I'll just over exaggerate it. If I move it to the right, that's more of a cooler, yellow tone. And it pretty much just turns into green at the far right side. You go far left and it turns it way too warm. So just finding a happy medium of just targeting and figuring out what you want. I really like that warmth in it. So we're sitting both of those got, so the yellow and green both ended up at - when we targeted it. I'm gonna do a little bit less. So like - 15ish. I'll turn it on and off real quick. So you can see what's different. Off, on. You can see that truck frame has changed quite a bit. And really the only other color I wanna see change in this is the skin tone. So 'command, alt, shift, L' for luminance, gonna click on Eli's face. Boom. So that's without it 'command, Z' and then 'command, shift, Z' to redo it. Boom, just brightening up his face, bringing a little more attention to that. It also, it looks like the gloves have those same color cast, so you can see they got brightened a little bit too, when we changed that luminance. Yeah, I think that's pretty good for this photo. Not too much to change in the HSL panel, but that is an incredibly powerful tool. And on future edits, you'll probably see me get real deep on that. The tone curve is an incredible tool. It's insanely powerful and really, it really, for me, it really gets the exposure values that I want in an image. And you can go even deeper than that into the red, green and blue channels and change those up. It's easier to see me to use it than... The curves panel is one of the most powerful tools out there, and it's pretty intuitive. It's pretty easy once you understand it, but it can be very scary at first. It's easily the best tool to get the look you want out of an image, like the feel or whatever. If you want to have a faded shadow, you'll use that tool to crush those, the shadows in an image. And if you want to fade those highlights like you saw, I briefly went into it earlier and crushed those highlights. That's what you're gonna do. You can really get that faded look, if that's what you're going for. You can get a more easy de contrasted look in certain areas of the image. Like maybe you want to darken the shadows, but bring those highlights real soft. You can do that in the curves. So with that, let's just jump into the curves. I'm gonna put the highlights back up a bit, even though we really faded them out last earlier. We're gonna bring those highlights up just a bit. And I'm gonna push that point up and a few quick shortcuts. Once you click the curve, it'll drag around a point. And as you can see, it's pretty finicky and it just follows your cursor wherever it goes. If you click it and then hold 'alt', it does it a lot slower, just like it did in the color grading panel. And if you hold 'shift', it stays along that line and you can hold 'shift, alt' to stay on that line and move slow. Definitely memorize those, very helpful. What I'm gonna do for this, if I'm thinking about what I want from the image, hold on one second. I think that's looking pretty good for the curves. To be honest, in this one, like I said, I don't wanna do too much to it, but to illustrate the point of like, maybe if you wanted fade in shadows, it would just come to this bottom point here and drag it up and you can see it fades the crap outta the shadows. Obviously, it looks terrible. Just showing you what it does. You also have this one, which is a slider based curves. I don't really get in there too much, but it is another level of controlling your exposure values. So that's pretty nice. I might actually try softening those highlights through it a bit. Highlights seem a bit strong. Yeah. I actually really like that change a lot and maybe push up the darks and then bring down the shadows a little bit. And really it's just trial and error. That's all I'm doing here. I have an idea in mind, I want. Like I said, I want the shadows to have a little more detail, but I do like how they're still dark. So that's what I'm gonna aim for as I'm messing with these sliders and I'll just do it off and on with the tone curve. Off. Wow, that made a huge difference and there's on. Off and on. So that's how powerful this tone curve is. And we haven't even touched the RGB channels in it, which is insane. I just geek out on this tool and when I started understanding how it worked, it really changed my editing because like I said, I really do like a specific edit style. I do like a less contrasted look and I achieve that through my curves because right there much more contrasted, not that that's wrong or bad, but this is a nice, easy look, that still has a good contrast to it. And it's just easy to take in. Yeah, I'm really big fan of what those curves did to this. And then from there you have the RGB channels. I'm not gonna mess with that too much in this image, but I'll just show you what they do. I'm just gonna put a point in the middle. This is the red channel. So if you push it up, you see, it just looks disgustingly red now. If you bring it down, it goes the opposite, which is this cyan color. Green, same thing. You push it up, becomes green. You take it out and it becomes the opposite, which is this magenta purple tint. And blue, same thing, push it up, it becomes blue. Take it down, it becomes yellow. For this, what I think I'll do, is just put two points on the blue curve and take a little bit of blue outta the shadows to give it a warm touch, push some blue in the highlights to emphasize that blue, and then, maybe mess with the mid tones in the blues too. Overemphasize it to see what's going on. I'm gonna just push it up into the blues slightly. And then I'm gonna go, like I said, my editing is jumping around a bit, so I like that look, but I do wanna go back into the HSL panel. So I'm gonna click it 'command, alt, shift, H', target those greens in the truck frame, like right here and make 'em a bit more warm. That's looking amazing. I am hyped on this already. It feels very warm inside the truck, but then you have that cool, those cool highlights in the background. And even though we completely blew those highlights, like there's the original image that is straight gone. You can see it compared to the white background, pure white, totally gone. But there, it doesn't even look like it's gone because we added a little tint of blue to it. It just looks like a bright blue sky in the back, but it looks cold. Yeah, I'm really digging how this comes out. So with that in the tone curve, there's without it and there's with it. So that did so much to the image. And I think that reflects my style of editing very well, right there, just through that tool. And after that, the last tool I'll really get into is some of the local adjustments. The first local adjustment that's handy just to remove things, is the spot removal. So if you hit the 'Q' button for the shortcut, you see it opens up right there. I'm not gonna spend time spot removing stuff on this, but I'll just show you what it does. And if I really wanted to get nitty gritty into spot removing stuff, I'd use Photoshop. It's just a little bit better for that. But if it's just a quick fix, like, this little spec right here is kind of bright. I'd recommend having it on this heal selection, not the clone. I've never used the clone selection because heal will just target a point right here and change your exposure to, for it to fit whatever you're trying to remove. And then right over here, there's this, I don't really... Whoa, t's freaking out on me! And when you come over here, come on. And one other thing I wanna remove is this little tiny, I guess that's the edge of a seatbelt there. I'm gonna hit the 'Q' button again on the Mac. If you scroll up or down, it becomes bigger. And if you hold 'shift' and scroll up and down, it changes the feathering. So we'll do like right there. Boom. And it didn't really target it that well, one thing you can do to try targeting it better is hit this question mark button. And I guess it's out of frame. So when you hit that question mark button, it's gonna jump around to different areas of the photo, drawing what it's trying to fix from that. We're just gonna stick it right here. And one thing you wanna be aware of too, is that spot I'm trying to remove is a part of this greater piece of a seatbelt. So it's also taking to account, this white right here of the seatbelt, and you can see it does this weird gross refraction thing. So we might want to do, so even though I come back to the crop and I don't see any of that, it's still thinking about everything that's like over here and taking that into account. It's pretty annoying. But one thing you can do is just copy, check none, and then only check this crop box. Hit copy. I'm just gonna remove the crop to here, gonna hit the 'Q' button once more, to bring up that exposure panel, delete that one. There's the entire seatbelt. We just wanna ax that whole thing out. So we're gonna paint over it and then we'll aim it on the seat there. Cool, that should do the trick. 'Cause that white spot right there will be cropped out. I'm just gonna zoom in and show you what's happening. I'm gonna turn it off and on. So that's with it on the whole seat belt's there, there must be a little more seat belt. It's I don't really know why it's not getting all of that. It's kind of strange, but our crop will fix that because, boom, it's right outta frame after we did that. And just to show you a quick example of what that's doing, if I just choose the wrong spot and select like his jacket fabric, you'll see that it's taking that texture of the fabric here in a second. My computer's working really hard, trying to do all these things. Boom. You see the shape right here. It's the same shape down here and it's taking this edge of the jacket and replacing it right there with an exposure value similar to what's on the seat. Sounds kind of complicated, but basically, you just wanna have a similar texture that you are referencing to spot heal that area. So that's why we choose the seat over here and bada-boom. Brilliant. Go back to the original crop that we copied. And there it is. Pretty decent tool, if you're just trying to quickly remove a few specs. Anything bigger, just take it into Photoshop and that's gonna do you well. the next two panels that I'll use to do general local adjustments is the graduated filter and the radial filter. The shortcuts for those are 'M' for the graduated and 'shift, M' for the circle, for the radial filter. For this image, I want this area where his pants and the seat are to be a little darker. But the problem is if I try to change that in, let's say the basic panel, it's gonna affect the entire thing. And if this is where I want it to be, it affects all this and it looks really blotchy. So undo that and come into the graduated filter. We'll do like -33 and run it up that. So I'll just show you what it's doing by clicking the O key. Everywhere that's green is being affected and you can see it just slowly feathers out into not affecting the image and then to over exaggerate it for explanation purposes. You can see it's only affecting that bottom part and it kind of fades out a little bit and it fades out a little bit right there. I wanna find an exposure that I like. Right there, pretty much where we just started, looking good and maybe I'll run one more at the top here. I might like it. I might not. We'll run it at positive exposure at plus 33. I'll just turn 'em off and on there and you can see what's happening. It helps honestly like what I'm seeing here, is it's helping lead my eye from right to left, which is really what I want to be happening. One thing I'm gonna come to this bottom filter is just make it affect this backseat a little more. So I'm gonna pull it out like that, make it a bit darker. Eh, maybe not. Boom. Yeah, that's looking nice. I'm gonna make it a bit brighter actually on that seat, I'm just using the arrow key. I'm clicking a number and doing the arrow keys like that, to change that value. And then I'm going to come to this one, which is the brighter graduated filter. You can see what it's doing here. It's affecting this side of the image. You can see where it's affecting by clicking O. I'm just gonna start at neutral and just go up until I like it. Cool, that's looking great. So what that's doing, is that. It creates a nice flow of light through the image. You can do the same thing with the radio filter. If you hit 'shift, M' we'll open that up. Let's say, I just want to move through and edit fast, but I want to maybe brighten Eli's hat for some reason. I'm not gonna keep this in there, but just to show you what it does, you make a little filter like that, drag it around a circle. He hit, O, and you see it's affecting that area of his hat. You can control the placement of it, all that stuff. And then boom, you see, it's just affecting that one little area. And let's say you wanted to keep his skin tone where it is, so like that, but you wanted everything else to be darker around the image other than just his skin. So what you could do, you can see is just affecting his skin. You can hit this invert button. Boom. And it affects everything, but his skin now. So boom, obviously that looks terrible, but just to show you what it does, it's a really useful tool for certain things. So the last one for the local adjustments is the brush tool. And it's very similar to the last two, the radial and the graduated filter. But you can get as specific as you want. So I'll just show you here. I'm gonna hit the O key, so you can see where I'm drawing and you see, it's just drawing on that spot. So I hit the, O key to turn that off. You see the same thing. It's just targeting this local area where you can do any of this stuff. And one thing you saw too, I was only changing the exposure. You can change the temperature, add a hue to it, more saturation, change any of the highlight, change any of the exposure values. Like you have a ton of stuff you can do. I'm keeping this very simple for now. And I generally do when I'm doing these local adjustments like that. So one great thing about the brush tool too, is as you just saw there, when I painted like crazy, it just was a frenzy wherever I clicked, it painted. But if you wanna get to something very specific, like let's say we wanted to target the logo on his hat. You could come down here and click auto mask. The shortcut for that is A, you can see if I click it, clicks that on and off. I'm just gonna click on the circle here, on his logo, and boom, it paints right in that logo and nothing more. And generally it does pretty well. Obviously if it's two things that are similar exposure value or similar color next to each other, and you're only targeting one, it might overlap a bit. But then from there you can change all these settings in that panel once more. I'm gonna delete that. And that is a good overview of the panels. And that's looking like a great edit, honestly, I'm gonna hit before and after. Yeah, I'm gonna hit the 'Y' key and it brings up, two comparisons between the before and after here. Why is it, why is it bugging out? There we go. Okay, so... that sums it up for the local adjustments and really that sums it up for all the panels that I'm using.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Workshop PDF
View Andrew's Selects
Sonora Edit - Before and After
Mountains Edit - Before and After
Edit 01 - Before and After
Edit 02 - Before and After
Edit 03 - Before and After

Ratings and Reviews

Ratul Dutta

This class is really like a good investment. It's gonna help you step by step and you can come back to it multiple times when you need to. Been watching Andrew Kearns on YouTube since 2018. Massive fan of his editing style. I wanted this class as soon as I saw the discount rate. Being a student from a different country, I probably wouldn't have been able to afford it at it's original price. This workshop goes in real depth towards the "approach" of editing a photo. I learnt a tonne of cool stuff. So many new things. Subtle yet so powerful.

Mack Woodruff

Incredibly Eye Opening This workshop truly opened up a whole new world of editing techniques that I didn't fully realize existed. I'd recommend this workshop for anyone who has a basic understanding of LR and PS already and are hoping to take it to new levels. I will keep coming back to it for a long time!

Veronica Ettedgui

Very very nice!!

Student Work