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Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 55 of 61

Bright Light Post-Processing


Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 55 of 61

Bright Light Post-Processing


Lesson Info

Bright Light Post-Processing

Here's a bright light image. But this is like where I started from. So I like that, and this is where I started from. I'm not sure exactly what was all involved with that but I'm just going to go through my process and show you generally what I'm going to do. So first of all, I cropped it. And so I say, you know, right there, here looks good, and we're good to go. That's generally right there. Then I can go through my whole method right here. Highlights, shadows, optimizing that, seeing where that is, right, then optimizing the blacks, seeing where that is, and then wow. See, it really pops, right? And then I can kind of go in, I can adjust that to where I feel it needs to be, and then really once you're kind of in bright light which is really when you do it right and you get it really intense, you really don't need a lot of adjustment with it because you've got the colors. So basically I'm looking at the reflection right, and seeing how it's popping off like that. I can change the sat...

uration a bit, and so a lot of times with red what happens is it's too bright, so what you can do on the saturation with the red, a lot of times I just bring it down, and take off that little bit of intensity with it, or especially luminance. You can bring it down and make it a little bit darker like that. So that has a good feel to it. And so it's fairly straight forward. Sharpening...color...pull the color all the way to the right. Hit that...ok. And then I see it's a little bit blown out right there, and so I may go with a little bit of a global adjustment on that to bring that down, because what? If you squint your eyes gonna kind of gonna go through right here. And then, I'm gonna do that in Photoshop, but lets do some gradient tools which I use a lot. So I like the gradient tool here, but I'm gonna use exposure, and I like to control light this way, and so I want that focus kind of to be a little bit more on them right? So I wanna take those areas down, like this area right here looks too bright for me, because I want that focus around here. So I can take that gradient tool and I can select the negative exposure on it, and I can just pull it, and I can just adjust that right where I need it to be. I control the focus by my lighting here by just using that gradient tool like that to get rid of that quickly. It's a global adjustment. I use that a lot, and then now, generally where we go, I could bring it into Photoshop, and now I do more of my local adjustments here. Just to, some selective areas that are kind of problem areas. Like I think that there's a little bit too much brightness here, and maybe I want to bring that out a bit. So I have an action. What I do is, I have a lighten and darken which is actually right here, and so if I want to darken this area here I hit this action and what it actually does, all it does is create another layer, as you can see down here, and it turns the mode to multiply to make everything darker and then I have a layer mask right here to allow me to paint in where I want it. So I do the same thing. I have the flow around six percent. Now black is to conceal, white is to reveal. So I put my brush on white here, and I select a fairly broad brush here, and so I can just select areas and bring it down, and right about there's good. And so you can see how I can darken those areas there, and like I say, Photoshop is a million different adjustments. See how it's kind of bright right here and taking away from them? I'll just brighten down these areas right here, and then go for it. That kind of tones everything, that's a little bit of a hot spot right there. So I wanna kind of bring that down some. Another trick to do is if you have a solid area that's one tone, like right here, and it's kind of all dark there, I don't like it all solid. What I'll do is, I'll change the tone of it but subtly so I'll add-- So now that it's dark here, like this, what I'll do is because that's a solid tone, I'll just add some areas that are bright, and so now it makes it a little bit more interesting. So you can see these areas that are kind of solid tones. I'll just brighten them up. I mean it's a very subtle thing but it just doesn't look like there's a lot of global adjustments on it and it makes that lighting interesting on there. I'll crop out that hand that's right there a little bit later. So I got that. Then I'll flatten that, and then let's just bring it back into the global adjustments here. Back into-- let's save that and bring it back into light room, and then we'll get going on that one. So now I have these global adjustments and ah, yeah, maybe it's a bit saturated here. I'll pull that down a bit. Maybe I want it just a little bit brighter here. That's cool there. Okay, now lets it some pizazz. So what I like to do here is I like to go into Alien Skin. Exposure three, which is great, and this really gives you some great lighting effects, especially if you import your own. So my favorite feature with this is these lighting effects over here. These are the ones that come standard. So you have all these different lighting effects that actually you can just import into the photo if you like those. So one effect that I like a lot is these corner effects. This top one here, and see that little flare? I kind of like that, but I'll just push it down, just a little bit so it gives a hint of that in there. You can change the position of that. If you want it over there, or you could do that and go, I like that and I like it on the other side. So I'm gonna add another layer, then I'm gonna add that, and then I'm gonna flip it around, and then maybe I'll change the opacity of that, and it's like very non-destructive areas. Things that you can do, and then I'll add another layer, and then lets go to my lighting effect, and I have my lighting effects and I imported these. So see all these different bouquets, and these different things that you can quickly get a kind of cool effect right away with it by just selecting something that you like and then using it. So if you wanted a certain control over it, so let's say you like this, but you go, I like that but it's a little bit too hot right here, it has a layer mask where you can come in and just erase what you want. So now you have full control of those effects and then you can just go crazy and keep layering it after that if you want to and adding more effects and it's really fast and easy. So you keep adding onto it. So you guys get the idea there, but you can spend hours on that. I just want to show you the general concept, it's not like I'm finishing off the image here because we got a lot to cover. It's just generally the concept so if you want to add that onto it too; keep layering it, doing whatever you want, that's cool. Also on top of that is that they have certain color pallets that you can use and presets depending on what you want. Look at all these different things, if you want this colored film but you want it to look a bit vintage then you select that and it comes up with a billion different presets to change it different colors, and then you can star them and that gives you immediately a color effect that you want. Let's see if they have something in polaroid... Let me show you something that's obvious really quickly. It's called cross process. I'm just going to show you major effects that you can do and then you can create your own presets onto this but if you don't know a color suit, like see this one? Adds a little bit of blue in there, that's really nice, you might like that one, and then save it and then use it later, and then also you can fade that down if it's too much, you can punch some areas out if you don't like it and so forth. So it gives you a lot of variety in that way.

Class Description

Want to be able to go into any situation with your camera and have the confidence to know you’ll get the shot? Award-Winning photographer Scott Robert Lim goes in-depth on the four foundational elements you must conquer if you want to develop your creativity and style.

Scott will give you the guidelines you need to master:

  • Lighting
  • Posing
  • Composition
  • Post-Processing

Once you master these fundamentals of portraits, you free up your mind to get creative and ultimately get the shot.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. 5 Shots That WOW
  3. Four Fundamentals of Photography
  4. Create a Visual Impact with Composition
  5. Importance of Foreground and Background
  6. Create Depth in Landscape Images
  7. Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules
  8. Composition Practice Exercise
  9. Composition Critique of Student Images
  10. Keys to Posing
  11. Shoot: Classic Elegance Female Pose
  12. Shoot: Modern Female Pose
  13. Shoot: Rollover Female Pose
  14. Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview
  15. Shoot: Hands and Arms Poses for Female
  16. Seven Posing Guidelines
  17. Headshots Poses with Male Model
  18. Shoot: Headshot for Male Model
  19. Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model
  20. Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model
  21. Shoot: Standing Poses for Male Model
  22. Keys to Couples Posing
  23. Shoot: Couples Posing
  24. Couples Transitional Posing Overview
  25. Shoot: Transitional Posing
  26. Keys to Group Posing
  27. Accordion Technique with Groups
  28. Shoot: Accordion Technique
  29. Shoot: Best Buds Pose
  30. Shoot: Talk with Your Hands Pose
  31. Shoot: Lock Arms and Hold Hands Pose
  32. Run at the Camera and Dance in Your Seat Poses
  33. Shoot: Pod Method Pose
  34. Posing Critique of Student Images
  35. Introduction to Lighting
  36. Soft vs Hard Light
  37. Difficult Lighting Situations
  38. Bright Light Techniques
  39. Overcast Light Techniques
  40. Low Light Techniques
  41. Lighting Techniques Q&A
  42. Drama Queen Lighting
  43. Laundry Basket Lighting
  44. Make it Rain Lighting
  45. Smart Phone Painting with Light
  46. Mini LED Bokeh Lighting
  47. Choose the Right Lighting System
  48. Hybrid Flash System
  49. Innovative Accessories
  50. Gear Overview
  51. Theatrical Post-Processing
  52. Ten Keys to Post-Processing
  53. Essential Skills to Post-Processing
  54. Headshot Post-Processing
  55. Bright Light Post-Processing
  56. Flat Light Post-Processing
  57. Low Light Post-Processing
  58. Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing
  59. Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing
  60. Dark & Moody Fine Art Post-Processing
  61. Post-Processing Critique of Student Images


Vitor Rademaker

This course is amazing! Scott is extremely straightforward. He goes directly to practical problems, tips and etc. He explains every thing very clearly, and he is also very funny and charismatic, making you laugh as you learn. He shows that you don't need a lot of expensive gear to make very nice pictures. So I have saved some money as well, cause I was about to buy some gear that I wouldn't need right now. It is for sure one of the best photography courses I have ever attended to! I highly recommend! Thanks a lot Scott! You are the best!


I have purchased a number of classes, this being one of them. The quality of the information was good and the level at which Scott spoke was appropriate for me. Having a course sylibus would add greatly to the value, which usually is not part of the programs I've purchased including this one, unless I've missed it. I believe the speaker should be required to provide one. After watching the videos, much of material can be recaptured by seeing it in writing. I would like to hear back from Creativelive their thoughts. In sum, good topic, good speaker, good technical audio and video quality by Creativelive


Another fantastic class with Scott Robert Lim! The combination of his knowledge, willingness to share, passion & entertaining personality makes him a top choice for photography education. Learning not only the "what", but the "why" & "how" can transform one's entire approach towards MAKING pictures. A constant inspiration to get better & better through practice.