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Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 57 of 61

Low Light Post-Processing


Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 57 of 61

Low Light Post-Processing


Lesson Info

Low Light Post-Processing

The low light issue is great when you have a lot of lights in the background or you have lights in the foreground because that gives you a lot of liberty and because your background is dark a lot. That gives you a lot of ability to add special effects to it. And so I love shooting with the shallow depth of field in low light and having some sort of background with lights in the background. And then you can add bouquet. You can do a lot of stuff to it and it still looks believable. Okay so lets get in here and do some of this some of this stuff here. Like what we did. Let's lower the saturation a bit. Add the vibrance just to get this. And so what you can do with low light too is exaggerate some of the colors that are back there with the lights because nobody knows that that light was whatever color it was. And so you have a lot of flexibility what way. Okay so let move this into there. Right Let's just take the luminance. Hue here and let's just change that to what we want here. Here. ...

Darken it a bit. Okay. Let's just edit the skin a bit right there. Add a little bit of red to it and add a little noise filter to it. The color down. Hit the chromatic. Okay. And let's bring it into Photoshop here. And let me show you one thing that I do a lot. So the issue here is this is white here right? And we just wanna recolorize that. So the easiest way to do that is selecting the color on the screen that you kinda want it to be. Okay, so if I want it to be this color here I select it in the foreground and what you can do is when you get your paint brush on select darker color and this will say okay, I'm just gonna fill in the things that are lighter and whatever's darker I'm gonna fill in. So you see the foreground is darker than this background so it's gonna fill in that area. If there's something darker than my foreground it's not gonna touch that. And so that's how you can separate your painting. Is by just saying hey, just fill it in on that darker area. Don't really touch that blue. And so now you can just fill it in and do that, right? And then that's how you selectively choose color and that's really great when you're in little tight places and you need to colorize things and that works for you and is a good way to do that. Okay. And then you can kind of also too blend it. Where as if I wanna choose the blue now and I go lighter color. Actually opposite and I can edit that. You can also take, like colored balls, which I like doing on top of that. So let's say you don't. Let's say you like these colors here and you wanna change it. You can select a totally different color. Which I like doing. Different tonings to it. And lets say I just wanna select a lighter pink. Right here. And I'll take a really large brush and I'll just add it in. Just select normal. Right. And then you can do a really small flow. But a lot of times what I'll do is just add hints of color here and there to just open up areas if it's too dark. But I won't do it just with lighten. I'll just do it with a color. Right. And it just adds another dimension into it than just using a strict lighten and darken. And I'll use just different colors to give it a different complexity. And so when you have large areas like this sometimes just to give it that edge you can just bring in different colors with it. Okay. And let me just do this. Just really quickly. Real quick this skin smoothing here. And I'll just do it with the. Totally changed my Here it is over here. Where it was. So I smoothed that out. See it's already set up for me. I just needed to change the slider on what I need it by. There. Grain, I select that and then bam I'm off to the races. I can go in smooth that. Take these darker areas. I'm just gonna do this quick. I'm gonna just do a global adjustment on this. So you just get an idea of how it's smoothed out really quickly. And then again what I like doing after that is smoothing that out. Okay. Good. Just to flatten that out. Just to flatten that out. Everything is changed. I have a button for everything and it's all changed on me. Okay. So then we do that and then we add the layer of grain there. Over it. And let me just bring that in alien skin again and see what we can do with that. A lot of my low light stuff with video light, I definitely use alien skin to finish it off with. Save that. Okay. And then add those different things to it. I have to wait for it to save a little bit. We'll get going. Okay. Exposure three. Add a copy to it. And we have all the tons of lighting effects through here. What you can do with it. And so what I did on this particular one is I kinda liked is exploring some different options with it. So let's say you like that but it's not right in the right position for you. You can switch this around. The reason why is you can actually do this in Photoshop. It's the same thing but this is a lot faster. By switching your texture around. Masking it out. Right. Changing the position of it. I mean everything can be in Photoshop and see how it says screen here. You can change it to multiply. Right. And change the different levels in there. Effects. It's not as controllable as Photoshop because they open this area and not allow you to do that effect in that area but it's just much faster. Okay so let's say you do this but you don't really like all of it there. You can just paint the areas out that you don't like. Okay. And so you can go to town on that. But I do a lot of that kind of. So a lot of people don't know how I get those lighting effects. A lot of it is just textures added later. And added into it. Especially when I'm doing low light.

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.