Bring Out Detail in Lightroom
Let me just hit reset, start fresh. I'm gonna start with Paro, which is our go-to, very neutral preset. The important thing to remember about presets is they're really meant to be a starting point. Everything that you see in our final product, it had a preset as a starting point and then we've tweaked it and made some adjustments to it to really bring out the best out of the image. Once I've applied the preset, what this one has done, contrast only went up to plus five. Highlights a simple minus five. Shadows get bumped up a little bit. Whites stay at minus 10 and blocks go to minus to really give us a lot of the punch. However, straight out of camera, this is not enough. We do want to brighten up the image a little bit. So we'll just go in our exposure and make it a little bit brighter. At the same time, we'll go ahead and adjust our white balance, make it a little bit warmer and a little less green. Once we're happy with that, we can look at our cropping. So here, there's quite a fe...
w distractions that take away from the strength of the moment. So we want to get rid of the hand over here on the right side. And we even want to get rid of the face all way on the left. So that we can really focus on the hands and the face itself. So that would be one way to edit which is a very clean, simple, with no adjust brushing. Not making the image more complicated. But we do want to bring out a little more out of the image. So the way that we're gonna do that is by actually lowering our exposure. Making sure that our exposure is set for the highlights. So over here, on this side of the face. And then going into our Adjustment brush and with our Develop preset pack, we have three different brushes that come with it. And the first one that we're gonna use is called simply D plus D Dodge. And what that does is it pulls the contrast, pulls the highlights, and also pushes the shadows and the exposure. And we can pass this brush very loosely on the image. And because the contrast is down and the highlights are down, the highlights in the photo are not gonna get effected. So it allows us to really dodge the shadows only and not really affect the highlights in the image. So you can see I'm passing over my highlights, but those are not really changing in terms of exposure. So I'm bringing out more detail in the shadow area, while I'm not affecting the highlights. If that's not enough, all you have to do is simply hit new so you get a second brush and pass it again and bring out a little bit more detail out of the shadow area. Another brush that we really like to use is called D plus D Punch. And what that does, is increases the contrast. Pulls the blacks even further, gives it more clarity and more saturation. That one is great to use on the edges of the frame to really give it more texture and more color all while not brushing over the face so that skin tones remain nice and neutral. Once we're happy with that, we'll move on to the next image. Staying with the Paro preset. Something very, very simple. Good starting point. I have some brushes here, my apologies. I'll just reset those. So first step is gonna be adjust our exposure. Looking at the highlights in the image. So really the edge of the dress and the highlight on her face. Once that's good, we'll go in and adjust our white balance. Make it just a tad warmer and a little less green. And maybe a tad more contrast in this image. Now I do wanna bring out a little bit more detail in the shadow area. So we'll go to our adjust brush, take our Dodge, and really bring out a little bit more detail out of the right side of the frame. Cropping, make sure that everything is nice and centered. Here the chandelier doesn't really add anything to the image and we do have the space on the sides to go ahead and crop it in. So we'll go ahead and do that. Make sure that everything is centered because it's a very graphic architectural photo. Take it all the way, same as with our photography. We wanna make sure that we take the cropping all the way. And then last step would be to take our D and D Punch brush and give it just a little bit more color and texture and contrast to the dress and to the edges of the frame.
If you wanted to neutralize the dress and stepping out?
I'll do on the other one. I have reset our brush. So again, the Paro preset. Very, very good starting point. It gives a little bit of punch to the images, but doesn't do to much to it either. We'll adjust first with our exposure. Go a little bit brighter. In this case, we can pull our highlights a little bit more just because we want to retain a little more information in the windows. And there's no skin tone here to go to muted which can happen if you pull the highlights too much, so.
There's fur tone.
There's fur tone, yes. (chuckles) We'll also push the shadows a little bit to bring out a little more detail. And if we want more contrast, we can go ahead and do that. One thing I don't love in this image is how the bear is coming out really yellow. And I don't feel that a white balance will go ahead and fix that. So that best way to fix that is go down to our hue saturation luminance adjustments. Go into our saturation and pull the yellows and the oranges a little further down. So we neutralize that color specifically. Last step, we'll take our Adjustment brush. There's no real dodging to do in this case. But we do want to give it a little more punch. So we'll just pass the Punch brush over the bear and over the wall and over the windows. Just give the image a little bit more contrast. Image like this. Again, very, very simple edit. We really don't wanna be doing too much to it. So apply our Paro preset. Adjust our exposure first. And then fix our white balance. Go ever so slightly cooler. Go a little bit more pink so their skin tones aren't too green. And then my mindset now is telling me, go back to slightly under exposed look with a little bit more contrast. And instead of trying to get it perfect on the bride's face, we'll go ahead and simply do a little bit of dodging. Let's take our D and D Dodge brush and apply it on the bride herself. She's the one who's in focus. And what we wanna do with our editing is really control where the viewer is looking at the image. And that's done by under exposing the entire scene and then dodging where the subject goes. If you look away from the photo and then look at it again, will your eyes immediately gonna go to a brighter part of an image. Let's just general, human nature. We always look at the highlights first. So wanna make sure that there's the most light on the main subject. Sorry, I'm just gonna fix my Adjustment brush which seems to have been applied on all images. So I don't have to keep presetting on a per image basis. Alright, so back to our Paro preset, which is a good, good starting point. And then we'll adjust our exposure. Get it in the right ballpark. Looking at the highlights. So here the highlight is on the artwork here and on the fan over here. So I don't wanna go much brighter than this. Adjust our white balance to get rid of some of the greens. Go a tad warmer, preserve that mood that we really look for in the images. And then if you wanna give a little more light to some of the people in the frame. Well this will be done with the Adjustment brush and just by dodging the subjects a little bit more. Last step is to take an additional Adjustment brush, take the Punch and really go over the landscape of the photo. So everywhere where there's no real subject and just give it a little bit more contrast and a little bit more color. Final step, just perfect the crop ever so slightly. So we don't see too much on the right side. And as I do that, I realize I'm cropping out the top of the hands.
The bottom of it too.
Yeah, I'm getting too close to the bottom of the fan here so I will ignore it and leave it uncropped.
As the photographer of this picture, I would rather you leave it uncropped.
There you go. (laughing) Couple more images with the Paro preset. In this case, color versus black and white. It's a debate. The colors don't really add anything, so going black and white is something that we might want to do. But let's try to get a neutral skin tone just by keeping it in color. So first step was adjusting our exposure. Go in and try to adjust her white balance. Get the skin tone neutral, but just a little bit warm. Get rid of some of the greens with the tint. And then maybe pull our highlights ever so slightly just to retain a little more detail. And I'm actually go pull our shadows back closer to zero. Just so we don't get too much detail coming through the grooms suit. Take our adjust brush, set it to Dodge and pass it over the bride and groom. And so with our Develop presets, we've also included three different tools. So our noise reduction and sharping settings which we've seen set to our default. We also have a Vignetting tool which we'll go ahead and apply our radial filter. Which will just darker the edges of the frame a little bit. Give it a little bit more clarity and a little bit more texture. So in an image like this where we're using our flip card on our flash, there's nothing to balance off of. It's nice to apply a little bit more vignette to darken the edges and keep the viewer really focused in the center of the image.
Now this was a reception with no ceiling, so we were using that little flip card you were talking about.
Yeah. Very simple setting. Again, Paro preset really does a good job. Whoops, definitely don't want to do that.
Really does a good job. (audience laughs)
Go a little bit brighter. Give it maybe a little more contrast. Adjust our white balance. Go back to under expose the scene a little bit. Take our Dodge brush and just pass it over the bride and groom a little bit. Adds a little bit more light on them. We want to crop out the top of this image just because the architecture there doesn't really add anything. And at the same time, we'll try to straighten out the lines ever so slightly. Last step we can do is take our Punch brush and pass it over the landscape of the photo. By landscape, I mean anything that is not the main subject. So gives a little more contrast, more saturation to the edges of the frame. And we can even go ahead and apply our Vignette as a final touch.