Lightroom Workflow Overview
So now we're gonna jump into Lightroom and actually go over our editing approach and what we look for and how we use those presets on different types of images. So we're gonna switch over to my laptop here. Switch, good. So, before I jump in and start editing I'm just gonna go over each of the sliders and explain it in my own version, what each slider does. I know if you ask different photographers, different editors, they're all gonna have their own explanation. I think it's important to understand where we come from and what our explanation is for each of the sliders. So that, you understand our editing a little bit better. White balance, pretty straightforward, tint, as well. Exposure, also very straightforward. But where we try to slow down a little bit is on the contrast slider. So the general interpretation is that it makes the whites whiter and the blacks more black, but what it also does, especially on color images, is it's gonna mess up with colors a lot. So, it's a slider tha...
t we try to keep an eye on and not go too crazy on. Typically it'll stay around plus 10, plus 20 and not much further. If we do want more punch in an image the go-to slider for that would be the blacks, which, does visually the same effect but it really only effects the black part of an image rather than the colorful midtones as well. Highlights, well it's everything that's bright but not completely white. So it'll mute, especially skin tones, or make them brighter, we typically like to pull the highlights to increase the tonal range in the image. So somewhere between minus 10, minus 20 is where we will end up. Shadows, same idea, but with a darker end of the spectrum, so we'll increase those so that we get a wider tonal range as well. Get a little bit more detail in the shadows, that slider can go anywhere between plus 10 and plus 90. You know, raw files nowadays have so much data in them, pushing your shadows is something that is perfectly acceptable and that you can definitely get away with. Whites compared to highlights is really the extreme edge of the bright tonal range. So anything that is really close to a blown out highlight will be considered in the whites and that slider, we either pull it to retain softer skin tones, because a lot of whites live on the face, or we will push it to increase the visual contrast in the photo. Blacks, like I was mentioning before, that is a slider that we will generally pull to give a little bit more punch to the images. Further down we have clarity, which we do like to use, but always in moderation. And that's just gonna increase some of the texture around the image, but if it goes to high then it can obviously, you know, destroy the image a little bit too much and if you go too far in the minuses, well that makes it look like a photo from the 90s. So we definitely try to avoid that a little bit. Vibrance and saturation have very similar effects. My definition of vibrance vs saturation is that vibrance increases the colors that are already there. Whereas saturation will try and go and add more color to areas that might not necessarily have it. So we'll generally increase vibrance over saturation just because we wanna enhance the colors that are already there.
I'm learning so much, I've never heard that definition, makes sense.
Tone Curve, something that we don't really adjust on a per image basis. In some cases we'll just increase the highlights and pull the shadows, just to create a little bit more contrast in our images, but it's something that again, you can achieve very easily with your blacks and your whites as well. So it's not of a huge relevance. HSL so, hue, saturation, and luminance. Those are sliders that we do want to use and that we do modify on a per image basis. It allows us to really control the colors on a per channel basis. So, for example, a good application would be on the orange channel, if we feel that the skin tone is a little bit too red or too orange, well we can control the skin tone specifically here. Using that in combination with the saturation adjustment we can decrease the saturation just on the oranges, giving the bride here a much more neutral skin tone. Then luminance will increase the brightness or decrease the brightness of that color specifically. So, again, just staying on the oranges it'll make the skin tone bright or darker. Split toning is not something that we generally use, but just to explain what it does, is it applies a layer of color on top of the image. So either on your highlights or your shadows. So if we increase it quite a bit so you can see all the highlights go red because that's what our hue is set to, but we can change that color to go a little bit more green, more blue, whatever the color is that we choose. A good application of it is at a very low setting. So a simple five or six and then give it a little bit more green or yellow to give the image a little bit more warmth. Same thing on the end of the shadows. So applying a layer of color on top of the shadows and then adjusting what kind of color it is. Again, at a very low amount it can achieve very nice effects. Sharpening, noise reduction, our default is to set our sharpening at 75. All the other settings remain the same as they are. It does a good job on all images and it doesn't destroy anything that could potentially get destroyed. And from noise reduction we'll generally set our settings at 30 luminance, detail 50, and that will do a good job on all images. When the image does need the noise reduction it will go ahead and apply it. And an image that doesn't have much noise doesn't have much grain, it will not really have any effect on the photos. So it's not gonna do anything negative. So for the sake of keeping a very simple approach with all of our images, which you've gathered at this point that we like to have, we set it to plus 30 and leave it the same across all of the images. Lens correction, we do generally turn on our profile correction just to get rid of some of the vignetting and distortion that can come with some of our lenses. Transform doesn't really apply unless we have really architectural photos. Under effects we do use a slight vignette so our post-crop vignetting will generally be set at minus 10. Something that we can remove if our subject is really really close to the edge and then camera calibration will be set to adobe standard by default, but when we use our develop presets, that does get changed. So, let's go ahead and jump into the editing itself.