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Color Correcting Images in Lightroom

Lesson 30 from: Wedding Photography: Capturing the Story

Rocco Ancora, Ryan Schembri

Color Correcting Images in Lightroom

Lesson 30 from: Wedding Photography: Capturing the Story

Rocco Ancora, Ryan Schembri

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Lesson Info

30. Color Correcting Images in Lightroom


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Define the Goals of Wedding Photographers


The Importance of Wedding Photographers


Shooting Philosophy


How to Build a Shot List - Bride, Groom & Formals


Tye the Wedding Story Together


Capture Stories in Wedding Pictures


Get the Right Exposure


Lesson Info

Color Correcting Images in Lightroom

So once we've created the collection of the actual images here, we then need to color correct the images. So, let's have a look at what we do with the images and how we color correct 'em. As we spoke about earlier, we look at, and these have already been corrected and we applied a setting on the time of import which is very, very important. So, that automatically suppressed our highlights. You can have a shadow detail and apply a medium contrast and tone curve. Okay, so I'm just gonna reset this as to how it was shot, which is pretty good. So everything for me begins with a little bit of highlight suppression and a little bit of shadow detail. So what we're doing here essentially, is expanding that dynamic range a little bit more. Okay, exposure in this is pretty good. I don't really need to touch the exposure 'cause I exposed correctly for this shot when we took the shots. Now, as far as contrast is concerned, at the moment we have a linear response between our shadows and highlights.

What we do, okay, we have our parametric curve and we go into medium contrast. So now the images start to have a little bit more pop. So, I also at this stage start playing around with color, so I think they're a little bit warm. So we just reduce the color a little bit. So the way the color sliders work, very simple, the temperature slider, move it to the left. It cools the image down. Move it to the right, it warms the image up. Okay, now sometimes in warming the image up in adding yellow if there's cyan present, what happens is you get green. 'Cause you're mixing yellow and cyan. So the tint slider, moving that to the right to take on the magenta will neutralize any green cast. Or the vice versa if there is a magenta cast, because there's a lot of blues and reds in it, we then take it away using our tint slider. So this determines how warm we make the image and what color we make it. And the bottom one determines our tint. Exposure, like it said, we don't really touch. Not that we need to touch it. The saturation, color and one thing we also need to do down here is something very, very important and we spoke about it earlier is the sharpening side of things. Now, sharpening, what we do with sharpening is we leave it to this default setting. Okay, so the amount is 25, the radius is one, detail 25, masking is zero, okay. Very, very simple. So, I mean with masking if you wanted to create more edge sharpness on the images that perhaps were under exposed and so on, but otherwise, masking we leave that down to zero. And you'll notice here, as the slider goes to the right with the amount of sharpening, we start to get a red cast, now what does that mean? It basically, Lightroom's telling you you should not be up here. There is no reason why you need to sharpen your images so much so keeping that, you know, at that level is perfect. And then, of course, we have our preview of our sharpness thing here which we can just click on to, and because of the resolution of this here, everything is just so big, but so we can take this and move it around to see just the effect of the sharpening. And it's not really rendering on that but, yeah. That's very sharp and still rendering. But, yeah, so that's your little preview window for your sharpening in there. Okay, but keeping it standard and then you can sharpen further down the track if you are gonna do things in Photoshop and so on. But one thing also, some images what I like to do is just give 'em a little bit of clarity as well. Just to have a little bit more structure to them. And just reduce the vibrance a little bit more because the vibrance just reduces, you know, the amount of yellows and reds and it just controls those a little bit better. But, once again, it just really depends on the image. So, what I wanna do, my purpose of correcting images, is to create good color corrected images. At this stage, I'm not gonna apply any effects. It's superfluous because I don't really know where they're gonna end up or what, you know what sort of effect whether it's gonna be color or black and white. We deliver everything to our clients in color and then we make creative decisions based upon when we print and of course when we do albums. But everything, to keep it simple is in color and the client is totally aware of that. The images, this is how we deliver the images. Now, in developing our customized style also, one thing that I do and it's very, very subtle is that I like to make my highlights a little bit creamier so I click onto my highlight tone here and I pick a warm tone. Do you see what's happening there? The minute I pick that warm tone and I just reduce or increase the saturation depending on what I wanna do so I'm gonna reduce it. Okay, so just into there okay and it gives me a nice, beautiful, creamy highlight, which is how I like it. 'Cause sometimes digital files can have these whited out quite blue and cyan and just really don't have a lot of character to them. So giving that a little bit more character. And the other way of doing that also, if I go into my curve, I can go into say my blue curve up at the top and I can put that endpoint down to give me even more creaminess if I want to. Or, going to my RGB curve, and just bringing that highlight point down just a fraction. Just to give me that nice, beautiful almost film look to what film used to be like when we shot film. You know, coming from a film background I'm very nostalgic, I mean I love it and I wanna create that nice look. So that's the basic color look and then everything else will stem from this. One of the great editing tools that I've purchased awhile back and I've tried a few with it, is Lightroom short cuts for your keyboard. Now, I believe the best one on the market is VSCO and if I press the escape key, you'll see it there. And I can control exposure just through keyboard short cuts. I can control color temperature. I can control everything. Rather than sitting there with sliders, which makes things just so awkward sometimes. I can configure my keyboard in which way I like, for my exposure plus and minus, temperature warm to cool, tint magenta to green, shadows positive negative, highlights, et cetera, et cetera. And I can configure this keyboard any which way I like. So essentially the way I've done it is that my left hand doesn't leave the keyboard. My right hand scrolls forward and I can copy and paste settings very quickly. And if you shot consistent throughout the day, it just makes things so much easier to be able to quickly correct. So VSCO Keys is what I use. So, I just love talking about products that I use. Now, I'm not sponsored by them or anything like that but it's a really good product. You should possibly try it out. Like, it's, you don't have to buy hardware for it, which is cool, it's just software based. So once I've done that, I'm assuming now if I've corrected everything, just giving you an idea of the way the corrections can work. I'll just apply, say let's get a few images that are the same. At the moment here I would do, say, make these a little bit more blue. Okay and increase the exposure. Now, I can copy just by hitting the comma key. All of these things and or some of these things. So I'm check none and we'll go into something say wide balance, copy that only. And, I can then select images following that are the same, press the full stop button which is my paste and all of those images will change color. Okay, so you can imagine just how quick this makes your workflow. To be able to rattle off hundreds and hundreds of corrections really quickly. Okay, before we move on to the next bit, Kristy, is there any questions? Yes, we have a question, you had mentioned earlier about applying a preset on import. Yeah. Is that, are you gonna go over that or do you wanna kind of go over the basics that you include in that? No, no, we'll do the preset right now. That'd be great. We'll actually create a preset. Okay, let's grab an image. So let me just get out of this. Okay, so let's go back into our library mode. And here we are, let's choose let's choose an image. Let's say, choose this one here. Okay so now let's go into develop and let's create a preset. So I'm gonna reset this so this was the way it was shot, straight out of the camera. This is what it looks like okay? So what I'm gonna do is first and foremost, reduce my highlights and increase my shadows a little bit. And a little bit of clarity and a little bit less vibrance and I'm not touching white balance at this stage or exposure because white balance or exposure are totally different for each shot. So we don't wanna put that in a preset. We only wanna put things that we can use over and over again. So we do that and medium, there we go medium contrast, linear, medium contrast so that is our preset. Now, how do we create the preset? I'm glad you asked so this is the way it works. So here, presets, preset name. Let's call this Import Preset. Import Pop because it does give the images a little bit more pop okay. And in folder, I use a presets or I'm gonna create possibly a new folder and we're gonna call that new folder Creative Live. And we create that. Now, choose another one, I've already got a folder created, of course I did 'cause that is what we did yesterday before we did this. So, let me just cancel that. So we'll create a different name, a new folder. We'll call it CC2, create. Now, I'm gonna check none. So what are the things that I wanna include in this preset that I've done? Well, obviously, number one is the tone curve, yeah. I wanna do my highlights and shadows. I'm gonna leave my white and black vibrance. In other words, the treatment, okay. And then, of course, the clarity. So once I've ticked on all of those things, this becomes my preset and I'm gonna go create. And there's my Import Pop preset. So now what happens is this. I'll go into an image. I can click onto that and it'll change. Let me reset because it's already been applied. That's it, okay, so the import is done. Okay, the import preset has been applied and then reducing the temperature and tint. But on import, how it works on import is this. I'll go into import and I will actually then look for my CC2 folder, Import Pop, so that is what I would use to you know. And it could be anything, you could have one that just does your saturation. You could do one that does different import things. But I think inherently, what you need to do is give these images a little bit more contrast, respect your highlights, a little bit more shadow so you're increasing that dynamic range. I like to take the vibrance down a little bit. Just personal preference and taste. And I could add to this if I wanted to the creamy highlight thing, but I've got that as a totally separate preset 'cause sometimes I apply it and sometimes I don't depending on the image, okay. Simple stuff. Anymore questions on that? Yeah, I have another one. Sure. That is related to your, how do you categorize your photo's? Do you segment them into different collections for time of day so you can keep 'em separate? No. So you just have 'em in one big-- What we do is because everything is sorted by capture time. Okay. They're chronological. Yep. Just the way we shoot 'em because I'm the only shooter telling the story, so it's very, very easy. But if you have multiple shooters, shooting at the same time, so if at 10:00 a.m. you're with the bride and at 10:00 a.m. your second shooter is with the groom, then what you need to do because those time stamps will be exactly the same, you would need to do a folder for groom's coverage and a folder then for bride's coverage and you could create different collections that way, which would make sense when you export your images out. Okay. So it's important, like I said it's just about being organized more than anything.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Posing Guide Book Chapter

Ratings and Reviews

Jerry Willis

Ryan & Rocco, in my very humble opinion, are THE best wedding photography instructors in the entire industry! I've been watching their work for years now, which just so happens to win a most grand-scaled competitions, and they somehow continue to keep getting better! I first drilled Ryan at WPPI inquiring about what made his workshop different from all the others. His response, me paraphrasing, "If you're looking for tools to learn, come to my workshop. If you're looking for inspiration and smoke blowing, don't come." That's exactly what I needed to hear. Straight tools, no fluff. THE BEST photography workshop I've EVER taken, by far. You want the best photography education, learn from the best. This CreativeLive workshop is the PERFECT complimentary refresher and companion to what I learned! Thank you so much for having them! It's not the same as the workshop, which it shouldn't be, but they ARE reinforcing many things that have slipped my memory! I'm for sure buying this! :-)

Neeraj Arora

WOW!!! I have started a few CL courses but not finished as I got distracted by "life" and it took me a while to get back and finish them. But these guys!! They were simply superb. I finished this course really fast. Amazing artists, they explain things so well, Ryan is such a charmer and engaging teacher, Rocco is a fountain of knowledge. I am an enthusiastic photographer with aspirations to start my own business soon. I learn't so much from this class that will help improve my photography even if I don't become a professional wedding photographer. Great job guys, keep it up. I will need to come back to the lessons and I very much appreciate the key note pdf. All CL courses should include the slides like they did here. Thanks CL.


I am a newborn photographer by trade, but I really want to venture out and photograph more weddings so I decided to purchase a wedding class on creative live. Of course when I typed in wedding, quite a few classes came up. But when I saw the image and title "capture the story" I was definitely intrigued. I've always been touched by the photographs that have emotion and that's what I'm passionate to photograph! Always a little nervous when you purchase a class because you don't want to feel like it was a waste of money, but this knocked it out of the park for me! Thank you to Ryan and Rocco for explaining so much, showing the pull backs, and moving your subject and explaining why! This has opened my eyes so much to how beautiful photographing a wedding can be and not so terrifying as I've been making it out to be. I'm really so thankful to hopefully being a great wedding photographer and making more income for my family, while having fun creating something beautiful

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