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Optimize Images Through Lightroom

Lesson 31 from: Wedding Photography: Capturing the Story

Rocco Ancora, Ryan Schembri

Optimize Images Through Lightroom

Lesson 31 from: Wedding Photography: Capturing the Story

Rocco Ancora, Ryan Schembri

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Lesson Info

31. Optimize Images Through 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

Optimize Images Through Lightroom

So generically that's really what happens as far as work or how we're getting images in with them, how we correct 'em et cetera, et cetera. Now once, you know, we need to do a little bit more extensive editing as far as Lightroom is concerned like the image could end up in an album or we wanna do something a little bit more creative 'cause we're gonna put 'em on a blog et cetera, et cetera. Then we have an unlimited amount of control in the things that we can in this program and I'm just gonna open up just a different Lightroom catalog. Skip this time and hit Photoshop, that's it. So I'm just gonna open up another catalog. The idea is once again, consistency in what you do. Just because it's got a lot of buttons doesn't mean you gotta use 'em all, yeah? So file, let's open a recent Photoshop examples. Skip this time, its launching a new catalog so we've gotta different images. Okay, so let's have a look at okay. Let's work this image here in Lightroom in our develop module. Now here wh...

en we exposed, what was important about this image is this area here, the little light glass. There's no point going to a place like this and blowing that out or trying to introduce flash at a place where this just wasn't gonna happen. But I've got enough information there so I'm just gonna reset this to the way that I want it to be. And we'll begin, once again with our highlights and our shadows. So we'll bring our shadows up, highlights down a little bit more and we need to increase the exposure here just a touch. Bring the highlights down a little bit more. What we'll do also now, the temperature wise. Temperature's gonna come down on this a little bit. Gonna bring our vibrance down, okay. And, in here, what's important is also our clarity. So, pushing that clarity up just a little bit. But the beauty of course with Lightroom is that we can apply now these adjustments locally, which is really, really cool okay. So I can come in now with a brush and I could apply a positive exposure increase, I could apply more contrast to a selected area. I could bring, I control my highlights even more if I wanted to so I could just have negative highlights say just on the window here and brush it in and just darken that window ever so slightly, you know to be able to control that spirit of light. And just reduce also, that a little bit more. So as we move in a little bit closer here, we could have a new brush with say positive exposure and we can lighten certain sections of it here as we have shot at very high eye so very dark place. Okay so we lighten certain areas. So we have an incredible amount of control and once again this is non-destructive folks. So we're not doing anything to the file whatsoever. We're not dodging and burning an aped image in Photoshop that then becomes a recipe for disaster when we start to look at the possibilities of banding et cetera, et cetera. So we'll just lighten that up a little bit more. That area there. Gonna create a new brush, okay, just with negative exposure this time. And I'm just gonna darken down the top of this just a little bit. And the beauty, I can go back into that and just control. So we have incredible amount of exposure control. Okay, new brush again and I can keep on adding brushes and adjustments to create a positive increase in exposure and once I've done that I can go now into my Lightroom color effects or my image adjustments or any preset that I have in here which is awesome. So let's have a look, let's have a look at say Lightroom color effects, let's pick one that I have. Let's go into this one here which gives me a nice warm tone. Can't really see it on the screen but it's given me a nice warm tone, cool shadows or anything else that I want to apply. So once I've established the tonal relationship first, we can then so that's quite nice as well. So it's given us different looks depending on what we want to achieve. Or I can go into something like black and white. A black and white preset. I could do a quick black and white or I could do a something I call nostalgia which is like a vintage black and white. A chocolatey sort of color and et cetera, et cetera. Cooler tones if we wanted to and so on and so on. Getting back to controlling your highlights and shadows here, your highlight and shadow tint. If I've got a black and white I could have say, a warm tone through my highlight here by clicking onto the highlights and increasing the saturation. Or my shadows, I could make say a blue tone if I wanted to create a split tone effect. And then reduce the saturation of that and then work out the balance of how much with the highlights in and with the shadows finish to create this really subtle, beautiful toning effect. So essentially, all of this work even for the albums is all done in Lightroom. Then what we do in Photoshop which is the next step of what we do a little bit later in the next lesson is about what needs to be done in Photoshop and why? And we're gonna talk about skin retouching and et cetera, et cetera. But essentially, the toning of the images, establishing that tonal relationship of the images is all done through Lightroom, non-destructively. And then, of course, bringing it on to Photoshop which is the next lesson that we'll do. That's quite nice Roc. Yeah, thank you. Well done. Yeah pretty much just first wedding, just pulled something out of my hat. (audience chuckling) Kristy back to you. Yes, well we definitely, we have a lot of questions coming in. I think this is such valuable information every photographer has is learning workflow, incorporating workflow into their business. So this is fantastic. Going back a little bit to the slideshows you were talking about, doing the same day edit, giving them to your clients. Nicole is asking and saying that she typically finds the first images she shows her clients are the ones they get the most emotionally attached to. So when you give them images that quickly and immediately does it hinder you later when you're doing sales of prints or do they not wanna see, not not wanna see, but do they get too attached to those first ones and then they don't accept the other ones quite as much? No. No, I'd say it has the opposite effect. Yeah, absolutely it helps our album sales so much. Okay. 'Cause yes, they've already seen a certain amounts but we're building the excitement level basically for what's to come. And again, it comes back to that planting of the seeds things that we do throughout this whole process. The whole wedding experience prior to the wedding. On the wedding day, we're even planting seeds at that point. I often say to my clients as I'm shooting, guys this is gonna look amazing in your album. Sometimes I get really smart alecky about it and I say to them, you know how you get the little envelopes tonight when you get those little gift envelopes and they got money in them, make sure you keep some because you're gonna be upgrading the pages in your album as well. (Kristy chuckling) So I think it does help definitely for us because, yeah, you're just building that excitement level. They're then, they're hooked in. Yeah. And wanting to see more. Sure, one of the things we always tell our clients is that we're not there just to meet your expectations, we want to exceed your expectations. Great. Your job is to resist from buying every single photograph we take. (Kristy chuckling) And they laugh. And I go, don't laugh 'cause it's gonna happen. (chuckling) So, we're quite confident about what we can come back with, so. Great, and can you go over, I know it's gonna be different for every photographer and potentially every wedding, but do you have typical numbers of how many you usually put in the slideshow? How many wedding's you usually deliver to a client at the end? Yeah, yeah so typically the slideshow part's really easy. Okay. It's between 80 and 90 images end up in that slideshow. We find that fits the length of music time that we like to work with. Four minutes. Kind of four and a half minute track I think is good. With a four and a half minute track, you can go to 90 but it's really dependent upon how long your track is 'cause you don't want your transition to be, you know. So fast. So the algorithms in Animoto actually time it to the music anyway. So if the music isn't long enough and you've put in 200 images, it'll tell you, you need to add another song. Yeah. But the idea is not to add another song. The idea is to make it short, sweet maximum impact, pick the best shots, and that's exactly the way it works. Yeah, that four to four and a half minute time in that slideshow that's the limit of what you can push people's attention span. Sure. Especially at a wedding. They wanna continue drinking and having a party. (Kristy giggling) Having a good time. So absolutely. Yeah absolutely. Great so back to some of the actual processing here. When you apply one of those presets after you've made some individual edits, do the presets override what you've already done or just add to it? No, no, no because the presets essentially work on color toning, which I haven't touched in the original, you know, tonality relationship basically which is what we're doing. So first we're adjusting color, tonal relationships. The presets, the way that we've designed the presets is that they only effect your color. Your highlight, shadows, and the possibility of more saturation, less saturation et cetera, et cetera. Okay. So some give you toning of different types through highlights and shadows, some are balance, some are warmer, some are cooler. So they give you all these different looks. Some will reduce your contrast and give you more a milky look but they don't really, you know, they don't really touch anything to do with your tonality. And as I explained earlier, you choose when you create that preset, what you include and what the preset doesn't because if the minute you start having a preset that touches your exposure, color, temperature, and so on, then yeah. It could be all over the place. Yeah, but the key is this. The key is before you do apply a color, tone preset have a good image to start with in the sense have a good color corrected image. Because if your color balance isn't right out of camera and you try to apply a preset, that preset could be interpreted totally different based on the tones that are present within that image. So get it corrected first and then apply your preset whether it's a black and white preset or whether it's color presets. 'Cause at the end of the day, a good black and white comes from a really good color photo. Yeah. So you can't really, 'cause all the tones need to be there, all the colors need to be there. And you had mentioned earlier you have some presets, Lightroom presets on your website, is that true? Yeah. We do. Yeah, we have a Wordplay set that has about 100 Lightroom presets in terms of all of our color effects that we add for either the same day slideshows but we add these a lot for album prints and reprints and so forth. So they're bundled with our Photoshop actions which we'll go into a little bit later on as well. And yeah, there's a whole heap in there. We think it's a pretty good value for what it is. You can do all sorts of things. You can see the preview changing on the left hand side. Yeah, you got a warm silver on that. I love to get a warm silver. Warm silver's really cool, so. Yeah. Warm silver's awesome. Yeah. I mean this monitor really, you're not seeing the subtleties in color but on a calibrated monitor it's just beautiful. And the effects really, they're just to, you know, this is not really a nice dew. The stylized rose gold which gives you a nice, beautiful pop to your oranges going through there and you know. Because there's many different ways that we can deal with color tones. Whether we deal with individual saturation sliders through your presets, which is what I've done here. I've increased the luminesce of all the oranges and the reds and the yellows but also the saturation's of the red and the oranges. Took down the saturation's of anything that was blue to create this preset here and you can see here in the saturation bit and then of course, hues you can change here, which I haven't in this case. But you can make your reds more red or look more orange and so on and so on. So, when you do create presets for yourself, this is just and endless world of what you can do. The idea is to keep it simple and to keep it consistent. So like I said, once we get to album designing in the next couple of sessions, you'll see that everything in an album is really all about the photography and the effect is there, but it's in the background kind of thing. It's there to just support everything that the image needs to say.

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

Student Work