I am a HUGE fan of Lightroom. As a matter of fact, Lightroom is the only reason that I am able to give my clients tons of edited photos, in a timely manner. Don’t get me wrong, I love CS4, but I don’t edit all of my photos with it, just the ones I really love. Even so, I always start with Lightroom. Because I receive so many emails from photographers asking me how I get my colors to pop and the creamy skin tones that I get, I decided to do this little post to maybe help a lot of photographers out, at the same time. Tuesday I will post how I use Totally Rad Actions to enhance my favorite images and polish them off.
First things first, you need to shoot in manual, shoot in RAW, and have a basic understanding of light and exposure. If you can nail your exposure, your colors will look great straight out of the camera, and you can just help them a little. What I like to do is start with a basic preset I have made and saved, then adjust it to the subject’s skin tones and the light the photo is in, etc. Once I have it the way I like it, I save it as a new preset, naming it after the couple’s name and the location. I then select the number of photos taken at the same location and lighting, and I paste it into the first one, and click the “sync” button. After that has finished running, I then have from 2 to 4000 photos that are all the colors and tones I would like. I still go through each one, and check to see if it quickly needs adjusted. Many people purchase presets and are later disapointed because they don’t look the same or have the effect they wanted – but they do not know that that is just a base, you will need to adjust them a little here and there and then save a copy as your own. Everyone shoots different, and someone like myself that exposes for the skin tones, may shoot different for someone that exposes for the sky.
The before photos are straight out of the camera. All I did was import them into Lightroom and export them out. I decided to show you two, one that had warm light, and one that was cooler. The only step that is not in the presets is when I use the brushes in Lightroom, to paint in the sky negative brightness and around the face and eyes with positive brightness.
I develop and use my presets to give a slight lift and pop, without them looking overdone. I can’t wait to show you what I can do with CS4 and Totally Rad Actions!
The first set is a photo I took and used a preset I made Summer Pop by Angel (I’m not as creative with naming The second set is a photo I wanted a little bit of warmth.