Ok so today we are doing 2 things. We are going to tweak one of my favorite presets [bubbly] and use the adjustment brush. This preset is sooo gorgeous on natural light newborn shots. Gives it a little bit of a peachy tone. Mmm!
We are taking an image of my toddler. I am using it because it’s a close up, good focus, good exposure (raw gives you more wiggle room) and will allow us to work without a lot of zooming for this tut.
I am showing a SOOC image which means straight out of the camera. I have seen people incorrectly use the term recently. It literally means NO adjustments have been made to it. It means you took the picture, your camera burned it to memory and then puked it out onto your hard drive.
* my little disclaimer. i am not a lightroom guru. i’m really not. i have a working knowledge of the develop module. that’s it -really. so i always teach/share out of my own knowledge and how i work in lightroom. nothing more.
Now does one NEED presets?
But do you know how many darn sliders I would have to move around to do what [bubbly] did in a split second? Nearly all of them. And that, my friends, is exactly why I use presets and make them.
And a little tip for using some of my presets: they generally run bright. Rather than adjust fill light, tone curve or even brightness- hit the Exposure slider FIRST. For me there are no ‘rules’ in Lightroom working with RAW. Whatever gets me in and out and looking good. You can adjust white balance and exposure first- and I would if I were not using a preset. But since I know that many of my presets are bright- I play the preset then adjust. Why? Because I can. I am not in Photoshop so I personally choose not to follow ‘rules’ since – well I don’t have to. It’s not destructive, I’m not hurting anyone or anything and I can SO quickly undo anything. But that’s me. I get that others may like to follow an order of things. I am just showing you ‘my’ order because it’s how I actually work in Lightroom. Doesn’t mean you have to do it my way.
and here’s the part where i drop capital letters…hehe
(i often do fix exposure and white balance sloppily when i first view a session because it gives me a clear view of what i am really looking at)
first up is the sooc.
and i like the color shifts the set has. i chose [bubbly] because i love it.
so rather than adjusting the fill light, tone curve or brightness:
next up i wanna gently pop the eyes. now everyone’s taste varies with eye pops. some people don’t do them at all. some people do them too much and with a heavy hand.
i like to do them but lightly. the trick is actually to get light INTO the eye. if the subject’s back is to the light source- you are going to have dark caves for eyes and no amount of ‘popping’ is going to make them look amazing and naturally sparkly. in those cases- settle for a gentle enhance and call it a day.
the adjustment brush for so many seems to be a source of intimidation.
don’t let it be that to you! the brush is simply a way to add adjustment layers by painting. that’s it yo!
so eye pop:
click on the adjustment brush
see my settings?
start there for an eye pop.
you might want to add some saturation but i generally do not on close ups. they get fake looking fast. eww
now remember even AFTER painting- you can adjust these sliders to your heart’s content when done.
want to delete the adjustment altogether? click on the silver pin and then tap delete on your keyboard. gone.
need to adjust a diff adjust brush pin? click on that pin and the adjustment box goes to those settings and you can retweak them.
why? because i did a colorless eye pop.
if i had used saturation- then i would have swiped only the iris. if you did saturation- then click NEW and then do a light dodge at .10 to .20 exposure on the eye whites.
now into photoshop i go to finish this up. all i really want to do is tweak the skin tones a little bit.
and now i am happy. it’s cleaned up, the color is pretty to me- i like her skin tones. she does not look like an alien, her skin does not look pasty or look oversmoothed like plastic (it’s naturally smooth because she’s 2 lol).
there are no clipped highlights on her skin (nothing overexposed)
so a quick before and after to see where we started and where we ended up: