Lightroom post note

So you have a nice image – now you need some post-production work done, since the image out of camera may well need a little bit of need cropping and other adjustments. But you want to do these adjustments quickly and well.

What adjustments? Well, let’s take this example out of the camera. I shall show you how I do one.

Here, an image from last Sunday’s workshop. Model Kassandra lit using available light, and using a paper backdrop. First I crop, and then here is the image:

I am after a high-key look to make her eyes stand out. But it is a little dark, because the model was pointed the wrong way (available light comes from a direction, in this case the camera’s left side), and because my camera told me the wrong exposure (yes, I should have probably done this in the camera, but even when you do, the RAW file can turn out different from the camera’s histogram).

So using the histogram to guide me, I dragged the white area to the far right. And here it is, with exposure corrected (up half a stop):

Now the next adjustment: using the HSL/Color/B&W tool, click on B&W to make it black and white. (Important tip: ensure you set white balance correctly before you do this).

Mmm. That is “vanilla” black and white. But now the trick. Go into the B&W adjustment in Lightroom, and drag the luminance of orange and red (but mainly orange) up to, say, +20 or more (in my case here: +39, and red to +20). This gives clearer, smoother skin:

Now use the healing tool to cleak a few skin blemishes on the model’s left knee (and I turned up the exposure just tad more):

And there we have it, in a few seconds, an image that was a bit dark has been made into a great black and white image.

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