Lightroom portrait tips

Lightroom portrait tips to put power into your people shots

04 Change the Temperature

Lightroom portrait tips

The Saturation reduction I carried out in Step 2 has subdued the colours, but hasn’t quite given me the faded look I’m after. But if I increase the Temperature value in the white balance section, the colours become warmer and I get the aged look I want.

05 Local Adjustments

Lightroom portrait tips

I’ve noticed that the increased contrast has made my subject’s eyes look too dark where they’re shaded by his hat, so I’ve used the Adjustment Brush tool to put this right. You can see the mask created by the brush displayed in red over the image, and on the right is the adjustment I’ve made to the Exposure slider to lighten up this part of his face.

06 A Vignette to finish

Lightroom portrait tips

Adding a vignette helps frame my subject’s face and adds a bit of contrast to the image. It also reinforced the faded ‘lo-fi’ look I’m going for. It helps isolate the guy from the background, too, and gives his face a luminous quality. Lightroom’s vignette effect isn’t terribly subtle, so I usually push the Feather value up to maximum, then move the Midpoint slider to the left so that the effect starts nearer the centre of the frame. Now I just move the Amount slider to the left until the picture looks about right.

07 The finished picture

Lightroom portrait tips

This gritty ‘urban’ look won’t suit every subject, but I think it works well here. You can save all these adjustments as a part of a new preset, except for any Adjustment Brush enhancements you’ve added – these will obviously vary from one image to another, so they’re not included in the list of settings you can save.

See also

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