The Lightroom Clarity slider adds a powerful localised contrast effect that can work well on colour shots, but really comes into its own with black and white. It recaptures the some of the punchiness of old black and white films without pushing the overall contrast out of control. Here’s an example. I took this black and white shot on the coast where I live and the original shot is a little underexposed and flat-looking. That’s not a problem – at least I’ve got a full range of tones to work with. Now I’ve done everything possible to give it...Read More
HDR (high dynamic range techniques) are sometimes necessary to cope with scenes that have a higher dynamic range than the camera’s sensor can cope with. But that’s happening less and less as sensor technology improves. The latest D-SLR sensors don’t just have increased dynamic range, they’re able to capture shadow detail with less noise than before. This means that if you shoot RAW files, which retain a greater brightness range than JPEGs, it’s often possible to capture a scene’s full brightness range even in situations as tricky as this one, and this Lightroom HDR effect can make the most...Read More
You’ll probably want to take a softly softly approach with female portraits, but male subjects usually demand a different style. Here are some Lightroom portrait tips for giving your pictures a more powerful, grittier feel. I want to give this outdoor shot (above) a grungy, contrasty look, and I’ve got a favourite set of adjustments in Lightroom that will do just that. I use them so often I’ve saved them as a preset. You can see the changes in the image with each step in the walkthrough below. 01 Go for Clarity The heart of this technique is...Read More
There is more than one type of sharpening. It’s a common mistake for photographers to look at an image, choose a sharpening setting that looks right and imagine that they’ve fixed it. They may have made it worse… In fact, there are three types of sharpening, and they do three different jobs. These are ‘capture sharpening’, ‘creative sharpening’ and ‘output sharpening’. The trick is to know when to use which, and not to use sharpening settings which could cause problems further down the line. Capture sharpening is used simply to overcome any slight image softness caused by the camera...Read More
You tend to think of Lightroom as an image cataloguing program with some image-editing tools thrown in, but actually Lightroom 5 can do many of the jobs that Photoshop can. It’s especially good at building effects from a series of different adjustments – and you can then save these effects as a preset you can apply to other images with a single click. Black and white is my favourite medium, and I’m going to use Lightroom to create a traditional high-contrast, grainy look. There are a number of steps, but you don’t have to follow all of them –...Read More
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