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Seรกn McCormack


Seรกn McCormack



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INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1 UNDERSTANDING THE HISTOGRAM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 2 BACK TO BASICS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 3 CAMERA PROFILES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 4 MAKING WHITE WHITE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 5 BEAUTY RETOUCHING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 6 DODGE AND BURN FOR BEAUTY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 7 CROSS PROCESSING.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 8 ACHIEVING A FILMIC LOOK.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 9 IMAGE TONING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 10 CROPPING INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE IMAGE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 11 STRAIGHTENING PHOTOS.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 12 FIXING SKIES IN LIGHTROOM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 13 TILT SHIFT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 14 EFFECTIVE SHARPENING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 15 REDUCING IMAGE NOISE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 16 CORRECTING LENS ISSUES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 17 DRAWING US IN: VIGNETTE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 18 PRESETS: MAKING, USING AND SAVING, PRESETS AS BUILDING BLOCKS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 19 FIXING MORE THAN ONE PHOTO.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 20 EDIT IN PHOTOSHOP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 CONCLUSION.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124

INTRODUCTION Adobe Lightroom has been my favourite photo software for over six years now, right from when it was a day old as a public beta. Back then you couldn’t even crop with it. Still, it had one thing going for it.


Lightroom could manage and work with

internally as a series of instructions. Imagine

look of the photo. Together they make a re-

your raw files, just as if they were any other

the original file being the block of marble,

ally powerful tool to draw the very best from

photo file, like a JPG or TIFF. You have to

with the settings being the instructions on

your photos. Develop itself is directly tied

consider that back then you’d practically

where to chisel to make your statue of David.

to Adobe Camera Raw. In fact the version

need to open each file in a raw convertor

Due to this methodology, you can easily

numbers have a general correspondence.

and then in Adobe Photoshop before you

change settings at any time. It’s only when

Lightroom 3.6 matches Camera Raw 6.6, 4.0

could work on it. If you messed up, you’d

you go to the output modules, or export/pub-

matches 7.0, and so on. Occasionally a bug fix

have to start from scratch. Batch processing?

lish that Lightroom takes the original file, adds

may require a temporary version jump, but

If you’d a few spare years, maybe! If you

the settings, and chisels a new file from them.

it gets back in line quickly. They also share

wanted to manage your photos, you’d need

Photoshop, on the other hand, destructively

common code, so any settings you can apply

an additional DAM program (that’s digital

changes pixels, making it hard to go back. Yes,

in Develop can be applied in Camera Raw.

asset management), like iView or Portfolio.

you can use Smart Objects and Smart Filters,

In this eBook, my aim is not to have a

Lightroom helped change that environment,

but there comes a point when doing this to

rundown of what a tool does, but rather

allowing you to process and manage your

a batch of images becomes unwieldy, not to

what we can use it for. Obviously there

raw files (and other photo formats)in one

mention the massive files sizes involved.

needs to be some explanation, so there is

program. To work efficiently and allow a high

Develop is the heart of Lightroom. It’s where

some of that. Even if you do understand

degree of versatility, Lightroom uses a type

the photos come to life. The left panel is

a tool, there will be additional things like

of editing called parametric editing. What

more about management: Presets, Snapshots,

shortcuts that aren’t commonly known,

this means is that settings you make are ap-

History and, of course, Collections. The right

so you’ll still pick up something as a

plied to a fresh preview of the file and saved

panel is about the settings that control the

more experienced user. So let’s begin!

1 UNDERSTANDING THE HISTOGRAM At the top of the right panel in Develop is the histogram. You’ve possibly seen one on the back of your camera in the preview modes. What does it all mean? If there are a lot of tones to the left of the image, and few to the right, it’s probable that the image is underexposed (of course, if all the colours in the image are mid grey and below in tone, then it may be okay!). Our second image has a histogram like this, but the image is correctly Well, the histogram is a graphical view of

exposed. If the tones are mostly to

all the colours and tones in your photo. It

the right, with few on the left, the

moves from the darkest tones on the left,

image is probably overexposed.

to the brightest tones on the right. The distribution of the tones and colours can tell us a lot about the photo. For example, if we shot against a grey background as in our first shot, we should see a spike in the middle of the photo that looks grey. If there are three spikes of red, green, and blue there, instead of one solid spike, we know that the white balance is off, because grey is equal parts red, green, and blue.


1 UNDERSTANDING THE HISTOGRAM This night shot might appear underexposed as we look at the histogram, but it’s exactly right.

On average, most correctly exposed histograms will have tones that go from left to right with a concentration in the middle.


1 UNDERSTANDING THE HISTOGRAM Develop goes one step further with the

Process Version refers to the method Lightroom

histogram—it allows you to drag sec-

uses to convert the raw information into the

tions to change how the image looks.

rendered photo. The year of the Process Version

There are five sections that correspond

indicates when it was introduced. The original

to blacks, shadows, exposure, highlights,

rendering had no name, but became Process Ver-

and whites, from left to right. This is

sion 2003 when a new version was introduced in

for the new Process Version 2012.

2010. Process Version 2010 had the same controls as 2003, but had more control with better image quality. Process Version 2012 is a complete departure offering far more control! If you’ve upgraded from an older version of Lightroom, any files you’ve worked on in Develop will be an older Process Version. If you’re happy with the look of these files, do NOT update them. The translation between Process Version 2012 and older versions is not exact and may radically alter the photo. Usually it’s fine, but if you’re making an edition of 25 gallery prints, best to keep them identical! The quickest way to update your image to the new process version is to click on the warning near the bottom right of the image and press Update. You can also find it in the Camera Calibration panel, or the Settings menu.


1 UNDERSTANDING THE HISTOGRAM In addition to the five

What does this mean for our

control areas, there are also

photo? Well, often highlights are

two triangles on the top left

more important than shadows, so

and right of the histogram.

a little shadow clipping might be

Hovering over the left

okay. If the shot is a face against a

triangle will show where

sky on a dull day, it’s probably fine

the blacks are clipping in

to clip the highlight detail in the

blue (i.e. going to full black

sky to correctly expose the face.

with no detail), and the right triangle shows where the whites are clipping in red (this time full white with no detail). You can make them stay on by clicking on the triangle, or use the shortcut key J to toggle both on and off.


2 BACK TO BASICS Armed with our histogram knowledge, we can now use it to fix and enhance our photos. The Basic panel is designed to be used with a top-down approach, working in pairs of sliders. Here we’re discussing the Tone section in the middle of the panel. Before we start, you may want to increase the size of the panel, which gives more precision in the sliders. Go to the left edge of the right panel. The cursor will change to a double-headed arrow. Click and drag the panel over to the left. If you’re totally mad and want an even bigger panel, hold down the Alt key on PC, Option key on Mac and then drag; you can get past the halfway mark of the screen with this.

THE SLIDERS Highlights controls the brighter areas in the

that overlapping I talked about earlier. Blacks

pulling back that final bit of dark, or for

Exposure is the key slider to correcting

photo, all the way from above the midtones

and Shadows overlap a bit, but Shadows

blocking up to create a darker mood.

images in Lightroom. It’s not a digital copy

to the brightest parts of the images. There

has a wider range. For this reason, you

Because of the overlap in controls, once

of camera exposure, which will hard clip

is overlap with both Exposure and Whites.

should aim to use Shadows before Blacks.

you’ve done a pass-through, you may need

highlights if you go too far. It’s much gen-

In fact the whole set of controls is adaptive,

tler than that. As you increase exposure,

meaning that changes in one slider will alter

Whites is next and covers the extreme

ous settings. This is absolutely normal, it

it will try to protect highlights as much as

the range of another slider. Changing expo-

lightest part of your image. Generally,

doesn’t mean you did anything wrong.

it can. Think of Exposure as your midtone

sure means that the Highlights controls work

Whites should be used after the overall

One key point about the Tone sliders (barring

control and you won’t go far wrong. Where

on a different range of the image. This is what

balance of the image has been set using

Contrast) is that they all darken their part of

Exposure is set does influence the rest of the

makes Lightroom so powerful. If you have a

the previous controls. It’s great for pulling

the image when moved to the left, and light-

controls, and there is overlap between them.

small amount of highlight clipping that you

back that last bit of clipping, or just push-

en it when moved to the right. Older versions

want to fix, try Highlights before Whites.

ing the last bit of range into a photo.

of Camera Raw and Lightroom, along with

to go back and tweak some of the previ-

Contrast controls the depth of tone in the


most other raw convertors, have varying slid-

photo. Increasing contrast will make the

Shadows controls the darkest parts of the

Blacks is the final slider for basic image

ers, so I feel this adds greatly to the intuitive

blacks darker and the whites lighter. Decreas-

image right down to the blacks. You can even

control. It works on the absolute dark-

feel Lightroom now has for raw processing.

ing it will make the photo more grey and flat.

clip the image with it. Again, this is part of

est parts of the image, and is great for

2 BACK TO BASICS GETTING THE MOST FROM TONE Even if you’ve nailed the correct exposure, the limited dynamic range of most digital SLR cameras means that you can still tweak your photo to bring it closer to what you saw, or closer to how you visualized the image as you shot.

First let’s look at fixing exposures using a mechanical method rather than visually guessing. We’ve already seen that dragging in the histogram will alter settings (and move sliders).

If you hold down the Alt key (Option on Mac) and aim for either the Blacks or Shadows in the histogram (or grab their sliders), the main image area will go white. If there’s nothing clipping in the darker parts, the whole area should be white. Any other visible colours indicate the shadows are clipping at those points. By dragging Blacks or Shadows to the right, these will lessen until the whole image becomes white. Depending on the photo, there may still be a few small sections that never become white. Usually these are areas of deep shadow that we would never expect to see with our eyes. And like I mentioned before, the eye is more forgiving of blocked shadows than clipped highlights.


2 BACK TO BASICS Speaking of highlights, the Alt/Option trick works on Exposure, Highlights, and Whites too, except that the image goes black, with clipped areas appearing white, or whatever colour mix is clipping. If there is a lot of clipping, begin with reducing Exposure, then Highlights, then Whites. Why this order? If the image is very overexposed, then reducing the overall exposure should be the first step. If you eliminate the clipping using only Exposure, often the rest of the image is too dark. Better to have Exposure do the heavy lifting, then finesse with Highlights and Whites.

A final trick for the speedsters out there. Using the period (.) and comma (,) shortcuts in the Basic panel will move you from slider to slider forward and backward respectively, while + and - will decrease or increase them. A bezel (screen message overlay) will appear as you change between sliders to let you know which one you’ve moved onto. Finally, semicolon (;) will reset the current value to zero. This goes for all the sliders in Basic, not just the Tone section.


2 BACK TO BASICS FA K I N G H D R High dynamic range photography is really popular, and we’ll look at it more in our bonus section on Photoshop. Lightroom does offer a way to get that look without the added need for a series of bracketed photos. The trick is simple. Set your exposure as required, then put Shadows to +100 and Highlights to -100. Then tweak the Blacks and Whites to suit!


3 CAMERA PROFILES The Profile options are Lightroom’s equivalent to the Picture Styles or Modes you get in camera. They allow a specific rendering to be applied to your photo, giving it a “one-click” look. They’re designed to emulate the Picture Styles and Modes with similar names, at their default settings. The Profile menu is tucked away

Here we see the Canon profiles, including Adobe Standard.

in the forbidden zone (i.e. the

Simply click on the one you want to use and that’s it!

Camera Calibration panel).

Here’s a before and after with Adobe Standard as the before, and Camera Landscape as the after.

You can make your own profile using a tool like the ColorChecker Passport from X-Rite. Basically you shoot the Passport under the lighting you want the profile for, then run the plug-in that comes with the Passport. It creates a new profile, which becomes available when you restart Lightroom. Hard-core fans can play with the DNG Profile Editor (

For instance, if you have an infrared converted camera, Lightroom’s white balance doesn’t go low enough. By creating a DNG of an infrared file, you can set the white balance much lower in the DNG Profile Editor and save it as a profile. I’ve posted a video explaining the process on my blog :


4 MAKING WHITE WHITE Back in the days of film, you had two options. You could have tungsten film for indoors and daylight film for outdoors. Anything else required carrying gels to change the colours of lights, or even filters for when you had the wrong type of film in the camera.

So what is white balance, and why should we care? After

If you used an auto white balance setting, or an

The second method is an eyedropper tool and finally,

all, white is white, isn’t it? Well, it is and it isn’t. It’s

inappropriate setting (like tungsten after moving from

there is also a set of temperature and tint controls.

influenced by the light we see our white object in. White

inside to outside), it’s okay, we can still correct that.

paper in tungsten light is actually yellow, while in shade it’s blue. Under fluorescent lights it can even be green.

Lightroom has three ways to set white balance in

Even though our eyes and brain see it as white, the camera

the white balance section of the Basic panel. You can

will see it with these different tints and temperatures.

use the shortcut W to access this section. The first method is a drop-down menu of preset colour.

Before Camera Raw and Lightroom, fixing colour issues could be complex, so let’s look at strategies for getting good colour. The first place to start with white balance is in camera. In addition to lighting presets like daylight, flash, tungsten, etc., there’s also a custom setting. To use this, shoot a grey card and use this to set the custom white balance in the camera. You can also use tools like the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport to set white balance and have a colour record. It can even make camera profiles, but which we mentioned earlier.


4 MAKING WHITE WHITE To use the presets, click on the name that most accurately

To use the eyedropper tool, select part of the image

example. If you’ve used a grey card or a colour checker,

represents the light you shot in: As Shot, Auto, Daylight,

that you know to be neutral grey (anywhere from black

you can click on the grey to set the right balance,

Flash, Fluorescent, Shade, Cloudy, and Custom. As Shot

to white). Be warned that some things that appear

which can be copied or synced to other photos.

is the camera setting. A quick word on this: different

white may not be white. Paper usually has bleaching

cameras use slightly different numbers for the same colour

agents and colorants that make it slightly blue, for

temperature. The camera might say 5000k, but Lightroom might say 5200k for the same photo. What’s happening is Lightroom is matching the camera colour to Lightroom’s colour. It’s not actually changing the file. Also, when you try and sync white balance across files, As Shot won’t change the files at all (assuming they haven’t already been changed manually) because they’re already at their “as-shot” values. Simply change the preset to Custom, and then they will sync.

If the preset settings aren’t close enough, click on the eyedropper icon. To get the best out of the tool, turn the toolbar on (either from the View menu, or with the shortcut T). This is where the eyedropper settings live. 14

4 MAKING WHITE WHITE By default, a single click will apply the new white balance and release the eyedropper. Great if you got exactly the right colour on the first go, but not so much if you need a few clicks.


This is where the toolbar comes in. The first option is

Show Loupe, gives a grid that zooms in on the area at the

size of the area Lightroom uses to calculate the white

Auto Dismiss. Clearing this checkbox means you can try

cursor tip, so you can see at the pixel level what you’re

balance. At the bottom, RGB percentages show the colour

a few target areas to find the right one. The next option,

actually choosing. The Scale slider lets you change the

balance. For any neutral colour, all three should match.

4 MAKING WHITE WHITE If you don’t have any neutral colour in the photo, then

works the same way but with green and magenta. Tint

the left and right arrow keys to make sure the image

the sliders in the Basic panel are your final option.

is more subtle, so you need to be careful with it.

that’s been corrected has focus—it will be lighter.

The sliders’ colours provide a visual representation of


how they work: to make a photo cooler in tone, move

When you’ve got the white balance right, you can copy

the Temperature slider into the blue area (i.e. left) and

the settings easily. In the filmstrip, select the photos to

to warm it, move to the yellow area (i.e. right). Tint

which you want to copy the white balance settings. Use

4 MAKING WHITE WHITE Then click the Sync button, choose only White Balance, and all the other files will have the new white balance.

One cool addition to Lightroom 4 is that the Brush tool (in the tool strip under the histogram) now has Temperature and Tint sliders; we’ll discuss the Brush tool in fuller detail in the next section. This means in mixed colour situations (for example a shot near a window indoors mixing yellow tungsten light and blue daylight), you can correct the overall white balance and then fix the areas with different lighting.


4 MAKING WHITE WHITE For example, here’s the Martin Tea-House Folly, lit by an LED torch. The colour of the sky is way off, so we correct it using the Temperature and Tint sliders. We could try clicking on the stones in the building, but then we’d have to correct the sky with the Brush tool, and it’s much larger.


4 MAKING WHITE WHITE After we’ve fixed the overall white balance, the Tea-House Folly is now a rather bad shade of green. The grass has changed too, but it still looks natural. Click the Brush icon under the histogram, or use the shortcut K to open the brush. By setting the brush to roughly the opposite temperature and tint as the main white balance, we have a starting point to fix this.


4 MAKING WHITE WHITE Paint precisely along the edge of the monument with a small hard brush, which you can set by decreasing both the Size slider and the Feather slider. I’ve done it without Auto Mask, but you may find it helps. Auto Mask is designed to find edges and only allow the brush to paint areas similar to where you start painting with the brush. A large brush will do for the rest, use Size to increase. Where the monument meets the grass isn’t as critical, so a soft edge will do for this. Set the Feather Slider to 100 to soften it. Here we have the final look.


4 MAKING WHITE WHITE By pressing O, we can see the mask. Even from here we could also brighten the Tea Folly and perhaps even warm it up more.


5 BEAUTY RETOUCHING While high-end retouching is primarily the domain of pixel editors like Photoshop, there are still loads of things that can be done in Lightroom for beauty retouching. Blemish removal, skin softening, and even digital makeup are all possible. In this section we’ll look at most of these, and in the next we’ll look at using dodge and burn for face shaping.


Spot removal works by sampling a local area when you click on a point to be fixed. You can also manually choose

The first thing that needs to be done in a beauty retouch is blemish

the area it samples from. The spot removal panel contains

removal. The Spot Removal tool works very well for this, although it

only a few options: Clone or Heal, Size and Opacity. Clone

wasn’t originally designed for it. It’s located in the tool strip under

copies the sampled area and feathers it over the point

the histogram, and has the shortcut Q to toggle it on and off.

you click. Heal blends the point and the sampled area. Size controls how large the spot removal is, while Opacity sets the level of transparency of the corrected area.



And now in English. If you click anywhere in the image, the Spot Removal tool automatically picks an area to copy from. Sometimes it gets it wrong, but you can simply drag the source circle (the thicker of the two visible circles) to somewhere better.



If you want to choose the point yourself, when you click, hold the mouse button down and drag to the point you want. If you need a larger

And now in English. If you click anywhere in the

spot, use the Size slider (or use the

image, the Spot Removal tool automatically picks an

square bracket keys [ and ] to change

area to copy from. Sometimes it gets it wrong, but

size). If you want to make an exist-

you can simply drag the source circle (the thicker

ing spot larger or smaller, hover at

of the two visible circles) to somewhere better.

the edge of the spot until the cursor becomes a double headed arrow, then click and drag in or out as required.


5 BEAUTY RETOUCHING My favourite trick is one I

For blemish removal, I always select

haven’t seen mentioned any-

Heal rather than Clone and I always

where. I found it by accident, but

leave Opacity at 100. Start at the top

I’ve tweeted it and blogged it, so

of the screen at 1:1, and use the Page

I thought I might see it more.

Down button to move down the

Spots come in all sizes, so rather

screen. When you hit the bottom of

than constantly changing size, I

the image, pressing Page Down will

hold the Command key on Mac,

then move across to the next section

Ctrl key on PC, then drag across

at the top, and so on. Page Up does

my spot. The size changes dy-

the reverse. I wish Photoshop did

namically as you do this. Finally,

this! This way we can systematically

you can also change the spot

go through the whole photo to fix

size using a mouse scroll wheel.

blemishes (and dust spots too—they still happen in studio!). How long should you spend? That depends on the value of the image. If it’s a quick snap, not long. If it’s a magazine cover, then perhaps much longer. If it’s an average retouch, set yourself a time limit and work with more obvious blemishes first, then smaller ones if time allows. Retouching is a time sink and you have to manage it.



You can hide the spot removal circles without turning off the Spot Removal tool—use the shortcut H. Using it again toggles the circles back on. Sometimes people use H and forget, wondering why the tool seems broken! This also works for brush and graduated filter pins.



There are three sections in the brush panel: Mask, Effect, and Brush. The brush effectively paints a mask of the effect. Mask controls whether you’re editing the current mask, or making a new one.

Perhaps one of the most versatile tools in Lightroom is the Brush tool. We touched on it lightly

Effect can be set in two ways, either with a preset that con-

in the last section, but we’ll look at it in detail

tains a combination of settings from the effect sliders, or by

here before progressing to skin softening.

manually setting the sliders. If you change a slider when you’re painting the mask, clicking New in Mask will revert the settings to what they were when you started the previous mask.

We’ll come back to the actual sliders shortly. You’ve seen the white balance sliders already, but the coming sections deal with various ones anyway. Right now it’s more important to talk about the brush itself.

Right at the top of the Brush section are two brushes: A and B. These can be entirely different. A could be large and soft, The Brush (or Adjustment Brush to be precise) is located on the right of the tool strip. As mentioned before, the shortcut toggle key is K. The brush panel is quite large, so generally I keep it closed unless I’m using it.


B small and hard, for example. Use the shortcut key / to alternate between them for speed. There’s also an Erase brush, which can have different settings again. The easiest way to erase is to hold down the Option (Mac) or Alt (PC) key to temporarily make your A or B brush into an erase brush.


The Size slider changes the size of the brush. As with

smaller, harder brushes (my B brush). For erasing

combine these

the Spot Removal tool, the square bracket keys [ and ]

I usually use a medium, slightly soft brush, unless

also change the brush size. Feather sets the hardness of

I need to erase back a hard edge, then I make

the brush. Shift+[ and Shift+] also adjust the feather. 0

it smaller and harder for more precision.

sliders in any way you like. That’s why there’s the drop-down menu at the top of the Effect

inner circle represents the size, and the outer circle repre-

Now that we’ve seen how to set the mechanics of

sents the feather. At 0 feather, the circles come together.

the brush, let’s go back and talk about the effects.

Flow controls the rate at which the effect is applied

We’ve seen Temperature and Tint already. Exposure,

with each brush stroke. With low flow, you can brush

Contrast, Highlights, and Shadows are local versions of

over an area to build up the effect. Personally I prefer to

the Basic panel controls. We’ll look at using Exposure for

leave this at 100 and add an additional mask if needed.

dodging and burning in the next section. Clarity controls

There’s nothing wrong with using low flow, though.

the softening or punch in the midtones, while Saturation controls local colour boost. Sharpness can add or

Auto Mask attempts to keep the brush to areas of similar

remove sharpness in an area, or even add lens blur. Noise

colour. It’s good for edges, but very processer intensive.

controls local noise reduction, rather than noise! Moiré

help you make

I prefer to leave it off and use it only for tricky edges.

removes pattern-based noise caused by digital capture.

and manage

Finally, there’s Density. This sets the maximum level

presets of these

an effect can get too. I prefer to keep Density at 100.

You can combine these sliders in any way you like.

Imagine you have Clarity at 100 and Density at 50.

That’s why there’s the drop-down menu at the top of

When you paint, you get the effect of Clarity at 50.

the Effect section, to help you make and manage presets

I’d rather leave Density at 100, and set my Clarity

of these settings. Here’s a mix of default presets, some

to 50. Again, there’s no wrong or right with this.

of my own presets, and some presets I’ve downloaded.

In terms of working, I use large soft brushes (my

To make your own, simply select Save Current Settings

A brush) mostly, except on edges where I use

as New Preset.

section, to



is hard, while 100 is soft. As you look at the brush, the

And finally, Defringe lets you work locally on fringes.

5 BEAUTY RETOUCHING To soften skin, we’ll use the default Soften Skin

strong, but that’s fine, we can dial it back after

features like eyes, eyebrows, lips, nostrils,

cycle through pink, green, white, and

preset. This sets Clarity to -100 and Sharpening

in one move, even though two sliders are used.

and even the edge of the cheek. If you do,

black. I prefer to leave it on pink, unless

simply use the Erase brush to remove it.

I’m working on a pink object, like a dress.

to 25. The negative clarity removes contrast


from the skin, while the sharpness retains

To soften the skin, use a big soft brush all

To see what I’m doing, I press O to show

texture. Personally I find this preset a little too

over the skin. Avoid brushing into facial

the mask that I’m painting, Shift+O will

5 BEAUTY RETOUCHING Once the mask is complete, I press O again to turn off the mask view, and show the finished effect.

If the settings are too much, hover over the control pin (press H if you can’t see it!) until it looks like the double-headed arrow you saw in the Spot Removal tool. Now click and drag to the left. Both clarity and sharpness reduce proportionately. Dragging right will bring them back again.


6 DODGE AND BURN FOR BEAUTY Back in the film days, you could cheat the exposure you made on film by varying the amount of time sections of the paper were exposed to the enlarger lamp.

To dodge, you would cut out cardboard roughly the size of the area you wanted lighter, then move it up and down as you ran the lamp. To burn, you would use a larger card that hid areas with enough exposure, allowed the remaining areas to

Take a look at our face example to see standard contour areas. Yes, this is an exaggerated version. In reality the edges are much softer and the shading is far more subtle! To make an area

become darker. It was a time-consuming process that meant

slimmer, we darken it, to highlight it,

only the most persistent could ever be called Print Masters.

we lighten it. In makeup, this is called contouring. In retouching, it’s referred

Lightroom has dodge and burn built in as part of the Brush tool. From a technical standpoint, dodging is a reduction in exposure, and burning is an increase in exposure, both localised in the photo.

to as face carving. Settings-wise, start with +/- 0.2 on the Exposure slider with a small-medium soft brush. These settings are good for most of this work. Once you’ve clicked to start a mask, hover over the pin to get the

Dodging and burning can be used to darken areas that you

double-headed arrow to change the

want to draw attention from, and lighten areas that you want to

settings by dragging, and to see the

draw attention to. To be more precise, darkening an area makes

area that’s been painted. You can also

it recede, while lightening an area will highlight it. Lightroom doesn’t have a liquify tool, but we can change shape by darkening and lightening the face, for example. In fact dodge and burn is probably the most-used technique of high-end retouchers.

use smaller amounts and add more layers by clicking New. Some prefer to use lower flow and build up that way. I find that it creates bumps where strokes overlap, so I prefer to work with lower exposure and 100 flow.



To slim a nose, darken the sides and highlight the centre. You can widen it by doing the opposite, but I’m not sure people prefer that!



For the eyes, darken close to the nose, and highlight the area under the brow. The darkening will push the socket back, and the highlight brings the brow bone forward.



For cheeks, lighten below the eye to make them strong. If you’re working on a wider face, you can thin the cheeks by darkening below the cheek bone. Imagine a line between top of where the ear meets the face and the corner of the lips. Use a large soft brush along this line to pull the cheeks in and thin the face.



Dodging and burning works for lips too. Dodge the top of the bottom lip lightly and darken underneath to plump it up.



For wider foreheads, you can reduce the impact by darkening the edges along the hairline and lightening the centre. A larger brush will help here. It’s like a vignette for the forehead!



Necks can also be worked this way.



Our whole aim here is to be subtle. There’s a good chance that you won’t see the differences as you work, but switching the brush on and off from the bottom left of the panel will quickly reveal the differences. Note, there’s no skin softening applied to this version of the image, just to help make the dodge and burn adjustments clearer.


6 DODGE AND BURN FOR BEAUTY In addition to the face carving we’ve just shown, you can also dodge the iris and the white just outside it to highlight the eyes even more. Set the brush to around 0.5 and paint semicircles in the iris, away from the inside and outside edge.

For the whites of the eyes, only paint the white parts around the edge of the Iris. Start with a setting of 0.2 exposure and tweak to taste when you’re done.


And here’s the completed dodge and burn for our image.

7 CROSS PROCESSING Retro is big right now. Maybe we’re all nostalgic for the summer of ’76 or something, but the faded and toned looks of the past are really in. Instagram bagged a fortune when it sold, so somebody somewhere thinks it’s worth a packet. Lightroom offers a few ways to get these awesome looks.

Prior to Lightroom 4 you only had one tool for

while the highlight range is yellow-green. Cross processing

There are five sliders. One pair on top to control

this: the Split Toning panel. With Lightroom 4

also tends to increase contrast, so a little tone curve work

highlight colour, one pair on the bottom to

we now have RGB curves to play with too.

will be in order as well as using the RGB tone curves.

control shadow colour, and a balance control to change which one has priority in the photo.

Before we delve into the how to’s, we should look at the


whys! Cross processing comes from the old film technique

Each pair in Highlights and Shadows has a Hue and a

of using the wrong chemicals to develop your film.

Split toning allows you to add a colour to both the

Saturation control. Hue controls the base colour, while

Negative chemicals (C41) and slide chemicals (E6) perform

highlights and the shadows of an image. The Saturation

Saturation controls the strength. A great speed trick

differently, so can have unpredictable effects when you

slider controls the strength of the colour, while balance

is to hold down the Option key on Mac, Alt key on

use them on the wrong film type. I know my local lab will

controls which slider set is dominant in the photo.

PC, then move the Hue slider. As you do this, it acts

still allow me to process slide film in negative chemicals, but it’s much harder the other way around. In fact, it’s quite hard to find labs that process slide film (and even more so with medium format film). With a film like Fuji Velvia, you end up with strong green shadows and yellow highlights. You also need to overexpose the shot to get a proper exposure. Other films have a more cyan shadow, but generally speaking the shadow range is green-blue,


as though Saturation is at 100, and you can see the Let’s create a Velvia preset. First, open the Split Toning panel.

effect more vividly. In reality the final tone will be far more subtle, but it helps in selecting the base hue.


Holding down Option or Alt, we move the Highlights Hue slider until we find a yellowish tone.



Repeat for the Shadows Hue, this time with a strong green.



Next, we need to increase the saturation on each to taste. In this case

Finally, I go to the Tone Curve panel, and choose Strong

it’s slightly over 50, but it depends on how strong you want it. I want the

Contrast from the Point Curve drop-down menu.

highlights to have a slight priority, so I push the Balance slider to +13. 43


To save the preset, I click the + beside Preset and call it Velvia XP in the Preset dialog box. Because I only want the settings that create the look, I select only Tone Curve and Split Toning, then click Create.


7 CROSS PROCESSING USING THE TONE CURVE With Lightroom 4, we can also change the colour of our image using RGB curves. Reset the Split Tone panel by double-clicking each slider name to reset it. Then go back to Tone Curve. At the bottom right is a tiny icon highlighted in the capture to the right.

Click on it to bring up the point curve control. Initially you have the RGB curve, which controls contrast in the photo. Click on the Channel drop-down menu to reveal the red, green, and blue channel curves.

A good starting point for your own custom split tones is to choose a cool colour for shadows, and a warm one for highlights. Take this screen shot as an example.


7 CROSS PROCESSING Let’s start with the red channel. Pushing the curve up at any point increases the red in the photo,

Now let’s go for the green channel. Here, increasing adds green and

pulling it down increases the opposite colour, in this case, cyan. So let’s go for a cyan tone in the

decreasing adds magenta. Lightly lift the midtone in the greens.

shadows. First click a point in the middle, then pull down another point in the shadows. Finally add a third point in the highlights and use it to flatten the top part of the curve.


7 CROSS PROCESSING Finally, the blue channel. You’ve probably guessed that it’s blue for the increase and yellow for


the decrease. Click a point in the midtone. This time click and drag a point in the highlights down to make yellow highlights. Finally, even off the shadows with another point.

The final thing we can do with the Tone Curve here is to fade the

Voilà. You can make as many points as you like and drag them all over the place for funky effects.

image a little. Go back to the RGB curve and double-click to make a linear curve; don’t select the Linear Curve preset, it’ll wipe the settings you have selected so far! Now drag the leftmost point up from the corner, and the image will fade.

If you want to save the look as a preset, you only need to select Tone Curve in the preset dialog.


8 ACHIEVING A FILMIC LOOK There’s nothing quite like a black-and-white photo to concentrate the viewer on form and subject. And of course, traditionally it was the only film for a long time.

Even though our cameras can shoot with black-and-white presets, the raw file always shows up as colour image. Fortunately, Lightroom gives us a few ways to convert our photos. It also helps give them a more film-like look with the Grain control in the Effects panel.




I sat in a Scott Kelby seminar a long time ago, agreeing with what he said, so I’ll repeat it.

I use that for loads of my black-and-white conversions and it forms the basis of some

“The simplest black-and-white conversion is to remove saturation and boost contrast.”

of my presets. But let’s move on the Lightroom’s dedicated black-and-white tools. To

Desaturation gets criticism as a conversion method, but try this before you move on.

get a black-and-white photo, press V. This changes the Treatment setting from Color

It really works. In the Basic panel, put Saturation at -100 and boost Contrast.

to Black & White, and activates the B&W section of the HSL/Color/B&W panel.

8 ACHIEVING A FILMIC LOOK By default, this applies an auto black-and-white mix, but I prefer to turn this setting off. You need to go to the

Each slider represents colour in the unconverted

Presets tab in Preferences (Mac: Lightroom > Preferences, PC: Edit > Preferences) and clear the second check box

image. As you move them left and right, you can

(Apply auto mix when first converting to black and white). Why? I find it more miss than hit, and if I have to

start to darken to remove attention from a section,

move sliders anyway, then I’ll just do it from scratch myself.

or lighten to bring emphasis to it. There’s a far more visual way of doing it though. Notice the tiny target icon on the top left? That’s the Target Adjustment tool. Click on it to activate the tool.


8 ACHIEVING A FILMIC LOOK By clicking and dragging the shirt, I can make it black by pulling down. I can also darken the makeup around the eyes the same way. Note that it’s not just the colour I’m dragging that’s affected, all similar colours are affected.



The grain sliders are aptly named: Amount is the quantity of grain, Size controls how large the grain particles are, and Roughness controls how fine or rough the grain is. I find it better to view zoomed in to see what’s happening. Grain will

To finish off the look, let’s add grain. It’s at the bottom the Effects panel.


have an effect on the apparent sharpness of an image, but it can equally help smooth banding and hide blemishes.

9 IMAGE TONING In addition to straight black and white, it’s also possible to create toned and duotoned images in Lightroom. Popular looks include sepia toning and selenium toning. These are done in the Split Toning panel, which we’ve already seen as part of cross processing. SEPIA For single colour tones, I prefer to colour the shadows only.


9 IMAGE TONING Using our trick from cross processing, hold down the Alt or Option key and start to drag the slider in the warm tones. I find somewhere in the 30-40 region for shadow hue provides the best results. Remember that the final colour will be far more subtle. Here, 38 looks good. Bring up the saturation slowly. 15 will give a subtle tone, while 35 is far more pronounced.

Sometimes that subtle tone is just enough. I’ve split the difference here. 54

9 IMAGE TONING SELENIUM Selenium was used to help stop fading and can vary from a reddish brown to a purple.


By setting the shadow hue to 360, and Saturation to 15, we can get this effect.

9 IMAGE TONING C YA N O T Y P E To get enough of the blue you do need to use both shadows Cyanotype is a blue toning. Usually it’s a heavy cyan blue, but can be lighter too.


and highlights. Here the settings are evenly matched.

9 IMAGE TONING DUOTONE Duotone simply means two tones. Historically it came from cyanotype, and we’re going to do just that. With our previous photo, make the highlights warmer by setting them to Hue 44. Next set the Balance towards the shadows, say -14. This reinforces the blues to give a nice complement to the warm highlights.


10 CROPPING INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE IMAGE To the uninitiated, Lightroom’s Crop tool might feel a little backwards. You see the crop window stays in place, but you zoom and rotate the photo behind it. It helps to think of the aperture window on a mount. Basically you’re making the photo suit the crop.

WHY CROP? Traditionally headshots and portraits are

Inside Develop you can click on the crop icon

While there are purists that never want

printed at 8 x 10 inches, so need a crop to

in the toolbar under the histogram. You can

to crop, there are numerous good reasons

fit from a DSLR. You may need a widescreen

also apply crop ratios in Quick Develop, but

for cropping photos. First up, a lot of

shot for a video you’re making at a 16:9 ratio.

this is very basic, applying a centred crop to

cameras don’t have a 100% view through

You may also want to emulate other crops,

the image. We’ll talk more about this shortly.

the viewfinder, so what you see as you

like 6 x 4.5 or 6 x 6 from medium format.

frame isn’t the full photo. You may find things at the edge of the frame that dis-


tract from your original viewpoint. The quickest way to get to crop, espeIt may also be the case that the crop ratio

cially from outside Develop is to use the

of the camera (3:2 for DSLRs for example)

shortcut R. C was already taken with

doesn’t suit your final output or frame.

Compare, so they went with cRop.

Once in crop, there are a number of options available. As you hover over the photo, the cursor changes to the crop cursor and you can drag out any crop you like immediately. 58

10 CROPPING INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE IMAGE To constrain to the current ratio, click the lock icon to lock it

To select an alternative crop ratio to the original, choose one

or use the shortcut A. If the lock is open, you can temporar-

from the Aspect drop-down menu. If you need one that’s

ily lock aspect by holding down the Shift key and dragging.

not available, click Enter Custom in the list. Enter any ratio,

You can also drag from the corner or sides. Note that Light-

even screen resolutions, and Lightroom will distil it down

room will keep the crop within the bounds of the image.

to a ratio. The menu will remember your last five custom ratios. Examples of ratios that are not default include 2:1 panorama, 851 x 315 for Facebook, and 20 x 8 panorama.


10 CROPPING INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE IMAGE Here are two useful tricks before we look at batch cropping. First, if you want to have the sides,

To have the entire image crop in towards the centre, make sure the lock

or top and bottom, move in evenly, make sure the lock is off (shortcut A) and hold the Alt or

is on, or hold Shift+Alt or Option and drag a corner or side.

Option key, then drag in from a side or top/bottom.


10 CROPPING INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE IMAGE The second trick is useful when you want to change a vertical image to a horizontal, or vice versa. Originally you


had to pull off to the side away from the photo until it flipped, but fortunately all you need to do now is press X.

Photoshop has started to allow cropping like Lightroom, but the place that Lightroom shines is cropping more than one photo at a time. We mentioned using the Quick Develop crop ratio for centred crops. The best way to use this is to compose for that centred crop. For example, when shooting headshots, remember to leave room at the top and bottom of each shot. Let’s say you’ve batch applied a crop in Quick Develop and want to refine it. Press R to go to crop and refine the crop. Instead of pressing Enter to apply the crop and going to the next photo, where you need to start crop again, simply press Command+> (Mac) or Ctrl+> (PC) to move to the next photo. The crop will be applied, and it’ll speed your refining.




Lightroom does try to protect us from ourselves when we

that the opposite part of the photo can easily be repaired

Lens Correction panel. The bottom slider in the Trans-

crop by keeping the crop inside the bounds of the image.

in Photoshop, so we may not mind cropping outside the

form section is Scale. This lets you zoom into the photo,

Sometimes when we rotate a photo, we end up cutting

bounds of the photo. This can be done, but not in the

or zoom out past the image bounds. Once you go below

into an important part of the composition. It may be

Crop tool. To do this, go to the Manual section of the

100%, the extra space gets filled in with a grey border.



11 STRAIGHTENING PHOTOS Another thing you can do with the Crop tool is straighten. If you hover close to a corner, the cursor will change to a curved, double-headed, arrow, allowing you to rotate the image. As you click to start rotating the photo, the grid will change to a set of small squares,

You can also rotate the image using the Angle slider. By clicking on the ruler icon in the

to aid in lining up parts of the photo that you know should be level.

Crop panel, you can also draw a line along something you know is vertical or horizontal in the photo (like the horizon) and Lightroom will apply that as the angle.


11 STRAIGHTENING PHOTOS One downside of Lightroom crop is that it only works as a screen view, not 100%. To get around this I often drag my horizon line up to the edge to the module picker to see how far from straight it is, while zoomed into 100% in Loupe view. I then go into crop and straighten. Once the crop is applied, our view should go back to a 100% view allowing us to see how close we are. I find this helps accuracy.

To make it even quicker I use another shortcut. By holding the Command key on Mac, or the Ctrl key on PC, the crop cursor changes to the ruler, so you can straighten without needing to activate the ruler icon from the panel.

As well as the ruler in crop, you can also rotate your photo inside the Lens Correction panel. In the Manual section of the panel, there’s a Rotate slider. It’s different than the ruler in that it’s aware of whatever lens corrections you’ve set, and rotates with these in mind.


12 FIXING SKIES IN LIGHTROOM Blue skies, grey skies, everyday skies. It’s hard to take a landscape or location shot without them. I love skies so much I included them in my landscapes website name: Of course balancing skies can be troubling for most photographers. In a nutshell, most skies are brighter that the landscape. This makes choosing the best exposure in camera harder. It’s not all doom and gloom though.

In the field, photographers use resin filters called graduated neutral density filters. These look grey at the top and clear at the bottom. How gradually these go from clear to grey determines whether they are a “hard line” or “soft line” filter. My preferred filter in the field is the 0.6 hard graduated neutral density filter. The 0.6 means it’s a two-stop filter. 0.3 means one stop and 0.9 means three stops. Don’t ask me why they pick that naming convention. Good graduated filters are not cheap. And because they’re plastic, they’re prone to scratching.


12 FIXING SKIES IN LIGHTROOM Fortunately Lightroom also has a graduated filter that can be used to perform the same task in software. It’s also impossible to scratch!


12 FIXING SKIES IN LIGHTROOM To use the graduated filter, click the gradient rectangle in the tool strip under the histogram (Shortcut M). Click on the horizon to drop the filter in place. The graduated filter has three lines: the centre line, which is what you drag to move or rotate the filter, and two outer lines that define how quickly the effect happens. If you don’t see these lines, press H to show and hide the lines. The top line shows where the effect is full, and the bottom shows where the effect stops. The distance between determines how hard or soft the change is. The closer the lines are, the harder the effect. A final trick that can help setting the graduated filter’s position is holding the Shift key to keep the filter edge straight when dragging.

Of course, to see any effect you need to have something set. If you want to emulate the commercial filters, simply use the Exposure control to reduce the brightness of the sky.

Here I’ve dragged a -1 Exposure graduated filter down to just over the horizon. I’ve kept it hard because we’re right at the horizon. For a more natural look, a lower value might work better, but I like the drama in this.


12 FIXING SKIES IN LIGHTROOM In addition, you can also apply a colour from the colour swatch at the bottom of the graduated filter panel, like blue to help a sky, or a yellow to give a warmer tone, reminiscent of CSI: Miami. Other settings that can help a weak sky are increasing the Contrast, Saturation, and Clarity sliders.


12 FIXING SKIES IN LIGHTROOM Lightroom 4 does also offer local white balance, so you could change the sky colour using these settings instead of using a colour swatch. I think these look more natural than the swatches. Here’s a version using a cooler white balance vs. the swatch in the previous image.

And here’s a warmer version. The graduated filter has been extended over the water to give the feel that the water is reflecting the warmth in the sky.




Alternatively, you can use the Brush

the Beauty Retouching section, but the

You can also mix the gradated filter with

tool to bring back areas that have been

tool (Shortcut K) to paint in the effect

controls apply to darkening skies and

the Brush tool. Often the horizon isn’t

over darkened by the graduated filter.

you need. We’ve looked at the brush in

creating contours in landscapes too.

exactly straight, so you can use the brush

13 TILT SHIFT Reducing exposure in skies is not the only thing you can do with graduated filters. You can also control sharpness or even use lens blur. The Sharpness slider in the graduated filter (and in the Brush tool) runs from -100 to +100. Above 0 increases sharpness, but below 0 has two methods of operation. From 0 to -50, the slider is removing sharpness that already exists in the photo. From -51 to -100, the operation changes to that of lens blur. This means we can blur edges, for example by putting a graduated filter on each edge set to -100 sharpening.

The other thing we can do is have selective sharpening in a photo. Tilt-shift lenses are generally used to either adjust perspective when photographing architecture, or to extend depth of field at a given aperture. More recently, people have been using the tilt function to reverse this, giving a miniaturized look. 72

Tilt-shift lenses are very expensive, so being

onOne Software has FocalPoint, and Alien Skin

extensive control over lens blur, but we can still

able to replicate their effects using software is

has a product called Bokeh. All of these give

get more than adequate results from Lightroom.

a boon. Photoshop CS6 now has a Blur tool,

13 TILT SHIFT First, decide what area of the photo is going to be the focal point of our tilted image. Here I want the people at the dock edge and the boats at the bottom to remain sharp. Set the graduated filter to -100 Sharpening, with all other sliders and swatch at 0. From the top of the image, drag down to above the focal point, our boats. The transition on blurring is a little tight, so spread it a bit.


13 TILT SHIFT Repeat for the bottom of the photo.


13 TILT SHIFT Now, add two more graduated filters, one top and one bottom, this time with the centre line further away, and with a much larger gap. The reason for doing it this way is that with tilting, the further away you go from the focus point, the greater the amount of lens blur, more so than normal “out of focus� blur. You may even want to add a third pair of very soft graduated filters to finish off the look.


13 TILT SHIFT Once you are done, save the result as a preset. That way you only need to move the centre lines on each new image.


13 TILT SHIFT This look can also be used on people. A photographer named Mark Tucker was one of the people who popularized this look in film with his “plunger cam” ( Now it’s much easier in post-processing!


13 TILT SHIFT Again, start with the Sharpening slider in graduated filter set to -100. Draw as many pairs of filters, top and bottom as you feel you need. I’ve used four here.


13 TILT SHIFT Makes sure the eyes remain in focus.


14 EFFECTIVE SHARPENING For a long time Lightroom had nothing more than a simple sharpening slider, meaning that if you didn’t like how it worked, you had no choice but to go to an external editor like Photoshop to sharpen your photos. Fortunately that’s no longer the case, and Lightroom has no less than three different sharpening options.

When you shoot a photo on most cameras, the light passes through a filter called an anti-aliasing filter. When you remove dust from the sensor, the anti-aliasing filter is what gets cleaned, not the sensor itself (there are some cameras where this isn’t true, though). This filter reduces moiré, which is a distracting patternbased noise. It has the side effect of blurring the photo, so all photos need some kind of sharpening to overcome this. This is called capture sharpening.

The main tool for sharpening in Lightroom is contained in the Detail panel. The four main sliders are: Amount, Radius, Detail, and Masking. To use these, it really helps to have an understanding of what each one does. There’s also a preview box to show what’s happening at 100%. You can drag around inside the box to position it, or click the targeting icon and drag it to the area you want in the box and click.


14 EFFECTIVE SHARPENING Amount seems pretty obvious, but there’s a little more to it than that. First up, the raw default is 25, which by and large is perfect for capture sharpening on most photos. In fact, the default on all four sliders is good for basic capture sharpening. It also means that sharpening has been applied whether you intended it or not.


14 EFFECTIVE SHARPENING Originally this was conceived as a 0–100 scale, but because people wanted the option of oversharpening, it was increased to 150. Up to 100, Lightroom will try and protect the image from sharpening artefacts, but above it, the image degrades. Not good for capture sharpening, but useful for grungy creative sharpening. Realistically, I don’t really go over 70 in normal use, and this is normally combined with masking to make it more selective.

The type of sharpening Lightroom applies here is akin to luminance masking. That means that the sharpening works on the luminance channel, and doesn’t affect the colour. To see how this works, hold down the Alt key on PC, or the Option key on Mac, then move the Amount slider. The image will appear black and white, showing only the luminance in the image as you sharpen.


14 EFFECTIVE SHARPENING The next slider is Radius. Radius determines the area outside the edge being sharpened that gets affected as you sharpen. Generally speaking, sharpening works by increasing contrast at an edge to make the edge more pronounced. Radius determines how far it extends. As with Amount, you can hold down the Alt or Option key to see the effect. As you move the Radius slider to the right, the visual effect becomes more pronounced. Radius defaults at 1; sometimes a lower value is good, but I rarely go above 1.5 unless it’s for effect.


14 EFFECTIVE SHARPENING If Radius, Detail, and Masking are not active, chances are you’re looking at a rendered file like a JPG or TIFF. On these files, the default Amount is 0, so you need to increase it (even to 1) to make the other sliders active.

Detail is obvious. As you push to the right more high-frequency detail gets sharpened. What’s high frequency? Think leaves on trees, or houses in a wide city scene. Any photo that has loads of small edges has high-frequency detail. But Detail has another use: reducing halos. So what’s a halo? Well sometimes when you sharpen, edges with a light/dark transition get increased lightness on the lighter edge. This bright line looks unnatural and is reminiscent of the halo around saints in old icons. Pushing Detail to the left reduces these. Sometimes that means having to choose between detail and halos. To see the Detail slider in operation, hold down the Alt or Option key. As you move right you’ll see the increase in detail.


14 EFFECTIVE SHARPENING The final control for capture sharpening is Masking. Masking allows us to select which edges are sharpened. By default everything is sharpened. Masking is also the only slider where it’s hard to be accurate without using the Alt or Option key. Hold this down as you drag the Masking slider. Initially you will see only white, but as you move left, more and more black is introduced. Eventually you see only an outline of the features of your photo. In this case, all the white areas get the sharpening applied. None of the black areas have any sharpening. This means you can prevent skies, or even just skin from being sharpened. To me, masking is probably the most important slider after Amount.


14 EFFECTIVE SHARPENING The second type of sharpening in Lightroom is more creative sharpening. We’ve already seen the tool for this before: the Brush tool. The beauty here is you can select the amount of sharpening and paint in specific areas—great for sharpening eyes or your focal point.


15 REDUCING IMAGE NOISE Low-light situations like churches, concerts or even just late-evening shots often require the use of higher ISO values. With higher ISO comes higher image noise from the signal being amplified to get the exposure. Of course, as camera technology improves, noise is becoming less of an issue. There are still times when we need to deal with it, though. Originally, Lightroom had very basic controls and required the use of external applications for noise reduction, but fortunately it now handles all but the most extreme of cases.

There are two distinct types of noise that can be fixed: colour (also called Chroma) and luminance. Colour noise is most readily visible as a mixed red, green, and blue in areas that are supposed to be one colour. Luminance noise is unevenness in the brightness of sections of the image. By default, Lightroom applies a default of 25 to the colour noise. This setting isn’t a fixed setting per ISO. In fact, 25 is designed to be the optimum at each ISO. I rarely find a need to change it, but we will look at how it works for those times that require it. No luminance noise is applied by default.

Noise reduction is part of the Detail panel.



While I’d prefer to use concert photos to show this, it’s much harder to get permission to use those images, so we’ll use a landscape that was accidentally shot at ISO3200. Despite this, it’s not terrible. Because 25 is the default for raw files, and therefore noise reduction is applied, set Color to 0.



Colour noise is easily visible in the rock and sand. Slowly bring the Noise slider to the right. Look for the point where the colour noise is gone. In this, around 20 gets rid of the pixel colour noise. There’s still additional green in the grey of the rock, so we need to go further.



Up at 45 there’s still colour bleed, but going further starts to take colour out of the clouds.



Check at 100 and all the colour noise is gone, but colour gets lost in other parts of the photo. Detail will help bring back places where the noise was along edges. Bring Luminance up to 100 to see what it does. It effectively blurs the image trying to make areas a similar brightness.



Bringing it back to 50, there’s still some edge blur, but the sky is nice and smooth. Use the Detail slider to bring back lost detail—it’s like a threshold control for the noise reduction and contrast to bring back edges.



The final part of noise reduction is sharpening. You have to sharpen to bring back edge detail. Use masking to ensure only edges are being sharpened, then increase the amount to taste. By comparing with the pre-noise-reduction history step (right-click on the step and select Copy History Settings Step to Before), we can ascertain whether we’ve gone too far.



Here less luminance and masking helps bring back detail in the sand, along with an increase in luminance contrast.


16 CORRECTING LENS ISSUES One thing that the switch to digital has done is make us really aware of the limits of our lenses. With film, there was some forgiveness, but digital really shows us the flaws in intimate detail.

Barrel and pincushion distortion, coloured fringes, and even the bizarrely named moustache distortion all serve to spoil our masterpieces. Fortunately all is not lost. The distortions in a lens are easy to map and store in a dedicated file. Originally all the distortion was in these files, called lens profiles, but with Lightroom 4, chromatic aberration has a separate section in the Lens Corrections panel. There’s also control over lens vignetting, which is the darkening that happens at the lens edges. Let’s jump over to the Lens Corrections panel and get started. With the panel open, there are three section headers, each revealing a different panel view: Profile, Color, and Manual.

PROFILE This is the section where you apply lens profiles, that correction mapping I’ve mentioned. There are three sources for these files: Adobe, lens manufacturers (usually via Adobe), and users. You can actually make and download your own lens profiles via the Lens Profile Creator at (this also contains the Lens Profile Downloader).

Adobe keeps a list of compatible lenses, along with some notes on their usage, at

To apply a profile, simply select the Enable Lens Profile Corrections checkbox. Most of the time, Lightroom will read the lens data from the embedded camera data and match it to a profile. Here, our before shot is from a Canon 15mm fisheye lens, which the lens profile will de-fish. I’m using it because the difference is immediately obvious.



If Lightroom doesn’t apply a lens profile

Then choose the model. Older cameras often

You can make life easier by going to the Setup

automatically, there are a series of

didn’t write metadata from lenses correctly,

drop-down menu and choosing Save New

options for setting one up. First go to

so sometimes Lightroom needs a hint.

Lens Profile Defaults. Every time you open

Make, and choose the lens make.

up a file with matching lens data, Lightroom will now apply the saved defaults.


16 CORRECTING LENS ISSUES If a profile doesn’t show up, there could be another reason.

then into a folder called Downloaded. This folder was there

of light don’t all focus to exactly the same point, either on the

Most of the available profiles are for raw files and you may

because I had actually downloaded another profile from the

focal plane, or along it. Most lenses contain additional glass

be trying to apply them to a non-raw file. You could simply

Lens Profile Downloader. If it’s not, create it yourself.

to try and correct this, and some are better than others.

around this that requires a little hacking of text files. If you

On PC, create a folder called Downloaded in the folder

There are two forms of chromatic aberration, Axial or

don’t like delving around inside the Library or ProgramData

mentioned above and save your file there. Restart Lightroom.

Longitudinal, and Transverse or Lateral. Big words, but they

go to Manual and try to fix it manually. There is a way

simply refer to purple/green fringing and the blue/yellow or red/

folders, this is not for you!As per the Lightroom help file: Now Adobe does say that there will be some problems with

cyan edges you see in photos. The latter is really easy to fix, and

cameras that apply lens corrections to JPG files. However, there

has been in Lightroom for a long time. In our case, you simply

are many cases where this isn’t true. And if it is true for your

select the Remove Chromatic Aberration checkbox. Nothing

Mac OS: /Library/Application Support/Adobe/

lens, simply don’t use this profile. I’ve edited the Raw profiles

further required. If you want more detail on chromatic aberration,


for my Mamiya lenses, because I shoot film on them and scan

check out

Lens profiles are saved in the following locations:

the results. Hence needing JPG versions of these profiles. Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\ Application Data\Adobe\CameraRaw\LensProfiles\1.0\

In the case of lenses from companies like Olympus, you may simply have to make your own. Personally,

Windows Vista or Windows 7: C:\ProgramData\

I do, and I will be uploading them shortly.

Adobe\CameraRaw\LensProfiles\1.0\ The final controls in this panel are the Distortion and Go to the folder and find the raw version of your lens

Vignette sliders. Set in the middle (which is 100%)

profile. It’s usually in a folder matching the lens maker.

by default, you can add or remove either to taste.

Open the file in a text editor. Using the Find & Replace

These settings are also saved in the Setup preset.

tool, search for the expression stCamera:CameraRawProfile= ”True”. With Replace All, replace this with stCamera:Camer


aRawProfile=”False”. Now save the file with a new name by


replacing RAW in the original filename with JPEG. On Mac,

Chromatic aberration is the name given to the fringes of colour

I had to save to my user Library: /Users/[User Name]/Library/

you see along the edges in a shot. This occurs because light gets

Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/LensProfiles/1.0/ and

bent as it passes through a lens, and the different wavelengths

16 CORRECTING LENS ISSUES Purple fringing (and its rarer brother green fringing) is a different matter. To solve this we now have a new tool: Defringe.


16 CORRECTING LENS ISSUES To use it, click the eyedropper and zoom into the offending photo near a highlight edge. Make sure you’ve selected the Remove Chromatic Aberration checkbox first—you don’t want to be trying to fix the wrong fringing! The eyedropper has a loupe similar to that of the White Balance tool. Click on the centre area of the fringe. Lightroom will then calculate the width of the fringe, and remove it from all edges in the photo. Sometimes it may overestimate, and you’ll see additional colour on the darker edge. In that case, tweak the points on the Hue slider. For example, when removing a purple fringe, you may need to tighten the first Green Hue point away from the green. Even having afternoon tea in a five-star hotel didn’t save this shot from terrible fringing. Clicking the eyedropper on a purple edge, then a green edge, recovered it quickly.


16 CORRECTING LENS ISSUES I did have to manually tweak the Green Hue slider slightly to remove a slight desaturation on the green edges. The final image looks much better.


16 CORRECTING LENS ISSUES MANUAL This set of controls allow you to visually fix lens distortion/vignetting, as well as vertical and horizontal distortion caused by having your camera at an angle. In addition, you can scale the image (which we mentioned in the Crop section) and rotate it (mentioned in the Straighten section). Let’s get fixing.

If there’s no profile for your lens, the first slider, Distortion, is a real boon.



Moving it to the left fixes pincushion distortion, and to the right, barrel distortion. A

In fact, most of the sliders here will do this. Fortunately there’s the

grid appears onscreen to help line up items as you make a fix. Fixing barrel distortion

Constrain Crop checkbox, which will crop down past the grey.

introduces new edges to the photo. These appear as areas of grey around the photo. 102

16 CORRECTING LENS ISSUES The Vertical and Horizontal sliders fix perspective in that direction. For the example shot, here’s a scene in Alcudia with the camera pointing upwards.


16 CORRECTING LENS ISSUES To fix it, drag the Vertical slider to the left, watching the side edges of the towers along the grid.


16 CORRECTING LENS ISSUES To remove the extra grey edges, click on Constrain Crop.


16 CORRECTING LENS ISSUES For the next part, scale out to 87 to bring the sky back in. You can also use the Rotate slider to fix a slight angle and apply some distortion correction. Just a final note on Constrain Crop: Turning it off doesn’t reset the crop, you need to go back to the Crop tool to do that.


16 CORRECTING LENS ISSUES LENS VIGNETTE The Lens Vignetting tool lightens or darkens the edges of the photo. Moving the Amount Slider to the left darkens the edge, and is good for creative effect—but only on uncropped photos. You need to go to Post-Crop Vignetting in the Effects panel for cropped photos. To correct the vignette in an uncropped photo, move the Amount Slider to the right, to lighten the edge.

The Midpoint slider controls how far in from the edge the effect occurs, and only becomes active when the Amount slider is moved from zero.


17 DRAWING US IN: VIGNETTE In the last section we looked at fixing darkened corners caused by deficiencies in lenses. Here’s the rub though—darker corners look great and help focus attention to the centre of the shot.

Originally the manual Lens Vignetting tool in Lens Correction panel was used for this, but it only worked with uncropped images. Adobe added a Post-Crop Vignette tool. But to be honest, it sucked. Badly. They fixed it though, and gave us an even more sophisticated tool to work with.

The Post-Crop Vignette tool is part of the Effects panel, along with the Grain tool. There are three styles available in the Style drop-down menu: Highlight Priority, Color Priority, and Paint Overlay. Paint Overlay is Lightroom’s original Post-Crop Vignette. It’s ugly and looks fake. Avoid. The other two are variations on the normal lens vignette. Highlight Priority protects highlights along the vignette edge, whereas Color Priority protects colour along the edge.

Let’s play with our other controls. Amount and Midpoint are the same as in the Lens Correction panel. Roundness controls the shape of the vignette, but it’s easier to see it if Feather is set to 0 first. In fact, with Feather at 0, Roundness at -100, Midpoint at 0 and Amount at 100, you get a cool rounded white border.



Changing Roundness to +100 will give a small circle in the centre of the photo.


Setting Feather to 100 will completely soften the edge of the vignette.

17 DRAWING US IN: VIGNETTE Setting Roundness back to -100 gives a soft edge.


17 DRAWING US IN: VIGNETTE To draw attention to the centre of a photo, bring the Amount slider down to taste, then play with the midpoint to change the depth of the vignette from the edge. Use Roundness to control whether the vignette holds to the edges, or fills in more. Feather the edge to make it look reasonably natural (unless you really want an effect!). Finally, use the Highlights slider to bring back lost highlight detail in the darkness of the vignette.

I’m going to fess up here. For years I hated vignettes on photos. I thought they were tacky, cliché, and way too ‘70s. Which they can be. But I’ve learned to love how they can hold a scene in. So much so that many photos in my first exhibition on canvas featured vignettes.


18 PRESETS: MAKING, USING AND SAVING PRESETS AS BUILDING BLOCKS One of the biggest benefits of how Lightroom stores and applies settings is the ability to turn them into presets. Presets are looks that can be applied by simply clicking on the preset name in the Presets panel in Develop. As you can see to the left, I have quite a lot.

In Library they can be accessed from the Saved

Lightroom ships with quite a large

Presets drop-down menu in the Quick Develop panel.

variety of presets, so you can get working

They can also be applied automatically on import.

with them right away. To me the most useful feature of presets is preview. As you hover over a preset in Develop, the photo preview in the Navigator window will change to reflect the settings contained in the preset. This means you can quickly run through a list of presets to see which ones suit your image.



Firstly, making a preset is

PC. If you’re making a bunch,

So what can we do instead? Easy—create your presets to target the

basic, so let’s look at how to

easy—click the + on the right on

definitely learn the shortcut!

specific changes you need done in the photo. For the most part,

create practical presets which

the Preset panel header, or use

avoid adding the whole Basic panel to your preset. If you want

can be used as building blocks

the shortcut Shift+Command+

to create a preset to pop colours, only add Vibrance or Saturation

to a range of different looks.

N on Mac or Shift+Ctrl+N on

to it. Why? Well not all photos are correctly exposed, so adding Exposure in a preset can overwrite work you might have done to correct this, or with the Highlights/Shadows/Darks/Lights for

This will open the

that matter. Instead, build incremental presets that only have the

New Preset dialog

minimum settings required to achieve your aim. Take Exposure.

box. Give the preset

Build a series of presets with Exposure at 1/3 stop intervals. That way

a name, decide on

you can preview the change Exposure will make in the Navigator,

a folder for it, and

rather than taking guesses by randomly moving the slider.

choose what settings


are applied by the

So here’s your homework. Create a presets folder called Toolbox-Basic.

preset. Most people

Set your Exposure to -2 stops and create a preset called Exposure -2

leave it at the default

in the Toolbox-Basic folder, with the Exposure checkbox selected.

of all settings, but

Make sure the other settings, except Process Version, are not selected.

this is really only

Repeat at -1.67, -1.33, -1, -.67, -.33, 0, .33, .67, 1, 1.33, 1.67, and 2 with

good for total looks,

corresponding names.

and not for creating

As you make them,

useful tools. In fact

ensure that only

I’d go so far as to say

Exposure is selected

that presets made

in the Presets dialog.

this way only look

When you’re done,

good on images

hover along the preset

similar to the ones

list, to check that

they were made on.

they’re all working.


a set of dedicated grain presets to

at intervals of 33 from -100 to +100,

add to my black-and-white presets.

this time with only Contrast and Process Version selected. Repeat for

Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t also

Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation.

have presets that include everything but the kitchen sink. I do, but as

This will give a great start to getting

an addition to the building blocks.

your image finished in Lightroom,

In fact, by combining the building

because you can see the results in the

blocks, you can build more presets.

Navigator, without having to go to each and every slider. It also means that looks

There are also many good presets

are repeatable without being based on

available online. Sometimes you

the original image used to create them.

have to weigh the costs and benefits, though. There good free ones, and


For other sections of Develop, e.g.

sometimes the cheap preset packs

Tone Curve, Split Toning, and B&W,

can be excellent. If there are specific

make a variety of presets based on

looks you prefer, create a new folder

these. In the case of toned black-and-

in the New Preset dialog and call it 00

white images, make sure to include

Favourites. This puts it on the top of

the black-and-white conversion with

the list in Develop. Drag your favourite

the split toning. With grain, I’d create

presets into it for quickest access.

19 FIXING MORE THAN ONE PHOTO We’ve seen how to use the Sync control in Making White White, but it’s not the only tool for getting settings from one image to another, or to multiple images. Presets, Auto Sync, Copy and Paste settings, and Previous are the other tools that can do this. PRESETS Presets can hold all the settings from a photo, as we’ve seen. You can make a preset and then apply it to many other photos. The problem with this is that often we’re only going to use a preset for a given set of photos. Repeatedly using this method will clutter up the Presets panel with temporary settings.



With more than one photo selected (either in Grid view or in the filmstrip),

The Copy Settings dialog box looks similar to the New Presets dialog, and works in much the same way.

click on the little switch beside Sync. The button will become Auto Sync.

Now as you change settings on the main photograph, all other selected images will have the same changes made. Be warned that large numbers of selected photos will slow the computer down, so this is best for smaller numbers of photos. Also, if you paint a mask on and the photos aren’t quite lined up, it can be a bit messy fixing this. Another problem that can occur is you can forget that Auto Sync is on and end up making a mess of the other selected photos. I’ve done it and I know loads of people that have too. 115

19 FIXING MORE THAN ONE PHOTO Select the checkboxes for the information you want to copy across to other

To paste, select the photos you want the settings applied to and

files. To get the dialog up, either go to the Settings menu and choose Copy

choose Paste Settings from the Settings menu, or use the shortcut

Settings or use the shortcut Shift+Command+C on Mac, or Shift+Ctrl+C on PC.

Shift+Command+P on Mac, or Shift+Ctrl+P on PC.

PREVIOUS With only one image selected, there’s no Sync button, instead there’s the Previous button. This copies every setting from the last viewed photo onto the current one. By using the filmstrip or grid, you can select non-consecutive photos.


20 EDIT IN PHOTOSHOP Okay, so Lightroom can’t do everything. It can process HDR TIFF files, but it can’t make them. It also can’t make panorama photos either, so let’s look at how the Edit In menu can help.

L I G H T R O O M - R E A DY H D R


the entire process pipeline on a HDR file, giving

In Grid view, select the files you’ve shot to make the HDR.

more options than with traditional HDR programs.

For our example, we have three photos shot at -2, 0, and

With Lightroom 4.1 came the ability to process

But you need an external program like Photoshop

+2 EV via auto exposure bracketing on a Canon. Other

HDR TIFF files. This means that you can now use

or Photomatix Pro to create these files.

cameras let you do more, so just select the range for that set.

20 EDIT IN PHOTOSHOP Go to the Photo menu in Library, then from the Edit In menu, choose Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop.

Have a cup of tea, and put your feet up. When the process is done, and the Merge to HDR Pro dialog is open, change the Mode from 16 bit to 32 bit.

You’ll now have the 32-bit file with the full dynamic range visible.



The whites look blown out, so move the white point all the way to the right. You’ll need to do this for all files to have the full range inside Lightroom.

Finally, click OK to open the file in Photoshop. Save the file and close Photoshop. The new 32-bit TIFF will automatically open in Lightroom where you can apply any Lightroom tool to it.

These files are not small. Our example file is 240 MB. But this is offset by not having to wait to render the file again if you want to make changes.


20 EDIT IN PHOTOSHOP PA N O R A M A Sometimes the beauty in a location is in the width. The sky or the foreground adds little. Times like these call for a panorama.




Select the photos in Grid view. Go to the Photo menu in Library, then

Generally I keep the horizon in the centre when creating a panorama set. For this reason I usually

from the Edit In menu, choose Merge to Panorama in Photoshop.

select Cylindrical layout. You can of course choose Auto too. I select all the checkboxes and click OK.

20 EDIT IN PHOTOSHOP Now it’s time for more tea and maybe some social media!

After the processing is done, you should have something like our Photoshop capture.


20 EDIT IN PHOTOSHOP I prefer to do my crop here in Photoshop and to make any fixes needed. The file is rendered at this point, so it should be at its best when we save it. Cropping here also gives the benefit of Content Aware Fill should you need to fill in edges. When finished, save the file and it will automatically appear in Lightroom.


CONCLUSION Hopefully you’ll have gleaned some new tricks and a deeper understanding of Lightroom’s Develop module through this eBook.

With each new version, the software matures more and more, requiring less and less need to go to Photoshop to finalize our photos.

One thing you should definitely do with all of the tools here is set them to extremes. Usually Lightroom will try to prevent horrible things, but it’s more than possible to deliberately mess up, knowing that Undo (Ctrl/Command+Z) is there to save us.



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