Digital Photo Help

Post Production

Save 75% Today on the Photoshop Training Everyone’s Been Talking About

by on Nov.23, 2016, under Post Production

NewImageThe Short Story: This week you can get 75% off the most popular Photoshop Training we’ve ever recommended.

The Longer Story: If you’ve been part of the dPS community for a while, then you may have seen the internationally acclaimed “Photoshop Artistry” course by Sebastian Michaels.

This is the Photoshop training everyone has been talking about for the past two years. Only now it’s even bigger and better than ever, with updated training and more content being added all the time.

Awaken Your Creative Genius

This teaching will help you to go from merely editing your photos to creating awesome photo-art compositions fit for print and canvas. You’re really going to love it.

We’ve featured it before and the response was amazing last time… so much so that we’ve convinced Sebastian to give our readers another chance to get a huge discount on this course.

Save 75% and Pick up A Special Gift

So during this week of Thanksgiving you have the opportunity to get a full 75 percent off, but there’s also a bonus.

Sebastian has thrown in his newest training “21 Days To Creative Abundance” (normally $74), as a special gift to anyone who picks up Photoshop Artistry this week.

This offer has a satisfaction guarantee. If at any time within 60 days you decide it’s not for you, Sebastian is letting everyone KEEP the bonus training as a gift – no strings attached.

It really doesn’t get any better than that.

So don’t miss your chance to save 75% and pick up this fantastic bonus. This price will never be repeated and it all ends this week!

The post Save 75% Today on the Photoshop Training Everyone’s Been Talking About by Darren Rowse appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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How I Processed This Photo Using Only Lightroom

by on Nov.19, 2016, under Post Production

An advantage of using the Raw format is that it gives you a tremendous amount of freedom when it comes to processing. This, combined with Lightroom’s powerful processing engine, opens up lots of possibilities for the creative photographer. I’d like to show you how I processed a Raw file using only Lightroom.

Photoshop users will also be able to follow along with most of it, as Adobe Camera Raw shares many of Lightroom’s sliders and functions. This is the original Raw file, as it came out of the camera.

Lightroom processing

And here’s the finished result after post-processing.

Lightroom processing

The story behind the image

As you can see there’s quite a difference between the before and after images. But before we look at how I achieved this in Lightroom I’d like to share the back story of the photo. This is important because it guided the way that I decided to process it.

I took the photo in a blacksmith’s forge in the English town of Spalding earlier this year. The forge is remarkable because they use working practices that date back over a hundred years. It’s open to the public and they have demonstrations where you can take photos. The forge is small and you can get quite close to the blacksmith, which allows you to take intimate portraits like this one.

The light was coming from windows in front of the blacksmith and behind him, as well as from the hot piece of metal he is hammering. There was also overhead fluorescent lighting. The end result is that the light is fairly flat and boring, which is something I wanted to change in Lightroom.

A blacksmith’s forge should be lit by a combination of cool natural light and the fiery orange glow from the fires, not fluorescent light. I wanted mysterious shadows in the photo, not every detail visible. Points like these are important because they help you work with a destination in mind, rather than aimlessly pushing sliders around to see what happens.

lightroom-before-after

First steps – color corrections

The first steps involve getting the colors right, as this affects the look of the photo and everything you do from this point forward. The most important setting is in the Camera Calibration panel. A lot of people gloss over this panel as if it’s not so important. This isn’t helped by its placement at the bottom of the right-hand side in Lightroom’s Develop module.

When I took the photo I had the color profile set to Velvia, which gives high contrast and strong, saturated colors on my Fujifilm X-T1. It doesn’t matter what your color profile settings are on your camera if you’re shooting Raw as you can change them in Lightroom. I wanted softer, more subtle colors, so I changed the setting to Classic Chrome.

Note: This setting is only available on some Fujifilm cameras. The settings you see in the Camera Calibration panel depend on your camera model.

Next, I went to the Basic panel and set the White Balance to Auto. This tells Lightroom to decide how to set the color temperature to give the image neutral colors. How successful Lightroom is at this depends on the content of your photo. If you have mixed lighting sources, as this photo does, even Lightroom’s powerful algorithms aren’t going to give you anything other than an educated guess. It’s not possible to get rid of all color casts with mixed lighting.

Regardless, Auto White Balance gave me a good starting point. This is what the photo looks like so far. You can see it’s already quite different from the starting image which was quite orange.

Lightroom processing

Auto White Balance applied.

Tonal adjustments

The next step was to start making the transition from an image that is too bright to one that is dark and moody.

I did this by setting the Exposure slider to -1.0. This made the shadows too dark, so I brightened them by setting the Shadows slider to +25. I also set Clarity to +31 to bring out the gritty textures in the scene. See my settings below:

Lightroom processing

As you can see now that the image is darker the blacksmith’s face is lit by the glow from the hot metal he is working with. This was lost in the original.

Lightroom processing

Tonal adjustments and Clarity applied.

Cropping to remove distractions

Now I can see that the photo has a major problem. There is too much empty space on the right-hand side, and the blue plastic is a major distraction. In hindsight, the composition would have been better if I had placed the blacksmith in the center of the frame. However, we can compensate for that by cropping the image.

I activated the Crop Overlay (keyboard shortcut R), set the Aspect to 4×5 / 8×10, and cropped the image. This cuts out the distractions on the right-hand side and brings the attention back to the blacksmith.

Lightroom processing

Lightroom processing

This is the result after the image has been cropped.

Refining the image with local adjustments

So far the adjustments made have all been global. That is that Lightroom applies them equally to the entire image. Now it’s time to refine the tonal values with some local adjustments.

I started by adding a slight vignette using the Post-Crop Vignetting tool in the Effects panel. This darkened the corners slightly.

Lightroom processing

Next, I decided that I wanted to make the background even darker. This is going back to the earlier decision to make the image dark and moody as if the blacksmith is working in a much darker environment.

I added three Graduated filters to darken the edges. The screenshots below show the placement of the filters and the settings used.

Lightroom processing

Graduated Filter #1 applied on the upper left of the image.

Lightroom processing

Graduated Filter #2 applied on the right side of the image.

Lightroom processing

Graduated Filter #3 applied on the lower right corner of the image.

Then I used an Adjustment Brush and moved the Shadows slider right to make the blacksmith’s hair lighter and bring out the detail.

Lightroom processing

Adjustment Brush applied to his hair to bring out detail.

This is what the image looks like now with these adjustments.

Lightroom processing

After local adjustments have been applied.

Split toning for color grading

Lightroom processingFinally, I decided that the mood could be further enhanced with a split tone applied: blue to the shadows and an orange tone in the highlights.

The idea was to emphasize the difference in color temperature between the orange light from the hot metal and sparks, and the background, which in my imagination is lit by daylight (but in reality was also lit by fluorescent light). I did that in the Split Toning panel with these settings.

Here is the final result.

Lightroom processing

Final image after split toning applied.

Final thoughts

As you can see, even though the final image looks remarkably different from the starting Raw file, the steps involved in the processing were quite simple. It didn’t take long to get from the starting point to the end photo. This is mostly because I had a firm idea of what I wanted as the end result before I started processing the file.

If you have any questions or thoughts to share about the processing I did on this image then please let me know in the comments.


If you’d like to learn more about processing your photos in Lightroom then please check out my ebook Mastering Lightroom: Book Two – The Develop Module.

The post How I Processed This Photo Using Only Lightroom by Andrew S. Gibson appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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3 Steps to Quickly Install Lightroom Presets

by on Nov.15, 2016, under Post Production

One element regarding Lightroom presets often remains shrouded in mystery and is at the same time one of the most important aspects of using them. The simple process of actually how to install Lightroom presets that often gets overlooked. Many new photographers can find themselves more than a bit lost when faced with a folder full of presets with no clue of how to actually get them into Lightroom.

3-steps-to-quickly-install-lightroom-presets

There’s a Lightroom preset, or preset pack, for virtually anything you would want to do with your photos; black-and-white conversions, vintage-style filters, even film simulations to mimic the look of classic Kodak and Fuji prints. These presets can be phenomenally useful and, like many photographers, I have shelled out good money for various Lightroom presets over the years. So let’s take a look at how to install Lightroom presets so you can use them.

While there are a few different methods of installing presets, there is one that is generally preferred because is is more flexible and allows you to install several presets at once. While the screenshots below are from the Macintosh version of Lightroom, the process is virtually identical on a Windows computer as well.

Photo processed with a Mastin Labs preset that mimics the look of Fuji film.

Photo processed with a Mastin Labs LR preset that mimics the look of Fuji film.

Step 1: Locate your LR Presets Folder

Somewhere on your computer’s hard drive is a folder where Lightroom stores all the Presets you have either created or installed. The following steps show you how to locate that folder then copy your new presets into it. To find the folder start by going to the Lightroom Preferences menu.

lightroom-presets-install-preferences

In the next window, you will see several tabs at the top. Click on the one named Presets to see the various options you can enable when working with Presets. You will also see a button that says “Show Lightroom Presets Folder…” (circled in red below) which will show you where your Presets are stored.

lightroom-presets-install-preferences-presets

Click this button to pull up the folder on your hard drive that stores all sorts of data for Lightroom, including not only Presets but a great deal of other information as well. Ironically this button doesn’t show you your Presets folder, but the folder that contains the Presets folder. Click on the “Lightroom” folder and then the “Develop Presets” folder.

lightroom-presets-install-preferences-presets-folder

All these screenshots might make Step 1 seem like an overly complicated bit of computational maneuvering, but it’s really only a matter of clicking a few buttons. After that, you’re ready for the next step.

Step Two: Copy your Presets

When you open the Develop Presets folder you might see another folder inside of it called User Presets, which contains any Presets you have created on your own. If you don’t see User Presets it’s not a problem at all, and many people go their whole careers without making any of their own custom Lightroom presets.

In any case, you will need to open a new window and locate the folder in which your new Presets are stored. Then drag-and-drop them into the Develop Presets folder to copy them over, as shown below.

lightroom-presets-install-copy

You are now ready to use your new Presets…almost. There is still one step left to do before you can take full advantage of your newfound editing tools.

Step Three: Restart Lightroom

This final step seems a bit silly but it’s essential if you want to use your Presets. Some people forget to do this and are met with confusion and frustration when they find out they are unable to access the new Presets they supposedly just installed.

Once your Presets are copied over to the Develop Presets folder, restart Lightroom and you will be able to use them as you would any other Preset. You will find them on the left-hand side of the Develop module in the Presets panel. To use them just click one of the Presets with a photo open and you will instantly see the changes show up.

Note: if your new Presets came in folders you will see them sorted that way inside the Presets panel. To open them just click the triangle next to the folder name, then select the Preset you want to apply. 

Just a few clicks to load a Preset is all I did to get this picture looking just like I wanted.

Just a few clicks to load a Preset is all I did to get this picture looking just like I wanted.

Conclusion

Do you use Presets as part of your Lightroom workflow? If you have thought about dipping your toes in the water you can try the Presets that come with Lightroom and we have some really good ones here at DPS too. They are easy and fun and can give you a whole new perspective on photo editing that you can use to really take things to a new level.

The post 3 Steps to Quickly Install Lightroom Presets by Simon Ringsmuth appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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