Back in the day Photoshop was great for toning photos. It’s a robust and brilliant piece of software. But I’d like to personally thank Adobe for following up with Lightroom. It’s much easier to use and has streamlined the toning process in important ways. Here are five quick tips in Lightroom 5 that will help you produce well-adjusted photos every time.
1. Photos that come out of the camera can almost always use a little contrast bump so I tend to up the exposure (look to the Basic panel) just a bit while making sure I don’t blow anything out too much. Then I go in and increase the blacks a touch as well. Click the before and after in the History field and you’ll see why this makes a difference.
2. DSLRs these days produce enormous files with lots of information in them, so even if something in your photo appears blown out or lost in a shadow, you can still get some of it back. Play around with the Shadows and Highlights sliders in the Basic panel and you’ll see what I mean. But remember, these are just there to give you a little help. Don’t overdo it.
3. I always sharpen my well-exposed photos (sharpening grainy photos tends to add grain). Here again, though, you have to be careful. A little sharpening in the Detail panel can make a photo pop, or seem a little crisper. Too much sharpening makes it look like you’re trying too hard.
Notice the grain when the image is sharpened too much?
4. The Noise Reduction section in the Detail panel is brilliant. If you have photos that are full of noise, play around with the Luminance slider and you can almost always find a way to smooth them out a touch.
5. It might be a little cliché, but I love using the Post-Crop Vignetting section in the Effects panel. With the Highlight Priority slider you can smoothly vignette most photos and help viewers focus in on your subject. But as I’ve said throughout, keep a light touch.
Photo Credit: Long Nguyen Photography
Model: Claire Wright
What’s a quick Lightroom tip you’d like to share? Comment below!