Photo Tools Weekly

– [Instructor] Hello, this is Chris, and welcome to Photo Tools Weekly. In this week’s episode, we will take a look at how we can use Lightroom in order to add drama and depth to a portrait. This is a portrait that I captured just yesterday, and this is the way it appeared out of camera. You can see that it was a mixture of light. There was a window over here, and then there’s a little bit of studio light on the subject, kind of giving it a little bit of that pop. And the overall look of the image right now, I think is okay, but I want drama, I want depth, I want this to feel kind of significant. And so, the way that I’m going to do that is, I want to analyze the image. I see a few little problems, the button here, this one over there, I’m going to get rid of those. I also want to go black and white so I have something which is darker and moodier than what we have here in color. So, let’s start off by converting this to black and white. To do that, we tap the V key. That then removes all the color and takes us into black and white. Next, now that we’re in black and white, we can start to dial in some of our settings. So, a little bit on our contrast there, highlights I’m going to bring down, shadows up a touch, blacks come down, and all of these adjustments that I’m going through here are just to my eye, basically how I like the image to look. So, I’m just looking at the photograph and experimenting a little bit with how it looks in this way. And I think something like that. Okay, it doesn’t look super dramatic or great yet, but stick with me. Then, I need to do a little bit of retouching, so I’ll use our tool which is our spot removal tool. And if I just click on that and press the H key so I can see its source area, you can see how it’s selecting some of the black coat to cover that up. This button right here might be nice to get rid of as well, and sometimes, even though the button is there, sometimes it’s nice to get rid of things that catch the light like that. So now, it just becomes a little bit more about the subject, also a little bit more about his watch there and kind of his look off to the side. Okay, well so far, we’ve made some of our adjustments with our sliders in the Basic panel. We’ve retouched away a few little things. Next, what we need to do is fine-tune this further. So, the way that I’m going to do that is by using our radial adjustment tool. And what we’re going to do is create three different adjustments here. The first one, I’m going to go to Exposure and just darken the background and create a little bit of a vignette. So, as I drag this over the image, we can see that it’s affecting the inside area. Now, I can change that either by pressing a shortcut key or by clicking on this little area right here. The shortcut to do this is the apostrophe key, so that inverts what we’re doing, and that’s the technique that I like to use. And I’m just going to open this up a little bit and change the look of that. That’s a little bit too much for me, so I’m going to darken, add clarity as well. Little bit of contrast, a little bit of dehaze, so I’m just trying to add some texture there. I just don’t want to, like, hide all of that, but I want to bring it down while adding a little bit of visual interest to that area as well. So, that’s why I’m using those different things. And already, the image is taking on kind of an interesting feel there with that background getting darker. Now, I’m going to create a new adjustment here. This one, rather than exposure going down, I want to brighten that up, I want to add some clarity, add some sharpness, and this is going to be for the face and the hand. And so, what we’ll do here is click and drag out, and again, when you do that, if it’s the opposite of what you need, remember the apostrophe, that’s the shortcut which allows you to change that. If you can’t quite see how it looks, drag it around and get it in that right spot so you can really see how you can bring in this focus into this part of the image. And you can see how we’re bringing it in right there, and then we can modify it once it’s there, of course. So, we can experiment with exactly how we want this to appear. So, I’m just modifying contrast down, shadows probably right where they are, I had to bring my highlights down a little bit as I brightened it up. And then, I like to flip this little toggle switch to see how these adjustments are really helping to shape the look and the image. I’m going to make this one a little bit bigger here, and then I’m going to go to my background one and I’m going to diminish that just a slight bit there as well. Now, I think at this point, I’m actually done. I originally said I was going to do three, but I think just these two here really helped to make this pop. And let’s analyze or evaluate why. So, if we look at this image, it’s almost like all the tonality is even, there isn’t a lot of dimension. But now, here, it’s really about the center of the image, the outsides are much darker, and we now have this kind of a mood. And once we’ve done that, dialed that in, we can always go back into our other settings here as well and experiment with, well, how dark could we go? I mean, it could be kind of fun to have a really moody version of it like this, or maybe one which has a little bit more snap to it or a little bit more clarity. That might be a fun way to process the image there as well. So, it’s nice to modify these adjustments, go back to them after you’ve made those changes. Now, when it comes to making changes, here’s how I like to do it. Let me just open up the film strip down below. I’m going to press Command + ‘ to make a virtual copy. So, can you see how there’s another little version down below? And the reason why I like to do that is because with this one, I want to try a different crop because I’m really curious to see if this image will actually be better if I crop in much closer, and I’m guessing that it will. And this is just a freeform crop right here, but I’m going to do this, make the eyes look up a little bit more. Something like that, and now we have the comparison of, this was the original, and then this is one which is a different crop. Then, maybe with this crop, let’s say I decide I want to darken the edges even more. So, I press Command + ‘ on a Mac, Control + ‘ on Windows, and we can go back to that adjustment which allowed us to darken in those edges. And here, we can experiment a little bit with how we do that, and maybe darken them in a little bit more, or we could change the size of that, or even the angle of that, where that’s coming from, if we want light to kind of be like a slice of light like this. And the point with this is just to experiment a little bit, so you can see how we have these three options based on the work we already did. We have our first option, I love that one. Then, we have another one which is up close. This one, you can see the crop there. If you need a specific crop, like a four-by-five crop, you could choose that in order to get that really specific crop ratio or whatever it is that you need. And then, we have one more here where we just went a little bit darker and we created a different type of a vignette, like you can see here. Alright, well that’s a wrap for this week on how we can quickly add drama and depth to our photographs when we’re working with portraits inside of Lightroom.

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