Have you guys ever wished you had a better workflow while editing images? Lightroom can provide you EXACTLY that because of how user-friendly and convenient this program is. I’m excited to share with yo some of my favorite Portrait Enhancements along with tutorials on how to create your own custom presets, and easily implement your personal watermark into each of your photos in seconds.
Below is a video tutorial, but be sure to read the post for all the details that slipped my mind while recording!
Unedited image you can use to practice on:
1. Spot Removal Tool:
This tool is so great for eliminating small blemishes throughout your images. The tool is located on the righthand side of your screen (highlighted above) or can be accessed through the hotkey (Q). In order to heal the blemishes in your image, just click the “heal” setting (right below the brush icon) and begin selecting those blemishes. This tool will begin healing those areas and replacing them with other “correct” portions of your image. You can see below all the little circles, indicating places I want to replace. The two larger circles that we see connected by a line on the left cheek is an example of a spot being replaced with another part of the face. When you are finished spot healing, be sure to click “Done” in the bottom right corner.
2. Brush – Skin Softening
Now we get to start editing with the brushes (my favorite part)! In order to access the brushes, go to the right side of your screen and click on the brush icon (highlighted above). There will be a drop down menu of different “Effects” to choose from, and we will choose “Soften Skin.” Usually, the default settings for this brush is [-100 clarity] but I would recommend boosting that up to at least [-50 clarity] so that we don’t get a “plastic Barbie doll” look. Once you have your brush loaded with this setting, brush the areas of the face that you would like to soften. I would suggest not painting the entire face, but just painting the larger, flatter areas like the forehead, cheek bones, and chin. You can adjust the SIZE of your brush by using the left and right brackets ( [=smaller ]=larger ) If you feel that the clarity is too much/little, you can always go back and adjust after you have painted the areas you want effected. Be sure to click “Done” in the lower right corner when finished.
3. Brush – Iris Enhance
Next, we will enhance the irises of our subject. Return to the brush icon and this time, instead of selecting “Soften Skin”, select “Iris Enhance.” Now, we will paint over the whites of the eyes in our image. This will help to create more contrast with the colors of the eyes, and make them POP more. Be sure to click “Done” when finished.
4. Brush- Exposure
Follow the same steps as the “Iris Enhance” but this time, select the “Exposure” preset with your brush. The auto-preset is usually around [+100 Exposure] but I would recommend moving this down to [+20 to +50 Exposure]. We will now be painting this into the colored parts of the eye in order to make the colors look lighter. Be sure not to overdo this, or your subject will look like an alien.
5. Brush- Sharpness
Lastly, take your brush and fill it with the “Sharpness” setting, and paint over each complete eye. This will just make the eyes even more of a focal point of your image.
Editing Tip: While adjusting Whites and Blacks within the basic edits, hold down ALT to see the inverse of the image and make more precise adjustments.
SYNCING & PRESETS:
If you really like some of the basic photo edits you did on an image, you have the ability to apply those exact same edits to other photos in your Lightroom library. One way you can do that is through Syncing your edits. You can do this by first selecting the photo with the edits you like, and then also selecting any other images that you want to have these same edits as well. You then just have to hit the “Sync” button on the lower right side of your screen, and you edits will be synced to all your images!
Another way to accomplish this, on more of a long term scale, is by creating your own custom PRESET. All you have to do is select the image with the edits you like, and then click the little plus button next to the Presets Panel on the left side of your screen:
By doing this, you can apply this preset to any image in the future, even if it’s 2 days, 2 weeks, or 2 years later! I would recommend doing this for your absolute favs.
I’m sure lots of you guys have your own watermarks that you like to put on your images when you share them online and with friends. Lightroom makes it SO quick and easy to apply your watermark to all your images in seconds.
When you are happy with how your photos are edits, go to File > Export.
When you do this, lots of different setting options will show up. This is when you will want to scroll down until you see the “Watermark” section, and check the box.
By default, you will not have any watermarks saved, so you will want to click on the dropdown menu and select “Edit Watermarks”
This will take you to an entirely new page that allows you to either type in a watermark, or upload your previously created watermark onto all the photos you’re exporting. There are lots of adjustments you can do to your watermark that I go into more detail about in my video, but it is really all pretty self explanatory once you get your watermark uploaded! Once you “Save” the watermark, you will be able to select that watermark preset in the future while exporting! Easy as that!
Doesn’t this get you EXCITED? Good luck with your photography experiments and I hope you learned something useful from this tutorial!