How to Edit Portrait Photos in Lightroom Classic | FREE COURSE

Let's learn the tools and tips you'll Need to know to edit and retouch Portraits in Adobe Lightroom classic Hi I'm Jamie from envato tuts plus and I've been a portrait photographer for Over 10 years and Adobe Lightroom Classic has been there every step of the Way for me it doesn't matter if you're An advanced photographer or just getting Started out on your journey learning how To use the powerful tools inside of Adobe Lightroom classic will help bring Out the best in your portraits in this Course we'll cover the tools and Techniques you'll need to know in order To create a natural looking portrait Edit whether using natural lighting Conditions or in a studio using strobes And modifiers we'll also take a look at Some of the basics of color grading like How to create and apply your own custom Color treatments and we'll also take a Look at some skin retouching techniques Like how to use the healing brush in Order to hide imperfections or get rid Of blemishes you'll also learn to create Custom selections so that we can make Local adjustments to really make our Portrait edit pop Finally we'll discuss some best workflow Practices one of the best features of Adobe Lightroom classic is that you can Edit almost an entire shoot with just a Few clicks of a button

In this course I'm going to be using Some raw images of my own but if you Need to Source any images or other Premium creative digital assets such as Lightroom presets be sure to check out All of the amazing resources available On envato elements By the end of this course you'll have The confidence and knowledge to go Through Adobe Lightroom classic and get Quality professional results the next Time you go to edit your portrait let's Jump in and get started on how to edit Portraits in Adobe Lightroom classic Let's start with this raw photo a Portrait of a bride and groom taken Outside using only natural light The first step to editing this portrait Is setting the white balance because This is a raw photo the default white Balance is set to as shot which means The camera made the decision for the White balance the this is often pretty Close to a desired result but on a Cloudy overcast day like the one in this Portrait the default setting is often a Little bit too cool to correct this Let's select the Cloudy setting in the White balance drop down menu there That's a lot better and we can always Refine this adjustment by manually Sliding the slider for even more control I'm going to jump ahead of the flow of Lightroom's workspace here just for a

Second let's go down to the lens Correction menu This is a really powerful tool where a Lightroom can actually read the metadata Of the image to detect the lens that was Used it then uses an algorithm to Correct the Distortion and vignetting Caused by that specific lens click on Both the remove chromatic aberration and The enable profile Corrections depending Upon the lens used this can have a major Impact on the look and feel of the edit Which is why I like to do this Adjustment so early on in the process Now let's head back up to the tone Section of the Lightroom workspace and See what edits might help us out there Immediately I can see that I'll need to Pull back the highlights so that the sky And the bride's dress retain some more Detail I'll bring the whites down a little bit As well to help that out Then to avoid losing too much contrast In this edit I'll bring down the blacks To help the subjects pop a little bit More An overcast day has the tendency to mute The colors in an image and that's Certainly the case in this portrait I'll Give a little bump to the vibrant slider In order to bring some of the color back Into the image but not affect the skin Tones of our subjects too much

From here let's head down to the hsl Color menu to refine the colors in the Image in order to keep the edit feeling Natural Hsl stands for Hue saturation and Luminance and in this section of the Lightroom workspace you'll be able to Adjust these parameters for each Individual color some serious editing Power lies in here I'll start by looking at the couple's Skin tones it's reading a touch to green For me so I'll bring down the Hue of the Orange Channel A little bit goes a long way here so be Sure to use your eyes as your guide While you're adjusting these colors Then I'll bring up the Hue of the Magentas so that the pink and the tie Reads a little bit more neutral Moving now to the saturation I'm going To bring down the yellows slightly which Will really help those colors blend Nicely I'll bring down the blues slightly as Well as that suit jacket is popping a Little bit more than it needs to be Finally down to luminance the only thing I'm particularly concerned with here is The suit jacket so I'll bring up the Luminance of the Blues to lighten that Jacket back up Let's put some finishing touches on this Portrait edit by applying some

Sharpening To know how much sharpening to apply First zoom in to 100 on the portrait and Fill the Lightroom window with the Subject's skin I like to use a small radius of 0.5 and Then slowly bring up the slider until You see the sharpening start to take Hold Generally for me somewhere between 60 to 90 is The Sweet Spot When you apply sharpening in Lightroom It applies the sharpening to the entire Image I'd rather it only be applied to The in Focus parts of my image and Lightroom has a built-in masking slider To help with this Hold down the option key and begin to Drag the masking slider to the right You'll see a nebula of lines appear and The more you move the slider to the Right the more refined those lines will Become these lines represent the parts Of the image that will have the Sharpening applied to them and so I'll Go until the lines are contained mostly To my subject At this point I think the edit is Looking finished to me and feels quite Natural and balanced to check our work Let's click on the before and after Views to compare the edited version with The original raw file I'm going to call that finished

And that's how I approach editing a Natural light portrait now let's take a Look at a portrait made in a studio Setting Here's a portrait of a woman that I made In my studio I used a large OCTA box as My main light just outside of the frame On camera left and then a reflector on Camera right to slightly fill in some of The Shadows To begin the edit I'll once again start Off by setting the white balance this Time I'll select the flash preset from The drop down menu because this image Was made using a flash That's reading a touch warmer than I'd Like so I'll take the temperature slider And manually drag it to the left for a Cooler looking temperature Right around 4 900 Degrees looks right To my eye This portrait is also looking a touch Green to me so I'll take the tint slider And pull it slightly to the pink side to Correct for that There Now we'll apply the lens correction just Like we did in the natural light edit You may notice that this didn't affect The image quite as much as the previous Application and that's because that First image was shot with a much wider Angle lens The Wider the lens the more Distortioned and vignetting thus

Increasing the amount of Correction Required Let's go back up to the tone section now And see if any adjustments will help out Our edit My first thought is that this portrait Feels a little bit dark and heavy and so My first thought is to give a small Increase to the exposure Next I'll turn my attention to the Shadows and give those a lift to bring Back some detail in the darker sections Of the image A small lift to the black slider will Also help lighten up the image Plus 20 looks about right Finally I don't want the skin tone to Get away from me so I'll bring the Highlights down a little bit to protect Those from blowing out That's looking good to me so let's move On to the hsl color portion of Lightroom Classic Much like in the natural portrait edit I'm going to bring down the Hue of the Orange Channel a little bit as you edit More and more portraits you'll start to Develop a style and find yourself making Similar editing moves from photo to Photo This is a good thing and saves you time Down the road In the saturation tab I'm also going to Slightly desaturate the oranges which

Are mostly present in the skin tone Next I'm going to use a graduated filter To bring down the exposure on the lower Portion of the frame I'll select the graduated filter tool And drag it up from the bottom of my Frame I'll decrease the exposure and then Adjust the filter around until it's Looking seamless to me I only want this To darken the table and the bottom of The arms Perfect Last but not least let's head over to The sharpening menu Let's set the radius to 0.5 and then Zoom into our image to a hundred percent So we can accurately see the effect Then slowly increase the slider until The skin pops Again let's mask the sharpening Selection to have it only apply to the In Focus sections of the image hold Option and Slide the masking slider Until the lines simplify on the face That's a finished looking portrait edit To me As you can see the steps to getting from A raw photo to a finished natural Looking portrait isn't that intimidating Knowing where to look and what you want To adjust is half the battle With the build and slider functionality Lightroom makes the saw very easy to

Adjust so don't be afraid to try Something out you can always adjust any Adjustment at any point It's time to talk about color grading so Far in this course I've demonstrated how To color correct a portrait but when we Refer to color grading we're trying to Create or impart a mood on the edit by Manipulating the colors to a specific Result Using custom color grades is where a Photographer can really develop and Refine their own unique editing style in The color grading menu Lightroom Displays color wheels for each tonal Range the shadows mid-tones and the Highlights To adjust these you click and drag the Middle point of the color wheel and the Color will shift in relation to the Direction you're dragging The further you drag the wheel away from The center the saturation of that Particular color will appear in your Image A very common and popular color grade is The orange and teal look this is where You add in some teal into the shadows of Your image and orange in the highlights Let me show you how to recreate this Color grade First let's take the Shadows color wheel And drag the center point towards teal It's up to you if you want to skew the

Colors closer to green or blue there's No right answer here just what looks Best to your eyes Next let's go to the highlights color Wheel and drag the center point towards Orange to complete the look The slider underneath the color wheels Controls the Luminosity of the Corresponding tone If you decrease the Luminosity of the Shadows you'll darken the image creating A darker or moodier feel or if you bring Down the Luminosity of the highlights it Creates a muted look kind of like an old Film Stop You can toggle the color grading effects On or off at any point by clicking this Little button at the top of the menu It's often quite helpful to refer back To the original colors to gain some Perspective Another fun color grade is when you lift The luminosities of the Shadows quite a Bit and then introduce some reddish Tones Then in the mid-tones add in a little Bit of yellow to complement the red Now all of a sudden this portrait has an Old school vintagey feel to it You can see just how powerful this color Grading section of Lightroom classic can Be in just a couple of clicks you can Completely change the feel of a portrait

Take some time to play around with the Section especially if you're interested In creating a unique color palette in Your edits When it comes to retouching skin Lightroom isn't as powerful as its Sister program Adobe Photoshop but There's still quite a bit of retouching Work you can get done in Lightroom Quickly and easily Located in the spot removal tool which Is the high Key Queue you'll find the Clone and healing brushes I use the healing brush exclusively to Remove skin blemishes or really any Imperfections that appear on the subject The healing brush works by first Selecting an imperfect region and Sampling that section Then you apply the brush to the good Region and the algorithm will blend the Two regions removing the imperfection This makes it the Ideal tool for fixing Little blemishes like these when I use The healing brush this way I opt for a Relatively large feather on the brush so The adjustment is as seamless as Possible Adjust the size of the brush as needed For the area you're working on and keep The opacity at a hundred The healing brush can even take care of This little highlight from my flash on The subject's nose I'll adjust my brush

To the right size Click Make sure I'm sampling a good area And just like that the Highlight is gone Without a Trace Another quick tip to dealing with skin Is to Simply decrease the clarity of an Image modern day cameras are so good and Lenses are so sharp that simply pulling The clarity down to -10 or -20 can help Soften the subject's skin One technique that can have a huge Impact on your portrait editing Lightroom classic is to use selections To really make your portrait pop By its very nature the effects of all Lightroom adjustments are applied to the Entirety of the image but by using Selections we can pinpoint exactly where We want certain adjustments to be Applied To make a selection click on the Adjustment brush at the top right hand Corner of the Lightroom workspace I like to choose a brush with a large Feather so that the adjustments can Blend in seamlessly I'm going to make a selection of the Subject's chest and left arm Adjust the size of the brush to be a Little bit smaller than whatever you're Going to be selecting and then click and Hold to paint in your selection Repeat as needed to make your selection

Relatively accurate but it doesn't need To be perfect you can erase from your Selection by holding down the option key And a minus sign will appear on the Cursor Click off the show selected mask overlay Button and let's make the adjustment I'm going to bring down the highlights From the subject's chest and arm I'll bring them down to -30 or so That's much more balanced with the rest Of the image now Speaking of balance the backdrop could Use a little bit more light so I'll make A rough selection of the backdrop by Using a big feathered brush I'll be sure to erase any of that Selection that painted over my subject Now I'm going to increase the Shadows a Little bit And then bring the texture way up That really starts to work some magic And then I'll just play around until I Find the right balance of contrast and Shadows There I'm happy with that you can really See how in just a couple of small moves To specific areas of a portrait the Adjustments can have a really Major Impact and selections can be used for so Many different adjustments as you can See here in the sliders This can be a place for some really High-end retouching as you can really

Sculpt the light and Shadow with Selections and fine-tune the contrast in A portrait Knowing when enough is enough in a photo Edit can be tricky just how much is too Much what does too much even look like Let's take a look at a portrait in Lightroom so you can see what I mean Here I'll use the self-portrait that I Previously made some edits to The histogram offers a great visual Reference for the colors and contrast of The image and can be very useful for Keeping your edits in check Click the little arrow at the top right Hand side of the histogram this will Activate the Highlight clipping Indicator and Lightroom will now show You if and where the whites in the image Are clipping Notice as I drag up the white slider the Red mask begins to appear where the Whites in the image are blown The same is true for the arrow on the Left hand side of the histogram this Activates a Shadow's clipping indicator That appears as a blue mask in the Shadow areas where they've gone to pure Black If you're clipping on either side of the Histogram it's a good sign you may have Gone too far in your edit Keeping the tonal range inside of these

Two extremes protects the maximum amount Of information in the portrait A good example of this are the texture And Clarity sliders When working with portraits be very Cautious when using these adjustments Because as you can see when I drag them Up too high the skin quickly begins to Look unrealistic On the flip side how much is not enough When it comes to a photo edit An obvious example of this that a lot of Beginners and intermediate photo editors Get wrong is sharpening it can be easy To turn on the sharpening and dial it up Until you see the slightest adjustment And stop there the problem with that is That when we Zoom back out we don't see Any noticeable difference for an image To appear sharp we'll have to push past Those early signs keep dialing up the Sharpness until you really see it take Hold in the preview Now be careful not to go too far because As you can see when I dial this up Really high the image begins to break Apart and gives us some artifacts that We definitely don't want it's important For me to say that knowing what too much Or too little is will be uniquely Subjective your eye must be your guide And the more time you spend in Lightroom Editing your portraits the more your eye Will develop and your taste will become

Apparent Now let's talk about workflow in Lightroom classic When you get home from a shoot it can be Very tempting to upload your images into Lightroom quickly scan through the Portraits to pick out a favorite and Then immediately jump into editing that One photo the problem with working like This is that when you need to later come Back and match the settings of your Edited favorite to your unedited photos This actually creates more work for you Instead I'm going to show you how to Move through the different stages of Post-production on the shoot as a whole In passes applying our edits and stages Rather than all at once I'll open up a Recent portrait shoot and show you an Effective workflow in Lightroom that Will save you time and get you Consistent results So here are all the photos from my shoot The first thing I'm going to do is apply The lens correction adjustment Depending upon the lens you used for Your portrait this one adjustment can Have a major impact on the image so it's Best to do this adjustment before Anything else Click on the enable profile Corrections Button and Lightroom will automatically Detect the lens that was used and then Apply a correction for Distortion and

Vignetting Now let's go up and select a white Balance that best suits our portrait Oftentimes lightroom's Auto white Balance gets us pretty close but we want To make sure we're selecting a custom White balance so we can apply the exact Same settings to multiple photos Now that we've got our white balance set Let's do any basic exposure adjustments That are needed to make sure our image Is properly exposed Where we'll stop for now and sync these Settings across our entire chute to do This simply press command a to select All of the portraits and then click sync And tick the appropriate boxes of the Settings that we want to apply in our Case that's going to be white balance Exposure and lens Corrections click Synchronize and now every image in the Shoot will have the same settings Now we'll go through the smaller groups Of portraits that might need some extra Attention You can see the photos in this group are All a little bit dark so let's pick one Of them and make some adjustments it Could use a lift in the shadows And a little bit more exposure Now I'll highlight the like images And click sync select exposure and Shadows click synchronize And now this little group of portraits

Is sitting a lot better with the rest Continue through your shoot with these Smaller adjustments with any groups of Like images Once you've made these broad edits to a Whole shoot it's time to make a smaller Selection of files that you'll bring Forward through the next editing steps I like to use a starring method where I'll go through my shoot and apply a one Star to everything that will go through To the next level of edits simply go Through each photo and press the number One on your keyboard to apply a one star Rating If you accidentally apply a one star to Where you didn't mean to just press 0 And return the rating back to zero Now that we've sifted through and picked Out all of the good photos from our Shoot let's have Lightroom show us only The photos we've one starred in the Bottom right hand corner you'll see Filters click that and select rated and One star and then images with one star Or higher will be displayed now we can Go in and make some more specific edits This is where we'll refine contrast and Saturation and maybe even some local Adjustments using brushes or gradients To really refine the portraits again We're going to be editing one image of a Group of like images at a time syncing Those edits we're making to the rest of

That group and then moving forward After your more specific edits I like to Do one more round of the starring Process to select the best shots from Each group of like images now is where We're making the selection of photos That we're going to finish up our Post-production with let's go back Through the shoot pressing 2 to apply a Two star rating to all of the photos we Want to select to finish Now we'll refine our rated filter to two Stars or higher and only the images with Two stars will be displayed The final step is to apply some Sharpening Sync those settings across the final Images and then we're ready to export See how efficient of a process that was All of the portraits off look and feel Cohesive and I didn't even manually edit Several of them Sometimes adding a bit of grain to a Portrait can help take away that digital Look of a photo it can also help soften Up some of the out of focus or softer Parts of an image or where there are big Color shifts in an image You'll find the grain slider in the Effects tab almost all the way at the Bottom of the Lightroom workspace it's Good practice to zoom into a hundred Percent on your portrait whenever you're Applying grain because if you're zoomed

Out it can be very easy to apply far too Much grain This is one of those adjustments that You'll want to be subtle with too much Digital grain can easily ruin an image Use the amount slider to bring it up Just until you see the grains set in and Soften the edges of the image I find Using a grain size of somewhere around 30 to look very natural to me the rough Disc can stay around 50. If you start to bring up the amount and Or size too high you'll notice that you Actually start to lose sharpness in your Image which we definitely don't want Be sure to toggle your grain adjustment On and off with the little button at the Top left of the module this will really Help you see the effect of the Grain and Let you know if you've gone too far or If you want to go a bit further Woof that sure was a lot of information At this point you should have all of the Tools you need to go ahead with Confidence the next time you're editing A portrait or a whole portrait shoot Let's recap by reviewing one last Portrait edit first things first we'll Enable profile corrections to set a Neutral starting point Then we'll go in and select a custom White balance to get the skin sitting Just right Next we'll turn our attention to the

Tone menu and make any necessary Adjustments there I'll pull down the highlights here quite A bit to protect the subject's white Shirt The Shadows could use a little lift to Bring back some detail on the hair And this image is feeling a little bit Flat so let's add a little bump to Clarity And Vibrance We'll move to working with the color of The portrait next First I'll address the blue background Let's go to the Hue section and play With the blue and aqua sliders until the Background feels a little bit more Accurate I'll also bring up the lightness of the Blue channel to brighten up the image a Little bit Next we'll direct our attention to the Skin I'll start by pulling down the Hue of The orange slider ever so slightly Followed by a tiny dip in the saturation Of the oranges Finally I'll increase the saturation of The Reds in order to bring out the color In the subject's lipstick and then Refine the Hue of the Reds in order to Get those lips sitting just right That covers the basics of editing this Portrait now let's make some local

Adjustments First things first I want to make those Eyes grab my attention so I'm going to Paint a mask over the subject's eyes Then I'll increase the clarity Bump up the Shadows Increase the saturation And give even a little bit more to the Highlights The last thing I want to do here is make A new mask of the subject shirt because The shirt is white we're getting a Slightly blue cast from the wall onto The shirt I'll paint a mask with a very Soft feather around the shirt being Careful to avoid the background or skin Then I'll fully desaturate this Selection to -100 removing all color Information from the shirt If you notice some of the skin or Background has been desaturated don't Fret just go back into your mask hold The option key and Erase Away the parts Of the mask that are hitting the wrong Spots Finally we're ready for sharpening we'll Zoom into 100 on our image keeping the Radius low slowly pulling up the amount Until you see the image snap into Sharpness Then we'll apply the masking so the Sharpening only applies to the in Focus Areas of the portrait holding down Option Slide the masking slider to see

The outline of where the adjustment will Be applied release when it's contained Just to the face and torso And just like that we've finished Applying all the lessons from this Course to our portrait edit You've reached the end of the how to Edit portrait photos course here on Envato as you can tell Adobe Lightroom Classic gives us photographers a pretty Incredible workspace to be able to Easily manipulate and edit our portrait Photos it's an incredibly valuable Resource and when used properly can Massively cut down on our Post-production time while creating Consistent reliable results I hope you've learned some new tools and Tips along the way and feel confident to Edit everything from a single portrait To an entire shoot Be sure to like And subscribe to the Envato YouTube channel for all kinds of Lightroom tutorials that will help you On your post-production journey [Music] [Applause] [Music]

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