Archive for category: Lightroom Tutorials

If you’re going to be a crab…..

I love using weird photos to make birthday or thank you notes. This photo caught my eye while I was perusing my library. I knew something good could come of it. Here’s a quick tutorial on turning a bland photo into something worthy of printing off….

While on tour in Louisiana, we were invited to a crab boil. Here is my plate of food. No, I didn’t eat it all. I had some help from a certain Biceps.


In Lightroom, I used the pre-set, “Direct Positive”. This tends to add a burst of color, contrast and interest to photos. However, when I’ve used it on humans it makes them look like Oompa Lumpa’s.


I slightly increased the red and yellow hues, and added a little saturation to it.


Next, I used the paintbrush function and decreased the clarity surrounding the yellow tray.


Lastly, I used the vignette function and lens corrected the photo, darkening the edges. Here’s the final photo-ready for action.

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Using Presets & Burning in Lightroom

This picture is cute, yes. But, let’s make it cuter.

Using Lightroom, I first made a copy of the photo so that I could mess with it by going to the “Photo” tab and clicking, “create virtual copy”.


I then used the Lightroom Preset, “Creative-Cold Tone”. But if you’ll notice, the sand and the concrete barrier are too bright.


I clicked on the “Adjustment Brush”, chose the “-” sign on “brightness”.


I increased my brush size to 16, decreased the feather to 75 and the flow to 97. I then “brushed” over the bright spots on the photograph.


After decreasing the brightness to -113, the sand and the concrete was now at the correct exposure to match the rest of the picture.


Here’s the final picture. Those kids are too dang cute.

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Vintage Feel using Lightroom

I love to be creative with my frugality.
I bought a ream of gray paper for $15 and employ its simplicity when making my own personalized stationary.
I print off photos that I have taken to decorate the front of the cards, adding my own weirdo slogan to suit the recipient.

This shot was taken in a bowling alley one evening whilst I played amongst the friends.
I have been reading King James a lot lately. Forgive me.

I used the ‘Cold Tone’ preset in Lightroom to give this photo its vintage edge. I decreased the exposure in order to see the floor and increased the contrast in order to make out the chair pedestals.
I love how worn out and soft the print now appears.

I ended up going with the ‘Aged Photo’ preset. I decreased the exposure a little, but liked how washed out the floor appeared with this preset.
Simple. Cute.
That’s what I’m into and Lightroom is the answer on these occasions. Don’t get me wrong, I love Photoshop. But sometimes, you just want to quickly edit and be done with it.
This was such an occasion and it worked perfectly.

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Using Lightroom Presets

Once in awhile on tour, I have just a minute to edit a photo and publish it, or possibly be away from the internet for days. I typically don’t use presets in Lightroom, but they do come in handy in these instances.
Here are a few quick examples of what those presets can do.

This is the original photo.

I like to import most of my photos using the preset, ‘Strong Contrast’. It gives a punch to the color in the photo and offers deep blacks.

This preset, ‘Creative: Selenium Tone’, adds the retro black and white feel with sharp contrast and a hint of blue.

I love this preset, ‘Creative: Direct Positive’.
It’s a nod to high fashion photography: a yellow hue is added to green, both the color and the lighting is intensified, and it strikes a sharp contrast between blacks and whites.

Using the preset, ‘Creative: Aged Photo’, you can turn a modern photo into something reminiscent of the past, but with sharp detailing and deeper blacks.
I like to mess around with my presets-adding color filters or increasing exposure just to see what craziness I can come up with. It’s really fun to do with portraits.
I hope this inspires you to have fun in Lightroom when your time is short and you can’t get into an intense photoshop edit!

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