Video – Before/After with an Edgy/Dramatic Look

It’s time for another before/after video and I took this one in a slightly different direction. The photo I started out with has a very edgy and contrasty look to it to begin with. With a lot of work with the Adjustment Brush inside of Lightroom we can take it in a very different direction. Of course the usual sliders make their appearance (white balance, Exposure), but I think it’s interesting to see what can be done with some of the other tools as well. Hope you enjoy!

Click here to download the video to your computer. [Right-click and choose the "Save As" option]

Author: Matt Kloskowski

Matt is the full-time Director of Education for Kelby Media Group and a Tampa-based photographer. He's the Editor-in-Chief of Lightroom Magazine, the lead instructor on the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom LIVE Seminar Tour and author of several best-selling Photoshop books. Matt also hosts the world's top Lightroom blog, LightroomKillerTips.com, where he's built up a massive library of Lightroom videos, presets and tips. In addition to teaching Photoshop, Lightroom and photography seminars around the world, he's an instructor at Photoshop World and one of the full-time staff writers for Photoshop User Magazine.

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34 Comments

  1. I got a lot of good hints (alt+sharpen, black-white-style)! But you kinda overlightroomed that photo. I like the photo very much, its EXCELLENT!!, but the edited version is too much edited, imho. ;)

    Keep on the good work and videos!

    Daniel

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    • Thanks. Was definitely going for the “too much” look here though.

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      • I especially liked that when the effect was more than you wanted, you showed how to dial it back a bit. Thanks for the insight, and the really creative way you approach some of the tools (okay, the spotlight was brilliant). I like the dramatic, almost hdr-like effect in the end.

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    • I agree! I really enjoy watching these tutorials especially for moments like these! :)

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  2. Great tips, thanks Matt! Would you explain why/when to use an exposure adjustment vs. a brightness adjustment?

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    • I actually don’t use Brightness much. Its just so close to the effect of Exposure that I’d just rather use Exposure. I’m sure there’s differences sometimes but sometimes for me, simpler is better and I just stick with Exposure.

      Thanks :)

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      • Hi Matt. Sorry for OT but you missed the final version of Lightroom 2.7 and Camera Raw 5.7. Kind regards.

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  3. Hey, Matt —

    Thanks for all your great tutorials. If this has been asked and answered, I apologize for missing it: Any chance you might make your videos iPad-friendly? I’d love to be able to access them on the go. I know Scott has said Kelby Training will offer that option. Just wondering if we might see it here, too.

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  4. Interesting to see the Nik Sharpener- may have to look into that. Do you always use Nik for output sharpening- or do you sometimes find LR to be adequate enough? Great idea with darkening via the adjustment brush!

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  5. hey matt,
    interesting video! one question on the side is that i have looked all over the napp site and can’t find the recast of mondays napp only webinar…has it been done and these old eyes missed where it is? thanx and thanx again for your great tutorials.

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  6. Just to comment to Jack – I just watched the video on the iPad. You need to click on the link under the video that says “download to your computer”, and it works fine.

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  7. Hey Matt,

    First off, a great shot; love the composition & lighting!

    Great video tutorial and also great to see that you’re sticking to what you said about showing the techniques and plug ins etc that you use rather than using Lightroom’s built in tools only.

    All the best to you,
    Glyn

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  8. Great video! Always love seeing the “before and after” videos. It’s good to see the adjustment brush at work.

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  9. Really nice shot, I like the outcome after your short tutorial. Especially the idea with the “spotlight” is something new I will definitly try.

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  10. Great video – amazing how much you can do in Lightroom alone.
    I’ve been repeatedly struck by the ease and effectiveness with which you seem to be able to use the adjustment brush’s automask feature. Does this really work for you at 100%? Unless I keep the adjustments fairly minor, I always seem to get annoying artefacts at the edges.

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  11. Great job, as always, Matt. I’m really diggin’ the start-to-finish vids, keep ‘em coming!

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  12. Hi Matt,

    Great video tutorial. You know, the one thing I wish Adobe would do is put a label of some sort next to each adjustment brush. By the time we use so many adjustment brushes on the image it is hard to figure out which brush settings were used. That’s why I really like to work with layers.

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  13. I realy like dodging and burning on muscle.
    Thanks Matt.

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  14. I really like this style of video because not only am I picking up what can be done with a tool but really what you are “seeing” when you look at the picture.

    I don’t think it would hurt to do lots of these kinds of vids, as each time, I think I would notice 1 more little thing that just adds to the skill level.

    (and it was nearly all lightroom, which I’m grateful for :)

    Rob

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  15. Hi Matt,

    Crazy edgy. :)

    Would you mind saying something about your lighting setup? At the beginning of the video you mention something in passing, but I couldn’t quite understand.

    Much appreciated.

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      • Thanks Matt. That gives me an idea of how it compares to my hand-held flash. :)

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  16. Cool image, and I do like what you did with it, but I think you darkened the sun a bit to much.

    Using many brushes with Clarity was clever, though. Gotta try that.

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  17. Hi Matt,

    I love your “Before/After” videos. Please keep them coming.

    I’m not a fan of big Photoshop excursions. It is interesting to see once in a while what can be done in Photoshop but after all your site is called “Lightroom Killer Tips” and the ultimate killer tip shouldn’t be that you have to use Photoshop. Kinda interesting to see how slow Photoshop is even after you have reduced the image size. And one can image that you’ve got a decent machine.

    Here’s a killer tip for you: Often one wants to clone out areas in a way that requires clone tool circles to overlap. LR doesn’t allow you to put the target circles in the right places because it switches to “edit” mode when you are too close to an already existing circle. Here’s the trick: Place the new circle somewhere else and than *move* it into the right position. Works like a treat!

    Ideally LR would have a better clone tool, not just a spot removal tool that one abuses for cloning out areas, but I guess we’ll never see it in LR because it would create too much competition for Photoshop. Or is there a good reason why LR doesn’t have a better clone tool?

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    • Thanks Thomas. Photoshop is here to stay as part of my videos though. Sometimes the “tip” is when to use Photoshop. You can’t ignore it though. As you said, LR doesn’t have any good retouching. I ALWAYS have some small distraction that I want to remove from my photos which is why I’ll continue to use Photoshop for most work.

      – Matt K

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      • Hi Matt, thanks a lot for your reply. I appreciate it a lot. I’m a great fan of your attention to detail and your committed, yet humorous, attitude in your videos. Looking forward to seeing more good things coming from you, with or without involving Photoshop.

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  18. Thanks Matt for the great tutorial especially using many brushes to bring up the clarity.

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  19. Hey Matt, great video I was wondering does an effect like tonal contrast in nik’s plug in do sort of the same thing with out all the brushing?

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  20. Thanks for the video, Matt! I’m still using LR2, but still learn a lot from watching these. You are the best! I’m inspired, now to finish up my football pics from last week. Maybe I can put some of these tips to use.

    Post a Reply

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