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Day 5 of “I’m Giving Up Photoshop” Month

Welcome to Day 5 in my self-project-ish, month-long postings of images I’m only using Lightroom to edit. If you’re just coming in to reading this and haven’t read the original post where I wrote why I’m doing this, then make sure you check that out too. Okay, here goes:

The Photo
This is a portrait shoot I did in Central Park, NY a while back. The timing was perfect. It was October, the weather was nice. The colors had turned and it was an overcast day (which is perfect for shooting fall color).

(click to see the image larger)

Photo Details:
Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: Nikon 85mm f/1.4
Aperture: 1.4
Shutter Speed: 1/250 second
ISO: 200

I actually clicked the Auto button here just like I did on Friday and it worked pretty well. It was a little on the bright side but that’s easy to fix. Overall the skin tones looked good, but I did pull back even more on the Highlights setting. I also warmed the photo by moving the Temp slider to the right just a little. No Clarity here because it doesn’t work too well on portraits, but I did bump up the Vibrance a bit to enhance the color.


Camera Calibration
I’m always a fan of going to the Camera Calibration panel for portraits and changing the Profile to Portrait (don’t forget it only works on raw photos though, not JPEGs).


Next I went to the Detail panel and increased the Amount, Radius and Detail settings. The problem with adding all of the sharpening is that it will tend to add texture to the photo which is mostly just a problem in the skin areas so I also increased the Masking slider too.
TIP: If you hold down the Option/Alt key when you drag the Masking slider you’ll get a black/white preview of what actually is being masked.


Detailed Adjustments
As I mentioned before, there’s a few bright parts in the photo. First off, I think both of their shirts/sweaters are too bright. The Adjustment Brush is a great place to fix that though. I decreased the Exposure and also turned up the Clarity setting because it’ll really bring out some next texture and details in their clothing. I also turned on the Auto Mask checkbox when I painted around the edges of their shirts. Once I have the edge painted (darkened), I turned off the Auto Mask setting because it tends to get slow and can miss areas, and painted in the rest of their upper bodies.


I also clicked new with the Adjustment Brush and zoomed in on their eyes. Then I increased the Exposure just a little so I could paint over their eyes to brighten them a bit.


Add A Vignette
Finally I finished things off with a vignette. But not in the Effects panel. The Vignette sliders will tend to darken people’s heads toward the top since it focusses in on the center. Whenever I have a key area or subject that’s off center I use the Radial Filter with some negative Exposure.

What Else?
That’s about it for this one. While I like onOne Perfect Portrait (or even Photoshop) for portrait retouching, I don’t consider this a photo I’d really mess with. See, it’s almost a full body portrait. It typically won’t be viewed large enough to do any serious portrait retouching. Me personally, I usually only spend time retouching portraits that are fairly close up and  this one definitely isn’t. Plus. they’ve both look great and there’s really no work that would need to be done.
The photo was shot with an 85mm f/1.4 lens so there’s virtually no clutter or anything in the background that needs to be cleaned up so I consider this one a total success in Lightroom.

Here’s a Before/After. Thanks for stopping by.
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