How To Retouch Portraits In Lightroom

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How To Retouch Portraits In Lightroom

Lightroom Portrait Retouching / Editing

Retouching in Photoshop can be tedious, time consuming, and complicated. While many pros depend on photoshop for the complex retouching techniques it offers, for most photographers Lightroom is more than adequate for doing standard retouching your portraits. Today we’re going to look at how retouch portraits in Lightroom, so you can retouch portraits like a pro.

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[powerkit_collapsible title=”Transcript”]
hey guys Ryan here at Signature Edits
and today I’m gonna show you how I edit
and touch up my portraits inside of
Lightroom alright let’s do it
so this is the photo we’re starting with
and we’re gonna show you how I get from
here to here let’s do it so starting
with our white balance the first thing
I’m going to do is adjust the white
balance as per normal and just try to
get the skin tones where I like them
typically I find Lightroom makes the
skin tones a little bit too red
so we’re just going to take that down a
bit and we’re gonna adjust our exposure
using the plus/minus keys do a little
bit of basic contrast adjustments and
shadows highlights everything looks
pretty good for me for right now so
we’re gonna go down to our tone curve
basically what I’m doing first is I’m
doing what I would do with any image I’m
just adjusting the basic basic
adjustments first and then we’re gonna
worry about the actual touch-ups so what
I’ve done is I made a little s-curve
I’ve done a point in the highlights
point in the shadows point in the
mid-tones I’ve taken the mid-tones up
which is just brightening her skin
separating her from the background a
little bit I’m not gonna go into the red
green and blue curves but if you want to
play there you can doing something
similar next up I’m going to go to the
HSL panel and I’m going to play with the
tones to get her skin where I like it a
little bit more so as I said typically
the skin tones tend to be a little too
red in Lightroom so instead of this
we’re actually going to take things very
slightly in the other direction and you
can see our skin is getting just a
little bit less magenta less red and
these are all subtle adjustments so
what’s happening is it little by little
I’m building a house right so one brick
might not be much on its own but once
you add in the next change the knacks
changed the next change you wind up
getting something that’s really quite
nice so I’m just gonna make those little
adjustments I didn’t notice earlier one
thing you can do is grab this little dot
here and put it on any area of the image
so in this case her eyes and it’ll show
you you can see now the yellow is
highlighted when I go over in that spot
or when I go over our skin it’s mostly
orange now you can click and drag that
and it will actually just adjust the hue
in that area so if you want to get some
really interesting effects you can do
that we’re going to go a little bit more
subtle here and probably leave those
close to where they naturally were but
what I am going to do since the eyes are
in the greens and the yellows I’m going
to take the greens and just turn the
saturation up a little bit and the
yellows maybe not so much the yellows
because those are in skin tones too
great so we’ve gone from this to this
again very subtle changes we’re gonna
keep going split toning I’m not gonna
worry about that here because there
really isn’t much for toning going on in
this image we’ve got her skin her eyes
and this black gray background so we
don’t need to worry so much about
changing manipulating those colors I
want it to be natural sharpening we’ll
just leave that as is noise reduction
adjust that as necessary this was shot
on a camera with ISO 200 so it really
doesn’t need any noise reduction lens
Corrections normally I’d have this one
but because this is a dmg file it
doesn’t actually need it it’s already
got it embedded and lastly before we
move on to our touch-ups I’m going to
just adjust the camera calibration so
this is how Adobe Lightroom interprets
the colors within your image are the
shadows more magenta or do they lean
more towards green are the Reds more red
or more towards orange so we’re just
going to play around with this to get
the nice nice skin tone we’re going
after I’m gonna take a little bit again
of magenta out then I’m going to take my
Reds I’m gonna take them a little bit
away from red and towards orange not too
much I’m gonna take the saturation down
in that area not so much but generally
skin doesn’t have a lot of saturation in
it cameras often times mix this up and
add too much so we’re just going to take
a little bit out and our greens are
gonna kind of take that and take our
saturation down just a little bit and
blues I like to do this just lets me see
what’s going on in the image take it
back to our starting point and I don’t
think this really needs much of an
adjustment we can maybe take a
very slightly up just to add a little
bit of kind of blush to her face perfect
so we’ve gone from here to here looks
pretty good right now we’re gonna go and
touch up the image using our adjustment
brushes so these brushes are from the
Genesis packed by signature edits you
can feel free though you don’t need to
have this pack in order to edit your
images you can just copy the settings
I’ve got as we’re going and make your
own brushes if you like or you can head
to signature edits comm and download
that for a limited time we’re actually
giving away for free so I’m going to
start using my retouching tool set and
again hearse skin for whatever reason
for whatever reason her skin is
absolutely flawless like there are no
dimples nothing that needs to be
corrected either her makeup was really
great or she just has nice skin so we’re
not gonna worry about you know adjusting
any of that skin softening etc we’re
going to work on bringing out what is
already there in the photo starting with
her eyes it’s been said that the eyes
are the portrait a canvas a window into
the soul so we’re going to focus on
those first let me take this iris
enhance brush which is just adding some
saturation some clarity very slight
exposure and contrast bump and we’re
going to paint on irises and you can see
how that just brings the color on now
one thing that I did notice is when you
zoom in here her eyelashes her eyebrows
her nose all in focus but her eyes are
actually a little bit soft so I’m just
gonna take my clarity and my sharpness
up just a little more than I would
normally subtlety is key so I don’t want
it to be too much I’m actually gonna
take my exposure down just so it’s not
quite so dramatic so we can see before
and after great next I’m going to focus
on the whites of her eyes you can see
the color in those are just a little bit
blue things aren’t looking quite so
natural so we’re going to go into our
eye whitener doo-doo-doo-doo to do well
we don’t have an eye whitener well
perfect this is an option we can
actually show you how to make an eye
whitener first we’re gonna show it start
by just brightening the whites of the
eyes that’ll start
what we wanted to do already so we’ll
just paint in here and if you want to
you can actually just press Oh that’ll
show you where you’ve painted so that
you’re not painting over areas you don’t
want to like this so I’m gonna press alt
to get to my eraser and just erase where
I’ve painted turn my flow up here and as
you can see the brush that I’m using
really is not soft enough so what I’m
gonna do is just erase that really quick
we’re going to switch turn our feather
up here turn our flow down a little bit
and repaint but something a little more
subtle this time there we go that’ll
blend a lot better okay so we’re gonna
paint on both eyes and what we’re doing
is we’re brightening up the whites and
we’re also going to warm them up with
our temperature here press o again so I
can see what I’m doing and I don’t want
to do it like crazy but just a little
bit let’s say 9:00 that’s before that’s
after it’s just slightly less blue and
we’re going to take our saturation down
in our contrast down a little before
after now that might be a little too far
so we’re actually just gonna go point to
the last thing you want is for your eyes
to look like you know demon eyes where
they’re just shining way too bright like
they have light coming out of them
instead of like going into them alright
so we’ve already made some good
adjustments here the next thing I’m
gonna focus on is bringing out the
texture on this confetti it’s very
interesting so we want to highlight the
areas of interest in the image so what
I’m gonna do is go to my add texture
brush what that’s doing is adding some
we’ve got sharpness a little bit of
noise contrast and highlights emphasize
shadows taken down so it’s just adding
contrast basically and that will wind up
making our texture come out a little bit
more in the image we’re just gonna brush
press o again so I can see what I’m
No and we disappear for some reason come
on there we go
so the parts of the confetti that aren’t
in focus I’m not going to worry about
trying to sharpen those up because they
are already out of focus great
so press o again you can see that that’s
really made that confetti pop and pretty
much lastly we’re going to work on her
eyebrows her hair and her lips so first
things first using the add texture or my
hair and lashes brush I’m just doing
pretty much the same thing some clarity
some sharpness some contrast we’re just
going to brush onto both of her eyebrows
and you’ll see it really thickens them
up and her eyelashes here
bing-bang-boom you can see here’s before
yes after so it’s just in a very slight
addition of contrast making those
features just a little more pronounced
we’re gonna while we’re at it add some
of that to her hair up here again I’m
not gonna worry about the parts of her
hair that aren’t in focus just the parts
that already are so just up here great
and lastly we’re going to work on our
lips new brush and we’ve got a nice lip
enhancer here you always need a lip
enhancer in your arsenal alright so
we’re just gonna paint on here all
that’s doing is adding a little bit of
saturation little contrast bringing out
the texture in her lips now for me
that’s a little bit too far actually so
we’re just gonna take it back subtle
little changes all add up great so she
is looking fantastic our portrait before
and our portrait after the last thing
I’m going to do before we call this done
I’m gonna take a radial filter and I’m
gonna set it to exposure here put it
around her face why am i doing that well
because if you look really closely you
can see that her shoulders and clavicle
this whole area is brighter than her
face for whatever reason and our eyes
tend to be drawn to the brightest
portion of an image so what are we gonna
do we’re gonna add a little exposure or
take a little exposure away from here to
make her face brighter in relationship
to everything else so we’re going to
press our quotation apostrophe key and
that’ll move the mask inside of our
radial filter instead of outside and
then we’re going to brighten her face up
lower the overall exposure using our
plus and minus keys and you can see I’ll
just do that
the difference now our eyes are drawn to
her face instead of looking first down
here and then up at her face it just
feels more natural okay and I might take
that down just a bit littlest bit I want
it to be subtle again and that is our
portrait image before and after alright
so that’s how I touch-up a porch
and edited inside of Lightroom without
any need to go into Photoshop I hope
this was helpful for you if it was
please hit that like button don’t forget
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