{Before & After} A Photo Editing Tutorial for Lightroom & Photoshop

July 19, 2012

in Before & After, Fix-It Friday, Lightroom, Photography Tutorials, Photoshop

Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces


This week we invited Arden Prucha, a natural light photographer from Ft. Worth, to share her photo editing workflow with you in our “Before & After” tutorial series. Follow along step-by-step as she demonstrates how to edit a photo in Lightroom and Photoshop.

“Before” Photo

Precious Baby “E”

Camera Settings:
Camera: Canon 5D MarkIII
Lens: 100mm 2.8 (L) Macro IS
ISO 500, SS 1/125s, F/2.8

Photo Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces.com

Lightroom

To begin, import into Lightroom 4. I use LR4 to create a very clean and crisp edit. My favorite things about Lightroom are being able to adjust exposure, white balance, contrast, fix skin tones and add noise reduction smoothing!
First, I want to adjust the white balance. Dragging the Temp slider to the left cools the photo a bit. And I drag the Tint slider also to the left to bring down some of the magenta due to the baby’s pink skin.
Step-by-step Photo Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces
Step-by-step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

My “secret weapon” for fixing skin are the color sliders! The Luminance bar can lighten and darken the colors. Everyone’s skin tones usually have one or more of: red, orange, pink, purple.
Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

Reduce the grain to get a nice, smooth photo by dragging the luminance slider slightly to the right.

Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

Photoshop

Now it’s time to bring the photo into Photoshop (My version is CS6). [To bring your photo from Lightroom into Photoshop, click the Photo tab, choose “Edit in,” and select “Photoshop” from the drop-down menu.] Once the photo opens in Photoshop, I always duplicate the layer of the image. [Ctrl+J or Cmd+J] This way if I have done a poor job when cloning and using content aware tool, I can just delete the layer, rather than worrying about the history brush.
Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

I select the Clone Stamp tool. [To use the clone tool: while holding down the ALT key, click on the area of clear skin you want to duplicate. Then click the area you want to cover.]
Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

For this photo, I want to remove some blemishes, flakes of skin and red patches.
Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

I have also cloned out the wrinkles of the blanket on the left side, the thread by her bonnet, and the open holes in the blanket. To merge the layers, click Cmd(or Ctrl)+Alt+E. Or select “Merge Down” from the Layers drop-down menu.

Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

Now it’s time to paint a little color on the blanket. Click on the foreground swatch to bring up the color picker tool.

Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

Then choose a soft brush and adjust your opacity. (I moved the slider down to about 67%.)
Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces
Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

(You can ALWAYS “fade” your last step… another one of my “secret weapons” in editing!  Should you brush on a color balance or contrast boost, but it’s just too much… FADE it until it looks perfect! [Select “Fade” from the Edit tab and adjust the opacity in the little window that pops up.]
Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces
Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

Adding Contrast

A lot of photographers use “curves” for contrast, but I really like levels. The mid tones are better, in my opinion! From the Layers tab, choose “Adjustments,” then “Levels” from the drop-down menu.
Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces
Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

Fade those levels so they aren’t so bright. [You can also do this by reducing the opacity in your layers palette.]
Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

Final Touches

Next, I run a couple of actions to tweak the color and to smooth my photo. (These are actions I have created utilizing Michelle Kane’s “heARTy bundle” and TRA’s “Revenge” set.)

Finally, I crop and save.
Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces

“After” Photo

Step-by-Step Editing Tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop via I Heart Faces
Arden Prucha for iHeartFaces.comA local and destination natural light portrait and wedding photographer located in Fort Worth, Texas,  Arden Prucha specializes in photographing people who LOVE color, laughing, posing, chatting and loving.  Follow her on Facebook and Pinterest for more photography inspiration.

Now it’s your turn!

Join us in our free Photography Community tomorrow for Fix-it Friday. At that time you will be able to download a high-res version of Arden’s beautiful photo, edit it in your own style, and share your results with the other members in our forum. Not a member of our I Heart Faces Community?  Be sure to join today!

Don’t Miss Our Ultimate Newborn Photography Guide. An amazing FREE resource for all photographers!

Newborn Photography Tutorials | Baby Photography Guide

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica February 3, 2014

I was so happy to find this for CS6, I need all the help i can get!! Just curious how you achieve the “creamy skin” look? Great picture 🙂

Reply

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Ally August 30, 2012

beautiful! your steps are so easy to understand.

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Amanda August 14, 2012

That is great thank you! I was wondering if you can do what you did in lightroom in ps also? I only have PS, or is it necessary to have both?

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Carmine Flores August 2, 2012

This is really cute and I like the photo editing of the baby here.

Reply

Alex Mun July 28, 2012

I have purchased adobe lightroom and I started editing photos for my family. Then, with the help of the ideas I got here and to other blog sites I understand more using adobe lightroom.

Reply

Tammy July 21, 2012

Arden, Can you tell us how many photos you usually end up with in a newborn session after culling, and how long this editing process takes you (LR > PS)? I love taking pictures but post processing is usually a drag… for me.

Reply

Christy Harper July 20, 2012

thanks for this tutorial I can’t wait to try it 🙂

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Declan Mc Glone July 20, 2012

{Before & After} A Photo Editing Tutorial for Lightroom & Photoshop #photography http://t.co/ypn0qzk3

Reply

Angie July 19, 2012

The fabulous @ardenprucha is being featured on @iheartfaces today: http://t.co/beeT2QU8 Learn more about her editing workflow!

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Jenn S. July 19, 2012

Thanks, Arden! Very interesting. I notice that you didn’t mention reducing any sharpening that LR does automatically to the RAW file, ia that correct? I have always wondered if I should leave it as is and sharpen in PS as well — or if I should remove the LR sharpening and do it all in PS. Also, I know that you use Noiseware near the end of you PS edits, so I am assuming that you tweak the LR luminance in addition to NW? Thanks!

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Michelle July 19, 2012

That was great! Thank you for sharing!

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rick July 19, 2012

“Next, I run a couple of actions to tweak the color and to smooth my photo.”
A little disappointing to read this in a photo editing tutorial after you’ve already tweaked the color and smoothness manually. You refer to actions that you’ve created but don’t include in the tutorial?? There’s a big difference between the photos before and after the actions with no real instruction on how to accomplish it.
Great photo, but as a tutorial, I don’t believe it’s complete.

Reply

Arden July 19, 2012

Thanks Sonomi!

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Arden July 19, 2012

Thanks Caitlin!!

Reply

Ashley July 19, 2012

This was incredibly helpful! Thank you!

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Caitlin Upton July 19, 2012

You are so talented and amazing at what you do!

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SonomiJ July 19, 2012

Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing. I LOVE your all images..

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