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Photo Enhancement in Lightroom

Photo Enhancement Steps In Lightroom 

As I discussed in a previous blog post, there are no limitations for Photo Enhancement. However, it all depends on what you are looking as the final result. Personally, I don’t like heavy handed photo enhancement, since it makes the picture unrealistic. Hence, a moderate photo enhancement is what I am after.

Basic Photo Enhancement in Lightroom

Lightroom is the most powerful software for Photo Management and editing. All the Organizing and Managements are done in Library Module. Whereas, the Develop Module is for Photo Enhancement.

In this article I cover basic editing steps that I use in Lightroom Develop Module.

Photo Enhancement Basics

Beginners Photography Class
Using Highlights and shadows creates depth in photos

Lightroom Develop Module; General View

First of all, let’s take a look at the Lightroom Develop Module layout. To make it easier to edit photos, in our Lightroom Training Program, I always divide the Tabs (Tools) into two separated groups; Global Adjustments and Local Adjustments, likewise, I am going to do the same here.

What are the Global Adjustments?

The Global Adjustments are those adjustments that affect the entire image. For instance, if you reduce the Exposure, the entire photo gets darker, and so on.Therefore, use the Global Adjustment whenever you want to make changes to the entire picture.

Local Adjustments for more Precision

As its name suggests, the adjustments will apply locally to the selected area of the pictures. Therefore, you have more controls for photo enhancement. For instance you just want to make the sky a little darker or a portion of the photo more or less saturated, in these sorts of editing you need to use the Local Adjustments.

Below is the picture of these tabs:

Lightroom Develop Tabs

Lightroom Develop Tabs divided to the Local and the Global Adjustments.
Lightroom Develop Tabs divided to the Local and the Global Adjustments.

On the Local Adjustment Tab, there are 6 different tools, which I will discuss 2 of them here.

The Local Adjustment Tools

These tools are for Local Adjustments in Lightroom.
These tools are for Local Adjustments in Lightroom.

Steps for Photo Enhancement

These are my suggested steps for a successful photo editing in Lightroom. First of all, look in to the entire picture and decide what Global Adjustments the photo needs. In most photos you just need to apply the adjustments under the BASIC tab. Here is an example for you:

Original Photo

The Original photo, Due to strong Highlights and Shadows, I decided to apply the global adjustments.
The Original photo, Due to strong Highlights and Shadows, I decided to apply the global adjustments.

You have noticed due to strong contrast of the scene, the whole picture looks a little dark. So I applied the Global Adjustments to the entire photo to open up the shadows and reduce the highlights. Look at my adjustments. That is all  there is to it for this image.

Basic Tab Adjustments

Notice that just a little adjustment in the Basic Tab enhanced this photo.
Notice that just a little adjustment in the Basic Tab enhanced this photo.

The Local Adjustments, Graduated Filter

In some photos the Global Adjustments cannot justify your envisioned image. In this example after applying the Global Adjustments, the photo was not as I envisioned it, therefore I used the Graduated Filter and applied some Local treatments to the bottom part of the photo.

After the Global Adjustments

Even after the Global Adjustment the photo was not how I envisioned it.
Even after the Global Adjustment the photo was not how I envisioned it.

Applying the Graduated Filter

After selecting the area that I wanted to brighten up, I adjusted the settings for the selected area only.
After selecting the area that I wanted to brighten up, I adjusted the settings for the selected area only.

Local Treatment for the foreground

By applying the Local Treatment, I brightened the foreground to match the brightness of the background
By applying the Local Treatment, I brightened the foreground to match the brightness of the background

The Local Adjustments, Radial Filter

Graduated Filter is perfect when you want to apply the adjustments in a straight line. Therefore, the Radial Filter or Brush are the perfect tools for the job.

In the image below, after applying the Global Adjustments, I noticed that the purple flower was still too dark.

After The Global Adjustments

Due to darker colour of purple flower, after the global adjustments, it was still too dark to be noticed.
Due to darker colour of purple flower, after the global adjustments, it was still too dark to be noticed.

Applying the Radial Filter

By using the Radial Filter I selected the purple flower only and applied the adjustments to selected area only.
By using the Radial Filter I selected the purple flower only and applied the adjustments to selected area only.

Local Treatment for the flower only

After applying the Radial Filter settings, the flower is bright enough to be noticed, However the rest of the image didn't change
After applying the Radial Filter settings, the flower is bright enough to be noticed, However the rest of the image didn't change

Our Lightroom Training Program is a three-day workshop. It covers the fundamentals in Lightroom Library and Develop Modules in details. Lightroom training program is scheduled for May 16th. I cover many more tips in Photo Enhancement in Lightroom Workshop. Register now to secure your spot.

Omnilargess Lightroom Training Program

Starting May 16th, 2019

Lightroom photo management, editing and organizing class is an introductory Lightroom workshop to showcase the power of Lightroom Library and Develop Modules. Learn how Lightroom can be your best assistant in your photography projects.

That is all for now. Stay tuned for my next photography Tips. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions, feel free to send  us your questions and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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