Account | Register

The Editing Cheat Sheet #2: Includes 10 Recipes for Editing in Lightroom

Last week, we walked through ten easy editing recipes and this week we are going to do ten more, so sit back and enjoy. Of course, as I've mentioned before, it is important to remember that presets will act differently on various images. By that I mean, the quality, color, and direction of your light, the choices you make during exposure, and the true-to-life colors existing in your original image will all play a role in how a preset impacts your image. However, these weekly Editing Cheat Sheets should shed some light on how presets, workflow sets, brushes, filters, and manual adjustments can all be used to create beautiful, and easy, edits. 

I often see photographers struggle with finding the right presets for indoor work so I thought today we could start with an indoor, lifestyle shot. Here we have a slightly underexposed, unedited image on the left. You can see the color balance is way off. This is because I shoot in RAW, so I often leave my White Balance on Auto in camera, and adjust in processing, especially if I am catching a moment like this one. On the right, we have a fun edit that pops with contrast and color. You can also see the white balance is corrected. The steps I took to achieve this edit are as follows:

  • Starting Preset: White Balance to Auto followed by Boho Chic II
  • Boho Chic as a one-click preset still left my image dark, so I used Brighten a Lot from the Pretty Presets Workflow Collection.
  • Then I manually brought the blacks and shadows up just slightly, and the highlights and whites down just slightly.
  • Next I manually brought the saturation down just a few points.
  • After that I moved down to the saturation and hue adjustment panel. I brought the yellow saturation way down because the wall had a yellow cast. Then I brought the orange down a tad. 
  • To finish this image up, I turned on Enable Profile Corrections under the Lens Correction adjustment panel and used Add Grain One from the Pretty Preset Fine Art Film Collection.

Here is another edit with that same image. This time a softer, muted look is seen in our final image. 

  • Starting Preset: White Balance to Auto followed by Make Matte from Clean and Creative
  • Make Matte as a one-click preset still left my image dark, so I used A Quick Clean and Brighten Center and Recover Clipping from Clean and Creative
  • Then I manually brought the shadows and highlights up slightly. I then brought the blacks up quite a bit. 
  • After that I moved down to the saturation and hue adjustment panel. I brought the yellow saturation way down because the wall had a yellow cast. Then I brought the orange and red hues slightly to the right to fine tune the color of her skin. 
  • To finish this image up, I turned on Enable Profile Corrections under the Lens Correction adjustment panel and used Add Grain One from the Pretty Preset Fine Art Film Collection.

For our next edit example, we have a well exposed, unedited image of a pretty girl with a cupcake among quite a bit of greenery. 

  • Starting Preset: Rose from the Make It Matte Collection
  • Rose as a one click preset looks pretty good but left her skin just a tad red so I used Color Cast Fix Reds a Lot from the Pretty Presets Workflow Collection.
  • Then I used Contrast a Little from the Pretty Presets Workflow Collection
  • After that, I did a little bit of brush work. I used a highlights brush and brought the highlights down on her face. Then I used the Skin Warm Brush from the Pretty Presets Portrait Brush Collection and used it on her toes, as they were a tad purple. Then I also used the Fix Magenta Brush from the Newborn Brush Collection over the same area as well as just a bit over her dry, ashy knee. 
  • To finish this image up, I turned on Enable Profile Corrections under the Lens Correction adjustment panel and used Add Grain One from the Pretty Preset Fine Art Film Collection.

Here is another edit using that same image. This time our final edit has a crisp, cleaner pop of color rather than a creative, heavy matte feel as previously seen. 

  • Starting Preset: Color Riche II from the Limited Edition Summer Collection
  • Next I used Exposure Recover Clipping from the Pretty Presets Workflow Collection.
  • Then I used Make Matte from Clean and Creative followed by Contrast from Clean and Creative.
  • After that, I did a little bit of brush work. I used a highlights brush and brought the highlights down on her face. Then I used the Skin Warm Brush from the Pretty Presets Portrait Brush Collection and used it on her toes, as they were a tad purple. Then I also used the Fix Magenta Brush from the Newborn Brush Collection over the same area as well as just a bit over her dry, ashy knee. 
  • To finish this image up, I turned on Enable Profile Corrections under the Lens Correction adjustment panel and used Add Grain One from the Pretty Preset Fine Art Film Collection.

Now here, we have the same edit previously seen but this time with a fun, final step added:

  • For this version of this edit, I added the Tiny Lights Bokeh from the Limited Edition Bokeh Collection. I opened the radial filter adjustment tool and moved one of the pins behind her to the bushes rather than where it was originally, by her head on the right of the image. You can see the bokeh preset added a bit of foreground interest, and also brightened the dark area in the bushes behind the subject. 

For our next edit example, we have an unedited image of a pretty little girl. 

  • Starting Preset: Dusty B&W Film from the Make It Matte Collection
  • Next, I used the Smooth Skin brush from the Pretty Presets Portrait Brush Collection and went over all of her skin. I then used a Lighten Shadows brush over the shadows on the side of her face and eye. I also used the spot healing tool to remove some minor blemishes. 
  • To finish this image up, I turned on Enable Profile Corrections under the Lens Correction adjustment panel.

Here we have a soft, muted color edit of that same image. 

  • Starting Preset: Hazy Matte from Clean and Creative
  • I then used the Smooth Skin brush from the Pretty Presets Portrait Brush Collection and went over all of her skin. I then used a Lighten Shadows brush over the shadows on the side of her face and eye. I also used the spot healing tool to remove some minor blemishes. 
  • To finish this image up, I turned on Enable Profile Corrections under the Lens Correction adjustment panel and used Add Grain One from the Pretty Preset Fine Art Film Collection.

Now here is a brighter, more vibrant color edit of that same image.

  • Starting Preset: Color Riche from the Limited Edition Summer Collection
  • Next I used Exposure Recover Clipping, Lighten Shadows, and Color Casts Fix Reds a Little from the Pretty Presets Workflow Collection. I also used Contrast from Clean and Creative.
  • I then used the Smooth Skin brush from the Pretty Presets Portrait Brush Collection and went over all of her skin. I then used a Lighten Shadows brush over the shadows on the side of her face and eye. I also used the spot healing tool to remove some minor blemishes.
  • To finish this image up, I turned on Enable Profile Corrections under the Lens Correction adjustment panel and used Add Grain One from the Pretty Preset Fine Art Film Collection.
For our final image, we have a fun shot of two girls (and best friends) dancing together.
  • Starting Preset: Freesia from Color Luxe
  • Color Luxe as a one click edit left this image just a tad pink/purple hued so I adjusted the white balance slightly by moving the purple slider slightly back towards the green. 
  • Then I used Recover Clipping and Contrast from Clean and Creative
  • I then used a basic highlights brush with the highlights brought down and went over the brightness of their dress to recover a bit of detail in that area. I also used the a Fix Magenta brush over the arms and face of the little girl on the right.
  • To finish this image up, I turned on Enable Profile Corrections under the Lens Correction adjustment panel, used Add Grain One from the Pretty Preset Fine Art Film Collection and added blur to the bottom of the image using the Blur Collection. 

For our final edit, we have a very easy black and white conversion of the same image. 

  • Starting Preset: Nostalgic Film from the Fine Art Film Collection
  • I prefer a true black and white so I removed the saturation from the shadows and highlights under the Split Toning panel. 
  • Then I used Matte Base from Color Luxe.
  • Then I used Recover Clipping and Contrast from Clean and Creative
  • I then used a basic highlights brush with the highlights brought down and went over the brightness of their dress to recover a bit of detail in that area.
  • To finish this image up, I turned on Enable Profile Corrections under the Lens Correction adjustment panel, used Add Grain One from the Pretty Preset Fine Art Film Collection and added blur to the bottom of the image using the Blur Collection. 

I hope this blog post gave you a bit of an in-depth look at how I use the various products from Pretty Presets to create gorgeous, polished images. What presets, brushes, or filters do you have trouble with? Comment below and I might just use them for next week's edition of Editing Recipes with Pretty Presets!

VIEW MORE CHEAT SHEETS FROM JESSE BLAKE!  FIND WHAT SHE USES TO EDIT HER IMAGES.  

VIEW HER EDITING CHEAT SHEET HERE!

My name is Jesse Blake and I am a photographer based out of Billings, Montana. I believe life as a photographer is about finding and celebrating the good in the world, in ourselves, and in others. Find me on Facebook or visit my website. Let's be friends.  Follow me on Facebook and visit my website.

 

Posted by

Leave a Comment